SOME PEOPLE LIKE TO JOKE?THAT WHEN
THEIR BOAT?FINALLY COMES IN,
THEY?LL BEAT THE AIRPORT. FOR AMANDA
LOSHBAUGH AND JOEY?HAMILTON,
THEIR BOAT CAME?IN RIGHT ON
TIME AND RIGHT?ON POINT.
The two met on January 6, 2013, on a boat trip from St. Thomas to St John. It was one of those perfect Caribbean days with brilliant blue skies, crystal clear azure seas, playful seagulls overhead, and the hint of a cool breeze. It was the kind of day when you just toss caution to the wind and go with the flow. Most days in the Virgin Islands are like that. Often the most pressing decisions in these laidback islands are where to eat and what beach to visit.
?The boat trip was organized by the Virgin Islands Rugby Team and I was invited to go along,? Amanda explained. ?Joey was a member of the team, so he was along for the trip. We didn?t talk too much on the boat ride. Joey was a bit shy, but once we got on land he was more relaxed. We learned that both of us had been living in the Virgin Islands for about four years and had a number of mutual friends. Over the next week we talked through Facebook. We had our first date a week later. It was, for both of us, indeed love at first sight.?
On January 5, 2014, almost one year later to the date of that first by-chance meeting, Joey arranged for another boat ride to St. John. Looking forward to a blissful, uneventful day on the water, Amanda wasn?t expecting any surprises. But before they got on the boat, right there on the dock, Joey got down on one knee and proposed.
?As soon as I said yes, many of our friends who had been hiding under the dock popped out to congratulate us. It really wasn?t until later I realized the pressure Joey must have been under. But there was never a chance I wouldn?t have said yes.?
Amanda and Joey did a lot of the wedding planning and coordinating themselves. ?We were living in the Virgin Islands, had gotten to know the area very well and we had a lot of local connections,? Amanda explained. ?We also wanted to keep it very simple and relaxed. My family is from Oregon and Joey?s family lives in upstate New York. The wedding would be the first time everyone met. Our aim was to let people mingle in a causal and stress free setting.?
In a beautiful ceremony at the St. Thomas Reformed Church, Amanda looking stunning in a long, strapless, white lace gown with sweetheart neckline, and Joey looking sharp in his grandfather?s tux, the two exchanged their vows. A group of 110 watching in awe were soon uttering ?aww.? Amanda?s sister Megan acted as maid of honor and Tony Rich was the best man. Fragrant flowers in white, coral, and pink, with lots of baby?s breath, accented the church.
?The flowers were wonderful and came from Springette Flowers,? Amanda said. ?The florist is a local woman who does all the church?s flowers. We told her what we wanted and then let her go with it. She did an amazing job. They were ideal.?
The couple selected the pool bar at the idyllic Bluebeard?s Beach Club for their reception. Located on 24 pristine acres of sandy beach in St. Thomas, the site oozed ease, simplicity, and paradise.
?We had a super-simple traditional barbeque by the pool,? Amanda shared. ?We had friends and family flying in from as far away as Germany and we wanted them to enjoy the Virgin Islands? casualness that Joey and I had come to love. We wanted people to circulate, jump in the pool, and just have a great time.?
Even the wedding cake suggested simplicity. The luscious three tier creation of chocolate, vanilla, and passion fruit was decorated with flowers and made by Holly of VI Desserts. The cake topping was two surfboards with a heart in between etched with Amanda and Joey?s initials.
Mike Garcia from Toes in the Sand Photography captured every moment. ?Mike was very impressive,? Amanda recalled. ?He had so much good energy, took charge, and organized everything. He met with us before the big day to get an idea of what we wanted and to understand the vibe we were after. He got some great goofy shots, as well as some intimate poses. He stayed way past what we had contracted him for and didn?t miss a thing. The pictures came out great. Mike was great. The whole wedding, in fact, was great. It was just so much fun having all the special and important people in our lives there to celebrate with us. That?s what we remember most.?
Amanda and Joey flew off to Jamaica for a week-long honeymoon and have since moved to Oregon. ?We have a 3-week-old baby girl named Lainey and we wanted to be close to family,? Amanda said. The couple plans to one day take Lainey to the Virgin Islands and show her where parents met and fell in love. A boat ride, no doubt, will be on that itinerary. – by Diane E. Alter