Crystal-clear blue water, warm sunshine, and powder-white sand. Few destinations compare to a Grand Cayman wedding, which is exactly why this lovely couple knew immediately where they would tie the knot. When they first contacted me about photographing their big weekend, they seemed surprised when I answered with a resounding “Absolutely!” I was ecstatic about the opportunity to document such a special day for such a wonderful couple – at one of the most beautiful locations on the planet!
Planning a Destination Wedding
Before their wedding day, we took some time to get to know each other. First, we grabbed some coffee for a cozy get-to-know-you meeting. I heard about their sweet love story, their expectations for their wedding day, and what they hoped to get out of their wedding photography. We clicked immediately. I couldn’t wait to get started!
To begin, we scheduled a winter engagement session. I was so glad they opted for this because we were able to get to know each other even more. They could also warm up in front of the camera. Plus, an engagement session allows us to capture the full story from beginning to end with a cohesive photography style. I love that their engagement session was winter-themed while their wedding was held beneath sunny skies – this is their unique story!
The get-to-know-you meeting and engagement session provided all the time we needed to secure the details for their Grand Cayman wedding. We planned the schedule and location while the Ritz Carlton Grand Cayman Island took care of all the other wedding day details. Easiest planning ever! (This is why I highly recommend Grand Cayman weddings to couples who want exceptional wedding experiences with very little work).
Ritz Carlton Weddings on Grand Cayman Island
A little more about the venue: The Ritz Carlton Grand Cayman has a prime spot on the breathtaking Seven Mile Beach. Many couples choose this resort because of its acclaimed service and reputation, unparalleled ocean views and direct beach access. Couples can be sure that everything will exceed their expectations. Plans will be in place even before they arrive – all they have to do is sit back, relax, and enjoy every moment.
The Ritz Carlton Grand Cayman has many venue options to accommodate any wedding: formal dining and ballrooms, landscaped lawns, an open-air terrace, the Harbour Pool Club, and of course, the Caribbean’s most magical beach. That being said, the Ritz Carlton accommodates guest counts from 2 to 1200. You can’t get more customizable than that!
As another added bonus, you don’t have to research vendors. The Ritz Carlton has a full catering team, a wedding advisor and day-of wedding concierge, an in-house florist, and anything else you might need. All you have to find is an (ahem) destination wedding photographer – which I am happy to help with!
Read on to hear about this couple’s real wedding day with me as their photographer.
Lily and John’s Experience with Susan Shek Photography
“Selecting a venue is a feat on its own. However, selecting a photographer you can connect with and feel comfortable with is similar to picking a partner in crime. When my husband and I planned our Grand Cayman destination wedding, the one thing I knew for certain was I couldn’t just settle for any photographer on the island; I knew I needed to hire the BEST and that we did.
Susan’s professionalism was what initially drew me towards her. Upon our first meeting, Susan greeted us at the comfort of her own home. We expected it to quick and short. But, it was neither or. We immediately felt a connection with Susan. I expected an encounter of no more than 30 minutes was nearly 2 hours. I knew we just had to book her.
We told her we were hoping it would snow for our engagement shoot. Susan wanted to make it happen for us, so she was constantly eyeing the weather. Though it didn’t snow (due to my busy schedule), we still moved forward with the engagement shoot in the dead of winter, and Susan was beyond incredible! She endured nearly 2 blistering hours in the frigid weather with us. She efficiently snapped away while guiding and directing us to produce photos I never knew could exist!
Not only is Susan an amazing photographer but she’s simply an amazing person at heart.
Why We Loved Working with Susan
1. Because we had our wedding on the Cayman Islands, Susan needed a work permit. And without any hesitation or complaints, Susan went out of her way to complete the paperwork. She made sure she could be there for our big day.
2. We had our wedding at the Ritz-Carlton, and we had quite a few rooms blocked as our wedding was relatively large in my opinion (85 guest). My husband and I insisted that Susan book a room at the Ritz with our discounted code. However, Susan refused to take away a room from our family. She booked at another hotel at a lower cost because she was being mindful of our wedding cost! (Most people would have taken advantage!)
Fast forward to the week of our wedding. Susan, her husband, and Fernando (our videographer!) traveled to the island early to capture clips for our video and to stake out the best places to take pictures on our wedding day. . . who does that?! I am in awe of her commitment and loyalty to all her couples!
On our wedding day, I was nervous not because I was marrying the love of my life but because Susan was going to capture my ugly cries. But somehow, Susan captured every beautiful moment and, yes, even my ugly crying face looked beautiful! The amount of amazing pictures captured was unbelievably impressive. As I sift through the photos every now and then, I still can’t believe Susan was able to capture those moments for us!
Videography. . . I didn’t care for this initially, but my husband wanted it. Susan knew instantly who could make our wedding day look like a fairytale – Fernando! After spending countless hours looking up videos, there was one thing I knew I truly wanted for our wedding video: a cinematic wedding video. Funny thing is, I never once expressed this to Susan, but I FULLY trusted her expertise and skills. Our wedding video was exactly what I envisioned! Captivating, emotional, and CINEMATIC!!! John and I, cannot express just how grateful we are for all that you did for us!
I am beyond happy not just to find an amazing photographer but to gain an extra friend who I consider family! Thank you so much!!!”
Ready to leave your worries behind and say, “I do” in the Cayman Islands? Let’s get started! Send me a message!
This wedding was also featured in Carats and Cake.