Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Stephen & Leah - Elbow Beach, Bermuda Wedding

Stephen and Leah were married against the backdrop of the stunning south shore seas and a rainbow dangling over head while they exchanged vows, as if it were part of their wedding theme. The couple were so thrilled that so many of their friends and family were able to make the trip for their destination wedding. The weekend was full of festivities in the days leading up to the wedding, from late night happy hour and very late night dancing, a tennis round robin, gorgeous rehearsal dinner at Lido, a welcome party on the beach, the magical wedding on the Marina Terrace, and a farewell brunch to see everyone off the next day - a fantastic wedding weekend that they are all still talking about.  

Leah's dress was by designer Anna Maler - Ulla Majia. The bride had asked the designer to combine two similar strapless dresses into one style and she adored the result. Thank goodness it arrived just a few weeks before the wedding and would have been near impossible to make any changes that late but luckily it fit like a dream.

The darling peep toe silver shoes were Manolo Blahniks.

This madly cute garter was from the New England Patriots Pro Shop - how fun is that?

Leah found her dreamy cathedral veil at Hitched, in DC, which is the same shop where she found her gown.

The vibrant tumbling bouquet was gorgeous and picked up the colour from the bridesmaids' red cocktail dresses perfectly. The bride was also thrilled with the way the florists, Petals, did such a great job decorating the spaces they used for the rehearsal dinner, ceremony, cocktail hour and dinner reception.

I simply loved the tresses that fell around Leah's face and framed her sweet features so beautifully. Her hair and make up were both done at the Willow Stream Spa at the Fairmont Southampton. One of the more harrowing decisions in the wedding planning was whether to wear her hair pinned up for flowing down. Many hours were spent on this debate and in the end, she decided to put a bit back with pins and white flowers but leave it mostly down which seemed more appropriate for the beach setting.

Please forgive me that there are three of the same image here - I simply loved her look so much and simply couldn't decide which version was best. I might have spent hours deliberating which one to keep and which ones to toss so in the end, I decided to share them all!

Leah borrowed her mother-in-law's handkerchief as her something old, and also borrowed hairpins from her bridesmaid. Her mother gave her a blue ribbon to tie around her flowers and her dress and shoes were new.

The bride's stunning jewels were found at Nordstroms.

The rain was on and off all day, but Bermuda Bride held tight and kept an eye on the radar to see if the ceremony could remain outdoors. It was pouring with rain only moments before the ceremony was due to begin and all the guests were sheltering from the wet weather, but just in time, the sun came out and a gorgeously romantic rainbow appeared. The guests took their seats and the ceremony went ahead, not only on a sunny day, but with a full arched rainbow for good luck.

Nikki Begg of Bermuda Bride was omnipresent on the wedding day, making sure every detail was taken care of.

There are moments in my job when I am literally squealing internally, I am so excited. This was one of those moments. I couldn't get over how lucky they were. It is one of those things when you almost lose your dream, you are so much more appreciative when it unfolds as you had imagined. It was like that at this wedding. They nearly had their dream of an ocean side ceremony quashed and would have been moved indoors, but luckily, the elements were on their side that day and the sun shone at just the right moment and that rainbow represented how incredibly grateful everyone was, including me, that their dream vow exchange could come to pass.

As a tribute to their destination wedding on a beach, the couple decided to include a sand ceremony during the service and mised white and pink sand together in a vase to remind them of Bermuda.

Leah and Stephen knew they wanted a guest book but wanted something fun for the guests and memorable for themselves - something they would look forward to opening and rereading and showing off to friends and family long after the wedding. Nikki Begg of Bermuda Bride suggested they ask the guests to each take polaroides of themselves and pop them in a photo album, along with signatures and personal notes to the newlyweds. It is a beautiful keepsake and Nikki was a star capturing some key moments like the couple coming up the aisle to place in the book and groomsman, John, was the king of coralling all of their guests and getting so many excellent photos and notes for this special guestbook.

How in love with this cathedral veil I was - just had a life of its own in the breeze that day.

The couple live in Washington DC and settled on Bermuda for their destination wedding since they wanted somewhere beachy that wasn't too far out of the way. Bermuda is a short direct flight from most cities on the East Coast where most of their friends and family live so it was ideal. The pair had been to Bermuda once before on a long weekend and they loved it. They visited the Island again after they were engaged and toured several possible venues in a whirlwind weekend. They wanted an outdoor ceremony with a view of the beach and the ocean and they wanted the reception to be at the same location to make it easier on their guests who would already have traveled so far. The fell in love with the Elbow Beach for its gorgeous location, incredible food and exceptional service. They loved working with Adnana and were thrilled with their choice.

Steve and Leah met while working at a law firm in DC. They had an exciting secret office romance which started with Steve inviting Leah over to his place to watch various TV shows, most memorably, The Wire. Who knew that a show about the drug trade in Baltimore would ignite a life long love affair that ended in a dream wedding in Bermuda?

Leah's platinum and diamond wedding band matches her engagement ring which was selected by Steve. As a surprise, he had it made to order at Shah & Shah Appraisers and Fine Jewelers in Washington DC. Steve's ring is also a platinum band.

Steve proposed to Leah on their second dating anniversary at Komi, their favourite restaurant in Washington DC. After he popped the question - and after she said yes! - Steve had a limousine waiting outside the restaurant to take them the few blocks to their condo where they picked up weekend bags that were already packed as he had led her to believe they would be going away to celebrate their two year anniversary. With bags and some champagne in hand, the couple visited the city's monuments by moonlight, stopping at the Washington Monument, the Jefferson memorial, the World War II Memorial and the Lincoln Memorial. The police apparently grew a little testy when the couple were sipping champers with President Lincoln, but they gave them a break due the momentous occasion. The limo finally dropped the two off at the W Hotel in downtown Washington where they spent the rest of the weekend living it up in one of the W's luxurious suites. Leah's parents live nearby but Steve had flown is parents in from Massachusetts so the next day, they celebrated their engagement with both their parents at the P.O.V - the rooftop bar at the W, and then a fave Italian restaurant. It was a weekend they will never forget.

The elegant three tiered cake was created by the Lido. The couple had sent a photo from a magazine and the restaurant matched it beautifully. Leah had been keen to have something a little different so went for a square cake and they decided on the colours they had chosen with Petals for the ribbon and flowers. It was delicious as well as gorgeous and when the cake was cut for dessert, the couple asked that everyone be given a slice of both flavours - the strawberry shortcake and the chocolate cake with vanilla buttercream.

Leah and Steve - your wedding day was magical with all the surprise elements like the rains, the sun and of course that unforgettable rainbow. Thank you for asking me to document such a special time in your lives - I was honoured to be a part of it and capture the sweet love you two share. xxxx

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