A White-and-Silver Destination Wedding on the Beach in the Bahamas
The Lucky (and Happy) Couple
In 2009, Elizabeth Wilks was sitting on Santa's lap at a Christmas festival in New Orleans when her longtime love, Colin Van Dervort, got down on one knee and popped the question. Liz said yes, jolly old St. Nick teared up, and Colin was overjoyed.
Soon it was time to set a date, and the couple began to feel overwhelmed. They heard that Martha Stewart Weddings and Sandals Resorts were holding a contest with an incredible prize: an all-expenses-paid wedding at Sandals Emerald Bay in Great Exuma, Bahamas.
Two months later they found out they were finalists. And then, live on the Martha Stewart Show, they found out they'd won.
Here, Elizabeth and Colin share a moment at the water's edge. "The ocean was my 'something blue,'" says the bride. Her Badgley Mischka gown and his custom suit are from Kleinfeld.
The bouquet, which is part of the Sandals Grand Romance Package along with the rest of the wedding flowers, mixed lush white roses with velvet millinery leaves.
Here, the boutonnieres in white to match the color palette of the wedding, for the groom and his groomsmen.
Colin's boutonniere was made up of a single white rose, opalescent leaves, and a pink ribbon.
Gifts for the Bridesmaids
Liz gave her bridesmaids delicate crystal and sterling-silver earrings.
A Bahamian Junkanoo band leads the wedding processional.
The Wedding Stationery
The timeless ivory and silver invitation suite.
Liz poses in front of a canvas printed with pictures of the couple.
The Wedding Program
The yearbook-style programs (a nod to the couple's high-school relationship) contained a tribute to Colin's mother, who passed away in 2006. Says Colin, "My mom would have loved our wedding. I know she was with us in spirit."
Tambourines, horns, and whistles turned the recessional into a New Orleans-style ruckus.
During the Ceremony
The groom's brother plays a brass bugle.
"Fortune" cards were set out for guests to leave their well-wishes.
Members of the wedding party in J.Crew.
Liz and Colin
The newlyweds on the beach.
Inside the tent, low centerpieces encouraged conversation, and crystal chandeliers added to the casual-chic vibe. Guests dined on family-style grilled lobster, pineapple-glazed chicken, and beef medallions.
Centerpieces of white roses and calla lilies were offset by candles nestled into sand-filled glass vessels; a seating and menu card were printed for each person.
Guests raise their glasses for a toast.
The only hints of bad weather were two rum-based Louisiana cocktails: A Hurricane and a Dark and Stormy.
The chocolate cake, with vanilla buttercream filling and fondant icing, was created by Wendy Kromer; it was trimmed with silver ribbon and a vintage-style topper, and set out with an all-white candy and cupcake bar.
Delicious white cupcakes also adorned the candy bar.
A Special Gift
A gift from Martha Stewart Weddings: Champagne flutes and a congratulatory card.
Candy-stuffed favor boxes were topped with millinery flowers.
A New Orleans Touch
Bourbon-spiked cafe au lait and New Orleans-style beignets were served after dinner.
Included in the Sandals Grand Romance Package
: Save-the-dates, invitations, ceremony arbor and flowers, bride's bouquet, groom's boutonniere, ring pillow, reception tent with chandelier, table and cushioned chairs, chair decor for bride and groom, place settings, place cards, menus, table numbers, centerpieces, catering, cake or cupcakes, cake topper, candy buffet, specialty cocktails, hors d'oeuvres, boxed candy favors, confetti
Invitations: Martha Stewart Stationery for Crane & Co.
Printing for Menu, Place Cards, Guest Cards & Table Numbers: Print Icon
Calligraphy: John DeCollibus of Beyond Words
Gown: Badgley Mischka from Kleinfeld
Bridesmaids' Dresses: J.Crew
Bidesmaids' Earrings: Dessy
Hair: Jerami Brown for Paul Labrecque Salon
Makeup: Daisy Schwartzberg for Paul Labrecque Salon
Custom Photo Backdrop: Spoonflower
Pewter Trays & Compotes: Match
Postage Stamps: Champion Stamps