A Fresh, Blue-and-White Themed Wedding in the Caribbean
Sophie and Adam
In March 2012, Sophie, now the creative director of Tuckernuck, an omnichannel boutique, met Adam, the president and co-founder of tech company, Optoro, at a friend's birthday party. It was definitely six degrees of separation since oddly enough, at the time, Sophie was in the midst of starting Tuckernuck with the sisters of Adam's co-founder!
After about a year-and-a-half of dating, while vacationing on the island of Vis in Croatia, Sophie and Adam went on a hike. At the top of the mountain, sat a tiny, ancient, stone chapel. While Sophie wandered around the surrounding areas, Adam walked into the chapel, lit candles, and set a ring box on the altar. When he walked out, it was Sophie's turn to enter, where she was greeted by the romantic sight. "It was then that my heart stopped and I realized what might be happening," she says. "I slowly walked up to the altar and realized it was merely a brooch sitting in the ring box." However, once she walked outside, Adam was down on one knee and with the sun setting over the Adriatic Sea, and the couple got engaged.
The Washington, D.C.-based couple wanted to get married in a place where all guests could be visitors together. For Sophie, who was born and raised on St. Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands, the nearby island of St. John was the perfect "half destination, half at-home" wedding spot. The couple chose the Caneel Bay Resort for its "breathtaking, timeless" feel. Located within National Park lands, Caneel's untouched acres of land and beaches emoted the feeling of being on a remote island, the exact premise for this quintessential Caribbean celebration.
On May 14, 2016, on Turtle Point, overlooking the British Virgin Islands, Sophie and Adam became husband and wife. The couple, along with 145 guests, enjoyed all the island had to offer with the wedding's "classic with a touch of Caribbean bohemian" theme. The bride's favorite color, blue, was incorporated into the day, and for further inspiration, the couple also drew from nature-centered books like India Hick's "Island Living" and Albertus Seba's "Cabinet of Natural Curiosities."
"I had given Adam no hints at all about what type of ring I wanted, but he guessed well!" Sophie says of her stunning engagement ring. The custom vintage Ceylon Sapphire Tiffany's ring was the perfect combination of the bride's love of Art Deco details, antique finds, and her favorite blue.
The Stationery Suite
The bride worked with her graphic designer sister, Emily of Lulu & Roo, to come up with the couple's blue-and-white invitations. When Sophie and Adam were visiting Caneel as a possible wedding venue, they saw pelicans flying and playing together and thought it would be a cute, Caribbean emblem to add onto their day. So, Emily drew the wedding's signature pelican emblems as well as the maps included in the invites.
The Welcome Bag
Upon arrival on the island, all guests received a welcome tote that had local favorites like a mini bottle of Cruzan rum and a bottle of root beer brewed at the St. John Brewery, plus a custom koozie, almonds, water, and a schedule of events.
After many unfruitful attempts searching for the perfect wedding dress with friends and family, Sophie went on her own to Hitched and that's where she found her Amsale number. She paired it with a Toni Federici veil and a topper by Rebecca Schoneveld. "There was something that kept telling me I needed lace to walk down the aisle and I loved the scalloping on the one I found," she says of the altered mid-arm length lace addition. For jewelry, her great grandmother's sapphire ring doubled as both her "something borrowed" and "something blue" and Sophie also donned her mother's arm bangle from the '70s that she wore on her own wedding day.
Adam was the perfect complement to his blushing bride in his custom Read Wall suit (in the day's signature color, of course) and added a splash of color, befitting the tropical locale, with his Trumbull Rhodes Liberty of London-printed tie.
They both donned white flowers—a crown and bouquet for her and a boutonniere for him—created by By Emily B. in a loose, organic manner.
The Bridal Party
Sophie channeled her love of separates for cocktail and evening looks in her bridesmaid looks. She chose a wrap skirt pattern and had a seamstress make them in varying shades of blue. The result: her bridal party looked effortlessly beachside-chic in their ensembles.
The Key to Love
While posing for photos, Sophie presented her husband with a key she had kept since they first began dating. "We were in Paris and had put a lock on the bridge where thousands of other lovebirds do. You're supposed to throw the key in the water, but we forgot!" the bride explains of their little keepsake. She had kept the key with her ever since and, together, the newlyweds threw it in the Caribbean ocean.
The Flower Girls
The bride's nieces, Avery and Pepper, and her cousin, Lola, served up some cuteness as they started the procession in their white Chasing Mini dresses. "Pepper got a little scared, so her older sister, Avery, had to hold her basket," Sophie says. "When they got to the altar, they realize they had a lot of flowers to toss and dumped them all out!"
Sophie and Adam exchanged their own vows at Turtle Point, which provided the scenic backdrop and where the bride's childhood home could also be spotted in the far distance. A structure decorated with white draping and asymmetrical blooms framed the site beautifully. Family played a huge part in the ceremony as the bride's grandmother read her own poem and the groom's uncle read an excerpt from Adam's favorite book, Gabriel Garcia Márquez's "One Hundred Years of Solitude."
The Cocktail Hour
Post-ceremony, the steel drum (which also played during the ceremony) continued to set the laidback island mood as guests soaked in the sunshine and sipped on rum cocktails like "The Cruzan Painkiller," a concoction of dark rum, coconut milk, pineapple juice, orange juice, and nutmeg.
Seaside Seating Chart
Different animals and plants of the ocean adorned the seating charts and also served as table numbers.
For the reception, everyone moved to the property's Estate House. Wedding designer By Emily B. used upside-down rattan baskets as beach-inspired lamps shades, accented with string lights to frame the space. Light wood chairs, crisp white linens, woven table runners, and cream floral centerpieces completed the reception's casual, elegant vibe.
The Place Setting
Fresh and classic, silver flatware and white place settings were dressed up with a blue-and-white striped napkin, a sprig of greenery, and a printed menu with the day's signature pelican logo.
All White, Alright
The inspiration and hope for the décor was to use local bougainvillea as a floral focal point, but since the flower doesn't hold up well once cut, the couple's floral designer, By Emily B., morphed the plan and incorporated a mix of white blooms that gave off a similar feeling. Basket-style vessels held a mix of peonies, roses, freesia, and greenery.
The First Dance
After much brainstorming, Sophie and Adam finally found their first dance song in Bob Dylan's "Shelter from the Storm" and they busted out moves to the bride's favorite Caribbean band, Cool Sessions' rendition of the number.
Sophie's mom whom she dubs "the best baker she knows," whipped up the newlywed's wedding cake—a three-tiered homemade Caribbean rum cake with vanilla rum icing, adorned simply with white blooms and leaves.
Since the festivities were held in a National Park, noise had to end by 10 p.m., and sparklers weren't allowed. Not letting anything ruin their fun, the couple improvised with a glow stick sendoff, which was actually a hint to a surprise they had in store…
The Silent Disco
Guests were treated to a surprise silent disco! Down by the beach, below their reception, Adam had organized wireless headsets with ready-made playlists for everyone to silently boogie to. "I can't tell you how magical and fun it was to have 100 people dancing carefree with their feet in the sand and water, only lit by the blinking headsets and glow sticks," Sophie recalls of their one-of-a-kind dance party.
Photography, Lindsay Vann Photography
Location, Caneel Bay Resort
Event planning and rentals, Jenn Events
Event and floral design, By Emily B.
Music, Cool Sessions
Groom's suit, Read Wall
Groom's tie, Trumbull Rhodes