Some brides obsess about their dream dress. Others, their fairy-tale location. But when Jamie Baratta started planning her March 9, 2019, wedding to boyfriend Maurice Slade, she had a different focus. “For me, it was all about the music,” she says. “The music had to be bomb.” For anyone who knows the couple, this came as no surprise.
An up-and-coming young attorney in the music industry, Jamie did a stint at Def Jam Recordings before law school and now works with Cardi B and ASAP Rocky. Maurice, meanwhile, is a VP at Epic Records, an alum of Roc Nation, and cofounder of the hip-hop concert series Grits & Biscuits. So, naturally, one of the first duties Maurice took on once they chose Jamaica was to make an island-inspired playlist to send to their friends ahead of time. Bob Marley, Beenie Man, Sister Nancy, and, yes, even Musical Youth (who could forget “Pass the Dutchie”?) all made the cut. “We wanted everyone to get into the spirit of the trip,” says Jamie.
The Los Angeles–based couple chose to keep the wedding intimate, with just 60 guests, so the storied Round Hill Hotel and Villas in Montego Bay—where John F. Kennedy and Jackie Kennedy often stayed—worked perfectly. Keep reading to see more of the couple’s romantic, rock-solid celebration as planned by Alfred House Productions and captured by Jennifer Johnson.
"We love to travel, ad throughout all of our traveling, neither of us had ever been to Jamaica," Jamie says. "We always felt such a strong connection to it because of its beautiful culture. The food, the music, the island lifestyle—it’s just something we’ve always been drawn too."
Following a casual welcome party at local jerk shack on Thursday night, Jamie and Maurice hosted a rehearsal dinner on the beach at Round Hill. Guests were asked to dress in white for the occasion.
The bride wore a simple halter-neck gown, yet put a twist on her look with statement pearl earrings and a high braid by friend and hairstylist Caile Noble.
The wedding was formal (“Jamie and Maurice did not want to get married barefoot in the sand,” says planner, Priyan Chandraratna), but things were more casual the night before. Tables were set in the sand and topped with coconuts and shells.
The bride’s aesthetic of elegant minimalism was reflected at every turn, from her sliplike Vera Wang gown and opera-length gloves to her bouquet of perfect white tulips. "It’s probably no surprise from my photos that Carolyn Bessette was my inspiration," she admits. Jamie added a bit of modernity to the look with custom heels by close friend Amina Muaddi. "Amina chose the Begum Slingback in PVC and engraved our initials on the sole," she says. "It’s such a fairytale shoe!"
“A palette of bright colors is typical of tropical weddings,” says Jamie, who chose softer-toned Azeeza dresses for her bridal party. “But whites and neutrals felt much more me.”
The groom (who is six-foot-seven!) wore a custom suit and got ready with his nephew Micah Slade.
The ceremony was officiated by Maurice’s father, Alzo Slade, an ordained minister, and was held on a stone deck overlooking the beach. “It let us keep a formal feeling to the ceremony,” says Jamie. Clear acrylic chairs added a glamorous modern touch.
The couple decided to read traditional vows rather than write our own. "This was one of the best decisions we made that way we had nothing to think about other than being present in the moment with each other," Jamie says. Along with vows, the couple had readings from Pablo Neruda, Maya Angelou, and Emily Brontë that “embodied the love we have for one another,” says Jamie.
Dinner took place under a grand tree on the venue's Hanover Terrace. "We knew we wanted the reception to be outside—nights times in Jamaica, especially in peak season, are so beautiful," says the bride. "The weather is so perfect you don’t even need a shawl." Each table was decorated with an array of tropical foliage and white paper lanterns were hung in the foliage up above.
The music made the night truly memorable: Maurice’s friend DJ Pedro Cavaliere played a dream set that spanned ’90s hits, cur- rent hip-hop, salsa, and music from the “Dirty South.” Best of all was when Maurice, a lifelong OutKast fan, got down on his knees and serenaded his new bride to UGK’s “International Players Anthem,” backed up by all his groomsmen. Says Jamie, “It was pretty epic.”
This story originally appeared in the August/September 2019 issue of Brides, on sale beginning July 2.
Wedding Venue & Catering: Round Hill Hotel and Villas
Wedding Planning: Alfred House Productions
Bride's Dress: Vera Wang
Bride's Shoes: Amina Muaddi
Bride's Gloves: Dorothy Gaspar
Bride's Reception Dress: Galvan London
Bridesmaids' Dresses: Azeeza
Bride's Ring: Spinelli Kilcollin
Hair: Caile Noble
Makeup: Becca Janiah
Paper Products: Details Design Studio Co.
Calligraphy: Calligraphy Katrina
Entertainment: Pedro Cavaliere
Photography: Jennifer Johnson