Peek Inside Fashion Designer Michelle Ochs' Jamaican Destination Wedding

Celebrity, Real Weddings
Michelle Ochs' Destination Wedding in Jamaica, Michelle Ochs and Carly Cushnie in Custom Outfits

Photo: Silvia Foz

When Matthew Kopko decided it was time to propose to Michelle Ochs, his girlfriend and co-founder of CUSHNIE ET OCHS, he knew he wanted to take her back to where they first met. So he invited her to meet him at the clock in the center of Grand Central Station so they could go out to lunch, and instead he surprised her with a proposal. Then they headed upstairs to the site of their first date, the Campbell Apartment, where he'd arranged for them to have a private lunch, just the two of them.

They wanted an intimate celebration, so they headed south to Jamaica with 80 guests in tow, celebrating at Flower Hill in Montego Bay with the island's gorgeous landscape in the background. The private villa gave them the ultimate flexibility, meaning they could customize the day to be exactly what they wanted. And on July 11, 2015, with their friends, family, and photographer Silvia Foz in tow, they wed on a platform over the pool, dined on the lawn, and finished the night off with a splash — in the pool!

Keep reading to see this fashion designer's tropical wedding!

Michelle Ochs' Destination Wedding in Jamaica, Jamaican Villa

Photo: Silvia Foz

"We had been to Jamaica several times, but Matthew and I had never seen the villa before," says Michelle. "When we got there, we realized we couldn't have asked for more!" Nestled between the mountains and the sea, it was the perfect natural setting.

Michelle Ochs' Destination Wedding in Jamaica, Christian Louboutin Shoes Michelle Ochs' Destination Wedding in Jamaica, Custom Cushnie Et Ochs Wedding Dress with Embroiderey

Photo: Silvia Foz

Michelle paired her custom CUSHNIE ET OCHS gown, embroidered with shimmering beads, with a pair of equally ornate Christian Louboutin sandals and "M" and "K" studs. Her bridesmaid (and CUSHNIE ET OCHS co-founder) Carly Cushnie wore a custom blush jumpsuit, seen above.

Michelle Ochs' Destination Wedding in Jamaica, Over-Water Ceremony Michelle Ochs' Destination Wedding in Jamaica, Bride and Brother Walking Down the Aisle Michelle Ochs' Destination Wedding in Jamaica, Outdoor Wedding Ceremony Michelle Ochs' Destination Wedding in Jamaica, Overwater wedding Ceremony

Photo: Silvia Foz

The over-water ceremony space was decorated with a wooden altar, draped in white fabric and accented with blush and peach blooms. Michelle's brother walked her down the aisle before she and Matthew exchanged impromptu vows. "We said our own vows, but never wrote them down!" she reveals.

In Jamaica, ceremonies have to take place before 6 p.m., which meant the couple rearranged their day a bit. "We signed the marriage license in the middle of the ceremony, then finished up as the sun set," she explains. At the end of their vows, the minister had the guests stand and help him bless the marriage. "Everyone shouted 'Bless this marriage!' as we were pronounced husband and wife!" says Michelle.

Michelle Ochs' Destination Wedding in Jamaica, Signature Cocktails in Mason Jars Michelle Ochs' Destination Wedding in Jamaica, Bride and Groom Outside Michelle Ochs' Destination Wedding in Jamaica, Bride and Groom Portrait

Photo: Silvia Foz

During cocktail hour, guests sipped Planters rum punch and raspberry mojitos, served in mason jars. The bride and groom, who wore a J.Crew Ludlow tuxedo in appropriately nautical navy, took pictures around the villa.

Michelle Ochs' Destination Wedding in Jamaica, Tented Reception Space Michelle Ochs' Destination Wedding in Jamaica, Tables with Low Floral Centerpieces

Photo: Silvia Foz

On the lawn, guests sat at two long tables beneath a clear-top tent. "We served the meal family-style to encourage people to interact with one another," says Michelle. "We really wanted it to feel like an intimate dinner party." Tables were topped with pink roses and peonies and scattered with candle. "We chose simple, low arrangements so everyone could see," she says.

Michelle Ochs' Destination Wedding in Jamaica, Ruffled White Wedding Cake

Photo: Silvia Foz

After a locally-inspired meal (the coconut curried lobster was a huge hit!) the couple cut into their wedding cake, a traditional Jamaican fruit confection decorated with fondant ruffles. Then guests headed into the villa — just as the rain came down. "It thankfully cooled things off a little bit, and everyone stayed dry," says Michelle. A dessert table displayed passion fruit mousse, raspberry Linzer torte, Key Lime pie, and Nutella cheesecake — "It was ravaged!" says the bride. There, Matthew and Michelle shared a first dance to "Take Care" by Drake. "It's rap, but still slow enough," says Michelle. "By the end of the song, everyone was on the dance floor!"

Michelle Ochs' Destination Wedding in Jamaica, Bride in Swimsuit

Photo: Silvia Foz

At the end of the night, Michelle changed into the CUSHNIE ET OCHS swimsuit she'd brought to wear on the boat the next day. "Everyone ended up in the pool since they brought their suits with them!" says Michelle. The night ended at 12 on the dot, because the bride knew it would have lasted all night otherwise. "We had a drink just the two of us after everyone left. It was so nice to have some quiet and soak it all in."

Ceremony & Reception Venue: Flower Hill || Wedding Planner: Melanie Miller || Bride's Wedding Dress & Bathing Suit: Cushnie et Ochs || Shoes: Christian Louboutin || Jewelry: Jennifer Fisher || Hair: BAHTOH || Makeup: Michael Anthony || Bridesmaid's Jumpsuit: Cushnie et Ochs || Groom's Attire: J.Crew || Florist: Tai Flora || Invitations & Paper Goods: Minted || Music: DJ Smoke || Catering: Ashebre || Cake: Selena Cakes & Sugar Artistry || Rentals: Novelty Party Rentals || Photography: Silvia Foz

Find Local Vendors Wedding Wire

Want more designer inspiration? Then check out Hayley Paige's beautiful wedding in the video below.

Give a Subscription to Brides Magazine as a Gift

Get personalized planning advice, exclusive offers and must-read wedding news.

Thank You
for Signing Up!

Check your e-mail inbox for the latest updates from