What would summer be without a great beach party, or in this instance, a bride and groom’s arrival to their reception by boat? Crafted by Little Island Design and captured by Sabrina Lightbourn Photography, this wedding draws on a nautical colour palette but steers far from kitsch with tablescapes of elegant floral details towered by oversized palms. If I dare to choose a favourite detail, in a sea of so many, it would be the use of ‘dusty miller’ on the tables and in the bride’s and her maids’ bouquets, for the foliage so cleverly mirrors the wedding’s ever present coral motif.
From the bride, Brooke…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.
The morning after we were engaged I called Ben Simmons. I have seen his work many times and was at one of his first weddings. He is truly an expert at creating the unimaginable, as well as a top-tier chef. Actually, one might call him a magician! I knew that if Rob and I were to be married on Harbour Island, we had to work with Ben and Charlotte at Little Island Designs. Lucky for us they had one weekend available left in May.
I knew as much what I didn’t want as what I did want for the design of our wedding. I didn’t want to try to recreate a Manhattan wedding in Harbour Island, but I also wasn’t looking for the traditional “beach wedding.” I envisioned the style to be sophisticated and chic, and I wanted it to make a statement while still complimenting the natural beauty of Harbour Island. I also challenged Ben and Charlotte to do some things differently than things they had produced in the past. For example, instead of using an all-white or natural pastels color scheme, I chose navy blue and white accented by variations of aqua/green/turquoise – the colors of the water down there. As our reception was being held at Three Bees Villa I thought navy and white would be a chic compliment to the beige safari-like tents on the property. 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… of course he did! 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. 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 hanging (a logistical nightmare that drove Ben and Charlie nuts!) 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.
A few other entertainment and style elements that made our wedding special (some are Bahamian traditions that makes the country so special in itself):
- The marching band and procession from the church to the government dock
- Transportation to and from Bayside by boat
- Junkanoo after dinner
- 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 ships as well as goldfish and Swedish fish gummy candies, as well as a 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
- The smile on both my and Rob’s face all weekend long… it was the BEST weekend of our lives!
Wedding Photography: Sabrina Lightbourn | Invitations: The Printery + DFM Stationery | Wedding Cake: Swiss Pastry Shop (though it melted before anyone saw it!) | Priest: Fr. Reverend Kirkland F. Russell, Jr. | Entertainment: The Brilanders, Rocky & Ersley and The Sultans of Swing | Event Planning + Design: Little Island Designs | Rehearsal Dinner Location: Coral Sands Hotel on Thursday night followed by a Friday Night Beach Dinner in front of Ocean View Club | Wedding Ceremony Location: Saint John’s Anglican Church | Wedding Reception Location: Three Bees Villa | Wedding Jewelry: Diamond and sapphire tennis bracelet, a gift from my husband’s family and earrings from Gale Grant | Wedding Dress: Vera Wang from Mark Ingram Atelier | Wedding Veil: Peter Langer (something borrowed from my sister Ashley Kadakia) | Bride’s Shoes: Andrea Carrano ballet flats | Bridesmaid Dresses: Donna Morgan from The Wedding Library | Groom’s Shoes: Leather Man Flip Flops | Groom’s Tuxedo: White linen pants by Perry Ellis, Charles Tyrwhitt blue and white shirts, and Brooks Brothers navy blazer | Groom’s Accessories: custom Vineyard Vines tie and custom belts by Elizabeth McKay | Wedding Rings: Bride’s ring is from Landsberg Jewelers and groom’s ring is from Camilla Dietz Bergeron in NYC | Hair: Karen Catalyn at The Harbour Island Spa | Resort Accommodations: Bride stayed at her family’s home, Rosebud Cottage, and groom’s family rented Dunmore Cottage | Honeymoon Location: mini-moon at Dunmore Beach Club on Harbour Island and Tir Na Nog in Governor’s Harbour, Eleuthera
Little Island Design and Bayside are members of the the Island “I Do” Guide. Industry professionals and past and future island brides and grooms are welcome to submit their own Island “I Do” wedding for feature on The 700 Experience
Thank you Brooke + Rob for being a part of The Experience.