Jan. 8, 2013, 7 a.m. by SMARTBRIDE

Real Destination Wedding: Love in Paradise


Marjorie Celis & Geoffrey Menezes

Paradise Island, Bahamas
November 13, 2010

paradise island wedding
All photos courtesy of Michael Patrick of Michael Patrick Images

The Background…

Marjorie grew up in Markham, ON Canada and is now a Real Estate Agent as well as a dance teacher. Geoffrey spent his childhood in Toronto, ON Canada, and he works as a Manager at Costco Wholesale.

The Meeting…

Introduced by a mutual high school friend, Marjorie fell in love with Geoffrey at first sight. At only 19 years old, she knew she would marry him one day. After several years of friendship Geoffrey and Marjorie bumped into one other at a picnic in 2002. Marjorie recalls feeling “so over” Geoffrey because he never before showed an interest in her. Geoffrey asked Marjorie out on a date and the couple dated for four years before buying a house together in 2006. Geoffrey proposed in 2009.

The Proposal…

Geoffrey recalls nervously pacing around the living room with the ring in his hand. “My palms began to sweat and my heart was pounding through my chest,” he says. “I had no idea how I was going to do this.” As Marjorie came down the stairs and around the corner, she asked him what he was doing. Geoffrey pulled the ring from behind his back and presented it to her with two simple lines, “Marjorie, I love you and want to spend the rest of my life with you. Will you marry me?”

Marjorie's Bouquet

Wedding Destination…

The gorgeous event took place at the Riu Palace in Paradise Island, Bahamas. “We wanted a resort that was all-inclusive and would be easy to travel to since we had family from different parts of the United States joining us, as well as the majority of our guests from the Toronto area.” Marjorie says. “The Riu Palace met all our needs.”

With assistance from their wedding coordinators, Cindy Johnson and Gabi Castillo of Platinum Destinations and Debbie Gilbert from the Riu Palace, Marjorie and Geoffrey planned an impeccable wedding.

And the Bride wore…

maggie sottero wedding dress

A white gossamer chiffon, form-fitting gown by Maggie Sottero. The stunning dress featured a deep V neckline encrusted with intricate hand sewn pewter beading as well as beautiful crystals with halter straps leading to a T-back design.

The Groom sported…

An off-white suit paired with a crisp, white fitted dress shirt by Zara. The look was finalized with a touch of sophistication with a champagne colored tie.

bridal party

The Feast…

Following the ceremony, guests enjoyed a cocktail reception in the Calypso Lounge with hors d'oeuvres and champagne. Enticing bites included lobster canapés over smoked salmon, chocolate mousse and German bread, smoked salmon canapés, serrano ham canapés, and caviar canapés.

The newly weds and their guests dined in The Gourmet Room, which is a specialty restaurant at the resort. Each guest had a choice of Salmon, Filet Mignon or Duck L’Orange to feast on. The wedding cake was custom made in vanilla by the Riu Palace.

Riu Palace Cake

Unique Wedding Features…

The ceremony was held on an outside terrace that overlooked the ocean with waves crashing into the shore. Two days after the ceremony, the couple along with the bridal party, participated in a “Trash the Dress” photo shoot throughout Paradise Island & Nassau. The memorable event ended with everyone jumping into the Riu Palace pool in their wedding gear. “It was the jump heard around the island.” Geoffrey says. “The Riu staff admitted they had never seen this done before. It was epic.”

In lieu of wedding favours, the couple made a donation to an orphanage located in Western Kenya, near the city of Kitale, known as Baba Nyumbani. Their friend and wedding videographer, Sam “Danger” Pesce of Heldfast Productions, introduced this orphanage to the couple. 

The Honeymoon…

The celebration continued at the Valentin Imperial Maya Resort in Riviera Maya, Mexico. See Top 5 Honeymoon Hotspots for more details on this luxurious resort.

“We had an oceanfront suite and the resort was absolutely stunning,” Marjorie says.

Valentin Imperial Maya Resort

Valentin Imperial Maya Resort

Advice from the heart: a parting word from the bride…

Marjorie recommends hiring a destination wedding coordinator and bringing along your own photographer and videographer. “Those are captured memories that will last a lifetime,” she says. It’s also okay to colour outside of the lines sometimes and be untraditional. “Don’t be afraid to do something different,” she says. “It’s your day.”

Congratulations Marjorie and Geoffrey!

Bio: Caribbean Bride magazine is the premier resource for planning weddings and events in the Caribbean. Download Issue 5 on iTunes for more articles and tips to design your perfect Caribbean wedding! For more inspiration, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

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