Planning your wedding is one of the most exciting times of your life, but also one of the most complicated. How do you choose what photographer to hire? Who should be the caterer? Hair and makeup? Video? Music? There are so many moving parts that it can be hard to choose!
My husband and I had the pleasure of working with some amazing vendors here in Cayman; so amazing that I felt the need to share my experience with each. Here are the BEST Grand Cayman Wedding Vendors, for anyone looking to marry on this beautiful island:
WEDDING PLANNER: CELEBRATIONS LTD
We chose Celebrations as our wedding planner because we’d heard so much about their event planning on island, and saw countless examples of their weddings on photography blogs. They seemed to do such a beautiful job decorating their venues and their clients had nothing but good things to say about their experiences with them, so why not? We contacted them shortly after getting engaged because we knew we wanted to get married within the year (and I am a psycho who needed to start planning STAT), and were paired up with a planner named Andrea.
Andrea did an amazing job of understanding our vision and creating a concept that reflected our dream wedding, while our other planners, Dora, Mary-Ann and Angela, brought her design to life in full force! We wanted rustic, elegant and beachy, and that is exactly what we got, and then some. I give a more thorough breakdown of the decor in my post, Our Rustic Beach Wedding in Grand Cayman [Decor], but it was so stunning that I can’t help but repeat myself. I had high expectations for Celebrations before we even booked them as our planner; what I didn’t foresee was them exceeding those expectations to the extent that they did. I still, to this day, look back at pictures in absolute awe, and can’t believe that what I am seeing was OUR wedding!
On top of the impeccable detail, they were totally on top of their game on the day of. Their timing was meticulous, they made everything run smoothly, they kept us on schedule and most importantly… made sure us newlyweds had a chance to eat and drink! I didn’t have to think about a single thing, which is exactly how it should be on your wedding day!
PHOTOGRAPHY: JENNA LEIGH PHOTOGRAPHY
I literally cannot say enough good things about Jenna Leigh Photography. We first met Jenna and her husband John (who is often her second shooter) at our engagement session about a month before our wedding. It was an amazing opportunity to get to know the people who would be taking our photos on our big day, and to get an idea of what we could expect for our wedding photos. Let me start by saying that I am not usually comfortable in front of the camera. I’m one of those “what do I do with my hands?” kind of people. But Jenna and John made us so comfortable that it felt so natural and frankly, fun! It didn’t feel staged, it didn’t feel awkward, and we weren’t watching the clocks for the photo session to be over. We were able to be our goofy loving selves, which you can feel in the photos.
Jenna took the time to truly understand what we were hoping to achieve with our wedding photography, which is so important because in the end, your photos, videos and memories are all you’re left with. On wedding day, Jenna and John worked with Jason (video) to capture every element of our day: bridal details, getting ready, first look, portraits, wedding decor, ceremony, family and friends, bridal party, cake cutting, reception, you name it. If there was a moment to be captured, they caught it.
When I got our teaser photos in the days after the wedding, I was over the moon. When I got the full gallery just a month later, I cried. I cried because I missed the day, I cried because the photos were stunning, but I mostly cried happy tears because the album brought me back to the best day of my life – in the most perfect, beautifully executed way. I hate to compare, but I’m going to. I’ve seen wedding albums and just thought, “Huh, those are nice.” I’ve browsed through other people’s photos and thought, “But where are all the shots of the bridal party? Where are the friends and family photos? What was the dance party like? Are those the only pictures from the ceremony?” There’s often something missing. I didn’t think that ONCE. I may be biased, because it was my #bestdayever, but I think I can speak for many when I say that our wedding was one of the most wonderfully documented events ever.
Jenna has a great eye, she’s professional yet comfortable, she’s ultra-talented and you would be SO lucky to have her shoot your wedding. I’m already brainstorming how else I can get her to take pictures of me because I love her work that much, and I love her as a person that much. Who’d have thought that an awkward person like me would want to get back in front of the camera?
MUSIC (LIVE BAND): TRINITY
We found our live band when we were out for happy hour at Grand Old House one Friday night. We were sitting there enjoying our drinks and the sunset when both of our ears perked up at the sound of the live music that started playing behind us. We didn’t say anything to each other at first, but it only took about 3 or 4 songs before we looked at each other with the same knowing look. This was our wedding band.
