VdV Accessories for the Destination Bride

Admittedly, the best accessory any bride can wear is her smile – a natural creative design crafter by the highest power. Oftentimes, the genuine smile is the direct reflection of the happiness of the bride. She is truly her happiest when she feels most comfortable in her own image. This could mean donning some jewelry, a fancy veil or adding simple but luxurious pieces to her outfit.

(Pearl Hair Comb by VdV Accessories)

(Sequins and Lace Bra by VdV Accessories)

The destination bride also accessorizes her look. In Trinidad, there are several bridal accessory designers who maintain distinct aesthetics and are exceptional in the quality of the work they deliver. Darcel de Vlugt of Van der Vlugt, recently unveiled more of the VdV accessories she has been working on by creating a separate social media presence for the pieces. Island brides are now swooning over VdV accessories, which are quickly becoming “must have” pieces when it comes to the finishing bridal touch.

(Fresh Water Pearl Hair Pins by VdV Accessories)

( Pearl Hair Comb by VdV Accessories )

The VdV brand has always been closely linked to the designer’s own story. More than just a designer, de Vlugt sees herself as a creative, having served in the role as Editor-in-Chief for CFstyle.com as well as Fashion Editor for teenage lifestyle magazine AmPassion Teen.  A professionally trained dancer from a young age, she chose to study art and fashion after a sports injury rendered a career in dance unlikely. However, she completed her dance studies past A level standard to attain her Associate diploma in Modern Theatre Jazz – making her qualified to teach dance – at just 18 years old. She has been a freelance writer for many years, writing for media publications around the world on fashion and lifestyle, as well as freelance ghost writing and a published poet and short story writer. While these creative undertakings have helped to define the woman that she is, Darcel is also very well known for her work as an ambassador for Vitiligo, a skin condition she has had since she was five years old.

( Swarovski Crystal Crown by VdV Accessories)

(Custom Swarovski and Pearl Waistband by VdV Accessories)

A graduate of the London College of Fashion, University of the Arts, London with a BA in Fashion Design Technology (Women), Darcel debuted her first post-graduation collection at the Islands of the World Fashion Week in Nassau, the Bahamas in late 2008, returning the year after to win the Next Generation Designer Award with her second collection. Deciding to venture into the bridal realm in 2013, she empathizes with the great lengths brides go to in order to look and feel their best, during what can be a very testing and fragile time. This, she says, come from her own life journey with regards to beauty and strength, both inner and outer. She considers herself to be a “world citizen”, having lived in Israel, Syria, Cyprus and England throughout her life and travelling extensively beyond that. She speaks four languages, including Greek fluently, and has a strong understanding and appreciation for various cultures, countries, languages and all the adjustments necessary when moving from one place to the next; something a destination bride will definitely benefit from. Her experiences around the world have definitely contributed to the unique aesthetic of the VdV brand, including her accessories, which are designed to evoke “a moment of fantasy and inspiration through the noise of the norm.”

( Swarovski Body Jewelry Cover Up by VdV Accessories)

( Swarovski Body Jewelry Cover Up by VdV Accessories)

The designer operates a one woman show from conception to consultation to execution, exercising her skills in pattern making, fitting, sewing, hand stitching and particularly beading and lace embellishment, which she has become known for. The range of body chains, hair combs, bandeaus, hair pins, veils, crowns, bridal belts and other pieces for bridal and special occasion is created using fine materials like genuine Swarovski crystals and pearls, silk and handmade imported lace.  She prides herself on not being conventional with the designs that are 100% her own, and pushing brides to consider less traditional options, particularly in the Caribbean where wedding traditions are still heavily embedded in the culture.

(Bird Cage Veil by VdV Accessories)

(Lace and Feather Headpiece by VdV Accessories)

“My best work has always been the original, non-traditional work that the bride trusts me to create for her; the work that is most me,” she says. Darcel designs with a whimsical touch of fantasy, shown in her runway work over the years. Since moving into bridal, old vintage glamour is also one of her biggest inspirations, most evident in the VdV accessories. The unconventional bride can definitely incorporate these far from spurious pieces into her attire, both for her special day and beyond. Even for the simple bride who may not subscribe to the “glitterati”, a touch, a sparkle from VdV Accessories is the perfect way to bask in a slice of bridal heaven.

