DESTINATION ST JOHN WEDDING
Spotlight On: SINETA MARIE BAILEY
St John has hosted its share of tropical destination weddings, anniversaries, honeymoon getaways, babymoons and family celebrations. The daunting task of planning a destination wedding or event, thousands of miles from home, does have its challenges! Thankfully there are some great professionals that can help bring your dream event to life ( and not cause you to lose hair in the process). To help you we’re sitting down with Sineta Marie Bailey. She recently had her wedding on St John, US Virgin Islands. But what makes her such an amazing resource is that she’s also a professional event planner! Who better to show you the ins and outs of planning a special event … than someone with first hand experience AND professional expertise!
First, I’d like to welcome and thank our gracious guest, newly-minted bride and seasoned event planning professional, Sineta Marie for taking the time to share some tips, insights and recommendations. I’m sure our readers will find it an invaluable resource and St John wedding planning guide!
Our first question, is perhaps the most asked question. What made you decide to choose St John for your destination wedding?
[Sineta]: Aside from the obvious? St. John is breathtakingly beautiful! My father lived in the Virgin Islands for many years. Growing up I would spend my summers there with him and some holidays. The Virgin Islands have always felt like a second home to me. At the time of our wedding, my father had Alzheimer’s and couldn’t attend, so choosing St. John was both sentimental and a tribute to him.
Would you share a bit about you as a couple – where did you meet? Proposal?
[Sineta]: Jeffery & I met in the parking lot of a post office in October of 2003. I was 24, he was 43…turning 44 in November. At the time, I was a recording artist, sending off CD’s to a record label for mixing. He owned a Tree Service company, Green Thumb Tree Service, which he still owns/operates today. Weeks after we met, I had to travel to the Virgin Islands to host an event & I purchased a wood carved turtle as his birthday gift…which later became the motto of our relationship & wedding-Slow and steady. Jeffery proposed a year after we began dating…however, it took me 17 years to actually say “I do”. I have the most patient & understanding husband ever!
Can you outline the steps and timeline you took in planning your St John wedding?
[Sineta]: I began planning our wedding about a year out. Hurricane Maria caused us to postpone our wedding…then Covid hit! We got married during the pandemic, when things were starting to get better and open after a year and a half. Before confirming our date, I made sure all my favorite vendors were available, Photographer, Chef, Florist, Videographer and Planner.
As an Event Planner myself, I was extremely picky in choosing a Wedding Planner.
Can you share some insights into why you chose particle local vendors and services?
[Sineta]: As an Event Planner myself, I was extremely picky in choosing a Wedding Planner. I chose Janelle of Island Bliss Weddings who carried out my vision exactly. I knew exactly what I wanted & what I didn’t want. I knew I wanted someone that was familiar with the island and the process of planning a destination wedding. I shipped MANY items ahead of time for Janelle to incorporate into our wedding…including cheesecloth linen runners, custom napkins, personalized acrylic signage, deckled edge menus, agate place cards, and a custom map of the virgin islands for guests to sign to serve as our “guestbook”.
What are the TOP 5 Helpful Hints that will help guide a couple considering a St John wedding or event?
- Hire a planner!
- Consider accommodations for your guests.
- Plan events, activities and/or excursions for your guests during your wedding week. Make it an unforgettable experience.
- Secure transportation for your guests.
- Relax and ENJOY!
What were the TOP 5 most challenge aspects of planning your St John wedding?
[Sineta]: It was actually pretty easy to plan from afar. Janelle & I exchanged countless emails & texts…plus, as an Event Planner, I’m very organized & I LOVE details. Janelle made me feel like I was her only bride, although she had MANY!
You chose an absolutely stunning villa for your stay and wedding. Can you tell our readers how you found Villa Cin Cin; and what other places you considered …?
[Sineta]: Honestly, I googled Luxury Villas, St. John, Virgin Islands and stumbled on Villa Cin Cin. I fell in love instantly! Pronounced Chin Chin-Italian for “Cheers”! We wanted a venue where we could host a welcome Party, Wedding Ceremony & Dinner, as well as day after brunch. It was also important for us to have an ocean view, and the privacy of our “own home” for the week to accommodate our family, but still spread out where we could enjoy some alone time as well.
