Laura and Erics wedding may have been a destination
wedding, but you might also call it a journey wedding.
Thats because 35 of their 37 wedding guests
were onboard a seven-day cruise from Boston to
Bermuda. The week-long party, planned with the help
of The Reefs Resort and Club and Norwegian Cruise
lines, featured several private events including group
dinners and cocktail parties, as well as participation
in the ships general events program.
Lauren and Eric considered having the wedding somewhere in Maine or Massachusetts, but nothing quite clicked, and upon reflection they know it was the right way to celebrate their union. We had all of that time with all of our friends and family, says Laura. It was a good way to bring both of the families together. We still get comments about how great it was to have everyone out there. Nine months earlier, when Eric proposed to her on a winters day hike with their dog, Laura began to envision what the big day would be like.
I went out and bought probably $60 worth of wedding magazines and started planning immediately, she says, recalling her excitement over their soon-to-be nuptials. Shortly after the couple settled on Bermuda, they contacted The Reefs, known for its premier guest service, gourmet food, and breathtaking views of Bermudas pink sands. Kathleen Dodwell, in-house planner for The Reefs, took over most of the details from there. Lauren and Eric, distant from the venue and busy with their burgeoning careers in psychology and business administration, respectively, were happy to have Kathleen step in to make decisions about the florist, make up artist, photographer, videographer, and even events on the ship and transportation from the wharf. Let other people take control, Lauren offers to other couples planning a destination wedding. She did everything so perfectly, I couldnt have imagined.
On the day their cruise ship pulled in to the harbor, September 7, 2014, it had been a rainy morning and afternoon in Bermuda. Laura was worried about the likelihood that it would pour for the ceremony, but by 6 p.m., the rain had cleared and the island was having one of those breathtaking after-shower sunsets that lit the sky with beautiful watercolor tones. Waves crashed on the rocks, and the clouds and moon hung in the sky. Laura and Erics decision to have their wedding at The Reefs, sight unseen, had paid off. Their guests congregated on The Terrace overlooking Casos Point, an outdoor patio on the grounds of the resort.
When the ceremony began, the wedding party walked down the aisle to Israel Kamakawiwooles Somewhere Over the Rainbow, the laidback beachy feel of the music harkening to their surroundings. Laura walked down the aisle to the traditional Bridal March, toward Eric who was overwhelmed by the beauty and significance of the moment. He was blubbering through the whole ceremony, it was so adorable, says Laura. It was this evocative beauty that she had hoped to behold when she selected her bridal gown and bouquet. Flowers took a really long time to figure out, recalls Laura. I love flowers so much that it was hard to settle on a single bouquet. After sending some photos from Pinterest to Bermudas premier bridal florist, Flowers by Gini, a Bermuda-toned, coral and pink bouquet accented by succulent plants came to life. Laura stood proudly, having elicited a truly romantic response from her soon-to-be husband, under the caring eyes of her father, who after walking her down the aisle joined Erics groomsmen. She was surrounded by beauty and love.
After the ceremony, the guests walked a short distance to the Ocean Echo terrace, while Laura and Eric took some more photos with Two & Quarter Photography. Theyd taken a good deal before the ceremony, but the renowned island wedding photographers wanted to help the couple achieve a different feel and look to the just married photo shoot. As guests dined on hors doeuvres, the couple posed for an upbeat, smooth and natural photo shoot. And in the end, the rain Laura was so fearful might ruin her day, provided for the perfect background. I prayed so hard that it wouldnt rain on our wedding day, but it made for the very best photos with the sky, she says. I wish I hadnt been so uptight.
After the photos, Laura and Eric joined their guests at a singular long, rectangular kings table for their sit-down dinner reception. The tables were accented by six tall turquoise lanterns with candles, and strewn with rose petals along a navy table runner. Silver picture frames with old pictures of guests directed the attendees to their seats and also made for fun conversation pieces throughout the meal. The food was prepared by The Reefs. It was so beautifully prepared, says Laura. Everyone raved about the food and the service was also really good. Finally, guests ate wedding cake, also prepared by The Reefs. This was one area of the wedding where the couple spent a lot of time and energy. Eric requested that they have a coconut cake, but Laura had a difficult time choosing the style of the cake.
In the end, she chose a cake that complimented the rest of the décor and the natural landscapea blush pink three-tiered cake with fondant, with navy ribbon, lace and flower accents, and blueberry to incorporate Maines iconography. When their meal was done, guests boarded the cruise ship and headed back for Boston. When they look back on their day now, Laura and Eric are still grateful for the leadership of Kathleen Dodwell, who took on so much planning responsibility and allowed them to share stress-free time with their guests. Their reliance on her mirrors the understanding of teamwork they apply to their marriage. Its important to have a balance and equal partners and thats definitely what we are, says Laura.
-Text by Amanda Williams Photography by Two + Quarter Photography