Raphael Chaumette, left, joins his brother Alexandre Chaumette in toasting the newlyweds James Craig and their mother, Jacquie Baly, during the couple's wedding in St. Croix in the U.S. Virgin Islands. (Photo by Meredith Zimmerman)
The Buccaneer Resort in St. Croix, United States Virgin Islands, where Jacquie Baly and James Craig were wed. (Facebook photo)
The beachfront wedding of Jacquie Baly and James Craig at St. Croix in the U.S. Virgin Islands was a small affair with only her sons attending. (Photo by Meredith Zimmerman)
The beach at Buccaneer Resort in St.Croix in the U.S. Virgin Islands. (Resort photo)
Jacquie Baley & James Craig share a moment following their ceremony on the beach at St. Croix in the U.S.Virgin Islands. (Photo by Meredith Zimmerman)
Fox 26 political consultant, University of Houston adjunct professor and former Sugar Land city council member Jacquie Baly wasn’t ready to date four years ago when Industrial Specialty Services CEO James Craig began calling. She was recently divorced and had two young sons at home.
They first met at a networking event hosted by the Greater Houston Partnership, of which Jacquie is a former vice president. But after five months of seeing James, she decided to step back from venturing into a serious relationship. She had wed at a young age and had never really dated and then there were her sons.
Fast forward to 2019 when timing indeed was everything. James gave her a call as his company, which specializes in the technical repair and maintenance of refineries, had been contracted by Hess to handle their refineries in the Virgin Islands.
As it happens, Jacquie was born in St. Croix and lived there until age 7, when her father who worked for Hess, was transferred to Houston. With family remaining in the islands and a second home there for a number of years, Jacquie seemed like the perfect guide for St. Croix intel.
Funny thing though, on that lunch meeting James never mentioned St. Croix and scheduled a dinner date with Jacquie. At that point, she mentioned that he had never asked about St. Croix. He admitted that it was his ploy to get back on her radar. Serious dating ensued.
Seven months later, last June, they became officially engaged with a remarkable 7-carat diamond sealing the commitment.
The couple was wed on New Year’s Eve in Jacquie’s hometown of St. Croix with her two college-age sons in attendance.
“Today I married the Love of my Life on my home island of St. Croix USVI, ‘America’s Paradise,'” she posted on Facebook at December 31. “It was magical and beautiful and beyond anything I could have hoped for.”
The newlyweds and her sons — Raphael Chaumette, a senior and MLB Scout prospect at Trinity University, and her youngest Alexandre Chaumette, a junior and neuroscience major at Harvard University — spent a week exploring her childhood haunts and homes and even the Hess refinery that ultimately brought them all together.
Wedding: The Buccaneer Resort in St. Croix, United States Virgin Islands
Wedding Dinner: Goat, Soup and Whiskey restaurant
Event Planner: Ashlie Nichole Reed
Photographer: Meredith Zimmerman
Bride’s Dress: Mac Duggal