What is one of the most important items on most bride's wedding checklist? A stunning, one of a kind venue. A place where shoes are optional and relaxation is inevitable, the out islands of The Bahamas beckon you to come and never leave. You don't have to go far to find paradise; your dream wedding is less than an hour flight away from Florida! Here are a few tips for helping you plan your tropical paradise wedding.
1. FOR A BEACH WEDDING: DRESS APPROPRIATELY
Skip the big dress. A ball gown wedding dress is beautiful, but not so much suitable for a beach style wedding. However, if you prefer to go with this particular dress style, consider a dress with lightweight fabric that can bustle easily and flow nicely.
Fabric Suggestions: chiffon and charmeuse.
I would also suggest opting for a nice pair of flat, comfortable shoes other than heels, such as sandals, which won’t sink into the sand as much. Walking through sand in heels can be a nightmare, but a great alternative to high heels, if you want to stick with wearing high shoes, is wedges.
2. FOR A TRADITIONAL WEDDING: DRESS APPROPRIATELY
While a wedding in the islands offers the option for a wide variety of unique and original wedding location and venue ideas, many people prefer a traditional church ceremony. In Abaco, there are no grandiose chapels or cathedrals, but rather moderately sized, comfortable churches that cater to a variety of denominations. If what you are envisioning is a traditional church wedding, there certainly is the option for a beautiful, classic setting for your “I Do’s”. As stated above, there is no need for overtly flashy attire, however, a church wedding allows for more formal wear.
Especially if you are getting married during the Summer, the climate in the Bahamas gets pretty hot and sticky. An up-do is a great style idea for an island bride as it keeps the hair from the neck and face, which is cooler, and is still a lovely look. Wearing your hair up also keeps it looking fresh longer.
Honestly, an island bride has no need for a long veil. Consider the elements when deciding whether or not you want to opt for a veil, especially if you plan to get married outside. A great alternative, other than considering a shorter veil as opposed to a longer one, is skipping the veil altogether and accessorizing with a halo of local flowers.
5. FOR THE BRIDESMAIDS:
Consider lightweight dresses; nothing too fancy, maybe even cute summer or beach style dresses.Tropical colors perhaps, such as yellow or teal, maybe coral or mint green?
The islands have a very laid-back vibe so there is no need for anything too extravagant when thinking in terms of bridesmaids’ dresses.
6. FOR THE GENTS:
Pick a suit or an informal attire that fits the style of the wedding and have it expertly tailored. Popular colors for men getting married in the islands include tan, off white, white and beige. The best part of an island wedding is it is more laid back and informal and gives you the option to be fun and unique with your wedding attire and color schemes. Some fun colors to try include light gray, light coral, light yellow and light teal. Or be creative and come up with your own ideas!
7. CASUAL / INFORMAL STYLE:
While most traditional weddings tend to go for black tuxes, for a tropical island wedding I would suggest soft colored tuxes, such as light beige or off-white that match well with the sand in a lightweight material, such as cotton. Think of colors that reflect a beach wedding and blend well. Although, if you decide to get married in a church, a classic black or white tux is always optional.
One of the most fun aspects of planning a tropical island wedding is how much versatility you have when choosing styles and colors and the freedom you have to play around with different ideas.
I’m sure knowing that your big day is in the Bahamas is enough information for your guests to know the basic attire for an Abaco style wedding, as soon as they hear ‘island wedding’ they’re in vacation mode! But, just to be safe, it is probably best to inform your guests of your wedding venue plans, especially if you plan to say your I Do’s in the sand. Suggestion: Include this information in your invitations.
Fun Idea: Create welcome bags for your guests containing necessary items you think they may need i.e. travel-size sunblock, small water bottles and snacks, etc. Get creative!
9. KEEP IT SIMPLE
The scenery of an outdoor island wedding is beautiful enough, no need to go overboard with decorating. It is already naturally appealing, you can just use your creativity to enhance the beauty that is already there. Flowers are optional, but certainly not a must.
Tip: Stick to the beach theme. Use shells and fake starfish and other beach-like items in your decorating. You can also find inspiration in the relaxing colors of sand and the ocean and other surroundings.
You can up-play the natural colors of the outdoors by adding contrasting colors in your decorating scheme. Vibrant tones that standout against the natural outdoor setting; deep blues, bright yellow and pink and green hues are a few suggestions.
11. KEEP IT LOCAL:
It is recommended that clients stick with local vendors as much as possible. Not only is it more cost efficient, but it also helps to avoid confusion and ensures a smoother process as you don’t have to worry about bringing in items from abroad and dealing with delays or customs and other nuisances. If necessary, it is possible to have certain items shipped to Abaco i.e. special chair covers or party favors, but the least you have to ship in the better.
One of the most important aspects of your wedding day is your photos and the right lighting is essential as it will determine how nicely they come out. The timing for your nuptials is especially important if you plan to take sunset photos as you want it to be over in time to catch the sunset. You should plan for your ceremony to end with at least an hour or two left over until nightfall.
13. BE PREPARED:
It is always a good idea to keep insect repellent nearby, just incase. Around evening time on the islands, especially during the warm summer months, bugs being present is always a possibility.
14. PLAN B:
As much as we would all love to envision a perfect day where everything is executed exactly how we want, environmental factors play a major role in this respect; the weather can be very unpredictable. It is important to have a solid ‘Plan B’. If you intend to remain on the beach and continue with the ceremony there, then necessary shelter, such as a tent needs to be arranged. Or, a safer route would be to have a nearby indoor venue.