How do you create a magical wedding in the middle of a pandemic?
“You do it with a willingness to adjust, endless prayer, and unconditional love,” according to Marvena and Darren’s wedding planners Michelle and Kandice of Luxury Event Collective. Marvena and Darren initially hoped to tie the knot in June 2020 in St. Lucia. However, the Coronavirus pandemic changed their plans. With only about six months to prepare, they worked with their vendors to have a stunning wedding in New Jersey instead.
Their gorgeous outdoor ceremony took place on a terrace adorned with a beautiful white asymmetrical floral arch. The reception and cocktail hour followed in the beautiful garden area. Guests were surprised with Soca Dancers who bought the island vibes to New Jersey. To ensure safety, all guests were also given custom mask upon entry and spaced appropriately for social distancing.
By being flexible and working with an amazing team of vendors, Marvena and Darren were still able to have a beautiful and memorable wedding full of love.
- Full names of couple: Marvena Edmond and Darren St. Agathe
- Occupations: Marvena: Corporate Strategy, Darren: IT Project Management
- Wedding date: Sep 6, 2020
- Wedding location: The Legacy Castle, NJ
How did you meet?
In the new age of social media and digital advances, we were matched online like a true 21st-century couple and clicked from our very first conversation. Nightly extended evening conversations finally led to an in-person meeting at a Poetry Club where he used to perform, and we’ve been inseparable since.
Tell us about the proposal.
We’re both avid travelers and always loved exploring new sights/countries. We were in South Africa, in Cape Town when he proposed. He had arranged a photoshoot on Table Mountain (everyone knows I’m a sucker for pictures), so I had no idea the best surprise was yet in store. As we were posing for pictures, he grabs my hands, expressing his love and our story together. Once I realized that IT was happening, I couldn’t stop crying. I screamed yes, spectators on the mountain clapped and wished us well, it was magical.
What was the wedding shopping experience like for you?
For as long as I can remember, it’s been my dream to buy the most memorable dress of my life at the one and only Kleinfeld. My cousin was featured on Say Yes to the Dress, and one of my dearest friends is also a Kleinfeld bride. I am so thrilled to be a Kleinfeld bride. Our initial plan was a destination wedding on the island of St Lucia. We had booked the most enchanted venue, overlooking the St Lucia Piton mountains. I knew that I wanted a fitted gown, but thought I would also get sparkles and flare. However, after trying on a few gowns, Candace, our consultant, put in the Pronovias Oberon gown and all jaws dropped. We knew instantly that it was THE DRESS! More importantly, because it was such a timeless, elegant choice, the dress was a fit for any venue.
Did you incorporate any culture into your wedding?
We got married on Labor Day Weekend, which any New Yorker knows is also West Indian / Caribbean Celebration weekend. Our brother surprised us with a mini carnival, dancers, and flags for our guests representing our heritage (Me – Haiti, Him – St. Lucia). I was so happy to see us bring our Caribbean culture to life, especially after having to modify our initial wedding plan which was set to be in St. Lucia.
What is your best memory from your wedding?
That’s so hard to pinpoint just one moment, but looking back, I think the best memory was the realization of the day itself. We couldn’t have pulled off our wedding without the support and guidance of our family members. We were disappointed that we couldn’t have had our St Lucia wedding day, but we were still able to celebrate our union with our friends and family, on a beautiful day, at a picturesque venue. We’re indebted to our planners Luxury Event Collective who pulled off a flawless event.
What is the best wedding advice you can give to engaged couples?
Wedding planning can be overly time consuming, don’t get lost in the little details of the day at the risk of losing sight of each other, and the purpose of the celebration. If you’re a perfectionist, like most brides are, you can easily get lost in the minutia. My advice would be to focus on the most important and relevant moments of your day and prioritize them: whether it’s precious moments with your parents before the ceremony, or a prayer with your bridal party before you walk in, the groomsmen chatter as they get ready). These precious moments fly by but the memories last a lifetime.
- Planning and Coordination: @LuxuryEventCollective
- Florals Designer: @ritzwaltonweddingcollection
- Venue: @thelegacycastle
- Photography: @keshalambert
- Videography: Jonathan_bellyandbody
- DJ: @marvinmyersdj
- Hair: @modimel_salon
- MakeUp: @bridesbymelanieb
- Lighting: @sebassevents
- Stationery: Schuyler Polk of Polk Paper