Sean and Nicole met on a cruise when she was just 12 and he was 14. The two became the best of friends the moment they met and spent two years talking on the phone non stop and writing letters to each other, dreaming about the day when they would finally be together. After two years, they realised they were so young and that it made sense to date other people. Sean's family moved to Florida just before his senior year of high schol, while Nicole tested out of high school when she was just 15 and started college. They two would still speak a few times a year, usually through MySpace, and just enough to keep up with one another's lives. At the end of 2007, both of them were single at the same time and started speaking to each other on a daily basis. Nicole knew it was finally her chance to see Sean again, so she hopped on a plane and went to visit him for the first time since they had met five years earlier. They loved each other as much then as they had the first time they met, and after a second visit, Nicole packed her bags and moved across the country to be with him. So when it came to planning their wedding, a cruise seemed the obvious option since that was where it all began. So with 30 of their closest friends and family members traveling with them on a seven day cruise to Bermuda, the couple tied the knot on the beautiful shores of Bermuda.
Nicole and Sean were lucky enough to have enlisted the help of Nikki Begg at Bermuda Bride to plan their destination wedding. She had found them on the internet and since Sean wasn't interested in a true beach wedding since he is not a fan of sand, a grassy clifftop was the dream location. Nikki immediately suggested Astwood Park and then they arranged to go to the beach for photos after the service to fulfill Nicole's dream too.
The bride's something old was a bracelet that had belonged to Sean's Grandma Engilis', who passed away shortly after the couple were engaged. Her new was her gorgeous wedding gown from Brides by Demetrios. She had a blue ribbon sewn onto her Boston Bruins garter and on her right finger, she wore the ring her mother had given her for her fifteenth birthday.
Both rings were found at Jared. Nicole's is a simple white gold band to go with her three-stone princess cut diamond engagement ring, while Sean's ring is made from tungston-carbide. This is a metal which is virtually indestructible! Sean will never be able to get it resized and if the ring were ever to endure an impact, it would shatter before it would ever bend or break!
Due to timing of the ship's departure, the ceremony was a little earlier than I usually choose to shoot so the sun was incredibly bright but as soon as they had exchanged vows, sealed them with a kiss and walked up the aisle together as man and wife, the group slipped into the shade for some family portraits where it was cooler and the light a little softer.
I'm never sure which is better - girls on one side and boys on the other, or all mixed in - I think I like everyone mixed in together since this is a union, not to mention sharing the colour around always looks better to me too!
After the ceremony, the newlyweds and I headed to Stonehole Bay for some shots of just the two of them on a gorgeous Bermuda beach. But I had to sneak a few snaps along the path down to the water as it is just so dreamy in that tunnel and in and amongst the bay grapes!
I simply adore props so was thrilled Bermuda Bride provided these fun signs for the couple to use in their thank you notes after the wedding.
In September of 2009, Sean's mum's family put together a family reunion cruise to celebrate his grandmother's birthday. Nicole's family, who live in California, have not had much of a chance to visit Nicole since she moved to Florida to be with Sean so she convinced her mother and sisters to join them on the cruise. That first night on the ship, Sean brought Nicole out the the back of the ship to watch the sunset as they had done on the cruise where they had first met. He gave his love a poem he had written for her and they enjoyed the warm breeze as they watched the sun slip beneath the horizon. After they had sat for a while enjoying the evening, Sean slid down on one knee and barely squeaked out the words, "Marry me?" Nicole instantly threw her arms around him and yelled "Of course!"
Nicole was very into photography and I adored this as she was totally open to all my suggestions and trusted my vision without feeling silly. She played the glam girl and the result is just fabulous!
I think this photo below is one of my faves - it says so much and feels so iconic - and how divinely slender is that waist of Nicole's and beautifully emphasised by her corseted dress - love!
From the beginning, Nicole and Sean knew they wanted a cruise wedding because they met on a cruise nine years earlier and were engaged on a cruise so cruising has always had a special place in their hearts. The original plan was to actually wed on the ship, but the trip they planned to Bermuda did not offer ceremonies so after a lot of research, the discovered they could still have their reception on board at the Crow's Nest Lounge, which is by far the most beautiful room on the ship with its 360 degree view of the ocean and the island. So exchanging vows at a cliff top setting, and then sneaking off to the beach just the two of them before their gorgeous reception on a ship was all just a dream come true.
Nicole's bouquet, as well as all the flowers for the ceremony and Sean's boutonniere were created my Petals.
When we came back up from the beach, the train was waiting for the couple with all their family and friends to whisk them back to the ship to continue the celebrations.
Nicole and Sean - I loved the intimacy of your wedding - you two were as sunny as the day and your love shined brightly on all of us. I am just swooning over your love story - childhood romance that ends happily ever after is my fave. I wish you both the best in a long and happy future together! xxx