Say hello to a whole lot of gorgeous and goodbye to those mid-week blues, SMPers, because this charming Bahamas affair by Lyndah Wells Photography is just the pick me up we needed (and more) this lovely Wednesday morning. All planned by Marva Munroe, this sophisticated meets beach chic soiree is boasting a vibrant red color palette, fabulous stylings by Chic Weddings Bahamas and one insanely gorgeous hair piece (swoon). There isn’t a single detail that I don’t absolutely adore, so I’ll be in the gallery soaking in all of the pretty. Join me there for even more!
From Lyndah Wells Photography… Michelle & Roy wanted a destination wedding far from their native New Jersey residence. They chose Island of Grand Bahama, in The Bahamas for their destination wedding and flew down with 70 guests. Their wedding date, February 19th 2011, fell just after Valentine’s day which made it perfect to carry along the theme of love. 50 red roses filled the bridal bouquet whilst rose petals dotted the aisle & seat ends of the beach ceremony & reception venue.
On a perfectly sun-filled day, a barefoot Michelle said “I do” to Roy on the pristine white sands of Spanish Main beach and while the guests returned to the reception venue on a ferry, they couple travelled back in style in a limousine. After the first dance, the speeches and dinner, all the guest were thrilled with an amazingly vibrant performance from a local Junkanoo group. Playing drums, horns & dancing. They experienced a TRUE TRUE Bahamian tradition!
Sometimes (ok, all the time) I crave travel to a tropical location like other people crave chocolate. It’s one of the (many) reasons I LOVE the Destination blog. It’s my daily dose of destination goodness, and keeps my cravings at bay a bit. So I can promise you that this Bahama beauty by Ben Jamieson Photography is where my imagination will be for the rest of the day. With its beach meets traditional meets gorgeous vibe, it makes for a gallery of images worthy of your best destination day-dreaming.
From the Bride…Lyford Cay in the Bahamas is a very special place not only to my family, but also to Mac and me. It was there in the sea that Mac proposed on New Years Eve day 2009 as we waited to go snorkeling with my three brothers. I had my goggles and flippers in hand making my way toward Mac. As I drew closer, he knelt on one knee in the water until he was chest-deep, and then he pulled an opened ring box from the pocket of his board shorts. I cried and laughed at the same time.There was no doubt in either of our minds that The Lyford Cay Club would be the location for our July 2, 2011 nuptials. My grandparents had lived there since 1960, and it became a second home to my family; in fact, my brothers and I were all christened at the Church of St. Christopher’s. As a little girl, I remember sitting in church counting the number of pews and people that could fit into each pew. This would dictate the maximum number of guests who could attend my wedding – 98.
Since July in the Bahamas can be toasty and the ceremony took place in a unairconditioned church only “cooled” by paddle fans, we left straw fans with ribbon ties in the pews for the guests to use. Also, at the reception, rather than a guestbook, I found some really neat and unique “Well Wishes” tags with a starfish print on it which we asked our guests to write a “well wish” for the newly married couple. Alongside the tags, there was a Polaroid camera so the guests could take pictures of each other as they walked in. Ideally, Mac and I would then match up the pictures with the well wishes to create a sort of scrapbook (we have yet to get to that!).Naturally, our intention was to incorporate as much local influence as possible. Our color scheme reflected and included the natural landscape of our surroundings. We used green, white and silver accented by shells and flowers of the Bahamas. We encouraged everyone to enjoy the laid back Caribbean feel, while still offering them an elegant and traditional evening. We wanted to stray from the barefoot, beach wedding vibe and leave that for the after-party. We opted to use all local vendors: Ben Jamieson Photography, Wildflowers, Visage (band), and Anne Lever (cake). And, our menu boasted local catch of the day and conch prepared every which way. The real icing on the cake – pun intended – was a surprise appearance by a costumed Junkanoo band that Mac and I planned for all the guests. During Visage’s set break, we had a Junkanoo rush, which gave everyone a true feel for a Bahamian celebration. And then the band returned… There was not a single guest left dry from all the dancing!
