Thursday, August 28, 2008

Pre-Gustav Wedding at the Reef Resort

The Reef Resort Beach, looking east at 5 pm on Wednesday. 27th August 2008. The wind and the waves were just starting to pick up.
The Reef Resort, looking west you can see the pier, beach bar and a bit of the restaurant on the right. The pink building in the distance is part of Morritts Tortuga, a very popular time-share property.

A couple from Minneapolis, Minnesota caught a quick glimpse of Cayman, got married, and were evacuated to Florida, all in 48 hours. D and W arrived on the island on Tuesday night with their two daughters. D called me very early on Wednesday morning to say that the hotel staff had told them they would probably have to be evacuated on Thursday morning because of hurricane Gustav.

We arranged to move the wedding up to Wednesday afternoon. When we arrived at the Reef Resort storm preparations were in full swing and the general manager told me they planned to close the hotel on Thursday afternoon. The wind and the waves had already started to pick up, but fortunately the sun was shining brightly. I have a lot of clients who stay at the Reef Resort and I wanted to let you see what it looks like. This is the eastern, quiet side of Grand Cayman.

These photos were snapped quickly by yours truly. As of today, Friday 29th August it is quiet, we are all battened down and ready for Hurricane Gustav which will probably pass in the night as a Category One hurricane. Thanks to all my couples who send to say they are keeping us in their thoughts and prayers. I am doing the same for everyone on the Gulf Coast, and particularly New Orleans, one of my favourite places.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Our August Anniversary- Making Family Memories

I thought I would have some nice anniversary pictures to share with you but nobody seemed to have been organised enough to remember to take a group shot. We had a great time, as usual, 14 of us went out to a new restaurant called "Abacus" at the new development Camana Bay. My kids tell me they have a live jazz band on Friday nights and you can sit inside or outside. I don't quite know how I ended up sitting on my husband's lap in the photo below. Yes, I had just come back from officiating at a wedding, I told them August 12 was a very lucky day on which to be married, we have been married for 36 years.

We left the next day for Las Vegas, where we met up with friends, played in a video-poker tournament, saw a show, had some great food, both hit Royal Flushes and generally had a good time.

We took up half the space inside the restaurant. I suppose it could be described as an intimate setting. Reservations are definitely required.

I was trying to show the decor in this shot. The food was quite good, they tend to focus on a limited, but quite adventurous menu.

Tucked in next to their aunt are our grandchildren. Our server did something I really appreciated, he served the kids meals while we were having drinks and deciding what to order.
This meant the kids, who normally eat early didn't get too hungry, and had their dessert while we were eating our entrees. I would say Abacus is definitely kid friendly, although ours were the only ones there that night.

My Mom, Francine celebrated her 80th birthday the next day

My mom and dad were with us as well as all the spouses and significant others along with our four kids. Our children look forward to planning these nights out, and so do the grand children, who have their favourite places. We have always taken our kids when they were little, and now grand -kids on this kind of family outing, its an important part of making memories. Of course, I can always say it is a business expense, since I am probably asked for restaurant recommendations every other day. I do not recommend restaurants I have never tried, and I do not receive commissions for recommending hotels and restaurants.

People have asked me why I don't advertise on my blog, except our wedding services, of course. Paid advertising would go against the grain for me, because my whole service is personalised. If I think something is not going to work for you, I won't recommend it. Being a wedding celebrant and planner is something I love, and something I choose to do with my time. Anytime it becomes just a job, I won't do it any more.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Simply Weddings Supports the US Armed Services

This young couple is from a wedding I did on Seven Mile Beach in November 2007. They sent me these pictures recently, and I wanted to feature them on my blog because they are both in the armed services. If you plan to get married in Cayman and you can show proof of having served your country in the armed services, I will give you a special wedding present.

This is thanks to Erin, whose Wedding Blessing I am doing in January 2009. Her husband is serving overseas, and she wrote and asked me if I did anything special for servicemen. I am pleased to say yes, I do now.

Enjoying Grand Cayman's wintry November weather!

This shot was taken at the West Bay Public Beach, very private and quiet.

Seven Mile Beach is this special, and this breath-taking. If you look across the water you can see the cruise-ships off George Town harbour.

This beautiful spot is just across the street from our office in Centennial Towers, West Bay. We have excellent facilities for you to dress, do your make-up. or just relax and have a cup of coffee or a cool drink. You can also have your hair and nails done by Zulema's Salon and Spa which is also in our building. Other neighbours are Picture This Photography, VIP Productions for your wedding video, and Cayman National Bank.

With 25 years experience, we are the wedding celebrants and planners of choice for locals and visitors. Book early to avoid disappointment. Ask about our refund policy and back-up plan in case of bad weather. We are a member of the Association for Wedding Professionals International and proudly follow their Code of Ethics. Whether you are visiting by cruise-ship or as a stay-over visitor call (345) 5256551 for Joy , (345)9498677 for Francine or email us, (Simply Weddings) or (Cayman Weddings) and let our Destination Wedding Specialists make your dream wedding come true.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Floridians at Governors, Seven Mile Beach

This young couple from Ocala chose Governors Beach for their Destination Cruise Wedding.

