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JANUARY 28, 2011 ■ PAGE 1

Island remains perfect wedding destination Publisher Randy French President Lisa Beauchamp Editorial B. Candace Ray, Sirkka Huish Layout Jack Garstang Advertising Sales Carlita Burgess (Deputy Advertising Manager) Olga French, Diane Gilbert, Claire James Creative Services Gerri Saltus, Christina White, Colby Mederios, Shay Ford Circulation & Distribution Nick Tavares

Bermuda Sun 19 Elliott Street, Hamilton, Bermuda HM 10 Tel 295-3902 Fax 292-5597 E-mail This special supplement is produced and published by Bermuda Sun Limited and printed in Bermuda by Island Press Limited.

Inside this supplement Competition puts Bermuda on the map Pages 2-3 Organising your picture-perfect day Pages 4-5 Bermuda-made jewellery for the bride Pages 6-7 Bookstore has the wedding titles for you Page 8 Keep your wedding dress pristine Page 9 Bridesmaids should not upstage the bride Page 10 Planners create ‘custom-made reality’ Page 11 Competition winners’ dream wedding Pages 12-13 Family wedding planner kept busy Pages 14, 16 Weddings with Panache at Elbow Beach Page 15 Butterfield Bank help with finances Page 16

Weddings instil bridal couples’ lives with undercurrents. Electricity sparks as she negotiates blind spots of an entirely new endeavour and he contemplates the unique B. CANDACE responsibility of a RAY spouse. Feature Writer/ Nervous Photographer energy may be even more pronounced if he’s previously crushed a wineglass underfoot, or she’s already ‘jumped the broom’. So even formerly married, engaged couples, exhibit the ‘jitters’. They need help with the details of planning around and in between a likely busy work life as much as, or perhaps more than the first time bride or groom does. Bermuda Sun’s Fairytale Weddings features an array of wedding planning books that the bride and groom can read or use as a reference. The myriad details required to be noted for a perfect wedding day can be found among the titles at Bermuda Bookstore. Professional wedding planners can take the preferences you’ve determined from these books or offer many more suggestions of their own. We profile two planners in these pages, Weddings With Panache onsite at the Elbow Beach Hotel, and To Have and To Hold Wedding & Event Planning. The bride traditionally chose her bridesmaids’ dresses. This is not now always the case. For a discussion of how and what to choose for which type of wedding, turn to the article in which Milika Trott-Seymour, owner of BLANC Bridal Boutique, offers some advice. In another article, jewellery designer Alexandra Mosher offers her own


BAREFOOT AND HAPPY: Saying ‘I do’ on the beach looks perfectly natural. insight into the jewellery most suited to a wedding dress. That wedding dress will need cleaning and preserving after the celebrations are over and the guests have gone home. With the help of Just Shirts Drycleaners & Launderers’ manager Donna Jones we provide a detailed look at the safekeeping and storage of your beautiful gown. The Bermuda Sun’s Sirkka Huish has written a

number of human interest articles related to the subject, including a story about the couple that plans weddings together. Ms Huish profiles one of the American couples who won a destination wedding at the Hamilton Princess. She relates the saga of a wedding planner who within a matter of weeks planned weddings for her mother and sister, and she reviews the 10 weddings that took place in Bermuda

in a single day. Whether you’re new to wedding planning or are a repeat planner, we feel certain that the helpful hints found in the pages of the Bermuda Sun’s Fairytale Weddings will discharge some of the undercurrents, release the nervous energy and allow you to revel in the process of this wonderful time of your life. Read.Enjoy.Livehappily togetherashusbandandwife. ■


JANUARY 28, 2011



‘Bermuda’s Perfect 10’ competition enhances BY SIRKKA HUISH


BIG DAY: Lindsay Turner and Adam Edwards of Maryland were among the couples to win a destination wedding in Bermuda in the ‘Perfect 10’ competition. They got married on Elbow Beach — in bare feet.

Bermuda hit the headlines for all the right reasons when it pulled off the ambitious task of hosting 10 weddings on the lucky day of 10/10/10. It was a destination wedding competition that put Bermuda firmly on the map as lovers from across the United States were jetted in for their big day. With the sun shining from a cloudless October sky and the turquoise ocean glistening, the couples couldn’t believe their luck as they said their ‘I do’s in the most perfect of locations. The 10 couples who won ‘Bermuda’s Perfect 10’ competition were thrown into the limelight as they each won all-expenses paid trip to Bermuda. Those attracting the attention of the media included Lindsay Turner and Adam Edwards of Baltimore, Maryland, who tied the knot on the pink sands of Elbow Beach. The happy couple seemed to be most excited that they had the chance to get married in bare feet. Wedding planner Allister Simmons of The Bridal Suite had the daunting task of organising the 10 weddings. He admits it wasn’t easy juggling brides, grooms, cakes and flowers but proudly said: “We did it.” He said: “It was just the most amazing day. “The day was so successful as everything went to plan. Everyone enjoyed themselves; it was great for the hotels and Bermuda tourism as a whole. “Even the weather behaved itself; it was a picture-perfect day for everyone involved.” The 10 winning brides and grooms received their choice of five-night wedding getaways with themes including eco-chic, waves of love and magical sunset. The weddings all took place on Sunday, October 10 at all the island’s major hotels, including Cambridge Beaches, the two Fairmont hotels, The Reefs and Tucker’s Point. To win, couples had to submit 10 reasons why they wanted to get married in Bermuda and there were more than 900 entries. The competition was organised by the Department of Tourism and The Knot website to

Bermuda’s Perfect 10 winning couples ■

Caroline Cruz and Wen Yuan Mo from Brooklyn, New York. Lindsey Morrill and Michael Sands from Portland, Maine. ■ Ayana Harris and Sam Brinson from Miramar, Florida. ■ Casey Shivery and Michael Gargagliano from Arnold, Maryland. ■ Heather Kleinman and Richard Hendricks from Palmdale, California. ■ Monica Jann and Tony Fabri from West Chester, Pennsylvannia. ■ Lindsay Turner and Adam Edwards from Baltimore, Maryland. ■ Zoila Del-Villar and Muschi Jean-Baptiste from New York. ■ Melanie Amodio and Ryan Sands from Three Bridges, New Jersey. ■ Alexis Puryear and Donnie David from Warner Robins, Georgia. ■

I DO: Lindsay Turner places the wedding ring on Adam Edwards’ finger as part of their beach ceremony.



