Written by Laura Bell. Photography by Amanda Temple.
Getting married on the beach in Bermuda is not only incredibly romantic, it’s also simple, beautiful and cost effective.
A gentle breeze blowing, waves lapping lazily against soft pink sand, and your closest friends and family there to witness your romantic ceremony—could there be a more perfect way to say “I do”?
“I’d always wanted a small, intimate destination wedding,” said Gaby Saunders—a logistics coordinator from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, who married her fiancé, Andy, a business support
manager from London, at Jobson’s Cove on March 8, 2016.
“We had never been to Bermuda before, but after much research we thought it would make a beautiful setting for our wedding,” she said. “It was also kind of a good middle ground as our families had to travel from the US and the UK. The crystal clear waters and pink sand had us sold. And we were excited to explore a new island because we love to travel.
“Location had always been key in planning my wedding, and the beach setting was gorgeous.”
There are many public beaches available to host a wedding ceremony including Warwick
Long Bay, Elbow Beach, John Smith’s Bay, West Whale Bay, Chaplin Bay and Stonehole
“Stonehole Bay is our favourite,” say wedding planners Emily Boden and Kathleen Dodwell
of Bermuda Event Solutions. “It is small and intimate and has a beautiful rock formation to frame the ceremony. It also is the closest walk from transportation and has the most stunning
walkway of bay grape trees. Chaplin Bay and Warwick Long Bay are also great options.”
With little more required than a parks permit, an intimate beach wedding is fairly easy to plan without much fuss. “It is a nice and simple option for couples who want to capture the raw beauty of Bermuda,” said Boden, whose company plans approximately 70 weddings a year.
“It’s possible to throw together an amazing wedding in a short amount of time,” added Gaby. “We planned our wedding in two months’ time, and it’s exactly what we wanted.”
An adventurous couple by nature, Pamela and Walter Carson II from Virginia had both visited Bermuda in the past and felt it was the perfect place for their destination wedding. “We chose a beach wedding because we both love to be around the water,” said Pamela. “The beach is a calm, peaceful place and we wanted our wedding to be a small, intimate moment. We had only a couple of our close family members with us, and with them, and our toes in the
water, it was more than perfect.”
The couple decided to cruise to the island before tying the knot at Jobson’s Cove on August 5, 2015. “The view was breathtaking,” she said. “The sun was shining and the water was sparkling. We had our closest family with us and we exchanged our vows in the water. Everything was just so peaceful and so intimate. We couldn’t have picked a better day.”
For an all-inclusive option, couples can also choose to work with one of the hotels that have their own private beach or beach access, such as The Reefs Resort & Club, Cambridge Beaches, Grotto Bay Beach Resort, Rosewood Tucker’s Point, and Fairmont Southampton Princess. Most have event planners on staff and options to move the ceremony in case of rain.
“Using a planner is invaluable to help you navigate the beach wedding, particularly if the weather is not favourable as changing venues requires a lot of work rearranging vendors,” said Boden, whose company handles everything from the parks permit to setup and décor, as well as arranging the minister, the photographer and transportation.
And in case of inclement weather, a solid backup plan is essential. “We use MEF catering as our vendor to supply food and beverages on the beach, either for just a cocktail party or for dinner,” the planner continued. “They are extremely accommodating in finding us a backup space at Fourways restaurant if the weather is not good enough to go ahead. Also if there is
flexibility with the day of the wedding, we can move the wedding day if we know a big storm is
While weather on a subtropical island can never be guaranteed—especially during hurricane season from June to November—Boden still recommends April to October as the best time of year to get married. Timing the ceremony for around 6:00 p.m. during the summer months is also advisable as other beachgoers have generally left for the day and sunsets can make for some spectacular photography.
“Enjoy the simplicity of a beach wedding and don’t over-complicate the setup,” further advised Boden. “The physical surroundings provide the perfect setting for a Bermuda beach
When asked for her advice to couples interested in hosting their destination wedding in Bermuda, Pamela says: “Do it! It is such a breathtaking place. We had gotten a wedding planner who provided the best photographer in Bermuda and we had our flowers done in Bermuda as well. Everyone was so kind and so great to be around that it made the day that much better. If we could do it again, we would do it in a heartbeat! We can honestly say that it was the best day of both of our lives. We are really blessed to have Bermuda as part of our lives forever and we look forward to revisiting our place of marriage for many years.”
As for her advice, Gaby says to pay attention to things that are most important to you. “For me, I wanted the perfect location and great photos for memories. So I researched the many
beach locations and picked the one most suited for us. It was a little difficult because we never saw the location or met with any of the people in person prior and just hoped for the best, but it all worked out.
“It’s possible to have a low stress and beautiful
wedding in Bermuda.”
A LITTLE MORE ADVICE FROM BERMUDA EVENT SOLUTIONS…
What tips do you have to keep guests comfortable during the ceremony?
Parasols and fans are fun and can add a nice pop of colour to the ceremony. Iced water can also help keep your guests nice and cool.
What kind of attire would you recommend for the couple and their wedding party?
Light fabrics are normally preferred, and a lot of couples go barefoot so that it is easier to
walk in the sand.
Other than a permit, what other requirements are necessary?
Just to be respectful of Bermuda’s natural beauty and to clear up anything that you bring to the beach, for example, décor, flowers, water bottles, etc.
What limitations are in place for a beach wedding?
Music needs to be finished by midnight on a public beach.
View Gaby and Andy’s Gallery
View Pamela and Walter’s Gallery