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A Caribbean Bash at a Chic Resort in Jamaica

By Alexandra Macon | Photography by 

Anne Rhett Photography

Realtor Anne Sauvain first met John Spencer, a real estate developer, during a joint ninth grade orientation in Charlotte. “We instantly hit it off and became close until our junior year when Jack asked me to be his date to homecoming,” Anne remembers. The high school sweethearts dated on-and-off for over a decade. “My girlfriends used to joke that anytime Jack and I were not together he had a timer set every two weeks so he could make sure to check-in and not fall of my radar!” she says with a laugh.

One Christmas Eve, the two were getting ready to spend the holiday at Jack’s father’s house. “He told me that he was going to bring my present in from the car and needed a minute to set it up,” she says. “About an hour later Jack created a make shift blindfold and led me downstairs. As I was walked into the room, I could hear James Brown playing in the background and our fireplace crackling. When he removed the blindfold, I saw the room lit by what must have been hundreds of candles. To top it off, our handsome English bulldog, Gus, looked extra dapper in his tuxedo. Jack took a knee, and more than twelve years after we met, he proposed.”

Once engaged, they both agreed they wanted to have a small wedding, and started looking into potential destination wedding locations. Anne’s sister-in-law suggested the Round Hill resort in Jamaica, and after taking a look, they both thought it had a “chic but not overly-formal vibe to it.” They worked with a Charlotte-based illustrator, Champagne Maker, on their invitations and stationery and used Round Hill’s wedding planner, Racquel, to help organize the details and events on the island. “”When we arrived at Round Hill before our wedding, she was so in control and on top of everything that it really allowed me to relax and enjoy our time,” adds Anne.

Even though the bride had always envisioned herself in a simple silk dress, she ultimately chose a white lace Mikaella dress with a long train. “When your bridesmaids wear white, you have to wear something to set yourself apart!” she explains. Like most brides, she also kept her jewelry classic: pearl earrings and a pearl bracelet, plus a blue Tiffany’s ring that Jack had given to her as a promise ring when they were eighteen. For shoes, she chose Alexandre Birman’s white bow strapped sandals.

As for her bridesmaids, Anne had been one enough times to know that it’s no fun wearing a dress that you’re not comfortable in. And so, she had her friends choose their own dresses as long as they were white and midi. “White may not be a traditional color for bridesmaids, but I loved that it fit with our color scheme,” she says. “One guest remarked that my bridesmaids looked like a group of angels coming down the aisle.”

On April 7, 2018, friends and family gathered at the Round Hill’s Spa Lawn overlooking the ocean to witness Anne and Jack tying the knot. A local steel drum band provided music during the ceremony and thankfully, while there were some clouds, the weather cooperated and it never rained.

Following the reception, guests made their way to the pool, where they enjoyed drinks and hors d’oeuvres. The reception then took place at Round Hill’s Hanover Terrace, which also overlooked the Caribbean sea. A local band, PACE, played old favorites, current hits, and Jamaican classics. “With our rowdy bunch, the dancing began the minute our guests entered the reception,” Anne says. As a special treat for the guys, a cigar roller was on hand, which was a huge hit among the groomsmen. Instead of a seated dinner, the couple opted for food stations featuring local island favorites like jumbo shrimp, crab cakes, and a carving station. And rather than serving a traditional wedding cake, they opted for mini key lime pies, the groom’s favorite, for each of their guests.

And yet Anne’s favorite part of the day took place when the two of them were actually alone, waiting on the landing of the steps to walk into the reception. “Family and friends were already dancing and laughing underneath the lights,” she says. “There was already such a great energy to the event. It was a special, quiet moment for Jack and I.”

As for what happened after the reception? The party continued at the newlywed’s villa by the pool. “Everyone who was there ended up jumping in the pool in their clothes,” Anne says. “Including me in my wedding dress! Sorry Mom!”