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Wedding Venue: https://www.marleyresort.com/

Amazing guitarist/musician:

Photography:  Heather Carey Photography

 

Bahamas Vow Renewal on the beach

Some days are just perfect.  They may not start out that way but then something wonderful happens that puts a smile on your face and sunshine takes over.  To be honest, I don’t quite remember how this particular day started out but I know that spending the end of the day with Sheree and Les made the day a memorable one and I left grinning from ear to ear.  There’s nothing that can renew your faith in love more than watching a couple quietly renew their vows to one another, years after the wedding ceremony took place.

The vow renewal booking was relatively last minute and communicating was a bit challenging as they were travelling elsewhere in the Bahamas but we persevered and sorted it all out.  I was super curious to see what the re-opened Marley Resort was like and, as it was my first wedding shoot there, I was excited to have new backdrops to work with.

Sheree loves Reggae hence the awesome guitarist, a barefoot exchange of vows on the beach and the choice to stay at the Marley Resort and Spa (yes, built and owned by the Marley family).

 

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After a short yet sweet and emotional vow renewal, taking place with the rhythm of reggae and the ocean in the background, we weaved our way through this small, boutique property taking advantage of intimate tropical spots for the wedding images that this amazing couple simply weren’t able to capture on their first go around.  And this is why I love what I do – there are very few things more rewarding than being a part of someone’s journey to make dreams come true, and handing them memories to last a lifetime.  The image below is my absolutely favourite from the day.

 

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Considering an intimate ceremony or vow renewal?  Marley Resort & Spa could be your place!

3+ years ago I had the privilege of photographing this fantastic couple’s wedding at the Atlantis Resort on Paradise Island. It was a beautiful day that I remember so well, in part due to their beautiful daughter who played such an important part.  I was thrilled to hear from Pamela again and to find out that they would be visiting on a Bahamas family vacation, and I was super excited that I had time to fit in a session with them on the always beautiful Atlantis property.  On this trip there was a handsome new addition to the family and what a charmer that little guy is. Both kids were angels to work with and they photograph so beautifully, as you can see below.   You’d never know from the pics how stormy and rainy the afternoon was!  We did have to dash for cover a few times and wait through some light showers.   We finally got lucky with a great window of sunshine peaking through but our session did end with a massive downpour that continued for hours.  Overcast skies gave us beautiful even light and the few rays peaking through highlighted the sea oats that were a stunning backdrop for some of the photos on the Ocean’s Edge Lawn.  I look forward to watching this family grow over the years – so much fun to reconnect!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wander through mangrove systems higher than you are tall; climb down into one of the largest blue hole systems in the world; and step foot where our Bahamian ancestors laid to rest their loved ones, Burial Mound Cave which is home to fossilized Lucayan remains.  Welcome to the Lucayan National Park.

 

Grand Bahama and the Lucayan National Park

My third adventure with the Bahamas National Trust took me to Grand Bahama for the semi-annual Council meeting.  Many moons ago I had visited GB when I worked for the Bahamas Tourist Office in the UK – we took multiple familiarization trips with writers, travel agents and divers and saw the best that the island had to offer.  Back then Our Lucaya had just opened and was a beautiful addition to the tourism economy –  Port Lucaya was hopping, the golf courses were being played regularly.  It was good times.

After I had moved back home to Nassau my only visits to GB were sadly in the wake of several hurricanes.  A group of friends and I got together to fundraise for backpacks, supplies, clothes etc specifically for 250+ children who were affected by hurricanes – I believe there were 3 that season!  While we turned those trips into happy moments – Christmas parties, Santa Claus, lunches, arts and crafts, etc – it was still heartbreaking and GB was not at its shining best.

Grand Bahama is still struggling – there is clearly no doubt about that.  Most hotels remain shut post-hurricanes and there is little to drive the economy forward right now.  However, amongst the dimness is a shining light that provides a quiet and soothing respite from the everyday struggles.  And that place is the Lucayan National Park (LNP).

I don’t recall ever visiting and if I did, it certainly did not leave the impression that it did this time.  The BNT staff on Grand Bahama have done a great job in managing this park, and improving the infrastructure, with the limited funding that is available to them. Non-profits always have challenges when it comes to funding but it’s particularly hard when operating in a struggling economy, in a small island nation.   Here’s a little story about my trip and a few of the wonders worth visiting the LNP to experience for yourself.

 

 

Day 1

After a full day of presentations to, and discussions with, the esteemed Council members of the BNT, it was a welcome sight to see this full moon rising from the balcony of the Pelican Bay Hotel in Port Lucaya.  As we prettied ourselves up for a cocktail party at which we would be mingling with some potential donors, we had this stunning view to keep us energized.  What I love about the Port Lucaya area is all of the waterfront space and activities – bars, restaurants and lounge chairs enabling great bay views and making it easy for the boaters to pull up after a hard day of fishing.  So much potential, under-utilized.

