Lilianne Braun & Albert Douer
January 13, 2020. St. Barthelemy
A Dreamy Destination Elopement in Saint Barthelemy
Lilianne Braun and Albert Douer were introduced through a mutual friend, and the two spoke on the phone for the first time when Albert was out of town. They met in person three weeks later, but their first date was “not a hit” for Lily, as she didn’t envision herself in a long distance relationship.
“He was very persistent and soon we fell in love,” she shares. “The distance did not matter as much; we just had to get creative in planning our time together. Five years later on my birthday, Albert jokingly gave me a birthday gift that had arrived in an Amazon box. (He orders just about everything on Amazon.) I opened the box to find a few more boxes within, and finally got to the smallest box with a ring inside. He got down on bended knee to propose. He took me completely by surprise!”
After being engaged for three years, the couple started brainstorming how they could make their dreams of an intimate wedding come true, when there were hundreds of people who they’d love to include on the guest list. “Can you imagine how great it would be if we can just plan it and have a wedding for the two of us?” they mused. The couple then looked at each other with a, “Let’s do it!” and decided to plan a beautiful destination elopement in Saint Barthelemy, just as if all their guests were coming – but it would only be for them.
“The next morning, I called the only person that I knew could make this dream wedding happen,” Lily describes, referring to Jassi Lekach Antebi. “We made an appointment and met soon after. The meeting went great and it started with something like this: ‘I want you to help me plan my wedding; we want the most beautiful wedding with everything that you dream of.’ She had her beautiful smile as always and asked, ‘How many people do you expect?’ I said two. She paused and said, ‘How many guests, I mean?’ I said two. She was puzzled and I said, ‘We want a beautiful wedding as if everyone is coming. Imagine 1,000 people coming to this wedding!’”
Of course, Jassi didn’t miss a beat during the wedding planning process. Everything, from the dress, to the Rabbi, to the photographer and glam squad was in place. Lily and Albert’s destination elopement in St. Barthelemy was set in a private villa at Le Sereno, with breathtaking views of the mountains, ocean, and sailboats.
“We never told anyone besides our immediate family,” Lily shares. “We wanted to keep it a secret. I got to St. Barths on the 11 of January. I made sure to have a nice dinner, a glass of wine, and a relaxed massage. Albert got there the following day. Jassi and the rest of the crew got to Saint Barth the same day as Albert. Albert had his room and I had mine. We didn’t see each other at all. We made sure not to cross each other. We communicated on the phone. That night we all had dinner with the exception of Albert and the Rabbi. They had dinner on their own to make sure we didn’t see each other. At dinner I wanted to get to know everyone a little more, and it turned out to be a great night. The wedding was the next day and Albert and I weren’t going to see each other until the moment I walked down the aisle.”
At 7 a.m. on the big day, flowers were already being arranged, sound checks were being made for the ceremony, and the bride’s makeup artist and hairdresser arrived at her room at 11 a.m. Before she knew it, Lily was making her way down an aisle filled with beautiful white orchids, towards Albert who was waiting for her under the chuppah.
“It was my moment,” the bride reflects. “There he was, looking at me from afar – we were really doing this, eight years after we met! I can honestly say, it was the most beautiful moment, feeling, and dream. When we met in the middle of the aisle and we looked at each other, we both had tears in our eyes. The ceremony was so special and beautiful. Every detail was perfect. Jassi made me feel like the most special bride through the planning, during the wedding, and after.”
After cocktails and canapes, the newlyweds enjoyed a leisurely, hour-long photo and video session. When they were finished, they returned to the villa for a specially catered wedding dinner, along with a DJ and live saxophonist who played their favorite tunes. To make their destination elopement even more perfect, their first dance took place under the stars of St. Barthelemy’s night sky.
“The night was incredible, special, and with no detail left out,” says Lily. “We had our custom menus printed and flowers and candles all over the table. This wedding was better than a dream. Jassi is beyond special – the most enthusiastic, perfectionist, and stress-free person. A loving human being with a heart of gold that happens to be the best planner. I wouldn't change one thing!”
>Written By: Lauren Malamala