When Richmond proposed, he told Nicole: “I’ve been waiting for the perfect time and place to do this, but I realized that anywhere and anytime is perfect as long as I’m with you.” So beautifully put, and so relevant for their eventual destination wedding.
Destination weddings are so magical because they prove that no matter where you are in the world if you’re with the one you love, it feels like home. These two chose gorgeous Jamaica to tie the knot in front of an intimate group of friends and family, and these photos are making me itch for a beach vaca, STAT. Jamaica boasts some of the world’s most gorgeous beaches, flavorful food, and vibrant culture – quite the recipe for a picture-perfect wedding week full of FUN in the sun.
Not wanting to have a wedding that looked predictably “beachy,” Nicole chose a lovely blend of blush and nude color tones, and DIY’ed a ton of wedding favors and decor so they could put their spin on tradition. I loved the cultural nod by Richmond and his groomsmen who donned the barong Tagalong, a customary Filipino men’s tunic – they looked so handsome. Looking effortless and breezy, Nicole and her ladies were just perfection in their creamy/rose blend ensembles. And those of us with fur babies know you simply cannot leave your pup out of the ceremony – so their cake topper represented their dog, Daisy. But I must say, my absolute favorite detail was in the framed photos of the wedding guests’ own wedding photos! Very meta – but also an extremely thoughtful way to pay homage to the married couples who’ve made the trip to celebrate. Huge shoutout to Michelle and Yasmine Photography for capturing all the beautiful details.
Q&A with the Bride & Groom:
How did you meet?
We’ve been friends for a very long time before we started dating. We met through a mutual friends and were dating different people at the time. We were friends running in the same circle until both of our relationships ended. Unexpectedly, we became the unlikely friendly twosome who stumbled upon something special. As our feelings blossomed, it became a very unpopular pairing as our previous partners were in the same group of friends. After much hesitation from both of us, we realized that this was a once in a lifetime love.
What is your proposal story?
It took Richmond close to 6 months after finding the perfect engagement ring, and asking for my dad’s permission to finally pop the question. He attempted and let slip numerous occasions and trips before deciding on the perfect time. He proposed at midnight, May 25th, 2015. It was clear night by the ocean in Virginia Beach when he proposed, just the two of us walking on the sand. Holding out the most perfect pear shaped diamond ring, he asked me to be his wife, “I’ve been waiting for the perfect time and place to do this, but I realized that anywhere and anytime is perfect as long as I’m with you.”
Tell us a little a bit about your destination wedding vision:
We wanted a destination, beach wedding, but we didn’t necessarily want to be married right on the sand/water. The search for the perfect location was not an easy task as we not only have to choose the venue but the destination as well. After a lot of research and potential Caribbean destinations, Jamaica stole our hearts. The perfect venue also had to cater to families as all of our nearest and dearest are married with children we adore. We wanted our wedding week to be as special to our loved ones as it is to us. We chose Moon Palace as they catered to the whole family and all their inclusions meant that no one will ever be bored. The ceremony location is also a winner – with the gazebo that goes out into the water. The paved pathway is the perfect wedding aisle. We wanted the tropical feel but not have the same expected beach theme, seashell decor and coral hues. We wanted it to be unique and romantic. I knew I wanted a romantic color palette and opted for blush pink, beige, taupe and rose gold for a modern elegant feel.
Tell us about your attire choices.
Wedding gown – I was not a bride who knew exactly what she wanted. I did a lot of research and narrowed down a few designers before trying them on. I visited several boutiques with a list of gowns I wanted to try. In choosing my gown, I wanted it to fit well and be unique. Feeling discouraged because every other gown was not what I wanted, one boutique put out a new dress on a mannequin while I was getting ready to leave – the Bexley dress by Sottero and Midgely. I tried it on and I knew I had found it. It was perfect for the setting and very unique, yet still was very romantic and modern at the same time. It was not hard to transport either which was huge plus. Groom’s attire – while we were decided on a navy or blue suit for him, we also wanted to include a traditional Filipino men’s tunic – the Barong Tagalog . He changed into this tunic for the wedding reception. It was a great cultural addition to the celebration. All the groomsmen also wore the Barong.
What was the most important to the two of you while planning your destination wedding?
The most important thing to us was to have our nearest and dearest to celebrate with us. We wanted them to remember our wedding to be fun and one of a kind. We wanted them to get lost in the music and eat the most delicious food. These things led us to our destination and venue choice. It did not disappoint. We knew we wanted to splurge on 3 things – photography, videography, and food. We couldn’t be happier with this decision.
What was the most memorable part of the day?
For Nicole – 1.walking down the pathway taking everything in – the sights, the sounds, and the smells of the day 2. Seeing Richmond for the first time when the curtains parted. 3. our father-daughter dance. For Richmond 1. Waking up realizing its the day I marry my one true friend. 2. When I saw her walking down the aisle. 3. Our first dance as husband and wife.
Tell us about your wedding cake.
We wanted a simple cake and our topper had to include a representation of our dog Daisy. Chocolate cake with salted caramel buttercream, it was delicious.
What did you do for favors?
We gave away love bird salt and pepper shakers, Sugarfina champagne gummy bears, a compass, and their own wedding photos. See more below:
Please describe any DIY, handmade, or personal details.
Most destination weddings in resorts have a lot of “stock” wedding decor. I made sure to include our own personal details and customization to give the wedding our personality. 1. Place cards and favors combined – Instead of using regular place cards, I used the compass favor to write the guests’ names and table numbers. We are the last of our close friends and family to get married so all our guests have been married. We decided to use miniature frames (that we spray painted rose gold) to house every couple’s wedding picture and included this set up with the rest of the favors. 2. DIY items: ceremony paper fans, “let’s do this” sign, unity candle, sand ceremony jars, picture trinkets on the bridal bouquet, table numbers (our table numbers are the jersey numbers of our favorite basketball players – we are both avid basketball fans), wedding vow booklets, ring bearer shirt, weddings signs, flower girl baskets, flower girl handkerchiefs
Did you include any special traditions in your destination wedding?
We included Filipino wedding traditions in our ceremony – wedding and union symbols – the wedding cord, wedding veil, wedding coins. We also recited our own wedding vows.
Do you have any advice for couples planning their destination weddings now?
No matter how much you plan, accept the reality that many things will not go as planned. Be prepared to embrace the day and enjoy every fleeting moment instead of stressing out about the details.
What was the best part of having a destination wedding?
The best part is having an extended celebration. Regular weddings last for a few hours of a day while we had 5 days or more celebrating and bonding with our loved ones. We were very lucky that all of our guests are in one resort and we didn’t have any trouble transporting guests to all our events.
What was the biggest challenge of planning your destination wedding?
The biggest challenge is coordinating and disseminating information to all our guests who travelled from all over the globe to be with us. Not everyone used email, looked at our website or responded to other electronic communications. It was also a challenge to work with vendors when you are so far away.
Photography: Michelle and Yasmin Photography
Second Photographer: ProudRad
Venue: Moon Palace Jamaica
Floral: Zedoj Events and Weddings
Videography: Sweet Flicks Wedding Films
Wedding Cake: Piece of Cake Jamaica
Invitations: Makeri Papeterie
Hair: Simply Beautiful Jamaica
Makeup: Make Up by Kimberly Patterson
Wedding Dress: Sottero and Midgley
Groom’s Attire: JC Samson Ulanday
Bride’s Shoes: Badgley Mischka
Groomsmen Shoes: Kenneth Cole
Submitted via: Matchology