 

 

Day 2

We headed out en masse, Council members and BNT staff, for our tour of Lucayan National Park – about a 30 minute drive out of Port Lucaya.  The LNP is about 40 acres of land and was established in 1982.  Per the BNT website “The Park contains one of the longest charted underwater cave systems in the world; a unique system of elevated walkways through the last intact mangrove wetland on the southern shore of Grand Bahama, a magnificently wide unspoiled beach showcasing the tallest sand dunes on the island and a wealth of flora and fauna. This Park exhibits all of the Bahamian vegetative zones”.  The cave system is approx 6 miles long and can be dived by experienced cave divers via booking with a local company.  As well as finding out that a scene from James Bond’s Never Say Never Again was filmed here, you can read a lot more about the importance of protecting this system HERE on the BNT website.

 

 

 

Here’s Ben Rose, after whom the Cave was named.  Ben is a famed UNEXSO diver and you’ll just have to visit and take his tour to find out how he got an entire cave named after him.  Take a dive and you’ll see stalactites and stalagmites, fossilized conch shells and more….

 

 

A 2nd Cave which is one of the two blue holes in the LNP system, is called Burial Mound Cave, so called due to the remains of Lucayan Indians that were found in 1986, underwater, perfectly preserved.  Caves such as this were used as water sources as well as burial grounds.

 

 

Look at the amazing root system on this tree!

 

 

After spending some time exploring the caves, take a walk across the street and follow the boardwalk through amazing mangroves, checking out the orchids and other flora, fauna that thrive there.  You may see some raccoons and while they are cute as a button and tempting to cuddle – don’t!  They can be vicious and moreso are very destructive to the environment and all that lives there.  So, no feeding – but I agree it can be hard to say no!

 

 

 

A few companies offer kayak tours within the mangrove creeks and I highly recommend doing this.  It’s a peaceful, non-intrusive way to explore and to capture great images of the birds that nest there.  While you can certainly get to the beach via the boardwalk, this creek-crossing looks a little more fun and exciting!  If you are willing to put in the manual labour, you’ll eventually make it to the other side.

 

 

Living in the Bahamas I see gorgeous, stunning, sandy beaches everyday.  What I love is driftwood and examples of Mother Nature’s artwork that make the landscape a little more interesting.  Here’s a snap from the famous Gold Rock Beach (you may recognize it and some of the coast line from Pirates of the Caribbean 2 and 3 which filmed for just shy of a year in Grand Bahama).

 

 

 

 

Beautiful orchids attached to mangroves throughout the park.

 

 

A stunning bromeliad growing in the mangroves – Lucayan National Park

 

 

A young, red winged blackbird – who was pretty friendly and joined us for lunch.

 

 

The cute yet dreaded raccoon.   Friends of mine here in the Bahamas rescued a raccoon (Pumpkin) a few years ago and it is become part of their family.  A wonderful pet who hangs out with their two pups and seems to think, most of the time, that he is one! Pumpkin has become so famous that he’s been covered by most major media, has his own book, Facebook and Instagram pages!   It’s hard to reconcile that their cute little pet could be a series threat to our environment but sadly the raccoons are an invasive species and their populations desperately need to be controlled and in some instances eradicated if we are going to preserve the wildlife that calls the wetland and forest habitats their home.

 

In general I am not a flora/fauna/nature photographer.  I love landscapes and I love street photography.  But I am thrilled to have the opportunity to diversify and explore new areas of the Bahamas, with fresh eyes, through my travels with the Bahamas National Trust.  There are so many great stories to tell, so many projects we simply don’t know about, and dynamic staff working throughout our islands.  I am excited to continue to tell these stories, with my own voice, and to explore and hopefully help to overcome, the challenges that every good conservation organization is faced with.  Stay tuned!!  Inagua will be next!!

A super fun yet easy and relaxed photos shoot along the Western Esplanade on Nassau in The Bahamas. These teens are high school friends (one is Bahamian, the other Jamaican) and both wanted to embrace their island roots in their yearbook photo page which they get to design themselves. We kept the shoot very simply and low key, using the palms, the beach, the famous lighthouse and of course coconuts! Simple yet effective. Done!

A sneak peak at a fun and simple island style wedding at Rainbow Inn, Eleuthera, The Bahamas. Styled to a nautical theme by the amazing Mish from Boy Meets Girl, with a local junkanoo group and the amazing local band High Rock, Chelsea and Tyler and friends kept this party going for days! So much fun.

A little bit of everything going on at this late spring wedding at the One & Only Ocean Club on Paradise Island. Guests flew in from all over the world and the weather was stunningly cooperative – again! The Cloisters and the Versailles Gardens, along with the fantastic One & Only team and Wildflower’s beautiful decor and arrangements, made for yet another gorgeous Bahamas wedding.

