Three years after being set up on a blind date by a mutual friend, Kreamer and Carly headed to Napa Valley, where he surprised her with a private tour of the Charles Krug vineyard. During a picnic lunch on the lawn, a glass of champagne was brought out with a ring tied around the stem, and Kreamer got down on one knee.
The east coast couple decided to host 165 guests for a destination wedding in the Bahamas on April 25, 2015, choosing Hope Town as the venue since Carly grew up spending time there with her family. "We were so excited to share with our friends and family the same experiences we've had on this lovely little island," says the bride. The long-distance planning was made seamless with the help of Michelle Rago Destinations, who worked with the couple to settle on an elegant, beachy theme. Keep reading to see how this formal affair in the sand came together, photographed by Nate + Lori Photo & Cinema.
Though Carly had already been to Mark Ingram Atelier once with no luck, she found a designer on Instagram who was hosting a trunk show at the store, and was able to squeeze in an appointment. She ended up falling for a Mira Zwillinger ballgown with a sweetheart neckline, a tulle skirt, and an embroidered leaf pattern that reminded her of seaweed and the ocean. The light skirt was perfect for a barefoot ceremony in the sun.
Carly's bridesmaids wore floor-length navy dresses from Two Birds. "Our planners recommended them, and thankfully were great at tying them, so each of my girls looked exactly the way she wanted," says Carly.
Bouquets combined peonies, roses, hydrangeas, and Phalaenopsis orchids in white and blush, with a touch of astilbe because it looks so much like coral. Carly's bouquet was placed in a silk floral ring, which was the same bouquet holder her grandmother used when she walked down the aisle.
Kreamer and his groomsmen all wore sky blue suits with pink ties. They went barefoot for the ceremony, then donned their own boat shoes and loafers for the reception. The groom paired his suit with nautically-appropriate navy blue loafers.
The ceremony took place on the beach, with white benches set up for family members and plenty of space for the rest of the guests to gather around. A popular local officiant led the ceremony, with the bride and groom leaving everything in his hands.
After their first kiss, a Junkanoo band performed, leading guests to the ferry that would bring them to the Hope Town Inn for the reception. "In the Bahamas, this is called a Rush — and boy, was it ever!" says Carly.
Guests were greeted with a Goombay Peach, a riff on the traditional Goombay Smash served in a cup decorated with an image of the couple's dog, Peach.
The reception was decorated in shades of blush and gold, with driftwood and coral adding texture to the tables. The menu was very Caribbean, with options like Mahi and spiny lobster served alongside pigeon peas and fresh conch. Distressed lounge furniture was arranged around the dance floor.
The three-tiered cake had layers of vanilla cake filled with fresh strawberries. Orchids and hydrangeas cascaded down the sides.
Carly and Kreamer danced to "Can't Take My Eyes Off of You" by Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons, then a band got all the guests grooving. The only break? For a 15 minute firework show over the harbor! Says Carly, "I loved standing on the balcony with my new husband and our families, taking it all in."
Carly and Kreamer are thrilled that they took a long weekend to celebrate. "Definitely make a weekend of it if you can, and don't be afraid of having a destination wedding! We got to bring everyone we love to a place that is so special to us," says Carly.
Ceremony Venue: Hope Town Harbour Lodge || Reception Venue: Hope Town Inn & Marina || Wedding Planner: Michelle Rago Destinations || Officiant: Vernon Malone || Bride's Wedding Dress: Mira Zwillinger, from Mark Ingram Atelier || Shoes: Chanel || Hair & Makeup: Wedding Hair by Charlotte || Bridesmaids' Dresses: twobirds || Groom & Groomsmen's Attire: J.Crew || Engagement Ring: Bader & Garrin || Wedding Bands: Chestnut Hill Jewelers || Florist: Buds N' Blooms || Invitations: Write Time || Paper Goods: Studio R || Music: Visage Band Bahamas, Steel Pulse || Catering: Hope Town Inn & Marina || Cake: Tomato Paste || Rentals: Buds N' Blooms, Nuage Designs || Transportation: Froggies || Photography & Videography: Nate + Lori Photo & Cinema
Did you love this wedding in the Bahamas? Then check out another beachy destination bash in the video below.