Marina Chiasson, co-founder and director of operations at ZG Collective, an Aspen-based investment group focused on retail brands in the outdoor and action sports markets, met Oliver Sharpe, COO of AMP Sport (as well as Emmy Award-winning television producer and columnist for the Aspen Daily News), while she was doing her favorite thing—shoe shopping.
“To be clear, I was the only one shopping,” laughs Marina. “Oliver was there for the socializing.” The two were at a mutual friend’s store, who happened to suggest to Oliver that he and Marina should date, but like most great love stories, it didn’t happen overnight. After this initial meeting, fate stepped in, and they wound up as co-workers at a television station. “Oliver played hard to get,” Marina explains, “but after a months-long pursuit (on my part), we started dating!”
The pair saw each other for four and a half years before Oliver popped the question at Marina’s family cottage in Muskoka, ON. “A summer thunderstorm had just passed through, and we decided to go for a walk,” says Marina. Things came full circle as Marina got to keep Oliver waiting for a change. “Little did I know that he was pacing nervously in the living room, while I took the longest shower ever before heading out,” laughs Marina. The couple eventually made their way down to a lakeside dock where the proposal took place as the sun was setting. Many celebratory boat drinks with family followed.
Perhaps the most surprising part of the engagement though was the ring itself. “My ring was designed by Mish New York,” Marina says. “Mish Tworkowski and Joseph Singer are good friends of ours, and Oliver and I stopped into their shop on Bond Street on a trip to NYC.” Not having a clear vision of the type of ring she wanted, Marina was quickly blown away when Mish brought out an aquamarine and diamond ring set in gold. “Oliver and I knew immediately that it was meant for me,” smiles Marina. Flash forward, and Oliver and Marina were at a show in Aspen where he urged her to try on other rings. “Little did I know that he had already purchased the aquamarine ring,” says Marina, “so I was absolutely shocked when he proposed with it!”
Deciding on the wedding date and location was a no-brainer for the newly engaged couple. “I grew up spending time with my family in Antigua, and Oliver has come to love it over our years of dating,” Marina says. “Plus, after a long winter in Aspen, we knew a spring celebration in the West Indies would be a nice change of pace for our local friends.” The couple also wanted as many guests as possible in one place, and with The Mill Reef Club about to close for the season, they were able to take over the property to accommodate their family and friends. “We wanted it to feel like adult summer camp,” says Marina. “We envisioned days filled with sun and activities, followed by evening get-togethers!”
Marina had fun with her dress search. “I have two sisters and a mother who has always been the most stylish woman I know, so trying on dresses was a blast,” says Marina. The hunt started in Boston, where Marina got a taste of all of the different styles she’d have to choose from, and it continued in Denver at a Naeem Khan trunk show. “Of course my mother spotted the dress first,” laughs Marina. “Initially I was skeptical, but the moment I tried it on, I knew it was the one. It fit perfectly, and I loved how it was different from anything else I’d seen.” To accessorize, Marina wore shoes from Emmy London (they were the ideal heel height and had elegant beading), and she kept her jewelry simple, wearing only her engagement ring and new wedding band.
Marina had such trust in her hair stylist that she didn’t find a trial necessary. “My mother has been a client and friend of Garren for many years, and my dad sees his partner, Thom Priano, for his haircuts,” Marina explains. “As their gift, Garren and Thom did our hair for the wedding. I knew that whatever Garren wanted to do would be perfect, and I loved how it turned out. My hair was in place all night, and the shape in the back gave it just the right amount of drama.”
Guests arrived to welcome tote bags decorated with one of the wedding icons, a pineapple compass, that was drawn by graphic designer Kearsley Lloyd (who also did the couple’s wedding crest). Inside the bag was an illustrated map of the island, itinerary, a baseball hat, pineapple ornaments from Hand & Hammer (Oliver’s family’s silver company), fresh plantain chips, and, of course, the island party basics: ChapStick, sunscreen, bug spray, and Advil.
The entire weekend was planned with Elizabeth Slossberg, the owner of EKS Events, Marina’s longtime friend and former boss.“Elizabeth was a dream to work with,” says Marina.“I was able to relax and enjoy everything knowing she was in completely control, and it was all flawless.” The festivities kicked off on Thursday night, with the wedding party gathering at Marina’s family’s home, Hungry Hill, for cocktails and a buffet dinner. The following morning, the men hit the golf course, while the ladies took an ocean view yoga class. They joined forces in the afternoon for some fun in the sun at the Yacht Club. After a few hours of sailing, paddleboarding, and beach volleyball, guests went to freshen up before dinner at the Beach Club. “The décor on Friday evening was my favorite,” remembers Marina. “There were vibrant pinks and greens with a mix of gold and real pineapples that we got from a farm on the island.” Later, the celebration moved down to the beach where there was a pirate themed bonfire. Guests quickly got into character, accessorizing with hats, eye patches, hooks, and inflatable swords. “Everyone kicked off their shoes and gathered around the fire for s’mores to close out the evening,” says Marina.
The ceremony took place outside overlooking the water. The sun was shining as Marina made her way down the aisle to Pachelbel’s “Canon in D.” A local officiant, Roma Spencer, performed the sentimental service. “Roma has such a wonderful presence and spoke about love and commitment in a way that touched everyone,” Marina says.
Guests moved from the ceremony to cocktails on the terrace, eventually ending up in the courtyard where dinner was served. The décor was kept simple, with linens from La Tavola and white and green flowers. “We wanted to enjoy our beautiful surroundings and keep everything as natural as possible,” explains Marina. Toasts were given by Marina’s father and sisters, as well as Oliver’s best man. “Then to cap it off, Oliver gave a toast, and it was the highlight of the night,” Marina smiles.
Following dinner, the party danced the night away to local band, Asher Otto & Itchyfeet, only stopping to take in a fireworks show (a surprise from the bride and groom). Bites of burgers and pizza were served as a late night snack, and when guests eventually retired to their rooms, they found Jordan almonds and a sweet thank you note, courtesy of the newlyweds, on their pillows.