Your wedding day is one of those rare times in your life when everyone you love will be together in one place. So why confine them to assigned tables at your reception, effectively putting a damper on their ability to mingle? This idea is catching on with couples getting married in Bermuda, who are opting for more informal set-ups during their wedding receptions.
“We’ve seen a shift away from the traditional formal plated dinner type of service and more toward this hybrid where you have food stations and more of an open seating style,” says Nik Bhola, general manager of the exclusive Coral Beach and Tennis Club. “So instead of having one big long line at the buffet and everybody waiting for each table to be served individually, you have guests moving around and going from one station to another, whether it’s a grill, pasta, mussels, or sushi station. It really promotes friends and families getting to know each other a lot more and creates a much more interactive experience.”
An added bonus of this informal style of reception is that you can accommodate more guests when you don’t expect them all to be seated at the same time.
From food to decor to degree of formality, the island of Bermuda itself heavily influences the choices couples make when planning their wedding reception. Casual elegance reigns, as couples opt for a relaxed, beachy vibe while incorporating glam elements.
“In Bermuda, it’s all about an elegant beach feel,” says Kathleen Dodwell of Bermuda Event Solutions, who coordinates weddings at The Reef. “Brides still want the big beautiful dress, and they jazz up the beach space with some elegance while keeping the feel casual with the backdrop of the ocean.”
The island’s natural beauty is almost always a highlighted feature at Bermuda weddings, whether couples say “I do” with their toes in the sand or incorporate stunning ocean views during their reception.
“Our wedding groups like to take advantage of our spectacular oceanfront location overlooking Bermuda’s most picturesque shallow waterfront,” says Pompano Beach Club managing director Tom Lamb. “We’ve found that wedding groups consisting of 60 people or less like to reserve our oceanfront Ocean Grill restaurant for sit-down dinners, allowing them to enjoy spectacular ocean views and sunsets through floor-to-ceiling double-tiered windows.”
Couples often opt to showcase food and drink that’s unique to the island, giving their guests a taste of authentic Bermuda. Of course, no Bermuda wedding reception would be complete without the island’s iconic rum swizzle, a sweet and refreshing concoction of rums and fruit juices that pairs perfectly with the beautiful setting.
“At St. George’s Club, we also have the sunset, which is made with Bacardi rum, or the dark and stormy—black rum with ginger beer—which is always a favorite for people coming from the states,” says Perry Robinson. “As for food, peas and rice is a traditional Bermudian dish, and bread and butter pudding is a standard dessert. Other dishes often include Bermuda local rockfish or wahoo done with different fruit salsas.”
Another trend being seen in Bermuda right now is the idea of a one-stop shop. Many couples are getting married and celebrating at the reception all under one roof, eliminating the need to transport guests from one venue to the next.
“We have local residents and international guests coming over who want to have their whole wedding here, everything from the ceremony to the reception to dinner,” says Coco Reef general manager Vince Angelo. “We can do all three events at the hotel if need be.”
By allowing your guests to mingle, serving them delicious true-to-Bermuda cuisine and cocktails, and keeping your special day’s events all under one roof, you’re sure to have happy guests who will fondly look back on your wedding day long after you’ve tied the knot.