The superstitious couples who were not ready yet last year when the calendar showed the magic date 06-06-06 may have felt they had a better deal on the 7th day of the 7th month this year, believing the triple appearance of the lucky number seven would not only be easy to remember but also bring luck.
On this wonderful first Saturday in July many people around the Caribbean planned important events, like the 35 brides and grooms that chose Curacao to get married. Luckily for them, it’s possible nowadays to perform a marriage service outside the common wedding room of the city hall. That’s why many well-dressed guests in tuxedo and high heels could be seen pacing through the shifting sand of Curacao’s intimate beaches and bays, some in between the sunbathing tourists who could enjoy a free, surprise fashion show.
Maikel and Sandra van Dijk, a Dutch couple accompanied by thirty guests from Holland, kept the time in the sand down to a minimum. After the official ceremony at Kontiki Beach they boarded the catamaran Pelican and set sail for a sunset cruise. That two hours of sailing had a personal touch to the grandfather of the groom, Jan Feenstra, who used to be a pilot in the Curacao waters in the early seventies and became the harbour master a couple of years later. Celebrating the wedding of his grandson on the same spot was the ultimate experience for the 70 + former seaman. His daughter, Annemiek van Esveld-Feenstra, a well known Sunfish sailor on the island, took care of the sightseeing during the tour.
The Pelican crossed Spanish Waters where the birds giving their name to the boat could be admired and photographed live in the mangroves. She brought the partying guests out at sea through the narrow channel in front of Barbara Beach, where the building of the new Hyatt hotel has just started. She sailed along Caracas bay where the quarantine building is still on the top of the hill and back to Kontiki Beach where champagne awaited family and friends.
The phenomenon of marrying on the Caribbean Islands, with receptions on the water, has become a great trend for people from Western Europe and the US—and good for the islands’ economies these days. It also has an extra advantage for the bridal couple: they simply send their guests back home and stay for the honeymoon! (Of course the freshly-married, lucky couple van Dijk skipped Friday the thirteenth for the homeward journey!)