Winners Reveal Their Unique Proposals in Nassau, The Abacos and The Exumas

Love is certainly in the air for three lucky couples, who recently won the incredible opportunity to propose to their loved one in The Bahamas as part of The Bahamas Ministry of Tourism and Aviation (BMOTA) romantic "Say Yes" contest. Each couple enjoyed a luxurious, romantic three-night stay in The Bahamas ahead of Valentine’s Day.

The winners, Raul Ponce and Mary Cabrero of Houston, Texas; Heath Daigle and Dejah Vaughn of Panama City Beach, Florida and Jeff Simon and Heidi Ginter of Marlborough, Massachusetts were selected from more than 300 U.S couples in the social media competition. Consumers can follow their journeys on The Bahamas Facebook page, and using the hashtags #sayyesinthebahamas #shesaidyes.  

“These surprise marriage proposals occurred between January 18th and 30th and were executed to perfection in Nassau, The Abacos and The Exumas,” said Freda Malcolm, Director of Romance, BMOTA. “The Bahamas are one of the most romantic places in the world, boasting a myriad of spectacular settings to begin a life together.”

The BMOTA planned each proposal -- with input from each future groom -- and incorporated authentic Bahamian experiences in some of the islands most exotic and romantic locations. Paparazzi Proposals captured the proposal moments on video, which will be shared on and on The Bahamas’ social channels, to inspire others planning their next romantic getaway.

Ponce of Houston, who had purchased Cabrero’s engagement ring and had been carefully planning his proposal for some time, said he was completely blown away with the proposal experience in The Bahamas, saying it was “executed with precision, and exceeded my greatest expectations.” The engagement took place at the recently-opened Grand Hyatt Baha Mar in Nassau.  

According to Ponce, he had invited Cabrero to watch a beachfront wedding ceremony that was already in progress. The couple then took a slow walk to the resort’s fire-lit pool, where a letter for her awaited on the table draped in candles, rose petals and champagne. 

“We are still in disbelief and amazed to be gifted with such a wonderful opportunity by The Bahamas,” said Cabrero. “This magical and beautiful experience made possible by the friendly people of The Bahamas, is an unforgettable experience we will forever treasure.” 

The luxurious accommodation at the exclusive Lumina Pointe Resort in George Town, Exuma was the perfect spot for Floridians, Heath Daigle and Dejah Vaughn. The couple was more than deserving, having recently lost their home in St. Thomas to Hurricane Maria. They traveled to Puerto Rico for safety, which was then hit hard by Hurricane Irma, forcing them to flea with just the clothes on their back to Florida with their three children. Known for its crystal-clear turquoise waters and home of the world’s famous swimming pigs, Exuma was the perfect romantic spot for the avid sea-loving couple. 

The proposal was carefully orchestrated around Exuma’s scenic sandbar. The couple took a romantic stroll along its path, which had been lined with torches to a private dining table outfitted with flowers and champagne.

“The opportunity and experience that was made available to us by “Say Yes” and The Bahamas was a once in a lifetime, life-changing experience,” said Daigle. “I am so grateful for the love and care that was shown in helping me give Dejah her dream proposal, and an experience what we will both never forget.

Dejah and I will forever remember this experience and the amazing people that helped to make it happen […] And oh, yeah – she said ‘yes!’”

Abaco’s simple but nostalgic old-world charm, warm hospitality, colonial architecture and laid-back lifestyle influenced Massachusetts-native Jeff Simon’s proposal to Heidi Ginter. The rustic design of the columned porch at Hope Town Harbour Lodge was ideal for the couple’s proposal. Nestled by lush gardens, and overlooking Abaco’s harbor and historic candy-striped lighthouse, the patio deck was surrounded by candles and lanterns, adding to the romantic ambience.

“Our engagement in The Bahamas was truly the experience of a lifetime,” said Simon. “This was our first visit to The Bahamas, and we fell in love with the incredible blue waters, the lush tropical landscape, and of course, the warm and welcoming people. 

The proposal experience was exciting and wonderful in every way thanks to the amazing people at The Bahamas Ministry of Tourism and Paparazzi Proposals. We cannot imagine a better place to begin the next stage of our life together and will be back again soon.”

The Islands of The Bahamas have received numerous nominations and awards from the Romance sector and was, in 2015 awarded the World’s Leading Wedding Destination.

To view all three “Say Yes’ proposals, visit:

Media Contact: D. Earnestine Moxyz | 954-236-9292 |

Weber Shandwick | Public Relations |