THE PROPOSAL: Darren proposed on a visit to his home country of New Zealand. He planned to propose near a waterfall, but when we showed up it was packed with people and kids jumping off rocks, so he decided to wait until we were back in our rental house in Auckland. Right before he proposed there, the landlord of the rental knocked on the door as he was about to get down on one knee. She was bringing fresh bread and milk, and as soon as I turned back to Darren after putting the bread and milk in the fridge, he was down on one knee.
THE PLANNING: Being born and raised in Bermuda, it was always my dream to have my wedding on the island. We were living in London when we got engaged, but once we confirmed our plans to move to Bermuda before the wedding, it was a no-brainer to have the wedding there. I had a lot of planning support from my mum and my god mother Aimee, as well as a number of my friends who had just walked down the aisle. Susan Conyers and Sue Sickling were a massive help. A lot of inspiration came from Instagram and Pinterest and I managed to order all of the custom-made decorations through Etsy.
GETTING READY: My bridesmaids and I spent a cozy night in at The Hamilton Princess the night before the wedding. We woke up to room service for breakfast while Vernon G got to work. The groomsmen all gathered and put on their TABS Bermuda shorts together at Darren’s parents’ rental home. We decided to take our bridal party photos together at The Hamilton Princess before the wedding, so Darren and I did a “first look” and got to have some one-on-one time before the ceremony. It was a welcome relief to shed some nerves and share a few laughs and quiet moments before being in front of our 130 guests.
THE WEDDING: The ceremony was at the southernmost point of the grass plateau at The Hamilton Princess. Pastor Dean Smith brought a celebratory energy to the ceremony and we loved his laid-back approach. We prepared and read our own vows, which we heard for the first time that afternoon. We are so happy we were able to make them unique, even if we both had to fight through some tears while reading them. My uncle sang one of my favorite Elvis songs while Darren and I signed our marriage certificate, which made us smile the whole way through the signing.
THE PARTY: The dinner reception was held on the sand at the Princess Beach Club. We loved the idea of guests sitting under strings of lights with nothing but the night’s stars overhead. We didn’t want the evening to feel too fussy and given the natural beauty of the beach cove, we went for a more pared-back bohemian look with long wooden farm tables, strings of lights, and flower arrangements providing pops of color. The tables were named after our favorite off the beaten track European destinations. The dance floor opened up after dinner and speeches, with the Big Chill performing into the night.
SPECIAL MEMORIES: One meaningful moment was a surprise performance of a traditional Haka by Darren’s groomsmen and family from New Zealand. It is a Maori tradition for the Haka to be performed at weddings to mark a milestone.
THE HONEYMOON: We stayed for one night after the wedding so we could spend some extra time with our guests, then we flew to Tulum, Mexico, which is a relatively short flight from Bermuda. The peace and serenity was welcomed.
THE FUTURE: We relocated to Bermuda a couple of months before the wedding. We would love to start a family in Bermuda and put some roots down here by buying a home.
CEREMONY & Reception: Hamilton Princess & Beach Club
WEDDING PLANNER: All the Trimmings
PHOTOGRAPHY: Howarth Photography Ltd.
FLOWERS: Suzan Sickling
DECOR: Class Act Designs
MUSIC: The Big Chill, Giles Spurling
HAIR & MAKEUP: Vernon G
OFFICIANT: Pastor Dean Smith