Some brides obsess about their dream dress. Others, their fairy-tale location. But when Jamie Baratta started planning her March 9, 2019, wedding to boyfriend Maurice Slade, she had a different focus. вЂњFor me, it was all about the music,вЂќ she says. вЂњThe music had to be bomb.вЂќ For anyone who knows the couple, this came as no surprise.
An up-and-coming young attorney in the music industry, Jamie did a stint at Def Jam Recordings before law school and now works with Cardi B and ASAP Rocky. Maurice, meanwhile, is a VP at Epic Records, an alum of Roc Nation, and cofounder of the hip-hop concert series Grits & Biscuits. So, naturally, one of the first duties Maurice took on once they chose Jamaica was to make an island-inspired playlist to send to their friends ahead of time. Bob Marley, Beenie Man, Sister Nancy, and, yes, even Musical Youth (who could forget вЂњPass the DutchieвЂќ?) all made the cut. вЂњWe wanted everyone to get into the spirit of the trip,вЂќ says Jamie.
The Los Angeles-based couple chose to keep the wedding intimate, with just 60 guests, so the storied Round Hill Hotel and Villas in Montego Bay-where John F. Kennedy and Jackie Kennedy often stayed-worked perfectly. Keep reading to see more of the couple's romantic, rock-solid celebration as planned by Alfred House Productions and captured by Jennifer Johnson.Photo by Jennifer Johnson
"We love to travel, ad throughout all of our traveling, neither of us had ever been to Jamaica," Jamie says. "We always felt such a strong connection to it because of its beautiful culture. The food, the music, the island lifestyle-it's just something we've always been drawn too."Photo by Jennifer Johnson
The couple took an elevated, modern approach to hosting a tropical destination wedding. This vision was evident in their chic invitation suite by Details Design Studio Co.Photo by Jennifer Johnson Photo by Jennifer Johnson
Following a casual welcome party at local jerk shack on Thursday night, Jamie and Maurice hosted a rehearsal dinner on the beach at Round Hill. Guests were asked to dress in white for the occasion.Photo by Jennifer Johnson Photo by Jennifer Johnson
The bride wore a simple halter-neck gown, yet put a twist on her look with statement pearl earrings and a high braid by friend and hairstylist Caile Noble.Photo by Jennifer Johnson Photo by Jennifer Johnson
The wedding was formal (вЂњJamie and Maurice did not want to get married barefoot in the sand,вЂќ says planner, Priyan Chan-draratna), but things were more casual the night before. Tables were set in the sand and topped with coconuts and shells.Photo by Jennifer Johnson Photo by Jennifer Johnson Photo by Jennifer Johnson
The bride's aesthetic of elegant minimalism was reflected at every turn, from her sliplike Vera Wang gown and opera-length gloves to her bouquet of perfect white tulips. "It's probably no surprise from my photos that Carolyn Bessette was my inspiration," she admits. Jamie added a bit of modernity to the look with custom heels by close friend Amina Muaddi. "Amina chose the Begum Slingback in PVC and engraved our initials on the sole," she says. "It's such a fairytale shoe!"Photo by Jennifer Johnson
вЂњA palette of bright colors is typical of tropical weddings,вЂќ says Jamie, who chose softer-toned Azeeza dresses for her bridal party. вЂњBut whites and neutrals felt much more me.вЂќPhoto by Jennifer Johnson Photo by Jennifer Johnson
The groom (who is six-foot-seven!) wore a custom suit and got ready with his nephew Micah Slade.Photo by Jennifer Johnson Photo by Jennifer Johnson
The ceremony was officiated by Maurice's father, Alzo Slade, an ordained minister, and was held on a stone deck overlooking the beach. вЂњIt let us keep a formal feeling to the ceremony,вЂќ says Jamie. Clear acrylic chairs added a glamorous modern touch.
The couple decided to read traditional vows rather than write our own. "This was one of the best decisions we made that way we had nothing to think about other than being present in the moment with each other," Jamie says. Along with vows, the couple had readings from Pablo Neruda, Maya Angelou, and Emily BrontГ« that вЂњembodied the love we have for one another,вЂќ says Jamie.Photo by Jennifer Johnson
At cocktail hour, guests enjoyed coconut shrimp, cracked conch, and jerk-roasted suckling pig along with clever signature drinks (like "Penny's Punch," named after Maurice's nickname for the bride).Photo by Jennifer Johnson Photo by Jennifer Johnson
Dinner took place under a grand tree on the venue's Hanover Terrace. "We knew we wanted the reception to be outside-nights times in Jamaica, especially in peak season, are so beautiful," says the bride. "The weather is so perfect you don't even need a shawl." Each table was decorated with an array of tropical foliage and white paper lanterns were hung in the foliage up above.Photo by Jennifer Johnson Photo by Jennifer Johnson
The music made the night truly memorable: Maurice's friend DJ Pedro Cavaliere played a dream set that spanned '90s hits, cur- rent hip-hop, salsa, and music from the вЂњDirty South.вЂќ Best of all was when Maurice, a lifelong OutKast fan, got down on his knees and serenaded his new bride to UGK's вЂњInternational Players Anthem,вЂќ backed up by all his groomsmen. Says Jamie, вЂњIt was pretty epic.вЂќ
This story originally appeared in the August/September 2019 issue of Brides, on sale beginning July 2.
Wedding Venue & Catering: Round Hill Hotel and Villas || Wedding Planning: Alfred House Productions || Bride's Dress: Vera Wang || Bride's Shoes: Amina Muaddi || Bride's Gloves: Dorothy Gaspar | Bride's Reception Dress: Galvan London || Bridesmaids' Dresses: Azeeza || Bride's Ring: Spinelli Kilcollin || Hair: Caile Noble || Makeup: Becca Janiah || Paper Products: Details Design Studio Co. || Calligraphy: Calligraphy Katrina || Entertainment: Pedro Cavaliere || Photography: Jennifer Johnson