Written by Gabrielle Boyer. Photography by Meredith Andrews.
Despite Bermuda being so small, two people can still know each other all their lives but never truly meet until the time is just right. Such is the case for Bermudians Erica Fulton and Tim Davidson.
“As with most Bermudian families, we have known each other for most of our lives,” said Erica, the executive director at WindReach. “Tim was in my brother Richard’s year at Saltus and our parents are also good friends so we floated in similar circles but never really spent time together.”
That is until a mutual friend decided to play matchmaker and organised a dinner in early March 2015. “We sat beside each other for the evening and clearly had a connection. But it wasn’t until the end of April that we actually got together as a couple,” she added.
Tim, who works in investments, took his time to get to know Erica. The couple did things “just as friends” until she went to Japan in April with a friend and spent most of her time talking about Tim and messaging him daily. “I knew then that we both really liked each other and by the time we got together I knew that we were both in this for the long haul,” she said.
One year later on April 5, 2016, Tim suggested a walk in the garden to “feed the turtles and throw the ball for the dog.” It was the perfect moment for his proposal.
“It was a really beautiful evening so we climbed the folly beside the ponds to look out over the harbour,” said Erica. “When I turned around, Tim had dropped down on one knee with the ring held in his fingers. I was totally shocked—but of course quickly said yes!”
Wasting no time, the couple quickly set upon planning a June wedding, intentionally keeping it an intimate affair with a larger celebration planned for the fall. “We knew from the beginning that we wanted a really small wedding but we also wanted to make sure that we were able to properly celebrate with the rest of our family and friends,” explained Erica.
The bride decided early on that she didn’t want to spend too much on her wedding gown. “I felt pretty adamant that I did not want a traditional wedding dress and I was keen that whatever I wore was simple and didn’t cost a fortune,” she said. “On a trip to Boston with my mother I bought a full-length, high-waisted white skirt that I just loved. My very talented sister-in-law, Shirene Fulton, who is a dress designer, then made me a top out of a vintage dress that she had. It was so special for me to work with her on that; she thought of every detail and even included a piece of lace she still had from her own wedding dress from when she had married my brother 12 years prior!”
Although her “dress” was unconventional, the bride and her parents kept with local tradition and arrived at her family church—St. Mark’s—via horse and carriage where she walked down the aisle with her father, Dr. Ian Fulton. With the ceremony being such an intimate affair, everyone was involved. “It felt like everyone was intimately part of the ceremony, including the children, whom Reverend Musa involved in the service,” said the bride. “Our mothers and a few close family friends are talented flower arrangers and so they did all of the flowers in the church, which was also really special.”
At the reception, held at Erica’s parents’ home in Smith’s, the adults enjoyed cocktails and hors d’oeuvres while the children played games on the lawn. “The children took part in a treasure hunt that my dad had put together and we laid out plenty of arts and crafts to keep them occupied!” said Erica. “As we were only 18 adults for dinner we all sat at one table, overlooking the North Shore and the sunset.”
With the help of friends Selange Gitschner and Matt Strong, who run Das Fete, an event design and production company, the décor was stunning. Festoon lights framed the table, decorated with a full length runner of white roses enhanced with greenery and lit with candles created by florist and family friend Suzan Sickling.
Doubling as their place setting, the guests each received a piece of Yart by artist Stratton Hatfield as a favour. “Selange had the idea to ask Stratton to create a piece of his ‘yart’ for each of our guests,” Erica explained. “Each piece was unique and Stratton was there on the day to help set the table and make sure that it all looked perfect. On the back of each piece was a little plaque with our initials and the date of our wedding, which was a lovely touch.”
The guests enjoyed dinner catered by Chef Ryan Solien from the Island Restaurant Group followed by a delectable cake by Paula Hayward of Sweet P. “It was a three-tier orange sponge with a silver antique fondant icing,” said Erica. “I love dessert and was thrilled with how delicious the cake was!”
Keeping with the family affair, the couple chose Meredith Andrews as their photographer. “Meredith is a close family friend; her sister Charlotte is married to Tim’s brother, and so she has been part of the Davidson family for over 20 years,” Erica explained. She and her husband and children were first and foremost guests at the wedding, but she very kindly offered to take photos for us. She is an incredible photographer so we felt very lucky that she wanted to do that for us.”
The low-key and intimate nature of their wedding day allowed the couple to truly enjoy the moment together with their loved ones. The most important element of their nuptials was the small and simple plan they envisioned from the beginning. “For us that meant that we could just focus on the enormity of what it means to be getting married,” said the bride. “Apart from our excited nerves at the church, there was never really a moment during the day, or in the lead up to the day, that we were stressed.
“On the morning of our wedding we had breakfast together and then took the dog for a long walk in the pouring rain. It was pretty perfect to feel so relaxed when making such an important life commitment to each other.
“People kept telling us how the day would disappear in a blur, so we were both conscious of enjoying every moment,” she concluded. “By having such a small and intimate wedding I think we were able to do that—so I am glad for the advice that was well heeded!
“It really was a perfect day.”