Long time visitors of St Barths, Ali and Peter knew that this was THE place to host their one-of-a-kind wedding extravaganza. Ali, originally from New York, leapt into the planning process with a background as both a foodie (check out her and her sister’s awesome blog here: http://unbuttoningpants.com) and an event/wedding organizer herself. Peter, also from New York, has been coming to the island with his family for over 20 years and knows the island backwards and forwards. Together, the two knew that they wanted to create a combination of tradition and brand new spin to the destination wedding agenda.
Since our first meeting, Ali and Peter had already sketched out the initial bones of their wedding: having their ceremony somewhere spectacular and totally unique from other weddings. They also knew that they wanted to host their reception at the ever-famous Maya’s Restaurant. Peter’s family has been friends with restaurant owners Maya and Randy Gurley for many years. This, coupled with the restaurant’s long-standing reputation and fabulous fresh daily menu, they knew they were in great hands. The very fun twist to the schedule: the final evening would be what we coined the “rager party” and held at the fabulous Taiwana Hotel. The Friday and Saturday events were captured by photographer Bruno Dubreuil, selected by the International Society of the Best Professional Wedding Photographers in the world.
Ali and Peter welcomed their guests on the Thursday of their wedding weekend by hosting a cocktail in the bride’s parent’s private suite at the Taiwana Hotel, where the majority of the wedding guests stayed. Afterwards, party-goers were able to continue the festivities by dining and dancing at Bagatelle. Located in the main town of Gustavia, Bagatelle is known to get anyone out of their seats and onto the dance floor or dancing right on the table – which is exactly what happened with this group!
Friday, the Wedding Day, kicked off with Ali, her sister and her mother getting ready in their beachfront suite at the Taiwana Hotel. Meanwhile Peter stayed with his friends and family in his brother’s suite, also at the Taiwana, to get ready himself. The wedding party and guests were then driven to the unique ceremony site: located on the Western most point of the harbor, overlooking nothing more than the sea and the setting sun. World renown floral designer, Djordje Varda had transformed Ali’s vision of all locations into individual masterpieces. Champagne and refreshing cocktails were served as guests arrived and took their seats. Wearing a gorgeous lace Marchesa gown, Ali walked down the aisle to Paul McCartney’s “Black Bird” on violin and piano. In the spirit of continued personal touches, the ceremony was officiated by Ali’s brother-in-law, Jesse. To us, this is one of our favorite spins to the traditional officiating role – Jesse delivered one of the sweetest, most touching and funny ceremonies that we have been lucky enough to witness.
After the ceremony, guests enjoyed cocktails as the sun dipped below the sea. Ali & Peter hopped aboard a get-away boat to take them to the reception location while guests were then transported by shuttle buses. Maya’s Restaurant, located in Public, was transformed by Varda into a colorful, chic, bright floral experience. Guests were seated at two beautiful long tables with mirrored table tops reflecting a hanging floral and candle structure. Along with fabulous wine, delicious food, combined with hilarious and heartfelt toasts, guests hopped out of their seats and to dance while friends of the groom played guitar and sang throughout the evening.
The “rager party” took place at the Taiwana Hotel, located on Flamands Beach. With a fantastic large covered restaurant space, Varda and top lighting team, Storm Lighting were able to once again transform the space into a theme inspired by French Fashion designer, Christian Lacroix: a sophisticated floral and lighting set of fuchsia, orange and yellow. Upon arrival, guests were immediately served cocktails while the locally famous musical duo of Emilia and Robb kicked off the soirée to an upbeat and romantic tone. The tempo was then charged up with a beach-side fire show, followed by a sound system takeover by world-known DJ Philippe Paris, where guests Did. Not. Stop. Dancing – including Grandmother Hilda who boogeyed as hard as the rest of the them! Stations of delicious food were set about so friends and family could graze at their leisure (and to refuel between dance breaks). An impromptu “Don’t Stop Believing” choreography had three young men, shirtless playing very serious air guitar. As Saturday turned into the early hours of Sunday, guests cooled themselves by a final dip in the ocean before heading to bed.
Bon voyage Ali & Peter, so happy to have taken this trip with you!