Caitlin and Charlie traveled from Brooklyn to St. John for their destination wedding with 35 of their closest friends and family. The couple chose the breathtaking Oppenheimer Beach for their “I do.” Wedding photographer, Jen Wiley, was one of those who made the trip for the big day. “It was a really casual weekend, and so much fun. Everyone arrived days in advance (myself included) and spent time snorkeling and sailing, and by the day of the wedding we had all bonded over how hilariously yet painfully sunburned we were.” And why this location? Caitlin, now a newlywed, shared with us their story. “We chose to have our wedding in St John, USVI, because it was the first vacation that we took together and when we first started falling in love. We both agreed that we wanted our wedding to be intimate and laid back.”
“The wedding day was everything I envisioned. Janelle Scott from Island Bliss Weddings, helped me create my dream wedding. I wanted my wedding to be as shabby chic as possible and the ultimate goal was for our friends and family to relax and enjoy themselves. Our wedding guests had a safari pick up in town that took them right to Oppenheimer Beach. The ceremony and reception were both held on this private beach. The food, done by Passion Fruit Chefs, was delicious. Guests were greeted with our signature drink, the Painkiller, which was served in a coconut.”
The beach ceremony was simple and elegant. Shades of coral and blue flanked the white chairs and a bamboo chuppah set the stage for the vows.
“The next day we took our trash the dress pictures at Trunk Bay in St John. This was really special for us, because it seemed like the first time that we were alone since arriving on the island. Our photographer, took all the pictures for our welcome dinner, wedding, and trash the dress. She was a huge stress reliever for me. Not only is she a truly talented photographer, she has such a calm demeanor and genuinely loves her line of work.”
“Wedding guests were free to take a dip in the Caribbean Sea, take a stroll on the beach, and dance the night away. There were moments in the night where I thought I was dreaming. I couldn’t have envisioned my wedding any other way.”
The bridesmaids were given the opportunity to pick out their own dresses – in the pretty palette of coral, while the guys wore light blue linen shirts with navy pants.
“I really wanted to combine the culture of our two families. After cocktail hour, we started the reception with dancing the Hora. I’m not going to lie, I did see my life flash before me as that chair was being lifted up and down, but it was so much fun and thrilling. After the Hora, we danced to an Irish Song. I think it really set the tone for the entire evening. We were all here to celebrate and let loose.”
The beach/pirate theme was woven throughout with lots of finds from Etsy and little details including, a coral-colored screen printed beach bags for all the guests filled with travel info on SJVI, a hinged seashell ring-holder, pirate props for a Polaroid photo booth, straw fans adorned with starfish for guests, blue paper seahorse place cards, and more! The DIY goodie bags were filled with “pirate coins, eye patches, a postcard, St. John Spice jelly beans, mustache stickers, and a sugar packet from a diner back home called Ginsberg’s (which is the groom’s last name).”
“Having my closest family and friends with us on the most important day of our lives was incredible. Something about the island of St John makes you want to forget your worries and take off your shoes and dance in the sand.”
Congratulations to the newlyweds!
Destination Wedding Photographer: J Wiley Photography