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Elegant ST. CROIX CARIBBEAN Weddings Elegant ST. CROIX CARIBBEAN Weddings

Your Distinctive Caribbean Wedding

Including:

Elegant ST. CROIX CARIBBEAN Weddings - Choosing St. Croix

- Finding the Perfect Photographer

- The Importance of an Engagement Photography Session

Elegant ST. CROIX CARIBBEAN Weddings

Premier Issue 2011


A Message from the Founder and Publisher We are very proud to introduce the first edition of our magazine Elegant St. Croix Caribbean Weddings. St. Croix is a beautiful lush island, a little hidden secret to the world nestled in a chain of Caribbean islands. It is a beautiful place to hold a wedding for locals and destination brides. We hope that our magazine will showcase our beautiful island and the many elegant weddings that take place on it. It is a resource and guide for brides and grooms locally and internationally of how to conduct a stress free beautiful wedding. It is also a resource for wedding planners and all others related to the wedding industry. We hope that the information will help save you time and heartbreak as you think about how to develop your wedding. We cover all aspects of weddings.

Founder, Publisher Denise Bennerson Editor Amber Chancey Contributors Colleen Clarke Narcisse A. Springer Denise Bennerson Amber Chancey Art/Advertising Leaven Marketing Photography Denise Bennerson For back issues email estcwbackissues@sent.at For editorial queries please write to estcwedqueries@sent.at For advertisement placement contact estcwadvertise@sent.at Address all correspondence to Elegant St. Croix Caribbean Weddings, Attn: Denise Bennerson, P. O. Box 3164, Frederiksted, VI 00841, Phone: 340-772-2386 Visit our website for more information: www.stcroixcaribbeanweddings.com. Š 2011 St. Croix Caribbean Weddings. All rights reserved.

We would like to thank all our clients whom we have photographed over the years and have shared their experiences with us. Through you we have learned about the reality of planning a wedding. We also wish to thank our contributors, Colleen Clarke founder and writer for Island Kultuur Magazine for her enlightening and historical overview of St. Croix US Virgin Islands and Narcisse A. Springer passionate and innovative wedding planner and coordinator for Distinctive Weddings and Events for her personal account and insight on planning your wedding. Additionally, we thank Amber Chancey owner of Leaven Marketing and Editor for Elegant St. Croix Caribbean Weddings magazine for her hard work, dedication and expertise.

Reproduction in whole or part without permission is prohibited. All projects described in this publication are for private use only.

Resources &Websites Photography Homeland Collections Portrait Gallery - www.homelandcollections.com

St. Croix History and Tourism Virgin Islands Department of Tourism - www.visitusvi.com St. George Village Botanical Garden - www.sgvbg.org St. Croix Landmarks Society - www.stcroixlandmarks.com

Culture and Events Island Kultuur Magaine - www.islandkultuur.com Crucian Heritage and Nature Tourism (CHANT) - www.chantvi.org St. Croix Crucian Christmas Festival - www.stxfestival.com Annual Agriculture and Food Fair - www.viagrifest.org

Resorts and Hotels

Please keep this magazine and future editions as a resource guide as you plan your weddings in St. Croix, US Virgin Islands or any place in the world.

Denise Bennerson

The Buccaneer - www.thebuccaneer.com Carambola Beach Resort - www.carambolabeach.com Chenay Bay Beach Resort - www.chenaybay.com Colony Cove - www.colonycove.com Club Comanche - www.clubcomanche.com Divi Carina Bay - www.divicarina.com The Frederiksted Hotel - www.frederikstedhotel.dk Hotel Caravelle - www.hotelcaravelle.com King Christian Hotel - www.kingchristian.com The Palms at Pelican Cove - www.palmspelicancove.com Sand Castle on the Beach - www.sandcastleonthebeach.com


Contents

Elegant St. Croix Caribbean Weddings | Premier Issue 2011

3

Bask in the Memories of St. Croix

7

5

Finding the Perfect Photographer

9

Planning Your Distinctive Wedding

Under de’ Palms: The Importance of an Engagement Photography Session

On the Cover

Our gorgeous wedding couple, Narcisse and Jamil Springer, stealing a romantic moment at their wedding in St. Croix, Virgin Islands. Read Narcisse’s article on page 6.

