Capel Kane and Ross Brendel's relationship began in New York City, when they were introduced by mutual friends at a party in 2012. They started dating nearly a year later—and when it came time to pop the question, Ross knew it had to take place in NYC. So on July 7, 2017, he organized a private boat tour (Capel loves boats!) around the city. "He proposed between the Brooklyn and Manhattan bridges," she recalls.
For their wedding, the couple surprisingly did not select a venue in the city where their love began, but they did include a boat getaway ride (a nod to their engagement) in their special day. The big event took place on Great Exuma in the Bahamas, where Capel's family has a home. "I've grown up going there," she says. "It's always been such a special place to me and, fortunately, Ross fell in love with it too." They invited close to 200 guests to make the trip down to the remote locale so they could show off the water, the people, and the island they love.
"We wanted the wedding to feel laid-back more than anything," Capel explains. "The attitude of the island is very relaxed and unhurried so a fussy wedding just wouldn't have suited the locale."
Keep reading to see how the couple celebrated in island style (with indigenous plants, local cuisine, and festive entertainment), while also adding their own special touches (like the groom's crab-inspired accessories!). Lucky for us all, Caroline Lima was on hand to capture every colorful wedding detail, as planned by Chic Bahamas Weddings.
The bride let her girls dress in gowns of their own choosing, but she gave them matching white robes and heart-shaped sunglasses to wear as they waited on the day's events to begin.
As for her own dress, Chapel says she fell in love the minute she tried on her strapless Reem Acra gown. "It reminded me of a mermaid, which was fitting for the location," she says. She paired the dress with Stuart Weitzman heels and most important: a handkerchief from her grandmother that acted as her "something old."
Looking back, the bride says she loved how everyone's dresses came together to create a cohesive (yet mismatched) look. "They looked incredible," she says." I wanted my friends to feel like themselves."
Capel and Ross set out with an "island natural" theme that really came to life with their floral selections and colorful wedding decor. "We used lots of palm fronds, bougainvillea, and local flowers," she explains. "And if they weren’t local, they at least felt like they could be!"
The groom sported cufflinks featuring mini crab silhouettes and custom needlepoint slippers—embroidered with colorful crabs, of course.
The couple decided to say "I do" at Saint Andrew's Anglican Church in George Town. "The easiest part of planning was choosing the location," says the bride. "It has our hearts, and we were so happy the church and venues opened their doors for us."
During the ceremony, the bride walked down the aisle on the arms of her father and stepfather. "They are equally important figures in my life, and I couldn't imagine it any other way," she says.
After exchanging traditional vows, Capel and Ross planned to personalize their ceremony with carefully selected hymns—but their organist didn't learn them and instead played her own tunes! "It was a small snag in an otherwise perfect day," the bride says with a laugh.
True to the bride's love of boats, the newlyweds hopped on a cruiser for a ride to their reception site. They also arranged a boat ride the day before with their wedding party so everyone could play with the island's famous swimming pigs.
Cocktail hour took place poolside as waiters served "Goombay Smashes," a local Bahamian drink. The menu was also locally-inspired with conch fritters, lobster quesadillas, conch salad, and guava cake.
The reception was designed to illustrate the couple's low-key island vision, so they set up lounge areas and casual tables throughout the house and around the pool. Each was decorated with palms and colorful, tropical blooms.
A local Bahamian band performed at cocktail hour and a junkanoo band arrived later to surprise guests and further emphasize the night's authentic island vibe.
For a touch of New York, Capel and Ross flew in their favorite DJ to play for the special dances—they selected Aretha Franklin's "I Say a Little Prayer," and the bride danced to James Taylor tunes with both of her dads—and to keep the crowd on the dance floor. Capel adds, "Our only request for the DJ was the 'Macarena'—and the crowd loved it!"
Ceremony Venue: Saint Andrew's Church || Reception Venue: Private Home || Planning: Chic Bahamas Weddings || Officiant: Reverend Reginald Demeritte || Bride's Dress: Reem Acra || Bride's Shoes: Stuart Weitzman || Hair: Jordan Inman of Broome Street Society || Makeup: Dorothy Dorgerville of Paintbox Beauty || Groom's Attire: Saks Fifth Avenue || Engagement Ring & Wedding Bands: Orr's Jewelers || Floral Design: Le Jardin Floral || Invitations & Paper Products: Arzberger's || Reception Entertainment: Tropic Breeze Band; DJ Schuller || Catering: Blu on the Water || Rentals: Wildflower Event Rentals || Photography: Caroline Lima Photography