Real Wedding

A Beautiful Bohemian Handfasting Ceremony in Barbados: Paula & Chris

We married at Flower Forest in Barbados and we chose this venue because it is BEAUTIFUL, unique, natural, and so magical. We were also sure we wanted our ceremony and reception in the same place, and their reception space was perfect.

Words by Paul. Images by Sara Monika Photography.

My wedding dress was purchased at Kleinfeld’s in Toronto. It’s a Monique L’Huillier wedding gown from the Bliss collection and I wore it with the watteau train!!!

Over the top florals were not necessary for our wedding, as you can probably tell by our venue name: Flower Forest, so we only needed bouquets and boutonnieres. Luckily our designer/decorator is great at flowers too, so it was an easy choice.
Nature has always been important to us, so a very natural setting was a must from the beginning of our planning process. Flower Forest is pretty unconventional for a ceremony space, so as you can see from the photos, it was kept very casual. There was no way we’d be able to get chairs all the way down there! The old tree & roots were also important in making our handfasting ceremony more authentically connected to nature. It came off perfectly.
Our wedding photographer Sara Monika was a dream to work with. So personable, friendly, open-minded, energetic, and creative! We have received countless compliments and rave reviews on our photos. Sara worked so hard on our wedding and the events leading up, and she brought such a positive energy to everything.
We had 150 total guests, but A LOT of people travelled in for our wedding. Chris is from Barbados and I am from Canada. 70+ people travelled from 8 different countries to celebrate with us. When we added up everyone’s total air miles it actually reached the moon & back! Since so many people made the effort, we also had a pre-wedding party two days before the wedding on a pirate ship. It was a sunset party cruise and we are so grateful the weather held out!
Being in a beautiful, green, natural setting, I wanted to basically just soften the look of the reception space. So for the decor, we had lots of candles, fairy lights, and light fabric. I wanted it to look magical. I had all my friends and family from Canada pack $400 worth of candles down for me in their suitcases! (Thank you!!!)
If we could impart any wisdom to other couples planning a wedding? Stay true to yourself! There will be a lot of people with a lot of opinions, and while it’s important to make sure your family and friends feel appreciated, you ultimately won’t be able to please everyone. Don’t get too wrapped up in big bridal and the status quo. Cookie cutter weddings are boring anyway!

In the same breath, don’t get too caught up in trying to be unique or different either, as that is exhausting. Remember why you’re having a wedding in the first place.

When it came to our most memorable wedding moment, honestly, it’s all a blur! I’m so thankful that we invested in a solid photographer, and that we can recount moments with friends and family, as if it were up to me I’d forget everything.

Wedding amnesia is real! I’ve probably never been so over-stimulated in my life!

wedding credits / photographer: sara monika photography / wedding venue: flower forest, barbados / brides veil & dress: monique l’huillier via kleinfeld’s in toronto / grooms shirt: scotch & soda  / grooms chinos: blue industry via from gotstyle / brides shoes: loeffler randall / brides headpiece: olivia headpieces and hemma katzka / grooms shoes: / bridesmaid dresses: adrianna papell & two birds / bridesmaid shoes: roxy flipflops / hair: tina barrow and assistant jenny / makeup: makeup design by brittany tuleja / florist, decor, rentals and day-of coordination: events by giselle

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