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Weddings

Paradise Planning

St John, VI View map
2022 Couples' Choice Awards Winner
4.9 out of 5 rating
117 reviews

About

2022 Couples' Choice Awards Winner

Michelle (Fage) Cawthron is a wedding planner specializing in destination weddings in St John, USVI. Before coming to the island, she spent eight years in Los Angeles as an event coordinator for ASA Events and ESPN’s X Games and ESPY Awards. She is currently the owner of Paradise Planning in the Virgin Islands, with over close to 200 weddings in her body of work.

Michelle received her Bachelors of Business Administration, with a concentration in Management, from Russell Sage College in Troy, NY, and then moved to the west coast where she became involved in the world of entertainment event planning.

In early 2011, after eight years in Los Angeles, a change was in order. Michelle chose the island life and moved to St John, USVI, where she began working for local wedding planners. It quickly became clear to Michelle that her background in celebrity events gave her a unique perspective on event planning, and in 2012 she started Paradise Planning based on this simple tenet:

“You have a vision for your wedding or special event, and the responsibility of Paradise Planning is to do everything in our power to realize that vision”.

Michelle’s experience with large-scale luxury events, stateside weddings, and destination weddings leaves her uniquely qualified to design and create an event that meets and exceeds your expectations.

Contact Michelle today at Michelle@ParadisePlanningUSVI.com or (310) 968-3789.

  • Woman-owned

Frequently Asked Questions

Do you offer an hourly rate?

No

What wedding events do you provide services for?

Ceremony
Reception
Rehearsal Dinner

What wedding planning services do you offer?

Budget Analysis
Day-of Coordination
Event Design
Full Planning
Partial Planning
Timelines
To-Do Lists
Vendor Referrals

What weddings do you have experience planning?

Civil
Cultural
Destination
Double Weddings
Elopement
Eco-Friendly
Military
Non-Religious
Religious

How many planners are on your team?

1
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Any other questions?

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117 Reviews

Write a review
Rated
4.9
out of 5.0
Recommended by 98% of couples
  • Quality of service
    4.9 out of 5 rating
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    4.9 out of 5 rating

57 User photos

  • Elizabeth
    Elizabeth C. Married on 07/23/2022
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    Paradise Planning = Paradise Wedding

    If you are thinking of having a Destination wedding on St John I advise you to book Michelle Cawthron and Paradise Planning as soon as you know your bride's wedding date. I can not recommend her highly enough. Planning a wedding on a ST John is VERY difficult to plan by yourself from afar. Michelle has established relationships with all the top island vendors, from caterers , florists, photographers and bakers, chair rentals and musicians and more... Trust me when I say... Do not try to plan a ST John wedding without her help. Michelle is extremely organized and professional as well as fun and friendly to work with. My daughter got married on St John last weekend and Michelle handled every detail so that my husband and I could just show up to the wedding and enjoy every minute of our daughter's and now son in laws wedding without worrying...Would the chairs being ferried over from St Thomas make it on time?What barge would they be on? Would the flowers and bouquet be beautiful? Would the wedding venue be set up as hoped for? Yes yes and YES! Whether you are desiring a small beach wedding or a villa wedding or a restaurant/bigger venue wedding...Michelle can do it all and tailor your vision into the beautiful, stress free Caribbean wedding that you will not be able to do on your own from off island. The absolute BEST decision I made after my daughter got engaged and wanted a ST John wedding was to hire Michelle Cawthron and Paradise Planning to manage her wedding. On day of wedding, Michelle managed the set up of the wedding site (a bigger island wedding of 150+), the chair delivery and set up, the caterers, flower delivery, cake delivery and set up and so much more. She made sure the ceremony and toasts and first dances were paced in a timely manner and the caterer started food serving at the right time so that everything felt smooth and seamless and not forced or rushed. She even gathered up all the gifts and put them in my car. I literally did not have to worry about one thing "Day Of" except experience the joy of my daughter's wedding. Paradise Planning/Michelle Cawthron is your answer to a stress free, beautiful ST John wedding.
  • Erika
    Erika K. Married on 04/23/2022
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    Flawless Execution

    Had I been left to my own devices - there is no way that I could have pulled off a 160+ person wedding in St. Thomas in just over five months! Hiring Michelle and the team at Paradise Planning was the best decision I made, other than marrying my husband, of course ;). This woman is an organizational dynamo. Shortly after our first meeting, I emailed her a list of suggested vendors and a bunch of Pinterest pictures and said "This is what I would like! Can you get this done in 5 months?" Michelle nailed every single detail utilizing a wide network of fantastic and professional vendors who all made sure that our wedding weekend was perfect. I don't know who else could have managed to get 100 off-island guests from 7 different hotels and resorts to 4 different venues over the course of the weekend. Her attention to detail ensured that the wedding venue looked exactly as I had imagined it. But it's not just Michelle's flawless execution that earns her my highest recommendation - it was also her intuitive nature - knowing when I needed a nudge in the right direction when making decisions, knowing how to bring my stress levels down and making sure that I enjoyed every single minute of every event. Everyone in attendance raved about our wedding - and that is due in large part to all of the work Michelle and the Paradise Planning team put into it. I am so grateful that I was able to work with her and benefit from her expertise.

