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Katy & JR’s Destination Wedding in Antigua, Caribbean
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Marisa & Suresh’s Destination Wedding in Aruba

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Venue: Mamora Bay Beach, Reception- Piccolo Mondo Restaurant
Specialist: Debbie Johnson
Number of Guests: 38

The Love Story
Both assigned to Hilo, Hawaii for their traveling RN jobs, Katy and JR developed a close friendship while exploring the islands and immersing themselves in Hawaiian life. TAfter three months, JR's assignment came to an end, and he had to return to Florida. Despite the distance, they continued to communicate through phone calls and online chats. A year later, JR informed Katy that he was returning to Hilo for another assignment. Their deep friendship connection continued to blossom, and eventually, they confessed their feelings for each other. They decided to give their love a chance and 5 years later, JR popped the question on a gondola ride in Florence, Italy. 

The Planning Experience
With both of their families living in different states, they took into consideration that one of their families would have to travel wherever they decided to tie the knot. In order to create new memories and avoid hosting their wedding in Hawaii, they reached out to Antigua caught their eye due to the 365 beaches on the island! After ruining out several options with their Certified Destination Wedding Specialist, Debbie Johnson, and researching the top beaches in the Caribbean, St. James Clubs & Villas have plenty of attractive qualities they were looking for such as personalizing the ceremony. Overall, it exceeded their expectations and stayed with a reasonable price range. 

The Celebration
Everything they ever envisioned for their destination wedding came to life at St. James Clubs and Villas. Katy wanted to add her own personal flair to the decor and personalized each bridesmaid bouquet, creating barefoot sandals for her wedding party and guests, and brought pocket watches for the male attendees. Before they said their I dos, both families had a chance to get to know each other and participate in the resort's activities. They enjoyed scuba diving, sailing, and snorkeling, which was a great way for everyone to bond. 

The Memories
JR recalls that his favorite moment from their special day was when they both said "I do." Before the officiant got a chance to finish his sentence, Katy jumped in to say "I do," a little too loudly and high pitched. The whole venue erupted in laughter, including JR, who couldn't help but think it was the perfect embodiment of Katy's personality. When you ask Katy what her favorite part was, she states it was when her mom's luggage arrived 15 minutes before the ceremony started! Her mom and her mother-in-law had to do a quick outfit change before the celebration began. 

Advice For Future Couples
Several things Katy and JK learned from a destination wedding is that your Certified Destination Wedding Specialist is your best friend! Someone located in the US to aid in contacts between resorts, photographers, vendors is a must have.

Initially our thought on a destination wedding was that no one would show up, but the funny thing is, the important people were the ones who attended. Our family and close friends all were able to make the long trip to Antigua and also got to take a vacation in the process. After the wedding, the rest of the week was free for them to experience the island. Your family and friends want to share in this important step of your life, so don't worry about the guests that can't make it; you will all still have a blast!

Other Vendors: 
Photographer: Jason Pickering
Dress Boutique: Brides by Demetrios
Shoes: Homemade Barefoot Sandals

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