Sunday, October 17, 2010

Sally & Joseph Wedding - Granaway Guest House & Gibb's Hill Lighthouse, Bermuda

Sally and Joseph are one of those couples who you just fall madly in love with. Not only because their love for each other is so infectious, but also because their passion for life and people is so overwhelmingly warm and contagious. Joseph had first met Sally's parents three years ago here in Bermuda and they all adored the Island back then so it seemed like the ideal location to tie the knot since they had friends and family coming to celebrate from both the US and UK. The fact that Bermuda is central spot and a paradise island made it a dream location for their nuptials. The pair are totally hooked on Bermuda and love photography, traveling, teaching and each other and I was just so thrilled to have been able to document their wedding, and their love.

Sally's dress blew my mind. I wanted to get married all over again (to Ben once more of course!) and wear this dress. It was called "Papillon", which means butterfly in French, and was created by UK designer Jenny Packham. It was made in layers of silk charmeuse and chiffon with oodles of fine beading and since the bride  loves vintage Hollywood glam and ethereal styles she simply fell in love with the Packham's designs and fabrics. I think I loved shooting this dress as much as Sally loved wearing it.

 Sally's headpiece tied in with her love of dreamy styles. It was by UK designer Lucy Marshall and reminded Sally of something from Lord of the Rings which, combined with her early Hollywood glam dress, made the perfect image. Her hair was styled by Jennifer Doe and she had her make up done at the Mac shop on Front Street.

Sally didn't even have to think about her something old, new, borrowed or blue on the day. The bride realised she had left her earrings at home so borrowed a pair from her friend, Sarah, which looked lovely with the dress. Her something new were her shoes, and her something blue was a sweet bow that had been sewn into the first layer of her dress. Her something old was the wedding dress itself. Sally had found it online at a pre-owned wedding dress website for a fraction of the original cost which was fabulous that she could find her dream dress at an affordable price. I loved this for a couple of reasons - first of all, it is recycling and I am mad about saving the world. I always find it so tragic that these glorious dresses are only worn once, or at best, twice if the couple do a day-after session. Secondly, Sally and Joseph are in careers for love (Sally is a teacher, and Joseph a photographer) and although I do not know anything about them, I imagine their amazing jobs would not justify hemorrhaging their life savings on the dream dress. And that dress looked like it was made for Sally - I cannot imagine anyone ever looking as good in it before or after. So kudos Sally on finding your perfect dress at the perfect price and not impacting the environment either!

Julie Mayor of Just Roses did the beautiful bouquets and reception flowers.

When I met the couple and found out that Joseph is a photographer, I was at first flattered that they chose me, but then terrified of the pressure. It is always an odd experience to shoot another professional. I get paranoid and suddenly forget my settings and wonder if they can see what I am doing and thinking what they would be doing differently. But Joseph was so at ease, so open and warm, that I never felt that - not for a moment. He just trusted me implicitly and as a result, I was able to shoot what I saw the way I saw it and didn't worry about how he would have done it. Of course it helped that both he and Sally are gorgeous, but still, his relaxed attitude was much appreciated too!

Joseph's sister, Jennifer, was both a bride's maid, as well as her brother's best woman.

Sally and Joseph took a trip to Bermuda in June of last year to select venues for their wedding. This was their third visit to the Island and after looking at several small hotels and considering gardens, they visited Granaway Guest House. The two immediately fell in love with the sweet garden setting, the charming old Bermuda house and indeed the even more charming owners, Carol and Michael. They very kindly agreed to host the wedding in the garden of their delightful home so Sally and Joseph were over the moon. When I saw the location, I was over the moon too - it was so full of nooks and crannies and was such a little haven in the enclosed garden - a photographer's dream.

Sally's father was not keen on the idea of a wailing bride and so insisted Sally not allow herself to cry when she became so overwhelmed with happy emotions once she'd caught a glimpse of the ceremony site through the trees. He was determined to ensure that his daughter's make up didn't run so gave Sally a serious talking to as they started to walk through the tunnel of Frangipani flowers on their way to meet Joseph at the other end of the aisle.

One of the most special things about the day for Sally and Joseph was that they had created the ceremony themselves, from writing their own vows to having Michael, the owner of the property, officiate the service. They really liked him and wanted someone who they felt would be a good fit. His wife, Carol, read one of their poems and it added to the intimacy of the service since they are such warm people and share a mindful approach to spirituality similar to the couple.

Joseph had made sure there was a heart made of rose petals for the couple to stand inside as they pledged their love to one another before all their loved ones.

One of Sally's favourite memories of the day was how serious and emotional Joseph was during the service. The couple also adored having friends and family involved in the ceremony doing readings and just being surrounded and supported by those they loved most.

