When Melissa & Ogi were initially deciding on a wedding location, they knew they both wanted to have a destination wedding. The majority of their friends and family don't live near the couple in New York City so they figured it everyone needed to fly, they might as well fly to somewhere warm. The couple finally decided on Bermuda as it was one of the easiest islands to reach from the US and Europe. Also, Melissa had been to Bermuda numerous times growing up and had brought Ogi to the Island for the first time in 2007. They love the beaches, the people and the overall atmosphere of the island and felt it is a wonderful place to be so why not tie the knot in a place they hold so near to their hearts.
Melissa's dress was a dreamy ruffly gown by Pronovias.
These fabulous shoes were Jimmy Choo. Melissa knew they were not the ideal beach shoes, but since her dress was too long to walk in without them and when they so utterly gorgeous, she thought why not. Plus, they were perfect for the dinner reception that was on solid ground!
The bridal bouquet was designed by Gimi. Melissa included a small photo of her dear friend, Crystal Baltimore who was one of the bridesmaids and Melissa was deeply saddened by her sweet friend's passing in January. The bride was keen to have something of Crystal with her on the day so she could feel her love with her.
Melissa's hair and make up were both done at the Willow Stream Spa. Bobbi did her hair, and Lynn did the make up and they were both wonderful fun to work with.
These stunning earrings are by H. Stern and just completed her look.
The weather that day was on and off rain and so we ended up having to do the bridal portraits inside the hotel, but I love it when this happens as it makes me search out fun spots. I discovered this piano at the last wedding I shot there and just love the reflections - such fun.
Luckily the rain stopped in time for Melissa and Ogi to have their intimate first look outside. I love it when couples opt to see each other before the ceremony as it allows us to do photos before hand so they can enjoy as much of the party as possible. This is especially important when guests have come a long way to see the couple and so it give the cocktail hour for the newlyweds to mingle rather than having to disappear to do group shots. I personally love it as they can actually speak to each other and say how they are feeling - the groom can tell his bride how gorgeous he looks rather than having to stay silent, and they can both react naturally, without the pressure of everyone watching.
Ogi proposed to Melissa in Central Park in 2009. Earlier that week, he had asked what the weather was supposed to be like that weekend and if she wanted to go to the park that Saturday. This should have tipped Melissa off as first of all, Ogi never asks about the weather, and secondly, he never plans for the weekend. But she didn't think about it and was keen to go if it wasn't raining. That Saturday morning, Melissa woke around 8am to Ogi's size 14 feet stomping as he paced the apartment. Bewildered, Melissa asked what on earth he was doing up so early on the weekend and he replied that he was worried about the weather and that he wanted to go to the park before it rained! So in her sleepy and confused state, Melissa dragged herself out of bed to go to the park. Once there, she expected to take a leisurely stroll but instead, Ogi is speed walking and ignoring all attempts at conversation. Finally, they make it to the Mall, which is a long walkway and they reach the bandshell at the end which is a small performance pavilion. tis normally busy area of the part was beautiful that day since the park was so lush and green and very quiet since of course nobody else would be up and out that darn early! Ogi is still speeding around, looking agitated but sees a small staircase at the side of the bandshell and suggests they explore it. They couple walked up the stairs and it took them to a quiet garden covered in trellis. Melissa looked around admiring the greenery and when she turned back around, Ogi was on one knee. After that, the couple both admit it was quite a blur. He tells he the first thing she sais was, "Are you serious?" but Melissa is skeptical. The answer was obviously in the end, yes! And they floated around in a blissful state until the rains came.
Everyone took the tram down to the beach from the hotel - I love this little but - it is such fun.
Melissa and Ogi chose the Fairmont Southampton as it has a great location and the private beach was perfect for their sea side service. It was touch and go through out the day but Melissa insisted the ceremony be outside, despite the massive rain heading for the island on the radar.
Just as Melissa was walking down the long beach towards her groom, the sun broke through the clouds and shone light down upon them.
As soon as the ceremony ended, we were about to take some couple shots when the rains began again. The break in the weather was just long enough for the two to exchange their vows before family and friends in the location of their dreams. They rushed under cover to toast to their marriage with their guests.
I loved this pair of ducks who stayed out in the rain and weathered the storm together - very symbolic!
Another break in the rain allowed us to slip down to the beach once more to capture some shots of Melissa and Ogi on their own.
Their rings were from Greenwich Jewelers in Manhattan and the couple had picked them out together. Ogi had selected Melissa's engagement ring all on his own which she was thrilled with both the ring and the surprise.
The dinner reception had to be moved from the beach side terrace to the hotel. But it was all set up beautifully and the couple were thrilled with the night just the same.
The wedding colours were red, coral and silver as Melissa wanted a beachy feel and colours to pop out in contrast to the sand.
The cake was created by the talented chefs at The Fairmont Southampton.
The Kennel Boys played at the reception were amazing and turned the reception into a full blast rocking party.
Melissa and Ogi's first dance was "Baby, It's Cold Outside". It has always been a favourite of theirs since they love the banter between Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Jordan. It also happened to work out well that evening since it ended up cooler later and they were grateful after everything to have their reception indoors.
The couple danced with their parents to "In My Life" by the Beatles. It is one of their favourites, but particularly for Melissa and her dad who are big Beatles fans. The band were also Beatles fans and had the song as a favourite on their list as well.
Melissa and Ogi - you two were just so adorable together and are such a lovely couple. I love how both on the day of your engagement, and indeed on your wedding day, the rains stayed off long enough for you to enjoy your moments, and more than that, I love how thankful you were for every part of the day, including the rains! I wish you both much happiness in the future. Love and respect, xxx