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BASK IN THE

Memories OF ST. CROIX By Colleen Clarke

Oh, tranquil Paradise! White sandy beaches; year round tropical weather; beautiful, breathtaking sunsets and sceneries; warm, hospitable people; delicious, tasty cuisine; and a rich, harmonious mix of cultural and native heritage are all part of what make St. Croix an inviting place to have a wedding. A truly remarkable place filled with history, beauty, and splendor! When you think of getting married, there are so many reasons why you should make it happen on St. Croix.

St. Croix (Ay-Ay, its native name) is one of the three islands that make up the U.S. Virgin Islands. These islands have been colonized by seven different countries (Spain, Great Britain, the Netherlands, France, Knights of Malta, Denmark, and now the United States)1. St. Croix is the largest of the three unincorporated territories of the United States, surrounded by the deep blue waters of the Caribbean Sea. It is said that Christopher Columbus came to the islands on or about 1493 and landed on Salt River, one of St. Croix major landmarks. St. Croix rich history dates back over 500 years to early inhabitants

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of the island, known as the Pre-Taino people (Arawaks)2.

Apart from the other two islands, St. Croix has its own distinctive history, architecture, natural reserves, exotic landscapes, places to go, and things to do. Of particular significance to the island’s history are the historical plantations that are visible remnants of the sugar cane industry and plantation life that drove the economy hundreds of years ago. They include those in Estates Butler’s Bay, Sprat Hall, Little La Grange, Whim (now Whim Plantation Museum), Bethlehem, Annaly, La Reine, Rust-up-Twist, Sion Farm,

Slob, Cane Garden, Bonne Esperance, Richmond, and Orange Grove3. There are also the Buck Island Reef National Monument, a 176-acre island that is a marine protected area with surrounding coral reef ecosystem for the National Park System; Christiansted National Historic District, which includes five preserved historical structures, beginning with Fort Christianvaern; Fort Frederik, which houses the Fort Frederik Museum; Salt River Bay National Historical Park, which is another preserve of the tropical ecosystem with beautiful archeological ruins, the largest mango forest, coral reefs, and a submarine canyon;


Sandy Point National Wildlife Refuge with two miles of continuous pearly white sandy beach, a nesting ground for leatherback sea turtles, salt ponds, mangrove, and a variety of birds; and Point Udall, where you’ll find the Millennium Monument (a sundial) that was built as part of the 2000 New Year’s celebration marking the direction of the first U.S. sunrise of the year4.

You will also find other major attractions like Emancipation Park, the Customs House, Victoria House, the Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, St. Paul’s Anglican Church, St. Patrick’s Roman Catholic Church, the Frederiksted Pier, St. George Village Botanical Garden, the lush Rain Forest, and Cruzan Rum. Numerous

local holidays, celebrations, and events play a cultural part of the island peoples’ heritage and include the annual Crucian Christmas Festival, Agriculture and Food Fair, Three King’s Day, Transfer Day, Emancipation Day, and David Hamilton Jackson Day. You will not be able to resist over 15 beautiful, sandy beaches on the island, including the most popular Dorsche, Rainbow, Cane Bay, Shoys, Cramer Park, and Ha Penny beaches.

It is no lie that your stay on St. Croix will also be marked with rich, tasty, and exquisite cuisine and dining facilities, as well as music experiences you will never forget. There is so much to choose from with the vast array of local foods and drinks; the local foods being a mix of Caribbean, Creole, African, and European influences. You will have a fairly comprehensive variety to choose from, including mouthwatering baked goods and desserts. Stanley and the Ten Sleepless Knights, a group of childhood friends from the 70’s, will keep you grooving with their Wild Indian, Cariso, Quadrille, and Quelbe music.

It does not matter what your budget may be, your wedding Left: View of St. Croix North Side Opposite Page: View of Buck Island Reef National Monument

can be as exotic or extravagant as you would like. You can have your wedding on one of St. Croix finest beaches, in a historical church, or even at the Botanical Garden. You may also want to have your memorable wedding at Buccaneer Hotel, Carambola Beach Resort and Spa, Chenay Bay Beach Resort, Colony Cove, Comanche Hotel and Bridge House Guest Rooms, Divi Carina Bay Resort and Casino, Frederiksted Hotel, Hotel Caravelle, King Christian Hotel, The Palms at Pelican Cove, or Sand Castle on the Beach, all with easy access to a beach. No matter where on St. Croix you choose to have your wedding, it will be yours to remember forever.

