Congratulations to Matthew and Danielle who hosted a beautiful destination wedding at Caneel Bay last year. They utilized several locations on the Caneel Bay Resort property as well as locations in town and activities out on the water for their group. Read all about their St. John wedding experience and take a look at their beautiful photos below.
Date: April 19, 2015
Location: Their ceremony took place at Caneel Bay Resort, overlooking the sea, followed by a reception at Rhumb Lines Restaurant in Cruz Bay.
Wedding Theme and Colors: The theme of our wedding was to embrace all the amazing vibrant colors of the island all around us. Focusing on vibrant colors, pink orange and lime green with touches of bold patterns.
Wedding Details from the Bride, Danielle:
Matt and I chose Caneel Bay as our ceremony location as it had always been one of our favorite spots on the island. We had first seen it on one of our boat trips to the British Virgin Islands and the Turtle Bay Point at Caneel Bay was truly amazing to view from the water, we only could imagine having the view OF the ocean. We visited the resort the year before we tied the knot and fell in love the moment we saw it. Our goal was to create an amazing trip that both of our families and closest friends could share an experience not only with us but with each other. We wanted everyone to look back and remember the little moments like hanging out on the beach together or cooking dinners outside overlooking the ocean all while still having an amazing time at our wedding.
Did you plan any group activities? One of our favorite activities was chartering a catamaran for the day and sailing around St. John with all of our guests. It gave us an opportunity to share the magical island with everyone from a view they wouldn’t necessarily get on their own. We also hosted our rehearsal dinner at the historic sugar mill ruins at Caneel Bay with a beautiful open air atmosphere and perfect view of the ocean in the distance.
What flowers did you carry? Flowers are extremely important to me and something that I have a true passion for so finding a florist that I was not familiar with terrified me but I could not have been happier! I found Roses Too through my amazing wedding planner and from the first time I spoke with Jessica I knew she got it. She created an amazing bouquet of Queen Protea, lime green cymbidium Orchids, hot pink roses and touches of stock for texture. The bold look of the Queen Protea truly made this bouquet unique, exactly what I wanted.
What did you love about St. John as a wedding destination? The absolutely pristine beaches! Part of my favorite thing to share with my friends and family was how the majority of the island is not developed as it is part of the national park and truly makes these some of the most amazing beaches you will ever see.
What was the best idea you had in planning your destination wedding? Planning a destination wedding! Seriously as an event planner in Boston, the last thing I wanted was for planning our wedding to feel like work. Having to speak to the same vendors I used daily made me nervous that our wedding day was going to be blended into the many other events that I was currently planning. Making the decision to take it to a new fresh and meaningful place was truly the best thing I could have ever done.
Best advice to future brides and grooms of destination weddings: Take time and select somewhere meaningful. And choosing a location without a language barrier is always a plus!
Best memory of the wedding: Being able to be in one of our favorite locations with all of our friends and family. While the wedding itself was unforgettable, it was the small moments with each friend or family member that I got to have in such an amazing place that I will carry with me forever.
Did you use a wedding planner? Yes! I have been an event planner for several years professionally and know why we have full time jobs. There are so many details that go into each event and wanting to make each as perfect as it can be is something that takes a lot of work. While I planned the majority of the big ideas from home in Boston myself I knew that I wanted someone to take all of my plans and execute them for me day of. So I found Michelle Fage through my reception venue and could not have been more thrilled. Not only does Michelle have amazing knowledge about the island but also knew every vendor I had hired. I can’t tell you how important vendor relationships are as an event planner and once I knew that Michelle knew all of them I truly felt everything was going to be just what I wanted. From working with the resort to set the ceremony exactly as I envisioned it, to the coordination of the taxis on the most extreme hills you will ever see, everything was handled perfectly and how I would have done it myself, if I was not the client for the day. I honestly would advise every bride to hire a wedding planner if possible so you can enjoy each and every moment as you truly deserve it!
What obstacles did you face in planning a destination wedding? The most difficult thing was trying to find accommodations and travel coordination for everyone. My cousin was a big help, and designed the most amazing wedding website for me with all of this information and more. It was the perfect place to send anyone with questions and filtered out those that still needed help.
In retrospect, is there anything you would have done differently in the planning? Honestly no, I think the best thing I have learned from planning events as a profession is that things are not always going to be perfect, but if you learn to appreciate the things that are most important and meaningful happening right around you in the moment and let the little things go it will be one of the best days of your life…and it truly was.
Wedding Planner: Michelle Fage from Paradise Planning – St. John
Flowers: Roses too- St. Thomas.
Videographer: Palm Wedding Films- St. Thomas
Hair & Makeup by: Sugar & Spice Salon
Photographer: Allegro Photography – Boston, MA
Bride’s Attire: Zuhair Murad flowing chiffon gown with gold beaded waistline. Jimmy Choo gold heels finalized with statement pieces from brides favorite jewelry designer, Alexis Bittar. However the most meaningful and beautiful piece was a custom back drop diamond necklace my husband had made for me for the low back dress made from his late grandmother’s diamond jewelry
Groom’s Attire: Hugo Boss Suit with custom dress shirt with French cuffs and detailed embroidery. Hot pink tie and pocket square.
Bridesmaid’s Attire: Each bridesmaid chose their own dress that best represented them as an individual. All wore shades of light pink to highlight the hot pink floral they carried. Designers included, Club Monaco, Elizabeth and James and Haute Hippe.
Groomsmen’s Attire: Each groomsmen wore a white linen shirt and khaki pants to embrace the casual island feel
About Caneel Bay Resort Weddings: Perfectly located on 170 lush acres within the Virgin Islands National Park, the Caneel Bay Resort offers a destination wedding and honeymoon setting like no other in the Caribbean. From the captivating point at Turtle Bay to secluded Honeymoon Beach, the enchanting surroundings of St. John create an inspiring backdrop for your special celebration. Visit caneelbay.com/weddings or contact us at email@example.com to start planning!