A Romantic Caribbean Elopement in an Absolutely Amazing, Brand-New Vieques Villa

Hi there!

Remember me?  I’m the Caribbean destination wedding planner who used to blog on a regular basis.  Of course, I haven’t written in more than a month so I’ve probably lost all my loyal readers and now I’m writing for nothing but my own entertainment!  But seriously.  I’m sorry I haven’t written — it’s just been completely insane here for the past few weeks and doing actual work for clients always has to come ahead of blogging.  I am wayyyy behind in writing about the weddings I’ve done this spring — I haven’t filled you guys in on Muriah and Dustin, Noelle and Jay, Teresa and Mike, Chelsea and Jerome, Hillary and Cole, Karen and Scott, or Cynthia and Dylan.  And every time I think about blogging, I realize how many I still need to go back and write about and I get freaked out that I don’t have time and then I don’t write anything.  Not very productive.  So here we go… gotta start somewhere.  Let’s start with Cynthia Nichols and Dylan Murray’s elopement yesterday morning at Quinta Jabali.

Cynthia contacted me about three weeks ago.  She and her fiance had decided to see if they could get married while they were in Puerto Ricon on vacation and so she started researching on the web.  She found my blog and decided to hire me (yet another kick in the butt for me to start blogging again, right?).  She and Dylan wanted to have an uncomplicated elopement and stay somewhere beautiful and I recommended a new property here on Vieques called Quinta Jabali.

Its owner contacted me ages ago and I agreed to go look at the villa once it was finished.  It blew my mind!  The very first couple I took up there (Becky and Rick for June 2010) fell in love with it on the spot and booked it.  It’s an unusual property because it has a mind-blowing view and a roof deck that can hold almost 100 people, but it only has one bedroom.  That makes it more attractive for some couples and not big enough for others.  I liked it so much that I booked it for the first week of July when my mom and her boyfriend will be in Vieques visiting for the week.  We have two weddings and my annual company party the week mom is here, so I can’t have her stay with me unless she really wants to play Eskimo and stay in the flower room (aka guest room when it isn’t a wedding weekend).  So I took the risk of offending her and showed her Quinta Jabali instead.  So much for my humble abode.  Mom was all over Quinta Jabali in a heartbeat.  Good news is that I can go up and hang out with her there!

So back to Cynthia and Dylan.  Cynthia fell in love with Quinta Jabali just like I did and so she and Dylan arrived in Puerto Rico on Monday, excited to start their destination wedding week.  Cynthia took her exams to be a Montessori teacher last Friday and she was exhausted — but they finally arrived in San Juan so everything was good.  Until she found out that the airline had lost her luggage.  The bag she packed her jewelry in.

Ladies, may I take a moment to give you all a lecture about not packing jewelry in your luggage.  No matter how tired you are.  No matter how frazzled.  It’s even worse than checking your wedding gown in your luggage.  Wedding gowns are, theoretically, replaceable.  We can get a dress for you — it just might not be the one you wanted to wear.  But some jewelry is antique, sentimental, valuable or irreplaceable.  Jewelry goes in your purse, on your body or in your carry-on.  No place else.

Fortunately, the airline found Cynthia and Dylan’s luggage on Monday night (with the jewelry still intact), but they lost a day in Vieques sitting in San Juan waiting for the bags to turn up.  I rebooked them on an early morning puddle jumper to Vieques and they arrived on Tuesday.  As expected, they loved the house even more once they saw it in person!

I had planned to take both of my wedding couples (Ryan and Nicole are getting married this Saturday) to the demographic office for marriage license paperwork on Tuesday, but as luck would have it, it was closed.  The lady who has run the place for the past 25 years was home sick.  So I called her at home and told her I was in a pickle with two clients and she kindly offered to come in the next morning, super early, and process both of them for me so they could get married.  At 7:30 am.  I don’t know who was hurting more Tuesday morning, the hungover grooms or me, who had been up working until 4 am.  Ugh.  I am not a happy morning person.  I get up okay,  but I prefer not to converse with anyone before 9 am.  Is that so unreasonable?

So we got both sets of clients taken care of before 8 am on Wednesday (that hurts when I think about it) and then at 10:30 in the morning, Cynthia and Dylan eloped on the roof terrace of Quinta Jabali.  The sun was shining, the sky was clear, there was a nice breeze, and the bride looked absolutely amazing in a strapless chiffon gown and a pair of stunning Jimmy Choos (there are some advantages to not getting married on the sand).  It was a relaxed ceremony, and the groom’s best friend flew in to take the pictures since he’s a pro.  The bride carried an exquisite bouquet of pale pink and deep pink roses, mango calla lilies and white Cymbidium orchids that looked stunning with both her coloring and her gown.

Her gown was a surprise.  It looked super light and airy — just perfect for a wedding.  But when I helped her put it on, I could not believe the damned thing had not one, not two, not three… but FOUR layers of satin polyester lining under the chiffon.  Talk about hot and not breathable.  Not at all what I expected under that dress.  Not what she expected either because we discussed it as she held her top layer up in the air while I got underneath and pulled all the layers down and smoothed them out.  When she first put it on I looked at it and thought — what’s wrong with this picture?  She’s about as big as a minute but she looks lumpy — it was the lining layers sticking to her in the humidity (she might have been sweating a little from nerves too).  Anyway, we had our own little personal moment while I got under it and smoothed out the lumps, and she looked absolutely stunning when she reached the altar.

We popped champagne to celebrate with them after the ceremony and then left them to spend a romantic wedding day on the beach together.  They shared a fabulous wedding dinner last night at El Quenepo and enjoyed a yummy wedding cake we’d had delivered there.  We ran into them tonight at Tradewinds — we were there working Nicole and Ryan’s welcome party, but more about their wedding in the next blog (yes, I will write again this week — I promise!).  They were having a cocktail and picking up carry-out to take back to the villa because, to quote the bride, “we want to spend as much time as possible up there while we’re here because it is so amazing.”  Yeah… patting myself on the back… I recommended Quinta Jabali.  Have a feeling I’m going to be doing a LOT of weddings there in the coming years.  Wonder if the owner will let me take a stay-cation there to test drive the place?  I need to give a detailed and accurate recommendation to clients, right? 🙂

So Dylan and Cynthia are headed off Vieques to continue their mini-moon on the big island tomorrow and Nicole and Ryan are getting married this weekend.  Tomorrow morning we have a wedding rehearsal (complete with Bloody Mary’s and Passion-Fruit Mimosas) and tomorrow evening we’re doing a pig roast beach party rehearsal dinner before they all take private tours of the bioluminescent bay.

And now I am off to bed.  This is a big wedding this weekend and it’s important for me to be well rested so I can handle any bugaboos that pop up.  But I will write again very, very soon.

Until next time, happy wedding planning from Weddings in Vieques and Weddings in Culebra!


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