A Tropical Restaurant Celebration in St. Barts

A beach wedding was in the cards for Pino Vitale, owner of Joe’s Pizza in NYC and Brooklyn, and Miranda Vitale, who got engaged on the sand in Turks & Caicos in May 2015 after meeting in Santa Monica three years earlier. The site of their I do's was Tamarin, a restaurant in the Caribbean hot spot St. Barts, where the vibe felt like a tropical paradise. “Tamarin is magical and jungle-like, with parrots, turtles, and ducks roaming the property,” says Miranda. “Also, the restaurant has delicious farm-to-table food.”

Sixty guests traveled to Gustavia (the capital) for the secluded, romantic affair on April 30, 2016. Karrine from DK Events helped the pair live out their very specific vision, which Miranda says was challenging at times because of being overseas and communicating with native French speakers. As a St. Barts local, their event planner, however, made things much easier! Keep reading to see how they created that vision in a restaurant oasis, as photographed by Jeremy Harwell.

Because they used to live in Los Angeles, Miranda says they’re drawn to a tropical vibe, and have infused their current home in New York with lots of plants and life, which was important for them to showcase in their wedding. She adds, “That’s what our venue and St. Barts the island was to us—just so magical and totally us.”

Miranda and Pino chose a color scheme that revolved around white and green, accented with natural wood elements. The landscape of St. Barts worked into that perfectly, with its jungle-y greenery everywhere. This look was reflected in their invitation suite, which matched the tropical feeling of their destination wedding.

Miranda wore a lace gown by Dolce & Gabbana that she says felt “simplistic yet chic.” In fact, it was actually not designed as a wedding gown! After shopping around NYC and not falling in love with anything, she eventually turned to the Saks Fifth Avenue designer department, where she found her dream dress. The bride accessorized with a borrowed veil from her sister-in-law and diamond earrings (a Christmas gift from Pino).

Pino’s blue Dior tuxedo was a classic, as was the Rolex watch he wore with it, a gift from Miranda for his birthday. The final touch was a peony boutonnière, which matched his bride’s peony-filled bouquet.

The couple had a custom white-and-green flower wall built as their ceremony backdrop, and it remained as a photo backdrop throughout the evening. A complementing white aisle was also built on the lawn, and bamboo chairs and white cushions were added for seating.

Miranda’s father walked her down the aisle as a violinist played Andrea Bocelli’s “Con Te Partirò.” The newlyweds’ family and friends threw white flower petals on them as they recessed back up the aisle after exchanging vows.

"At the last minute I felt we needed a pop of color, so we got foam letters of our initials, MVP, and had them covered in colorful flowers for the guest book table—it was the perfect added touch,” says the bride.

The table seating assignments were handwritten on palm leaves held in wooden vases, a task the couple DIY-ed themselves. What a perfectly detail for their lush, verdant look!

In keeping with their tried-and-true theme, dinner tables were set with white tablecloths, burlap table runners, candles, and uniquely shaped vases holding white roses, peonies, hydrangeas, and greenery. At each guest’s seat was a gift—and inside each custom linen bag (printed with couple’s MVP logo), guests found a bracelet with the island of St. Barts on it. “Most of our guests still wear the bracelets daily,” says Miranda.

The ladies at the wedding sipped on Miranda’s favorite refreshing cocktail—which is similar to a cucumber gimlet—during the cocktail hour, at which a duck they named Edgar roamed around the party! All the guests enjoyed a seasonal menu that included lobster medallion salad, before a vanilla lemon cream wedding cake was served.

The DJ played music from a playlist Miranda and Pino put together that featured top current hits and some throwback songs. Instead of doing specific first dances, Miranda says they all just got up when they felt like dancing. “The dance floor was epic,” she says. “It was extremely humid but everyone was dancing and sweating with no cares, just having a great time.”

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