So many people had told Sally and Joseph how their own weddings had flown by and were over before they knew it. These two wanted to savour every moment of their day. Since meditation walks that Sally had done before had always been so special, it seemed like a perfect way to breathe in the beauty of the day and use all of their senses to fully experience the unique time and place both in their surroundings and in their relationship. The pair decided to do one of these walks immediately after walking up the aisle after the ceremony. They requested several minutes of silence so they could fully appreciated everything that was happening in real time and soak up all that happiness and love and elation from the day. It was a beautiful touch and I know the newly weds will remember it forever, especially since they were able to walk around such beautiful and secret gardens.

Sally felt so blessed to have her maids, Natalie and Coralie, with her on the day.

Here is the couple with the owners of the Granaway Guest House, Carol and Michael.

There was a sweet afternoon tea set up for the guests to enjoy while Sally and Joseph slipped away with me for some photos.

Carol and Michael of the Granaway Guest House arranged for their signature drink to be offered during cocktails in the garden after the service. It is a wonderful concoction using champagne, pomegranate and a splash of ginger for kick.

Sally and Joseph found their rings in a family run conflict- free jewelers in TriBeCa in New York. It was the same place where her engagement ring had come from. The couple both went with organic shapes since they loved the natural flow of the rings. Sally loved how the round diamonds on her wedding band softened and complemented the emerald shape of her engagement ring.

When I say I adored shooting at this location, I am being very understated - it was just full of so many secret nooks that bubbled over with charm  and beauty. I also adored capturing how cute these two were together - just love my job.

Aren't Sally's webbed toes just beautiful - I love them. Apparently her father and grandfather have them too. And what is even cuter is that another name for the rare syndrome (only 1 in 2500) is duck toes, which is very relevant as I will mention later!

You can really see here why the dress is named Papillon - those wings are so delicate and beautiful.

This is in front of the darling cottage the love birds stayed in, and below a love bird trinket that Sally had hung on their door. I'm a bit heart mad so just loved this little thingamabob!

On the way to the reception, we slipped in a stop at the beach so the newlyweds could make a wish on this cliff and feel the sand in their toes - the perfect pit stop.

Not sure why, but this one below is one of my faves - just love the glee in their faces.

During that same trip last summer, Sally and Joseph were having dinner outside Gibb's Hill Lighthouse. It has always been a spot they love to visit when they are in Bermuda, and during that meal they started day dreaming about having all their friends and family join them at this unique landmark to enjoy the gentle breeze and amazing views where you could appreciate the beauty of Bermuda from such a height. As they talked about sharing this special place, it came to them to have their wedding reception in that very spot, and that combined with the garden setting for their ceremony was a dream come true.

The parasols were found in a store in New York called Pearl River on Broadway. The baby sized antique one was a gem and perfectly sized for sweet baby Koraline, and although Sally wished they had one in an adult size for her, the delicate ivory paper one she brought made for a pretty picture too.  

Sally's sister Nicola was a real character too - just fun and love photos of sisters.

Above are Korean wedding ducks. They represent the bride and groom, partnering for life, children, and are meant to be reminders of the peaceful wedding during challenging times in a marriage. Back to why I think it is so sweet that Sally has duck toes!!! They are now sit on their dresser at home as a daily reminder of the importance of their relationship, of communication, intimacy, and an ongoing memory of how incredible their wedding day was for them and everyone there.

Because of her glorious dress, the theme of butterflies was born and the wedding had loads of them in sweet little touches on the tables as place cards, on the menu, in the guest book and around the garden at the ceremony.

The cake was created by the pastry chef at The Dining Room at the Lighthouse. The couple had requested a tasty lemon drizzle cake with butter cream topping and apparently it was delicious!

The newly weds danced to "Anything Else But You" by the Moldy Peaches. Joseph isn't a big fan of dancing so he chose a song he would be most comfortable with and as a result, the two had a blast during their first dance as husband and wife.

 While Sally had been listening to her play list of music for the wedding, she started to think about how they could create a truly communal fun party experience for their guests. She was keen to get everybody up dancing and so thought of her friend Kathleen, a colleague who teaches Movement. The week before the wedding, Sally asked if Kathleen would be open to choreographing a partner dance to this fabulously fun song, like she had done with Sally's students not long before. Kathleen rose to the challenge and chaos arose as hardly anyone was listening (Sally noted her first grade students' listening skills were far superior!), but this made the event all the more entertaining.

Sally and Joseph - I wish you both a journey ahead much like your wedding - full of laughter, tenderness, beauty, and most of all love - with foundations like these - you will survive anything that is thrown your way. Happy happy trails. xxx


  1. Beautiful and fun photos Sacha, It was a pleasure to meet you.
    Thanks Nicx (Sally's Sis)

  2. Sorry we were not able to be there, but this is so wonderful to see. What beautiful photos of two beautiful people!
    Constance, NYC


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