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Jess and Russ’s Breathtaking Destination Wedding – June 15th – Fort Hamilton, Bermuda

There have been a handful of favorite destinations that I have visited while photographing weddings. It’s safe to say that Bermuda is at the top of that list. Washington D.C. based couple Jessica and Russ knew that Bermuda was going to be where they would exchange their vows in front of all of their close family and friends. The date was set for June 15th and the location, Fort Hamilton. A historic fort built back in the 1870’s with spectacular views showcasing Hamilton’s white rooftops, the iconic Bermuda trademark. The wedding weekend kicked off with a beach-side welcome party overlooking the saturated blue waters of South Hampton Beach. On the next evening, the rehearsal dinner was spent on a yacht formally owned by none other than Jimmy Buffet. We set sail off the docks of The Fairmont Hamilton Princess celebrating up and down the Hamilton Harbor. With each party, Jessica never failed to show up in the hippest of outfits. One thing I love about her is that she is a woman of her own unique style and always knows exactly what she wants. She kept making me wish I would have thought to put that dress and those shoes together! The morning of the big day the weather had taken a turn for the worse. Jessica and Russ had to make the difficult decision to change the wedding location to “Plan B” and scratch their dream and year of planning of having it at Fort Hamilton. With the most grace and understanding, the disappointed couple realized that it didn’t matter where they got married as they were happy to be getting married to each other. Admittedly I was sad, yet understanding that Plan B was now in effect. My visions of a clear night sky with moonlight mixed with candlelight was not going to happen. But just as fate would have it, the “Bermuda High” kicked in and the stormy skies turned clear and the water back to calm. I got the call that the wedding was back to Plan A, Fort Hamilton it was! As I walked into Jessica’s bridal suite, I could feel the nervous energy in the room had changed to excitement and joy. From there, the day unfolded perfectly. Everyone was so happy and I was loving everything I was shooting.  It’s amazing how peoples energy can do that. Fort Hamilton was a backdrop I had never seen before. The historic stone walls encompassed the entire ceremony and reception. I felt like I was in a labyrinth and as I turned every corner, another amazing place to photograph stood before me. A saxaphone player scerendated the cocktail hour while I photographed Jessica and Russ’s official portraits. The sky had turned hot pink as the sun was setting. Two long harvest tables complete with flowing white linens and mahogany chivari chairs were the setting for the reception. Nestled amongst grand candelabras were vintage clocks posing as table numbers and overflowing greenery completed the spectacular table scape. It was time to party! Rich amber up-lighting slowly replaced the sunset  and cast warm tones amongst the guests. An acoustic band and piano player entertained the guest while staged atop an aztec-style stair case lined with candlelit hurricane vases. Guests dined on duck l’orange and beef wellington, and sipped on the finest of wine. Jessica and Russ laughed and cried during the toasts and lots of dancing and celebrating carried on for hours to come. As the last song was played, the happy couple said farewell to their guests and quietly exited what was to be the most magical evening of their lives. Jessica and Russ, I was so honored and happy to have been a part of your wedding! I truly believe what you said in your vows about fate. It was one of the best ones I’ve seen yet and I wish you two many happy years to come. xoxo – Abby

PRE-CEREMONY:  The Fairmont South Hampton

CEREMONY & RECEPTION:  Fort Hamilton, Bermuda

PLANNER:  The Bridal Suite Bermuda Weddings

DRESS:  Monique Lhuillier

SHOES:  Badgely Mischka

HAIR:  HAIRT Beauty

HAIR ACCESSORIES:  Sara Gabriel “Elizabeth Combs” – Purchased at Calvet Couture Bridal

FLORAL DESIGN:  Petals Bermuda

CAKE:  Couture Pastry Bermuda by Joerg Rudolf

PIANO:  Richard Blumenfeld

BAND:  Crown & Anchor

 

Her ring matched the stunning blue-green Bermuda water.

Her Monique and Mischka…

Her glowing emerald engagement ring with a rose gold band. So unique and beautiful.

The guys slowly learning how to tie their bow ties.

Russ buttoning up…Loved his suit.

Getting ready.

Jessica perfecting the placement of her hair accessories.

The ocean was so vivid even looking at it from the hotel suite!

Jessica’s reaction to the wedding being back to “plan A”.

She couldn’t have been anymore stunning and glamourous!

To top it all off, Jess LOVES photography! I couldn’t ask for a more awesome bride!

Waiting to see Russ for their first look…

Their first look.

This image sums them up, how cool are they?

A few portraits before her walk down the aisle.

Russ patiently waiting for Jess’s walk down the aisle.

This couple was so sweet before the ceremony…I couldn’t help but include it.

The ceremony site was stunning!

A moment with her Mom.

This is the look of pure happiness.

No direction was needed with these two!

The vivid Bermuda sky was the perfect backdrop for portraits!

Practicing their first dance.

Lovely!

Fort Hamilton details.

The view of Hamilton Harbor…I felt like I was in a painting.

Getting bustled just in time before the reception started.

Stunning!

LOVED the clocks as table numbers!

Sunset and candlelight…

Two of my favorite wines!

Twilight.

The evening was so magical. Weather, atmosphere, everything just perfect.

Richard Blumenfeld played contemporary songs from Cold Play to Swedish House Mafia. It was the perfect twist of modern and classical music.

Heartfelt speeches.

The groomsmen gave the newlyweds a few words of wisdom about marriage…needless to say it was hilarious.

Their first dance to Jack Johnson’s “Constellations”…such a fitting song.

Crown & Anchor jamming away.

Cake cutting!

Jess and her “gnomies” …inside joke.

One of my favorite shots of the evening. The fort was like our own playground!

Farewell to the perfect evening.

xoxo

 

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