Megan and Loren wanted all their loved ones to essentially go on vacation with them, which is why they decided to have a destination wedding in Negril, Jamaica. They envisioned having a resort exclusively for them and their guests, and the exotic Rockhouse Hotel, with its 35 villas, was the perfect option.
The original spot for the wedding was on the cliffs near the pool, but on the evening before the wedding, there was a tropical rainstorm! Wedding photographer, Critsey Rowe, who had been photographing the area all week, suggested another cliff side area on higher ground. The hotel staff all worked together to transfer the entire setup to the new location. In Megan’s words, it was “incredible.”
Theme & Décor
With nature providing such a stunning backdrop of cliffs and a jeweled seascape, the couple only had to add small, personal touches to their décor. A beautiful bamboo chuppah (canopy) was installed and accented with fresh flowers and wispy white fabric. A ‘beach chic’ look was created with clear vases of white and cream blooms amidst pops of bright pink—the perfect contrast against the glowing turquoise-blue ocean. For the evening dinner, white low-hung Chinese lanterns with intertwined fairy lights framed the dining area.
Megan and Loren wanted guests to have as much of a fun holiday as they could, so they all went scuba diving, sunned out and went swimming from the cliffs, and simply enjoyed the mellow Jamaican vibe.
The bride and groom, both Jewish, used sentimental and traditional elements in their wedding: they exchanged vows (which they wrote themselves) under the beautiful chuppah, did the circling ritual, and Loren did the glass breaking at the end of the ceremony.
Megan’s dress was by Nicole Miller, a flowing, comfortable and beachy number that suited her perfectly. She got her bronzy Prada shoes with floral accents from Sachs in New York—which she was extremely proud of getting at a steal of a deal! According to Megan, Loren took more time to find his suit than she did to get her dress! He finally found a dashing Calvin Klein one in a warm shade of taupe, reminiscent of the soft Jamaican sand.
Only native Jamaican florals were used—white and cream. As Megan shared, why not, when the world’s most beautiful flowers grow in Jamaica?
The couple chose a delicious four-tier cake flavoured with banana and vanilla, and decorated with sprigs of fresh flowers.
Steak and lobster featured prominently on the menu to everyone’s delight. Food was prepared in-house by the Rockhouse restaurant and made from delectably fresh ingredients.
The couple walked down the aisle to the strains of an acoustic guitar, and performed their first dance to a live instrumental version of ‘Steal my Kisses’ (Ben Harper) and ‘Under the African Sky’ (Paul Simon). A steel pan orchestra delighted guests during the cocktail hour, and a ‘rocking’ eight-piece band had them on their feet all night at the reception.
Photos by Critsey Rowe
The couple had fallen in love with the Cayman Islands during their brief engagement getaway and thought it would be the perfect place for their destination wedding. They chose to host all their wedding festivities at the fabulous Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman, known for its crystal-clear waters and silky sand.
Vidya and Praveen wanted to incorporate elements of their South-Indian Hindu background into their wedding ceremony, and maintain a fresh, modern look. The Ritz-Carlton helped to create a beautiful mandap (special structure for the ceremony) out of their gazebo on the Great Lawn. It was the perfect intermingling of their exotic Asian traditions with the gorgeous tropical backdrop. The wedding lunch showcased a beach theme, with shells and sea pebbles strewn about lovely white floral arrangements.
The couple decided on a breezy, vintage look for their reception since it was to be housed under a clear-top marquee bordering the idyllic Sunset Bay. White linens were topped with a burlap runner and white florals were interspersed with fresh greenery. Vintage chandeliers and an all-white dance floor created a stunning ambience that contrasted beautifully with everyone’s colorful Indian outfits.
Vidya & Praveen set out early for the Cayman Islands to enjoy some much-needed family time with their close relatives. When the rest of their guests arrived, they were welcomed with a beachside party, complete with bonfire and Caribbean music. Not forgetting to add the Indian flair, they hired a henna artist for the customary pre-wedding mehendi activities. It was an amazing kick-off to the weekend with everyone dancing on the beach until 1 am! The next day, wedding guests spent a relaxing and fun beach day, lounging on floatable furniture 40 feet into the ocean, drinks in hand.
The wedding ceremony maintained standard elements of the traditional Hindu marriage ceremony, abbreviated to the specific details that their respective families desired. The style of their wedding did not feature the traditional exchange of vows, though the couple did so between themselves, on a more personal level.
Both Vidya and Praveen have a flair for fashion, and this was evident in their tasteful wedding wear. Vidya’s wedding and reception ghagra cholis were designed by Anjali and Arjun Kapoor from Dubai. She wore a pair of Jimmy Choos for the wedding, and Pura Lopez wedges for the reception. Her eye-catching jewelry was sourced through various boutiques in India and Dubai.
Praveen opted for a modern Indian sherwani by Sahil, in colours that complemented Vidya’s outfit. For the reception, he wore a suit by Zegna, paired with a Hugo Boss shirt and tie.
Vidya’s bouquet featured an all-white mix of stargazer lilies, hydrangeas, lisianthus, spray roses, dusty miller, and eucalyptus. Each bridal party attendant carried a single large sunflower.
The divinely delicious cake was prepared by Mise en Place. It was a three-tier affair, highlighting the couple’s Indian heritage. Each layer sported its own filling: vanilla sponge with chocolate; chocolate sponge with chocolate; and coconut sponge with mango filling.