Trinity consists of a female vocalist and violinist, Kate Allenger, male vocals and guitar, Cory Allenger, and a bongo drummer, Luis Eden. Yes, you read that right… bongo drums! We loved Trinity for a lot of reasons, but what stuck out the most was the bongo drums, because it allowed them to put a unique, island-y twist on top songs. While they are incredibly versatile, playing anything from Bob Marley to Katy Perry, they really have a Jack Johnson / John Mayer vibe, both of whom I enjoy. This was exciting for me because I knew I really wanted to walk down the aisle to “Better Together,” and back up the aisle to Israel Kamakawiwo’de’s “Somewhere Over The Rainbow.” Trinity played pre-ceremony as guests arrived, ceremony processional, recessional and cocktail hour and they were so good – easily one of the best vendor decisions we made! The guests loved their sound and it really, truly fit the venue.
WEDDING CAKE: THE CAKE STUDIO
We had two-tier caked made by The Cake Studio and it was beautiful!
We wanted a combination of rustic and beachy, which I think they did such a good job of achieving with the brushed look, the small bit of coral and the peach flowers (which matched our flower arrangements quite well!). We went in for a cake tasting a couple of months before the wedding and settled on two flavors – rum cake with rum frosting and caramel cardamom with a butter cream frosting. We were psyched to be able to choose two different kinds because they were both so good and we couldn’t decide!
Working with The Cake Studio was easy, largely because their Instagram is full of examples of cakes they have created for other clients. We pointed out what we liked, what we didn’t like, and various elements that we wanted incorporated into our own. It looked and tasted exactly how we wanted!
CATERING: CHEF REMY – RENT-A-CHEF
We first met Chef Remy when he catered our engagement night on Cayman Kai – at the same villa that we got married! Remy and his right-hand, Christie, treated us to a ridiculously delicious 5-course meal, including (my favorite!) Chicken Tikka Masala, Chilean Sea Bass and Filet Mignon. Everything was so perfectly made and they were so personable and professional that we just knew we had to have them cater our wedding. It was a no-brainer. They were so flexible in terms of what we could serve, they were communicative and most importantly, their food was out of this world.
We also decided to have them cater a welcome BBQ that we held at the beach for any guests that had arrived the day before the wedding. He and his crew somehow managed to deliver a perfectly executed beach buffet for about 90 people consisting of: Rasta Pasta Salad with Jerk Chicken, Local Mixed Green Salad, Zesty Vegetable Couscous, Spice-Rubbed Wild Salmon with Sweet Chili Glaze, New-Zealand Lamb Chops in Cilantro-Mint Pesto, Tiger Shrimp Skewers with Citrus-Garlic Butter and Bread Rolls. Yes, you read that right… for a BEACH BBQ. Our guests were so impressed by the BBQ food and were thrilled to find out that Remy would also be catering our wedding the next day.
At the wedding, we served butler style passed canapes during cocktail hour, including Caprese Skewers with Basil Oil and Balsamic, Mini Chicken Tikka Skewers with Mango Chutney, Ahi Tuna Tartar with Wasabi Tobiko and Mini Veggie and Beef Samosas with Mint Chutney. For the first course, we served Locally Sourced Greens with Baby Heirloom Tomatoes and a Basil Oil and Balsamic Reduction Drizzle. For the main course, we gave the option of Oven Roasted Grouper (island fresh!) with Orange-Green Peppercorn Sauce, Grilled Filet Mignon with Bearnaise Sauce and a Port Reduction, Pan-Roasted, Free-Range Chicken Breast with Porcini Cream over Grilled Portobello Mushrooms, or Fresh Spinach and Ricotta Ravioli tossed with Grape Tomato Concasse and Toasted Pinenuts. The meats were paired with Basil Pesto Mashed Potatoes (hubby’s request!) and vegetables.
As if we needed dessert! While we did have a wedding cake, we also opted for a dessert buffet. Remy’s team put together a gorgeous dessert display including Sticky Toffee Pudding (island favorite), Cardamom Creme Brulee, Carrot Cake Squares and Mango Cheesecake Squares.