( Veil, Dress and Hair Piece by VdV Accessories)

( Cathedral Veil by VdV Accessories)

Overall styling advice and other services for both the bride and her bridal party are available from the designer, who has found over the years that there is never a dull moment in the bridal world, with the most unusual requests constantly coming her way. One of her favourite projects to undertake is customization of gowns for the bride or bridesmaids, by taking something pre-purchased and transforming it using the VdV aesthetic into something new and original for its owner. She also believes in repurposing the bridal gown, having transformed her clients’ gowns into christening gowns when baby comes along and other items for the bride after the wedding. Having created her own daughter’s christening gown from a mix of her mother’s wedding dress and her First Communion dress, Darcel is also quite passionate about bringing luxury to the little ladies, continuing with her story.

(Pear and Crystal for Sienna Bandeau by VdV Accessories)

( Bridal Pouch with Lace and Pearl details by VdV Accessories)

Bridal season is in full swing so if you assume that this designer has her hands full, you are correct. Nonetheless, VdV accessories are available and made to order, either from previous designs or custom. Inspired destination brides can even collaborate with the designer to create gifts for the bridal party; a simple pearl necklace may be the perfect finishing touch presented as a bridal show gift to the maid of honour or bridesmaids. My advice is to get in touch and book a consultation as soon as possible, as time is definitely of the essence. Brides are able to pick up their pieces in studio, or have them delivered, even shipped internationally, so destination brides can definitely rest easy when it comes to their accessories.

( Vintage Hair Comb by VdV Accessories)(Swarovski and Pearl Dynasty Hair Comb by VdV Accessories)

I previously mentioned Darcel operating all aspects of her business. She is a major player in our fashion industry, both home and abroad. However, she contributes more than her fashion expertise, by increasing the marketability of destination Trinidad & Tobago to those brides who have the glitz and glamour of a VdV accessory in their trousseau and ever after. Mostly, purchases of VdV accessories make a profound statement – the destination bride stand to support a talented young woman who is a mother and a creative, who, despite medical challenges and life obstacles, has accepted herself and stands to be a beacon of hope for those women facing struggles but who also dare to dream and rise above them. This is the story behind her brand, and the story of the women she encounters. There is little doubt that as a bride who spends time with this designer, you will be inspired by more than the accessories she creates for you; you will be inspired by the value of her journey and the ability to move fearlessly into the next chapter of your own story.

Instagram:  www.instagram.com/VDV_Accessories

House of VDV Studio:  Central Trinidad

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/houseofvdv/

Blogspot: http://houseofvdv.blogspot.com/

Email: houseofvdv@gmail.com








Laura and Veer's Love is in the Tropical Chic Air

After a nine year relationship Veer Lakhan- Joseph proposed on April 18th 2016 to Laura Narayansingh, local architect ( to view more on Laura’s work visit http://lauranarayansingh.com/ ) . Of course Laura said yes to her longtime sweetheart. Notwithstanding her creative spirit soared into ethereal bliss as she immediately dove into the creative design process for her designer wedding with her fiancé in tow!

The Rings:

The engagement was a complete surprise. She had no idea that Veer was planning to propose to her nor did she know that her best friend, an architect Amanda Bonvecchio was consulted by Veer to design her engagement ring. Amanda’s work can be viewed at http://www.amandabonvecchio.com/  .

Mapping the Wedding

The couple decided that if they were to describe the personality characteristics of their relationship they would earmark the words fun, light, playful and magical. They kept these key elements consistent and as a guide for every phase of the wedding.

Laura & Veer’s Wedding Theme: “Love is in the Tropical Chic Air”

This couple’s wedding was sculpted at the backdrop of the natural beauty of this island paradise. The couple chose a theme that best surmised their relationship. It was as though one were to look back on the wedding day one should be able to identify that they experienced what love is in the tropical chic air of Trinidad.

The date was set for Saturday 18th February 2017 (the Saturday before Carnival Saturday)


After deciding on their design concept Laura consulted her cousin, artist Daniel O’ Brien to do an invitation suite post for the wedding. Each illustration in this suite was designed to be released in different phases for the wedding. It was Laura’s intention to bring to life each illustration at her wedding: The RSVP Card for the church, Details Card for the stage/ dance floor, the Invitation for reception dining and the  Save the Date for the  dessert station.

