Model and fashion editor Lauren Chan got engaged to longtime boyfriend Alan Paron after playing a round of mini golf during a family vacation. So it's not surprising that a similarly relaxed (yet beautiful!) vision and an itch to travel set the tone for the couple's destination wedding in Eleuthera, Bahamas. "We wanted ourselves and our guests to feel like we were in paradise—which we were—with no plans except having a good time," she says. To start, the New York–based duo, who met back in 2008 through the University of Western Ontario's basketball program, limited their guest list to just 26 close friends and family and searched for tropical properties that could accommodate the entire crew and host the wedding.
Squires Estates, a set of stunning historic cottages, fit the bill perfectly—and after crossing the location off the list, the rest of their planning came enviably easily. The couple relied on just three vendors (a decor team, chef, and photographer, all supplied by the venue's property manager) and kept the decor to a minimum as the cottages' white-and-blue coloring and nearby green fauna provided built-in backdrops, perfect for the ceremony...which only lasted five minutes! Even with a tropical storm warning on the big day, guests gathered from near and far, and the long weekend celebration went off without a hitch. "We felt like the wedding was a reflection of us because it was relaxed and untraditional in a lot of ways," says the bride.
And if you're one of the bride's Instagram followers, you know that she has great style—she has a forthcoming clothing line, Henning, after all—and her wedding was no exception. So keep reading to see how Lauren and Alan created a beautifully intimate destination party with their nearest and dearest, all captured by Erik Kruthoff.
Lauren found her Fame and Partners boatneck sheath gown online, describing the silk frock as "simple, chic, and ideal for the type of wedding we had." She accessorized with white Schutz heels, a custom cathedral-length veil from Anomalie, and a wedding band sourced from her grandmother's gold collection.
As for the groom, Alan selected a black custom linen and wool suit from Institchu. He paired it with a white cotton shirt, also by Institchu, and cognac Oxfords.
Opting out of a bridal party, Lauren made her way down the aisle with her father.
A driftwood altar, decorated with organza and a selection of white flowers, marked the spot where Lauren and Alan said "I do." Each of the surrounding chairs was topped with a handheld wooden fan and handkerchief for "happy tears."
With Lauren's brother officiating and Alan's father holding the rings, the ceremony surprisingly ended up being the bride and groom's favorite part. "It was perfectly imperfect," says Lauren of the five-minute commemoration, during which Alan forgot his vows and the pair accidentally kissed prematurely (whoops). They even had a wedding crasher—a stray cat that the couple had previously befriended came up to the altar...and proceeded to tug on Lauren's veil!
To complement the property's color palette, guests were asked to wear either white, black, or neutral hues.
Wedding attendants wasted no time changing into casual clothes for the dinner and pool party that followed. Lauren traded her gown for a black-and-white polka dot midi dress from Reformation, light blue slides, and a pink, feathery bag by Loeffler Randall.
Local fare, like boiled and fried grouper, macaroni and cheese, coleslaw, and baked potatoes, made up the poolside meal. And in keeping in line with the event's overall simplicity, the couple decorated three 10-person tables with white tablecloths, monstera leaf chargers, candles, and white floral centerpieces.
Not even the weather could dampen the festivities. "It started raining the minute we finished our dinner on the pool deck, so we moved everyone inside and had an impromptu house party," Lauren recalls. "Within an hour, people were dancing in the living room, drinking in the kitchen, and playing dice on the couch."
After successfully veering into the nontraditional wedding route, the bride advises couples go their own way when it comes to wedding planning. "Do what will make you happy—even if it’s not what you’re 'supposed' to do," she says.
Venue and Accommodations: Squires Estate
Bride's Dresses: Fame and Partners, Reformation
Bride's Veil: Anomalie
Bride's Jewelry: 1215
Bride's Bag: Loeffler Randall
Groom's Attire: Institchu
Groom's Shoes: Cole Haan
Engagement Ring: Lauren Addison
Wedding Bands: Blue Nile
Floral Design: Branishka Rolle
Invitations: Paperless Post
Catering: Shauna Knowles
Favors: Land's End
Photographer: Erik Kruthoff