A Waterfront Destination Wedding in the Virgin Islands
Samantha and Peter
Jerry Maguire may have had his great love at "hello," but management consultant Peter Ostrega nabbed his with just one syllable. "Hi," read the entirety of his OkCupid message to Samantha Angelo, a clarinetist with the Marine Corps band—and it worked. She clicked through his photos and was instantly smitten with his "kind eyes and curious smile," she says. "I'd never felt that way just by looking at someone." There was one red flag, albeit minor: The site placed their compatibility, based on answers to a series of questions, at exactly zero. But two years of blissful dating later, that statistic was proven wildly inaccurate when Samantha
accepted Peter's proposal during a trip to St. John.
Six months later, on July 13, 2013, the duo returned, along with 27 of their family and friends, to get married in the courtyard of a private villa at sunset.
The letterpressed suite featured a design of the venue, a map of St. John, and the duo's relationship timeline.
Sweeping vistas of Hawksnest Bay came with Hawksview Estate, the home the pair rented.
Both Peter and Samantha helped design their own attire: He collaborated with his tailor, Noni Chullani of The Signature Collection; she worked with Roya Hashimi of Elegance By Roya.
In the courtyard of a private villa just before sunset, Samantha's father walked her down the aisle to Rachmaninov's Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini, performed on violin by a childhood friend. "My dad looked so comfortable and happy," Samantha says of her beaming escort.
During the ceremony, guests stayed cool with custom palm-leaf fans from ChalkboardHope.
Clamshells calligraphed with guests' names waited at the place settings. Peter's had the Polish spelling of his name, reflecting his heritage.
The Dinner Scene
The reception dinner, featuring Asian-inspired seafood, offered gorgeous views of St. John's North Shore.
Samantha wore a wreath of mini calla lilies, lisianthus, and freesia.
The Engagement Ring
Peter worked with jeweler Ricardo Befi to design Samantha's engagement ring, a pink padparadscha sapphire set in rose gold with pavé diamonds.
The Bride's Kickers
Nicholas Kirkwood wedges kept the bride grounded during the vow exchange on the lawn. "I wanted something untraditional to balance the conservative neckline of my lace gown," says Samantha of her daring fashion choice. "Plus, the heels look like ocean waves!"
The Groom's Attire
"Suits are a passion of mine," says Peter, who selected the fabrics for his pinstripe shirt, polka-dot tie, and double-breasted white suit.
The two-tier yellow-and-chocolate cake was iced with buttercream.
When it came time to dance, the bride and groom slipped into something more boogie-ready (a tux for him, a slinky Elizabeth Fillmore gown for her). Lit by the moon and twinkling sparklers, they twirled to "A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square," sung by a friend. "It was the greatest day of our lives," says the man who once had very little to say, "like a dream neither of us will ever forget."
Location: Hawksview Estate
Event planning and design: Island Style Weddings
Catering: East West Catering
Flowers: Roses Too
Photography: Mademoiselle Fiona Wedding Photography
Videography: Louis Lucas
Stationery: The Dandelion Patch
Cake: Creative Catering
Bride's gowns: Elegance By Roya (ceremony); Elizabeth Fillmore (reception)
Hair: Grapevine Salon
Groom's attire: Noni Chullani of The Signature Collection
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