JANUARY 28, 2011


island’s reputation as a wedding destination


‘The 10 winning brides and grooms received their choice of five-night wedding getaways with themes including eco-chic, waves of love and magical sunset.’ expand Bermuda’s profile in the destination weddings market. Each couple brought along eight guests, freeof-charge, but as many as 50 guests flew in to attend some of the weddings. On the big day the everorganised Mr. Simmons could be seen rushing from one end of the island to the other to make sure everyone’s big day went without a hitch. He managed to be present at four of the weddings with his team of staff overseeing the ceremonies he couldn’t get to. There were two weddings at 9am, one at 1pm, another at 4pm, then the final six took place at 6pm. Mr. Simmons admitted it “hadn’t been easy dealing with so many different personalities who all wanted different things” but he was delighted to be part of such a huge challenge. Mr. Simmons said he had been “very, very excited to see all the plans come together”. For about six months he was busy making phone calls and planning, saying he could “feel the enthusi-

asm and energy of the brides down the phone”. The couples, who were all in their 20s and 30s, only met each other and Mr. Simmons for the first time at JFK airport before boarding a private JetBlue Airways charter flight to Bermuda. Taxis colour-coordinated with ribbons then took each wedding party to their respective hotels. Mr. Simmons said more than three months later people were still talking about the success of the ‘Perfect 10’ competition. He said: “It really put Bermuda on the map as a venue for destination weddings. It showed us at our best, it showed what we are capable of doing. “We’re still getting phone calls and enquiries from people who heard about the ‘Perfect 10’ competition. An awful lot of people said they found the promotion very interesting. “It was great exposure for the island. We are hopeful that once again people will now be confident enough to go away and spent money on their wedding.” ■

YOU MAY KISS THE BRIDE: Lindsay Turner and Adam Edwards were among 10 couples who won the Department of Tourism and The Knot website competition. They had to submit 10 reasons why they wanted to get married in Bermuda.

NEWLY WEDS: The new Mr. and Mrs. Edwards pose for the cameras as they make the most of the sunshine on their 10/10/10 wedding day.


JANUARY 28, 2011



Married planners draw on years of experience BY SIRKKA HUISH

Instead of waving your husband or wife off to work every morning, how would you cope with being together both day and night? There probably aren’t many married couples who could survive both living and working together, but Allister and Carmen Simmons make it look so easy. What’s more there is no escaping the marriage talk for Mr. and Mrs. Simmons as their work is all about helping other couples to plan their picture-perfect wedding days. Mr. and Mrs. Simmons are veteran wedding planners having planned more than 3,000 weddings since they set up The Bridal Suite 22 years ago. Mrs. Simmons said: “We’re married and we plan other people’s weddings. Everyone always asks how we do it, how do we manage to work together without killing one another. Lots of people make jokes about it. “We work together all day. We are together all the time, but we don’t argue. We have a good relationship and a good marriage. “It’s all we know; we just go with the flow but always remember it’s a give and take situation.” The secret to their working relationship is that they both have different roles within the business that “complement each other”. Mr. Simmons does


KEEPING IT IN THE FAMILY: Allister and Carmen Simmons run The Bridal Suite with the help of their two children, Tyler, 24, and Natalie, 33. more of the wedding planning, sales and marketing, while Mrs. Simmons works on the administration and accounting side of things. Mrs. Simmons said: “We’re very fortunate that things have worked out so well.

“We have been married for 26 years and worked together for 22 years, and I still look forward to seeing my husband every morning.” Mrs. Simmons added: “We both know we wouldn’t be able to run the

business without each other, maybe that’s why it works so well!” Mr. Simmons, who is Bermudian, got married to his Canadian wife in 1984 while they were living in Toronto, Canada. He admits they “knew very

little about weddings back then” and their own wedding was quite a small affair. They had a garden wedding at their own home, which was attended by about 40 friends and family. The couple then moved

from Toronto to Bermuda in 1987 with Mr. Simmons getting a job at BELCO and Mrs. Simmons working in administration in the legal field. But they had always wanted to set up their own business so they started to



JANUARY 28, 2011


to help organise the picture-perfect wedding look for “good opportunities”. They decided on wedding planning as they noticed that at the time there was only one other wedding planner in Bermuda. The couple set up The Bridal Suite in 1989 and admit that their early years in business were tough. For two years they continued to work their day jobs, before dashing out to look at Bermuda’s beaches and other wedding venues in the evening. They found they weren’t getting home until about 11pm and had to continue taking “calls about weddings at all hours of the night”. It was at this point that they quit their day jobs and dedicated all their time to their business venture. Mrs. Simmons remembers that as the Internet was still gaining in popularity, they relied on a fax machine and “typing like crazy” on a typewriter. Mrs. Simmons said: “When we first started, things were very different as Bermuda was just opening up to weddings. “We had to go around and try to encourage venues to get into the wedding industry. We remember some hotels telling us there would be no money in it.” Mr. Simmons added: “We were also always looking for ways to advertise and market Bermuda to those overseas; it was like we had to sell the island as a destination for weddings. “For many, many years people had honeymooned in Bermuda, but they had never thought of it as a wedding destination. “Then over the years Bermuda’s popularity has grown. Our phone began to ring and it’s never stopped since.” The couple say their business has “grown and grown” over the years and they are pleased that despite the current economic climate that they “remain on a high wave”. The Bridal Suite now has offices in both Bermuda and Toronto and the couple split their time between the two. It’s now very much a family business as Mr. and Mrs. Simmons are helped out by “the young breed” — namely their daughter Natalie, 33, and son Tyler, 24. About 85 per cent of the couples they work with are from the United States, but they also plan weddings for those from Bermuda, as well as those from countries further a field such as the U.K., Germany, China and Japan. Their previous clients have included American football players, celebrity talk show hosts and U.S. government officials. They pride themselves on “delivering creative and fabulous weddings within our client’s budget” whether it’s just the bride and groom on a private beach or several hundred people wanting a cliff-top party. Although Mr. and Mrs. Simmons have organised thousands of weddings


ALL IN A DAY’S WORK: The Bridal Suite were the wedding planners between Bermuda’s Perfect 10 wedding competition. They had their work cut out as they organised 10 weddings in one day, on 10/10/10.

The Bridal Suite Call 292-2025, toll free 1-888-253-5585 or e-mail You can also visit the website at

and claim to know every romantic spot on the island, they say every wedding is very different as it is uniquely special to the bride and groom. They insist the most important part of their job is listening to what the bride and groom want. They work with them for up to 12 months to try to achieve their dream day. Mrs. Simmons said: “It can be a stressful business, but we have to very much go with what is wanted as every person is different.

Anxious “Some brides and grooms are very easy to get along with while some are very difficult to work with as they call all the time worrying about the smallest of things. “This is where Allister comes to the rescue as he’s like a psychologist. He somehow always knows what to say or do to make people calm down and feel comfortable.” Over the years they have noticed that destination weddings “are definitely getting bigger” as couples want to add more names to their guest lists. Wedding parties of just 10 to 20 people used to be the norm, but now most weddings have about 50 guests, and 100 to 200 guests are not uncommon. The only factor that the wedding planners cannot control is the weather, although Mrs. Simmons said: “Bad weather is not the end of the world. We just work around it.” She said everything needed to be put into

perspective as “far too many brides worry about their hair being blown out of place rather than what’s going on when they are saying their vows”. Reminiscing about all the weddings they have witnessed over the years, the couple say they have “seen them all” adding that: “nothing surprises us anymore”. The happy stories include the groom from the U.K. who said it had always been his dream to “get married while standing on the beach, right next to the sea”. It was only when Mr. Simmons met the groom that he realized he was in a wheelchair. The groom explained he couldn’t usually stand for more than five or 10 minutes, but he managed to stand through his entire 20-minute wedding service on the beach. Mr. Simmons said: “There he was on his wedding day wearing a kilt, standing in the sand, two feet from the water, holding his bride’s hand. He was the happiest man in the world.” Having organised the wedding of one couple, Mr. and Mrs. Simmons were called upon again to organise the renewal of their vows 15 years later. The couple wanted to get married in exactly the same place and the bride even wore the same dress. But Mr. and Mrs. Simmons joke that beach weddings often “go straight to people’s heads” as they have seen entire wedding parties jumping into the ocean – both fully

