Hailing from New York, Laura and Matt wanted a destination wedding weekend (for 70 guests!) that would capture the essence of Barbados as a destination, be fun, have multiple locations from one side of the island to the other, entertain their guests for the weekend AND be a memorable event for all involved. Finding the perfect wedding planner to take their vision and ideas and make it happen was a challenge – until they found Jean Hill & Lisa St John of Island Bliss Barbados – who made sure that all the complicated details were taken care of, so the bride and groom could enjoy experiencing those special moments during an amazing wedding weekend with friends and family – and manage an idyllic Trash the Dress photo session along the way!
We’ll let the photos tell the story (with some details along the way!) and Laura & Matt share their comments about their experience!
The weekend began with a fun welcome dinner at Apsara, an Indian and Thai restaurant on the south coast with entertainment by local songstress Debbie Reifer and her band; a buffet dinner with cocktails with ocean views from a cliff at sunset brought everyone together for the start of the celebrations.
The next day, the bridal party held their celebrations and got made up; all the ladies (including the flower girl!) had their hair styled by Donna Smith, from Hair by Donna, had their makeup applied and dressed as they sipped on champagne cocktails and Banks beer! The bride and groom had customized elements – Laura’s dress hung on a commemorative hanger in her married name, Mrs Feil – and Matt’s shirt cuffs had the date embroidered on them. Lovely touches!
Later that day, the bride and groom said their vows at a beautiful ceremony on the beach at Foul Bay, St Philip – where the flower girl spread petals on the sand, guests shed their shoes and went barefoot; pannist Andre Forde played sweet steelpan music as the ‘I do’s’ were said. The gorgeous coral pink colour of the bridesmaid dresses echoed in the bouquets and wedding decor. Simple beach chic!
“If you want to have your wedding in Barbados, look no further.
We asked Jean Hill at Island Bliss to orchestrate a complicated, multi-venue three day wedding celebration for seventy guests. And, to do it all in four months.
Despite the obvious logistical challenges of planning a Bajan wedding from New York City and the limited time we were able to spend with Jean in Barbados before the wedding, she and Lisa crafted and flawlessly executed a beautiful weekend that in every way exceeded our very high standards.
Jean and Lisa are both a pleasure to work with. Jean took the lead on planning our wedding, patiently listened to what we wanted, worked with us to craft that into a vision, and then executed it to perfection. She works with a calm, unflappable demeanor that eliminates unnecessary stress and concern. She takes great pride in her work, focuses on every detail and is very personally invested in creating precisely the event you want. She is incredibly responsive and conducts herself with a level of professionalism that far exceeded what we experienced from New York City-based wedding planners.
Moreover, Jean’s ability to plan a wedding in Barbados—where she is part of the community, has long-standing relationships with every potential vendor and understands the culture—could never be matched by someone based outside of Barbados.
We could not be happier with Jean or our wedding, and we cannot thank them enough for making our dreams come true.”
~ Laura & Matt
The post-wedding shoot at twilight captured the wedding party by the oceanside and – keeping it very authentic to Barbados – in a rum shop. The reception, held at The Tides Restaurant in Holetown, on the west coast was a dinner-and-dance party with DJ Dusty and local band NJ30. Once the elegant three-tier wedding cake in white and coral tones was cut, and the bride and groom had their first dance, everyone let loose and partied the night away!
Wedding Florals: Simply Flowers
Wedding Decor & Design: Island Bliss Weddings and RSVP Events
MUA: Janine Cooper
Wedding Cake: Annalise Benskin
Wedding Videographer: Damion Hallett – Cielo Productions