“It’s my favorite place on the planet,” Lisa Reifer says of Bermuda, a spot she’s been visiting her entire life. Both her parents and grandparents honeymooned on the balmy paradise. Lisa and her love of five years, Jeremy, took it a step further with a destination wedding at Tucker’s Point on Nov. 1, 2008.
“It’s amazing. You’ve got cliffs on both sides and then the beach right there,” she says of the spot. The Reifers’ union was a four-day weekend chock full of celebration.
The wedding party was comprised of about 100 guests, Mrs. Reifer says. “It felt much more intimate to have a destination wedding. Not only do the guests really get to know each other, but you get much better quality time with your friends and family.”
With a destination wedding, rather than a bride and groom sharing the experience while their loved ones spectate from church rows and reception tables, the entire wedding party and guest list participates. “It’s a much more amazing experience in the sense that it’s more of a weekend event.” Mrs. Reifer says.
The Thursday-to-Sunday Bermudian excursion included five events: A welcome party on Thursday, a costume cruise for Halloween on Friday, a rehearsal dinner on the Lido Complex’s Marina Terrace, the ceremony and reception Saturday and a brunch Sunday.
The Reifers enjoy an hour-and-a-half flight to Bermuda from their Manhattan home. Mrs. Reifer has vacationed in Bermuda her whole life. She also works for Jet Blue Airlines and had the luxury of flying to Bermuda “four or five” times in the course of the wedding planning. “We were very hands-on in the process,” she says.
“Even though we were fortunate in that we were able to make all those trips to Bermuda, it certainly wasn’t necessary,” Mrs. Reifer says, attributing this to her “fantastic” wedding planner, Nikki Begg of Bermuda Bride. “I think we could have planned the wedding just using Nikki without actually being there in person.”
Ms. Begg helped plan all the weekend’s events. “We couldn’t have pulled off everything without her. The rehearsal dinner in and of itself was almost like a mini-wedding,” Mrs. Reifer says, adding Ms. Begg sent CDs for live music possibilities, websites of boats for the Friday cruise and photos of flowers regularly through email. “She and her staff helped with everything.”
Mrs. Reifer says she enjoyed putting together the event, adding she thinks a destination wedding requires additional time and effort – energy well worth the final result. She highly recommends working with a wedding planner. “I think that makes a big difference. You have to have faith in your wedding planner.” Linda Mitchell of Bermuda Travel also assisted with hotel arrangements for the Reifers’ guests.
The Reifers held all their nuptial festivities outdoors at Tucker’s Point – from the ceremony to a cocktail hour to a sit-down dinner. The setting was a sandy beach with a thatched roof overhead. A pool and a dance floor area were nearby. The Tucker’s Point restaurant provided the dinner. “We were looking at a bunch of places in Bermuda, but when we saw Tucker’s Point – the setting is so magnificent, but right behind that, the food is really good,” Mrs. Reifer says. “Serge [Bottelli] is known on the island for being a great chef.” Mr. Bottelli crafted a delicious meal and a three-layer wedding cake for the Reifers.
Petals, a Bermuda florist Nikki Begg is part of, arranged the wedding’s floral aspects. Mrs. Reifer consulted with Petals in both Bermuda and New York.
With limited options and a high price to bring an off-island band, Lisa and Jeremy opted for a DJ. “He was willing to play anything we wanted,” Mrs. Reifer says of DJ Paul Sofianos, adding that he “got people up and dancing.” For the post-ceremony cocktail hour, Stephen Crawford played an acoustic guitar on the beach. Becky Spencer photographed the wedding ceremony. New York-based
videographer Seth David Cohen filmed throughout day.
“You have to be flexible with an island destination,” Mrs. Reifer says, “but it’s well worth the unique experience that you and your
guests will have.”