A Brightly Colored Beach Wedding in the Bahamas

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Arlene and Chris held their destination wedding in the beautiful Bahamas at the sprawling Atlantis Resort.   We asked the bride and groom how they landed at such a special place.  The couple had traveled there many times before and Chris had it set in his mind he would one day wed there.  In April of 2012, “we were sitting at Cain pool just basking in the sun and soaking in the chill atmosphere and we just both knew that this was the perfect place to us to get married.”  According to Chris.  “Arlene comes from a very large family and both Chris and Arlene have a number of business associates and collectively they decided that a destination wedding was the only way to keep the guest count to a reasonable number. They also planned their wedding in less than 6 months, so a destination wedding seemed like the best option. The couples also have a very mixed background. The bride is Italian-Canadian, and the Groom is Jamaican/Lebanese/American.  There was a lot of pressure to have a big Italian wedding, but the couple wanted something more intimate (68 guests).  Another reason they chose the Atlantis is that they can always fly back every year and celebrate their anniversary, and eventually when they have kids, they can bring them too!”

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Atlantis is a stunning property, so the bride & groom chose a simple décor theme while leveraging the natural surroundings. Coral-Orange was the color for the Bridesmaid dresses as that is the color of Chris’s company SafeBridge. Wildflowers did all the beach décor and floral arrangements that were used to decorate Nobu. Guests were all given homemade welcome baskets upon arrival with a personalized letter from the bride & groom. The bride’s sister did all the wedding invitations and place cards.”

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“As beautiful as the Bahamas is, it was not without its challenges. With a very short planning window (Chris proposed May 11th in Toronto at the ROM & they were married Nov. 3rd, 2012) it was hard to get everything booked on time. In fact- the week before the wedding the Hurricane Sandy whipped through the Caribbean and consequently all the weddings were performed indoors. Chris and Arlene were lucky and ended up with a location on Cove Point which is typically not used for weddings, but provides one of the best views/sunsets on the Atlantis property.” 

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“Right before the Bridge and Groom had their reveal, the Groom had given the brides sister a Tiffany’s key necklace to give to the bride. The card was inscribed – today I give you the key to my heart.”

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Because their guests were all flying in from different locations around the world, the couple decided to host a pool party at Cain Pool in place of a traditional rehearsal dinner, which was followed by the beach ceremony the following day.

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“Photographer Nikki was incredible to work with- I had seen her do my best friend’s wedding a year earlier and loved her work. Nikki makes everyone feel so comfortable and had so many amazing shot ideas.”

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“The bride’s dress was custom made to morph from a bridal gown to a party dress.  Between the ceremony and the reception, the bride revealed the secret zipper and between photos surprised the Groom with a new look- he loved it.”

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“The seating chart for the dinner at Nobu was themed around all the cities the bride & groom like to visit (Rome, London, Miami, NYC, Vegas etc).”

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Congratulations to the newlyweds!

Destination Wedding Photographer: Nikki Leigh McKean

Wedding Vendors: Wedding Hotel: Atlantis Resort, Bahamas, Wedding Planner: Director of Weddings at Atlantis ~ Albertha Edgecomb, Wedding Designer: Nina Duong Haute Couture, Flowers & Décor: Wildflowers, Wedding Dinner: Nobu at Atlantis, Hair & Makeup: Julie Neff, Officiant: Dave Robinson (friend of the Bride & Groom), Invitations: Mirabelle Press

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Destination Wedding in the Bahamas

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Hoang Anh and Tim wed on the beautiful island of Nassau, Bahamas.  The bride and groom traveled from the UK to the picturesque Caribbean destination for a beach wedding unlike anything they could find in Europe.  But this location wasn’t only beautiful, but had sentimental value to them as well.  The groom’s parents retired in Nassau and have a house in Old Fort Bay.  As members of the Old Fort Bay Club, they not only had access but ties to the historic property.  The bride shared a bit of its history with us.  The Club itself is steeped in history, having started life as a real fort built by the British in the 1700s to keep pirates, privateers and buccaneers under control. It became a private home having been won in a game of poker and was furnished by art and artefacts by its worldly owners. Finally after much redevelopment in the area it became the centrepiece of a development to be enjoyed by members and guests.  We have spent many wonderful holidays enjoying the Club and its facilities. When we were deciding where to marry, the stunning private beach with turquoise water, the classic laidback Caribbean feel and superb service at the Club meant that it was an easy decision to make!”

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The couple opted not to hire a wedding planner.  Instead, the groom’s parents helped out on location.  “Given that Tim’s parents live in the Bahamas, we managed the wedding preparations remotely and chose not to have a wedding coordinator. Tim’s parents were fantastic in helping us with our menu and drinks choices as well as coordinating lunches/brunches and bbqs during the wedding week. They were also really helpful in putting together the table decorations, the place names and sourcing the bubbles for our confetti. We did have to adjust a little to the Bahamian pace of life when arranging the timings for the wedding… everything fell into place but not always exactly when we had planned it!!!”

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When we asked what the inspiration was for the wedding details, they looked to the location!  “We were very fortunate that the Club was already brimming with history and character and had a truly authentic Bahamian feel. We didn’t have to really come up with a theme as the location and venue were already so beautiful.”

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The beach wedding ceremony incorporated a beautiful canopy with fabric and shells swinging in the wind.

