Stunning St. Lucia NuptialsWords by Courtney Kellar
Photos courtesy of Sarah Bradshaw Photography
Jennifer and Matthew wanted to spend a week abroad with their loved ones for their wedding and encourage their guests to spread their wings and travel. “We wanted to spend our wedding budget on an intimate celebration…we felt a destination wedding would be the perfect way to not only deliver the type of wedding we dreamed of, but also ensure it would be a memory no one would ever forget,” says the bride.
The couple ultimately chose beautiful St. Lucia in the Caribbean for their destination wedding location. They knew some of their loved ones would have reservations about traveling so far, so the couple made sure they were prepared. “Many of [our guests] had never traveled outside the country before,” explains Jennifer. “We ensured that we had all of the factual information they would need before presenting our plans. Things such as potential/sample budgets, flight information, travel documents and the value in our decision.”
Matthew and Jennifer got creative when it came to taking their and their guests’ budgets into account when choosing accommodations. “To help with cost, we gave plenty of time to save and broke our week into two locations on St. Lucia. One [was an] all-inclusive resort for the first half of the trip and then the wedding destination for the second half.” And what a wedding location it was! The bride did extensive venue research online and when she came across Rabot Estate/Boucan by Hotel Chocolat, she knew she had found the place.
“[The venue] is a working chocolate plantation, their restaurant serves dishes infused with chocolate flavors, the reviews were spectacular and once we saw the wedding site we knew there would be no better place to get married,” says Jennifer. The site’s wedding planner was also a great choice, according to the couple. “Our wedding planner at Boucan was a dream come true. [She] handled everything on the island required (DJ and videographer) and assisted me 100% when I got on the island. I would highly recommend having a planter to assist with a destination wedding. Laws, customs and ordinances can also be tricky.”
When it came to the smaller details of the day, the bride had to be organized and do a lot of the heavy lifting herself. “I worked with many vendors who lived in different states or countries. Getting all of our things safely and timely to the island required I take them with me on the plane.” Thankfully, with the help of family, the couple got all the W-Day details packed away and safely onto the island.
The couple really went above and beyond to accommodate their guests and ensure they not only had an amazing trip to St. Lucia, but that the travel was as smooth as possible. “We needed to help get families from all over the country coordinated together. We researched flights and tried to get connecting flights together for families that were flying on the same airlines.” In the end, all the effort paid off and the couple got the beautiful, intimate destination wedding they wanted.
“For a weeklong vacation and wedding with such beauty, we paid approximately what several of my friends had paid for in a banquet hall or typical reception location for just one day,” says the bride. “There is no question in my mind that it was the right thing for us. People would have still enjoyed [the wedding], but the long-lasting memories of traveling to St. Lucia will be unforgettable.”
When asked what advice they had for other couples considering a destination wedding, Jennifer and Matthew didn’t hesitate: “Take the leap of faith and go for it! You will be so glad you did.”
Vendors: Photographer: Sarah Bradshaw Photography, Wedding Planner: Judy Buckley with Rabot Estate, Ceremony/Reception Site: Boucan by Hotel Chocolat, Florist: Tatyana Aguilina (bouquets) & Artistic Floral Design (reception), Stationery: April Twenty Five, Cake: Boucan by Hotel Chocolat, Hair & Makeup: Beauty En Route, Gown Designer: Victor Harper Couture, Bride’s Jewelry: Purely Ethereal (custom back necklace), Ben-Amun (hand bracelet) & Katharine James’ ‘Bella’s Love’ (ring), Bride’s Shoes: Renée Caovilla, Groom’s Clothing Designer: Calvin Klein, Groom’s Ring: ‘Meteorite’ by Johan Rust, Bridesmaids/Groomsmens’ Clothing Designer: LaFemme/Calvin Klein & ties by Zenga, Bridesmaids’ Jewelry Designer: Tzaddishop
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