As Cayman Island locals, Pamela Furniss and Leslie Harvey had access to everything they needed for a luxury elopement in Grand Cayman – from a pristine tropical setting to a roster of talented wedding professionals. The couple’s love story began at bar towards the end of 2009, when Pamela had the rare Cayman Island experience of meeting someone new.
“Part of the magic of living and growing up on a small island is that you usually know everyone, either by face or name,” she describes. “So when my roommate introduced us, I was very surprised, and pleasantly so, to meet Les for the first time. I was instantly drawn to him, finding him both handsome and intriguing. He exuded a suave confidence coupled with intelligent conversation and a wicked sense of humor. I was hooked. From that moment on, it was important for me that Les be a part of my life. There was just something so special about him. Luckily for me, he felt the same way.”
ON THIS EVENING, THE FOOD TASTED MORE DELICIOUS, THE MUSIC SOUNDED MORE HARMONIOUS, AND THE FEELING OF LOVE WAS MORE AWE-INSPIRING.
Nine years later, Les surprised Pamela with a romantic proposal on the beach. With the Cayman Islands being known as the gastronomic capital of the Caribbean, the two foodies enjoy experiencing the best of its culinary offerings on a regular basis. On the night of the proposal, Les had arranged for a tasting menu dinner at Avecita, located in the Kimpton Seafire Resort, followed by a walk down Seven Mile Beach. Pamela thought nothing of it. After dinner, the couple meandered down the beach to a secluded section of the shoreline when the sky suddenly erupted with a colorful display of fireworks. Les got down on one knee and popped the question, successfully pulling off the perfect engagement.
“Originally, we planned to do a destination wedding in Switzerland with family and close friends,” Pamela shares, “but like so many others betrothed during 2020, plans had to be postponed. For a birthday gift, Les organized a trip to NYC for me to go wedding dress shopping with my mom and girlfriends. Around the time we should have been flouncing around bridal boutiques in whimsical gowns with champagne in hand, the Cayman Islands were closing its borders to travel.
The Covid-19 pandemic was real and if Les and I wanted to get married in 2020, we were going to have to plan around it. We opted to have an intimate ceremony with just the two of us, rather than risking the health of our loved ones or postponing for another year. We had to be resourceful to find the right dress and I was lucky enough to work with Nicola Glover Horton – a VIP Client Sales Specialist at Monique Lhuillier who made the entire process of choosing a dress online feel luxurious in spite of the circumstances.”
Planning a luxury elopement in the Cayman Islands began with Pamela and her future sister-in-law Lori, owner of The Cake Studio Cayman, going over photos and potential color palettes. Fifteen minutes later, a mood board and overall vision had been created, and appointments were scheduled with vendors.
“The somewhat overwhelming emotions of anxiety and uncertainty associated with planning a ‘Covid wedding’ quickly turned to excitement and joy,” Pamela adds. “No longer would this event be associated with the pandemic but rather categorized as a ‘Luxury Elopement.’ A few days later, Lori and I met with Mary Ann Mehigan, Wedding Planner, and Jo-Anne Brown, the CEO and Chief Designer at Celebrations Group Ltd to finalize the details and secure the vendors. The theme was flowers and we wanted them everywhere!
For the wedding venue we rented Sun Serenity, a beach house in Rum Point. The house is located on the side of the island that is sparsely populated with secluded beaches and lush greenery, allowing for nature to lend to the wedding décor. We wanted the flower arrangements to highlight and embrace the beautiful backdrop of the Caribbean Sea. As the breathtaking photos by Jenna Leigh Photography will show, Celebrations and the Cayman Cake Studio managed to turn our vision into a work of art.”
Pamela and Leslie’s luxury elopement began with a leisurely morning and early lunch, since the ceremony was scheduled for 4 p.m. Without a wedding party and guests to tend to, they had the chance to enjoy each moment together and take in every detail that was completely personalized and tailored to them.
“As the day turned into evening, everything transformed from bright and vivid to twinkly and romantic,” says Pamela. “Les and I enjoyed a divine three-course meal prepared by Chef Remy and danced the evening away to soft melodies performed by saxophonist, Denys Carbo. The perfectly prepared beef tenderloin paired phenomenally with one of our favorite wines, Caymus Special Select. On this evening, the food tasted more delicious, the music sounded more harmonious, and the feeling of love was more awe-inspiring. Truly a day to remember.”