Fate Brought Houston Couple Together

Won Dream Wedding In Acklins, Bahamas

It was a chance meeting at a gas station in Houston, Texas that LaShaundra Coleman saw her soul mate Roderick Dowell, owner of a transportation company, for the second time.

LaShaundra said that “when she first saw this “very attractive” man, she was in a relationship and decided not to speak to him at that time”.

Months later, the then-single LaShaundra, who was hanging out with some of her friends, stopped at a gas station across town in Houston. She looked to her right and in amazement there he was again, this time sitting in a car right next to her.

She yelled out to him, “Hey boy come over here, and sure enough, he walked over and that night was the beginning of our 14-year relationship,” she said.

“If you let him tell you the story, he would say it was fate that brought us together,” says LaShaundra, an accountant and finance officer.

On LaShaundra’s 21st birthday, Roderick proposed.  The Texas natives who had never travelled outside of their state decided on having a destination wedding.

“After hearing such great reviews from family and friends about The Bahamas’ beautiful beaches, friendly people and amazing food,” we decided on The Bahamas,” she said.

While searching the internet, “we came across The Bahamas Ministry of Tourism’s (BMOT) I6 Islands 16 Weddings One Priceless Day contest, and entered.  We thought it was the perfect opportunity”, she said.

The couple is one of 16 lucky couples in the USA, who won a complimentary dream wedding on any of 16 islands in The Bahamas’ 700 islands chain.  All 16 weddings will take place on 16 different islands on January 16, 2015 at 16:00 hours.

More than three thousand, newly engaged couples entered the unique social media contest, which showcased The Islands of The Bahamas as the premier destination for romance, weddings and honeymoons, and also highlighted the diversity, beauty, charm, characters, flavors and cultures of each of the 16 Bahama Islands.  The islands featured included Acklins, Crooked Island, Abaco, Andros, The Berry Islands, Bimini, Cat Island, Eleuthera, Exuma, Harbour Island, Grand Bahama, Inagua, Long Island, Nassau, Paradise Island and San Salvador.

LaShaunda and Roderick’s wedding ceremony, under the theme “Golden Grove Romance” will take place at the quaint Acklins Island Lodge, a hilltop five-room, 12 sleeper cottages that offer panaromic ocean views. 

One of the most preserved, secluded and southeastern islands in The Bahamas, Acklins is also home to numerous sites of the Lucayan Indians, the original inhabitants of The Bahamas. One of the site which sits along Pompey Bay Beach and thought to be one of the largest Lucayan Indian settlements was recently unearthed by archeologists of National Geographic Society.

Why Acklins? LaShaundra said she and her fiancé “heard that if they were looking for a private and secluded getaway, that the island was the place to be.

This is the main reason why we choose to get married there. We want to be able to take in and enjoy all the island has to offer,” she said.

So excited to be marrying on the island, she said “it will be the first of many vacations and we can’t wait to indulge in the environment and enjoy the surrounding beaches.”

Among the many gifts the couples will receive are:  round-trip airline tickets from Texas to The Bahamas, complete with beautiful four nights hotel accommodations and meals for four, cash rewards for the couples offered by MasterCard®, elegant wedding rings created by Steven Singer Jewelers, complimentary tuxedo provided by 1888mytuxes and Mon Cheri bridal gown designed by David Tutera and Sophia Tolli.

Contest Partners included MasterCard®, 1888mytuxes.com, Mon Cheri, Steven Singer Jewelers, John Bull and hotels  Acklins Island Lodge, Atlantis Resort, Hope Town Harbour Lodge, Carriearl Boutique Hotel, Resorts World Bimini, Pigeon Cay Beach Club, Tranquility on The Bay, Pineapple Fields, Valentines Resort & Marina, Sandals Resorts, Grand Lucayan, Island Ocean Villas, Kamalamae Cay, Hilton Hotel and Riding Rock Inn.