Wedding locations in the Bahamas
|Harbour Island's pink sand beach|
Harbour Island is one of those islands that you may have heard about without realising it. Often voted as having one of the best beaches in the world, this 3 mile-wide island is a 3 hour ferry ride, or a 15 minute flight from Nassau, and makes a lovely island to visit for the day. The pink sand beach which covers the east side of the island is unusual, and as the turquoise sea laps the shore you really do feel as if you are on a deserted island (albeit one with luxury boutique hotels and smart restaurants!).
Wander around the island by foot, or use one of the ubiquitous golf carts which act as the main form of transport here, and check out the gorgeous architecture of the colonial-style houses, all painted pretty pastel colours. Some of which were built back in the 1700s and have barely changed since.
The couple who were marrying here, Laura and Richard, were staying at one of these historical houses, Water Color, which is filled with antique furniture, and even boasts a sun deck with a fantastic view of the harbour and island.
This isle is one of those places where the rich and famous come for some quiet contemplation, but without foregoing their lifestyle, so it's no surprise that there are many stylish boutique hotels here, some chanelling the colonial look again, but others managing to mix a modern style with the history of the Bahamas. The Rock House is one of those which has managed to meld old and new. Having been a private home, rental property and even a bed and breakfast, these days the hotel has expanded to 10 rooms, all decorated in impeccable style, and just perfect for a secluded luxury wedding or reception. The 16 Islands couple were having their reception here, but The Rock House can also help you with planning your ceremony, as well as providing high class food of course!
After a golf cart tour around the island, and stopping for a refreshing drink at the Blue Bar at the Pink Sands Resort, overlooking that spectacular beach, it was time to head back to Nassau. Luckily timed to avoid a massive rainstorm which started as the ferry left the island.
Day 4. More exploring on New Providence.
This day started with a tour around the current largest hotel on the island, Atlantis. This is where another of the 16 Islands couples, Adele and John, was getting married at the 12th-century French cloisters overlooking the ocean.
Until the new Baha Mar resort is completed in 2014, Atlantis is the largest resort and employer on New Providence. With 2500 rooms holding 9,000 guests, and 8,000 staff, it's a small town in itself. Each of the four towers has its own style, all themed around the lost city of Atlantis, and all with the aim of bringing the sea to the guests. The grounds are landscaped around a huge lagoon, home to 50,000 fish from 250 species, including small sharks and manta rays, and guests can even swim amongst them (on a supervised tour of course).
The main resort is so large that it would be difficult to see it all if you were only staying a few days, luckily Adele and John had a week there to enjoy all that Atlantis has to offer.
After exploring the main resort, we went over to the 12th-century Augustine cloisters at the One&Only Ocean Club where the couples' wedding ceremony would take place. Set on a small hill with a perfect view of the ocean and landscaped terraces giving the area a Grecian air, the cloisters were brought from France and reassembled here. The couple were marrying in front of the ruins with the ocean behind them, and their guests assembled on the terraces. Who knew the Bahamas could do an ancient-style wedding ceremony!
After bidding goodbye to the Atlantis it was time to go back to the airport to fly to the Abaco islands to attend the wedding of Carla and Daniel the next day. They were having a lighthouse wedding on Hope Town. This small island is part of the Abaco islands group, a 30 minute flight from Nassau. Interestingly, these islands are home to some of the descendants of Loyalists from the American civil war who arrived in 1783 courtesy of King George III.
On arrival we had a tour around the island on a golf cart (the main mode of transport here), and a drink at the Hope Town Harbour Lodge, a popular venue for weddings which has great views over the harbour and seems to span the island as the beach touches its garden and pool area.
The couple were staying at the newly-built Firefly Sunset Resort, a secluded luxury resort with only 7 cottages, all with a view over the sparkling sea. Its Bahamian-style honeymoon suite sits above the water and guests can hear the waves crashing on the reef below. All the other cottages here follow a similar theme with pastel décor and clean, sleek interiors. The waterfront bar has a beautiful view over the dock and ocean and you can even watch the sun go down as you partake of a drink or two or eat in their excellent restaurant. We spent the evening watching a spectacular lightening storm over Great Abaco island from the restaurant – it was incredible!
Visit tomorrow for part 3 of our Bahamas blog!
See wedding providers in the Bahamas here.