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Romantic Harbour Island Wedding

This destination dream isn’t just another gorgeous wedding captured by Caroline Fontenot Photographer, it’s much more than that. Surrounded by Little Island Design lush blooms and Daddy D beats, these Ocean View Club sweeties wed in true island style. From Bahamian inspired local BBQ, to the lovely libations on the lower terrace followed by a bonfire on the beach, every moment is magical and you can see it all here.

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Summer
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Beach Club

From the Bride… We fell in love with Harbour Island immediately. It is secluded and luxurious and somehow feels instantly familiar. The island is rich with vibrant architecture and friendly locals. The pink sand beaches are breathtaking and we couldn’t get enough of the perfectly clear and turquoise waters. Everyone is very friendly, and is quick to point you towards their favorite place for Conch Salad by the bay, or share their secrets for making (or simply enjoying) a good Goombay Smash. Fresh seafood is a favorite of ours, and it is a staple on every menu. We met so many charming people on our fist visit: Ben and Charlie and Andy of course, but also Claudine, who spoiled Jay with fresh English muffins each morning, and a couple from Europe that has been holidaying on the island since they were both children, as well as an elderly couple that come for their anniversary each year. The love that people have for this place is infectious. We felt like old regulars after our first visit, and knew this place would play host so wonderfully to our family and friends. We wanted our wedding celebration to also be an unforgettable vacation for our guests. The experience we had on our first visit as a couple was wholly enjoyable and we were thrilled to share our special island with the people we love.

The Ocean View Club is a slice of bohemian heaven. We instantly felt at home at Ben and Charlie’s labor of love. We invited our guests to come down to the island on the Wednesday before our wedding so that they could make a vacation of the trip. We wanted this trip to be special for everyone and thought how wonderful it would be for us all to stay together. We decided to rent the entire hotel, which made for easy planning for our guests. The Ocean View Club is the perfect size for our party, with quiet rooms in the main house for both of our parents, smaller guest suites adjacent to a beach view terrace for our young friends and siblings, and private cottage retreats for a few couples and also for ourselves. The main house feels like a home itself, with a large living area with plenty of comfortable seating and tables large enough for jigsaw puzzles and dominos. The kitchen is always open to everyone, and became a kind of gathering place each morning, the way our own kitchen does at home. The honor bar by the patio was a huge hit with our guests, allowing us the luxury of having a fully stocked bar where self-service is encouraged. The staff at The Ocean View is accommodating and friendly, and atmosphere of the place encourages enjoyment of both the beautiful island and the wonderful company we shared. We are so grateful that Ben and Charlie opened their arms and their hearts to those we love. Our favorite memories will always be at The Ocean View Club.

We hosted a welcoming supper on Wednesday evening on the terrace, kicking off the beginning of our memorable trip. Our DJ, Devon aka Daddy D, actually caught the Tuna we were served the morning of our arrival. Our days after were spent playing bocce on the beach and floating lazily for hours in the ocean, Kaliks always in hand. We invited everyone to The Landing for supper on Thursday, served on the romantic patio for sunset on Harbour Island’s harbor. Dancing and shenanigans followed at many of the island’s disco techs, with a bit of night swimming to end the night.

Our parents hosted a Bahamian inspired BBQ of local flavors and libations on the lower terrace after our rehearsal, followed by a bonfire on the beach. Jay’s father gave a toast that everyone will always remember, and Lindsey successfully sabered a bottle of champagne to the excitement of everyone. We ate until we couldn’t, and enjoyed the company of the group with a seriously hilarious game of charades. No one wanted the night to end.

Saturday morning we all enjoyed a bit of beach before the girls retired for an afternoon of pretty pampering and primping. We decided to take our photographs as a couple before our ceremony, jaunting around the island on our golf cart, drinking champagne and sharing many wonderful moments with our photographer, Caroline, and her husband Mark. Our ceremony was held on the main terrace of the Ocean View Club, presided by a dear friend of ours. We wrote our ceremony together, maintaining many of the traditional rites, but also adding our own anecdotes and flair. We hosted a cocktail party directly after, entertained by each other and a duo of local musicians. Afterwards, our beach reception took place under a gorgeous white tent. Ben and Charlie created an elegantly simple tablescape adjacent to a custom dance floor. And boy did we dance! As the evening slipped into night, we migrated between the dance floor and the whimsical living room created around a bonfire. The scene was truly breathtaking. We would not have changed a single detail. As a special surprise for Jay, we spoiled our guests with an English muffin bar at the end of the night, as a late night snack for everyone before we departed. We exited along a lantern lit path from the scene, turning for one last long look to soak in the event that was a celebration in every way we had envisioned.