Colleen Clarke is a writer for Island Kultuur Magazine, an online publication of Infinity Group. www.islandkultuur.com This and additional information can be found at the St. Croix Landmark Society’s website. 2 This information is based on the history of the Virgin Islands, “Clear de Road”, written by Robert Hill. This book was written to raise public awareness on the cultural heritage of the U.S. Virgin Islands, then known as the Danish West Indies, on the Emancipation of 1848 and Fireburn of 1878. A must have book to add to your collection of history of the U.S. Virgin Islands. 3 The St. Croix Landmark Society presents a detailed view into the 18th century Plantation life. 4 St. Croix Tourism offers some pictures and detailed information of these national parks, monuments, and wildlife refuge. 1

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Finding the

Perfect Photographer

Your wedding is possibly one of the biggest events you will ever plan. You may spend months or even years preparing for your special day. There are a lot of things you have to prepare for. Choosing a photographer should be a fun rewarding experience and one of the few that helps reduce wedding stress. Finding the right photographer is like finding a dress – you must have a perfect fit.

Just like each wedding is a special unique event, each photographer has his or her own personality and style. To find your perfect photographer, first start by finding a local photographer where your wedding will be held. Ask friends and family to recommend the photographer they hired. Your wedding planner will also be a valuable resource and have

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relationships with several local photographers.

The next thing to do is schedule interviews with a few of your favorite photographers. Narrow down your choice to one photographer by comparing their photography style, portfolios, pricing and how your personalities mesh. Your photographer should make preparing for your wedding easier. By getting to know your photographer through consultations, planning and pre-wedding sessions, you will both begin to understand and agree on the best way to approach your wedding photography. Make sure your photographer provides a professional contract and you both agree on all terms.

It is your photographer’s responsibility to capture all the special moments and nuances of your wedding day. You can help your photographer by clearly communicating all your ideas and wishes relating to your photos well before the wedding.


A few other things to keep in mind when planning your photography sessions: - The bride and groom should take photographs with your photographer before the ceremony. This will save time after the ceremony and before your reception starts. - Photos taken after the ceremony with the wedding party, friends and family should be taken in the same general area. - Designate one family member or friend to gather everyone for photos to help the photo session stay on schedule. - Photos of the bride and groom are the most important and you want to take several different photos in different places. However, keep in mind

the further apart your locations are, the more time before your reception can start. - Always provide hors d’ouvres for your guest waiting at the reception hall while your photos are being taken. - While the photographer is taking photos, ask guests to refrain from taking photos as well. Not only will the people in the photo be distracted, the photographer may have to spend extra time retaking photos that become distorted by flashes from other cameras. - Your chauffeur should always have a detailed list of all your photography locations and times. You don’t want to be without your chariot!

Last but not least, it is your wonderful wedding day. You should follow the advice of your photographer, relax and enjoy the day. Your emotions will show in your photographs. Remember, your wedding photographs are memories to last a life time.

Featured P hotographer Denise Bennerson is an award wedding photographer with Homeland Collections Portrait Gallery in St. Croix.

You can contact her at homelandcollections@fastmail.fm or 340-772-2386. See some of her work at www.homelandcollections.com

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Planning Your

Distinctive Wedding

By Narcisse A. Springer


Planning a wedding is one of

Take my own wedding for

the most tedious tasks that a couple can face. To be more accurate, it is one of the most tedious tasks a bride can face. Most of us know that the groom usually just wants to know how much things cost and where to meet on the wedding day. While a good groom is always there to support his bride, sometimes it is better to let him sit back and relax.

example. Many people told me I was crazy when I decided to have a candy-themed wedding. Boy, were they in for a surprise. After almost one year of planning and creating handmade decor, the world famous candy-themed wedding was a big hit. It is still talked about today.

As the bride, you should do some relaxing too. That is where your wedding planner steps in. Wedding planners can assist with all your planning needs. If you do not want help with all the details, you can simply contract your planner right before your wedding to oversee details of the day. It always helps to have a reliable and dependable person that can do all the research and running around.

