The moms and BFF Courtney putting on Jenn's finishing touches:

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What to do when you're about to have a moment? Laugh about it, of course!

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Jenn is absolutely stunning:

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As luck would have it, while we were on the way outside with the girls to take some photos before the ceremony, Jenn's dad happened to catch us!

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This was such a great group of girls!

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Meanwhile, back at the hotel, this is what Pete was doing:

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And this is what the boys were doing:

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I don't usually post group photos, but what the heck:

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Pete, looking quite smooth on his wedding day:

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This is Jason. Jason has no fear, and when I mentioned that I wanted one of the guys to catch and hold one of the huge iguanas that roam the island, he went running in search of one. He got it too, but it turned out to be quite feisty, so this is about as far as it went:

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Back to more beautiful things;

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I love the moment right before a bride walks down the aisle:

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During the walk down the aisle can be nice too :)

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A prayer--an invitation for God to join the ceremony:

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I love this one!

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First kiss as husband and wife:

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I think they were excited!

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They sure were cute:

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We went down to the beach to get a few photos of the new couple:

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This is my favorite part of a wedding day:

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Why can't the sky look like this in So. Cal?!

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Just some nice, clean portraits:

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Sweetness:

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One of my wedding day favorites:

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I figured I would shoot a few photos of Jenn alone on the beach:

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This series takes my breath away:

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Soft and lovely:

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first dance:

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How could you get a better view than this from your reception?

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With smaller weddings, there isn't usually a ton of dancing, but not with this crowd! The floor was packed the WHOLE time!

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But Jenn and Pete were able to steal a few moments anyway. In all, it was a wonderful day--everything a wedding should be:

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The next day, we set out for the main town of Charlotte Amelie:

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One of my favorite things to do is to find fun, bright colors to shoot agains!

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I had no idea I'd find a staircase that looked like it belonged in Italy!

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But I did :)

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The town is vibrant and beautiful, so we walked around for awhile:

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Where else would you go right after you get married?!

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This was my favorite little spot:

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This is actually the front of a beauty parlor!

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I love this building so much:

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This door--can it please come home with me?

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I wish it would have fit in my suitcase:

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Then it was back down to the beach for a little fun and sun!

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After the wedding, we don't have to be so careful about the dress. I'm not really into "trashing the dress", but I love not having to worry about it!

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And if it gets a little wet, so what?!

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I mean, it's not like she's going to wear it again (no worries brides--salt water does not ruin dresses. rinse your dress out with plain water after and dry clean--it'll be good as new!)

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If you're already mostly wet...

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Might as well go for it!

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I can't resist a blooper or two--this was just so funny!

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Peter & Jennifer: Thank you so much for letting me capture your story, and letting me be a part of it this weekend. Congratulations!!

Here's the thing about destination weddings--it's not really about the wedding. It's about all the pieces that make up a wedding: The relationship between a couple who has waited eight years to get married. The friends and family who have taken the time and considerable expense to be there to support the couple, traveling from Chicago, Alaska, Virginia, and more. It's the laugh that rumbles and spills over from the father of the bride as he tells stories from the childhood of his baby girl, and it's the love that a mother has for her son and the new daughter she is about to have.

Whenever I shoot a destination wedding, I'm there for more than just the wedding too. I sit at the rehearsal dinner and hear the tales that make up friendships, relationships, and love. I am there for the late-night talks, and the the offshore adventures. For one weekend, I get to be a part of their group. And all of those things make it possible for me to see more of the pieces that make up a couple that usual.

This is how it was at Pete & Jenn's wedding at the Frenchman's Reef Marriott in St. Thomas, USVI this past weekend. And it was beautiful.

A few notes about this shoot:

-I used Kevin Kubota's X Process Combo for several of the color shots and his "Z films" action for all the black and white photos

-This whole wedding was shot with the 50 1.2, 35 1.4, and 100 2.8L. I travel light for destination weddings!

Anyway, back to the wedding.

Seriously, it was beautiful:

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Few things truly scare me about shooting weddings anymore. Oh, I'll get butterflies from time to time and excited of course, but not usually stomach-on-the-floor SCARED, which was how I felt as I balanced the brides' shoes on the balcony of the 8th floor hotel room for this photo:

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If they'd fallen, they would have ended up at the top of one of these palm trees overlooking the ceremony site:

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Jennifer is a doctor. She's the kind of doctor you would want to have when you're sick--warm, kind, and knowledgable. But the morning of the wedding, she was a BRIDE:

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Jennifer has three sisters, and they are all so unique and wonderful in different ways. This is the youngest, Ariel, and Jenn's dress:

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She and Pete's mom Cici helped get Jenn's dress straightened out. The purple flowers were brilliant and fresh:

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Bev, Jenn's mom right after she saw her daughter in a wedding gown:

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