During junior high, James “Jake” McCall recalls having a crush on Victoria Edwards while she was dating his best friend and he was dating her best friend. It didn’t take long for the two to start dating each other in high school, and after college, the pair rekindled their romance when they crossed paths at a music festival. “We both didn’t want a relationship, but it was hard not to fall in love with my best friend,” smiles Victoria. 

Jake asked Victoria to marry him while they enjoyed the sunset in Miami, and soon the two began planning their sunset wedding in the Bahamas – a place near and dear to their hearts, as the islands were the site of their first trip together, the bride and her family have been vacationing there for 28 years, and they’ve been multiple times a year as a couple. “It was important to both of us to celebrate in one of our favorite places,” affirms the groom. 

It was also important to Jake that all of their friends and family could stay together at the same venue, so they selected a luxury resort destination with room blocks at two adjacent oceanfront hotels. The site allowed for the couple to plan their dream destination wedding with three days of events, including a welcome dinner on Thursday, as well as both a pool party and cocktail reception on Friday before the nuptials the following day. 

Prior to the ceremony, Victoria and Jake shared a special moment together in the garden where their welcome dinner was held. “The most memorable moment to me was Victoria and I exchanging our vows. We decided to keep them between the two of us after our ‘first look,’” remembers Jake. The bride was gorgeous in a sparkling gown featuring glimmering crystals, while the groom was dapper in a tuxedo and bow tie. 

A string quartet provided the dreamlike feel the couple envisioned as loved ones made their way beneath an arch comprised of greenery and white hydrangeas, roses, and baby’s breath to find their seats atop whitewashed wooden chairs facing the sea. “I wanted the ceremony to be just white florals with a whimsical feel – not taking away from the main focus of the ocean as the backdrop,” describes the bride, who processed down the aisle to a classical rendition of “Can’t Help Falling In Love” by Elvis Presley for the heartfelt service officiated by her older sister. “She went above and beyond!” smiles Victoria. 

“It was important to both of us to celebrate in one of our favorite places.”

After the “I dos,” loved ones followed the new Mr. and Mrs. up a seaside path to the cocktail hour outside of the reception tent. “I wanted the reception to take on color, so moving from ceremony to reception, we had an ombré floral walk going from white to the colors used for the reception,” describes Victoria of the garden-inspired walkway decorated with fresh verdure, blooms in shades of pink, and bullion lanterns. Before entering the tent, friends and family discovered their table assignments on gilded slices of colorful agate that had been hand-calligraphed in gold. 

The clear-top reception tent showcased whimsical décor that embraced color to honor the tropical setting. Lush greenery, twinkling lights, and opulent circles of flowers were suspended above guest tables strewn with ivory linens and surrounded by wooden chairs with X-backs – which were further adorned with fresh roses at the head table. Centerpieces were vibrant with blossoms in cream, pink, lavender, and baby blue, and each guest’s place setting was decorated with a circular menu featuring a floral motif, a scalloped shell charger plate, blush-toned drinkware, and a single pink rose. 

In lieu of a wedding speech, the father of the bride wrote a letter. “I will never forget the letter her father wrote to Victoria that was handed out at our reception,” remembers Jake, adding that each guest received the “note from dad” along with a small piece of nautical rope special to the family that was mentioned in the letter. “It was the best part of the night,” smiles the bride. He also had his words etched into glass and encased the rest of the rope in a custom marble piece made of lapis lazuli that the couple now has displayed in their home as a forever reminder of the bride’s father and their special day. 

To prepare for the dancing portion of the evening, Victoria changed into a lace minidress with a detachable overskirt and sleeves. The couple planned for a diverse lineup of music and entertainment all night long, and attendees celebrated on the dance floor showcasing a pink floral border and palm-motif monogram in the center, beneath a stunning ring of vibrant flowers and shimmering disco balls. An impressive firework show over the ocean capped off the party of a lifetime. “Everything exceeded our expectations,” confirms the groom of the pair’s dream wedding in their special place.

This real wedding was originally published in the Winter 2024 issue of Inside Weddings magazine. 

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