Photoblog of Tracy Phillips and Jeff Mathews Windy Wedding on Vieques — Totally Gorgeous!!!

Hi there brides and grooms!

What a whirlWIND wedding weekend!  After months of planning with one of the most fun couples of 2013, Tracy Phillips and Jeff Mathews finally arrived on Vieques Island for their Caribbean destination wedding last week.  FINALLY!!!

Welcome bags ready to go for Tracy and Jeff's guests. We deliver them all over the island to their accommodations before they arrive - but they never seem to read all the directions in the welcome letters!

Welcome bags ready to go for Tracy and Jeff’s guests. We deliver them all over the island to their accommodations before they arrive – but they never seem to read all the directions in the welcome letters!

Things started getting silly as soon as these two arrived on the island.  Tracy found Vieques through a work colleague with a home here — and then it turned out she and I were connected through a number of other friends and former clients of mine.  It was kismet and we’ve had wayyy too much fun since Day One.  First stop when they got to the island was Weddings in Vieques so they could pose with their welcome sign out front of our office!

Tracy Phillips and Jeff Mathews posing with THEIR sign when the arrived on the island.

Tracy Phillips and Jeff Mathews posing with THEIR sign when the arrived on the island.

Next stop was Avis where Tracy bonded with the welcome iguana “Pepe” and started to really feel like she’d arrived.  Check out this video! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FnlykAUmMiw

Like most clients, Tracy and Jeff trusted my judgment when they chose their wedding villa, and when they arrived and toured the venue, they were VERY happy with their decision.  THANK GOD!

First pic of the bride and groom when they first arrived and saw the beautiful villa venue they'd chosen!

First pic of the bride and groom when they first arrived and saw the beautiful villa venue they’d chosen!

After their villa tour, we sat down with the clients to review their weekend schedule and make sure we hadn’t messed anything up! Tracy is a graphic designer and she knew EXACTLY what she wanted… and she was really funny about it. Check out this On-the-Fly interview conducted by me and Kelsi when we should have been doing work!  Aren’t Tracy and Jeff adorable?  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LpKzp6tH7qU

The bride and groom were all about their guests, and they welcome them with fun bags and also a great party at Duffy’s on the Malecon.

Tracy and Jeff hanging with their friends at their wedding welcome party Thursday night.

Tracy and Jeff hanging with their friends at their wedding welcome party Thursday night.

 

Their guests stuffed themselves on tostones with the best hummus ever, crab balls, risotto balls, and gazpacho shots with shrimp! Yummy!

Their guests stuffed themselves on tostones with the best hummus ever, crab balls, risotto balls, and gazpacho shots with shrimp! Yummy!

We started out Friday morning with a wedding rehearsal at the villa where the wedding would be held.  It went quickly and smoothly (the results of a late night for the wedding party after the welcome party) and then I ran down to the beach to make sure my crew had everything ready for their rehearsal dinner beach party pig roast.  Not a thing to worry about it, as it turned out.  The party was all ready to go when we arrived.

Tracy and Jeff hosted a beach party in lieu of a formal rehearsal dinner so their guests could go to the biobay Friday night.

Tracy and Jeff hosted a beach party in lieu of a formal rehearsal dinner so their guests could go to the biobay Friday night.

The wedding guests were an active fun group, and they really enjoyed all the activities and the live music on the beach.

Volleyball -- we love it when the guests actually USE the net when we've put it up for them! Yay!

Volleyball — we love it when the guests actually USE the net when we’ve put it up for them! Yay!

 

Lots of chill out floaty time with their rum punches and Medalla.

Lots of chill out floaty time with their rum punches and Medalla.

We have a lot of “lechon,” traditional Puerto Rican pig roasts, in lieu of rehearsal dinners so that guests are free the night before the wedding to visit the bioluminescent bay, widely considered to be the brightest one on the planet!  Tracy and Jeff’s beach party was the full package and everybody had a totally great time.

Introducing "Casey Jones" the pig - guest of honor and main course -- named after the bar where the bride and groom met!

Introducing “Casey Jones” the pig – guest of honor and main course — named after the bar where the bride and groom met!

 

tracy and jeff at pig roasat

 

KISS THAT PIG Tracy! Joining an honored group of WIV alums who kissed lunch before it was beheaded.

KISS THAT PIG Tracy! Joining an honored group of WIV alums who kissed lunch before it was beheaded.

Tracy had quite a paparazzi squad shooting pictures of her famous kiss!

Paparazzi!

Paparazzi!

 

Butchering "Casey Jones" for lunch. Step back please - that's a REAL machete.

Butchering “Casey Jones” for lunch. Step back please – that’s a REAL machete.

Tracy was determined to have “live” music at her beach party, and she did. Glad the weather was so spectacular for everybody!

Very few pig roasts have The Caribbean Band!!! Great entertainment for the whole crew.

Very few pig roasts have The Caribbean Band!!! Great entertainment for the whole crew.

After the pig roast, we finished up making all of the flowers and décor for the wedding the next day.  I made a fun tutorial for DIY brides who want to learn how to make fake stems to include orchids (or other short stemmed blooms) in their wedding bouquets. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=33nHG0I5q_0

Kelsi learned so much from the DIY video tutorial (she filmed it) that she was able to wire up the rest of the orchids for Tracy's bouquet without my help.

Kelsi learned so much from the DIY video tutorial (she filmed it) that she was able to wire up the rest of the orchids for Tracy’s bouquet without my help.

I think our crew was up a lot earlier than the Phillips/Mathews wedding bunch – but when we showed up at the villa for setup, they were awake to let us in.  Lots to do on a wedding day, and we were facing some weather challenges.  The sky was gorgeous, the temperature perfect, but the wind made tent construction a heroic and dangerous challenge for everybody.  I kept thinking somebody was going to fly all the way to the big island!

