Christine and Gareth had been planning a big wedding for this coming August. They had everything planned from the bridesmaids' dresses t the cake, the venue, the menu, and even the the photographer (it was also going to be me!). Yet during all their planning, the couple went back and forth on many other issues from what they wanted to do to the date, you name it. Although the planning was relaxed and fun, they kept coming back to the idea in their heads about a very intimate ceremony and exchanging private vows. One day, after a long run, Christine came home and asked Gareth why didn't they just get married now - why wait? So the pair secretly planned a romantic ceremony with just the two of them and their son, Grayson Max. They grew very excited about the idea and since the original big wedding date was set for a full moon, they chose the very next full moon for their wedding date. It turned out that 19th March was not only the next full moon, but it was going to be a super moon - the largest in almost 20 years. It all seemed to perfect and so they put things in motion to make it happen. In Bermuda, one needs to run an announcement of intended marriage in the paper for two weeks. Christine's family noticed this and asked a few questions. So although the original plan was to elope, the couple realised that it was unrealistic and decided that some very close family and friends to be a part of their day would make it truly perfect. So they instead decided to elope-ish - which sounds totally adorable and very them.
The couple were very untraditional and spent the afternoon together and even enjoyed getting ready together. They arrived in a golf cart and walked down to the ceremony site as a family plus their niece who loved the buggy ride too.
Christine's dress was by Nicole Miller. She knew she wanted a Nicole Miller dress because she adores the simplicity of her style and the designer's gowns tend to flatter her figure. She found a sweet little boutique in Boston that carried some bridal gowns by the designer and even found one that she loved. But the sales woman said that she believed she may know of dress that would suit the bride to be even better. When Christine tried the gown on, she knew it was perfect. It was Gareth's favourite too (yes, he was there in the fitting room - there every step of the way!).
You may remember these two from their maternity shoot - and look at how the result of that beautiful baby bump turned out - Grayson is just delicious!
Gareth and Christine had originally planned their big wedding to take place at Tom Moore's Tavern. They love the venue and the restaurant was incredible in the planning stages. But once the elopement idea took off, they only had two weeks to plan the entire thing and somehow, the idea of a beach wedding seemed more appropriate. Tucker's Point beach is a favourite for the couple so they booked a room in the hotel for the wedding night and were granted permission for their vows to take place by the water. I found a sweet little nook to the west of the beach, almost hidden in an alcove which was totally private and a simply heavenly spot.
The signing table came together at the last minute. They used the gorgeous flowers that Sabrina had sent to the hotel room, and the sand dollars with the couple's names on them were from a friend's wedding three years before. They couple started collecting all of their name tags and place settings from other weddings over a two year period as they were going to so many weddings and now have quite the collection. The LOVE mosaic is something that Christine had wanted to make at the Mosaic Gallery, but hadn't found the time, so fate had it made exactly as she had wanted for her and she found it in s shop instead!
Since the entire wedding was planning in less than two weeks, Christine hadn't actually thought about flowers. They didn't even mention to their family that they were going to be tying the knot until two nights before the big day. But it was so important that the day be shared with family, and especially Christine's three sisters who were supposed to be bridesmaids at the original planned event. She had also confided in her close friend Sabrina that they were going to elope, and Sabrina had very thoughtfully arranged for a flower arrangement to be in the room to greet the couple upon arrival. It just happened that the bouquet had in it some purple orchids that were the exact colour of Gareth's tie, and so the served as a gorgeous decoration for Christine's hair. The bride had planned to order some just like it but in the chaos of the planning, had forgotten.
The rings are Gareth and Christine's favourite pieces. While they were planning their big August wedding, they had already decided that they wanted to get each other's finger prints in their rings. Once they made the decision to marry in two weeks, it was really important to them to have their rings in time for the ceremony so the bride found online a boutique in Chicago called Adzia Atelier. The sizes and copies of their finger prints were sent within a week and the rings were rush ordered, arriving three days before the wedding. Adzia was so accommodating and very professional and her designs were great and the couple simply adore the end product. They were exactly what they wanted which given it was all done over pone and email, plus the time restraints, was unexpectedly wonderful.
Christine's sister, Val, brought the roses for the children to give the couple after their ceremony.