Both our families were so instrumental in planning our wedding. We are incredibly appreciative of their constant love and support throughout the process. In addition to my mom, each of my brothers contributed by designing invitations, creating a “Save the Date” video and a wedding “highlight” video, planning a fishing trip, and shipping large packages to Nassau for me. A large contributor to the flawlessness of the evening, though, was The Lyford Cay Club. Not only is it a beautiful venue, but the food is also wonderful, and everyone involved was so helpful and accommodating. It was a perfect location for our wedding. Looking back on the evening, there is not one thing Mac and I would change. We are so grateful to all of our family and close friends who flew to Nassau to help us celebrate.
Every couple has those moments while planning their wedding when running off to a beautiful island and eloping sounds like a really good plan. Well, if you’re prone to these moments of fantasy you may not want to look at this Harbour Island elopement shot by Patrick Moyer. You just might find yourself with bags packed, your honey in one hand and a plane ticket in the other. There is something so special and romantic about the quiet, intimate moments captured here. Immerse yourself in the full gallery and get your destination on.
We’re not ready to head home just yet. Take one last magical journey with this super 8 film by Patrick Moyer.
From the Bride… I feel like I’ve been to the moon and back. After a cumbersome few months of trying to coordinate a small wedding at home, we decided to elope on the intimate Harbour Island – a very small Out Island in the Bahamas, complete with all the rustic charm frequently found with small island living. We stayed in the Cricket Pavilion on Hibiscus Hill…. designed & owned by India Hicks, the Pavilion was perfection. Just steps from a beach of pink sand and an ocean of turquoise with gentle breezes – it was bliss at every turn. Even an evening of heavy tropical rain was enjoyed on the porch, by candlelight, with a glass of wine and a little David Gray.
We married in a little pink church on Dunmore Street – the oldest church in all of the Bahamas – it was beyond words – beyond all expectations on every level. My husband amazed me and I am forever grateful for what we experienced. After a very intimate ceremony, he surprised me with an over-the-top dinner for two, back at the Pavilion. Unbeknownst to me, in the previous weeks, Kevin had been working with a small team to bring this evening to fruition. A two-piece Bahamian band heralded our arrival. The stairs were flanked with floating candles and covered with white rose petals and hundreds of white blooms and candles covered the porch and interior. I was beyond amazed and surprised – and many tears followed. Not one detail was missed – a British-trained private chef, a table draped in linen, printed menu cards and name cards, a first dance, and our private band played as we dined by candlelight on the porch. Just us. I would not have wanted it any other way… those moments were ours, and ours alone and I wouldn’t trade any of them for a windfall.
Making the decision to elope was bittersweet – saying our goodbyes to family friends the week prior to our departure was emotional, and the final call to my mother from the airport really tugged on my heartstrings. But ultimately, I feel that preparing for our marriage privately, and experiencing it exclusively, created an indescribable bond of conquering this milestone together. We truly had the best of both worlds – our elopement and then upon our return, we hosted a small dinner party which was another evening of magic all on its own. We were blessed with the company of those closest to us, a dozen or so toasts, and an evening of many smiles and happy tears.
The Super 8 film, in hindsight, was one of the best decisions… it told “our story” in such a unique way and we will cherish it always. And I cannot say enough kind words about Patrick Moyer and his wife Rachel. They were a true asset to our elopement and were just as much as a support system as they were our photographers. Pat & Rach arrived on Harbour Island as our photographers and left as friends. I have thought of them often since our return and wish they weren’t on the opposite coast!
Being in the industry myself, I did have a leg-up on the planning process but it doesn’t mean that it didn’t come without its stresses – we were planning this excursion with very little lead time. For what it is worth, I do have some advice for brides that are in the throes of the planning process:
Choose a celebration which really represents you as a couple – whether that means eloping our hosting 500 guests, it will make your experience more “real” for both of you.
Select wedding professionals whose work you not only love, but who you really enjoy as people – it will make all of your interactions so much easier, ESPECIALLY your photographer as they’re with you every step of the way the day of your wedding. Also select wedding professionals that you trust so that you can simply let them do their job, there is much value in “letting go” – your “team” will appreciate it and you will be relieved of much stress.
Discuss your priorities & make them your “big ticket items” – you can be really creative with the rest to stay within your budget.
Take any “road bumps” in stride & don’t take your eye off the ball – as much as everybody loves a fabulous party, the bottom line is that it’s about your union, not the “stuff” on the periphery.
Slow yourself down through the planning process and especially the day of your wedding – this event happens once and it’s gone in a blink – embrace every fleeting moment!