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These Grooms Said “I Do” at a Poolside Ceremony on Harbour Island

By Shayna Seid | Photography by 

Keyhole Photo

Andrew Brent Freeman and John “Jack” Haywood McCown, owners of antique and vintage décor shop Atchison Home, met through a chance encounter at a dueling piano bar in Mobile, Alabama. Andy was leaving while Jack was walking in, and they did a double-take as they passed each other. Jack and his friend ended up leaving the bar shortly, and Andy, again, caught his eye from across the street. That was enough for Jack. He sent his friend home in a taxi and introduced himself to Andy in the next bar. After seven years of dating, Andy popped the question with a watch in 2016. “A long while, yes . . . but you must remember that marriage wasn’t even a legal option for us until the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling on June 26, 2015,” Andy says.

The pair knew they wanted to have a destination wedding and took a scouting trip to Harbour Island in The Bahamas. We absolutely loved the island and the friendly people there and were particularly impressed with the casual sophistication and attention to detail shown at The Dunmore, so we knew this was the place!” They enlisted Blair Gewin of Blair Weddings + Events to help plan the weekend.

For the rehearsal dinner, the two worked with Jack’s godmother, who owns East Bay Clothiers, to put together looks that were suitable for the warm beach evenings but not be too beachy. For the wedding, they wanted the dress code to land somewhere on the less formal side of black tie. I wanted to wear a modern, blue suit I had made by Scabal while on a recent trip to London, so we later asked them to make one for Jack in the same fabric. We took a trip to New York for a long weekend to finish out the attire with shoes, shirts, etc. to have a similar look but with differing, yet complementary, ties,” Andy explains. 

Under the pool pavilion with guests looking on from across the water, the grooms met after walking in to an instrumental version of “Into the Mystic” by Van Morrison. Their friend, Spencer Liles, was ordained just for this occasion and crafted a personal and special ceremony. “It was all a little bit of a blur, having the pressure of everyone staring at you, but I do remember looking at Andy and thinking how I was the luckiest man alive to be standing up there next to him and getting to marry him,” says Jack. 

After they said, “I do,” a cocktail hour followed poolside before everyone moved to the clubhouse for dinner. “Because it was a destination wedding, it made me feel closer with everyone who made the journey to come celebrate with us. I remember sitting back while everyone was eating dinner and thinking these are all of my favorite people, and there is so much love around us,” Jack says. 

For entertainment, a traditional Bahamian Junkanoo, a procession of dance, music, and costumes, replaced their first dance—and was also a nod to their hometown Mardi Gras. Then the party moved to the beach for cocktails around a bonfire, closing out an amazing week in the islands.