Monday, February 1, 2010
Bermuda Wedding - Newstead: Corinthia & Geordy
When Corinthia was only nine years old, she started spending her summers in Vermont, right next door to Geordy's family's farm. Geordy's home was always a magnet for fun and excitement, with hiking and camping trips, overnights on Bald Mountain and the March Cabin, and lots and lots of Papa's beer pancakes with fancy maple syrup, but there was no love at first sight in these early years. At 14 years old, Corinthia wrote in Geordy's family guest book that she hoped to one day have a big happy family as wonderful as theirs. Ten years later, after Geordy had returned from his Army post overseas, the two ended up both moving to Boston to start new jobs. When they reconnected, Geordy saw a vision of Corinthia stepping out of her jeep wearing a cowboy hat... and it was love at first (re)sight... at least it was for Geordy. The two started to date, then stopped, then started again. Geordy quit smoking, they dated some more and then no more once more. Geordy moved to Los Angeles while Corinthia went to Architecture school, and it wasn't until last July, another 8 years on, that the couple connected at last. And this time, it was love at first (re)sight.. for Corinthia - the pair were at last in sync - they had waited a long time and now it was their time. Two weeks later, Geordy proposed to his love over a sandwich, and again the next day at the top of Sugarbush Mountain, just to be sure. And worth the wait it was, for these two are so perfect for each other that it was fate that their paths would eventually come back full circle - they each just had to become who they were meant to be as individuals first, before their two hearts could become one.
Corinthia and her attendants prepared for the wedding in a suite at the Newstead Belmont Hills. The Dupioni silk dress was the creation of a Canadian designer, Paloma Blanca. The bridesmaids' dresses were from Aria. When Corinthia was considering palettes for her New Year's Eve wedding in Bermuda, she wanted hues that would harmonise with the cool stormy winter skies and the warm colours of Christmas. Then it hit her - she would use the colours in Bermuda's Flag and Ensign. The Royal Blue Shatung with Gold was also the perfect complement to the very reason Corinthia and Geordy had picked that date in the first place - because it was to be a blue moon. The next blue moon to fall on New Year's Eve will be in 2028 and on that night, there will be a total lunar eclipse as well, so hopefully Geordy and Corinthia will have a big celebration then for their 9th anniversary!
Corinthia and a friend braved a snow storm in the middle of Virginia to find these fabulous shoes. In preparation for their big day, the bride and groom to be wore thick socks inside their shoes and walked all around their apartment to break them in. These shoes, plus her dress, were her "something new". Her maid of honour gave her a garter with sweet blue ribbon that Corinthia wore though forgot to toss, but she was grateful for this the next morning when it made the perfect hair tie!
I have known Corinthia since we were in our teens, but had not seen her for ages so it was such a treat to hear that she was getting married in Bermuda. And I was honoured that she asked me to photograph this amazing day, for she had not ever seen my work, but the last time we had been in touch, she remembered that I was interested in photography so she thought she would drop me a line. That is trust - hope she likes my style!
I couldn't choose between these two images - they are actually the same photo but one is just bw and cropped in a bit.
Geordy's great grandmother purchased this silk veil for her daughter's wedding in 1931, so in terms of ticking off the "something old" and "something borrowed" check boxes, Corinthia did well. It is incredibly delicate and all hand stitched and has been worn by all the brides in Geordy's family for generations. Corinthia felt privileged to carry on the tradition by wearing the treasured family heirloom on her own wedding day.
The bouquet was designed by Christine Phillips-Watlington, who also did Geordy's boutonniere and the flowers in the church in memory of her close friend, and Corinthia's mother. The blooms were a combination of native Bermuda flowers and greenery grown in her Somerset gardens, with additional flowers imported by Demco Florist. Rachel at Demco also did the bridesmaids' and groomsmen's flowers.
My first moments meeting Geordy were these - I felt my own nose prickle as I held back the tears when I saw how emotional the groom was in anticipation of seeing his bride. So touching to see a friend's husband to be tearing up at the knowledge that a dream is finally happening.
Geordy has five nieces and nephews under six and some of Corinthia's bridesmaids were mums as well so the idea of flower girls and ring boys appealed to the pair. Their reverend reminded them that besides the weather on their wedding day, the moods and behaviour of children is always the other big unknown. But against the advice of family and friends, who cautioned them about including little ones in the wedding, the couple decided it was very important to have children involved in their ceremony and in the end, they had 8 children in their wedding party! And what a success it was, for their lovely light-hearted ways provided the perfect distraction for the couple on the day. Watching the guests smile and laugh at all the children took the pressure off Corinthia and for this she was grateful.
