Jen Huang has just launched a lovely new website, and she sent over Amanda and Phillip’s breezy destination wedding to celebrate! I can’t think of a better way to spend a Monday morning than by dipping my toes in the sand of a Caribbean beach…
“We had Phillip’s very best friend in the world officiate our ceremony,” says Amanda. “He knows us both so well and he also just might be the greatest public speaker I have ever witnessed. It was remarkable to have him standing with us during the ceremony and made it even more personal. We also chose to write our own vows. Phillip’s words were kind, moving and confirmed what I already knew – that he is my perfect partner and that we are dedicated to a life of being the best we can be for each other.”
Your ceremony in three words. Ethereal, Intimate, Heartwarming.
What was your favorite thing about your wedding ceremony? I loved our photographer’s suggestion to skip the First Look and wait for the aisle. Phillip and I both had so much to look forward to and it made the moment even more real for us. I am forever grateful to her for that gift. We will never forget seeing each other for the first time and recognizing the power of what we were doing. It was full of love and emotions – just a beautiful memory. // And that handsome husband of mine and how excited we both were. We couldn’t stop giggling! It was so surreal to have our family and friends join us in this idyllic place for such a momentous occasion.
Is there anything else that you’d like to share about your wedding ceremony? I loved that the walk down the aisle wasn’t very long, so everyone felt comfortable with the time it took to get to the front.
Pre-processional: Jesu Joy of Man’s Desiring, Air on G, Ave Maria, Only Time, Hallelujah.
Processional: Pachelbel’s Canon in D
Recessional: How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You) by James Taylor
“It all started with a New Year’s trip to the island of Anguilla with friends, before we were engaged. Our first stop was to Cap Juluca Resort’s Maunday’s Bay beach. The view was breathtaking, as was the contrast between the blue, crystal clear waters and the white Greco-Moorish architecture. It was my vision of heaven, and Phillip asked if we could get married there. At the time, he was joking and I teased that there was a very important question that he had to ask me first (and that I had to agree to!). When we started discussing where we would like to have the wedding, we couldn’t stop thinking about our first impression of that beautiful beach.
“Also, the West Indies are my happy place. My grandparents first came to the island of Nevis, West Indies in 1963 and eventually moved there. I have spent time there every year of my life there, save a few due to blizzards or my work schedule. However, getting to Nevis is a bit difficult and we didn’t want to subject our guests to that level of travel. Anguilla was the perfect compromise to having that same welcoming island feel with more affordable flights and easier travel routes!”
What inspired you when you were planning your wedding? When we were deciding on colors, we looked to the setting and the venue for inspiration. The bright blue of the water, along with Cap Juluca’s appropriately named “Blue” Restaurant, inspired the color we chose for the men’s suits. The hot pink bougainvillea is a vibrant local flower that catches your eye all over the island. We decided it would be the perfect complement to the blue and also very much a part of the landscape. We wanted everything to be pure, lush and elegant. Cap Juluca is quite simply paradisal, so there was very little to do beyond finishing the fine details that made the evening special and unique to our love story.
Please tell us about any special details from your wedding. Phillip and I both decided to honor the memory of our grandparents by wearing something of theirs. I chose a simple pearl necklace from my grandmother and Phillip wore cuff links from his grandfather. // We found ways to incorporate the things we love the most into the reception, from a bonfire on the beach with s’mores to a tiered “cake” of cheeses to chocolate chip cookies and milk. We surrounded ourselves with the people we love the most and a few of our favorite things to have an evening we’ll never forget. // I also cannot get over the bridesmaids’ attire. Hayley Paige’s chiffon creation had a neckline that flattered everyone and made it contemporary and elegant. They looked like goddesses and the softness of the pink astilbe added to just how delicate they seemed. I designed and created the belts with the help of my Mother and Maid of Honor, which tied it all together.
First Dance Song: One Love, Bob Marley
What was the best advice you received as a bride? To let the little things go. Part of my profession has been creating seamless special events for clients in New York City and I had to take a step back from that level of execution. At the end of the day, my best friend and I were celebrating the extraordinary moment of becoming family. That’s all that really mattered!
Do you have any budget tips for other brides? I highly recommend paying for what you can in cash. Vendors appreciate it and will meet you in a better place during negotiations – just make sure you have a solid contract signed before handing over the cash! Also, I wish someone had told us that when dealing with a resort or restaurant, always go for the open bar negotiation. If your guests are a social group, you want to rest easy knowing exactly how much is going towards that number instead of having to tally up with the planner the next day. // I love beauty products and have had the pleasure of growing up with and working with Bobbi Brown. From a young age, she influenced my beauty regiment to focus on healthy living, happiness from the inside out, and accentuating your naturally striking features. I knew when it came to my wedding day that I wanted a subtle, glowing look that would just look like the best version of me on a Tuesday morning. I consulted my beauty guru and former colleague, the wonderful Rachel Adler, Beauty Director for StyleCaster Media Group. She has always been the person I turn to for any beauty emergencies, how-tos and favorites. Once she heard what I was looking for, she was kind enough to put me in touch with the gorgeous and talented Creative Director at e.l.f. Cosmetics, Achelle Dunaway, to come to my rescue. Achelle helped me create a beauty plan of attack for my wedding day – i.e. a lasting look with minimal touch ups that would withstand the Caribbean weather while not looking too “done up. She is a genius with products and colors, which saved the day. I ended up with a look that was easy to recreate, that I knew I would be happy with, and that didn’t require me flying down a team of specialists.
Is there anything else that helps tell the story of your wedding? I have an obsession with the moon when I am down in the islands and as the evening wore on, a huge yellow moon rose to watch over us. It was more than I could have asked for or planned on our wedding night. To have our feet in the sand and watch the moon rise over the ocean, while we ate and looked around at everyone in amazement – it was just spectacular.