Monday, May 31, 2010

Why you need a day-of planner for your Cayman DIY wedding

If you have been reading this blog for a while you might also know that we have a wedding in the family coming up this year. On a small island like Grand Cayman, a resident or local wedding is usually a fairly big affair. Experience has shown me that when you are the Mother of the Bride/Groom you should give "day-of" responsibility for the wedding to someone else!

My company Simply Weddings specialises in small, intimate and personalised weddings at many of Grand Cayman's beauty spots. When we have weddings in our family, we hire another planner so that we can relax and enjoy the very special day.

Nowadays, DIY weddings are very popular as understandably, brides try and save money to spend on other wedding-related things. In my business, I try to work with DIY brides where I can. For examples, if you want to bring silk flowers from home rather than having fresh flowers, I try and work along with you.

This bride brought silk flowers for her bridesmaids, but ordered a fresh bridal bouquet for her Grand Cayman beach wedding.

If you are arriving by cruise-ship, you will be in the port of Grand Cayman for approximately 5 hours. This is not sufficient time for you to make contact with vendors. Despite the wonders of the internet, vendors don't always show up when they are supposed to. What starts out as saving a hundred dollars translates to a lot of frustration when for example, your photographer does not appear.

This is why you need day-of coordination by a local wedding professional. Some one with years of local experience will know exactly who to call, or where to go to smooth out any hitches which pop-up on your wedding day. Reputable local wedding professionals will also be in compliance of all local laws, and be knowledgeable of wedding protocols. Day of co-ordination is built in to all our wedding packages except the basic "no-frills" package.

Two of my current bug-bears are wedding photographers who come off cruise-ships to shoot pictures for weddings who have no permission to work in the Cayman Islands. This is simply illegal. When you use Simply Weddings you know that all our vendors are properly credentialed and we stand by their work.

My second bug-bear this week is "wedding coordinators" at local hotels who know absolutely nothing about wedding traditions and customs eg the server at your hotel or restaurant pours and serves champagne immediately after the ceremony.

He or she, knows nothing about the Traditional Champagne Ceremony or what it means, or the Champagne Cork Ceremony, or even that the groom and not the server, traditionally opens the first bottle of champagne.

Cutting the wedding champagne cork, to insert a Cayman coin, a tradition we got from the British, said to bring good luck.

My favourite story about this, is that earlier this year I officiated a wedding at a popular Grand Cayman restaurant. I oversaw the champagne ceremony, but not having planned on doing this, I didn't take my little knife to cut the champagne cork, (and then present it to the newly-weds).
I asked the server if he would split the cork for me, and he did, in TWO pieces!

We take the stress out of your Cayman Destination Wedding, call Joy or Peggy (345)9499933 or email us

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Traditional Caymanian Garden set off this Beautiful Wedding

Most people in Cayman will know that in addition to arranging weddings I also officiate wedding ceremonies arranged by other wedding planners. This means I often work in other parts of the island, and even on the other two Cayman Islands, Cayman Brac and Little Cayman.

One of my weddings today took place at this traditional Caymanian garden owned by Cheryl of Heart of Cayman. The floral theme of the wedding involved literally dozens of these pink orchids. Some of you will know that I love orchids, particularly pink orchids, in fact I even use a pink orchid in my logo.

This was part of the floral arrangement on the signing table.

This is one of several Caymanian cottages on the property. They are beautifully restored, and can be rented as a honeymoon cottage, or in this case for the bride to dress and wait in air-conditioned comfort until the garden ceremony was about to begin.

The Awly Garden is just one of the gardens that Heart of Cayman rents for wedding parties.

This is an ideal spot for approximately 40 people

The newly-weds pose under the wedding arch shortly before the recessional when they walk down to greet their guests.

Wherever you chose to be married in the Cayman Islands, call Joy for a beautiful, contemporary ceremony ruich with meaning, and personalised to suit your special day.

Call Simply Weddings-Grand Cayman at (345)9499933 or email me at

Monday, May 24, 2010

Jewish Influence in Grand Cayman Beach Wedding

As a licensed wedding celebrant, ( in the Cayman Islands I am known as a Marriage Officer), I perform hundreds of weddings and vow renewals every year. Yet sometimes, for some reason, an individual couple stands out. This was one such couple. They told me they had been together for 11 years, and their love and devotion to each other was very evident. I felt honoured that they selected me as their wedding celebrant, and I really enjoyed sharing one of my special wedding spots, Mary Molly Hydes beach with them last week.

A day made even better shared with good friends and fellow cruisers.

The couple selected this lattice-work arch to represent a "chuppah", a requirement in a Jewish wedding ceremony, which honoured the groom's Jewish background.

Here the groom breaks a glass to shouts of 'Maseltov'. This is to remind us that relationships, like glass, are fragile and must be cared for and protected.

