If Matthew Reschly's sister had her way, her brother would have started dating friend and fellow Junior League member, Caroline Williamson, in January 2010 when she first introduced the pair. But it took Matthew over a year before he finally asked Caroline on a proper date when he spotted her at a park while on a run in October 2011. A little less than two years later, he popped the question on May 2, 2013 in the exact same place where he first asked Caroline out. "It was a rainy night and he had taken me to dinner at a quiet spot by the park and as we walked back to his car, he got down on one knee and proposed," the bride recalls.
With a mutual desire to host a destination wedding, the couple started planning their May 24, 2014 nuptials in Montego Bay, Jamaica. "We wanted something that felt refined and like a vacation at the same time," Caroline said of their dream locale. The one place that ticked all their boxes? Round Hill Resort, Montego Bay, a former pineapple farm-turned-resort, decorated by none other than Ralph Lauren, instantly won the couple over. With 42 guests and Harwell Photography there to capture every special moment, the couple said "I do" in an open air ceremony that breathed of their relaxed-yet-elegant aesthetic.
"I always knew that I needed to do a destination wedding because, if given the opportunity, I could agonize over every decision and detail," Caroline says. "Being far away from the venue and vendors and having to rely on them to execute my bigger vision actually turned out to the best thing I could have done." She relied heavily on Raquel, Round Hill's in-house wedding coordinator, and the bride couldn't have been happier with her work and how she expertly brought to life the white-and-gold island-inspired day she had dreamed of. The couple worked with Bella Figura and Paces Papers to create a blush-and-gold wedding invitation suite with a touch of tropical appeal.
After purchasing a dress in New York City, Caroline suffers what she calls a major moment of buyer's remorse. Luckily, her first salon refunded her deposit and she was able to purchase a silk-and-lace wedding dress from Nicole Miller. "We went in as a last ditch effort and I was actually going for another dress when my mom picked mine off the rack," she recalls. "When I walked out we both started to cry and I knew this was the one."
Complete with a flared skirt, scalloped cap sleeves, and a sheer lace neckline and back, Caroline's second dress was perfect for her island nuptials. She borrowed her sister's veil, wore a ring from her mother, and purchased a pair of shoes from Valentino and earrings from J.Crew to complete her look. Her bouquet of all-white orchids felt reflective of her tropical venue.
Caroline had her sister and future sister-in-law wear matching white Donna Morgan bridesmaids dresses, while her other three attendants were asked to find their own white dresses that reflected their style. Each bridesmaid carried a bouquet of white roses, hydrangeas, and orchids.
Matthew chose a classic black suit and tie from Jos. A. Bank, along with a vintage Seiko Dive Watch that Caroline gifted him on the morning of their wedding.
The bride's brother walked her down the petal-strewn aisle where she met her groom beneath a bamboo arch draped with organza sheers and hanging orchids.
Following the ceremony, guests enjoyed a cocktail hour filled with island style thanks to music from a steel drum band and a Jamaican rum tasting station.
"My biggest request was to have one long table and it was executed beautifully," Caroline says of her reception décor. The couple and their 42 guests sat at a candlelit table decorated with four tall white hydrangea centerpieces. Through the open doors of their reception space, guests could bask in the glow of paper lanterns strung around a Banyan tree.
Dinner was filled with plenty of local flavor. Guests chose between a duo of filet and tempura shrimp or grilled snapper with a fresh fennel slaw. In addition to their coconut-and-Appleton rum flavored wedding cake, the couple served a passion fruit crème brûlée.
A reggae band played Bob Marley and Peter Tosh hits during the reception before the entire party moved down to the beach for a seaside bonfire complete with s'mores and mini hamburgers. The couple enjoyed a honeymoon in South Africa, Botswana, and Mozambique.
Caroline's best advice for other couples? Remember to focus on what makes you happy. "For us, it was having fun with our family and friends so we made sure that remained a constant throughout the weekend," she says.
Ceremony & Reception Venue: Round Hill Hotel and Villas || Bride's Wedding Dress: Nicole Miler || Bride's Earrings: J.Crew || Bride's Shoes: Valentino || Bridesmaids' Dresses: Donna Morgan || Groom's & Groomsmen's Attire: Jos. A. Bank || Engagement Ring: Tiffany & Co. || Flowers: Tai Flora Services Ltd. || Invitations: Bella Figura; Pace Papers || Programs, Escort Cards, and Menus: Jessica at Calligraphy Atlanta || Reception Music: PACE Jamaica || Photographer: Harwell Photography