A Coral-Colored Beach Wedding in the Bahamas
Jamie and Kevin
Jamie Macklin and Kevin Wilson's love story started with a chance meeting at Franklin Cafe in Boston's South End, which led to a first date the very next night. Four weeks later? The duo jetted to Mexico for an impromptu vacation giving everyone an inkling (including them) that this was something special.
On their one-year anniversary, Kevin popped the question in a scenario he wished he’d planned better. "Sitting with him on the sofa I babbled, talked about my former relationships, started crying, grabbed the ring, and handed it to him," said Kevin. But even without the famous four little words, Jamie knew his answer was yes. The two quickly started to plan their dream destination wedding in the Bahamas with the ultimate island feel -- think local flowers, sandy beaches, and plenty of drinks in coconuts.
The Beachy Setting
Harbour Island has a long history in Jamie's family, making it an automatic front-runner when it came to location options: His brother proposed to his wife on the island, and his sister-in-law had been visiting the same spot with her family for years. "I just fell in love with the atmosphere, the clear blue water, and the amazing food," said Jamie.
Welcome Beach Tote
A handmade bag by Sister Sew What awaited guests in their hotel rooms. Each was filled with beach essentials: flip flops, tropical shaped seeds to plant, a beer koozee with a local Kalik beer, a candle, personalized matches, a silver starfish beer opener, and an itinerary for the weekend's events.
The Thematic Invitations
Photographer Jenelle Kappe drove the happy couple around the island the day prior to the big event to snap some shots in front of a few phenomenal backdrops.
Both Kevin and Jamie carried a "something borrowed" and "something old" in their pockets for the ceremony. Kevin held his maternal grandmother’s pearls and a cross his brother had carried in his wallet since they were kids. Jamie held his maternal grandfather's Purple Heart from WWII and his father's 15-year sobriety token.
The men of the hour wore bright vanda orchids on their lapels, and the groomsmen donned cymbidium orchids.
When wedding guests arrived at Pink Sands Beach for the ceremony, they were met with a coconut, lime, and gin concoction called "Sky Juice" served in coconuts.
Local musicians Rocky and Ersly serenaded guests during the sunset ceremony.
Beachy Ceremony Decor
"We wanted to have the wedding look like it could have happened any time on that island in the past 50 years," said Jamie. Sand-filled wooden boxes held bright fuchsia orchids and propped up four driftwood posts to create an altar that fit the setting.
The Maid of Honor
Jamie's maid of honor, his sister-in-law Laura, wore a coral dress from J. Crew and held a bouquet of fuchsia vanda and phalaenopsis orchids. Both of the grooms' mothers wore white to the ceremony snatching up the opportunity to shine as the "women" of the day.
Here Come the Grooms
Kevin and Jamie escorted each other down the aisle. "When I walked down to the beach I was blown away with how beautiful everything had been arranged," said Kevin. "It was exactly how we wanted it to be."
The Wedding Vows
"I just wanted to have people who were significant to my life marry us," said Kevin. Dr. Scott Jarette, a close friend of the couples, and Tony "Mr. G" Gonzalez, a life-long friend and mentor of Kevin's, officiated the ceremony.
Cocktail Hour Fare
After Kevin and Jamie were pronounced husband and husband, waiters passed canapes, conch salad shots, conch fritters, and bruschetta made with with local tomatoes and fresh herbs during cocktail hour on the beach.
Simple wooden signage guided the 30 wedding guests between the ceremony spot and the reception, which were only a few steps apart.
Written in the Sand
Just moments before the grooms walked down the aisle, Kevin's second mom Toni wrote their initials in the sand. The sandy graffiti ended up lasting throughout the hors d'oeuvres and into the reception.
Green, white, fuchsia, and pink vanda, phalaenopsis, and cymbidium orchids covered the tables under the tented reception area.
The Place Settings
Place cards were tied to a single cymbidium orchid with jute ribbon and sat on top of woven sea grass placemats. On the menu for the evening: stone crab claws with micro greens; a salad of organic baby arugula with shaved parmesan and local cherry tomatoes with an herb citrus dressing; roasted paprika chicken served with cumin couscous and a spiced yogurt sauce; and grilled beef tenderloin with chili lime butter served with grilled zucchini and a cherry tomato coriander salad.
Romantic Tent Lighting
Edison bulbs hanging from strings of different lengths created a "free form" chandelier over the main dining table.
Homemade berry and citrus sorbet was served in mini silver beach buckets. Also on the dessert menu: lemon tarts and chocolate pots with berries.
The Wedding Cake
With no need for towering wedding cake tiers for the intimate party, Kevin and Jamie chose to cut into a small rectangular coconut rum cake with butter cream frosting.
Wedding planner Ben Simmons created multiple seating areas with small sofas, floor cushions, and benches scattered around a bonfire on the beach so guests could enjoy the beauty of the night after the reception.