Photography: Caroline Fontenot Photographer | Floral Design: Little Island Design | Wedding Dress: Elizabeth Dye | Food: Little Island Design | Makeup Artist: Suzanna Harati, Monarch Beauty Atlanta | Hair Stylist: Suzanna Harati, Monarch Beauty Atlanta | DJ: Daddy D | Groom's Attire: J.Crew | Groom's Jacket: Brooks Brothers | Bow Tie: Social Primer | Groom's Custom Needlepoint Loafers: ByPaige | Groom's Shirt: Ledbury | Veil: Twigs & Honey | Wedding Venue: The Ocean View Club | Welcome Dinner: The Landing

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Coral + Gray Jamaica Wedding

Winter is upon us New Englanders so I’m officially in hibernation mode. For the next several months I’ll be daydreaming of warm weather and beaches, starting off with this beautiful wedding in Jamaica. Under the guidance of Travel & Events With Style and captured by Dwayne Larson Photography, this celebration has me soaking up every single seaside photo and craving more.

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Winter
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Resort

From The Bride… Sean and I wanted to chose a destination that would reflect us as a couple – Sean has been brought up with a Jamaican influence and it has shaped his life since he was a child. When we decided we wanted a beach wedding it seemed like a natural choice for us. Plus it gave everyone an excuse to escape one of the coldest cities in Canada!

As a graphic designer, I started with the stationery design, and the everything else seemed to roll out from there. We wanted our wedding to evoke simple, casual elegance and compliment the gorgeous natural backdrop of Negril. Our color palette was coral, greys, white and a light seafoam green. I based our invitations off a casual handdrawn script I made of our names, and since it was a beach wedding I chose to incorporate stripes to give it a nautical feeling. I chose coral as our main color because it felt tropical and I knew it would look great with the clear blue water as a backdrop. I had custom rubber stamps made with a graphic of the island with a heart overlaying Negril to customize various items. I had the main invitation letter pressed, and tied the pieces together with grey and white bakers twine.

Once the invitations were tackled I got to work planning craft nights with my friends to ensure we had decor that reflected us as a couple. One of our favourite things to do as a couple is to go to see live music, and travel to music festivals. My maid of honour found vintage sheet music at a thrift store that we used to make table runners, and pinwheels to label the bride and groom chairs. We made a backdrop for the guest table out of garland made with music sheets and paper in the color palette I chose. I chose to incorporate shells to tie in the beach theme, and made boutonnieres for the wedding party and family with starfish, grass and music sheets.

We had our ceremony on the beach with the waves crashing just feet away from us. We wanted an intimate feel for the ceremony. The aisle was lined with white lanterns with ribbons flowing from the chairs, and flowing white curtains on bamboo framed the altar. For our guestbook, we really wanted something that would encourage guests to write something more personal, so we made a book with various questions for guests to answer on each page.

Making sure our friends and family had fun at the reception was really important to us, and our choices for music reflected that. We had prepared our own playlist with a wide range of motown, soul, reggae, funk and hip hop, and had spin the bottle dance offs. A highlight of the night was when guests wanted us to kiss, we made them hula hoop. To end the night we set off Chinese Lanterns over the ocean.

My friend Dwayne Larson did our photography, and my maid of honour who is lead photographer with Victoria Anne Photography couldn’t help but snap a few shots for us when she wasn’t fulfilling her attendant duties. It was so great having two people that we feel comfortable with there to capture our day.

I cannot express enough about how much our wedding planner Jaime Valdes- Riench did for us. Planning an event from so far away adds a lot of stress and she made the process unbelievably simple and stress free – she kept us on track with decisions, gave us honest feedback, coordinated meetings with hard-to-nail down vendors and seamlessly planned the flow and sequence of our event.

Photography: Dwayne Larson Photography | Floral Design: Taiflora | Wedding Dress: Justin Alexander | Bride's Shoes: Badgley Mischka | Beach Set Up: Riu Tropical Bay | Invitations And Stationery: Jaime Alissa Design | Photography - Assistance: Victorian Anne Photography | Wedding Planning And Travel Agent: Travel & Events With Style

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Chic Harbour Island Destination Wedding at Three Bees Villa

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.

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Spring
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Villa

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