clothed and completely naked. The wedding planners have also had to deal with the worst-case wedding day scenarios. They have had brides and grooms who have died suddenly before their wedding days and also partners who get cold feet and back out at the last minute. Having travelled to Bermuda to get married, one man told his fiancé the day before they were due to get hitched: “Forget it, there’s no way I’m marrying you”. Mr. and Mrs. Simmons say they have also seen couples having arguments on their wedding day, the police being called to fights between rival family members, and couples who want an annulment the following day. Weather-related stories include a bride who was “drenched from head to toe” when a huge wave crashed over the cliff at Astwood Park, and a wedding party who had “cake mixed with sand” after a gust of wind blew over their cake table at their beach wedding. But perhaps the most bizarre story was the bride who

asked Mr. Simmons “where can we go to dance?” Mr. Simmons listed off a few places in town and said he was happy to get the bride and groom a taxi. But the bride, who had only been married a few hours, said: “I don’t want to go with my husband, I want to go with you.”

Book coming Mr. Simmons is actually in the process of writing a book about all the wedding days he has encountered over the years. He said: “There’s always such excitement in the air when it comes to a wedding, but not everything always goes to plan. “Some have been funny, some have been embarrassing; I just have to write down all the stories.” Many of the couples are so appreciative of Mr. and Mrs. Simmons’ hard work that they continue to stay in touch “even though they are moving on to the next chapter in their lives”. The couple’s former clients send postcards to say when they have had children and always arrange to meet up if they ever return to Bermuda.

But unbeknown to them, Mr. and Mrs. Simmons believe they have the knack of working out which marriages are going to last saying: “It’s all down to the body language on the wedding day”. Mrs. Simmons names the example of a young couple who got married alone at Astwood Park. It started to rain heavily and the couple got soaking wet, but they continued to sit on the water’s edge and look into each other’s eyes. Mrs. Simmons said: “They were so wrapped up in each other, they didn’t care about the weather.” Mrs. Simmons said: “We work with so many couples we get a good idea of what’s going to happen to them in the future. We can tell which marriages will last and which won’t. “Those who can’t stop looking at each other and can’t keep their hands off each other, those are the couple who are really in love. Some couples don’t even seem to care who they are getting married to. “The couples may not be able to predict the future, but we joke to each other that we can!” ■


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Alexandra Mosher creates wearable art Bermudian artist Alexandra Mosher creates art jewellery designs, often inspired by Bermuda’s beauty. Her collections offer necklaces, bracelets, earrings and whimsical hairpieces, as well as cuff links and pins for men. She spoke with the Bermuda Sun about the inspirations that underpin her work.

BY ALEXANDRA MOSHER So many of my friends are getting married this year and I’ve had so many requests for custom bridal

SOLDERING ON: Alexandra Mosher is pictured weilding a blowtorch to create a piece of jewellery.

jewellery. It has been a great opportunity for me to create custom jewellery for Bermuda weddings.” I’m constantly in awe of the little nuances of Bermuda’s beauty. Just the other night, as I was driving down Front Street I was moved to tears by the huge full moon rising up over our quaint little buildings. These are the moments that compel me to create wearable art.” It’s the little touches that make life so charming and fun! The tiniest of details allow you to tell your

unique story. Choosing the jewels with which you will adorn yourself for your wedding day is a one of the most personal decisions you will make.” I have been collecting exquisite gemstones with a huge variety of unusual shapes and colours from around the world, and carefully hand place each into the customized designs. The brides I have worked with have taken great care to co-design jewellery for themselves, as well as personalised pieces as gifts

FINE WORK: Alexandra Mosher engraves an intricate design onto one of her creations.



JANUARY 28, 2011 ■ 7

NECK CUFF from the Alexandra Mosher Cedar Collection.

Alexandra Mosher Please visit to learn more and browse the collections. Or e-mail studio@ when you’re ready to set up your design consultation, which should be at least two months in advance of the wedding date.

LOVE BIRD BAROQUE PEARL EARRINGS by Alexandra Mosher. for each of their bridesmaids. Working with a bride, I get to create custom treasures for their special day. Think of it as a creative service, and not as a product. My favourite part of the experience is designing the metalwork and gemstones to suit each individual’s style. I love the weddings where the bridesmaids’ gowns fit into a harmonious colour palette, but each has a uniquely individual design. Jewellery is such a personal expression, and unlike the dress, can be worn for years after the wedding day. I would hope that each time your maid of honour puts on her pair of custommade chandelier earrings, or each time your best man

puts his cufflinks into crisp French cuffs, they think of your wedding day fondly. Imagine wedding jewellery as an enduring memory and not just an accessory. My jewellery is currently featured on the cover of the autumn/winter issue of Bermuda Weddings and Honeymoons. Much to my surprise, I was asked to pose as a bride for the magazine. It was a lot of fun, although I’m a bit shy in the limelight. Raised in an academic and creative family, I developed a love for craft at a very young age, often creating sculptures out of found objects. I received my Bachelor’s Degree in visual arts and French from the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts.

I continued to study in jewellery design, wax carving, casting, and jewellery fabrication at the The Fashion Institute of Technology and the JCC Manhattan and Wolf Studios in Maine. Prior to launching my jewellery line in 2005, I showed my photography, oil paintings, and installation work in shows in Bermuda, France and the United States. My jewellery business has also expanded internationally, and I have gathered clients in Bermuda, America, Canada and Europe. My business received an unexpected boost when I was recently chosen as one of the British Airways & Bermuda Small Business Development Corporation’s Face-2-Face Contest winners, which gave me the opportunity to travel to London to meet with internationally renowned jewellery designers as well as gallery and boutique owners and buyers. It was an honour to have been selected as one of six Bermudian entrepreneurs to attend Global Entrepreneurship Week and meet face to face with business contacts in London. The relationships and experiences from that voy-

COIN PEARL NECKLACE: From the Alexandra Mosher Melt Collection.