With Joy and their Marriage Certificate

The Lennox 'Swans' cake-topper reminds us that swans mate for life.

Seen here, the well-known wedding tradition of cutting the cake.

This group preferred reisling to champagne, no problem. Non-alcoholic sparkling cider is also available, and complimentary if you are having champagne and have children in your wedding party.

This very unusual wedding garter was made of feathers. The groom got into the spirit of things and took it off with his teeth, according to Caymanian custom.

Wedding on one of the world's most beautiful beaches, Seven Mile Beach, Grand Cayman

Insert your picture here, call (345)9499933 or email Simply Weddings-Grand Cayman.

We are a fully licensed independent, Caymanian company and use all local vendors to give you an authentic Caymanian wedding or vow renewal experience. We are a member of the Association for Wedding Professionals International and work to their Code of Ethics. When you a looking for a simple, elegant, personalised beach wedding in Grand Cayman, come to the Destination Wedding cruise specialists Simply Weddings - Grand Cayman. Now booking weddings and vow renewals through 2011.

Simple Grand Cayman Cruise Wedding for Georgia Family

No matter how many weddings I officiate, every one is different and every one has features which brides and prospective brides will want to share with their friends and family again and again. Today's wedding was a close-knit family from Douglasville, Georgia and their wedding took place under the 'natural arch' at Governor's Beach, Grand Cayman.

The bride looked stunning in this gown which was very appropriate for a beach wedding. I picked them up at the cruise landing and brought them to our office to dress, while the rest of the group went by tour bus to the wedding location.

One way to ensure that a large group wedding goes smoothly is to have good transportation arrangements for your guests, and to communicate this to them clearly (including the cost, so that everyone knows what to expect).

This was quite a large wedding party. In the background is a private tour bus which we recommend and can arrange, and the Simply Weddings SUV (which seats six)

Every father looks forward to walking his daughter down the aisle, and this is no different for a Destination Wedding (shoes optional!)

Many couples choose not to have an arch or a chuppah, preferring instead to stand under the
'natural arch' formed by the trees at this lovely spot.

We provide a table and linen for the signing of documents, for every beach wedding

This beautiful tropical bouquet of cybidium and dendrobium orchids, lilies, buttons and birds of paradise is a favourite for our cruise weddings. You can take it back to the ship, put it in a glass of water and enjoy it in your stateroom for the duration of your trip.

This beach wedding included a sand-ceremony. To include both mothers in the ceremony and have them lay down the foundation of the Memory Vase is a lovely touch, which mothers, and others who might be asked to stand in for mothers, always appreciate. At the conclusion of the sand ceremony I top off the Memory Vase with some Cayman sand, and a blessing.

At the conclusion of the wedding ceremony, the whole group went down to the water's edge where they tossed shells with the couple's names and wedding date, into the water. This was the first time I had seen this done, but it was very effective.

Your wedding day should be an unforgettable experience. A little forward planning, and attention to detail can make your Destination Wedding an occasion that your friends and family will remember for a life-time. At Simply Weddings- Grand Cayman
our experienced wedding celebrant and wedding co-ordinator can advise you as to the perfect services and location to suit your small or large group. Call Joy or Peggy today at (345) 9499933 and put your Destination Wedding in Grand Cayman in the hands of our cruise wedding specialists.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

There were so many features to this wedding that are worth sharing that this is actually the second article on this couple. The first one was the lovely story about the bride's grandmother's garter. Here is the lovely bride posing with her sister. Unable to join the cruise with the rest of the family, her sister flew in just for the wedding and joined the group at the Simply Weddings office so as not to miss out on her sister's special day.

The bride was given in marriage by her father. This was a very traditional wedding, and I just wanted to point out that just because its a destination wedding doesn't mean you have to sacrifice those details which are special to you.

The couple arranged to bring their own minister to conduct the ceremony. This is permitted under our Marriage Law as long as a Cayman licensed marriage office is present.

As the Cayman celebrant I have to complete the documentation, sign, and register the marriage.

The champagne ceremony has a traditional meaning, which speaks to a couple being able to co-operate in order to fulfill a task. This couple seemed fully attuned to each other, as seen from this beautiful picture.

Here is the whole group. It is no mean feat to pull off a destination wedding for a large group, but I have seldom had a large group wedding go off as flawlessly as this one did, which just goes to show that forward planning and attention to detail go a long way to ensuring the success of your wedding day ( not to mention having a local wedding planning company like Simply Weddings - Grand Cayman Wedding Celebrants and Planners)

The newly-weds and their witnesses

This wedding location has a lot going for it, and couples love to get photos on this pier.

There's even a shady area we used for posed shots. In the summer we can also use this for wedding set-ups so that the entire party is in the shade.

