We share a lot with our siblings; the same genetic pool, a home, and lunch snacks, but can you imagine sharing a wedding date? That was the reality for sisters, Malorie and Maddison Welch from Alabama in the United States of America on November 21, 2022, when they both tied the knot in picturesque wedding ceremonies just one hour apart at the beautiful Sandals South Coast.
Maddison and her partner, Evan Farlow, who she’s known since the fifth grade, got engaged in July 2020. This was just months ahead of her sister Malorie, whose partner Matt Bechkam popped the big question in November after a four-year courtship.
While waiting for COVID to pass and pouring over ideas for their respective weddings, the sisters became intrigued by Sandals Resorts.
“Our mom and stepdad had gone to Sandals Royal Bahamian for their honeymoon and when we started looking into it we noticed that they [Sandals] had the all-inclusive concept and that the wedding was included, so we thought, ‘Why not?’” said Maddison.
“Also, after having a two-year engagement it was time to get things going,” Malorie added.
The sisters noted that after looking at what all the different islands and Sandals resorts had to offer, they came to the conclusion that Sandals South Coast encompassed a lot of the things they were looking at for their group – the nightlife, the scenery and of course they were completely sold on the idea of walking down the glass isle in the resort’s beautifully appointed Over-The-Water Chapel; one of four within Sandals® resorts.
“We also appreciated the topography of the island [Jamaica] more,” said Maddison.
Opting for a formal, black-tie theme, both sisters and their partners said their ‘I dos’ in Sandals South Coast’s Over-The-Water Chapel, witnessed by their family and close, mutual friends. They then proceeded to the resort’s grand ballroom for a combined reception.
The sisters explained that they both decided on a neutral colour theme as the island itself was so colorful they didn’t want to compete with that.
“We wanted the natural beauty of our location to shine through,” said Malorie as she instinctively reached for her phone and pulled up the first glimpse of their wedding photos, and indeed it was simply stunning.
Malorie admits that they were actually skeptical about the plans at first, only because she wanted the more traditional wedding and for her and her partner to have their own time.
“We were thankful that Sandals allowed us to have our own individual ceremonies and then come together to party for the reception,” she said.
Both couples also raved about their Sandals South Coast wedding planners and how they flawlessly executed the logistics on the day, even with both brides participating in each other’s wedding ceremonies.
“You can only plan so much back in the States, but when you come here, that’s really when everything comes together,” said Maddison. “We had to depend solely on pictures from online at first, but coming here the team exceeded all our expectations.”
Weddings Manager, Valecia Galbraith and Assistant Wedding Events Manager, Rita Johnson both agreed that while they had planned a combined wedding for friends before, this was their first time planning a combined wedding for sisters and that it was certainly a thrill.
From an exquisite rehearsal dinner and private rum and games event to an exclusive catamaran cruise for their group of 48, personalized butler service and palatial accommodations in the resort’s impeccably re-imagined Dutch Village and Rondovals, both couples believe that their decision to have a combined destination wedding and their chosen location of Sandals South Coast in Jamaica was the best choice and certainly one that delivered in every way.
“We were probably going to end up getting married the same year and with planning separate weddings it would have been difficult to be there for each other, so having the same goal helped a lot in bringing us together,” said Malorie.
She also explained that the decision wasn’t just for the couples.
“We really couldn’t think of a time when we would be in a different country, furthermore an island, with our friends and family at the same time,” she said.
And as the saying goes ‘nothing soothes the soul quite like a lickle island breeze’.
“This trip really improved our family dynamics and everyone left on good terms, so this getaway helped with that side of things too,” Maddison admitted.
Sandals offers customizable destination weddings in a wide variety of exotic Caribbean venues that are truly unique and inspiring; from Over-The-Water Wedding Chapels that feature stunning 360-degree, panoramic water views and a glass floor aisle to Over-The-Water and Oceanfront Gazebos and Garden Gazebos and European Wedding Gardens that create an elegant, sophisticated backdrop of manicured lawns and serene pools.
Couples also get their destination wedding included with stays of three nights and over at any Sandals® Resort.