Nikki and Mark had a very non traditional wedding, and not because they planned it that way. The original dream was a destination wedding somewhere outside and tropical, but still easy to travel to from the east coast. Well, Bermuda is all of those things. What the couple did not plan on was a hurricane hurtling towards the island and due to hit on the day of their wedding. Many of the guests, including close family and the officiant, had come in on a cruise that was scheduled to leave on the Sunday. Since the wedding was planned for the Saturday night, this gave them plenty of time to celebrate with the couple at the rehearsal dinner on the Friday, and the wedding on the Saturday. But at 5 pm on the Friday, the ship announced it would have to leave at 2am that night to avoid the storm. The couple decided to change tactics and instead of the ceremony on the day of the hurricane, they chose to have it that very night, while the weather was still beautiful and all their friends and family were still on the island. The had a welcome dessert and cocktail reception planned that night anyway so they knew people would be gathered. So they did their rehearsal dinner, then ran back to their rooms and threw on their wedding outfits. Luckily, Nikki had had a hair and make up trial that afternoon, but her bridesmaids had no time to prepare properly. Nontheless, they all just showed up at the welcome party and surprised everyone with the ceremony that evening. They hadn't done a rehearsal, or gone over their vows with the officiant or anything, but it was spontaneous and they were surrounded by everyone they loved. Sadly, I was unable to come that Friday evening to capture the event so last minute, but on the Saturday, after the ship decided to stay in Bermuda after all since the storm was not veering slightly away, it gave everyone who has wanted to be dressed up for the occasion a chance to wear their fancy wears!Needless to say, Nikki's amazing matrons of honour were helping to heek the bride calm with some words of wisdom and a glass of wine or two! It ended up being nothing like they couple had planned, but they still had a great time in the end and most importantly, all the people they loved were with them.
So Nikki and Mark decided they preferred to do a day after session with me rather than have me at the Saturday event - what does one call that since they were actually married the night before?!! So I went to their hotel on the Monday to capture a few moments that they would have liked covered on the big day had things been a little less chaotic.
Nikki was hilarious about her dress. She says she has no idea who designed it and that she gound it at some creepy, cheesy shop called "Bridaltown" full of 16 year old brides!! But she loved the dress and it fit her like a dream so she was thrilled.
This was now the third time Nikki was getting to wear her dress - I love that! One loves it so much and one usually only gets to wear it once so this was definitely a silver lining.
Nikki's mum bought her the earrings as her something new, and the pearl bracelet was borrowed from her bridesmaid, Pam. the necklace was a gift from Mark a few years earlier and her something old was a watch that she didn't wear the day we took photos since it was raining, but it had been a very special gift from her great Aung Jule, who passed away a few years ago at age 98! Her something blue were her panties! Love that!
It was raining when we were ready to go out to take some photos so we slipped down the hall to do some at the piano inside - I always like playing with the reflection on that so we had some fun there while we waited for the torrential downpour to ease.
The engagement ring was an Asher cut, non-traditional, almost vintage style ring. The wedding band was matching and the band for Mark was made to be scratch resistant and touch, so wearing it around the OR / procedure rooms all day wouldn't damage it.
Mark and Nikki are both doctors, but they met in college and have been together for almost 11 years! They are hoping to do an African safari for their honeymoon which is quite an adventurous holiday considering Nikki describes herself as the more introverted type who is happy with a rainy day (well, she got that a few times over that weekend!), a book and a cup of tea. Mark is the comedian and the sociable one in the couple.
The newly weds wanted to take the tram down to the beach - I love the windows on it - so decorative and fun. But we ended up hopping off again and going in my car to Warwick Long Bay since the seaweed and rain were not going anywhere so I thought it might give us a little more wiggle room with the type of shots we could get.
Luckily, the Willow Stream Spa at the Fairmont Southampton had planned to Nikki's hair and make up to stand up to any weather so despite the rain, she looked just as glamourous as ever. Her uncle held the umbrella for me which was more than a challenge given the rain was driving in sideways so half the time, I was trying to avoid taking photos with the umbrella in the photo!
Nikki's lovely bouquet, that held up beautifully after several days, was designed by Gimi.
Mark is 6'4" and Nikki is 5' on the nose so it definitely makes for shooting in a different way given the height difference. But these two were so snuggly and had been through so much already that I barely needed to guide them too much - they would just cuddle and they fit together perfectly.
Mark and Nikki got engaged in Alaska. They were on a cruise with another couple and while they were docked in Juneay, they decided to do a glacier hike. They were flown out to the glacier by helicopter and did a two hour hike with special ice boots Mark told the guides what he had planned so all of a sudden, Nikki noticed the rest of the group had disappeared. Mark slipped down onto the ice on his knee, pulled out that beautiful ring and proposed. Nikki was speechless and when they popped back over the hill to where the others were waiting, she shared that the answer had of course been yes!
Dearest Mark and Nikki - you two definitely win the prize for the most cool couple when it comes to dealing with things not working out according to plan. I don't think a single thing turned out as you had been imagining for so many months, but the one thing you hadn't expected to enjoy was the spontaneity of it all, and the one thing you knew would really make it all worth it was being surrounded but such close family and friends who made the weekend so special, despite the weather. So happy for you both and really thing with attitudes like yours, you will go far in finding rich and rewarding happiness in your marriage. Love and blessings to you both and I hope that one day, you can come back to Bermuda and we can have a non rainy day tea party on top of that cliff top! xxx