Dream Destination Wedding at Schooner Bay in Abaco, Bahamas

Daniel and MariannaAfter deliberating over the many options of having a larger wedding at home in the States or a smaller wedding abroad, my wife and I chose Abaco as a destination to host our wedding celebration.  My family has been going to Abaco for years, and my wife (Marianna) and I have already developed some fond memories there.  We didn’t know how it would all play out when we decided to do this, but it turned out to be the wedding of our dreams.

The whole wedding party including guests (20 in all) were easily accommodated by Abaco Palms Properties (founded by Kathy Heacock in Casuarina Point), where nearly everyone had their own beach-side, private, and luxurious bedroom with a view.  Throughout the wedding week our whole party enjoyed kayaking, fishing and snorkeling expeditions basically whenever we wanted.  All of the amenities that they offered really relieved the pressure of organizing large group activities.  At the end of the day (as well as maybe a few times before noon) we enjoyed drinking Kathy’s famous Goombay Smash.  While her accommodations maybe not all-inclusive in the traditional sense, there is really nothing she hasn’t thought of.  I have now started drinking these at home in Nashville as well.

The Schooner Bay Beach Cabana
The Schooner Bay Beach Cabana

We chose Schooner Bay as our venue for the ceremony and reception because of the beautiful beach-side amenities, including a picture-perfect beach, a post-wedding boat ride, and a phenomenal beach-hut-style reception space.   Schooner Bay also has a rather convenient alliance with Trio Culinary and the resident Chef David, who did fantastic a job with the catering for our reception.  I should probably just post a link to our menu because not only did they give us a touch of the local flare (such as the mouth-watering guava duff desert), but they nailed it with the fusion as well as more traditional dishes.  Five stars indeed!

Our rehearsal dinner at Pete's Pub
Our rehearsal dinner at Pete’s Pub

Later in the week a handful from our crew went on a snorkeling/conching expedition with Buddy Pinder, where he seemed to make magic happen.   He made his famous conch salad and somehow pulled up an 8-9 lbs. mutton snapper from a lobster trap!  Bringing the party wherever he goes, Buddy is an excellent local tour guide and is highly recommended for bone-fishing and snorkeling trips.  If you are ever staying in Casuarina, you should at least have him and his wife Cindy over for dinner.  They are just good people!

This conch doesn't stand a chance!
This conch doesn’t stand a chance!

All in all we could not have been happier with how everything turned out.  Our whole party has said they would like to go back for our first anniversary.  We would certainly do it all again if it were not but a once-in-a-lifetime occasion.  If nothing else I hope this helps anyone who is looking to do something similar.  If so, best of luck!

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