Lakeisha & Eugene Simmons

When Lakeisha Paynter wed Eugene Simmons on May 6, 2012, she knew their special day would be perfect, no matter what. And despite the gloomy weather forecast and lack of a back-up plan for their outdoor, waterfront nuptials, Lakeisha never lost faith that her day would work out perfectly–and she was right. “Everyone was so nervous about the weather. It was forecasted to rain right up until the day of the wedding. People kept asking if I had a backup plan and I said, ‘No, it’s not going to rain.’” And even though Lakeisha’s confidence was in abundance, it didn’t stop her from asking for a little help to ensure perfect weather. “I prayed so hard. When I woke up the morning of the big day and looked outside, it was very gloomy but it turned out to be a perfect day.”

A perfect day included whales jumping and longtails flying, which is exactly what they anticipated when the couple chose Caso’s Point at The Reefs as their ceremony location. “We knew we didn’t want a traditional Church wedding. I never wanted to walk down the aisle of a church,” jokes Lakeisha. “We wanted it to be outside because we both enjoy the outdoors. We really wanted the ceremony by the waterside. We wanted to be surrounded by nature and the elements. We saw Caso’s Point at The Reefs and were taken away. It was beautiful. It had everything we wanted: ocean views, sea breezes and greenery. It was perfect.”

As for the reception, the bride left it up to her groom to decide where they would celebrate tying the knot. “Genie loves fishing and being on the water so I left the final decision up to him and we ended up on the Lady Tamara, which included smooth sailing and the full moon that flourished that night.”

Following the theme of welcoming nature into their special day, the couple performed a sand ceremony, uniting them both and Lakeisha’s daughter from a pervious relationship. “That was really special,” she explains. “It made her feel embraced and welcome as a part of our new family. It was important to us that she feel included.” And their new family also includes Lakeisha and Eugene’s daughter, a particular wedding guest who made their special day meaningful beyond description.

Perhaps it was Lakeisha and Eugene’s ability to focus on the important aspects of getting married and to forget the rest that makes them such a special couple and their wedding story so beautiful. As Lakeisha explains, “Make the day about the two of you. You only get married once so make it special and remember to take the time to stop and look around you. The day will fly by so quickly, all you’ll have left are the memories. Try not to think about the things that have gone wrong because, trust me, something will. Relish in what has gone right and the wonderful life you have before you.” Focusing on your wedding day on just the two of you, advises Lakeisha wisely, is to forget about the expectations others have for your big day. “Don’t overspend in order to impress anyone. Weddings can be expensive and when you start trying to impress others, you end up spending money on something you never wanted. Plan your wedding around what the two of you want, not what other people think you should have.”

Looking back at the time Eugene proposed, Lakeisha recalls saying: “‘If you are really serious, give me a date. If you tell me a date, I’ll know you’re serious and I’ll make sure I am there.’ Needless to say, we set a date. And the rest is history.”

Photography by Zeudi Hinds

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