Christine's niece, Kamryn, read a quote from Dr Seuss which fits the couple to a tee. It is short, so I will include it: "We are all a little weird and life's a little weird, and when we find someone whose weirdness is compatible with ours, we join up with them and fall in mutual weirdness and call it love."
Christine's sister, Val, had organised for sparklers to be lit at the end of the ceremony and for everyone to encircle the newly weds. It was a lovely surprise and Grayson was enamoured by the twinkling mini fireworks display.
Val had very sweetly also brought along some lavender orchids, which are the bride's favourite flower, which were intended for Grayson to give at the end of the service, which ended up being perfect as a bridal bouquet since Christine hadn't actually ordered one. They stem was exactly what she would have wanted to use as her bouquet so it all fell into place so beautifully without any effort at all.
Their proposal story is very romantic. Gareth spent five hours making a huge sign made out of glow sticks that said "Marry Me" on it and he took it out to their favourite spot where they go to watch glow worms all year round and sunk the sign underwater. The couple went out in the boat which they so often do in the evenings, so Christine wasn't expecting anything, and certainly not a proposal. As they backed the boat into their favourite spot, Christine could see something glowing from afar. It was really bright and as they grew closer, she could see the sign and read the words. She just shouted "Of course!" and gave Gareth a huge hug before they went for a celebratory late night swim - fun fun memory.
Can you believe those orchids were taken from the flowers sent to the room - how could the colour match to Gareth's tie be any better, even if they had taken it in to the shop? Just amazing.
When Christine rang me to let me know she didn't need me for the big event in August, but was I available in March, a tiny piece of me cringed at the possibility of typical March weather of howling winds and driving rains. But I'd so loved working with this couple at their pregnancy shoot, and had become friends with them in the planning of their original wedding, that I couldn't resist, even if it meant possibly shooting the entire event indoors. I reminded myself that amazing shots come out of crazy weather days so I was excited. Like me, Christine is obsessed with the moon and like us, they planned their entire wedding around a full moon. I didn't dare quash their hopes of seeing it rise with the very high chance of at least a lot of cloud cover. But the day of their wedding was one of those rare winter days when there is not a cloud in the sky. The temperature was almost too perfect - dry and body temperature so you couldn't even feel your skin. And as the sun went down, the sky began to glow in preparation for the super moon's arrival. I was so excited, I almost couldn't contain myself. And as the first wedding of the year for me, it was the perfect way to begin the season. Heaven.
Once again, one of my mistakes is one of my faves...
Since the wedding was planned in two weeks, Christine hadn't yet found any jewelry to wear with her gorgeous dress. I told her I had some fun pieces that I loved to wear to weddings so she came by my house and borrowed several different options. I was so touched on the day to see her wearing a necklace and earrings that Ben had given me for my birthday one year when we were first married. It unexpectedly fell into place perfectly for the tradition of something old, new, borrowed and blue. My necklace and earrings she borrowed, along with her mother's favourite pearl ring which the bride wore on her right hand. Her fabulous dress was new, her sweet little boy shorts she wore under her dress were blue and I'm guessing her soul is old, along with the gold that was used for her ring!
Christine's hair was styled by Lesley from the Tucker's Point salon. She came to the couple's vill and although the bride had not have a trial before, the end result was exactly as she had envisioned and she was thrilled. Her make up was done by Afrodite. The bride was extremely pleased, for she had been up all the night before with sweet (and awake) Baby Grayson, though I can't imagine Christine ever looking anything by utterly beautiful.
Antoine Hunt did video coverage of the day and captured a few words from the couple about how they first met, and how they were feeling on the big day.
The couple could not get over how stunning it was at twilight as they headed up from the beach to the hotel for some celebratory drinks and their dinner. As they looked across the golf course the the sea, they could see the moon - a huge mysterious red orange orb that hung low on the horizon. It was a beautiful moment and everything about their day was perfect and they could not be happier that they made the decision to do it in this way.
Christine and Gareth - you two are just lovely together,and with Grayson, a perfect family. I was so honoured to be there to witness your intimate ceremony and capture your love yet again on another momentous occasion in your lives. I can't wait to see how your family grows over the years. Lots of love to you all xxx.