Weddings in Vieques is owned and operated by Sandy Malone, a veteran event planner from Washington, DC, with years of experience planning large and small weddings, commitment ceremonies, press conferences, and corporate and political events. She has planned countless events on Vieques Island, beginning with her own wedding back in 2004.
Since that time, her professional staff has executed large and small weddings of all styles, including elopements, vow renewals and fabulously posh events at multimillion dollar waterfront villas. She has also planned family reunions, destination baby showers, corporate retreats and a variety of other events for clients from all over the United States and Canada.
Sandy and Bill Malone were married on Vieques Island on Labor Day weekend of 2004, after Sandy fell in love with the secret paradise while she was doing media relations for the government of Puerto Rico’s battle to oust the Navy from the shores of Vieques.
Despite all her own event planning experience, Sandy realized that it would be very difficult to plan a wedding in Vieques from Washington, DC, while working full time at her own job. So she set out to find a wedding planner to help her coordinate all the little details of inviting 50 guests to share her wedding day on a tiny island located just off another island in the Caribbean. After all, helping 50 guests arrange plane tickets, rental cars, and hotel accommodations from areas as widely spread as Washington, DC, Seattle, Washington, and Chicago, is a full-time job for any bride. And shepherding them around the island once they arrive here is a lot like herding cats. So she hired a “reputable” wedding planner from the big island to help.
From the beginning, it was clear that the wedding planner didn’t know squat about Vieques. A few months later, when the coordinator had missed all the deposit deadlines for the vendors and Sandy started getting calls from her florist, hairdresser, bandleader, and reception venue, all wanting to know if the wedding was still on, she took matters into her own hands. She fired the wedding planner and buckled down to clean up the mess the disastrous wedding planner had left behind.
The results were fabulous! Almost 50 guests attended the nuptials. They got discounts on their airfare and special rates at the hotel. They were greeted with goody bags containing information on the island, snacks, playing cards, and Puerto Rican rum! While her ceremony and reception were absolutely breathtaking, most of her guests still talk more about the private tour of the bioluminescent bay before the rehearsal dinner, and the sangria at the Caribbean-style barbecue on Red Beach the day before the wedding. It wasn’t just a destination wedding on Vieques – it was a memorable experience that every one of her guests will reminisce about for the rest of their lives.
Shortly after their wedding, Sandy and her husband Bill purchased their own home on the beautiful island of Vieques, and their relationships with the people and the business owners on the island grew. Sandy started out in the wedding planning business by helping friends, and friends of friends, with small arrangements and advice as they struggled to organize their own Caribbean destination weddings. She helped friends plan enormous, big-budget weddings in Washington, DC, and gained valuable experience dealing with vendors, large wedding parties, and hysterical family members.
Sandy made the decision to launch Weddings in Vieques at the beginning of 2007. Encouraged by the continued popularity of destination weddings and the increasing popularity of Vieques Island with brides and grooms, Sandy decided to commit all of her energy to planning weddings in Vieques, Culebra and Old San Juan.
Prior to the inception of Weddings in Vieques, Sandy was Vice President of Public Affairs for a publicly-traded marketing company. She worked for two well-known public relations agencies in Washington, DC, before going into corporate work, representing a wide variety of clients including the government of Puerto Rico. She began her career in political journalism, as managing editor of Campaigns & Elections magazine and then as a staff writer for the Wall Street Journal online.
Sandy Malone and her husband Bill run Weddings in Vieques together. They live on Vieques with their dog, Houdini.