BOILER CLUSTER NECKLACE from the Alexandra Mosher Reef Collection.

age have changed my perspective. I think of myself as not just a jeweller but also as a business woman I’ve always seen myself as a creative person, but this experience has shown me that I can build a business around my passion. But still, the most satisfying aspect is when I get to create a custom piece for people that they truly love. One such bride was Sylvia Jones, managing director of Corporate Concierge Bermuda Ltd,

who summed up all that I try to achieve. “I worked with Alexandra to design earrings to co-ordinate with my wedding colours. “I wanted a Bermudian design element to my wedding and Alexandra delivered beautiful jewellery beyond my expectations. “It was my honour to present these as gifts to my bridesmaids.” My studio offers a refreshing departure from the usual jewellery shop-

ping experience. Tucked away off Middle Road in Warwick, it is both a comfortable meeting space and showroom where I can review designs with clients. In the back room is the workshop where I wield a blowtorch and a hammer to create my treasures which bloom in silver and gold, accented with vibrantly coloured gemstones, pearls or even gleaming droplets of Bermuda sand. ■



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Bookstore has the titles to help you plan the big day BY B. CANDACE RAY

Add intrigue to the excitement of planning your wedding. Fascination with the subject abounds on the shelves of the Bermuda Bookstore. Debrett’s Wedding Guide shares space, for example, with an encyclopaedia devoted entirely to wedding toasts, and with another book entitled, Mother of the Bride. An equally enticing, Preston Bailey’s Fantasy Weddings refers to the fairytale aspect of weddings in general. Mr. Bailey, an entertainer, is a designer to the stars and an Oprah favourite, according to bookstore owner Hannah Willmott. The Bride’s Diplomacy Guide, and Vows The African American Couples’ Guide to Designing a Sacred Ceremony are all there to peruse. “We do have some lovely idea books on wedding flowers and jewellery,” Ms Willmott said, “and of course, all sorts of titles dealing with the etiquette of the big day and everyone’s role.” Wedding bouquet magic can be found, for example, in To Have and to Hold by David Stark and Avi Adler. There’s even FortuneTelling Book for Brides, in which K. C. Jones gives the secret meanings attached to details of the wedding. Although one Internet site said the book is ‘no longer available’, it is still to be had at the Bermuda Bookstore. Sighing because the book was published five years after her wedding, Ms Willmott said: “My personal favourite… would have to be one called The Best Wedding Reception Ever!

The Bermuda Bookstore is open 8am till 6pm weekdays, 10am till 6pm Saturdays and 1pm till 5pm Sundays.

Your Guide to Creating an Unforgettably Fun Celebration by Peter Merry.” “I think so many people focus on where people sit and why, and forget that weddings are supposed to be fun,” she said. “… [This book] gives you really good ideas.” Among the suggestions are dancing with the nonslip bubbles of a bubble machine, applying certain lighting effects, giving away centrepieces, and so on. The Wedding Book by Mindy Weiss will help brides and grooms understand wedding planning essentials. According to Ms Willmott, it deals with such items as picking the reception site, renting tents, stocking bars, organising music and deciding who should be in which photograph. Ms Willmott also mentioned The Bride’s Year Ahead: The Ultimate Month-by-Month Wedding Planner by Carol Ross. “This is the ultimate, telling you 11 months ahead you should be doing this, six months ahead you should be organizing whatever… It’s got nice pockets you can keep things in,” she said. “It’s even got a zip-up bag.” The Ultimate Wedding Planner and Organizer by Elizabeth Lluch and Martha Stewart’s Keepsake Wedding Planner are among other titles you can use as reference. “Most things I’ve read when I order books seem to


YOU OUGHT TO READ IT: Hannah Willmott, owner of Bermuda Bookstore, tries to convince a sceptical assistant manager, Scott Holder of the future value to him personally of the shop’s wedding planning books. indicate that there’s no one book,” Ms Willmott said. “You generally end up with two; one planner and one alternative, to cover everything. It depends what you’re interested in. “If you’re particularly


Include as part of your Bridal Registry

interested in flowers, you’d have one planner and one book on flowers.” The alternative book, according to the bookstore owner, could discuss dresses, etiquette, or other wedding detail. Any books not

in stock may be ordered ‘on spec’, with the price quoted being the landed cost. “We are happy to bring them in,” Ms Willmott said. “No one has to commit to buying something

that they haven’t seen.” Have a look at the display of wedding books available on Queen Street, or for more information, call the Bermuda Bookstore at 295-0221, or e-mail ■

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t Interview each and every wedding professional before hiring them. t When interviewing them it is important to ask as many questions as possible. Choose this time to ask for references from other clients so that you can speak to them about their experiences with the wedding professional. t Address any concerns you may have with them such as location of the reception, types of foods, pictures, flowers, music etc. you would like. t Always have a notebook on hand so that you can write down any important facts and information you have obtained from each interview. t Ask to see samples of their work. This is especially important when dealing with the florist and the photographer. t Read carefully through any contract before you sign it. Pay particular attention to the amount of deposits and any cancellation policies. Be wary of contracts that seem excessively one-sided in their favor. t Do not allow yourself to be forced to make a decision because of time constraints, until you have viewed all options. Any changes to the original plan and contract should be made note of and signed by both the bride and the wedding professional. t Be wary of wedding professionals who do not return your calls, emails or faxes once they have received your deposit.

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JANUARY 28, 2011


How to keep your wedding dress in pristine condition BY B. CANDACE RAY

Cedar hope chests were once de rigueur for every young woman contemplating marriage. They served as coffers for linens, which the bride-to-be would edge with lace or border with crochet. Lingerie would be placed in their scented interiors, along with anything else deemed important and appropriate to a future home. After the ceremony, the new wife most likely kept her wedding dress within its aromatic confines. This would have been thought to protect the gown from the effects of time. Modern day fiancées might have some form of trunk into which they fold monogrammed bath and bed sets or other items for safekeeping, although already partnered others won’t be concerned with such things. But whether or not she accumulates soft furnishings and personal wear prior to the marriage, every bride who wears white will want to retain her wedding dress and guard against damage to its fabric. Drycleaning should be a priority, according to Donna Jones, manager of Just Shirts Drycleaners & Launderers. “We recommend all bridal gowns be brought in for servicing within two weeks after the wedding ceremony to avoid stains from becoming ground in and hence harder to remove. Stains left untreated can cause damage to the fibres, attract insects, oxidize and turn yellow. This includes perspiration,” Ms Jones said. The drycleaner will pre-


GUARDING AGAINST DAMAGE: Cecilie Robinson, Just Shirts Drycleaners & Launderers’ senior supervisor (left) in the packing station with manager Donna Jones cover a wedding gown in its acid-free cardboard bridal chest with a first, see-through top. spot, with the fabricappropriate stain removal chemical, a soiled hem, food-smudged skirt or drink-splashed bodice. The chemical is then flushed away before or during cleaning. The gown will have been assessed, per manufacturer’s label, before being totally and separately

immersed in cleaning fluid. “Unlike a regular day dress, which is drycleaned with ‘like’ colours and fabrics, bridal gowns are drycleaned individually,” Ms Jones said. “Every bridal gown is unique in that trims such as beading, sequins, jewels and fabric trims will call

UNIQUE DRESSES: Cecilie Robinson prepares a wedding gown for storage.

for specialized handling on how to cover, remove or treat all of the above,” she said. “Some gowns cannot be ‘tumbled’ and are drycleaned on a very delicate short cycle with minimum or no heat during the drying cycle.” The cost of cleaning a wedding gown for storage runs from $200 to $350 and depends upon the degree of difficulty, for example, the weight of the dress and how ornate the design is. Bust forms and tissue padding help retain the shape of the dress, according to Ms Jones, who said: “Some bridal gowns can be quite heavy and should not be hung from the shoulders for prolonged periods as this can cause stress on the body of the gown.” She noted that hanging, particularly with a white cotton protector sheet, does reduce wrinkling, but that a bridal chest of acidfree cardboard is best. She said: “The gown is packed with acid-free tissue in the folds and creases, which aids in the preservation of the gown for years to come. Many brides want to pass down their gowns to (their) daughters.” The present-day chest runs about $120, according to Ms Jones, and can be purchased when convenient. But most brides would agree that correct storage should take precedence in the safekeeping of a wedding dress. And because the drycleaner lacks the space and facility for storing customers’ gowns, newlyweds should pay particular attention. Ms Jones said: “Your bridal gown should be stored in a cool dry area, in a stable room temperature for protection from mois-

ture, humidity, mildew, and away from direct sunlight. Fume fading can occur, which is a chemical change in dye noticed on exposed areas of garments. It is caused by acid gases in the atmosphere.” Although Just Shirts Drycleaners & Launderers’ feature three outlets, Ms Jones advised: “We recommend all customers with

wedding gowns come directly to Just Shirts on Bermudiana Road where my staff can communicate one-on-one with the customer, and we can price [drycleaning] the wedding gown accordingly.” ■

FOR MORE information on the cleaning and preserving of a wedding gown, call 292-8359.


