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Carnival Liberty Eastern Caribbean Wedding


Erica and Al's Carnival Cruise Wedding

Erica and Al were wed on April 3, 2012. 


Erica, username acireta, used the BDW Community to bring her destination wedding to life.  


Erica gives back to the BDW Community as she kindly shares the details of her perfect day in an interview below. 



 Wedding Profile

The Bride


Erica Taffs

The Groom


Al Kruse



Downers Grove, IL

Wedding Date


April 3, 2012

Wedding Locations


Shoreside wedding during Carnival Liberty Eastern Caribbean cruise


Ceremony at Limetree Beach, St. Thomas, USVI;


Reception at Iggie’s Beach Bar, Bolongo Bay Beach Resort, St. Thomas, USVI.









Why did you choose to have a destination wedding?


We both have huge families and have been to a lot of local weddings in the past few years, so we chose a destination wedding to keep costs down and to try something a little different from other family weddings. Having our wedding during a Caribbean cruise was the best option for us to (affordable) get to see a lot of places in a short amount of time with lots of things to see and try!


Why did you choose your location?


When we had been dating for a few months, we started joking about how someday we’d get married on St. Thomas. “St. Thomas” became a secret phrase for us that we would say when we wanted to secretly communicate with each other, often when someone would ask us about our future plans for getting married. When the time came to plan, we decided we wanted to do a cruise that stopped on St. Thomas instead of spending a week on the island.


When it came time to choose a ceremony location, we wanted a quiet private beach, and Limetree Beach fit the bill perfectly – shade, sand, privacy, affordable site fee. We wanted a very casual venue for the reception, a place where we could spend plenty of time with our guests, especially those that weren’t cruising with us. Iggie’s Beach Bar at Bolongo Bay Resort was a perfect fit for us. Guests ordered what they wanted off the menu, they set aside a whole open-air area of the restaurant for us and let us stay all day, the service was relaxed but attentive and quick, and the food was delicious!




What were your wedding colors and/or theme?  

Our colors were Malibu blue, black and white. We wanted a minimalistic feel, with plenty of beach and tropical elements thrown in. We used palm trees on our monogram and stationery.


Every wedding is special in its own right.  What made your wedding unique?


I did a TON of DIY stuff for our wedding – budgets, checklists, monograms, invitations, OOT bags, bouquets, boutonnieres, ceremony details. I obsessed over details for 15 months, but on the wedding day, I was able to sit back, relax and just let everything happen. It was a perfect day!

Throughout the whole planning process, Al was wonderful and supportive. If there was something he felt strongly about, he spoke up. I ran everything by him all the time to make sure we were on the same page with our vision of the wedding. In the end, it truly was OUR wedding, not MY wedding, which was very important to me from the beginning.


One of the major challenges of putting together a destination wedding is finding and working with your ideal vendors from afar.  What wedding vendors did you use to put together this spectacular wedding?



Travel Agent – Patty Jordan (aka TA Patty), Wright Travel Agency


Wedding Coordinator – Janelle Scott of Island Bliss Weddings

Officiant – Stuart Scott

Photographer – Eric Johnson of Paradise Pictures

Ceremony Location – Limetree Beach

Lunch Reception Venue – Iggie’s Beach Bar at Bolongo Bay Beach Resort

Wedding Dress – Enzoani “Fabi”

Clutch – David’s Bridal

Jewelry – Etsy seller ElegantChicJewels

Hair flower – Etsy seller EnchantedlyYours

Groom’s and Groomsmen’s shirt – Kohl’s

Groom’s and Groomsmen’s pants – Old Navy

Bridesmaids’ dresses – David’s Bridal

Ring shell – Hanson Ellis

Rings – Michael Hill Jewelers



You were an active member of BDW and created some great content. Could you please summarize (with hyperlinks) some of your best work for us?


Erica's Wedding Planning Journal


Erica & Al's Wedding and At-Home-Reception Pics


Erica's DIY Boarding Pass Invitations for Cruise Weddings                   






DIY Pre-Trip Package: Passport, Packing List & Luggage Tags























Erica's OOT Bags













Your Wedding was absolutely beautiful!  Your posts and reviews will be extremely helpful to our new brides.  Thank you for sharing your special day with us at BDW.


Dear members, if you planned your wedding with the help of our community we would love to hear from you. Contact us at admin@BestDestinationWedding.com if you are interested in sharing your wedding experience with us.  For more information here is the "BDW Real Weddings | Featured Wedding Submission Information Thread"



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Guest Arch713


Erica - I have stated this before - but your wedding is truly one of the best examples I have seen! As a future cruise bride, I only hope mine is as beautiful as yours was. Thank you so much for sharing all of your tips, tricks and pictures!


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Guest acireta


Thanks, Arch! I can't wait to see your posts as your planning comes along.

Thank you so much for posting, Tammy! Such amazing memories...


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Guest Hopesgate23



I love your all of your wedding planning and details. I am actually from St. Croix U.S.V.I. and plan on have a cruise wedding in St. Thomas. I thank God that you created this and took the time and effort to share you special day with the world. I am on a very strict budget and not as creative as you are but you have made this wedding planning easier for me. I look forward to this journey with my soldier Ricardo. Thanks again for all the details! Your day looked PERFECT!


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