Now, we had an outdoor wedding at a private villa with 112 people, so Remy couldn’t work in the house kitchen. He had to set up a pop-up kitchen underneath the villa with a draped perimeter and work lights. You may hear that and think food service would be slower than normal, or maybe that the food wouldn’t be as good or to temperature. WRONG. 1000% wrong. It. Was. PERFECT. Everything was so delicious and perfectly hot, the service impeccable, and everyone was left with completely satisfied stomachs.
There is literally no question that if you’re going to get married in Grand Cayman, Chef Remy and Christie are your best catering option!
HAIR & MAKEUP: JACKIE SORIANO
What I loved about working with Jackie was that she actually listened and performed. I don’t wear a ton of makeup on the average “let’s get pretty” day, so I didn’t want to look like a different person on my wedding day. I’ve been to many weddings where the bride and her bridal party look so overdone and unlike themselves (sorry!), and I knew that just wasn’t for me. I didn’t want eyebrows that looked twice as big as my natural ones, and I didn’t want to look like I had layers and layers of foundation caked on my face. I wanted to look like me, just… well, enhanced! My goal was soft and natural, with a little fun that says, “here comes the bride.” I told her this at my hair and makeup trial and showed a couple of photos of looks that I liked and that was it – she got it.
On our wedding day, Jackie came with an assistant and did the hair and makeup for myself and my five bridesmaids. Jackie did all of the hair for my girls, her assistant did all of the makeup for them, but Jackie did everything for me. She was thorough, meticulous and made me feel prettier than I have ever felt in my life. If I could have her make me look good on the regular, I would.
VIDEO: PICTURE THIS STUDIOS
If I am iffy about having my picture taken, you have to imagine that I feel like a total weirdo on video. Well, Jason and Tom from Picture This Studios were absolute gems to work with and their final product was just stunning! Like Jenna (photography), they made us extremely comfortable and were not at all in-your-face. They made us laugh, getting the perfect natural shots, and they covered their grounds, which is what you truly want a videographer to do. You spend so much time planning your wedding day and it all goes by so fast that there are certain elements that you don’t even get to really soak in on the day of. Well, that’s what’s so wonderful about video, because you can really see how perfect everything was once the dust has settled.
We received a 10-minute video of our wedding day, from getting ready all the way through the reception. The cuts and transitions were seamless, the music choices fit the clips perfectly, and the footage truly encompasses just how special our wedding day was. We even had drone footage! Noah Hollins was kind enough to get some aerial shots of our wedding venue using his personal drone, and the clips were incorporated into our video! It is just incredible. I, of course, cried when I saw it, too. I have to say I was reaching for the Kleenex no more than 15 seconds in! It really took me back and reminded me just how wonderful the experience was, and just how fortunate we were to have so many of our friends and family members there to celebrate us.
Picture This Studios is 100% your best video option!
MUSIC (DJ/RECEPTION): DJ CRAIG
DJ Craig is the number one DJ on the island, hands down. My husband loves to joke that Craig is not who you’d expect. When you think DJs, you may think of young party-goers donning technicolor clothes that you’d see at a late-night house music club. But, Craig is just an ordinary, soft spoken guy that you would probably never guess was a DJ if you met him in person. Joke aside, he killed it.
There are a good handful of people who attended our wedding that you’d normally never see on a dance floor. I kid you not, almost EVERYONE who came was dancing, and all night! We ended an hour later than we were supposed to because no one wanted to leave, and people hardly hit up the bar because they didn’t want to leave the dance floor to get a drink! We provided a pretty sizable list of songs we wanted to hear and he also mixed in many of his own ideas seamlessly. It was easily the most fun I’ve ever had dancing!
I hope my list of Grand Cayman vendors makes your destination wedding planning that much easier!
Thank you so much to the lovely Katie from Life She Lives for this fantastic post! We hope that you lovebirds enjoyed this Blogger Bride’s segment, and we so look forward to sharing our next Blogger Bride with you all!
Till next time…Happy Planning!
Blogger Bride: Katie from Life She Lives | Photography: Jenna Leigh Photography | Decor: Celebrations Ltd. | Music (Live Band): Trinity | Wedding Cake: The Cake Studio | Catering: Chef Remy – Rent- A- Chef | Hair & Makeup: Jackie Soriano | Videography: Picture This Studios | Music (DJ/ Reception): DJ Craig |