King Protea and Chinese Lanterns for Lara Van Slyke and Barry Rosen’s Vieques Island November Wedding Bash

Hi Everybody!

Lara Van Slyke and Barry Rosen at their wedding welcome party on November 1, 2012 at Tradewinds on Vieques Island.

November and December have been so totally insane that we haven’t even had time to update our brag list of successfully married couples on here lately.  And we have had a whole big bunch, especially with the three we did on 12/12/12 (no I didn’t do 12 after all –one of them was a biggie and required a lot of attention).   But each and every wedding that Weddings in Vieques planned was gorgeous and we loved our clients, so I’m going to backtrack a little here and brag about how amazing their weddings were!  Let’s start with Lara and Barry’s amazing event the first weekend of November.Lara Van Slyke and Barry Rosen were married on the lawn at Punta Martineau on Saturday, November 3, 2012.  It was a big affair with almost 90 guests who traveled, literally from all over the world, to celebrate the big day with the couple from the Boston area.  It wasn’t just one day of events though — Lara and Barry greeted their guests Thursday with overflowing welcome bags at their accommodations, and then everybody gathered at Tradewinds for a lovely welcome cocktail party with the most famous rum punch on the island and tons of fabulous appetizers, including lobster wontons, conch fritters, beef filet and much more.  The guests felt spoiled rotten from the first moment they arrived!

The day prior to their wedding was a busy one because the bride and groom treated everybody to an amazing beach party on Sun Bay, followed by private tours of Vieques Island’s famous bioluminescent bay.  The whole crew bobbed around the Caribbean on floaty noodles and rafts and managed to avoid raging sunburn despite perfect weather and gloriously clear skies.

Lara and Barry’s wedding day was a busy one at the villa because Lara had a very specific decor concept and it took hours to execute. White fairy lights provided the bulk of the lighting across the property and the three tents outside to host the big event.  Beautiful Chinese lanterns blew in the breeze under the tents housing dinner tables decorated with driftwood and orchid blossoms.  Fabulous!

Lara Van Slyke with her father at her wedding reception at Punta Martineau on Vieques Island.

The bride has a passion for a flower called the King Protea which, I must confess, I have never even seen before, much less worked with.  I was honest about that and she and I tackled bringing the blooms from Hawaii to Vieques as a challenge together.  King Protea are pink and look sort of like gi-normous sunflowers… sort of.  Following the exact design of a picture Lara had shown me during the planning, we use tall cylinder vases to line the aisle with the King Protea before carpeting rose petals along her path to the groom.  The semi-Jewish ceremony was held under a decorated chuppah, and one hour before the ceremony, it couldn’t have looked more beautiful.  The bride carried a bouquet of King Protea and orchid blossoms.

Then, just as guests began arriving at the waterfront villa, we had a pop-up rainstorm unique to tiny islands like ours.  It lasted about 20 furious minutes, and as it’s the windiest time of day at that spot on the island, Mother Nature wreaked havoc on all of our decor.  God bless my entire team — and I mean every single one of them — when that rain stopped about 15 minutes before the ceremony was due to start, we marched out there in teams and tackled the whole mess.  By the time the bride descended the stairs and made her way down the aisle a few minutes after the intended start time, the ceremony had been reconstructed — chairs were dry, chuppah was literally reconstructed and redecorated in dry white tulle, and the entire dining room setup on the opposite side of the lawn was back to what it was supposed to look like before the freak sideways rainstorm hit.  Huge sigh of relief.

Just to prove God has a sense of humor, as 90 guests stood in the great room of the villa watching us through the floor to ceiling plate glass windows, a rainbow began to form above us… I’m sure it framed me out nicely up on the ladder swearing under my breath at that chuppah while we removed all traces of nature’s wrath.  But we did it.  We pulled it off.  And by the time Lara made her grand entrance, you never would have known the sky looked like something out of the Wizard of Oz only 30 minutes before.  But that’s okay.  That’s what we do.  Weddings in Vieques knows how to tackle any difficult situation — and if we don’t, we’ll figure it out before it becomes a problem for our clients.  And at the last minute, we brought it a beautiful rainbow that suspended over the entire background of their wedding ceremony.  Pretty darn cool.

Lara and Barry’s reception was a blast — great music, fun guests, and an amazing sparkler display (36 inchers) during their entire first dance.  Heck, the sparklers burned long after the first dance and into her daddy/daughter dance too.  Pretty cool.  Most important thing to worry about was really making sure that nobody set down their hot sparklers on the pool deck or lawn since the vast majority of guests had abandoned their shoes dancing hours before.  We had service staff prepared with water buckets to collect them as they burned out.

In lieu of a traditional wedding cake, Lara and Barry opted to serve a really extensive candy bar in the bride’s hot pink and orange theme colors.  She shipped me all kinds of fun stuff ahead (licorice, Jolly Ranchers, jelly bellys, etc.) but we also had three different kinds of fresh, locally made chocolate truffles that were absolutely to die for.  After a really fantastic food station dinner display and all the candy you could ever want, nobody could complain they left that wedding reception hungry or without a sufficient sugar high.

Dancing and the party continued into the wee hours after the reception down at Mar Azul in Isabel Segunda, where the vast majority of our clients choose to do after hours because of the fun dancing and karaoke every Saturday night.  The entire crew of wedding guests was looking a little done in at the farewell brunch the next morning, but they gobbled up the mini sticky buns and homemade corn muffins with yogurt and berry parfaits.  The bloody marys and passion fruit mimosas were a big hit too.

All in all, the Van Slyke/Rosen (the “Van Rosens” as their friend like to joke) wedding was beautiful and spectacular.  Both bride adn groom were absolutely stunning and appeared to enjoy every minute of the weekend.  They were a pleasure to work with and we miss them already!

More reviews of all the good stuff I haven’t had time to write about lately in the day to come.  But until next time, happy wedding planning from Weddings in Vieques and Weddings in Culebra!  Did you get engaged over Christmas?  Don’t wait to book your wedding date first choice.  Everybody else is getting engaged over New Year’s!


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