JANUARY 28, 2011



Bridesmaids’ dresses should not upstage the bride BY B. CANDACE RAY

Bridesmaids’ dresses traditionally act as a frame for the bridal white in their midst. That concept has not changed. Although today’s wedding gowns might be confections of ivory, coffee, pink, or green; sheer silver or shimmery gold, or combinations in which a startling stronger colour contrasts with the softer tone, the modern bride ‘dons’ her contingent of bridesmaids as she might a crown. Their attire allows her to stand out. It is, after all, the bride’s day. A local wedding posted at describes the bridesmaids wearing halter-topped, tea length coral organza. The filmy coral shows up in the photos as an attractive counterpoint to the white satin the bride is wearing. Another wedding posted on the same site displays images of bridesmaids in floor-length black, all strapless, all customsashed on the back. Here, too, like an exclamation mark among her coterie, the bride’s white strapless gown attracts instant notice. But not all maids in a wedding party these days wear the same type of dress, for according to Milika Trott-Seymour, the owner of BLANC Bridal Boutique, more brides are allowing their bridesmaids to select the style of gown that best suits them. “The brides want their


STAND0UT BRIDE: Bridesmaids dressed in black with white tops and matching bouquets make for a perfectly colour contrasted bridal party friends to be comfortable in what they’re wearing,” Ms Trott-Seymour said. “I would suggest choosing the length, colour and fabric for the bridesmaids’

dresses and letting your wedding party choose the style … This way it looks cohesive,” she said. An example of this can also be found on the

ShowOff site, where a third wedding features bridesmaids with aquamarine dresses, but differing bodice styles. Of the two maids wearing strapless, one selected a sweetheart style, while the other chose shoulder straps. The youngest bridesmaid pair wears single off-theshoulder dresses pinned with a flounce. Again, the bride’s ivory strapless satin figures prominently in the picture, despite the difference in bridal party styles. “Many years ago, the trend was to have bridesmaids’ dresses a very similar, but simpler version of the bride’s gown, but you don’t see that too much now,” Ms Trott-Seymour said. Noting that brides want a ‘complement to’ rather than a ‘clone of’ herself, she added: “There are no rules when it comes to bridesmaids’ attire. I’ve seen everything from casual printed sundresses to glamorous evening gowns with beading. “If the wedding is extremely formal, I would suggest longer gowns for the bridesmaids, but most weddings are somewhere in the middle, so long or short dresses would be appropriate. Both lengths are equally popular today.” Most weddings are themed. Bridesmaids’ dresses, invitations and decorations are among the trappings that reflect the theme in the bride or groom’s favourite colour; or they could duplicate the light or dark tones of the season in which the wedding is held. In most cases, the season will determine the weight of the fabric worn.

‘Many years ago, the trend was to have bridesmaids’ dresses a very similar, but simpler version of the bride’s gown, but you don’t see that too much now.’ MILIKA TROTT-SEYMOUR

Owner of BLANC Bridal Boutique

“If you are having an outside wedding in the summer, you may want to steer away from heavy satin dresses for your bridesmaids,” Ms TrottSeymour said. “Lighter fabrics like silk or chiffon will be more comfortable.” “Pay close attention to the accessories as well,” she said. “Too much jewellery or the wrong shoes will throw off the whole look, even if the bridesmaids’ (gowns are) beautiful.” Ms Trott-Seymour noted that brides and their maids should be mindful of bridal lines that promise plus sizes, but produce narrow cuts, rather than ‘women’s sizes’. The proportions on gowns for petite bridesmaids will also differ, according to the boutique owner, and very tall bridesmaids will have to order dresses with extra length for hemming afterwards. She suggested that bridesmaids purchase or order their gowns the same six months in advance of the wedding that the bride does. “Waiting too late to place your order could incur extra charges in express

fees with some companies,” Ms Trott-Seymour said. She recommended doing so only through ‘reputable bridal resellers’. “I have had quite a few brides come in the salon after a disastrous Internet purchase, or after buying through a large discount bridal chain abroad,” she said. “Some local brides are lured because of the seemingly low prices of buying abroad, only to be told that alterations are going to cost more than the dress they’re purchasing. “Other brides are lured by the seemingly ‘luxury experience’ of other salons abroad only to be met with overpriced gowns and pushy sales staff. “There is something to be said for personal service and attention. At BLANC Bridal Boutique you always get what you expect and pay for.” So let the wedding gown gleam in white, billow in coffee or scintillate in silver. The bridesmaids’ dresses you or your bridesmaids select will complement and enhance the image of a beautiful bride on her beautiful day. ■



JANUARY 28, 2011 ■ 11

‘Custom designed reality’, whatever your budget BY B. CANDACE RAY

Imagine planning for and organizing a 50-person bridal party. Consider entertaining 1,500 invitation recipients. Envision the effort involved. Such a wedding actually took place in Bermuda under the guidance of To Have and To Hold Wedding & Event Planning. Yolanda Furbert, wedding planner, explained: “The wedding was June 1999. The ceremony was held at the Cathedral of the Most Holy Trinity in Hamilton, and there were so many guests that Church Street was closed off from Cedar Avenue until the ceremony was done. Those that could not fit in the church stood outside and spilled into the street.” Warwick Camp’s Parade Square hosted the reception under weather-cooperative skies. Overseas guests bunked with family, or were placed at three Bermuda hotels. “To have an event that size is a challenge, and I never back down from a challenge,” Ms Furbert said. The Maritime Museum and Commissioner’s House, or Somers Garden would also be large enough to hold the reception, according to Ms Furbert. Fifty-five per cent of the brides whose nuptials To Have and To Hold cater for are local. “We have been planning

events for over 15 years,” Ms Furbert said. “We make sure that the planning process for your wedding is as stress-free as possible… Our goal is to make you feel as though you are guests at your own event.” The website, www.tohaveandtoholdber states: “Your dreams are transformed into custom designed reality.” “Custom designed reality,” according to Ms Furbert, works as well with limited budgets as larger ones. It adorns the simple, surpassing expectations, and underscores ‘her’ vision, while accommodating ‘his’ extras. To Have and To Hold offers services generally expected of wedding planners, among them rehearsal dinner planning and coordination, and comprehensive wedding day management. But the company’s expertise also extends to doing its own glass etching. It provides custom invitations, programmes and cake toppers, and custom-made 3D aisle runners for church weddings. Solid and print runners are also available. “The 3D aisle runner is a custom runner that has special fabric petals, either in white or red rose petals, so that when it is rolled out you already have the petals going down the aisle and do not have to worry about the real petals staining the church floors,” Ms Furbert explained.

