It was her first day at a new job in Atlanta, and Vanessa Carnero noticed a cute guy on the elevator during her office tour with a coworker. “I said, ‘Who is that?’” Vanessa recalls. “And she said, ‘Oh, that’s Justin Boyle.’ And I said, ‘I need to know this Justin Boyle!’” They got to know each other very well during the following five years, leading up to a weekend in the Georgia mountains to celebrate a friend’s wedding. While walking along the beautiful lake behind their cabin, the couple sipped wine and hung back from the group. When Justin got down on one knee, a surprised Vanessa threw her wine glass in the air and instantly exclaimed, “Yes!” While making plans to keep the guest list short, talk about a destination wedding started. “Our friend’s family owns a place in Turks and Caicos and offered to let us have it there,” Vanessa says. “We decided to give everyone a two-year notice so they could save up and get vacation time.” All 70 guests who were invited attended the beach ceremony and reception at The Sands Resort. The drizzly morning delayed the procession a bit, but the sun came out as soon as Vanessa stepped onto the sand. She carried a fluffy bouquet of white hydrangeas and showcased calla lilies in the reception’s centerpieces as part of her white, silver, and blue color scheme. The guests and bridal party really bonded during the week-long celebration on the breathtaking island. “Everyone who you love is on one piece of land, and you’re constantly together,” Vanessa says with a laugh. “Everybody got to know each other and really became family.”

“I found this dress in an Atlanta boutique and fell in love with it,” Vanessa gushes of her Romona Keveza gown. She paired it with sparkling Jimmy Choo pumps.

Vanessa Carnero and Justin Boyle - WHIRL Real Weddings

Since you can’t visit the location until the wedding, the destination wedding’s outcome really depends on the wedding planner and faith. Vanessa recommends finding one on the island who knows everyone to make everything easier. They worked with Teresa Brunner of Tropical Destination Management Company.

Vanessa Carnero and Justin Boyle - WHIRL Real Weddings

“Sometimes, weddings are just words and then a party,” Vanessa says. “You really see the commitment and passion when you know the bride and groom closely. That’s why we only wanted people who truly loved us as a couple there.”

Vanessa Carnero and Justin Boyle - WHIRL Real Weddings

“Baby, I Want You” by Amos Lee played while Vanessa and Justin shared their first dance.

Vanessa Carnero and Justin Boyle - WHIRL Real Weddings

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