Danielle Snyder, cofounder and designer of the fashion and accessories brand Dannijo, and now-husband Brandon have several friends who like to lay claim to having set them up. But it was a Yom Kippur dinner that actually brought them together. The hostess casually asked Danielle if she was dating anyone and suggested a friend’s nephew. “I realized a mutual friend had also tried to set us up years before,” says Danielle. The two connected and scheduled a first date. “The emails from the beginning were pretty funny,” Danielle admits. “Of course, I gave him a Monday!” They hit it off, and in June 2018, Brandon proposed in Greece. In no time at all, they settled on a date: May 11, 2019.
They chose Harbour Island in the Bahamas, which is known for its pink-sand beaches, and the Other Side for the ceremony. “The island is the perfect combination of bohemian and soulful,” Danielle says. The couple collaborated with event planner Michelle Rago of Michelle Rago Destinations with the goal of juxtaposing the aesthetics of two favorite movies. “I wanted the barefoot, wild elements of The Blue Lagoon mixed with Victorian lace and pearls reminiscent of Legends of the Fall," explains the bride.
Keep reading to see how the New York City designer said “I do” in a beach wedding on Harbour Island that was a little bit whimsical and also kind of wild. Sergio Sandona and Jon Gangwer of Well Spun Weddings were on hand to capture the magic of the weekend on photo and film.
"We thought if we’re going to make people travel, we wanted to get married in nature, whether it was in an English garden or on the beach,” says the bride, above with her sister and business partner, Jodie Snyder Morel. “I just kept coming back to the magic of the Bahamas.”
Danielle and Brandon fully embraced the destination wedding, planning three days of events that included a welcome party at Coral Sands, a beachside rehearsal dinner at the Ocean View Club, and the wedding itself at the Other Side. Danielle collaborated with local straw hut A&A Treasures to create custom welcome bags for their guests. Each tote was filled with items hand-selected for a beach wedding, including Havaianas flip flops, MMskincare hydrogel masks, Image Skincare Prevention+ sunscreen, EltaMD tinted sunscreen, Dannijo scrunchies, and hand woven hats imported from Cuba with Ink Revival custom hangtags.
“I’m from Florida, so I am definitely a beach girl,” says Danielle, who wore a custom Dannijo headband, earrings, and shoes she designed for her special day. The bridal bouquet mixed flowers like lisianthus, tulips, and peonies. “She wanted it to complement the lush chuppah,” says event planner Michelle Rago.
For a wedding dress that evoked this dreamy, romantic milieu, Danielle went to Reem Acra for a custom look. “She created me in a dress! It’s feminine, whimsical, and unexpected,” says the bride. “My favorite part was the ‘LOVE YOU’ written in sequins underneath the tulle skirt.”
“We just got each other,” Danielle says about working on her gown with Reem Acra. The bride added her own accessories, posing in a statement straw hat for portraits—and, eventually, the Brides cover!
Danielle's sister wore a Markarian dress for her role as matron of honor. Her daughter, Margaux, acted as the flower girl. She wore a custom Doloris Petunia dress and carried a custom Dannijo x Poolside straw bag as her "flower girl basket."
The main event took place on the beach, where guests sat on benches and held parasols to shade themselves from the sun. “We wanted to focus on enhancing the beach’s natural beauty,” Danielle says, about the lovely simplicity of the Other Side.
The ceremony began at 5:30 p.m., as the bridal party made their way down the aisle to an instrumental version of “Time of Your Life.” Then the bride’s niece and nephew—flower girl Margaux and ring bearer Liev—almost stole the show as Danielle walked in with her parents to “Bitter Sweet Symphony.” Says the bride: “Liev yelled ‘yay’ as I got to the chuppah!”
Rabbi Michael Matuson married Danielle and Brandon under a lush chuppah of greenery and florals. The couple personalized their vows, including sweet memories from their relationship alongside jokes about who kissed who first!
After the exchange of vows and rings, the newlyweds greeted guests under the tent for dinner. “It was magical and enchanting,” says Danielle.
But first: The bride and her friends posed for a few photos on the venue's lawn before sunset.
Guests dined at two long tables draped with lace linens inside a sailcloth tent “adorned with a hanging floral installation of ferns and blossoms,” says Rago.
The reception decor was done primarily in neutral tones with hints of muted color in the blush napkins, floral centerpieces, and hanging installation.
Brandon and Danielle kicked off the dancing with Ed Sheeran’s “Thinking Out Loud,” and Gary Snyder, the father of the bride, gave a speech that had everyone laughing and crying.
For the after-dinner festivities, Danielle made a quick change into a mini iridescent Ashish dress worn with Dannijo crystal earrings and Miu Miu sandals. “It reminds me of Ariel at the end of The Little Mermaid!” she says. Post-outfit switch, a junkanoo performance (a street parade with music, dance, and costumes of Akan origin) got the party started.
The band the Right Mix kept everyone on the dance floor all night long. At one point, the father of the bride grabbed a saxophone for an impromptu performance that no one there will soon forget.
Danielle appears on the cover of our August/September 2019 issue—check it out below!
This story originally appeared in the August/September 2019 issue of Brides, on sale beginning July 2.