AYESHA HATIM, a To Have and To Hold Wedding client.


PRAYING FOR BLESSINGS: At a To Have and To Hold Wedding, assistant Imam Abdur-Rahman Hatim prays with bridal couple Kellen Marshall and Ayesha Hatim-Marshall. “We use sub-contractors for flowers, transportation, rentals, photography and video, and catering,” she said. To Have and To Hold Wedding & Event Planning arranges services for Muslim marriages, Christian nuptials and Jewish, or other religious or non-religious ceremonies. Given that there are no rabbis on the island, Jewish brides have to bring one in for the service. “It is an easy process,” Ms Furbert said. “They just fill out a form from the Registrar’s office.” Ask To Have and To Hold about their unusual wedding favours. One unique offering is a heart-shaped measuring spoon set. The stainless steel quartet, ‘Love Beyond Measure’ sells for $3.85. That reduces to $2.95 when 96 or more fill an order. Such favours are more likely to be used by the guest — than pushed to the back of a cabinet — reminding the recipient again and again of your special day and their enjoyment of it. To Have and To Hold’s ‘Clearly in Love’ pair of glass coasters are another exclusive favour from which the bridal couple might choose. “You can get ‘favours’ that start at 38 cents per item,” Ms Furbert said. She noted that To Have and To Hold’s certified bridal consultants meticulously turn dreams into reality, that brides and grooms benefit from what she assures are the newest trends and that attention to detail satisfies and exceeds newlyweds’ expectations. You don’t need a wedding party of 50; two witnesses will do. Check the website for more information, or call To Have and To Hold Wedding & Event Planning at 533-1019 or 505-8485. ■

NATALIE & KEITH O’DONNELL, a To Have and To Hold Wedding couple, share a quiet joy.



JANUARY 28, 2011


Couple who won their dream wedding vow BY SIRKKA HUISH

A couple who won their dream wedding on “the island of happiness” have vowed to return every year to celebrate their anniversary. Dianne Gianotti and Adam Benezra can’t sing the praises of the Fairmont Hamilton Princess Hotel enough after tying the knot on October 23. The couple from Boston won the fifth anniversary competition of Destination Weddings and Honeymoons magazine. In less than 1,000 words they had to describe why they wanted to get married in Bermuda. Mrs. Benezra, 38, said: “The wedding day was amazing. The weather was perfect; sunny, in the high 70s. We also were lucky enough to have a full moon to see once the sun set over the harbour.” Mr. Benezra, 42, added: “Our wedding day was gorgeous. The weather was perfect, everyone was overjoyed to be there, and the staff, accommodations, and food were amazing. “Everywhere I looked, anytime I looked, I saw smiling faces, people laughing, and people dancing. It was truly one of the best days of my life. “Everyone had a smile on their face. Everyone was just happy . . . very different from the Northeastern culture!” The couple stayed at the hotel’s Harbor Suite and loved waking up to “the beautiful views” and tucking into breakfast in the Gold Lounge. Their wedding day started with Mr. Benezra going for a round of golf while his wife-to-be enjoyed some time with the girls. They had lunch by the pool then got their hair and make-up done at the hotel spa. In a very untraditional manner, the couple were running late in getting ready so everyone else left their suite so they could help each other to get dressed! They were then taken to Elbow Beach to take photos before the ceremony. The couple won an allexpenses-paid ceremony and reception on the Regency Terrace, over-

looking Hamilton Harbour. They had a tropical wedding theme with a steel pan player. They were also given a four-hour open bar, champagne toast, hors d’oeuvres and a six course dinner — valued at $200 per guest. The wedding dinner included traditional Bermudian fare such as fish chowder and filet of mahi-mahi. Dessert was cappuccino infused chocolate pyramid, followed by wedding cupcakes. Mrs. Benezra, a nurse case manager, said: “The dinner was so amazing, so delicious and the guests were so impressed.” Mr. Benezra added: “The food could not have been better.” The couple had their first dance to the song ‘Just like heaven’ by Katie Melua before all their family and friends joined them on the dance floor for the rest of the night. But it was no traditional wedding as the couple managed to inject their own humour into their big day. Their guests were treated to a message from the couple’s pet dog Woofy, a wrestling performance and some naked flesh they probably wished they’d never seen.

Woofy The couple wanted to make sure their beloved seven-year-old dog Woofy had a starring role in the wedding even though they had to leave him at home. There were photos of Woofy everywhere with the caption: “Best friend? My ass. Why wasn’t I invited?” Woofy, who was rescued from the streets of Puerto Rico, could be seen on all the wedding tables, and even on the altar. Mr. Benezra, who runs his own moving supply company, said: “It was like a memorial to him. Good thing we didn’t bring him, he would’ve attacked all the food. “The dessert even had Woofy’s name in chocolate drizzle on the plates and a chocolate bone.” The hotel’s wedding planner Bior Guigni was said to “keep everything running smoothly”. That was until members of the wedding party found out she was a college wrestler. Mr. Benezra said:


BRIDE AND GROOM: Dianne Gianotti and Adam Benezra from Boston on their wedding day. Mr. Benezra said: “It was truly one of the best days of my life.” “She even took down one of my friends who was constantly trying to get her in a headlock since he heard she was a college wrestler. “She delighted the crowd by politely knocking him on his ass. I will always treasure that moment.” And the funniest moment of the day was when a friend dared Mr. Benezra to “moon” the guests with him from the hotel’s second floor banquet room, which overlooked the wedding. Mr. Benezra said he had his

HANDS OF LOVE: Newlyweds Mr. and Mrs. Benezra agree their wedding day was a dream come true.

doubts but his friend told him “everyone will love it”. He said: “It was such a nice, festive crowd and with a perfect night what would be better than added two perfect moons? “But there were kids and women there….some were old and may not recover from such a sight. I just didn’t want to ruin the perfect wedding by mooning all of them. “But, of course, I did. (I blame the open bar!) The only ones that got a bigger kick out of it were the people in the banquet hall who got the frontal view. “Everyone seemed to get a good laugh except the window washers who had to squeegee off our butt marks on the cold glass windows. I think I got billed by the hotel for it, too.” The only thing that went wrong was that Mr. Benezra’s father, who was the best man, was hospitalized in fear that he was having a stroke. He missed the ceremony but Mr. Benezra’s little brother filled in and the brothers shared “a special bonding moment that will last forever”. And the father of the groom ended up okay and made it back from hospital in time to give a toast. There were also rumours that the steel pan player

DIANNE GIANOTTI got married at the Fairmont Hamilton Princess on October 23. She won an all-expenses-paid wedding after entering a magazine competition.



