Junkanoo-Themed Destination Wedding in Nassau, Bahamas | Alaina & David
When Alaina and David went to their respective colleges, neither of them thought they would eventually meet the one they would spent the rest of their lives with; but they did! Alaina, a freshman at Spelman College (Atlanta) and David, a freshman at Morehouse College, maintained the friendship they had from their initial encounter in 2004 and more than 12 years later, consider their bond unbreakable.
David, a music industry veteran in Atlanta, solicited the assistance of R&B powerhouse Musiq Soulchild, crafting a fairytale proposal in the presence of Alaina’s family and closest friends (see it here!). Born and raised in the Bahamas, it was natural for Alaina to select Nassau as the destination for her nuptials, having lived in the United States since her time at Spelman. With such a fairytale proposal, one would expect nothing short of amazing of their wedding. Read all about Alaina and David, and their wedding in the Bahamas.
Bride and Groom: Alaina and David
Destination: Nassau, Bahamas
Ceremony Venue: St. Anselm’s Catholic Church
Reception Venue: Imperial Ballroom, Atlantis – Paradise Island, Bahamas
What is special about the destination that you chose? I am from Nassau, Bahamas so it was special to get married in my home country. I haven’t lived in the Bahamas in over a decade, and with my husband originally from Atlanta, GA, it was special to return to the Bahamas to marry the love of my life.
What did you love most about the destination you chose? Other than the Bahamas being my hometown, it was great having a destination easily accessible from the United States. Being easily accessible made it easy for our guests to arrange travel to and from the Bahamas to celebrate our special day with us. We wanted our guests to enjoy the Bahamas as much as possible, so we chose not to plan an event the night before the wedding, giving our guests the opportunity to explore Nassau on their own.
What unique elements did you include in your event? Originally, I really wanted a beach themed wedding, during the summer. Due to the heat in The Bahamas in July, we didn’t want our guests to be miserable outside, so our decorator did various beach themed decorations to make the guests feel like they were at the beach. Also keeping with the theme, my bouquet had seashells mixed in with the flowers, and our sweetheart table’s chairs were large gold seahorses. At the reception and in between floral arrangements, each table had fish tanks with colorful swimming fish. At the end of the day, our guests were able to take the fish tank and/or floral arrangements home with them.
What cultural aspect(s) (if any) of the destination did you incorporate in your wedding? As a child, I always participated in Junkanoo, a cultural parade in the Bahamas, and wanted our guests to have a real Bahamian experience that included this. Our guests were fully immersed in the Bahamian Junkanoo experience, as we had a Junkanoo group perform at our reception, while we made our grand entrance and were officially introduced as husband and wife. This entrance was my favorite moment of the day. Also, as favors to our wedding guests, we gave guava and mango jams, significant because of my love for cooking and baking, a personalized deck of cards, because of David’s love of playing games, and lastly Bahamian straw dolls.
What was your favorite memory from your wedding or wedding planning? Finding my wedding dress; it was really the only detail from my wedding day that I paid close attention to! My mom found me a wedding dress designer, based on what I said I was looking for in a dress. Through a Pinterest search, my mom thought I would love a designer by the name of Berta Bridal. I was living in NYC at the time, so my mom flew to NYC to meet me for bridal shopping appointments; we had 4 appointments scheduled for that day. Despite the numerous appointments, I found the PERFECT Berta dress at a small boutique called L’Fay Bridal. My favorite part of the dress was definitely the pearls, low cut back and long train.
What advice would you give to other brides or engaged couples planning a destination wedding? Focus on your marriage and remember the wedding is literally ONE day! It is the best day to kick off your marriage so don’t get so caught up in minor details that you forget to focus on doing things that will make your marriage last and stand the test of time. Also, don’t forget to inquire about the inclement weather plan (if your wedding is scheduled to be outdoors).
Dress Designer: Berta Bridal
Hair: Matthew Yates @myatesnewyork
Makeup: Waltaya Culmer @waltymakeupworld
Photography: Donald Knowles
Wedding Planner: Roxanne Chipman (my mom)
Florist: Therez Mckenzie
Cake: Jessica Wilson with Take a Bite Bahamas @takeabitebahamas
Event Designer: N/A
Invitations: Yolantha Chipman-Yallop