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After a Ceremony at The Pink Library on Harbour Island, Guests Hopped to Eleuthera For The Reception

By Elle Cashin | Photography by 

Heather Waraksa

|Planning by 

Little Island Design and Angie Montoya

When mutual friends first introduced Emilie Dodge and Duncan Logie at a West Village watering hole, “Duncan only stayed a little while,” Emilie remembers. “I think he might’ve been a bit scared of me.” But then, he invited her to his annual Christmas party. “Now, we continue to host it together every year!” Six years later, also around Christmastime, Duncan proposed via seaplane. 

The bride’s family has had a home on Harbour Island in the Bahamas since she was a child, and she spent her early twenties living on the island as a local school teacher. The couple knew it would make the perfect wedding destination—but they wanted to do things their own way. Instead of choosing the popular pink sand beach for the ceremony, Emilie landed on hosting their wedding at the “infamously overgrown and overlooked ‘pink library,’” she shares. “When I shared this idea with friends and family on the island, everyone thought I was crazy. But as a designer, I loved the idea of picking a location that would be unexpected.” For the reception, guests would depart Harbour Island for the neighboring island of Eleuthera.

To bring her vision to life, she turned to two local partners who not only influenced her wedding, but her career. “So much of my aesthetic as a designer has been inspired by the incredible eye of Ben Simmons and the work of his wife Charlotte, the owners of [boutique hotel] The Ocean View Club, where my family grew up staying before we built our home,” Emilie says, adding that planning was a group effort. “I designed all the decor and managed all outside vendors and goods; Charlotte [and her company], Little Island Design, led the charge on food, beverage, event production and planning around the logistical nightmares that came with splitting our wedding between two islands.” Angie Montoya—a planner based in Cartagena, Colombia, whom Emilie had met while on her bachelorette party—provided additional support.

The aesthetic? “Old-world 1940s Cuba,” Emilie answers. “The look was tropical, but with an element of nostalgia; plus, the theme allowed for drama—and when it comes to design, I love drama!” Wedding invitations by illustrator Cassandre Montoriol set the tone with details that foreshadowed the decor. Photographer Heather Waraksa and videographer Mark Brown captured every special moment. 

The weekend began with a fashion-forward rehearsal dinner at Ben and Charlotte’s hotel. “I worked with Francesca Miranda, a designer from Colombia, to create a custom dramatic red dress that felt glamorous and appropriate for the theme of the weekend,” Emilie says.

For the wedding day, Emilie went to who she thought of as synonymous with big dresses—Monique Lhuillier. Together with the team, she created a semi-custom look. “I selected the silhouette from an existing gown, chose a lace with subtle coral and hibiscus detailing as a nod to the islands, custom colored it with beige undertones to give it that ‘old world’ feel, and added a few extra feet to the train—because why not?!” the bride explains. On the day-of, Grace Fong completed Emilie’s look with glam natural beauty. 

“Duncan tried his best to outshine me,” Emilie says. “He went for his 007 Bond moment and had a fully custom white tux by Brioni. For the groomsmen, we designed custom green tux jackets with paisley lining to nod to Duncan’s Scottish heritage.” The look said “Black tie, island style.”

On April 8, 2022, Charlotte and the Little Island Design team decorated the library with locally foraged florals and orchids imported from Nassau. “For the ceremony design, I emphasized the natural colors of the environment,” Emilie says. “I layered in even more pink to the library through bougainvillea plucked from my backyard and made custom green cushions for the benches through my good friend’s company, Indigo by Boutin, to reflect the leaves of the large banyan tree overhead. We later gifted the cushions for guests to take home as throw pillows, which felt appropriate given my love for colorful interiors.”

After “I do,” the newlyweds and their guests joined in a brass band procession that led them down to the docks, where they boarded boats for Eleuthera. “We took guests to The Other Side, Ben and Charlotte’s labor of love, a farm-to-table luxury ‘tented safari’ oasis they’ve built on the neighboring island,” Emilie explains.

The space was similarly filled with flourishing orchids. “I wanted it to feel like being transported back in time to 1940s Cuba,” the bride describes. “To fulfill this vision, I flew in a 12-piece band from New York, Sound Society, with emphasis on the horn section; created custom De Gournay wallpapered backdrops behind the stage and bars; and covered the tables with orchids in chinoiserie vases, vintage candles, and more bougainvillea from my backyard. We painted the dance floor a checkered blue and white, and the menus were designed to match the scheme.” Filet mignon was served alongside the catch of the day, and local celebrity Jay-Jay Percentie entertained as emcee. 

One of the bride’s favorite moments of the night was when the band played “Proud Mary,” right after she revealed her second fashion look. “I jumped onstage, and fireworks started going off in perfect rhythm with the song,” Emilie recalls. “My goal was to keep the energy high and keep my guests guessing, so after the band finished, I led everyone into a secret disco safari tent with DJ Adam Brandt to close the night.” 

The next day, there was even more entertainment when the newlyweds hosted a beach party back at their reception venue. To this, Emilie donned a colorful one-of-kind dress from British designer Nina Morris. “Nassau-based sax player Gardner Stewart stole the show,” Emilie says. “It was arguably the best part of the whole weekend—apart from marrying my husband, of course!”