Written by Gabrielle Boyer. Photography by Charlotte Jenks Lewis.

“We met on the water,” recalls Bermudian bride Reilly Ingham.

“We were introduced through mutual friends on a boat over Cup Match. Our first date was a sunset boat cruise through Paradise Lake.” Naturally for Reilly and her now-husband, Alex Smith, tying the knot on or near the water was a must. “We chose Long Island because we wanted something different, but our love for the water was really the driving force. We also wanted a daytime wedding to keep, somewhat, with Bermuda tradition, so we decided to have the ceremony at noon and a late-lunch reception.”

The couple called on Emily Boden of Bermuda Event Solutions and Kaitlin Mulderig to coordinate the wedding of their dreams. “We were going for ‘casual elegance’: refined, yet with a relaxed and romantic vibe. We love ‘darties’ (day parties) and wanted to create the same casual and fun atmosphere for all of our friends and families.”

The couple wed on May 14, 2016, in front of 150 guests and overlooking the Great Sound. “Our guests were picked up by boat and brought to Long Island for 11:00 a.m. I got ready on the island and watched everyone arrive from the porch. It was so much fun to wave to the boat as it arrived.” The groom and his groomsmen took their own cruise on the lakes before arriving at the picturesque island for the nuptials.

Within the wedding ceremony, the couple incorporated a stone ceremony, something that was important to the bride and amalgamated their love for the ocean. “I love collecting stones whenever we go to the beach. During our ceremony, we encouraged each of our guests to take one, make a wish and then throw it into the ocean.”

Immediately following the ceremony, the newlyweds and their guests were seated for a lunchtime reception. “We incorporated a mix of long farm tables and round tables, each decorated with natural linens and bamboo plates and adorned with centrepieces of potted plants, grown by my dad and Suzan Sickling, and bud vases with colourful flowers. Alex and Matthew Strong (from Das Fete, event design and production) built the farm tables—we kept the one that we sat at and signed our initials and wedding date on the bottom.”

During the reception, guests dined on gourmet sandwiches and family-style side dishes from Miles Market. Wine was on the table and traditional Bermuda wedding cakes (pound and fruit cake) were sliced and served. Twisted Spoon Cocktail Co. was on hand, providing specialty craft cocktails to keep the party going.

“After lunch we danced, played lawn games such as corn hole, giant Jenga, and Left Centre Right dice game. We continued to celebrate into the night, after which we took a boat cruise through Paradise Lake and back to town.”

When reflecting on the highlights of their day, the couple agree that having a wedding that lasted the duration of the day and night and played host to their love of the water was insurmountable. “It was so special and fun to end the night on the water with our closest friends—a place we love to be. Being outdoors on Long Island, with the view of the Great Sound in the background as we said our vows surrounded by the people we love, it was perfect!”

The couple’s advice to others tying the knot: “On your wedding day, soak up all the love, excitement and happiness! It’s about enjoying the time with the important people in your life, so have fun and celebrate!”

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