Written by Laura Bell. Photography by Meredith Andrews.
A perfect blend of destiny and persistence finally brought newlyweds Kristen Ferreira and Brant Kizer together for their first date on February 7, 2014.
“There’s a saying,” said Kristen, “’Sometimes in life you have an appointment with destiny, and sometimes you just have to get destiny to squeeze you in.’ How we met was a combination of both. Brant squeezed destiny into our first date.”
Brant, originally from Rockwall, Texas, works in the insurance industry and has been living in Bermuda for over 19 years. He had admired Bermudian “born and bred” Kristen (who works for the family business, the MarketPlace group of companies) from a distance for some time. When a mutual friend offered an introduction in December 2013, Brant jumped at the chance. “In the holiday spirit, Kristen agreed to meet for a blind date, not before Christmas when I had asked but after the New Year when she returned from traveling,” he said. “Being persistent, I followed up in January and we finally met on February 7, 2014.”
Exactly one year later, the couple were walking along the beach when Brant spun Kristen around with her back to the sun, dropped on one knee and, with a traditional round, brilliant cut diamond solitaire, asked her to marry him. After a few speechless moments, Kristen said, “Yes, thank you.”
“Heading home along the beach we were greeted in the distance by a complete, arched rainbow,” Brant added. “It couldn’t have been better.”
“My brain let off fireworks, my heart doubled in size and you could see my molars I was smiling so much,” gushed Kristen. “I had no idea…not an inkling. One of life’s best experiences.”
The couple immediately set out to plan their big day, hiring wedding planner Nikki Begg of Bermuda Bride to bring their vision to reality. “Kristen and her mom had a vision for the day and Nikki had the venturing spirit and expertise to tie it all together and deliver it with a bow on top,” Brant stated. “Wedding planning is a pilgrimage. Nikki was with us the whole way.”
Needing a venue to accommodate the 300 close family and friends in attendance, they chose the Cathedral of the Most Holy Trinity for their ceremony. Its religious significance was a factor, while its significant location for the bride’s family played a huge part in the choice. “It’s right across from the MarketPlace where the extended work-family Kristen grew up with could see her on her wedding day,” said the groom.
Music played a big role in the ceremony with performances from the Bermuda School of Music String Quartet, the Bermuda Chamber Choir, Pastor Terrence Stovell and the Better Covenant Christian Fellowship Choir, the Bermuda Brass Trio, organists Ryan Topple and Jonathan McBeath, and Kristen’s Aunt Kathy who composed and sang a song called “A Miracle of Love” complete with an original arrangement on the piano.
Kristen wore a white Reem Acra dress with lace bodice and sleeves and Betsey Johnson heels, while Brant wore a midnight blue custom-made tux from Commonwealth Proper in Philadelphia with black cowboy boots. Florist Suzan Sickling created stunning natural bouquets and arrangements filled with seasonal off-white roses and greenery.
The bride’s mother, Pamela Ferreira, created a unique monogram for the couple incorporating their first initials, and they used it on all the invitations and programmes and even had it painted on the dance floor of the reception. Music also featured heavily for the reception held on the bride’s family property in Paget. “During the cocktail reception we had the Warwick Academy Jazz Band and Matthew Ross on the trumpet. Our MC was Ronnie Lopes who played with the Kennel Boys Trio, which was followed by a larger version of the Kennel Boys with David Fitzsimmons and then topped off with DJ Scott Roy (DJ Vibes).”
The couple had their first dance to the classic country song “I Believe in You” by Don Williams—and had a few lessons to get it right! “We danced the two-step, so yes, we had lessons from Angela Gilbert at the Sabor Dance School,” they said. “As far as dancing goes, we were two lemons that Angela took and turned into lemonade. For us, our dance was the
highlight of our night.”
Plenty of good ol’ Bermudian traditions were also incorporated into their day including a horse and carriage ride from the church to the reception, Gombey dancers who lead the guests from the cocktail reception to the dinner site, and gold and silver wedding cakes flanking the main four-tier white wedding cake. Fairy lights and hanging Mason jar candles added a sweet touch of romance to the ambiance as the sunset turned to night over the Hamilton Harbour and Great Sound view. Luckily the couple managed to avoid the worst of the unpredictable October weather for their outdoor reception—even dodging the effects of a hurricane the
“The weather was the subject we discussed the most and the thing we could control the least,” they said. “In the end, the secret to the weather is being prepared to smile in the sunshine and dance in the rain. We had Hurricane Joaquin the week before the wedding—leaving us without power for four days the week of the wedding. Then rain and more rain on the Thursday, Friday and Sunday of the wedding weekend. But, the wedding day was glorious. Our backup plan was the Fairmont Southampton who catered our wedding.”
Their perfect day was captured by photographer Meredith Andrews whose timeless style of photography suited the couple’s approach the best. “In addition to her experience, Meredith has an effervescent personality and a special ability amidst a mass of people and action, to find and capture that one eloquent moment,” they added.
When asked what were the most important elements of the wedding to them, the couple both stated all the people involved in making their day special tops the list. “It’s difficult to express the extent of support we received from family, friends, the church and everyone involved in turning what was a construction site into a wedding site. For us, we treasure all the relationships that were gained or strengthened or even rekindled leading up to and on the day of the wedding. Whether it was familial, friendly, professional or spiritual, for us, our wedding was a celebration of relationships.”
And the worst part of the whole thing? “That the day ended! We’d do
it again in a heartbeat and would not change a thing.”