Down the Aisle: Annette + Brandon {Destination Wedding - Grenada}

Oh my goodness! Where do I even begin? Emir and I were invited to spend an entire week in Grenada with Annette, Brandon and both of their families. The whole thing started when Annette saw one of my photos on her co-worker's desk. After a ping-pong match of emails and a couple of meetings, plans were hatched and tickets were booked! I knew this would be no ordinary wedding right from the start. Annette grew up in Canada, but has strong family ties in Grenada and visited often through the years. The island is the connection between a very widespread &  international family tree, so naturally, it was the perfect location for such a special event! Grenada is a magical place where time and space seem to exist in an entirely different dimension. Even coming from Nebraska where I'm often told by visitors that we're all overwhelmingly friendly.... I was still touched by the open hearts and constant smiles to be found in Grenada. At one point during Emir and I's wild ride through the city, we were hopelessly lost. When we stopped to ask for directions, rather than just pointing us in the general direction and sending us off, the gentleman kindly opened the door to our car, jumped in and gave us turn-by-turn advice from the backseat before jumping out as we passed his destination. Incredible!  I could go on for hours about the fascinating experiences we had and the amazing people we met while in the West Indies.... so if you ever really want the details, let me know. For now, suffice it to say that we had an incredible time, made loads of new friends, and hopefully created some images for Annette and Brandon to cherish for a lifetime. Here's a quick peek!


This is Reese. One heck of a great kid! He was all smiles the whole week. Here, he lets out some energy before getting dressed for the ceremony.


The ceremony was held on the beach on the southwest side of the island, right near Annette's dad's hotel. July is apparently rainy season in Grenada (and rain it did!). Despite a torrential downpour in the morning and early afternoon on their wedding day, the crew still managed to get everything ready in time for a sun-set ceremony. Amazing!


This sweet little dog belongs to one of the hotel staff members who lives nearby on the beach. She enthusiastically joined us all for the ceremony and reception. :)


This is Ann, the one-woman coordinator behind much of the planning and execution of the week's events. There's something very soulful about her. I love the way this image captures her spirit and mannerisms. Now, if only I could've recorded her melodic caribbean accent! :) She embodies my idea of the epitome of a Caribbean woman.... strong, vibrant, loving and always with a smile and kind word for everyone. We just adored her!


The island is one of the world's largest exporters of things like nutmeg and rum. It's actually known as 'Spice Island.' So what kind of Grenadian party would be complete without some of the good stuff? :)


There were so many beautiful people there! Guests came from Canada (Vancouver, Winnipeg and Montreal), the US (Seattle, Florida, Kansas), the UK (London), and of course, some locals who live on the island.  It was a celebration rich with culture, color and spirit.


Shortly after our arrival early in the week, we came to understand the notion of 'island time.' I was somewhat familiar with this already with my mother being from Cuba, we often tease her side of the family about running on 'Cuban Standard Time.' Grenadian time is pretty similar.... The ceremony was originally supposed to start at 5:30pm. It got pushed back to about 6:30... and I think we were off and running by about 6:45. My only fear was the sun that continually crept towards the horizon... but everything came together to make it happen just in time for a glorious sunset.

As Annette was getting ready to walk down the aisle, this boat of on-lookers floated in the bay hoping to catch a glimpse....


My favorite thing about this shot is the dog in the corner. She had the best seat in the house! :)


The ceremony began with an ocean breeze in the background, carried by the notes from the steel drum... peppered with tears and laughter as Brandon + Annette made their way through their vows.


Little Reese was very involved too. Here he reads a poem written with Annette for Brandon.


Brandon, Annette and Reese gave each other necklaces to symbolize the creation of their new family of three. I love this symbolism!


(lovin' all the active white space here!)


After the ceremony and some quick family formals... the sun all but disappeared into the bay....


Party time!


Annette's dad Len makes a toast to the newly married couple.


The wedding was held on the 4th of July, which falls shortly after Canada Day (where much of her family is from). So we celebrated the wedding and two national holidays with one heck of a great party!


I almost forgot! Annette asked me for a photo of the moon because when she was a kid, she and her uncle spent hours looking at and talking about it. He even gave her the nickname 'moon' at one point. I had actually never tried to photograph the moon before... so this was a first attempt! Not too shabby! ;)


My goodness that was great! I hope with all my heart that you enjoy these photos as much as I enjoyed creating them. Thank you for inviting us to be part of the family for a week.... you will never be forgotten. Our new extended Grenadian family.....  :)