Real Wedding: Matt and Courtney
Matt and Courtney host an All-Star Wedding Weekend at Sandals Emerald Bay
Long before Matt and Courtney’ real wedding took place, the couple realized the person they were meant to be with was, quite literally, in front of them from the very beginning. Growing up in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, the two walked the halls of the same high school. They knew of one another, but their lives never had a reason to intertwine.
It wasn’t until one Thanksgiving break, away from the stress of college finals that Matt and his friends ended up at the same local bar as Courtney.
Matt asked Courtney out shortly after, marking the start of their relationship. Looking back now, they still wonder why their paths hadn’t crossed before.
“We realized our childhood homes were just minutes away from each other and we even stood next to each other in our fifth grade concert performance!” recalled Courtney.
As fate would have it, the friendship-turned-romance unfolded with ease. On July 22, 2017, Matt and Courtney vowed yes to forever in Great Exuma, The Bahamas.
Surrounded by 50 of their closest family members and friends, Matt and Courtney welcomed them all with a full schedule of exciting activities and adventurous island explorations that made their real wedding day unforgettable.
A Welcome Bonfire Beginning: A Night Beneath the Stars and a Path to Forever
A blanket of stars set the evening scene as Courtney and Matt gathered with everyone for a cozy bonfire collective. Crisp local beers, the glow of string lights and an assortment of hand-rolled cigars, bound in C&M-monogrammed wrappers, all added a bit of magic to the evening of this real wedding.
As the night carried on, the group roasted marshmallows in true s’mores-making fashion and shared stories over the sound of nearby waves.
Romance Continues at the Rehearsal Dinner: Inspired by the Tropics
The following evening called for a tropical-themed rehearsal dinner, with local fare to immerse guests in the island lifestyle. With the help of the Sandals Wedding Event Team, the couple secured the perfect location—a crystal pool, encircled by palms.
Bursts of fuchsia bougainvillea and hearty banana leaves set the bar scene as guests sipped on drinks, blended with citrus-infused vodka and Appleton® Estate Rum. Bright hues carried through to all of the real wedding tables and woven bark vases, each filled with birds-of-paradise, ginger lilies and pink King Protea, surrounded by bamboo placemats and sparkling wine glasses.
Even the plated options were presented with exotic touches, as the 5-Star Global Gourmet™ team worked Caribbean flavors into each dish across their wedding menu. The true dining highlight was the grilled snapper fillet, served with island spice vegetables.
Between the aroma of Bahamian cuisine and the setting sun in the background, the couple’s pre-wedding celebration offered all of the best island vibes.
The Grand Finale, The Real Wedding Day:A Moment to Remember
Waking up to bright sunlight, a gentle Caribbean breeze and her real-life fairytale the morning of, Courtney slipped into her dress and thought about the day ahead. Just before she made her way to the aisle, Courtney broke away from tradition and shared a heartfelt first look with her father. It was a memorable moment for both as they celebrated the close bond they’ve always shared.
To get to the real wedding ceremony, guests took part in an exclusive golf cart parade, whizzing across the Emerald Bay Resort to the breathtaking, championship golf course. Upon arrival, there was no denying that a bit of magic was definitely stirring in the air as turquoise water and baby blue skies painted the landscape. “Looking out to the entire ocean from basically all sides. It allowed for the most magnificent pictures!”
Classic ivory, soft lavender and muted blush made up the floral arrangements, while the immediate family dressed in shades of shimmering silver and light grey—all playing well against the blue and emerald setting.
As the sun slipped away into the ocean, the sounds of the island began to emerge. A traditional Junkanoo band paraded onto the beach in a flutter of brilliant electric yellow and turquoise costumes.
See the magic of Matt and Courtney’s Real Wedding Below: