St.Thomas Real Wedding


July 23, 2021
Words by Lauren Ertl
Photos courtesy of Pink Spruce Photography

In some cases, COVID-19 only deepened the desire for engaged couples to plan a vacation wedding. At least this was the case with Eric and Mackenzie who said their “I dos” in the Virgin Islands in March of 2021.

“Eric has always wanted a destination wedding,” Mackenzie says, “He had brought it up to me earlier in our dating years and I didn’t want to hear it. Once COVID became a thing, it looked more and more appealing to plan a trip with our closest family and friends to spend some quality time while we get married.”

Being stuck at home, Mackenzie had ample time to research destinations and find a place that would work for her and Eric as well as their guests. The couple wanted to wed somewhere that had all-inclusive options so guests knew the total price they’d be paying upfront to attend the wedding and somewhere that didn’t require a passport but still felt like a tropical getaway. The U.S. Virgin Islands were the perfect fit.

“Our major issue with the destination wedding was COVID, which we clearly couldn’t control. It was nerve-racking trying to plan a wedding trip for an intimate group of family and friends while new travel restrictions were popping up every day,” the couple says.

While not all guests could attend Eric and Mackenzie’s tropical soiree, they reassured everyone that they’d have a large celebration back home in October. For guests who would be coming, the couple wanted them to have the freedom to make the trip their own.

“If people were committing to attending our wedding and making that trip, we wanted them to thoroughly enjoy the experience,” the bride says. “A lot of guests booked their own excursions throughout their stay, so they made the most of their time.”

To keep herself on track during the planning process, the bride followed a destination wedding timeline she found online. Because the couple ended up booking with Bolongo Bay Beach Resort, Mackenzie gained a helping hand in Lorie, the designated on-site coordinator.

“With any package at Bolongo Bay Beach Resort, SO many things are included,” the bride says. “You give Lorie a couple of key points, and she handles everything from there. You can be as involved or as not involved as you want, and with Lorie, you don’t need to question whether it’s done.”

Eric and Mackenzie’s destination wedding week went off without a hitch, and the couple was grateful they got to spend so much quality time with their guests in a beautiful location.

“With all the COVID drama before we left,” we were just happy the wedding was able to happen! Once the actual day came, we were so thankful everyone was able to attend and share the special moments with us.”

Vendors: Photographer: Pink Spruce Photography; Wedding Planner: Lorie of Bolongo Bay Beach Resort; Ceremony/Reception Site: Bolongo Bay Beach Resort; Florist: Forever Flowers; Hair & Makeup: Sugar and Spice Salon Spa; Gown Designer: Morliee by Madeline Gardner; Bridesmaid Dress Designer: Kennedy Blue; Groomsmen Attire: Men’s Wearhouse; Jewelry: Shane Co., Hair Piece & Veil: Wedding Shoppe

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