Save the Date Card

Illustrated by Daniel O Brien


RSVP Card, Invitation Card, Details Card

Illustrated by Daniel O’ Brien

The Wedding Dress:

Laura is in love with silk. Her mother wore silk on her wedding day so it was natural that Laura wanted her wedding dress to be made from silk. Laura is a huge Berta dress fan girl and her heart was set on saying yes to at least one Berta dress but fate intervened and sent Laura in another creative direction. Laura stumbled upon ostrich feather lace by Sposabella Lace at a fabric store whilst dress shopping in New York City. Needless to say the trip ended in Laura purchasing all her fabric there. Laura began to sketch her wedding dress. She designed a cape for her dress because she wanted her own wings. She also wanted to create an illusion of floating. She approached Nissa Hanooman of The Little Black Dress TT for design consultation on the dress. The dress was sewn by Sharmela Persad, seamstress from San Fernando. Her crown was bought at Ilmes by Anna Sabga and gifted to Laura. Her mother also wore a similar headpiece. Laura marveled at the idea that she would be creating a memory in the likeness of her mother’s image. Laura’s wedding change outfit was designed by Nissa Hanooman and sewn by Timothy Chin Fat.

Laura in  her wedding dress with crown and bouquet

Photo Credit: Julie Charlet

Laura tossing the bouquet in her wedding change outfit

The Groom’s Attire:

Veer wore a tuxedo by Ainsley in Long Circular Mall. He opted for his outfit in navy blue and black.

Veer in his tuxedo with his newly wed bride

Photo Credit: Julie Charlet

The Groomsmen:

The groomsmen wore navy blue suits from Zara with rose boutonnieres by Drew Manor Flower Bar.

The Ring-Bearers:

These toddlers donned matching hues to the groom’s outfit. Their attire included suspenders, trousers, white shirts, sunglasses and bow ties. They were  James Bond “minis” who saved the day. They safely escorted the rings under tight security.

The ring-bearers delivering the ring package safely

Photo Credit: Nicco Quiñones

The Bridesmaids:

White was chosen as the colour for the bridesmaids. Laura felt this was a timeless look. They all wore the same dress silhouette and these were bought at Misguided.com for USD$40 each.

The pretty bridesmaids all in two rows with their bridal bouquets

Photo Credit:  Groomsman


The Wedding Cake was designed by Jaime Gerard. This cake connoisseur was chosen by the couple because they knew her sugar artistry game was quite strong. They also felt that she would have been able to achieve the whimsical and fantasy elements of  the wedding; installing  3 dimensional balloons on the cake without distracting from their classic “Love is in the Tropical Chic Air” theme. Visit http://www.jaimegerardcake.com/ to view more of her work.

Cake by Jaimie Gerard

Photo Credit: Jaimie Gerard


Julie Charlet was booked by Laura because of her impeccable creative direction and vision for snapping special moments and her ability to capture and edit those surreal vibes. However due to unforeseen circumstances Samantha Jackson filled in for Julie on the “big day”.  Go to https://www.samjacksonphotos.com/ to reach Samantha. Notwithstanding Julie still put her magic touch on the photographs with her editing. The pictures above with the watermark “Julie” are samples of her work in photography editing. Go to http://www.juliecharlett.com/ to view more of Julie’s work.

Wedding Planner:

Tricia Ng ‘A’ Mann  was hired as the designated wedding planner for Laura and Veer. They noted that she saved them thousands of dollars. Her ability to micromanage and coordinate vendors for the wedding was incredible.

Rate: The couple highly recommends Tricia.

Laura’s Wedding Planning Tips

Laura does not consider herself  as a traditional nor an unconventional  bride. She reserves that she just flows with her instincts undisturbed. Her mantra for planning on a budget, “where there is a will there is a way”. She noted that they were able to save on décor by sourcing and supplying some things on their own such as umbrellas and balloons. She further added that they decided to go with foliage rather than flowers for the table settings. Laura surprised her groom with a “shot for shots” drink station. Her Maid of Honour organized this element of the event. She borrowed a football goal post, footballs and set up the station with shot glasses and more than sufficient tequila and punchy punch for guests to refill.

Ceremony Location:

The Church of Assumption in Maraval was chosen for the wedding ceremony.

The Church of Assumption in Maraval

Reception Location:

The couple used the Drew Manor’s field as their blank canvas to stage their wedding reception. It was the first time a Drew Manor wedding was done on the field. The couple loved the unique location and the flexibility of the contract which allowed them to hire their own food and bar services. Also the reception took place on the Saturday before Trinidad Carnival so the timing and setting was perfect for hosting their own all inclusive fete/reception for their 400 guests. The reception venue can also be viewed at http://www.drewmanor.com/

Rate: The couple recommends this venue.

