WEST END, Grand Bahama Island– On February 13th, a few days shy of the one month anniversary of the Ministry of Tourism’s 16 Islands Wedding campaign, and one day before Valentine’s Day, cupid’s arrow struck the most western point of the Island like a lightning bolt. A most enchanting “Rags to Riches” destination wedding love story for engaged couple, Lenny Piciullo and Deborah Fauset unfolded.
Earlier in the week, the love-birds set sail aboard their 34 foot sailboat for the Virgin Islands, from West Palm Beach, in hopes of having the perfect destination wedding on Valentine’s Day. Shortly after the start of their journey, according to the couple, what started out as the perfect sailing day quickly changed for the worst, forcing the couple’s plans to be altered by Mother Nature. In fear for their lives, a distress call was made to BASRA after strong winds, waves, rain and lightning knocked out navigation. With limited sight and slim hope of survival, after two hours of a frightening sailing experience, the couple’s vessel came to a crashing halt in the safe harbor of Old Bahama Bay Resort, located in the home of hospitality, West End.
Receiving news of the shipwreck, Ministry of Tourism Guest Services unit, joined hands with the community of West End and Old Bahama Bay in seizing the opportunity to bring relief to the distressed couple, who lost all of their belongings during the wreck. The couple was gratified to find that Old Bahama Bay would be their home for the next five nights and that the hotel staff, fellow vacationers and local community members, would be their extended family, assisting them with clothing, transportation and meals. To top the gifts of love, the Ministry of Tourism took the lead in providing the couple with a complimentary destination wedding to be held at the location of the shipwreck, as per the couple’s request.
Rosalyn Pinder, Senior Manager for Weddings at the Ministry of Tourism conveyed hear dearest gratitude to all of the entities that were involved in making this miracle of a wedding, a reality for the bride and groom. Donations in kind were provided to the couple, courtesy of, Old Bahama Bay, West End residents Keith and Linda Cooper who stood as the couple’s Best Man and Maid of Honor, Bishop Woodside who officiated the ceremony, Flowerama and Fritz Bridal for the bridal bouquet and Bride’s and Groom’s attire respectively.
Friday, February 13th, 2015 was indeed a dream come true for newlyweds Lenny and Deborah Picuillo who, as if it were destiny, experienced just why Romance is Better in The Bahamas.