Live music for this wedding was by K-Man-Son, seen here at the microphone. Blake plays and sings contemporary and Caribbean tunes, and can be booked through Simply Weddings

You can book your group transportation on this brand-new airconditioned bus. Joselene will pick you up at the cruise landing and take you to the wedding location, as well as returning you back to George Town after the ceremony. You can book group transportation here.

Call Joy or Peggy to book your Grand Cayman Beach Wedding today 345-9499933.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Floridians Enjoy their MSC Cruise Wedding in Cayman

When we arrived at MSC earlier this week the little cove was covered with debris. A couple of days before, while doing a wedding I saw a little canoe pulled up in the cove next to this one, and I wondered if that was a safe place for it. Obviously not, as the waves picked it up and deposited it, anchor and all right where I get my wedding couples to stand.

This Floridian groom was a gentleman, and helped me drag it away so we could proceed with the ceremony. It was rather sad, seeing the demise of the little boat, as many couples incorporated pictures of it into their Cayman wedding photos.

The bride wrapped her bouquet with her mother's handkerchief and I told her I would be sure and mention it, so her mother knew she had been thinking of her.

It was the hottest day of 2010 so far, and some ice cold champagne was just the thing.

The trees in this sea-side park are very old and gnarled, and I like what our photographer, Mari Abe of Island Photo does with them.

This is another favourite pose, from Smith's Cove, Grand Cayman

So many couples pose with this iguana! I am going to try and see if I can get a wedding iguana for this popular wedding spot.

Check out our Facebook page, Simply Weddings- Grand Cayman and follow us to get daily alerts on Twitter (JoyofWeddings) Call Joy or Peggy (345)9499933 and see our website for this all-inclusive cruise wedding, the best value for a Grand Cayman beach wedding, and other Cayman wedding packages.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

The Story of Joanne's Wedding Garter, and a Cayman Wedding

I love to hear about the wedding traditions different families have, and this Michigan couple had a most interesting story to tell. First of all, they are both from big families. They are both religious, and they brought their own minister who officiated at their wedding. (Our Marriage Law permits this, as long as a Cayman licensed marriage officer is present and signs the documents). However, the story is about the bride's wedding garter.

A few private moments after the ceremony

Pictured here is a very treasured family heirloom. It belongs to the bride's grandmother, Joanne who wore it at her wedding. She has had it refurbished with blue velvet, so it fulfills all the well-loved wedding traditions,

"something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue"

This bride is the third in her generation to wear the family garter, which even has its own certificate for each successive bride to sign. So Joanne, although you were unable to travel to Grand Cayman to witness your grand-daughter's wedding, I want you to know how much you were thought of and how much you are loved by your family.

Thank you Donna and Paul for sharing this beautiful story, and we at Simply Weddings - Grand Cayman wish you all the best, enjoy your wedding-moon and your cruise, and come back and see us sometime.

Joanne's garter, next to her grand-daughter's wedding bouquet

Nest to her grandmother's garter, this bride wears a hand-made garter she made herself, perhaps she is starting her own tradition.

Whether you want a traditional wedding, or something more avant garde call Joy or Peggy (345)9499933, we are a member of the Association for Wedding Professionals International (AfWPI) and work to their code of ethics. Make Simply Weddings - Grand Cayman your choice for your cruise wedding in Grand Cayman.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Traditional Cayman Beach Wedding Good Choice for Topeka, KS Couple

This couple from Topeka, Kansas got their family and friends together and sailed off for a Destination Wedding on Seven Mile Beach, Grand Cayman, one of the world's most beautiful beaches.

If you have turquoise water and shell pink sand in your perfect colour palette, you can't do better than Governors' Beach, George Town, Grand Cayman. We are using this beach more for groups these days, depending on the services the couple chose.

The bride was escorted and given in marriage by her mother.
Joy congratulating the couple after the ceremony

"We did it, we really did it!"

The groom is a fire-fighter, and we served the whole group complimentary champagne

First you get your girls together...

Then, you get your guys together....

This wedding party was FINE!

Here's the whole group caught in a celebratory jump

Love in the shade

What's a beach wedding without a palm tree?

These days more and more couple are choosing the ease of a Destination Wedding without sacrificing any of the traditional elements. With years of experience in the Destination Wedding business Simply Weddings is ideally placed to ensure you have an unforgettable wedding day in the Cayman Islands. Chose from one of our simple, elegant, personalised wedding packages and relax, knowing your wedding is in the hands of these cruise wedding specialists.

Call Joy or Peggy today (345)9499933 or email us at and follow us on Facebook to see what's happening daily in your top cruise wedding destination.

These images by Mari Abe of Island Photo, calla lily wedding flowers supplied.