The WIV setup crew for the Phillips/Mathews main event. Left to right (Kelvin, Ralphie, Erika, Kendra, Jim, Kelsi and Sandy - Bill behind the camera)

The WIV setup crew for the Phillips/Mathews main event. Left to right (Kelvin, Ralphie, Erika, Kendra, Jim, Kelsi and Sandy – Bill behind the camera)

Clients are always amazed when they see things starting to come together — they never realize how many people it takes to put up four tents, ten zillion lights, and move everything around to make a villa into a wedding venue.

tracy and jeff tent setup

 

We built a little VIP lounge area adjacent to the tent, away from the music, for anybody who needed a break.

We built a little VIP lounge area adjacent to the tent, away from the music, for anybody who needed a break.

We ran home after we set up the tents and lights and interior décor, with everything prepped and ready to go for the outside later.  Quick showers, wedding outfits, and the Weddings in Vieques crew was back at the villa to greet the caterers, DJ, cake lady and service staff as they arrived at the venue.

As was discussed in the detail-oriented bride video, Tracy is a graphic designer and she had a LOT of little things we had to get right.  The tables were white linens with two layers of table runner — 40 feet long to go the length of her table — and we were facing serious wind.  Thank goodness for double sticky tape, ingenuity and the amazing senses of humor that my crew maintains when guests are starting to arrive as we’re still triaging the chaos!  Check out this video of the madness in the wind! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Golkhb_cFCM

tracy and jeff kelsi hanging chandeliers

Trying to anchor the chandeliers in place over the center of the dinner table… in 35 mph winds!

The whole crew works together as a team to pull the final details together. Can't have those beautifully bride-designed menus flying away, can we? More double sticky tape please!

The whole crew works together as a team to pull the final details together. Can’t have those beautifully bride-designed menus flying away, can we? More double sticky tape please!

I think the finished product was great, but the amount of effort required to make it look like this was heroic and I’m proud of my entire team.

The table matched the diagram designed by the bride EXACTLY.

The table matched the diagram designed by the bride EXACTLY.

Lots of little details came together at the last minute.  Tracy had made beautiful program fans, but we handed those out so they wouldn’t blow away off the ceremony chairs. And the cake table looked amazing with all her little detailed décor touches.

Petals for down the aisle.

Petals for down the aisle.

tracy and jeff program fans

 

tracy and jeff cake table

And then it was time for the main event… we made sure Tracy was ready to go and found her being silly in the master suite with her cousin/MoH Alicia.

Tracy was nervous but not freaked out - and she looked amazing. Alicia was a hoot - she and the best man actually split up a white three piece suit (she wore the vest) and matching purple shirts and ties. Tracy carried a bouquet of apricot and white cymbidium orchids with purple calla lilies.

Tracy was nervous but not freaked out – and she looked amazing. Alicia was a hoot – she and the best man actually split up a white three piece suit (she wore the vest) and matching purple shirts and ties. Tracy carried a bouquet of apricot and white cymbidium orchids with purple calla lilies.

 

tracy from the back

 

Sandy sending Tracy down the aisle in her Maggie Sottero gown - she looked exquisite.

Sandy sending Tracy down the aisle in her Maggie Sottero gown – she looked exquisite.

Tracy’s wedding ceremony was beautiful.  Here are a variety of different shots… Can’t wait to see what the professionals got!

Tracy and Jeff's waterfront wedding ceremony in Vieques

Tracy and Jeff’s waterfront wedding ceremony in Vieques

tracy and jeff ceremony distance

tracy and jeff ceremony up close

After the ceremony, their guests enjoyed cocktails and appetizers while they had their pictures done.  The weather stayed gorgeous as the sun slowly set.

View of cocktail hour beginning with guests on the pool deck.

View of cocktail hour beginning with guests on the pool deck.

 

Dinner tables under lights just before we seated the guests.

Dinner tables under lights just before we seated the guests.

The tent was lit with Italian lights and chandeliers from above, with fairy lights on the tent legs.

The tent was lit with Italian lights and chandeliers from above, with fairy lights on the tent legs.

 

The Best Man and Maid of Honor made heartfelt toasts, and then Tracy and Jeff toasted their guests before taking to the dance floor for their first dance as a married couple.

The Best Man and Maid of Honor made heartfelt toasts, and then Tracy and Jeff toasted their guests before taking to the dance floor for their first dance as a married couple.

Mr. and Mrs. Jeff Mathews doing their first dance as a married couple.

Mr. and Mrs. Jeff Mathews doing their first dance as a married couple.

Their crew danced it up until the cake cutting, when we dragged them in to watch Tracy and Jeff feed each other cake.  then it was back to the dancing til the party ended!

tracy and jeff's coffee table

tracy and jeff's cake

Tracy and Jeff played nice with the cake - and then the party raged on with almost everybody jumping in the pool.

Tracy and Jeff played nice with the cake – and then the party raged on with almost everybody jumping in the pool.

We’re working on a cool video to show you more of the wedding festivities, but this photo blog will just have to do until Kelsi gets caught up with the video production (she’s our in house guru).  We have another wedding this Tuesday – an elopement for Judit Denis and Daniel Castiel who have travelled from Quebec to get married on Vieques.  Hope you’ve enjoyed the pics from Tracy and Jeff’s wedding – all taken on camera phones by incredibly busy wedding planners for the sole purpose of documenting our antics for our own entertainment (and that of our clients).

Tracy and Jeff are from the DC area so Bill and I will see them whenever we travel home.  I’ve made a dear friend out of this client and I’m honored she let us plan her beautiful wedding.

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

Sandy

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