Your wedding party
We opted to not have a wedding party since our wedding was so small & intimate. My 21 year old son walked me down the aisle & “gave me away” since my father has Alzheimer’s & couldn’t be there. My son & I are VERY close as he is my only child. It was only befitting for him to be by my side. I requested that all of our guests, including the grandchildren wear something to compliment our neutral color palette. I wanted our pics to be timeless.
Groom – suit / tux / style?
My son & husband both had custom suits made from Suit Supply in “Something Blue” with crisp white linen shirts (also from Suit Supply) & no ties for a more laid back, stylish look. Suit Supply embroidered our wedding date inside of Jeffery’s jacket as well, 12.01.2020
Tell me about your flowers
My flowers were arranged by East End Flower Shop. I asked for no greenery, just fresh flowers in our nude color palette & dried bleached florals & pampas.
Your wedding planner, how did you choose?
As an Event Planner myself, Sineta Marie Events, I was extremely picky in choosing an Event Planner. I chose Janelle of Island Bliss Weddings whom carried out my vision exactly. I knew exactly what I wanted & what I didn’t want. I shipped MANY items ahead of time for Janelle to incorporate into our wedding…including cheesecloth linen runners, napkins, custom acrylic signage, deckled edge menus, agate place cards, etc.
Stuart Scott, “Virgin Islands Wedding Officiate” was our wedding officiant, who is also Janelle’s husband (Island Bliss Weddings). He personally picked us up from the ferry in St. Thomas & took us to pick up our wedding certificate. During the car ride, he got to know us a little bit, which helped our ceremony flow smoothly & more naturally. His words flowed as if he knew us for a while.
Laura w/ Passion Fruit Chefs was our Chef/Caterer. Dinner was Surf & Turf (Steak & Lobster) with delicious sides & open bar. Cakes were made by Tammy Soto of Rise and Shine St. John. We had 2…a boho inspired naked vanilla cake (My favorite) & a simple chocolate cake (Jeffery’s favorite).
DJ Dell provided the music. Our “first dance” song was Still the One by Shania Twain. Our guests stood by the infinity edge pool overlooking the ocean with sparklers in hand while my girlfriends sang along. Lol My son & I danced to “A Song for Mama” by Boys II Men.
Shout outs to any special vendors?
Sophia & Izzy of Prestwich Films – they did an AMAZING job on our wedding video!!!!
Cheree Berry Paper & Design-created our beautiful custom invitation suite & also featured us on their website as one of their “Captivating Couples” (I’ll send the link as well)
Talk about your photographer/photos a bit
Savanah Loftus was our Wedding photographer, who also shot our “ Day Before the Big Day” & “Sunrise Sail/Trash the Dress” session a few days after our wedding. Her & I have now become friends & keep in contact thru social media. We recently returned to Villa Cin Cin for Jeffery’s birthday week & we did a family photo shoot with her.
Were there any other events around your big day? Rehearsal dinner? Brunch etc.?
As an Event Planner, I couldn’t help but plan a week of events for us to all enjoy. (I’ll send itinerary separately) Jeffery & I also did a Sunrise Sail (just the two of us) & brought Savanah (photographer) and Sophia & Izzy (Prestwich Films) along to capture it all.
Sineta, Owner & Creative Director of Sineta Marie Events! Many may know my family/maiden name as Sineta Roker. I’m originally from Thousand Oaks, California. In addition to being a “Cali Girl”, I’ve lived in several places including Miami, Atlanta, Alton (a small town in Illinois), St. Louis, and spent most of my summers in the Virgin Islands (hence why I’m an ocean lover). O’fallon, MO is where I now call home…and I frequently produce events in Atlanta. Want to Read More: Sineta’s Bio
Bride: Sineta Marie Events
Location: St John, US Virgin Islands
Wedding Planner: @islandblissweddings
Venue: Villa Cin Cin
Sailboat: @cimarronyachtcharter @sailgrace_stjohn
Wedding Gown: @watters
Brides Shoes: @jimmychoo @alamedaturquesa
Hair & Makeup: @sugarandspicesalon
Grooms Attire: @suitsupply @ferragamo
Son of Bride: @suitsupply @vans
Meet Sineta! (SIN-É-TUH) Owner +Event Planner + Designer