"Every relationship needs a solid foundation and when your place is ‘water and sand' you need an anchor to hold it all together." We couldn't have said it better than our first Itz'ana bride, Tracy Park, did!
On January 17, 2018, Tracy's now-husband, Marty Smith, proposed to her at Itz'ana right in front of their still-being-built Beach Villa. Chef Dean and the team had prepared a casual lunch on the beach for the couple so they could tour and mark the progress on the construction of their home. Marty, who had been carrying the ring on him wherever he went just waiting for the perfect meaningful moment, took Tracy's hand after lunch and led her down the beach, asking her to envision their future together there. Apparently, she could, as she said ‘yes!' and their anchor in the water and sand of Placencia was set.
In planning the wedding week, it was important to the couple that their friends and family be shown the uniqueness of Belize and provided the opportunity to fall in love with Placencia the way they had. Marty and Tracy went to the airport repeatedly, welcoming each and every one of their guests as they arrived in the country. A welcome bag embroidered with "Belize It!" was waiting for each friend and family member in their hotel room, with some of the couple's favourite locally produced treats- Marie Sharps hot sauce, Traveller's Caribbean Rum and a copy of The Placencia Breeze newspaper. Everyone was given a thermal cup with their name on it (an environmentally friendly and very practical gift!) and beer koozies customized with their wedding details as a souvenir of the week. They had even sourced a local Belizean entrepreneur who makes bracelets out of recycled plastic bags to design a bracelet for every one of their guests with an explanation of what each of the colours meant to the artist himself.
In a week filled with island expeditions to both King Lewey and Moho Caye, beach BBQ's, rum tastings, pool parties, fishing tournaments, spa days, dining and dancing, it was mission accomplished! Tracy's daughter and Maid of Honor, Katie, even thanked them during her speech for showing her the country and exposing her to the "beautiful people of Belize".
The ceremony itself was held on the beach directly in front of the Itz'ana Greathouse. A seagrape tree to the north and a cocoplum tree to the south created a natural arbour and provided shade for their guests. Tracy walked down an aisle made of palm trees that had just sprouted from their coconuts holding a bouquet made from tropical flowers, all found on the Itz'ana property- wild red and pink Ginger, white Frangipanis and yellow Allamanda. The Groom, Groomsmen and Bridesmaid were all shades of the Caribbean waters.
"One of the most monumental things in life is when you meet someone who truly completes you", was how their officiant and friend, Richard Villanueva of Placencia, commenced the proceedings. Representing new birth and good fortunate, seashells were provided to each guest and Mr. Villaneuva invited everyone to place theirs in a vase to signify their support of the couple's union and the intertwindness of their lives going forward. Though neither the Bride or Groom had shared their vows with each other prior to the ceremony, both individually ended their statement of commitment by quoting Train, "Forever isn't long enough for us". White beach balls flew through the air as the couple danced to Crazy Little Thing Called Love and made their way down the aisle as husband and wife!
Being our cherished Itz'ana brand ambassador, Marty introduced their four-course wedding meal, which was done in our signature Limilia Beach Dinner style, commending Chef Dean for his "flexibility and creativity being off the charts". The couple's first dance took place in the pool shallows where the whole wedding party jumped in after- fully clothed! White glow sticks and the market lights reflecting the blue of the pool made a beautiful reception setting, endearingly called "Itz'Marty Time!".
One of our favourite moments from the week was when the couple threw a wine bottle overboard on one of their boat trips. Filled with messages of hope for their life together from their friends and family, we certainly hope it makes its way back to them someday! Until then, the couple has now set off on their travels across the United States in their new mobile home. You can follow The Adventures of Mr. & Mrs. Smith at www.martyandtracy.com and you can see a short video of their wedding day on the Itz'ana You Tube Channel.
On behalf of the entire Itz'ana Family, we wish you a lifetime of happiness, Marty & Tracy, thank you for being our very first Bride and Groom!