A Chic, Palm-Infused Wedding in the Bahamas

Planned by the couple

Updated 09/17/19
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Photo by Olivia Rae James 

Despite being in different graduating classes at Florida State University, Allie and Jim Cade managed to eventually cross paths at a birthday party in October 2014. They hit it off—so much that, after parting ways, Jim admits he stalked Allie's Instagram and inquired with mutual friends. He eventually scored an invite to her Christmas party, where, he says, he made "the best decision of his life" and asked Allie on a date.

Although Allie recalls an overwhelming feeling of “this is The One” from the get-go, it was four years before Jim proposed. In May 2018, the couple was vacationing with Allie’s family in Hope Town, Bahamas, and her mom pretended to stage a Christmas family photo session. She and her sisters got dressed up to snap a few shots by the ocean, then Allie turned around to find Jim on one knee. “It was so much to take in—him, his sweet vow, my family in the background, the ring,” recalls Allie of the sweet surprise. And, not to be outdone, the groom capped off the occasion with celebratory dinner at a local restaurant, Firefly, where friends and family had been waiting.

On May 4, 2019, exactly one year later, the couple returned to the spot of their proposal—this time to say “I do” with 118 guests in tow. “Hope Town has always been a special place for me,” explains the bride of the sentimental locale. “My family has taken me there since I was little, and Jim fell in love with it, as well.”

Keep reading to see Allie and Jim's idyllic island wedding in action, as captured by Olivia Rae James, below. And for information on how to help the ongoing hurricane relief efforts in the Bahamas, click here.

bahamas
 Photo by Olivia Rae James

The couple's venue also aligned with their wedding vision: an intimate, relaxing celebration with close family and friends. “I wanted to capture the raw beauty of the island, and it did exactly that," explains the bride.

wedding gifts
Photo by Olivia Rae James
bride and bridesmaids
Photo by Olivia Rae James 

As a nod to the neutral color palette, the bridal party donned an assortment of dress styles in one soft, cohesive hue. “I wanted to make sure they’d want to rewear it in the future,” Allie says of letting her girls choose their own looks.

bride
 Photo by Olivia Rae James
bouquet
Photo by Olivia Rae James

As for her own fashion moment, the bride fell in love with a silk, cowl-neck slip dress by A La Robe. “It was the first one I tried on at Loho Bride in West Hollywood,” she says. “I was looking for something chic, elegant, sexy, and timeless.” Ultimately, she sought out a gown with understated elegance—which, coincidentally, is exactly how her grandfather described the look after the wedding!

Allie paired the ensemble with a simple barrette, a bouquet of white calla lilies by Buds N Blooms, and a Roberto Coin diamond station necklace (her wedding gift from Jim). 

bride
 Photo by Olivia Rae James
bride
 Photo by Olivia Rae James

Ultimately, Allie completed her look with a simple veil, which made for beautiful photos on the breezy beach.

bridesmaids
 Photo by Olivia Rae James
beach wedding party
 Photo by Olivia Rae James

Jim and his groomsmen stayed true to the island vibe with casual navy suits, sans ties. And, for a bit of thoughtful personalization, the groom gifted his guys funny socks and inscribed the inside of their jackets with customized nicknames (like “Boss Man” for Allie’s dad!).

And, speaking of island vibes, Allie incorporated palm leaves into the day's floral arrangements. “I love the exotic look of palms," she says. "I feel like they’re unexpected!”

bride and groom
 Photo by Olivia Rae James

In honor of the big day, Allie gifted Jim a Rolex watch, which he sported down the aisle. “I was so excited to give it to him, it felt like proposing!” she says with a laugh.

church
 Photo by Olivia Rae James
church wedding
 Photo by Olivia Rae James
ceremony exit
 Photo by Olivia Rae James

Allie and Jim exchanged vows at St. James Methodist Church, a 200-year old chapel overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. During the ceremony, Allie’s sister played guitar and sang for the unity candle lighting, and their Bahamian officiant close the ceremony with, “May your years together be as bright and as sunny as our Bahamian skies.” “It was so sweet and meaningful, I couldn’t stop smiling,” Allie recall.

bride and groom
Photo by Olivia Rae James 
bride and groom
 Photo by Olivia Rae James

After the ceremony, Allie recalls one of the biggest highlights of the celebration: “That ‘we did it’ feeling when Jim and I were getting couples photos. We were on cloud nine knowing there was so much fun to follow.”

first dance
Photo by Olivia Rae James 

Said fun was just getting started as guests gathered at Abaco Inn, Allie and Jim’s favorite local restaurant. There, the newlyweds took a spin around the dance floor to “Beyond” by Leon Bridges.

reception decor
Photo by Olivia Rae James
reception
Photo by Olivia Rae James

The bride and groom decorated the outdoor reception space with whitewashed wood tables, bamboo folding chairs, matching chargers, and—of course—large palm centerpieces. After sunset, the head table looked magical thanks to hanging twinkle lights.

Highlighting the island fare, the menu featured grilled grouper, filet, lemon chicken, or gnocchi with pineapple rice and green beans—as well as fish fingers for the younger crowd.

pie
Photo by Olivia Rae James 
cake cutting
Photo by Olivia Rae James

Rather than a traditional cake, Allie and Jim cut into a custom key lime tart decorated with bougainvillea accents.

After all was said and done, Allie advises that fellow to-be-weds enjoy the process and stay true to themselves. “There is no template or way things have to be—it is your vision,” she says. “Go with what makes you two happy and everything will fall into place.”

Ceremony Venue: St. James Methodist Church || Reception Venue & Catering: Abaco Inn | Wedding Coordination: Chic Bahamas Wedding || Officiant: Kent Sterchi || Bride’s Dress: A La Robe || Bride’s Veil: Etsy || Bride’s Jewelry: Almut Belot, Lelet NY || Bride’s Shoes: Stuart Weitzman || Hair: The Chopping Block || Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Show Me Your Mumu || Mother of the Brides Dress: BHLDN || Engagement Ring: Victoria Jewelers || Floral Design: Buds N Blooms || Invitations: Minted || Paper Products: Andi Mejia || Guest Book: Milk Books || Entertainment: The Sax Man, New Entry Band || Cake: Kent Leboutillier || Favors: Teleties, Corkcile || Videography: Liron Erel of Echoes & Wild Hearts || Photography: Olivia Rae James

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