Friday, October 9, 2009

Bermuda Wedding - Coco Reef: Genevieve and Michael

Theirs is a classic love story. Genevieve met Michael when she was just 15, and Michael just 17. The two were in a vocational high school and it was mandatory for freshman to explore all the different shops before selecting a trade for the following four years. When Genevieve found herself observing what went on in the welding shop, there were more sparks flying between herself and Michael than from the metal and machinery. Genevieve coyly admits she is a sucker for blue eyes and a torch!

The couple love to travel and had never visited Bermuda before. They had heard so many wonderful things about the Island and decided it was the perfect spot to bring their close friends and family to share in their special day. Bermuda is only a two day journey by boat from Boston where the couple live, but it is a world apart from what they are used to. The pair traveled to the Island on The Norwegian Spirit with 40 close friends and family. The journey was extremely rocky so it was not much of a surprise when they reached port in Bermuda to find the weather was stormy here too with high winds and a lot of rain.

The wedding ceremony was originally planned to take place on the West Cliff Lawn at the Coco Reef Resort. Jude of Coco Reef and Nicola of Bermuda Bride made the call to move the wedding to the covered terrace. Leading up to the moment when Genevieve was to walk down the aisle, the weather darkened and then the heavens opened so wildly that the winds drove the rain straight in under the terrace. I raced to a guest computer at the resort and saw on the radar that it was just a passing squall so we decided to wait it out rather than move the event completely indoors. After the rains had passed, and a quick dry off of the seats, the ceremony was beautiful.

Michael and Genevieve have two beautiful children. Deanna-Bela was ill that day with a angry little tummy bug which most of the family had already had. The sweet girl was so dainty as she would ask to slip away to be sick once more. She struggled through the wedding and group portraits like a champion and you'd barely know how sick she was by some of the photographs. Her darling little brother is Michael Jr so he is known as Mikey and he was on great form for his parents nuptials and proudly held the rings on his cushion.

Mikey got his daddy's blue eyes!

Despite the downpours, we were blessed with a gap in the rain so Nicola from Bermuda Bride whizzed the couple down to the water's edge in a golf cart so I could capture a few couple shots before the next patch of rain rolled in.

Elegant calla lily bouquet by Petals.

Genevieve's dress was designed by Winne Couture. Since the bride is a hairdresser, she obviously did her own hair and make up. Doesn't she look like a movie star - so stylish - I love her.

Michael and Genevieve were getting their beach shots, no matter what the weather and were such troopers with my requests. I became fixated on trying to get a reflection shot in a shallow pool that had been created in the sand from a recent hurricane. I asked the newlyweds to venture out onto the sand bank between the sea and the pool so that I might capture my vision. But to my dismay, a series of huge waves swelled up over the sand bank and circled Genevieve and Michael. There was nowhere for them to run except through the water. The bride's dress was utterly drenched and I feared the whole mood turning at this point. But instead, she just laughed even more and I was delighted. Although the light was lousy, the spirit in these images says it all. Half of them I was barely able to focus in time, but they capture the mood of the day, and the essence of this fun loving couple who will have a wonderful future together if they can laugh off whatever life throws them, the way they sparkled happily in the face of a lot of rain, dark clouds, high winds and wild surf, not to mention a very wet and heave gown.

As you can see, I was running backwards to catch the moment and knocked my lens hood which darkened the edges of the frame. I loved the image of the water racing after them so much that I just had to post, despite the technical difficulties and not so pretty seaweed!

We decided to try some umbrellas shots and stood well away from the water's edge. But howling winds and rising tides still foiled our plans again, Nevertheless, I have to say that this series is one of my favourites I have ever shot, despite the lack of sharp focus. The umbrella weighed a ton before the wind blew it inside out and dragged poor Michael towards the surf.

I had to post this one twice, just in case anyone missed it in the beginning - perhaps my fave shot of all time! And captured on a day when the weather was so dark that I imagined we would end up with nothing - reminds me there always surprises in this job.

This is the original ceremony site on the West Cliff Lawn - the love birds had a quick snuggle and enjoyed the view before heading back up to join their guests at the reception.

The couple's first dance was to Ronan Keating's This I Promise You.

Michael proposed to Genevieve on New Year's Eve 2006 in the middle of the dance floor during the midnight count down with all their friends watching. Obviously the answer was yes and everyone had the rest of the evening to celebrate!

Genevieve danced with her father to the famous Butterfly Kisses by Bob Carlisle. Michael and his mother danced to Ma'e from Jorge Ferriera and at the end, it was very moving when all her other two sons came and danced with her and shared a hug and a tear - very touching.

The cake was created by Coco Reef and decorated with flowers by Petals.

The reception, which was originally planned for the terrace, was moved indoors, but the dining room looked stunning and the view out the windows overlooking the lovely property that sprawled down to the sea was exquisite.

Michael and Genevieve - thank you for brightening up such a dark day with your fabulousness - I wish you many more wild times full of surprises and laughter, not to mention sunny return visits to Bermuda.


  1. BEAUTIFUL photos Sacha. I'm not surprised of course, you are truly an amazing photographer. CB NYC

  2. Sacha, You truley are amazing! These pictures defintly brought me a few emotions. Happiness and laughter ! Thankyou again for being you! Genevieve & Michael


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