I love cruising, it is one of my favorite ways to vacation. There is just something magical about being out on the open sea, breathing in the salty air and feeling the beautiful breeze grace your skin; so when my husband’s coworker asked us to photograph his wedding onboard the Royal Caribbean Independence of the Seas, I was elated to say the least!
I met the bride and groom at my husband’s work Christmas party, where the four of us sat together at dinner and hit it off immediately! Paul is hilarious and Charmaine is such a sweetheart!
The two met at Emmanuel College where they both were involved in sports and have been together since 2010. They have a sweet way about their relationship, that simple knowing of one another and the genuine friendship they share is obvious.
As I sat with Charmaine on her wedding day, in a brief moment of solitude, she admitted she had wanted to elope at a courthouse, and that Paul was the one who preferred a bigger wedding. After learning some disappointing news about the decor on the ship, and being told that they could not actually light their unity candle due to ship safety precautions, she told me, “It’s fine, all I want is to see Paul at the end of the aisle”. Her simplicity is so refreshing in a world that pushes weddings over marriages. I reminded her that if that is her focus, then their marriage will be golden indeed!
The bride’s sweet sister did a beautiful job on her makeup!
The bride’s sister gave her this adorable hanger which says “Mrs Bates” and their wedding date!
The bride’s beautiful Mama helping her with her shoes…
The day of the wedding was an interesting one for me as I have never photographed a wedding at sea. Something you forget about is that there is no cell service on board! So, planning beforehand was crucial. Fortunately for me, the bridal party was exceptional, showing up to the planned meeting places on time and dressed! This made the entire process much easier, as we were not having to manually track people down all over the ship!
The guys loved taking photos in the casino!
The Groom’s parents | The Bride’s Parents
The handsome Groom and the gorgeous Bride!
I did have one moment of panic as I was attempting to get to the ceremony location; I got a bit lost and ended up on the wrong side of the ship! Fortunately hubby was there, keeping me calm and helping me find my way.
The ceremony was presided over by the ships captain and the wedding was performed under Bahamian law, as the ship is owned by a Bahamian company, so the vows included honoring the laws of the Bahamas, to which the bride and groomed smiled awkwardly at each other!
The girls enjoying a tequila shot together!
The Groom’s niece made an adorable flower girl!
The bride’s Father walked her down the aisle with joy in his eyes…
There was a cake and wine reception immediately following the brief ceremony where the bride and groom entertained their 40 or so guests. The bride danced with her father, the groom with his mother and then the bride and groom shared a sweet twirl on the dance floor. The ships DJ played a fun mix of songs which eventually got the floor filled with guests!
The queen and her king waiting on her hand and foot haha!
After the ceremony and reception I took the bride and groom outside to take photographs with one another. The wind was INTENSE! We all were blown away, literally by the force of the winds. However, it did lead to some pretty gorgeous images of Charmaine’s hair and dress blowing beautifully behind her as they looked out over the ocean.
We enjoyed the rest of the week, sailing and stopping in Labadee, Haiti and Falmouth, Jamaica. We also loved getting to spend time with the bride, groom and their bridal party. They were a hilarious group that loves to have a good time!
I am so grateful for this opportunity as I was able to sail with my darling husband and spend time soaking up the sun and getting some much needed quality time together was priceless!!
I am looking forward to this weekend when we head down to Conyers, GA to photograph their onshore reception! Keep an eye out for more from this awesome couple!