Laura and Veer Reception  (3D Model)

Details , Layout and Design by: Laura

Laura and Veer Plan For Seating Chart (3D Model)

Details, Layout and Design by: Laura

Laura and Veer Seating Perspective 1 (3D Model)

Details, Layout and 3D Perspectives by: Laura

Laura and Veer Seating Perspective 2 (3D Model)

Details, Layout and 3D Perspective by: Laura

Laura and Veer Seating Perspective 3 (3D Model)

Details, Layout and 3D Perspective by: Laura

Laura and Veer Head Table (3D Model)

Details, Layout and 3D Perspective by: Laura

Laura and Veer Dance Floor (3D Model)

Dance Floor Details, Layout and 3D Perspective by: Laura

Laura and Veer Dessert Station

Dessert Station Details, Layout and 3D Perspective by: Laura

Laura and Veer field with balloons (3D Model)

Tent Details, Layout and 3D Perspective by: Laura


Chef Khalid Mohammed was able to capture the personalities of the two individuals in the menu he created for them. The menu included popcorn chicken and waffles as well as salted caramel popcorn cheesecake. In addition he was able to create the menu within the budget requested.

Rate: The couple recommends Chef Khalid .

Reception Music:

DJ and Hypeman; Kern and Aaron Fingal, Laventille Rhythm Section, The Triplets from Naparima Boys High School.

Ceremony Music:

Francis Pau and wind quintet, Singer; Dominique Akal, Guitarist; John Hussain


Rize Above Productions ( https://www.rizeaboveproductions.com/services)

LED Stage Design:

Now Concepts ( http://www.now.tt/contact-us/ )

Event Consultation:

Laura is an architect and planning is her forte. Although she had been working on 3D modeling for this event for a month. Laura had been inspired by an installation of umbrellas at a site in Europe. A true architect Laura was fascinated by the design of the umbrella and its unparalleled aesthetics coupled with its quintessential functionality. Laura described her experience of this umbrella vision as , “An object whose beauty is overdone by its ordinary practicality floated so magically above me. It was incredible in its simplicity. I knew I wanted to remember that feeling in our wedding day.” She wanted to get another expert’s opinion on her wedding design concept . Event consultation took place with Ultimate Events Ltd. to discuss whether Laura’s design inspiration for the umbrella installation as a focal point could be executed without ruining the charm of the  simple and classic wedding set up.

Tablescape with Umbrella Installation

Umbrella Installation Details, Layout and 3D Perspective by: Laura

Umbrella Installation

Photo Credit: Drew Manor

Design Execution Team:

Ultimate Events Ltd.: Installation of umbrellas above dance floor, outdoor kitchen for Chef Khalid, all other infrastructure related items; lighting and port a potties. Go to http://ultimateeventstt.com/  to reach Ultimate Events Limited.

Bouge Events: Supply of glass top, LED bottom tables, installation of balloons, seating chart and other fine details

Drew Manor Flower Bar (DM Flower Bar): The bride chose a mix of local anthuriums and roses because she wanted the classic and eclectic look. DM Flower bar supplied the bride’s bouquet, bridesmaids’ bouquets, bouquets for mother and mother in law, floral arrangements for church and table arrangements.

Laura and Veer Reception on Drew Manor’s field at night

Photo Credit: Drew Manor

Close up on Tablescape at Laura and Veer’s Wedding Reception at Drew Manor

Photo Credit: Drew Manor Flower Bar

Tablescape with flowers and foliage at Laura and Veer’s Wedding Reception at Drew Manor

Photo Credit: Drew Manor Flower Bar

Executed Seating Plan at Laura and Veer’s Reception

Photo Credit: Ultimate Events Limited

Executed Seating Plan at Laura and Veer’s Reception

Photo Credit: Drew Manor Flower Bar

Balloons at Dessert Station for Laura and Veer’s Reception

Photo Credit: Drew Manor Flower Bar

Laura and Veer on the Dance Floor

Photo Credit: Kyannah Andrews

Love was in the chic air that light, fun Saturday night full of playfulness and magic.  Yet it did not stop there nor at 1 a.m. when the 400 guests attending Laura and Veer’s all inclusive wedding party departed for their homes. It manifested into the beginning of another phase of Laura and Veer’s love in the most beautiful design that is known to us all as life.

