Miami Couple Wins Dream Wedding In Bimini, Bahamas
PLANTATION, Florida … For years, Cristina Gaston “had always dreamed of getting married in The Bahamas but, never in a million years thought that this dream would become a reality,” she said. For Cristina - it has.
Her dream wedding will take place in Bimini, Bahamas at 16:00 hours on January 16, 2015, thanks to The Bahamas Ministry of Tourism’s (BMOT) unique social media contest aptly named ’16 Weddings, 16 Islands, One Priceless Day” promotion.
The contest, launched on February 14, 2014 for USA residents resulted in more than three thousand entries and gave 16 lucky, newly engaged couples the opportunity to have a complimentary dream wedding on any of 16 islands in The Bahamas’, 700 islands chain. All 16 weddings will take place at 16:00 hours on January 16, 2015.
The contest also showcased The Islands of The Bahamas as the premier destination for romance, weddings and honeymoons and highlighted the diversity, beauty, charm, characters, flavors and cultures of each of the 16 Bahama Islands.
Thanks to the terrific partners of the BMOT, the couples will receive many, many gifts. Prizes include round-trip airline tickets complete with beautiful and luxurious four nights hotel accommodations and meals for four, to cash rewards for the couples offered by MasterCard® to the elegant wedding rings created by Steven Singer Jewelers, to the 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, hotels Green Turtle Club, Acklins Island Lodge, Tiamo Resort, 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, Gems of Paradise, Hilton Hotel, Atlantis Resort and Riding Rock Inn.
The priceless wedding experiences are expected to take place on Acklins, Crooked Island, Abaco, Andros, The Berry Island, Bimini, Cat Island, Eleuthera, Exuma, Harbour Island, Grand Bahama, Inagua, Long Island, Nassau, Paradise Island and San Salvador, Bahamas.
An islander by heart and descendant of Cuba, Cristina has always been fascinated by The Bahamas’ beautiful beaches, crystal clear waters and island tranquility. Her favorite vacation spot has always been The Bahamas, a place she had visited many times before, and wanted to have as her destination for her special wedding day.
The account executive met her fiancé, Rudy Leschhorn, an advertising producer at the same workplace, an advertising agency in Miami, Florida. The two dated for a year before Cristina was transferred to another state.
While they parted their ways as a couple, they remained friends always ensuring that they stayed in touch with each other. Over the years the two who each, loved and vacationed in The Bahamas would send each other “messages from the sand”, a tradition they kept, when separated from each other.
“Blown away and captivated by Cristina’s contagious spirit, warm smile and genuine big heart,” Rudy said he “quickly rekindled their romance and knew right away that he wanted to make Cristina his wife, when she relocated to his Miami-based office, in 2010”.
Sharing similar backgrounds, in education, food taste, fashion styles and culture - Rudy’s family hails from Puerto Rico and like Cristina; he too, enjoys island life and vacationing in The Bahamas.
In December 2013, while in Grand Bahama, Rudy proposed in the truest, most idyllic and romantic way possible – through a sand message, which simply read “will you marry me?” The message was accompanied by a beautiful diamond ring. Since then, the two have traveled to Bimini, several times, making plans to wed there.
On February 14, 2014, the BMOT launched its unique, social media promotion “16 Weddings, 16 Islands, One Priceless day contest, offering couples the chance to win their complimentary wedding of their dream in The Bahamas. Cristina entered the contest and forgot she did.
When the contest ended in June and she received the telephone call from the BMOT that she and Rudy had won their dream wedding in The Bahamas, she was ecstatic. “It still feels like a dream,” she said.
Since then, the two have been busy preparing for their special wedding day, a beach-side ceremony to be witnessed by 125 family and friends at the beautiful, Bimini World Resort, a new luxurious world-class Resort.
Favored by famed author Ernest Hemmingway, and the place where the late Dr. Martin Luther King penned his “I Have A Dream” speech, Bimini has always been known for its tranquil setting. Located just 50 miles east off the coast of Miami, the hook-shaped island, is famous for its bone-fishing, boating, and mystical attractions including its Fountain of Youth, Healing Hole and discovery of the Lost City of Atlantis.
D. Earnestine Moxyz
Bahamas Ministry of Tourism