Celebrity Cruise Wedding

December 6, 2012  |  Samantha and Fred

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“Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.”
― Ralph Waldo Emerson

Where do you start for a wedding like Samantha and Fred’s? Oy. :)

First of all, from the beginning phone calls with Samantha, I had some big shoes to fill. I knew her father, who has been a very talented fashion photographer for many years, would have an eye on me! But it was so important that he get to enjoy this beautiful day – and walk his little girl down the aisle – without his camera. I can’t imagine how difficult that would have been to trust someone else with such an important task, so I appreciate the opportunity to allow me to be there with them! This was also my first ever cruise, and Samantha and Fred couldn’t have picked a more beautiful ship! It was the inaugural voyage of Celebrity Reflection, and this ship was spectacular.

But things didn’t go off exactly according to Samantha’s year-long plans. The first hour that the ship left Miami and headed to the port of Nassau (where Samantha had booked the stunning One and Only Resort for her wedding), we were told that we would no longer be docking in the morning; and instead, we would be docking closer to 6pm. Well that totally threw a wrench in her 1:00pm ceremony plans in Nassau. So there we sat, drinks in hand, completely revising her timeline that she had spent a year developing – in about, oh, 20 minutes.

“Man plans, God laughs” – Proverb

Waking up on December 6th started calmly enough. The revised timeline was in full swing – girls in the salon, Samantha drinking champagne in her suite. Everything was right on schedule. As the photos started and time progressed, so did the weather. Floating mid-Atlantic off the coast of Nassau, our 5pm arrival to the port was indefinitely delayed thanks to 37 knot wind gusts. They announced free drinks for everyone on-board for the next hour, and suddenly, every available shooting spot was engulfed by thousands of thirsty tourists. So we sat. So we waited.

It wasn’t until about 6:30pm that Samantha got the call. We were no longer docking at all. The wedding was… well, no one knew exactly what that meant. So her bridesmaids, led by her sister Sabrina, went in to full gear – planning Samantha’s dream wedding and reception right there onboard the ship!

By 9:00pm, we had a full ceremony ready to go – complete with a string trio, ice sculpture, bouquets, drinks and dinner. And as we floated aimlessly in the Atlantic – Samantha and Fred were married by the Captain of the Ship, readings were read by the First Mate and 3rd in charge. To cap this incredible day – Samantha and Fred were given an amazing gift by Celebrity Cruises and their CEO (who joined us at the reception since he happened to be on the ship!) – another cruise of their choice, expenses paid. We all voted for Greece :)

One thing is for certain – no one will ever have their exact same wedding venue! Mainly since none of us actually knew where we were :)

And so, it was on this trip, that we learned a valuable lesson about planning. We also learned valuable lessons about Craps and Superfruit 57’s. More importantly, we learned a valuable lesson about love – and how at the end it doesn’t matter WHERE you’re married… just that, in the end, all that matters is love.

Vendors

Venue: Celebrity Cruises, Reflection (Atlantic Ocean, off the coast of Nassau, Bahamas)
Videographers: Kai and Eddie, Simply Cinematic
Bridal Salon: Lily’s Bridal
Bridal Gown: Sottero and Midgley
Men’s Suits: Michael Kors

So many other vendors were involved in the planning of Samantha and Fred’s wedding in Nassau, so I’d like to thank them, too, even though we didn’t really make it there! (Cara, with the One and Only, Ocean Club; Santina Smith, The Nassau Florist; Guitarist Andrew Logan; and Pastor Jermaine Watkins)

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Samantha used pieces of her mother’s wedding dress for her bouquet.
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Cue giant break while we waited to dock… and then found out we weren’t.
And finally, back to work, when the wedding was back on!
Everyone got right to it; making sure Samantha and Fred’s ship-ceremony was perfect!
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My favorite part was when the Captain handed Samantha and Fred this super secret envelope – gifting them with their dream cruise anywhere they wanted to go!
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The next day, Samantha, Fred and I all went out to wander the ship and take some amazing formal shots that we didn’t get to do the day before! These are some of my favorite photographs and we had such a fun time finding all the little nooks and crannies :)
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