JANUARY 28, 2011 ■ 13

to return to ‘the island of happiness’ went to the wrong venue. But after a few phone calls he was at the right place at the right time, ready to play at the ceremony and cocktail hour. The couple also won 10 double occupancy hotel rooms and 20 JetBlue airline tickets from Boston. This meant their friends and family, many of whom hadn’t had a vacation for years, could share their special day with them. While in Bermuda the wedding party also played golf and went to the Willow Stream Spa at the Fairmont Southampton Resort, shopped in Hamilton, went snorkelling at Church Bay and lounged on the beach drinking pina colada. The couple spent six nights in Bermuda and as their guests also decided to make the wedding into a mini-vacation, the newlyweds only had one night alone.

Shocked Mrs. Benezra was so shocked when she won the competition that she told everyone, including strangers, that she was getting married on her favourite island. She said she was “so excited, I couldn’t sleep for about a week”. She admitted she wouldn’t usually enter competitions but couldn’t resist to ‘make it official’ after seven years of dating. The winning competition entry described visiting Bermuda and “not wanting to return home”. It said: “Bermuda would be a perfect wedding destination for the two of us. “We fell in love with the island because of the Bermudian culture and people, pink sand beaches, romantic sunsets, fabulous food and restaurants, and of course the luxurious hotels and hospitality. Bermuda represents past and hopefully future memories of our life together.” The couple, who call themselves the best of friends, had been engaged for about two years, but hadn’t set a date or started planning their big day. They met through an Internet dating agency and share a love of golf. Mrs. Benezra said: “We


MAN’S BEST FRIEND: Adam Benezra and Dianne Gianotti wanted to make sure their dog Woofy didn’t miss out on their wedding day, so they printed out photos of their four-legged friend with the caption: “Man’s best friend? My ass. Why wasn’t I invited?” recommend Bermuda as a wedding destination and also a vacation for anyone looking to be pampered, enjoy the luxurious hotels and amazing food. “It was a dream come true. All our guests are still talking about it!” Mr. Benezra said: “I would not only recommend Bermuda for a wedding destination but [also] a place to go whenever you are looking for happiness. The scenery, the people, the food….just the whole atmosphere is wonderful.” The couple plan to return to Bermuda every October to celebrate their anniversary “and will of

course stay at the Fairmont”. Mrs. Benezra said: “The Fairmont Hamilton Princess will be seeing us next October 10/23! We might bring a few friends to celebrate as well. “We were so impressed with our wedding experience and the hotel staff and hospitality. They made us feel at home and not want to leave!” Mr. Benezra said they will always have fond memories of Bermuda and will look forward to future visits. He said: “It was a treat to see all of my family and friends as happy as I’ve

FAVOURITE PLACE: As regular visitors to the island, the newlyweds wanted everyone to know they were in Bermuda.

ever seen them. Dianne and I love being around our friends and family and it meant the world to us

that they had the time of their lives. “They all have been telling us ever since about

how our wedding in Bermuda was the best time they’ve had! And I believe them!” ■


JANUARY 28, 2011



Planner obvious choice for two family weddings BY SIRKKA HUISH

When there’s a wedding planner in your family, there’s only one person you are going to turn to for help when you decide to tie the knot. But Milika TrottSeymour never expected her wedding expertise to be called upon by both her mom and her sister in the space of less than two months. “It was a bit of a shock,” admitted Mrs. TrottSeymour who had to quickly come round to the idea of “keeping it in the family”. With her wealth of knowledge about weddings, she realized she was the obvious choice for her two relatives. Mrs. Trott-Seymour has recently set up her own bridal boutique BLANC after working as an independent wedding planner for several years. She said: “I don’t plan many weddings these days, that was until my mom and my sister both decided to get married a couple of months apart. “That was a busy time for me. It was definitely something I didn’t think I would be doing. I guess they just expected it and as they are family, I was happy to help. “I had two family weddings to plan. It was strange to be planning weddings for those so close to me, but exciting and fun at the same time.” Although the two family weddings were both last


MILIKA TROTT-SEYMOUR, pictured here in her own bridal boutique, BLANC, in St. David’s, worked as an independent wedding planner for several years, but she never imagined that one day she would have the task of planning her mom and sister’s weddings all within the space of two months. summer and both brides bought gowns from BLANC boutique, Mrs. Trott-Seymour said they were very different days. Each bride wanted different themes to suit their individual styles. Mrs. Trott-Seymour’s mom Jennie married Chris Pendle on May 14 at Kingdom Hall in Hamilton, then had their wedding reception at Fourways Inn in Paget. Mrs. Pendle of Devon-

shire was said to be “very specific” in her desire for a more traditional wedding day. She wore a fitted mermaid-style bridal gown from Enzoani. Mrs. Trott-Seymour said: “Overseeing weddings is something I enjoy but I can honestly say I never thought I would ever have to plan my own mom’s wedding. “But you just don’t know what will happen. She met someone and is happy; so

SPECIFIC: Mrs. Trott-Seymour’s mom Jennie married Chris Pendle on May 14 at Kingdom Hall in Hamilton and was quite specific about her wedding plans.

this was my way of helping her out. “She was very specific; but that was fine, we still got along. A lot of clients are very specific, it is their big day after all.” In contrast, Mrs. TrottSeymour’s sister Khyanne of Southampton was more laid-back about her wedding planning when she got married to Paul Brown. But Mrs. Trott-Seymour had to juggle her responsibilities at this wedding as

she not only oversaw its planning, but also acted as her sister’s maid of honour. The ceremony and reception both took place at Blu Bar and Grill in Warwick on July 8. The wedding had the modern theme of “an evening club type of vibe”. The colour theme was black and fushia with black table runners and striking table flowers. Mrs. Brown wore a bridal gown from Demetrios with a full

skirt and lots of beading. The ceremony was due to be held outside, but heavy rain plus thunder and lightning meant it was moved to inside the restaurant. Mrs. Trott-Seymour said: “My sister left everything to me. She didn’t want to do much of the planning. I guess she was very trusting but she knew I knew exactly what she wanted. See FAMILY AFFAIR, page 16

LAID BACK: Mrs. Trott-Seymour’s sister Khyanne, who married Paul Brown, was more laidback when it came to her wedding.



JANUARY 28, 2011 ■ 15

Weddings with Panache on-site at Elbow Beach Hotel BY B. CANDACE RAY

Only professionals who know their country can assist with manoeuvring through the complexities of a local wedding. Weddings With Panache has that knowledge in the form of Ginny Masters, president and 15-year veteran of over 100 weddings and events, and Joerether Chandler Simons, vice president, coordinator and manager of marketing, finances and accounting. Their private enterprise, onsite on the garden level of Elbow Beach Hotel, offers a preview of ideal wedding surroundings — the wealth of pink sand on the wedding perfect South Shore beach you’ve always loved, or among its 50 acres of lush manicured grounds. And you can choose the luxury of an ocean terrace reception for an intimate gathering, or for a larger number of guests depending upon the set-up. Weddings With Panache is the resort’s preferred wedding vendor, but the wedding planner can assist with services at any of the island’s venues. It offers you a chance to compare services at a single stop. Detailed pricing information, scheduling and coordination of the entire event, and efficient time-management throughout the wedding planning process are the larger categories to consider. But the serenity to be had from the support you receive figures in the smaller categories as well. Weddings With Panache helps with, or by referral to some of the best vendors on the island, invitations, menu and wine selection, etiquette advice, creative options, entertainment, transportation, and whatever else the bridal couple requires. “Our consultants are dedicated professionals with over 10 years of experience and an undeniable passion for wedding planning. Whether our


