Ever fancied running off to The Bahamas for your destination wedding? Ever dreamt of having your honeymoon in this very same spot, because its just too gorgeous to even consider another location? Every wondered what it would look like to marry the love of your life on a pristine white sandy beach in a secluded spot just for you and your guests?
Well love, today we have checked ALL the boxes on your Wishlist, and are SO excited to be sharing Melissa and Bradley’s special day with you! We featured this adorable couple is ADRIANA (Issue II) and still to this day, pop into the magazine to view this stunner that we fell so deeply in love with back in 2018!
So keep reading for some sweet details and fun memories from Melissa 🙂
Also, before we go…Get ready loves because ADRIANA (Issue IV) is coming out on Friday 11th December, and its filled with the most touching love stories from across the Caribbean & Mexico that you won’t want to miss… Keep posted to our social media for more amazing inspiration from our previous issues in preparation for Issue IV!
FROM THE COUPLE:
HOW THEY MET
We met in college. We met each other our freshman year on our first day in our first class! We became friends that spring and started dating shortly after.
Brad surprised me with a weekend trip to Florida and proposed during an evening walk on the beach at sunset. I didn’t expect it at all!
THE NUMBER OF GUESTS
We had 29 guests. We wanted to have an intimate wedding with family and close friends so we could spend quality time with everyone. Because it was a destination wedding over the weekend we had three days to relax together as a group which was amazing. We had activities planned for our guests throughout the weekend, a local fish fry with a local DJ and dancing on Friday, a fishing and snorkelling boat outing, island tour, or day at leisure on Saturday, rehearsal dinner Saturday evening and our wedding on Sunday.
We went with tropical elegance while keeping the Bahamian plantation feel that the island of Eleuthera does so well. We went with less is more for our décor. We wanted the flowers and lighting to be the main features so that everyone could soak in the beauty of the surroundings. We also wanted to incorporate a few elements from the island, we used local conch shells as table décor and local purple bougainvillea on our wedding aisle, which are both all over the island! We really wanted to highlight Eleuthera’s natural beauty.
- Wife: my favorite memory of our wedding was the ceremony, looking back it feels like it was a fantasy. To marry the love of my life, on a beautiful pink sand beach, in front of turquoise waters, surrounded by family and friends, was truly a dream I can’t put into words. The feeling was unexplainable, a moment like nothing else. I will always love looking back on it.
- Husband: my favorite memory was the reception; I loved the speeches; the band was incredible. It was great to celebrate Melissa and my new marriage with our family and friends.
THE WEDDING DRESS
My mom, mother-in-law and sister-in-law went dress shopping with me. The minute I put on my Rivini dress we knew it was the one! It was elegant and classic but still perfect for the beach. I love the backless feature, the lace, and the spaghetti straps gave it a 90s classic vibe which I love so much and totally embraced in styling the dress with my veil, hair style, jewellery and shoes.
My veil was Toni Federici, it fully covered my train and had Swarovski crystals throughout. I love the idea of my veil sparking as I walked down the aisle. For my shoes, I wanted to do something different, so I went with light pink Sophia Webster heels to match my bridesmaid’s dresses. When I saw the crystal heel I knew they were the ones!! For earrings, I wanted to complement my engagement ring, but loved the idea of pearls because we were at the sea. I picked out a beautiful pair and Brad got them for me as a pre-wedding gift. A really special gift I will wear forever and always think of our wedding day.
THE GROOM ATTIRE
For Brad we wanted to create something unique, because our wedding was on the beach we wanted to do something relaxed but still keep within the elegant feel. We went with a bright blue sports coat by Theory, white slacks by Incotex, a Eton dress shirt with blue buttons, caramel suede driving shoes by Tod’s and a matching woven suede belt by Anderson’s.
Nothing crazy, we did surprise our guests with a celebration shot / toast from the bride and groom instead of a wedding cake. We also tried to not share too many details when planning our wedding so that the whole day and evening would be exciting for our guests. Although this was difficult since our guests were our family and close friends.
My mother-in-law brought her pearl necklace to Eleuthera that she wore on her wedding day to my father-in-law. Brad gifted me beautiful pearl earrings as a pre-wedding gift a week prior. We were all shocked at how beautifully the necklace and earrings went together. The necklace was the perfect addition to finish off the look. It was such a meaningful surprise that I will cherish forever and I am still shocked over!! Not to mention it totally counted as my ‘something borrowed!’
THE WEDDING CAKE
We actually decided against a wedding cake, as a couple our food allergies are crazy, we always joke that we are the worst couple to host! Brad is dairy free and I am gluten free so a cake was not the best option for us. Instead Brad and I surprised our guests with a celebration shot after dinner and dessert to start the party! Brad created a tropical shot that we served in hand-blown shot glasses that our guests got to keep as souvenirs. Looking back, I am so glad we did this it was really special.
THE WEDDING VENUE
My mom actually stumbled upon Eleuthera in a travel magazine and from there it was the one! Eleuthera stood out to us because it is such a beautiful and unique island. It has the glass window bridge which is the most gorgeous phenomenon and the beaches are gorgeous turquoise waters and pink sands! My mom is the best at scouting the most incredible vacation spots and lodging, she then found the French Leave Resort and it sealed the deal. The resort had the perfect number of villas to fit our guests so we were able to rent out the resort for the entire weekend. It created the perfect intimate setting that we wanted.
THE WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHY
Our photographer, the absolutely incredible, Stanley Babb from Stanlo Photography, did the most amazing job. Stan is truly one of a kind talent. We love how Stan captures so much emotion while highlighting the gorgeous surroundings. He also shot our engagement photos when we visited Eleuthera and our wedding venue for the first time the summer before our wedding. We got to work with him twice and we definitely will again for our future celebrations.
THE GRAND EXIT
We did a sparkler exit that we ran through at the end of the evening!
ADVICE FOR NEWLY-ENGAGED COUPLES
Our advice would be to not sweat the small stuff while planning and being at your wedding. Your wedding will forever be an incredible experience and memory no matter what.
Photography: Stanlo Photography | Videography: Judah Forbes from NDO Films | Wedding Dress: Rita Vinieris Rivini Cher dress | Shoes: Sophia Webster | Venue, Catering, Bar Service & Guest Accommodation: French Leave Resort | Florals, Lighting & Decor: Chic Bahamas Weddings | Bridesmaid Dress: BCBG MaxAzria | Rings: (Bride) Custom by H&A International Jeweler, (Groom) Benchmark Rings | Hair & Makeup: Lucena Sawyer from Lucylu Beauty | Groom Attire: Theory sports coat, Eton dress shirt, Incotex slacks, Anderson’s belt, Tod’s driving shoes | Groomsmen Attire: Ted Baker dress shirt, Bonobos trousers | Invitations, Stationery: Minted | Music/ DJ: Ceremony guitarist – Ceejay Fowler, Reception band: High Rock, 5-piece band which includes Jeremiah Sweeting and Travis Butler | Favours & Gifts: Veuve Clicquot Champagne in each guest’s Villa upon arrival, hand blown shot glass from celebration shot and the bridesmaids were gifted a pink silk slip and robe to get ready in the morning of the wedding |