Our 65 guests â€” including my 96-year-old grandmother â€” fl ew to 2-square-mile Staniel Cay for our wedding at the rustic-chic StanielCay Yacht Club. My parents have owned a scuba-diving cruise line in the Bahamas for almost 40 years, and Rob and I visited the islands often during our 16-year relationship. We were high-school sweethearts who met playing water polo in Miami, and we now reside in Fort Walton Beach, Florida.
Watermakers Air and Flamingo Air, small airlines out of Fort Lauderdale and Nassau, transported most of our guests and supplies. We took over the yacht clubâ€™s 12 bungalows, and some guests rented nearby homes through VRBO.com. Yacht-club owners Christina and David Hocher and their wonderful staf helped us every step of the way. Guests relaxed, snorkeled at Thunderball Grotto, and swam with sharks and wild pigs until the big day. We were married on the public beach by the islandâ€™s local priest, known simply as Berkie.
Nikki Ferguson of 3Nâ€™s Vacation Services assisted with the ceremony. The steel band Sweet Love, booked through Kwanza Clay Bowe, entertained. Following a poolside cocktail hour, dinner in the open-air restaurant included conch chowder, mahimahi or lobster surf and turf. After the fi rst dances and toasts, guests moved into the bar for more celebrating. The wedding itself was a dream, and many guests have told us it was an unbelievable weekend.â€