Destination I Do
Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Destination Wedding St. John: This Couple's Dream Spot!

Words by Courtney Kellar
Words by Courtney Cox
Photos courtesy of Dede Edwards Photography

Mary and Jeff both grew up in small southern towns and thus wanted a small, intimate destination wedding. They came across their dream wedding hot-spot the year before they got engaged. “Jeff and I vacationed on St. Thomas…[and] while we were on a boating excursion our boat captain pointed out a beautiful spot on Caneel Bay – Turtle Point,” recalls Mary. “I thought to myself, ‘If I marry this guy, I want to have my wedding there.’ Although the words were unspoken at the time, I later found out that Jeff had the same idea.”

Once the couple decided on the island of St. John in the US Virgin Islands, they were determined to make it work for both themselves and their family and friends. While the couple knew they wanted to say “I do” at Caneel Bay, they were worried that the cost to stay there would be too much for their guests. Thanks to their wedding planner, Mary Bartolucci, they realized they could hold their wedding in one place and stay at different accommodations which better suited their budget.

When the time came, the couple left their Atlanta, Georgia home and arrived for a week long wedding-vacation with their closest family and friends. Mary and Jeff chose to hold their wedding on a Friday morning in order to maximize their time. They hosted a brunch afterwards and then chose to have their reception on a snorkeling cocktail cruise on the Kekoa.

Mary has some final words of advice for other couples considering a destination wedding. “Enjoy the planning. I did. There were times when I would get really stressed about the planning and not being on the island to get the job done, but I kept telling myself it’s just close friends and family. No one will care or notice if something goes wrong.”

Photographer: Dede Edwards Photography
Wedding Planner: Mary Bartolucci Island-Style Weddings
Ceremony/Reception Sites: Turtle Point, Caneel Bay
Florist: Diane with Roses Too
Gown Designer: Marisa

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