Wednesday, February 9, 2011
A Real-Life Bahamas Destination Wedding - Just the Two of UsWords by Courtney Kellar Words by Courtney Cox
Photos courtesy of Gwendolyn Tundermann Photography
As a semi-wedding expert, friends are always asking me about wedding etiquette, traditions and what’s “right.” My response may seem like a non-answer, but I always tell them, “Your wedding should be exactly what you want. Don’t worry about what everyone will think.” This is exactly why I got so excited upon seeing pictures of Monica and Mike’s destination wedding in the Bahamas. The couple met at an Oklahoma newspaper where Monica was a reporter and Mike was a sports editor.
One of the first things you’ll notice about these nuptials is not just a gorgeous setting and a good looking couple – but there aren’t any guests. Despite the pleas of their mothers for a more traditional wedding, Monica and Mike knew they wanted a “simple, personal and relaxing” wedding – just the two of them. Monica never wanted a big lavish wedding and thankfully neither did Mike. “We had our sights set on the beach,” says Monica.
The bride had always wanted to go to the Bahamas, so her and her future hubby started researching underdeveloped, quite islands in the Atlantic. Ultimately, the couple decided on Eleuthera, Bahamas near Governor’s Harbour. They immediately began researching vacation rentals in the area and fell in love with a home that featured amazing views of the sapphire waters.
It just so happened that the vacation home’s owners were good friends with a revered/wedding planner dynamic duo. For Monica and Mike things seemed to fall into place – proof that they made the right decision in eloping for their destination wedding. Monica sent her planner pictures of bouquets she liked (featuring lilies, roses, orchids etc.) and let the planner do the work. In an effort to let the destination take center stage, Monica’s bouquet was the only decoration for the couple’s wedding.
The couple found their photographer by placing an ad on Craigslist – naturally there were dozens of responses from photographers wanting to travel to Eleuthera for the couple’s “I do’s.” After looking at her work, Monica decided Gwendolyn Tundermann was the one – for pictures that is. Gwen and her husband not only captured the beauty of the day, but served as witnesses at the wedding!
Monica was really a gutsy, hands-off bride. She never set foot in a bridal salon (much to her friends’ dismay) and actually ordered her wedding dress on eBay! Monica admits this is the biggest risk she’s every taken, but thankfully the dress arrived safe and sound and looked lovely! Mike wore an island-friendly, tan suite from JCrew.
Mike and Monica spent 7 days in Eleuthera enjoying the newlywed life and beginning their long future together in the best place possible – paradise. In the end, everyone got to join in on the joy of the couple’s union at a hometown reception back in Oklahoma. I hope this wedding inspires other destination wedding couples out there to make your wedding exactly what you want it to be. Ultimately, every wedding day is about the joining of two souls and shouldn’t that be done on your own terms?
About: Courtney Cox is a writer and editor at Destination I Do Magazine and recently graduated with a degree in Print Journalism from Arizona State University. Her passions include traveling and she’s looking forward to an upcoming trip to Australia as a representative of Destination I Do. For travel deets and the inside scoop on Destination I Do, follow Courtney on Twitter here.
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