By Rachel Sawden
Photography by Fiander Foto
“I had only been in Bermuda about three days,” Sameera says of the night she met her husband-to-be. After relocating to the island from Los Angeles, she attended an intimate house party with her friend, Lisa, who was leaving Bermuda when she met Mujib—and lots of other new friends. In the weeks following the party, Sameera continued to run into Mujib at social gatherings, which she later learned was not an uncommon experience given the tight-knit circles of friends that develop in Bermuda’s social scene.
“My friend Lisa was part of Mujib’s friend circle,” says Sameera.
After two weeks of being in the same place at the same time, he asked Sameera on their first date and their whirlwind romance began. Before long they were engaged, with a wedding set for September.
Their wedding planning, however, didn’t go as smoothly as their relationship. One month before the big day, their photographer cancelled on them. As luck would have it, they were having drinks at the Hamilton Princess that very day, and they saw Melanie Fiander photographing an engagement session. At the end of the shoot, Sameera and Mujib introduced themselves to Melanie, and photographer and bride-to-be clicked instantly. Both had family in Alabama, and both had moved to Bermuda from major cities—Melanie, from Washington D.C., and Sameera, from Los Angeles. This stroke of serendipity saved the day as Melanie agreed to shoot their wedding.
The couple experienced yet another cancellation just days before the wedding, when the cake maker backed out, but luck was in the couple’s favor when Bermudian fine foods provider Miles Market stepped in and agreed to make Sameera and Mujib’s cake.
Finally September arrived with no further hiccups, and the couple took part in a basic, formal ceremony at the Registry General, and afterwards, the bride was whisked off to get ready in her bridal suite at the Hamilton Princess, where Melanie captured every moment in her unobtrusive, documentary photojournalistic style.
“Melanie did a phenomenal job,” Sameera recalls.
The dashing groom wore green Bermuda shorts, a blazer, matching socks, and a dapper bow tie. Bridesmaids wore flowy coral dresses to match the groomsmen’s Bermuda shorts. Draped in a strapless Stella York dress and carrying a bouquet created by Alba Fernandez from Exclusive Events, Sameera was ready to walk down the aisle. This was no ordinary aisle, however—Sameera’s father escorted his daughter from her bridal suite through the hotel, and down to the dock where the celebration yacht ÜberVida was waiting. With 80 friends and family members aboard, the yacht cast off to cruise around the Great Sound under beautifully clear skies. They adopted a Quaker tradition where the friends and family bearing witness hold the couple to their vows, as opposed to an officiant.
The day went off without a hitch in part due to the efforts of planner Krystal Outerbridge, who oversaw events on the day of the wedding.
“She was amazing,” Sameera gushes. “She made sure everyone was where they were supposed to be and she put out all fires.”
The reception was full of joy and memorable moments. After the best man gave his speech, he serenaded the couple with “This is How We Do It,” while guests sang and danced along. The night continued as the newlyweds and their guests danced the in the glow of the setting sun and dined on island-spiced nibbles catered by Spring Garden. The party continued long after the newlyweds retired for the night and into the next morning, when guests shared wedding day stories over brunch at Beau Rivage.
CEREMONY & Reception: ÜberVida
WEDDING PLANNER: Krystal Outerbridge
PHOTOGRAPHY: Melanie Fiander of Fiander Foto
FLOWERS: Alba Fernandez of Exclusive Events
CAKE: Miles Market
CATERING: Spring Garden
HAIR: Ronelle at Shairons
MAKEUP: Hannah Collins
ACCOMMODATIONS: Hamilton Princess
GROOM & GROOMSMEN ATTIRE: TABS Bermuda, vineyard vines