In keeping with the modern Indian theme, the wedding lunch spread had some traditional items, along with Indo-Chinese fusion items, unique tropical salads (still talked about by their guests) and a delightful array of desserts. Some of their Indian relatives shared that the Indian dishes were some of the best they ever had—a surprise as they never expected that on a Caribbean island! The elegant reception dinner was replete with different food bars, including individual stations for pasta, fish fry, salads, and desserts.
Guests made full use of the dance floor for the entire night to the tunes of both Indian and mainstream Western genres. They also sent off wish lanterns to “Marry Me” by Bruno Mars.
Since the couple opted for a modern take on the traditional Indian wedding, they infused their reception party with elements of the Sangeet ceremony. The Sangeet, (commonly done on the night before the wedding) showcased song and dance performances by friends and family in celebration of the newlyweds. Vidya surprised Praveen by being part of one of them!
Photos by Rebecca Davidson
- What’s your specialty? There are many options when it comes to menu selection. You can have the traditional sit down dinner, buffet stations or snacks.
- How many dishes are offered in your spread? Do they offer food for certain dietary restrictions — vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free etc.? Do they charge separately for desserts and cold drinks?
- Can we sample the menu beforehand? Most caterers would agree to this but you have to request it and there may be a small charge.
- Are you catering another wedding or event on my wedding day? When hiring a small catering business with limited resources, be sure that yours would be the only event they’re working on that day. Otherwise, your wedding may not receive the attention it deserves.
- Do you handle all table settings? Will they put out place cards and favors?
- Can you itemize all charges relating to the event? Does the cost cover just the food, or does it include linens, utensils, dishes and glassware rental, too?
- Is there a minimum charge? Many caterers will quote prices based on a minimum number of guests e.g. 200 guests. If you actual guest count is below that, you will still have to pay for 200 people.
- What is the ratio of waiters to guests? One good rule of thumb is to have one server for every 15-20 guests.
- What do your servers wear? Discuss the uniform of all staffers in advance to avoid embarrassing glitches.
- Can I see a photograph of your table display? Some caterers will include floral arrangements and other decoration on their buffet tables.
- Can you provide alcohol or service a separate bar area? If yes, find out the corkage fee, and how and when the alcohol would and should get to the caterer?
If you’re thinking about ways to make your wedding dinner fun and interactive, instead of being a formal sit-down affair, why not think about going mini for your menu?
Miniature foods are not hors d’ouvres (appetizers) but ‘real food’ (entrées)—just bite-sized. This is one of the best ways to be creative with food, and it’s become one of the hottest menu trends.
Think about any type of food you’d like to serve at your wedding or reception, and it’s pretty likely that you can come up with a mini version. And, you can make your dishes as fun and casual or as gourmet as you want: from comfort food like mini-burgers or mini-pizzas with simple or exotic ingredients and dressings, to mini-rotis, lasagna baked in mini-bowls, and chic little cups of steaming soup along with mini-grilled cheese sandwiches.
Food is one of the most important aspects of your big day, so keep this in mind if you’re deciding to go mini:
You’ll surprise and delight your guests
Imagine being served mini-mac-and-cheese bakes or sizzling barbecue sandwich bites at a wedding! You’d be telling everyone you know about it! Mini food is fun and can be customised to the theme of your choice, so be as creative as you like when coming up with menu ideas. Because everything is in smaller portions, you can serve a larger variety of dishes. We assure you that everyone will love having so many options and the opportunity to mix and match their favourites.
Mini saves money
Want to serve exotic options such as lobster or steak but can’t afford it in large quantities? Then create a mini-version incorporating your ingredients of choice. You’ll end up spending less overall as smaller amounts of raw material will be used. Plus, your guests will feel just as satisfied eating mini-food in greater quantities as eating a full meal made up of fewer dishes. In fact, you have a better chance of making your guests happy with more choices than over-spending on regular portions of food that your guests may not like. Also, you can organise your food service in such a way that you don’t have to spend on renting expensive china or cutlery. Serve dishes in disposable mini-cups and bowls, or give your guest cute trays that they can fill up.
You can cater to a variety of tastes and diet options
As we mentioned before, a miniature food menu is diverse, which means you can cater to a variety of dietary preferences. For example, you can offer a broad range of choices for your vegetarian guests without having them forego the yummiest dishes. Other guests may be following no-pork, no-beef, low-salt or low-fat diets that you’ll certainly be able to accommodate, and still give them a meal experience to always remember.
Mini food is eye-catchingly adorable
To make this work, presentation is key. Potato pies are yummy, but think mini-potato pies on a stick. Too cute! Pot pies are great, but mini-pot pies in individual bowls? Irresistible. Serve any food in style by putting the oomph in the packaging. You can add chic to regular food just by the way it’s presented.
It’s just more fun!
Not only can you create intrigue by the unexpected array of food, but you can also serve food in a way that’s exciting. For example, setting up fun food stations for different dishes, giving your guests more chances to mingle and interact with each other. Or, how about having a chef entertain everyone by preparing sushi rolls or baking up mini-pizzas on the spot? Eating also becomes easier as it’s more of a picnic experience than the usual knife-and-fork ordeal. And, because they don’t have to digest a heavy meal, expect an early influx of guests on the dance floor once the music starts!