Julia and Mr. K enjoyed their perfect beach wedding in the Bahamas. A lot of the decisions they made leading up to the day meant that it was an intimate and personalised ceremony. Julia chatted to us about her best tips for your wedding day and things she would have done differently if she had the chance.
1. What you do for work?
Mr. K is a software developer and I am his marketing/creative director/professional wife/travel planner/travel blogger, and a designer at heart.
2. Tell us a little about the proposal and the lead up to the wedding?
The proposal itself was a complete surprise to me because it was St. Valentine’s weekend and we both thought it would be corny if we got engaged on that date. When I found out he was taking me to Paris, THAT was a surprise in itself. I was so thankful, jetlagged, and shocked that I forgot to suspect anything. He ended up proposing on February 12th, in a French café during a rainy evening.
3. What was the inspiration behind your wedding theme?
Mr. K was the one who wanted a beach ceremony somewhere hot. Since Hawaii was too far for almost everyone, we picked Bahamas since it sounded so nice. I wanted to keep it simple and budget friendly. The only “splurge” I was ready for was a photographer. Even that was a subject of vigorous search.
4. Favorite detail and moment of the day (besides becoming husband and wife of course!)
There were three moments that I still remember and smile:
First was when I cried when I was saying my vows. I thought people are overly dramatic when they cried. It just poured out of me to my own surprise. Turns out there is something sacredly special in accepting the person standing in front of you for the rest of your (my) life.
Second was the almost toothless local personality who was marrying us. He was cracking up jokes and had a very warm charm about him. He made our parents join their hands together in unity, which was very sweet.
The third was the moment when Mr. K lost his ring in the ocean when I was trashing the dress. I found it in the sand sparkling moments later, right after he said: “Oh shit, the ring just came off”. Turns out it was a bit big for him and water mixed with weight made it slip.
5. Did you undertake any DIY projects, if so what?
I had a giant flower on a clip in my hair that I made from a fake flower from Michael’s craft store. I could not find any decent flower to put into my hair so I had to make it myself. Makeup, manicure, and hair was done either by myself or with the help of my sister and mother.
6. Any family or religious traditions incorporated into your day?
I come from a Russian-Jewish background so for me it was a must to dance our family dance “Hava Nagila”. It was a lot of fun because we have our own spin on it.
7. What does marriage mean to you?
I got married to Mr. K because I was ready to commit to him and spend my life supporting him and being with him. It was my official way of saying: “I am yours forever”. Loving someone doesn’t mean you have to marry them. Marriage, for me, is a life story of family that I am trying to build. We are no longer two individuals in love, we have a common goal, we become a unit as of that moment.
8. Talk to us about your dress, where is it from? How long did it take to find?
I found and bought my wedding dress in under three hours. I bought it on special from BCBG. It had to have some alterations done because the skirt was see-through. Since I was doing “trash the dress” in the ocean, there was no point in spending lots of money on it. At the same time, I wanted it to look nice for pictures.
9. Any funny stories in the lead up to or on the day?
There was a rumour that I was pregnant because I had to add straps for my chest. Truth be told, I just didn’t want the dress to slip down when it is wet and heavy and for anything to pop out while active in the water. I also had to redo my manicure three times because it kept being badly done.
10. Advice for other couples planning a wedding?
Do whatever makes YOU happy. You do not have to spend a huge amount to be happy or impress anyone. Chances are everyone will forget about being impressed anyway.
If I had to do it again I would not do it in Bahamas and instead would go to Mexico or Cuba: the same ocean, better beaches, and better service, less expensive.
Research your photographer well, very well.
If you have more than 10 people at the wedding, it might be nice to invest into an entertainment program.
No “cupcake” dresses for beach weddings, keep it very light and simple, you may actually drown from the dress getting wet and heavy!
Ask your family to put down their cameras or not take them to the ceremony at all. The photographer is there for a reason.
Photography: Mario Nixon Photography
Bridal gown: BCBG MAXAZRIA Montreal store
Veil / hair piece: I made it myself from but bought supplies from Michael’s craft store.
Shoes: Michael Kors Toronto store
Flowers: local florist provided by the hotel
Rings: Engagement and ceremony rings were bought from White Flash.
Jewellery/Accessories: My mother in law earrings and my grandmother’s pearl pendant.
Bridesmaids dresses: dressy casual attire
Grooms suit: a gift from his dad, no name brand
Grooms Shoes: Kenneth Cole
Groomsmen suits: casual attire, no ties or bow ties.
Ceremony, reception, catering and cake all provided by the hotel Riu Palace Paradise Island Hotel
Cake topper: Michael’s Craft Store
Reception stylist / any decorations / details: all provided by the hotel
Hair and make up: my mom and myself
Music: every single song was provided by me to the DJ.