For those of you who have never visited, the 3.5 mile beach at Treasure Cay, Abaco in The Bahamas, is a must see! Regularly selected as the best beach in The Bahamas and one of the top 10 beaches in the world, the powder white sand and sparkling turquoise water provides the perfect backdrop for an island destination wedding. And if you’re having it at the Bahama Beach Club then you certainly can’t go wrong. Located right on the beach with a variety of hotel/condo options all with stunning ocean views, any bride and groom would be thrilled with their barefoot beach ceremony, jammin’ DJ, delicious food and super friendly staff. Even though I am there working I always feel is if I am on the best vacay ever!

I have been lucky to photograph quite a few weddings here over the years and I always look forward to meeting the families that find Treasure Cay the perfect fit for them. And this wedding was no exception. Laughter (a truly happy and loving bride), tears (a beautifully sensitive and emotional groom!), energy and jokes for days (the groomsmen!) and the love and friendship of family. As you browse through the images below keep an eye out for all things Batman! So much thought went into the details – and brought tears to the groom’s eyes when he was surprised with his custom designed wedding ring and cufflinks!

Robin: “You can’t get away from Batman that easy!”
Batman: “Easily.”
Robin: “Easily.”
Batman: “Good grammar is essential, Robin.”
Robin: “Thank you.”
Batman: “You’re welcome.”

“Two halves have little choice but to join;
and yes, they do make a whole.
But two wholes when they coincide…
that is beauty. That is love.” (Lillian Darr)

April is a beautiful time of year for a Bahamas wedding – gorgeous light, beautiful weather and an energy that comes from springtime. A few weeks ago I posted a small selection of my absolute favourites from LA and J’s Ocean Club wedding (click here to see those). It look a little while to create this post because there were so many more favourites after I had truly finished editing. And from the images below you can see why. So many great moments, lots and lots of laughter and all amongst the stunning setting of The One & Only Ocean Club made even more perfect by the amazing Araxi Avron and her team from Wildflower Design in the Bahamas. Fantastic and energetic music by a local favourite Tingum Dem Band had the dance floor hopping all night.  A special shout out to my calm and patient second shooter for the evening – Susan Davis – without whom I would surely be just a little bit more crazy 🙂

There is something truly special about Southern brides and their families whether they are from the Carolinas or from Texas.

Wedding Venue:             The One & Only Ocean Club, Paradise Island, The Bahamas
Wedding Photography: Heather Carey Photography
Officiant:                          Matthew Sweeting, The Island Preacha
Ceremony Music:            Strings and Tings
Tents, Decor and other Details: Wildflowers, Bahamas
Hair / Makeup:               The Ocean Club Spa
Live Band:                        Tingum Dem, Bahamas
Wedding Cake:               One & Only Ocean Club
Event Production:          Regan Haggerty, Details & Designs Event Productions, Fort Worth, TX
Brides Dress:                   Lazaro
Brides Shoes:                   Badgley Mischka
Bridesmaid Dresses:      Bill Levkoff
Grooms Suit:                   Tom James

A sneak peak for an anxious bride after a stunning wedding at the One & Only Ocean club, Paradise Island in The Bahamas. This is one of my favourite venues to shoot and you can see why. The day was stunning, the light gorgeous and the bride and groom just full of love and energy and laughter. More to come……stay tuned!

An absolutely action filled, intimate, family wedding at the One & Only Ocean Club and their favoured ceremony venue, The Cloisters, on Paradise Island in The Bahamas. While corresponding with the bride I think she forgot to mention how feisty and independent her little daughters were! From the moment I entered their suite to begin the bridal prep photos it was full on with laughter, singing and lots of dancing. The moments were so spontaneous and full of love that I’m glad they booked a videographer (J. Co Photography & Film) to capture some of those moments on film.

I don’t need to say a lot about this wedding – the pictures truly do tell the story of the beautiful bride, her loving and very suave husband, and their 3 children that refused to be ignored during the afternoon, not for a moment. I love that the theme was ballerina dresses because that’s what the little girls wanted on “their” wedding day, and it’s always fun to capture images of the groom helping his bride to get ready – it’s definitely a reality check when they begin to tackle all of the buttons on the dresses!

I really look forward to visiting with this warm and welcoming family in England later this year.

Another beautiful wedding on the stunning, historic Bahama island of Eleuthera. This time the wedding was at a private home, available for rental, called Windchat Villa, located in Palmetto Point. This was a small and intimate wedding with just the closest of family and friends. Eye catching yet simple decor was provided as usual by the amazing Mish and her team at Boy Meets Girl Weddings out of Rainbow Bay, and poolside entertainment was provided by Elliott and his band (Elliott is bartender phenom from Tippy’s Restaurant and Bar).

It was a bit windy and overcast but that end of day light provided the perfect backdrop for our garden portraits post-ceremony. So much fun, so much great energy, so much love and warmth. I could have photographed for hours!

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