5 Things Every Bride Can Learn from This Beach-Chic Bahamas Wedding

Real Weddings

In 2010, model and activist Amy Lemons, 32, found herself at a Christmas party in Washington, D.C. — and being set up on a date with Taylor Sutton, 31, an operations manager. "I wasn't sure what to expect," she says, "but we hit it off. And he's so cute!" A year and a half later, Taylor popped the question, and the pair chose a destination Amy was no stranger to: Harbour Island in the Bahamas. "I fell in love with it on a shoot," says Amy. "Getting Taylor to go back for our wedding was easy."

The couple worked with Little Island Design to bring their beach-chic bash to life, captured by the fabulous KT Merry.

For all the details from Amy and Taylor's barefoot celebration in the August/September 2014 issue of Brides (on newsstands now!). As a bonus, we've got five tips to put a high-low spin on your own wedding celebration.

Let the magic happen
Instead of managing every detail, Amy collaborated loosely with her planner, giving him an idea of the colors and feel she wanted, then challenging him to do something she'd never seen before. "We ended up with these amazing vintage instruments full of fresh flowers on the tables," Amy says. "Having someone incredible on-location the whole time made all the difference."

Be flexible
"There was a hurricane not too long before our wedding," says Amy, "and we watched the sky like hawks in case of rain." Having a back-up plan (and letting the stress go) made sure the bride and groom would be ready for anything.

Take a casual walk
Since Taylor and Amy were wed on the beach, they lined the aisle with sisal rugs and the bride slipped off her shoes, opting for a barefoot stroll on her father's arm.

Add local flavor
The evening's menu featured fresh local ingredients, including conch fritters and snapper with papaya salsa.

Keep the party going
After a night of dancing and a late-night bonfire, the couple and their guests wandered down the beach to a local bar for even more festivities.

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