ON THE TERRACE: This Weddings With Panache set-up for about 45 guests took place on the Ocean Terrace at Elbow Beach Hotel. For more information about an Elbow Beach Hotel or off-site wedding, or to make an appointment with Weddings With Panache, call 333-7363 or e-mail: ginny@weddingswith client desires a wedding on the beach, in a historical setting, or a more traditional wedding, we can assist,” Ms Masters said. She noted that one advantage of working onsite at the Mandarin Oriental resort is that Elbow Beach Hotel affords the planners the opportunity to showcase the

various features of a wedding. “We are able to have a reception table set in advance with the colours the bride has requested, so that she can really get a feel for her options and how things will look on the big day,” Ms Masters said. “This really allows the bride and family to get excited.” Invitations, dresses, and more are among the array of wedding items that Weddings With Panache arranges with its select ‘best vendors’ for viewing at the hotel. “The fact that we are located onsite at Elbow Beach makes us an ideal


READY TO HELP: Ginny Masters, president of Weddings With Panache (right) and Joerether Chandler Simons, vice president, stand ready to assist the local bride through the complexities of her wedding planning.

choice for those wishing to marry on the property,” Ms Masters noted. “We’ve also worked very hard to be a vendor that complements

Mandarin Oriental and have incorporated a number of their wedding standards.” Weddings With Panache provides complete

consulting services and promises passionate personalized attention as it facilitates distinctive, stylish and elegant nuptials. ■


JANUARY 28, 2011



Butterfield help to make your dream wedding a reality history with us. Then when they are ready to start looking into college savings plans for their children and even retirement planning, we have a wealth management team that can help guide them.” Our services don’t stop there. If you already have a Butterfield mortgage and a good credit history, you can put the equity in your home to good use.

COPY SUPPLIED BY BUTTERFIELD BANK You’ve found the perfect person to share your life with and you want to celebrate with the perfect wedding and honeymoon. You have all these ideas about what you would like for your perfect day, but how are you going to pull together the funds for all those large expenses? Hosting a reception, choosing a dress, planning a honeymoon, purchasing flowers among many, many other considerations, can stretch a budget from $20,000 to $50,000 or more! Planning a wedding alone is stressful enough without having to worry about personal finances. That’s why Butterfield offers a range of products and services that are tailored to your needs as you grow through life — making planning your wedding, buying a house and starting a savings fund for your child a little easier. Shawnette Griffin, head of Butterfield’s Consumer Credit Department said: “Whether it is a loan, joint chequing account, credit card to manage household expenses or advice for your new family’s savings plan, Butterfield will be there to assist every step of the way.” “We have designed products like the Butterfield Wedding Loan to ease the financial burden by pulling all your wedding expenses together into one low

With a Home Equity Loan you can:


FINANCIAL HELP: Roy Yammine, assistant vice president of Consumer Credit and Shawnette Griffin, head of Consumer Credit, are ready to explain how you can finance your dream wedding. monthly payment,” Ms Griffin said. “ “A wedding loan with Butterfield can be paid off over time, up to five years and there are no pre-payment penalties. So a bride

and groom can have the wedding of their dreams without dipping into their savings.” An added benefit is that the bank distributes the funds directly to wedding

vendors, helping couples manage their overall budget. Considering a wedding loan could mean the start of a strong relationship with the bank that can

help couples through the different stages of life. Ms Griffin explains: “As a husband and wife start looking to purchase their first car or house together, there will already be a loan

■ Refurbish or make renovations that could increase the value of your property ■ Consolidate your debts ■ Pay for your child’s education The possibilities are endless. We also have the Butterfield Line MasterCard which is an innovative, revolving personal home equity line of credit designed to provide easy access to your available credit without the inconvenience of refinancing your mortgage or arranging a loan every time you need money. Happily ever after begins with careful planning today and Butterfield is here to get you started. To find out more, contact us at 298-4799 or just stop by a Butterfield Banking Centre today to set up an appointment so that our friendly lenders can set up a plan that suits your needs. ■

FAMILY AFFAIR: Love of weddings and fashion combine in St. David’s boutique Continued from page 14 “She made it very clear what kind of feel she wanted at the wedding, so I just ran with it. I had to think about planning and being the maid of honour at the same time. “Even though the weather didn’t cooperate, it went really, really well. It was a beautiful day and you wouldn’t have been able to guess that it had moved inside at the last minute.” Mrs. Trott-Seymour remembers as she was growing up she was “always the person to plan things”. She recalls that she loved to plan parties and nightouts for her friends, then when she got married in 1997 she was “hit by the wedding bug”. She said: “I couldn’t stop thinking about weddings. I loved planning my own and wanted to plan other peoples. “I took a course in event planning and that was it. I was hooked.” Mrs. Trott-Seymour believes the key to being a successful wedding planner is “getting a real feel for what the bride wants”. She explained: “I always want a wedding day to reflect the bride. I ask them ‘what do you want your day to be like?’ Then they put forward ideas. “I don’t find planning weddings stressful; it’s fun for me. I’m confident that

WALLS OF WHITE: BLANC Bridal Boutique stocks a wide range of gowns from size 8 to 16, but plus sizes can also be ordered.

TRADITIONAL WHITE: Milika Trott-Seymour shows off one of her many wedding gowns at her bridal boutique, BLANC, in St. David’s.

For more information about BLANC, visit the Bridal Boutique at Unit 13A Waller’s Point Road, Southside, St. David’s. Opening hours are from 10am to 6pm Tuesday to Saturday. Call 297-0084 to make an appointment.

bridal boutique business in St. David’s in February last year. She describes her job as “the ideal way to get involved in the bride’s big day”. BLANC boutique special-

izes in bridal gowns by Demetrios and Enzoani, bridesmaid dresses by Bari Jay and formal wear by Sherri Hill. It stocks a white range of gowns from size 8 to 16, but plus sizes can be ordered. A wide


things will go the way I want them to go. The weather is the only thing I can’t control.” Mrs. Trott-Seymour decided to combine her love of weddings and fashion by opening up her own

range of wedding shoes and accessories, such as veils, tiaras and jewellery, are also sold. The boutique is called BLANC, as that is the French word for ‘white’. Mrs. Trott-Seymour said: “It’s been going really, really well and I’m really enjoying it. “I believed a business like this was really needed on the island as brides were telling me they had to go overseas to get their gowns. “I’d been doing wedding planning for such a long

time and I had always been interested in fashion, so it just made sense to me.” It is now Mrs. TrottSeymour’s plan to “keep busy” with her bridal boutique as she tries to move away from wedding planning. She said: “I should be alright as I don’t have any other sisters about to get married, but I have two daughters so they may eventually call on my help. But they are only seven and nine so at least I have a bit of time to get used to that idea!” ■

Fairytale Weddings January 2011  
Fairytale Weddings January 2011  

Your wedding is yours and his, or yours and hers, alone. How you proceed to sanctify, certify or celebrate it is a powerful, first sharing o...