Welcome shade under the Casaurina trees, on one of the hottest days of the year.

Beautiful bride, beautiful day

Set-up for their "Tropical Splendour Wedding"

A walk on the mostly deserted Seven Mile Beach

This location is mid-Seven Mile Beach, the island's most popular wedding location.

One tier wedding cake from "Treats" restaurant in West Shore Plaza

Ceremony by Joy of Weddings, arrangements by Cayman Weddings, flowers by Trisha's Roses, photography by Sarah of Cayman People Pics, video by Martin of VIP productions.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Simply Divine Wedding at Bus Stop 29

Today's wedding features a young couple from Pleasant Gap, Pennsylvania staying at the Westin Casaurina, that chose the Bus Stop 29 location on Seven Mile Beach for their 1o a.m. wedding.
They wanted the vivid colours of the Caribbean Sea in this location as their back-drop.

When I met with them to go over their ceremony, they chose the "Hands" reading which we adapted to suit their liking, and I must say I liked the new version very much.

This couple also wanted a simple Unity Sand Ceremony, using blue and green sand.

Here is the set-up. The bridal flowers on the table are a special order bouquet of gerberas in pinks and corals, with a matching boutonniere. I use the neutral sand to seal the Memory Vase, signifying two lives merged together and sealed in marriage.

Here we are admiring the finished Memory Vase. Each Memory Vase is as unique as the couple who creates it, today I added some special touches to the ceremony. "In the years ahead, when you look at your Memory Vase, I want you to remember this day, this hour and this moment, and make a silent promise to yourself that you will always do your part to keep this marriage strong and loving."

My favourite "We did it!" photo

The Bride and Groom were ready for some shade, and ice-cold sparkling cider to toast each other

This is a good example of a wedding with a bit of everything. In addition to the legal requirements built into all my weddings, it included special flowers, wedding cake, photography, videography, sand ceremony, and witnesses.

Thanks to my son, Jesse Basdeo for these photographs and witnessing.

Personalised ceremony and arrangements by Joy of Simply Weddings, flowers by Tricia's Roses,
photography by Sarah of Cayman People Pictures, videography by VIP productions. Call me at (345) 5256551 today for your Destination Wedding in Cayman, or email me at (Cost of this package $1875)

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Primera Pareja de boda de Espana

This young couple from Madrid, Spain were "walk-ins" in that they were on their second vacation to the Cayman Islands, staying at Harbour Heights condos, and decided they wanted to
to be married. It was the simplest of weddings, at sunset at Mary Molly Hydes beach.

My husband joined us as one of their witnesses, and we got another witness who was out for a run on the beach to be the second witness.

I did a short civil ceremony. Under our law, I am required to ask two questions "Do you take this woman/man to be your wife/husband?" and "Do you know of any lawful reason why you should not be married to this woman/man?" Apart from these questions, the most important part of the ceremony is the procurement of a Special Marriage License (in advance) and the signing of the Marriage Register.

This couple will require an Apostille attached to their Registered Marriage Certificate. An Apostille is required by most European countries with the exception of the United Kingdom.
I will make the application for the Apostille and mail it to the couple along with their Registered Marriage certificate. Couples from the USA and Canada do not need an Apostille.

The newly-weds celebrate their new status as Mr and Mrs and then they were off to a more liquid celebration at one of Cayman's great restaurants.

Arrangements by Joy of Simply Weddings, photography by "the reluctant photographer, who shall be nameless", cost of package (without Apostille) $650

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Ritz-Carlton Beach Wedding for New Jersey Couple

This rather nice shot of the Great Lawn at the Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman shows another popular spot for weddings

Some people have been asking me whether I plan and officiate at larger weddings, and the answer is yes, however the wedding below was planned by the Ritz-Carlton Grand Cayman Special Events Department. I was pleased to get some photos from the groom, because I wanted to show you the set-up on the Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman beach, where the wedding was held.

Set-up for a group of 60. Cocktails were served on the beach immediately following the ceremony.

Here is M being escorted by her dad, to where her groom waits, watched by a large group of family and friends.

Waiting under the chuppah for the arrival of the bride

This couple wanted a Unity Sand Ceremony using their wedding colours of lemon and sky-blue.

They provided a reading which I did while they poured their sand together.

This bouquet is very in vogue at the moment, I didn't think at the time to take a closer look at the different flowers which were included.

Beach shot after the ceremony.

Wedding reception was held at the Little Cayman Ballroom, Ritz-Carlton

If you plan to be married at the Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman you can request that I officiate at your wedding ceremony. I will work with you to personalise the service, whether for a wedding or wedding vow renewal.