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Bougainvillea Hung From the Ceiling at This OTM-Styled Bride’s Colorful and Lush Reception in St. Barths

By Shayna Seid | Photography by 

Emily Lab & Hugo Allard

|Planning by 

L. Scott Events

Callan Vessels and Tom Connor’s first date was to a wedding. They were initially introduced by his cousin, who happened to be Callan’s best friend from growing up. “He would always invite us to his friends parties and would text me every weekend asking me to hang out,” she says of Tom. “It took me a little, but I finally gave into his first date, which was surprisingly a wedding! We had the absolute best time, and I knew there was something really special about Tom.”

Shortly after they started dating, he moved to London for work, and she followed him the next year and started school for interior design. “We had the most incredible time living in a new city together, traveling, and exploring,” she shares.

For their two-year anniversary, Tom planned a weekend trip to Soho Farmhouse. “I had a feeling something might have been up, but always knew he had wanted our family to be there, so I put those feelings aside,” Callan says. He led her up a trail that ended with flowers and candles and got down on one knee. After she said yes, their families came out from where they were secretly watching the proposal. “I was completely shocked, and it was such an incredible weekend celebrating in the Cotswolds with our families!”

Once engaged the couple started planning for a wedding in Nantucket over the 2020 Labor Day Weekend. However, due to COVID-19, they shifted to a micro-wedding on a boat in the middle of the harbor around the same date.

One night before the civil ceremony, Callan’s father also suggested that they plan a small destination wedding in St. Barths—a place he and Callan’s mother have been going for years. “The next day, we called our amazing wedding planner, Lindsay Buzaid from L. Scott Events, and booked a venue for November 19, 2021,” Callan recalls. “I knew I wanted the wedding aesthetic to be colorful and local to the island.”

Callan and Tom chose Hotel Christopher as their wedding venue, as it’s in a lush part of the island, filled with bougainvillea and colorful florals. For the reception, Bloomy covered the ceiling in the beloved pink flowers and rattan lanterns were hung from the ceilings to add to golden hour lighting. Lindsay also suggested using pops of orange on the tables, so they ordered custom clementine and white linens from Indigo by Boutin. Emily Lab was on-hand to capture every moment at the rehearsal dinner and wedding, and Hugo Allard got great candid photos at the beach party before everyone headed home.

For her St. Barths wedding, just like her Nantucket micro-ceremony, Callan used Over The Moon’s styling services, and head stylist Anny Choi chose almost every single look the bride wore for the weekend. “Everything she found were such hidden gems!” Callan exclaims. “Anny encouraged me to wear color to each event, which I also loved.”

Anny found Callan a dress at Happy Isles that was perfect for the church rehearsal. Callan fell in love with the embroidery and lace detail and knew she had to have it. The rehearsal dinner at hot spot Tamarin was a white party, and the bride-to-be stood out in a white and red floral dress and Turmeric Antologia Ancestral shell earrings, both from Johanna Ortiz.

On the day-of, Callan got ready with hairstylist Brianne Smith and makeup artist Idalmi. Her ceremony gown was a beautiful design by Ines Di Santo with floral detailing, and she finished the look with Monique Lhuillier block-heel sandals and the Olympia Le-Tan Just Married book clutch from Over The Moon.

Tom and his groomsmen were dressed in bright navy suits from Suitsupply, and the groom gifted his party light blue and pink Ferragamo ties that matched the bridesmaids’ blush-hued dresses. The mother of the bride also looked lovely in a light blue custom Markarian look.

At St. Bartholomews Anglican Church in the middle of Gustavia, Callan walked down the aisle with her father to a live string rendition of “Bittersweet Symphony.” “It was so surreal seeing Tom at the end of the aisle,” the bride remembers. “I was beaming from ear to ear.”

After saying, “I do,” the newlyweds headed to the hotel for the reception, where they and all their guests enjoyed cocktails on the deck with a view of the sunset over the water. Dinner followed at the oceanside restaurant, where tables were beautifully set with custom menus by artist Li Ward, Indigo by Boutin linens, and napkin rings and placemats from Klatso Home. “Our wedding was only 85 people, so it felt like a large dinner party with all of our family and best friends, which is exactly what we wanted,” Callan says.

During the meal, DJ Philippe Paris played a set and got everyone out of their seats immediately. “Napkins were tossed overhead under the bougainvillea and full moon, and it was the best night of our lives,” the bride recalls.

The new mister and missus led their friends and family to the dance floor with Al Sax and his saxophone and Nebat the drummer, and then they had their first dance to “Electricity” by Dua Lipa. “My favorite part of the reception was the start of dancing,” Callan states. “I remember taking a step back and looking around and being surrounded by all of our loved ones having the time of their lives. I would do anything to be back in this moment.”

To cut their tiered wedding cake, decorated with a strand of bougainvillea, by Mathilde Zapparoli, Callan made a quick change into the Diana white fringe mini dress by Markarian—the ideal dress for dancing in the moonlight.

The next day, Callan and Tom hosted a lunch at the beach club Gyp Sea to wrap up their wedding weekend. Anny found a stylish, tropical Emilio Pucci set for the new Mrs. Connor to don. The last hours were filled with swimming in the ocean, eating a delicious lunch of fresh fish, and dancing on tables—the perfect way to say goodbye to St. Barths as a newly married pair.