Written by Gabrielle Boyer. Photography by Becky Spencer.
“Andrew and I knew that we absolutely needed to be overlooking the ocean on our wedding day; that was really important to us,” said Bermudian bride Rebecca Gregory. “Mid Ocean Club made it possible to have both the ceremony and reception ocean-side, which made it an obvious choice for us.”
The couple was wed with their toes in the sand on the Mid Ocean beach on August 20, 2016. They made their vows under a cedar arch (hand-made by the groom) with 190 seated family members and friends looking on.
“We decided early on to go with an overall theme of a nautical, beach wedding. We wanted a colour scheme that would play into that and blend with Mid Ocean Club’s natural surroundings. We chose navy blue to mimic the ocean, blush to replicate the tones of the pink sand and a creamy white to play to the clouds. It was perfect!”
Andrew Cottingham and his groomsmen were appropriately dressed in custom white-collared shirts from itaylor and traditional navy Bermuda shorts from The English Sports Shop, but opted to forgo jackets, socks and shoes. “It was the middle of August and on a beach, so why not?” said Rebecca.
As for the bride and her maids, simple and chic was the intent. “The wife of one of Andrew’s longtime friends is an amazing designer based in New York City. I was struggling with trying to find a dress I liked, so I enlisted Kaelen’s help. After sending sketches back and forth, choosing fabrics and materials, and a few trips to New York for fittings, I had my dream dress. The fabric was elegant, but very lightweight for the hot, humid weather and the low back cowl kept me cool.” The bridesmaids wore blush-coloured floor-length dresses, which they chose together. “I didn’t want the girls to go completely bare-footed, as I wasn’t planning to. I found gorgeous sole-less sandals from Barmine, on Etsy, for them and I wore a pair of silver sole-less sandals from another Etsy store—they jingled when I walked, which was a playful touch.”
To avoid the risk of guests overheating during the ceremony, the couple provided ice water and lemonade on the beach and the wedding programmes were adhered to Popsicle sticks and made sturdy enough to use as a fan. “When it comes to weather-contingency space, Mid Ocean Club is accommodating, booking out the Club House restaurant for the ceremony and reception in case of bad weather. I tried to keep in mind that no matter what happened weather-wise, our day was to celebrate our love for one another and our families joining together, but admittedly, I’m glad we got the beach wedding we planned.”
The bride carried a large bouquet of blue hydrangeas on her walk down the aisle which she chose to compliment the blues of the Atlantic and the August sky. “I couldn’t wrap my head around spending thousands on flowers that wouldn’t last once the wedding was over, so I chose to keep it simple with only one main flower feature, that being large, pomander balls of white flowers, which hung from shepherds hooks lining the aisle.” In addition, the bridesmaids carried bouquets of blue and white hydrangeas, which carried out the chosen colour scheme beautifully.
Immediately following the ceremony, the couple and their guests enjoyed a buffet dinner under a seated tent overlooking the south shore. “Many of our guests had food allergies or restricted diets, so we chose to serve gluten-free and vegan options, so that everyone got their fill.” One of the groom’s surfboards was used to create the seating chart; a nod to his passion for surfing and the couple’s shared love of the water. “For the décor, we opted to keep it simple and allow the dramatic seascape and sunset to take centre stage. After dark, the tent was illuminated with hundreds of twinkling lights and lit tiki torches. At every table, there was a lit candle in a hurricane lantern with pink sand, sea shells and starfish.”
The couple was thrilled with the outcome of their day, calling it perfect and everything they had hoped for. “It was amazing,” says Rebecca. “We had the best band, D.I.A. (Devil’s Isle Audio), that kept all of our guests on the dance floor all night. Everyone had a great time and the sound of the waves on the shore while we celebrated throughout the afternoon and evening with our friends and family was exactly what we hoped for when planning our beach wedding.”
Rebecca and Andrew’s advice to engaged couples wanting a beach wedding of their own: “Have a weather-contingency plan, use speakers for the ceremony in case your guests can’t hear over the surf and honestly, just go for it—it’s your day.”