Navy stripes are my neutral, so when they are stylish scattered throughout a soiree as chic as this one – my heart does cartwheels. And rightfully so, because this ridiculously gorgeous Three Bees Villa wedding captured by Sabrina Lightbourn and planned by Little Island Designs is honestly my definition of perfection, and you can see why here.
From The Bride…Harbour Island has been a second home to me for as long as I can remember. The friendly people, unique aesthetic, world-class pink sand beach and beautiful water conjure so many happy memories. Three months after Rob and I started dating I took him to Harbour Island. When I saw that he immediately loved it as much as I do I knew that if we got married one day, it had to be there.
Once we decided on Harbour Island for our wedding I knew that I HAD to work with Ben Simmons from Little Island Designs. I knew as much what I DID NOT want as what I DID for the wedding weekend. For example, we both felt strongly about having a church ceremony, rich with tradition, and I had my heart set on the reception at Three Bees Vila, Arki Busson’s home. Furthermore, while I wasn’t looking for the traditional “beach wedding”, I also wasn’t looking to recreate a Manhattan wedding in Harbour Island. I envisioned the style to be sophisticated and chic, yet understated. I wanted to make a statement, while still complimenting the natural beauty of the location.
We hosted a Welcome Party the night before the wedding for all 150 guests, whom had travelled far and wide to be with us. My parents, Rob, Ben and I agreed that we wanted our guests experiences on Friday and Saturday nights to be as different as possible. As Saturday night would be a more formal sit down dinner on the bay side of the island, we planned the Welcome Party to be a casual Bahamian Beach Dinner on the ocean. Ben built out an area with sail clothes, long white farm tables decorated with local grasses and sea urchins and LOT’S of candles and lanterns. We served a buffet of popular local dishes – fresh conch salad prepared right before guests, grilled fish and chicken, coleslaw and peas and rice, etc. Guests drank specialty drinks put of coconut shells, the local Harbour Island band “The Brilandrs” created a very Bahamian Calypso feel, a fire dancer entertained and guests lounged by a big beach bonfire after it got dark.
For the actual wedding reception, I wanted to use a color palette different than the soft pastels people normally use down there. The classic look of navy and white has always been a personal favorite. Put it against the chic West Indies, safari-like aesthetic of Three Bees, and pepper in variations of aqua/green/turquoise – the colors of the water down there – and I quickly had a color scheme. Years ago, I came across a picture of a black and white dance floor in Beverly Hills that I fell in love with. I showed Ben the picture and asked if he could recreate it in navy and white… before I knew it we had a custom dance floor right on the waters edge! It was certainly one of my favorite style elements of the night. Another favorite style detail is the way Ben so elegantly lights an outdoor area… several shabby chic white chandeliers hanging from trees is an image that will forever be in my mind. Having worked in PR for the past 15 years, I have learned that the difference is in the details. So…. we personalized the space with other details like monogrammed pillows for all the white couches; personalized cups, napkins and matches. We tied beige and blue pashminas to the back of all the women’s bamboo dinner chairs and also provided either blue or turquoise leather “dancing shoes” for all the women, which were separated by size in four different blue and white striped canvas containers. The flowers were green or white only and the centerpieces were tall vases of palm fronds with tea lights h and small white bouquets in mirrored vases around the base. We accented the table with navy and white striped runners on top of white table clothes. The combination of the blue and white with bamboo chairs and chargers and the natural looking palm centerpieces with punches of white flowers was beautiful yet understated.
It was really important to both me and Rob to utilize as many local vendors, and to include as many Bahamian traditions as possible. Examples of some of the traditions that we included were the “Sister Act-like” church choir, wedding procession through town after the ceremony and Junkanoo, which paraded guests from dinner to dancing and desert. A few other entertainment and style elements that made our wedding so special include:
• Transportation for all guests to and from Three Bees by boat, including our arrival
• Spectacular fireworks
• The gift bags – personalized straw bags that contained a custom belt with our coral motif, personalized sunscreen and Frisbee (again with coral motif and the wedding date), a stamped pre-addressed Harbour Island postcard to me and Rob (we are still receiving them, which is really fun!), bottled water with custom labels, a bag of Sea Salt potato chips as well as goldfish and Swedish fish gummy candies, welcome book and a GREAT map of the island by my sister
• DIY turquoise burgees with everyone’s name and our coral motif, laminated and stuck to each person’s golf cart
• Our wedding cake melted before anyone could see it, but we didn’t even care!
• The smile on both my and Rob’s face all weekend long… it was the BEST weekend of our lives!
Event Coordinator: Little Island Designs | Wedding Dress: Vera Wang From Mark Ingram Atelier | Invitations: The Printery | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Donna Morgan From The Wedding Library | Band: The Sultans Of Swing | Custom Belts For All Guests: Elizabeth McKay | Groom And Groomsmen Flip Flops: The Leatherman | Groom And Groomsmen's Custom Ties: Vineyard Vines | Photography : Sabrina Lightbourn | Printed Materials : DFM Stationery | Wedding Cake : Swiss Pastry Shop | Wedding Reception: Three Bees Villa | Welcome Party: On The Beach At The Ocean View Club