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A Wes Anderson-Inspired Beach Wedding in Jamaica

By Patricia Garcia | Photography by 

Kelly Giarrocco

There are high school sweethearts and then there’s Leigh King and Richard Marsiglia. Leigh, the Marketing and Events Manager at Council of Fashion Designers of America, and Richard, manager for KREWE Eyewear in SoHo, first met the summer before high school in Ocean City, Maryland. “For me, it was love at first sight,” Leigh admits. “By the time I came back to school in the fall, we were dating.”

Eleven, yes, eleven years later, Leigh had a work trip to Paris and had convinced Richard to tag along. A few days in, they decided to go to Versailles and signed up for a three-hour private tour. “Then I finally stole her away to a quiet staircase where I popped the big question with her grandmother’s ring,” he says. “I had absolutely no idea that it was going to happen in that moment and it was the sweetest surprise. We were both very close with my grandma and it means a lot to us that I’m able to have her ring.”

They initially had settled on having their wedding in Baltimore, but a few months into the planning process, they switched gears and opted for an island wedding instead. “I wish I could say that Jamaica was our first choice but it was really a spur of the moment decision that turned out to be the best choice we made,” Richard says. “We had a very clear vision from the start for the whole wedding—it was very Wes Anderson-inspired,” Leigh adds. “We thought about what it might look like if he made a beach movie and then planned from there.” Luckily for the bride, her best friend and maid of honor, Caitlyn Welch, had just started her own event company, Betty Lou Events, and despite not living in the same state, the two planned the destination wedding via Google Chat.

Leigh’s very first job in fashion was working with Zac Posen, so from the very beginning he was her top choice of designer. She found a dress from his Spring 2018 collection that she liked and worked with his design team to realign the neckline, elongate the sleeves, and add a train. “The special embroidery on the shoulder was customized by an artisan in the atelier, and I chose baby’s breath as a symbol of everlasting love,” she explains. For shoes, she went with Sophia Webster rose gold sandals with crystal heels. “I very strategically planned for our wedding ceremony to be on solid ground so I could wear these shoes.” Since the ceremony was going to take place near the water, she ditched the veil and opted for a practical beaded halo headband by Twigs and Honey instead. As for the groom, he wore a navy linen suit by. J.Crew and Soludo’s espadrilles with a fun wave print.

On November 9, family and friends gathered on a pier overlooking the ocean at sunset. Richard and the bridal party walked down the aisle to an acoustic version of The Proclaimers’s “I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles),” while the bride’s choice of song was “Sea of Love” by Cat Power. “My parents walked first and I met them at the halfway point,” she says. “It was so special to have that solo moment before joining hands with my parents and eventually Richie.”

Leigh’s biological mother also walked down the aisle, ahead of her parents. “I was adopted as a newborn but have always been in contact with her,” the bride explains. “She has attended other major milestones like my Bat Mitzvah and high school graduation, and although it had been nearly a decade since I saw her last, I knew I wanted her to be included as much as possible.”

Following the ceremony, guests enjoyed traditional island cocktails, empanadas, and music from a steel drum band on the beach. A dinner of traditional Jamaican fare was served poolside at Royalton White Sands, and the couple later kicked off the party with a live reggae band, which immediately got everyone singing and on their feet. For their first dance, the couple chose “You and Me” by Penny & The Quarters, but the real treat came later on in the evening, when the couple surprised their guests with two fire dancers that lit up the sky. “My groom and I joined the performance and both danced with the flames—a few of our braver guests jumped in too!,” Leigh recalls.

Their DJ kept the party going on until quite late, and by the end of the night everyone was looking forward to cooling off. “Everyone was ready to jump in the pool right after the last song,” the bride says, “[So did I], but after I took of my custom Zac Posen dress, of course!”