In the midst of planning my own Island “I Do” my mum half-heartedly joked that we should instead opt for a beach ceremony turned beach party. Reciting our vows in the early morning sunlight followed by a game-filled day, and later a bonfire competing with that evening’s fiery sunset. While in the moment I didn’t consider it to be a brilliant idea – her timing was not impeccable to say the least, nor was I willing to rethink all the planning we have done since our engagement – I can now sheepishly admit the idea may be her best to date. In the weeks since that conversation – which was more an argument, me having to keep “Bridezilla” at bay – I have envisioned what said beach party would look like, and in a true effort to torture myself I created an inspiration board. This Retro Beach Wedding theme pulls inspiration from the 60’s and 70’s in The Bahamas. While the palette below at times suggests otherwise, I would opt for more muted tones with a dash of gypset.
THE VENUE: Sandy Toes Rose Island, a private 10 acre stretch of island straddling nearby Rose Island. At the port of departure, Paradise Island, 70 dearest friends and family would board the Hermit Crab at 10:00AM to arrive to Sandy Toes Rose Island only 30 minutes later, in time for an 11:00AM wedding.
WEDDING INVITATIONS: Inspired by the bride who had guests RSVP on vintage postcards we instead would use Bahamian postcards from the 60s and 70s as invitations, guests then submitting their RSVPs on a designated website. Afterall we know how unpredictable the Bahamas Postal Service is.
CEREMONY + RECEPTION DECOR: Our guests will be greeted at Rose Island with a replica of the signage that once commanded Downtown Nassau, a plank would be added to include the bride’s and groom’s name, as well as the wedding date. Placed in a row, pom-pom and fringe umbrellas would line the beach until where the sand meets the ceremony location. On each seat small two-tone beach balls will be placed, while at the end of long benches larger beach balls would wait to be tossed in the air at the announcement of husband and wife.
THE DRESS CODE: On the bride, a high-waisted white bikini under a light sheer overlay. On the groom and his men, Island Company Passport Swimtrunks – they have several Bahamas stamps on them after all – and straw hats from Nassau’s straw market. On the guests, 60s and 70s inspired swimwear.
For Her – embroidered “Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polka Dot Bikini” bikini bags. An ode to singer Brian Hyland who rose to the top of the music charts in the 1960s with a song of the same name.
For Him – “Too Much Fun, Too Much Sun” survival kit which would include a miniature bottle of Plantation Hill Island Jerk Seasoning, solid bronze bottle openers by Abaco Resident Peter Bradley, and Advil – naturally.
ENTERTAINMENT: Volleyball, paddle-boarding on rentals from PappaSurf, and a custom corn toss will entertain guests throughout the day.
FOOD + BEVERAGES: To stay true to the theme and the era of diners, a hot dog and hamburger stand surrounded by an abundance of fixings will be set up. Along with beer and traditional favourites the bartender will serve a speciality cocktail, the Rum Dum, a drink first made in the year 1971 by Wilfred Sands and now often shaken with John Watling’s Rum. Vintage coke bottles, jars full of candy striped straws, mini beach umbrellas, and cherries will dominate the bar’s surface.
CAKE: Instead of cake, a table inspired by the traditional candy shop will be laid. To create various heights candy filled apothecary jars will be scattered about the table along with bowls of assorted candy.
BRIDE + GROOM’S TRANSPORT: We would surprise guests with an unexpected send-off for two in a chartered sea-plane, Safari Seaplanes to be exact.