Photos by Aaron Dieppa Photography
The couple envisioned a wedding weekend that would significantly incorporate their guests, as all 28 were flying to Mexico to witness their marriage. Thara and Aaron prepared welcome bags for each guest with snacks, games, and even a personal newsletter from the couple! The newsletter included an itinerary for the weekend and suggested activities that guests could enjoy while at the resort: snorkeling, tennis, spa, fishing, kayaking, etc. The wedding guests also got a handmade map of the hotel and surrounding area, a Spanish/English page of phrases, sun hats, and little painted wooden turtles to keep by their bedside with a note that said: “In Mexico, these hand-painted wooden figures are believed to keep bad dreams away”.
The day before the wedding, guests were treated to a ‘tequila tasting’. A representative from a major tequila manufacturer joined them at the resort, explained the process of making tequila, and administered the tasting of different varieties.
Thara and Aaron chose the extraordinarily beautiful outdoors of the El Careyes Resort for their ceremony and reception—the same place where they got engaged.
Theme & Décor
The couple went with a Mexican theme and wanted to incorporate their personal, simple yet elegant style into all the elements of their wedding and reception. They opted for light orange and light blue as their colour scheme, and created an emblem with their initials, “T&A”, which was used on the wedding invitations, welcome bags, wedding program, and other printed items.
Tall, white umbrellas were set up around the cocktail area for shade, and hanging lanterns lent a soft glow to the setting for their dinner reception at the hotel. The evening ambiance was made even more exquisite with a bonfire.
On the morning of the wedding, after breakfast, Aaron—accompanied by his two groomsmen and a few of the other male guests—went to the Polo grounds. They split themselves into two teams and played a friendly game. The women had their own agenda too: after a tear-jerking champagne toast and light breakfast, they joined together for a private outdoor yoga class overlooking the water. The wedding ceremony itself was in the late afternoon, followed by cocktail hour with a live Mariachi band and canapés (appetizers). The reception with dinner, cake, and dancing brought the unforgettable night to a close.
Although neither Thara (Toronto-born, of Guyanese parentage) nor Aaron (born and raised in Indiana) is Mexican, they incorporated one special Mexican wedding tradition into their ceremony. Mothers of the bride and groom both wrapped a lasso of orchids around the couple, symbolic of protecting the love that would bind them together for the rest of their lives.
Thara’s dress, by designer Jim Hjelm, was an all-lace, V-neck, and very low-back number, and her veil was custom-made by designer Sara Gabriel. Her only jewelry was a pair of earrings—that Aaron had gifted her on one Christmas—and her engagement ring.
Orange roses lavishly decorated the top of the white-curtained ceremonial structure under which the couple exchanged vows, and potted flowering plants decorated the border of the area. The lasso used in the ceremony was made of orange orchids. Roses featured prominently in the bouquets: Thara’s had red roses (that were actually supposed to be orange!), and her two bridesmaids (her sisters) carried orange roses mixed with an array of tropical flowers.
In keeping with the Mexican theme, of course, nothing less than a tres leches cake would do—deliciously created by the hotel chef. The cake topper (ordered from etsy.com) was a custom hand-crafted paper representation of Thara and Aaron, dressed as they were on their wedding day (the bride’s favourite detail of the wedding).
The Mariachi band and a solo guitarist provided the Mexican-flavored music during the cocktail hour and dinner, and everyone danced to the couple’s selected playlist at the reception.
The groom and groomsmen wore chili pepper boutonnières (an idea the couple got from a magazine), and bells, parasols and maracas were all keepsakes for the guests. Thara and Aaron hand-crafted name tags for each guest’s place setting at the dinner table, where they also placed a small bell with a note saying that the newlyweds would kiss anytime a bell rang!
Parasols were set up in baskets so that guests could each take one and use it as sun-shade during the ceremony. Pairs of maracas were also placed in baskets so that guests could take them to shake after the ceremony as the couple walked back down the aisle as husband and wife. As a parting gift, the couple gave guests a hand-painted Mexican Christmas tree ornament (Christmas would have been celebrated in two weeks).
One moment that really stands out for the couple was having Aaron’s grandfather perform a reading during the ceremony. Aaron’s grandparents were almost 90 at the time, yet still made the trip for the wedding. After the couple’s first dance during the reception, they played their grandparents’ favorite song…and the once-upon-a-time newlyweds danced alone with everyone watching.
The couple met online through a mutual friend while they were still teens. Their first date was a movie “lime” at Alydia’s house. Luckily, their parents knew each other and consented.
Brad planned a vacation in St. Lucia which included an all day catamaran cruise. The couple had a lovely trip to the sulphur springs, went snorkeling and had lunch at a plantation. When they got back to land Brad started talking about how lovely the sunset at the hotel was (he had been there before on a boys’ lime); he was worried they were going to miss it as the shuttle was dropping off at their locale last.
When they got back to the resort Alydia opted to refresh before going onto the beach. As soon as she was dressed, Brad literally dragged her out of the hotel room and onto the beach, got down on one knee, and asked her to marry him. Alydia responded, “Are you serious?”The look of sheer terror on Brad’s face told her that he was.
Alydia was totally surprised because Brad always rolled his eyes and shrugged off any mention of marriage. Brad gave her the ring his grandfather used to propose to his grandmother and his dad to his mom.
Alydia wanted her wedding to be soft, yet elegant, with a hint of romance. Pink, she says, is the colour of true, sweet, innocent love.
The reception venue was adorned with flowers in light pink and fuchsia gerberas, star-gazer lilies, white spider mums, white asters, light pink and fuchsia spray roses, purple chrysanthemums, leather leaf and rice fern.
Cake (and cake table decor)
The couple opted for an ivory and cream cake with decorative sugar flowers and a light dusting of iridescent glitter on the detail. The cake stood on an etched glass stand and was accented with flowers such as pink and fuchsia gerberas.
The bride wore an Alfred Angelo Piccione Bridal Gown in diamond white. The gown is silk taffeta with a ruched base, metallic embroidery, crystal beadings and a semi-cathedral train. The dress was originally a halter but was altered into a sweetheart neck. It was French bustled for the reception.
Accents included an Alfred Angelo ivory veil, pearl and diamante silver earrings, and a keepsake tri-string pearl wristlet with diamante detail.
The groom wore a black pinstripe suit (locally purchased); his tie was handmade by a family friend, from a David’s Bridal watermelon satin sash.
The bride opted for variegated fuchsia pink roses with leather leaf base, lightly dusted with silver glitter and embellished with silver based crystal drops and crystal string beads, and hand tied with sheer fuchsia ribbon.
The groom wore a variegated fuchsia pink rose and ivory tuberose with leather leaf base wrapped with light pink satin ribbon and embellished with crystal. His groomsmen wore mini spray roses in light pink and fuchsia.
Flower Girl and Ring Bearer
The flower girls wore Alfred Angelo dresses; the ring bearer wore a Lords and Lads suit with ring pillow from A Wedding Showcase and More. Previous Page: (clockwise from left to right): couple with wedding cake; Relate Studios photobooth; photobooth with props; little girl with photobooth props; fuchsia pink roses bridal bouquet; ivory table napkin folded into a simple star with a pink gerbera.
Photography: Juma Bannister, Relate Studios, relatestudios.com
Decor and Flowers: The Flower Garden Limited, (868) 653-1789
Cake: June Peters, (868) 798-0162
Accessories (baskets, ring pillow, unity candle): A Wedding Showcase and More, www.aweddingshowcase.com
Hair: Hair by Giovanni, (868) 657-3666
Make-up: Amy Webster (868) 350-6003