Last week just about kicked my butt with three weddings in five days, so you’ll have to forgive the delayed postings and the lack of blogging lately. I just haven’t had time and my first priority is always my clients. But I have a little breather for the next couple of days (no break because I have to work my butt off for other clients) in between weddings so I’m going to do my best to get caught up! Let’s start with Michele and Jose’s beautiful wedding on Saturday, January 17th!
Michele Reid and Jose Vazquez were married at sunset on the pool deck at Belle Vista Villa last Saturday with a group of mostly family (and a few friends) in attendance. It was an exquisite evening — breezy and cool — and although we’d had some showers off and on all day, the weather from about an hour before the ceremony on was absolutely perfect.
Michele and Jose are from Atlanta. Michele is a professor of Latin American and Caribbean history, so this region is obviously one of her favorites. Jose is Puerto Rican and choosing Vieques was a way of including his roots in their nuptials. Michele planned the wedding — Jose was one of those “tell me when to be there and I’ll show up” kind of grooms — but once they arrive on Vieques, Jose worked his tail off to make sure that everything went smoothly for the woman he loves.
The guests were greeted at their accommodations with fun welcome bags that included snacks, Coqui Fire hot sauce, and bottles of Puerto Rican rum. The group that gathered at Mar Azul for welcome cocktails on Thursday night was seriously sedate — they were just totally wiped out from their trip — but they got a good night’s sleep and were much, much perkier at the beach party the following afternoon.
I was a little worried about the weather on Friday morning during beach party setup because there were a lot of clouds and gray sky going on, but Michele had opted for a tent on the beach so I knew we’d be okay even if the heavens opened. True to my theory of always having a “Plan B” for inclement weather, our tent scared away the clouds and it turned out to be a great afternoon. The breeze kept folks cool and it also kept any pesky bugs away. There were a few kids in this group and they really enjoyed our beach toy supply. Even the giant inflatable alligator got some playtime in the water at Sun Bay with Michele’s nephew Maliq. As always, the taco and enchilada bar from Coqui Fire was a huge hit with the guests and nobody left the beach hungry.
I noticed my husband and Patty from Coqui Fire giving Spanish lessons to a few of the guests at the bar on the beach. Michele’s oldest brother earned himself the name “Uno Mas” — a title that followed him from the sangria on Friday through to the mojitos at the reception on Saturday evening. Of course, nobody was going to stand between him and the bar. He’s a former pro football player and he’s really, really big. He is also very eloquent and gave a fantastic toast on Saturday night at the reception.
Friday night, the whole crew went to the bio-bay and had a blast. As usual, several folks who swore they weren’t going to swim jumped right in. And the kids had a great time. It’s so much fun to watch kids in the bio-bay. Adults can be reserved, but the younger ones can’t even contain their excitement for a second.
Saturday morning dawned a little gray, but some rain on your wedding day is supposed to be lucky. We had a little bit off and on during setup (something we’ve learned to work around down here), but once the tent was up, we were in good shape. The ceremony was held on the pool deck of the same villa where we had the reception. That’s always a little tricky if the yard isn’t enormous (this one is big, but not huge). But my staff and the caterers handled it well and the transition from one event to the other was seamless.
The bride wore a gorgeous white gown, and her sister’s wedding veil. Wearing a friend or family member’s wedding veil is supposed to bring very good luck, and I’m sure that’ll be the truth for Michele and Jose too. Her sister wore the bridesmaid dress that Michele wore in her wedding a few years ago. It was fun to see how close Michele and Mabel are to one another. Michele’s jewelry was incredible. I spotted it as vintage the moment I saw it, but it turns out that her mother actually wore the necklace and earrings to a high school dance 50 years ago. Isn’t that awesome? She had her “something old, something new and something borrowed.” I suspect there was “something blue” under there somewhere but I didn’t go gown-diving to look for it. 🙂
Jose wore a handsome white linen shirt and khaki trousers. He looked very suave and a little bit Puerto Rican (gotta work on that lousy tan, Jose!). Their guests were dressed to the 9’s — I can honestly say this was one of the best dressed groups we’ve ever had. You should have seen the clothes Michele’s elderly Aunt Marilyn wore throughout the weekend — what a fashion-plate!
This group liked to dance, and Michele had put together the perfect playlist for the DJ to get everybody on the dance floor early. I daresay that some of the older folks used up all thier energy before dinner, but I saw Michele’s mom and Aunt Marilyn out there dancing again after dinner so they must’ve gotten a second wind.
Dinner was catered by Bili and it was fantastic! Super yummy! Her wedding cake was beautiful — two square tiers covered in fondant with red sugar flowers. The cake was vanilla with multiple layers of buttercream frosting in between. We’d had to do a larger cake than we needed because of the square shape, so we served larger pieces than you usually see at a wedding. But I didn’t see a lot of cake going coming back to the kitchen on the plates — they ate it up!
Michele’s mother surprised the bride with special wedding favors she’d made by hand. They were bookmarks with a poem and a wedding charm on them, tied with a ribbon. She snuck them out to me during setup so I could surprise Michele, but Jose ratted me out before she be surprised. It didn’t matter though, she loved them. It was such a thoughtful gesture from her mom.
After the reception came to a close, the guests headed out for an after-party at the new Kama nightclub in Esperanza. I realized at Kama that Jose will dance to anything by Michael Jackson, regardless of how tired he must’ve been at that point. Somehow Michele managed to look fresh and beautiful all night long — I’m going to have to find out her secret.
Michele was a really fantastic bride. She was decisive throughout her wedding process and she made the planning really easy and fun. The only bugaboo we ran into was that some of the wedding guests had failed to get rental cars. We filled in with a publico van, but mostly Jose played chauffer. I felt badly that he had to work so hard on his wedding weekend, but he was such a good sport about it that everything worked out very nicely. Michele and Jose have great teamwork — she’s the detail-oriented worrier, and he’s the mellow problem-solver. Together, they’re going to be unbeatable.
Congratulations to Michele and Jose from everybody at Weddings in Vieques! We hope you come back for your anniversary every year!
Until next time, happy wedding planning from Weddings in Vieques. Next time I’ll blog about Alison and Robb’s sunrise ceremony!