All Inclusive Wedding Party









Defining Bridal Identities

So folks bridal season is here and there is so much more to being a bride  in the world of creative design and planning and the world of the “Bridezillas”. I pray you keep it together and never end up in the Jurassic Park for “Bridezillas” because it is just not a good look for anyone. I have been exposed to weddings over the last six years of my life from assisting  wedding planners and sitting in on consultations with couples for Martha Stewart Weddings, creative direction for wedding décor to blogging and even featuring a few wedding designers on my past fashion tours/parties on wheels. Nonetheless, there is something more to a wedding than a well planned event. Some weddings can actually reflect beaming rays of wedded bliss.  On that note I have put together a few tips and fun quizzes to help you define your bridal identity  and set you on your path to official wedding day plans.

Which type of bride are you?

June is usually promoted as wedding season but not every bride fancies that time of year nor the colour palette suited for that climate and season. In Trinidad we only have two seasons; dry season (December to May) and rainy season (June to November).  However, due to global warming our dry season has been a lot cooler than expected this year. Despite this fact you can still work with any of the four seasons; spring, summer, autumn and winter as a colour palette guide to planning your wedding. I am saying this because you have more naturally existing options this way and you can really build a mood board from the inspiration of the season that makes you the happiest. I am a firm believer in colour psychology I have subscribed to it most of my life. Colour almost always makes me feel some type of way. Once you have a season and palette in mind your  planning can start to take some direction. Of course your partner is sharing this day with you so both of you should try and gauge some type of middle ground. However, if your fiancé does not mind you choosing what you want then girlfriend go ahead and make your designer moves.

Here is an awesome quiz that can help you identify which type of bride you are. Do the quiz and post your results below. I am ecstatic to find out what you got and to tell you what I got!!!!



(Photo Credit: www.junebugweddings.com )

Which wedding style best suits your personality?

Most of the weddings I have been to resonate with the bride and groom’s personality.  I remember going to my friend’s wedding a few years ago. She had a Hindu wedding ceremony and a modern reception. I truly felt a sense of her personality in every aspect from the colour scheme (burgundy, yellow, white, gold) the music, the bridal wear, the cake, the photography, the food (Asian cuisine), the first dance (mix of modern and Indian dance choreography) and the reception after party (took place in their backyard with rustic signage, park benches, tents and countryside vibes).  My friend is warm and bubbly and she has an insatiable appetite for food, hospitality, fun and the countryside. I believe when creating matrimonial spaces the style and vibe of the space is enhanced when the personalities of the bride and groom are captured. I have placed yet another link for a personality to wedding style best fit quiz below. Do the quiz and find your style!



(Photo Credit: www.junebugweddings.com )

Which destination is your best fit?

Now that you have figured out which type of bride you are and what style best suits your personality perhaps you can work on which destination best fits you and your groom.  Let’s try to be a bit inclusive here. We all know some grooms who rather do anything else than sit and be open and explore their inner groom persona (ha ha). It is worth the effort guys as you learn more about yourself and your partner. Destination weddings can cut a chunk out of the hassling,decorating, planning and creating spaces to host your wedding. These destinations are readily available and are naturally gorgeous to suit your wedding style whichever it may be. Nature’s design of seascapes and landscapes are compatible for your themed wedding.

I would always vote Trinidad and Tobago as the premier wedding destination because if you are a spring bride you can find a lovely garden, a summer bride can choose from many sea sides, an autumn bride can choose from forests to lakes to gardens to industrial settings and a winter bride can choose from loads of misty mountain sides. The only thing you will miss is snow. Yet, I assure you there are numerous event planners on the twin island that can get you a snow blower if you really need the snowy special effects. ( I mean we do have an annual ice party during the Carnival season so anything is possible).  Darlings once you can dream it there are planners here who will create it for you. Just visit Simone Sant-Ghuran’s, Trinidad Weddings at www.trinidadweddings.com to find out more on the listed vendors there.

I am going to share another quiz with you below to help you determine which destination is the best fit. However, I do not want you to feel daunted if your result is a location out of your budget. I want you to remember that you can use the result as an inspiration for planning your wedding.




(Photo Credit: www.junebugweddings.com )

I found all of these quizzes on www.junebugweddings.com curated by Nicole. I am in love with this site as a muse for any bride to be. It is over the top and out of this world.  However, I feel there is something for everyone. I especially love that the content is relative to design. I mean even if you are not a bride to be, not even near engaged nor in any relationship it is still useful because of the high design elements.  I recommend this site for event planners, persons in fashion or creative design and those who are curious to find out more about the role of design and how it affects our personal spaces and identity. I hope you do find some sort of motivation from my article and that it helps your creative thinking process with respect to bridal planning or even everyday scheduling for your own life and projects. Perhaps in some way it can affect positive change and help you to effect change in others