This small, intimate destination wedding in St. Lucia is bound to make you want to pack your bags and book the next flight out to this gorgeous Caribbean island. Despite the crazy tropical weather, photographer Brett Hickman did and an absolutely beautiful job. I'm keeping this intro short because I want to you to check out these dreamy photos. Simply beautiful.
From the bride:
My greatest motivation for planning a destination wedding was to be married to the most amazing man, on the most beautiful place on the planet... hence Ladera Resort on the island and sovereign country of St. Lucia, located in the Southeast Carribean. While we had other destinations in mind, residency requirements, the stunning beauty of the island and ease of planning made St. Lucia an ideal location. With only 2 days required on the island and basic documentation, the process was accomplished with relative ease and primarily through email!When we arrived at Ladera, it was magical! I knew we chose the most perfect location ---- paradise! At 1100 feet above the Carribean we were perched on an overlook that fed your very soul. The backdrop of the Pietons, ocean and lush rainforest simply took my breath away!While my sister who and her husband who are our best friends accompanied us, my mother was sadly unable to travel. However she was with me the entire ceremony --- as she designed bouquet of orchids, deep purple cala lilies and white roses. It traveled from Seattle with my sister to have a beautiful piece of my mother with me each moment of my day.I loved the gown fitted from Uptown Bridal, the plum "Nina" shoes and pave earrings but without question, the most important detail was our selection of a photographer. We interviewed several, including very high profile photographers and selected one specifically due to his technical talent, vision and massive approachability. The images he captured allowed us to share the unparalleled beauty of the Carribean, our intimate ceremony and love for each other with each of frame.Destination weddings deprive you of nothing but stress and with proper planning about what matters most to you, will be absolutely the best day of your life!
My mother is a florist and our bouquets and flowers were designed by her. I carried a little bit of her with me throughout the day. That was so very special and incredibly sentimental.
Describe your favorite wedding day moment:
My husband's favorite moment included a beautiful champagne toast from one of our guests, who were celebrating their 10 year anniversary by returning to the their honeymoon location of St. Lucia. It was so touching to have someone recognize the energy and love just radiating from both of us. My favorite moment was getting ready with my sister - eating bbq lay's potato chips and watching the rain. She kept looking out at the horizon saying... 'it looks like its clearing up!' We would laugh hysterically - you might have to be there to appreciate!
Absolutely everyone says "it's good luck to have it rain on your wedding day." I'm not buying it. It wasn't just rain but a torrential tropical downpour in 75-80 degree heat that began about 4 hours before the ceremony. It added a definite element of stress that was not anticipated nor a contingency plan developed. It threw our entire timeline for photographs off. So instead of doing all the pre-ceremony portraits when hair, makeup and that sharp pressed look are their best, we watched from it pour our balcony. My sister kept saying, "ooh I think there is a break in the clouds" so frequently we would laugh until we cried. The rain didn't stop until 15 minutes before the ceremony, and while the clouds parted, the blazing sun came out at 100% humidity and 100 degrees. So our ceremony was not the most comfortable!! The wedding coordinator actually stopped the ceremony to give everyone icy towels. We actually giggled all the way through the ceremony because of our "good luck". But this is really where the rubber meets the road and find out just how good your photographer is. With collapsed hair, running making and everyone sweating ... can he or she still make you look good? How good is your wedding coordinator with a melting cake? Well, my photographer was a blessing and our coordinator just rolled with the punches and made necessary adjustments on the fly. We had to be flexible and while you want to look your best on your wedding day, we ended up just looking our happiest!
There is something incredible about a destination wedding that removes the stress of a traditional wedding. Nothing went perfect (weather, humidity, hair etc) but it was absolutely the perfect day for us!
The hair, make up was already trashed so why not the dress??? I already knew with all of our running around and trying to "beat" the fast setting sun, that water looked just too inviting not to cool off in it! Seriously, I knew my mom would have a heart attack but this gown would hang alone in my closet for the rest of my days, it deserved one swim in those gorgeous carribean waters. So much of our day and wedding fought tradition, this was just one more unforgettable example of it.
Which vendor was your highest priority?
Photography and venue was the highest priorities. We wanted to be married on the most beautiful spot on the planet so ensuring we selected a place that would create a gorgeous backdrop was critical. We wanted to guarantee we would preserve those memories for a lifetime, share them with the people we love that couldn't attend a destination and that made selecting the photographer of primary importance. We chose most of our vendors through the internet based on their work and reviews.
Any advice for couples?
Do what's right for you. You will remove stress when you decide to make yourselves happy. Don't sweat the details... if you hire the right team, it is their job to ensure that everything you need is cared for.
Photographer: Brett Hickman Photography
Venue: Lader Resort, St. Lucia
Florist: Bride's mother
Wedding Dress: Uptown Bridal
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