2015 St. Croix Caribbean Wedding Expo

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By Denise Bennerson

On January 25, 2015 the St. Croix Caribbean Wedding Expo was held at the Sunshine Mall in St. Croix, US Virgin Islands. What a journey! It was Grand! Participants included Brides and Grooms to be, TV’s TLC Celebrities Chef Dana Herbert, owner of Desserts by Dana, winner of Cake Boss: Next Great Baker and Sandy Malone wedding planner, owner of Weddings in Vieques and reality star on Wedding Island. They were wonderful!

Chef Dana Herbert arrived early on island to prepare one of his wonderful wedding cakes for the St. Croix Caribbean Wedding Expo along with his assistant Robert Self. He shared his knowledge and skills with students at CTEC, St. Croix Career and Technical Education Center and their company Good to chew Catering Co. Chef Anton Doos III was instrumental in sharing their facility and preparing at the St. Croix Educational Complex.

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A VIP Reception was held on Friday, January 23, 2015 at the Frederiksted Hotel, located on the beautiful waterfront in Frederiksted. Activities started with the viewing a beautiful Sunset, music by DJ Swain and cultural entertainment by Ay-Ay Cultural Dance Company dancing Quadrille. The setting provided a wonderful means to meet and greet and start the weekend. Dana Herbert and Sandy Malone enjoyed and were given gift baskets.

On Saturday, January 24, 2015 Sandy Malone presented a seminar on, “Becoming a Successful Destination Wedding Planner” at Barry University in Sunshine Mall. Her advice was to start blogging and use the social media to get the word out about their business. She also informed attendees to get paid in advance. Sandy warned them about referring and bad mouthing their vendors. In addition, they should get photographs of all their events.

On Sunday, January 25, 2015 the St. Croix Caribbean Wedding Expo was held in spacious Sunshine Mall. All reviews indicate it was grand. The brides and grooms registered and enjoyed meeting the Exhibitors and Sunshine Mall Stores while getting their Bridal Passport Signed. The grooms
enjoyed their Man Cave furnished by Dial Rent to Own.

The Bride Cake Dive was fun for all four brides while wearing aprons and gloves as they dashed into the wedding cake made by Sweet Bites to find the garter to win prizes.

The St. Croix Caribbean Wedding Expo winners were:

Wedding Cake Competition – De Cake Man, Keith James

Tabletop Design Competition  – Cruzan Affair, LLC, Candise Cooke & Carlyn Bideau

Bride Cake Dive Winner – Aida Almestica

Best Decorated Booth -Je T’aime Decor, Lisa Lucien

Bridal Passport Winner – Lisa Ambrose

Honorable mention to Bradley Christian for his contribution of a gorgeous Hibiscus Flower Arrangement for display.

Chef Dana Herbert displayed his elegant and flavorsome wedding cake. There were many local and U.S. mainland wedding professionals showcasing and selling their products and services including Budget Car Rental’s stunning 2015 Ford Taurus car on display, a Food Court and a spectacular Fashion Show coordinated by Cyndee Frontal. Fashion Designers and bridal stores were Sakuri Bridal, Yemaya’s Color Improvisations, Delia Anderson, House Of Ettienne, Eagles Fashion, African Kraal Fashions, Jane’s Bridal with sophisticated models from Cyndee’s Models in the Isle and JG Management. Both Masters Ceremonies Terrance D. Joseph and Annamaria Heyliger-Hector kept the crowd entertained by presenting various performers and raffle winners. Everyone enjoyed the decor in Sunshine Mall by decorators Wanda Beresford, owner Le Jolie and Tamika Gant, owner Creations 4 Celebrations.

We would like to thank everyone on and off island for their support. In addition, we would like to give kudos to the hard working committee members who helped champion forward the St. Croix Caribbean Wedding Expo event. Their suggestions and contributions were very much appreciated.
We send a special thanks to Randy S. Germain for his continuous and tireless contributions and support.

In addition we tremendously thank our sponsors:

Homeland Collections Portrait Gallery
Sunshine Mall
Teddy’s
Frederiksted Hotel
Budget Car Rental
Lydia Moolenaar Enterprises
Integrity Women In Business Center
Dial Rent to Own
Ashley Furniture HomeStore
Sweet Bites
Caribe360.com
Barry University
West Indies Corporation

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Photos courtesy of Denise Bennerson:
2-  Beautiful Cake for the Bride Cake Dive made by Sweet Bites.
6- Chef Dana Herbert proudly glowing next to his beautiful and delicious wedding cake.
8- Honorable Mention- Bradley Christian’s Hibiscus Flower Arrangement designed and displayed by him.

Photos courtesy of Charles Peters:
1- Dana Herbert, Sandy Malone and Denise Bennerson enjoying a moment at the St. Croix Caribbean Wedding Expo VIP Reception at Frederiksted Hotel.
3- The four brides that participated in the Bride Cake Dive – ready for action with aprons and gloves!
4- This is the winner of the Best Decorated Booth by Lisa Lucien, Je T’aime Decor.
5- Winner Lisa Lucien receiving Best Decorated Booth certificate from Denise Bennerson.
7- Winner Keith James making acceptance speech after receiving Caribbean Wedding Cake Competition certificate.
9- Winners Carlyn Bideau speaking and Candise Cooke of Cruzan Affair, LLC after receiving Caribbean Tabletop Design Competition certificate.

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