Today we are delighted to bring you a beautiful real wedding from Haiti. Phyllis and Steve got married in Cap Haitian with yellow accents! Hear from Phyllis about their day with lots of tips too!
Steve and I got married in Cap-Haitien, a city so dear to my heart. I grew in Cap-Haitien and moved to the US when I was 15, & Steve grew up in Port-Au-Prince & moved to the States when he was 13. Growing up, I always fantasized about being married in Cap; it is small & intimate & it holds so many sweet memories from my childhood that I will cherish forever. When I got engaged & started planning the wedding, Steve absolutely had no problems with the wedding being held in Cap because he wanted to make this wedding as unforgettable as possible for the both of us!
The tasks of the wedding planning were divided to each family member that wanted to participate fully; my mom was responsible for the food and cake. my dad took on transportation, music/dj, purchasing food items and drinks, invitation cards, videographer, church program. My aunt and uncle paid for the venue, pitched in for more food items, bridesmaid dresses & other expenses. Steve & I juggled everything else in between: flowers and decor, photographer, and looking over everything else being planned around us. As you can already imagine, this wedding was truly a huge team effort.
Although we can never thank enough family and friends who helped us so much with making this wedding what it was, from our experience we would so recommend future brides getting married in Haiti to just have a budget, pick a location, make sure they cater & can provide some sort of decor planning so all you’ll be responsible for are to send out your invitations, plan and the church ceremony, & bring in a photographer etc.
The plan was to bring all of our non-perishable items from the US by Always Cargo services (718.415.8366) who came to pick everything up at your house and delivers to Cap at your desired location in a month; well that did not happen. They delivered 3 days late from the expected date which caused huge panic and chaos for having to repurchase so many things we already had. My advice on that would be to send them at least a month or 2 prior to your wedding date so everything can be there, waiting for the big day.
Details of the Day:
-Venue: We got married at Hotel Roi-Henri Christophe at rue 24B. Beautiful hotel and amazing scenery for picture taking. I strongly advise that you demand a specific contract at the time of booking, to ensure all services be delivered the day of your wedding. We kept asking the person in charge for one but we never received it so we planned around which was not the best idea. Because my mom wanted to bring in her own catering service & I my own decor, the hotel wanted to charge us extra for everything: dishware, servers, cleaning fees etc. It’s best to have your venue be responsible for catering to avoid conflict. Also prior to booking, make sure to call and ask around to compare pricing & services being offered to you, how everything looks: clean, organized, spacious enough for your guests, are all their items in great condition, customer service etc… Remember: you’re paying for your dream to come true, every little detail matters.
-Church: The ceremony was held at a small chapel of my old school, which was one of my favorite touches. It was intimate, small, and perfect since I was trying to avoid the crowd & i share most of my school day memories at that school chapel. My family is close friends with a priest who was more than happy to do the ceremony. We just had to meet him few days ahead of time to plan and get to know about us more. He requested that we get our blood drawn, have our baptism certificates ready, informations on our family, maid of honor and best man. He came on time the day of the ceremony, was funny and kept everyone entertained. It was an average service with great laughter.
-Photographer: Iris Photography is very well known in Haiti for capturing weddings in the most beautiful way. I contacted him, he sent me a list of pricing. We discussed what would like, which to capture our special day from start to finish and that’s exactly what he did. He arrived on time with an assistant, started taking pictures from the time we were getting ready to the end of the reception. I would recommend him to anyone! He was professional, fluent in English, spanish, french and creole, paid attention to details, very patient and passionate about what he does. His contacts are: Jean-Joseph Napoleon, www.irisphotographie.com, (509) 3742.1592
-Master of ceremony: A good friend of mine was the host of the wedding. He did a fantastic job! we’ve been friends for several years. So he knew us and our family, which made everything so much easier. He was funny, entertaining and we are forever thankful for all his efforts.
-Dj & music: My uncle owns Kontak Inter, a radio station in Cap and provided us with a dj, instruments for the church ceremony, cds & music as a gift! We just went in days prior, selected all the songs we wanted to be played and made it happen.
-Cake & Food: My mom had a lot of help from friends and family who either own a catering service as a side job or are used to feeding for large amounts of people. They came a day before the wedding, prepared everything, spent the entire night baking and prepping and everything went in the oven the morning of the wedding. I was so busy running around, that I didn’t have the time to supervise their work but it appears that everything turned out great. Everyone enjoyed the entrees! The cake was made by a lady my aunt had known. Unfortunately I don’t have her references.
-Decor & flowers: I hired an event planner who shipped a lot of the items from the US via Always Cargo. (Le Boudoire event planning (firstname.lastname@example.org Phone #: (646) 730-3920). The flowers were purchased in the DR a day before the wedding. Just make sure you oversee the venue and the church with your planner to assure the amount of decors and flowers needed ahead of time. It was so hot in July, so she made sure they were kept in a freezer overnight to avoid the flowers from fading. The morning of the wedding, all the decors and flowers were put up at the venue and the church.
-Invitations: My dad knew a friend who owns a small printing business in NY. The cards were really nice! The owner was professional, and service was very fast! He had everything printed and shipped in a week.
-Transportation: My uncle and dad booked a limo in Cap. The limo wasn’t as nice as the ones here in the US. It had AC, the driver was on time. Picked us up at the hotel where we got ready, and dropped us off at the reception afterwards. The limo was booked for a total of 6hrs.
-Honeymoon: My favorite part! The night of the wedding, Steve’s parents booked us a room at Cormier Plage for 2 mights 3 days. Breakfast was included, and they also have a shuttle service to pick you where you and drop you off afterwards. Beaches in Cap are breathtaking! I was familiar with Cormier since i’ve gone there many times as a child. Service was excellent, food was tasty, and room service was also very good. Then we traveled south to Dan’s Creek Hotel in Port-Salut for our “real honeymoon”. Dan’s Creek is simply the best! The scenery is to die for! It has a private beach, jacuzzi and pool, the food was exquisite, the staff there is just so nice and always ready to help. Our room was beautiful is such a rustic way, always clean, AC, TV with cable. The atmosphere was all around peaceful, intimate, fresh, beautiful, simple yet so warm and cozy.
In all, we wouldn’t trade our wedding experience for a thing! Steve always reminds me how thankful he is for having me suggest and plan our wedding in Haiti. Yeah we’ve had some difficulties along the way; planning any destination wedding can be stressful. But knowing the right people, doing all your research ahead of time will surely decrease the pressure.I would do it all over again!
Vendors: Wedding Planner: Le Boudoire event planning (email@example.com Phone #: (646) 730-3920) | Venue: Hotel Roi-Henri Christophe | Photography: Iris Photography | DJ: Kontak Inter | Honeymoon: Cormier Plage and Dan’s Creek Hotel | Shipping: Always Cargo services (718.415.8366) |