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Such a beautiful ceremony site on the white sand!!

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…The very happy couple :)

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The entire group even got together for a photo op – a great idea when you’ve got a smaller guest count.

And into the cocktail reception they went.  “We had two steel drummers who played Pachelbel’s Canon in D as my mother gave me away and continued to play throughout the champagne reception.”

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In addition to steel drums, they also enlisted some unique and even more incredible entertainment.  We surprised our guests with a junkanoo rush after the champagne reception. The junkanoo consisted of 15 traditional carnival dancers and musicians who danced towards us playing drums, trumpets and cow bells. It was typically Bahamian; fun, colorful and energetic. The junkanoo looked stunning against the backdrop of the sun setting over the sea.”

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“At the reception, we offered our guests key lime pink lemonade before they went down to the beach for the ceremony. Our canapés all had a Caribbean or Asian twist using local ingredients such as Bahamian lobster, Mahi Mahi and tuna.”

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Table numbers were names of places of importance to the newlyweds – tying in the truly global nature of this destination wedding.

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“As we had 40 guests, we wanted to create a unique favour, which they could remember our wedding/the Bahamas fondly. So we found fun images of them all and superimposed them onto playing cards with us as the aces, and our parents as kings and queens.”

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“At the end of the evening we had aged rums and cigars! We chose to present the cigars in a panama hat in keeping with the feel of the venue.” 

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“As we wanted to keep the wedding ceremony intimate – we shared the day with only our closest friends and family. However soon after we returned from the Bahamas, we held a big party which incorporated a steel band, mojitos and speeches thereby bringing some of the Bahamian vibe to London!”  Great idea to get the best of both worlds!  Congratulations!

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 Destination Wedding Photographer: Focus Photography Inc.

Wedding Location: Old Fort Bay Club, New Providence Island, Bahamas

This event was submitted via TwoBrightLights.com

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Scotland Cay, Bahamas Destination Wedding

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Ashley and Roland’s destination “I do’s” were a foregone conclusion set in motion back when the two were teenagers.  Their families spent their vacations together on the private island of Scotland Cay in the Bahamas, where Roland’s family had a home.  So many years later when the couple planned to wed, it was only fitting that they selected the very place they fell in love.

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Ashley shared with us a bit about the big day.  “It was important to us that our wedding genuinely represented who we were as a couple and the island we love so much. With that goal, the décor and overall atmosphere reflected our personalities and lifestyle. We began our planning with a few core ideas; we wanted our special day to be laidback and fun, casual and chic, natural and pure. Together, we choose a muted color palette with white ivory and natural rattan brown, and lots of orchids and curly willow, plus a hint of pale aqua in the bridesmaids’ dresses that complemented the crystal clear water. At the last minute we decided to add a pop of color with fuchsia pink Bougainvilleas that we picked ourselves!”

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Loves these one shoulder bridesmaid dresses!

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Since Scotland Cay doesn’t have much in the way of wedding vendors and resources, they flew not only their seventy five friends and family to the island, but their wedding team as well.  No need to hire an officiant however, Roland’s father presided over the ceremony.

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 Ashley wore a beautiful Vera Wang wedding gown paired with sea themed jewels to dress up for the occasion.  The following day, she put that wedding dress back on and the newlyweds jumped off the very same cliff they had jumped off of as kids.  Now that’s really taking the plunge!

And the spot for the less literally plunge was equally as memorable.  “We said our I do’s on a sandbar that only comes out of the water at evening low tide. It was just the perfect size and shape for our guests and my bamboo isle. We were completely surrounded by water with the backdrop of the Lagoon.  I walked down the aisle barefooted in flowing chiffon.”

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This wedding wasn’t complete without a furry friend in the bridal party.  “Roxy’s our baby girl!  It was so important to us that she had a big role in our wedding, just as she has had in our lives.  Our only concern was that she might go for a swim during the ceremony with the rings tied to her collar! (Roxy loves to swim!).  Everything turned out perfectly, a good friend held her until it was time to exchange the rings and that was her moment to shine. She strutted her stuff all the way up the isle tongue out and tail wagging! It was one of the sweetest moments for us.  It was so cute, she loved my dress especially playing in it!  Every time I was standing still she nestled a little spot to it.”

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When planning a destination wedding, one must always prepare for the unexpected!  In this case, Tropical Storm Bret touched down on their big day, causing Ashley and Roland to have to postpone their nuptials by 24 hours.  But by the look of it, no storm or otherwise could stop this couple from a joyous and long awaited moment of “I do.”

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Then it was off around the island to take photos on spots they had been so many times before, but now as husband and wife.

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As Ashley shared with us, the natural decor flowed up from the sand nicely, without ever taking away from the amazing beauty around them.

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In addition to the organic color palette and wedding elements, there was also a touch or two even more personal to the bride and groom.

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After the big day, the happy couple headed off to Hawaii for some R&R on their own.  We did an island hop every week; Maui, Kauaii, and the The Big Island.”  What fun!

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For more of this special day, check out the video by Tampa Wonderworks Films.

 Congratulations to the newlyweds!

Destination Wedding Photographer:  Kristen Weaver Photography 

Wedding Vendors: Dress Designer:  Vera Wang, Bridesmaid Dresses: Dessy, Makeup + Hair:  Hair and Make-Up By Jillian Caro, Videography:  Tampa Wonderworks Films

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