Like most traditions today, traditional weddings are very rare. Modern weddings are becoming more and more popular. Couples and wedding planners are finally thinking outside the box. This day and age, any and everything goes!

The colors of the rainbow coupled with any and all things candy kept my guests wanting more and more. They were mesmerized by the exotic, creative and unique details: vibrant colors of real touch silk bouquets, rainbow colors of the bridesmaid dresses, candy girls handing out lollipops on the beach, giant floating candy in the ceilings, and custom candy hand pieces carried by the bridal party and ushers. Aside from the bride and groom, the highlight of the evening was the candy and chocolate fondue stations. It was amazingly beautiful! Everyone had a great time.

Before meeting with a wedding planner, it is good to have an idea of your budget, approximately how many guest will be invited and if you prefer

traditional or modern weddings. While your wedding planner should be experienced and offer opinions to help plan your wedding, remember it is your wedding. Be as extravagant or conservative as you want. Make your day special and have fun!

A few questions to help you interview wedding planners: - Do you have samples of your work? - Do you have a business license? - Describe the most challenging wedding you planned and how you handled the problems that came up.

Featured P lanner

Narcisse A. Springer, Owner Distinctive Weddings & Events distinctiveeventplanners@gmail.com 340-277-6253 Distinctive Weddings & Events is in St. Croix. It is a licensed event planning company specializing in weddings and all events. We look forward to making your event a memorable and joyous experience!

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Under de’ Palms: The Importance of an Engagement Photography Session

By Denise Bennerson

Most people agree wedding photos are one of the most important parts of a wedding. However, a lot of couples overlook the importance of an engagement photography session. A professional engagement photography session is one of the best ways to get to know your photographer and for your photographer to get to know you. You will learn first-hand the style of your photographer. At the session you will learn if your photographer makes you feel comfortable, how creative he or she is, and if they take into consideration your style, culture and personality.

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Many couples never have a

Engagement photography

professional photography session before their wedding. The engagement photography session can be during the proposal or later on during the engagement. Most couples prefer to have an intimate moment, just the two, at the proposal and photography is one of the last things to think about. Some couples re-enact the proposal at the surprise of the future bride (or groom!).

sessions can be held anywhere. The couple and the photographer can be as creative as they would like to be. Some couples just want a nice photography session among the lush gardens. Others want the session to have a theme. We photographed an evening engagement photography session where the future groom surprised his bride with a dinner in the middle of a park on the waterfront and a cake saying, “Will you marry me?� It was very romantic. We have also photographed engagement photography sessions under a full moon with swaying palm trees.

During your photography session you should feel very comfortable to let your love shine and have fun. During the session remember to have a romantic frame of mind for one another. We recommend no other family members attend the session. This time is just for the couple to focus on each other.

There are a lot of things you can do with engagement photos other than traditional announcements:

- Select your favorite photographs for a beautiful coffee table album to complement the elegant wedding coffee table album - Develop a Portrait Signature Mat for the guest to sign at the wedding - Create a portrait slide show to view on television or screen in the home or at the wedding - Use photographs as a part of guest giveaways at the wedding - Have several wall portraits printed for your home

Engagement photography session price varies among photographers. Some photographers include the session in the wedding photography package and others charge separately. If your wedding is a destination wedding to gorgeous St. Croix, a session may or may not be possible. It depends on when you arrive and what preliminary activities are planned before the wedding. If you are planning your wedding, make sure to ask your photographer in advance about an engagement session.

Do not miss the opportunity for an engagement photography session for you and your loved one before the wedding. Start your future filled with love captured through the eyes of your photographer.

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Capture Your Love

Homeland Collections’ portraits speak for themselves, capturing the unique beauty and personality of each subject. Denise Bennerson PhD, owner of Homeland Collections Portrait Gallery, is an award winning wedding and portrait photographer with 15 years of experience. Her work has been featured in national magazines, websites, galleries and novels. Highly sought after by those engaged to be wed in the beautiful US Virgin Islands, her impressive photography style is passionate, creative and personal.

• Weddings

• Families

• Seniors and Graduation

• Engagements

• Maternity

• Model Portfolios

• Portraits

• Children

• Special Events

www.HomelandCollections.com

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