    Paradise Planning's reply:

    Thank you for your words, Erika! Your wedding was so special and I was truly honored to be a part of it.
  • Madeline
    Madeline S. Married on 03/12/2022
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    A truly wonderful wedding planning experience

    Paradise Planning (& Michelle Cawthron specifically) helped my husband and I host our dream wedding weekend in St. John, USVI in March of 2022. First and foremost, when it came to planning a destination wedding, I knew it would be crucial to hire a wedding planner that knew the island of St. John and the vendors we would most likely be working with - after meeting with a few potential planners, my husband and I decided to move forward working with Michelle because of her kindness, confidence, and knowledge in the planning process.

    Michelle listened to our wedding wants and needs and spent time understanding our vision and goals for the wedding weekend. Planning a destination wedding during the peak of COVID was not an easy task, but Michelle guided us through the entire process and made us feel informed on all of our options and potential roadblocks we could face down the road due to changing government regulations. Her communication process is wonderful - she is extremely responsive with emails, communicates her availability and working hours to all brides and grooms, and was always prepared for our planning calls which made each one extremely productive!

    Michelle's knowledge of vendors (which I believe are the best of the best) in the USVI was also an amazing benefit of having her as our wedding planner. She was always in communication with vendors on our behalf to secure dates, planned & communicated with vendors wedding changes and updates, and also ensured my husband & I were introduced and connected to vendors prior to our wedding weekend. There are only so many vendors on St. John that are able to accommodate larger destination weddings, and Michelle was able to ensure we had the best booked for our wedding.

    Paradise Planning & Michelle's talent as a wedding planner truly shone on our wedding weekend. My husband and I felt extremely informed and calm leading up to wedding weekend, all thanks to Michelle's amazing communication and how organized and prepared she was for all of our events. Most importantly, me and my husband did not have to worry about a single thing on our wedding day, besides enjoying all of the love and moments with friends and family. Michelle facilitated the wedding day from start to finish, and everything went flawlessly thanks to her hard work. She expertly handled all vendors, ensured set-up was executed exactly to our vision, managed all transportation needs, kept the entire day moving timely, and truly took care of everything which allowed my husband and I to just enjoy our newlywed bliss.

    It is hard to put into words how valuable Paradise Planning was to our wedding weekend, but it truly was the best weekend of our lives. For any bride or groom looking for the best St. John/St. Thomas/USVI wedding planner, I sincerely recommend Paradise Planning. Working with Michelle was such a wonderful experience, and our wedding weekend is truly a testament to how much she cares about her clients and the effort she puts forth to ensure everything is as perfect as can be.
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Awards

  • 117
  • WeddingWire Couples' Choice Awards 2022 Winner
  • WeddingWire Couples' Choice Awards 2021 Winner
  • WeddingWire Couples' Choice Awards 2020 Winner
  • WeddingWire Couples' Choice Awards 2019 Winner
  • WeddingWire Couples' Choice Awards 2018 Winner
  • WeddingWire Couples' Choice Awards 2017 Winner
  • WeddingWire Couples' Choice Awards 2016 Winner
  • WeddingWire Couples' Choice Awards 2015 Winner
  • WeddingWire Couples' Choice Awards 2014 Winner

Real Weddings

  • Danny & Meryl
    18 photos · 04/24/2016

Professional Network & Endorsements

3 Endorsements
St. John Catering and Mathayom Private Chefs St. John Catering and Mathayom Private Chefs Wedding Caterers

Michelle is super friendly and organized. She has a great knowledge of the islands and is easy to work with.

kataram studios kataram studios Wedding Photographers

has a special way of allowing her clients to have an amazing experience on the tropical wedding paradie start to end

STJ Creative Photography STJ Creative Photography Wedding Photographers

‘Ridiculously efficient’ is the phrase that comes to mind when I think about Michelle. Our peer/co-worker relationship started last year, and I cannot wait to see what this year has ins tore for our collaboration efforts. We even have a secret meeting spot for coffee that has THE best view of the island anyone could imagine. But we won't tell, so don't ask! :) Michelle is just the sweetest thing, always aiming to please while being efficient at the same time. Any bride, and photographer for that matter, would be so lucky to have Michelle as his/her planner. You rock dear! Best, Anne, STJ Creative Photography

Map

PO Box 37 St John, 00831
3109683789
Location of (Paradise Planning)

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