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Destination I Do
Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Perfectly Imperfect Bahamas Wedding

Words by Lauren Ertl
Photos courtesy of Braxton Gardiner

When we asked Jen and Nick why they chose to do a destination wedding in the Bahamas they said, “We don’t consider ourselves to be a traditional couple.” I can certainly relate to that and if you can too, then you’ll want to read on.

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The couple wanted a tropical/beach setting, which they quickly narrowed down to two locations: Bermuda or the Bahamas. “Ultimately, we decided on Melia Nassau Beach because it was an all-inclusive resort and we wanted our guests to know exactly what they were getting themselves into if they attended,” the couple said.

Most guests received the announcement that Jen and Nick’s wedding would be on the Caribbean island instead of at home quite well. Of course, not everyone was on board to which the couple reasoned that they couldn’t please everyone and moved on in the planning process.

Unfortunately, the couple had a poor experience with their first wedding coordinator, eventually compelling them to request a new coordinator just 90 days out. “In hindsight, we should have requested this sooner,” the couple says. Luckily, the situation was remedied by the wonderful director of events department.

Jen and Nick did, however, have a stellar wedding planner (Chelsye from Intrigue Design & Events) from the start. Chelsye helped them link up with fitting vendors, facilitated all discussions and negotiations and carried out the overall vision for the day.

“We couldn’t have done it without her,” the couple says. “We would strongly recommend using an outside wedding planner to assist with a destination wedding and ensure it runs smoothly. It was helpful to have someone with expertise on the typical costs for vendors and wedding-related items as an advocate to make us feel at ease that we weren’t getting overcharged.”

The idea for the theme was a “Caribbean watercolor scheme”, flaunting shades of blue, green and purple. A creative at heart, Jen took on several DIY projects to add a personal touch. Some of which consisted of:

  • in place of a guest book - watercolor dyed Jenga pieces guests could write on
  • for escort cards - watercolor painted hexagon shaped card stock with names written in calligraphy
  • self-made selfie station - custom backdrop with ombre teal blue Caribbean water inspiration from @katherinehallbergdesign and borrowed props
  • pops of color in tablescape - sheer fabrics cut into strips to tie around our different colored napkins

Jen and Nick did say if they could do it all over again, they would hire a travel agent to manage all the guests’ accommodations (another situation that was cause for a bit of stress). Plus, it took some time, effort, and persistence to communicate their vision to vendors from afar. 

In the end, the couple’s day-of aesthetic accomplished everything they’d hoped for. And, throughout all of the uncertainty and frustration the two experienced in their planning process, they still strongly advise other couples to slow down, enjoy the planning process and cherish every moment. 

“No matter how much planning, organizing, preparation, social media and Pinterest browsing, rehearsing all the details, and obsessing you do, SOMETHING will happen to throw a wrench in your perfect day,” Jen says. “The good news is that no one will know as long as you don’t let it ruin your experience. Focus on the important things and everything else will fall into place perfectly… even if the result is perfectly imperfect.” 

Vendors: Photographer: Braxton Gardiner; Wedding Planner: Chelsye Harp with Intrigue Events; Ceremony/Reception Site: Melia Nassau Beach Resort; Florist: Wildflowers Bahamas; Stationery: Minted; Cake: Take A Bite Bahamas; Hair & Makeup: Allison Knowles; Gown Designer: Hayley Paige; Groom’s Clothing Designer: Alfani (attire) & Dazi (tie); Bridesmaids Clothing Designer: Adrianna Papell; Groomsmen’s Clothing Designer: Alfani (attire) & BarIII (tie); DJ: Sterling Armbrister (DJ Silver)

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