Corinthia was baptised and confirmed in Christ Church in Warwick, and although her family is not Scottish, they have always loved the easy going warmth of the church ministers and its congregation. The couple also discovered that the 12th President of Princeton University, Geordy's Alma Mater, was buried there in 1932 so this just added another connection for the families to unite in this church.
Ruby and Henry were the best veil minders ever - they didn't dare let go or sit down the entire service. I couldn't believe how patient and attentive they were to this amazing piece of historic fabric between their fingers. It wasn't until after the vows and the couple were allowed to sit down did the children take a break from their veil holding duties.
This photo below is one of my favourites from the day - it has such an old world feel to it and I adore that window behind framing Corinthia.
After the church, we decided to go to Elbow Beach for some moongate and beach shots. Geordy was too adorable snapping a photo of his beautiful bride with his phone.
Making a wish under the moongate is a must for newly weds.
We then headed to the beach for the group and couple shots. I have to say that this one below is probably one of my all time favourite group shots. I know the weather was so grey and there was barely enough light to define the wedding party from the background, but they were just such a fantastic group that low light or not, we were going to make some magic.
I was smitten with the bridesmaids' necklaces which Corinthia had found at J. Crew online. They were a whimsical blend of traditional wedding jewelry with pearl, necklaces and gold charms, all strung together with ribbon for the perfect touch of edgy sophistication - just like the girls who wore them.
I adore these ones below. I needed to run back to my gear for something so the lovers had a moment on their own. It was such a tender exchange between the two and I tried to sneak back up on them to capture as much of that intimacy as I could before the spell was broken by my presence.
And then Corinthia saw me and her expression was the best.
When Geordy first proposed in July, he asked Corinthia if she preferred a new ring of her choice, or if she could be happy with a family ring. Since Corinthia utterly adores all of Geordy's family, this was an easy decision. A few weeks later, while he was visiting his new fiance in DC, they went out early one morning to climb to the top of the Washington Monument. It was a beautiful day and the pair were all dressed up to go to Church. Geordy bent down onto one knee next to the monument and proposed for a third time, but this time with a gorgeous unique Art Deco set ring in hand, designed my Geordy's grandfather for his grandmother. He informed his bride-to-be that the men in his family do not wear family rings, so with that, Corinthia decided it would only be natural for her to wear two bands - one for herself, and one for her husband!
The entire day had been heavily overcast and I could not believe I was able to capture anything in focus by the end of our couples shots, especially after the sun had set. Just as we were leaving the beach to head over to the reception, the sky started to tinge pink, as the first hint of the clouds lifting appeared.
A holiday wedding deserves a shot by the Christmas tree, particularly such a dreamy island themed one as this.
To take advantage of getting married in Bermuda, the Geordy and Corinthia really wanted their reception to be on the water. A family friend introduced them to the new Newstead Belmont Hills property. At first, the two were hesitant, for it is very modern and ideally, they were looking for somewhere with an "old world" Bermuda feel. But the stunning location, fireworks in the harbour at midnight, and the impressively friendly and helpful staff made it an easy decision in the end. The big unknown fear was going to be wind, but thanks to God's graces, the 12 hours of calm over the holidays fell on their wedding day, and the best blessing of all was that the heavy cloud cover lifted in time to reveal the spectacular full moon.
The reception table centre pieces were imagined by Corinthia and assembled with great fun and collaboration by guests, friends, kids and the Beau Rivage restaurant staff. The bride really wanted to transform the venue from a cool modern space into a warm, tropical adventure. Bermuda has so much stunning foliage to offer and Corinthia wanted to go big, without obscuring the guests view of each other across the table while seated. The end result was a cosy jungle-like canopy of fan palms over each table, while Bermuda sand and a few shells helped to anchor the tall vases. A bed of Baygrape leaves helped the centre pieces transition into the crushed gold table linens, adding to the rich organic theme.
Corinthia and Geordy - you two are such romantics and I had such fun working with you and capturing your beautiful wedding. What an amazing way to see out the old year and welcome in the new. Congratulations and lots of love to you both. xxx