THE PLANNING: I had so much fun planning our wedding. I am an event planner and work in marketing, so it was fun to really make this event personal to us. We had 17 months to plan, which we needed with all the little details we added. I knew I would want to relax and have fun at our wedding, so I handed the day-of planning off to Laura Bolton from All The Trimmings, and she did a fabulous job making sure everything I had planned went smoothly.
THE LEAD-UP: We had 50 people fly in from around the world, so we really wanted to show them a good time. We hosted welcome cocktails for the overseas guests aboard Zara, the boat my family built in South Africa. We had the rehearsal dinner on my parents’ lawn, which was very personal and intimate. It did rain for the first three days of our guests’ arrival which was frustrating, but you can’t plan or control the weather. The rain cleared in time for our wedding events, which was a relief.
GETTING READY: My bridesmaids and I got ready at Newstead Belmont Hills, sipping champagne and dancing around together. I didn’t feel nervous or stressed at all, just excited and like a little kid on Christmas morning. It was important to me that my bridesmaids felt beautiful too, and Makeup by Aphrodite and Blueprint Hair Studio did an amazing job. Getting into my dress was very exciting, as dress shopping was probably the most fun of all. Bennet and the groomsmen got ready at my family home in Warwick, which was a very relaxed affair with lunch and beers on the porch.
THE WEDDING: We got married at Christ Church in Warwick because it is the Kempe family church. I was christened and confirmed there and some of my father’s ashes are buried there. My grandfather designed the church hall. It’s also the Church of Scotland, and Bennet is Scottish, so it just felt right in many ways. My mum and I arrived by horse and carriage, kindly provided and driven by our friend Dan Greenslade, and she walked me down the aisle, which was certainly emotional for us both. Our friends Selange and Matt arranged for Heather Nova to sing “I Wanna Be Your Light” while we signed the register, a song that has so much meaning to us. Heather was my idol growing up and my father and I used to listen to all her songs together.
THE PARTY: We had the reception at Coral Beach on the Longtail Terrace, as I think it’s one of the most beautiful views in Bermuda. Our theme had a vintage feel, with vintage doors for our table seating plan and one of my vintage suitcases holding flip-flops for people to wear at the end of the night. Bennet is a real foodie, and he definitely took more interest at this point of the planning. We were keen to use local vendors as much as possible. The cake, with three different styles of cake I love combined into one, was amazing. Working Title provided the music, and as always, they were phenomenal. I planned a surprise soca party with branded towels for the guests to wave. It got everyone on the dance floor and the sea of pink towels flying about was spectacular.
SOMETHING SPECIAL: Just as everyone sat down for dinner, there was a huge rainsquall coming our direction that ended up swerving, as it barely rained before this amazing rainbow appeared behind us. It was my dad telling me he was there. I was very close with him, and it was incredibly emotional not having him there on my wedding day, so the rainbow giving me a sign he was with us was pretty magical indeed.
THE HONEYMOON: It was the trip of a lifetime, that’s for sure. We went to Rwanda to see the gorillas, Kenya for a safari, and the Seychelles to relax. Seeing the gorillas up close was truly special. The hippo rubbing up against the tent at 3 a.m. was interesting. The Seychelles was simply beautiful and a wonderful wind down from the animal adventures. We ran on the beach each morning, jumped in the pool to cool off, read our books, and toured the island. It was bliss.
THE FUTURE: Bennet and I plan to stay in Bermuda, as this is where we have built our life together. We have our one-bedroom cottage and our adopted dog Skyler, who is the first-born for sure, so we are pretty settled and happy. We would love to have a family one day and will certainly need a bigger house when that time comes. Right now we are just enjoying married life and the high from our honeymoon.
ADVICE TO COUPLES: Remember that it’s about the two of you and your love for each other. Accept help when people offer it, delegate tasks when you can, and remember it’s not about trying to please other people. I would definitely recommend having a day-of planner so you can relax and enjoy your special day. When else are you going to have so many people you love in one place celebrating something so important? Enjoy the planning journey together and keep it fun.
CEREMONY: Christ Church
RECEPTION: Coral Beach Club’s Longtail Terrace
DAY-OF PLANNER: All The Trimmings
PHOTOGRAPHY: Howarth Photography Ltd.
Videography: LDS Multimedia Ltd.
Decor: Dasfete, Zoe Vintage, Urban Cottage
CAKE: Coral Beach Club
CATERING: Coral Beach Club featuring Wadson’s Farm, Tucker’s Farm, Two Rock Wine
MUSIC: Working Title, Kelvin “Steel Pancho” Cruickshank
HAIR: Blueprint Hair Studio
MAKEUP: Makeup by Aphrodite
Transportation: Mini Mega Transportation Service
OFFICIANT: Alistair Bennett