A year ago, we told you the story of Bobby and Patrice Chen’s amazing wedding. Just one week before their wedding date, the Chens had to redirect their ceremony, guests, and iconic first dance from another venue to the place they were meant to get married all along: Sandals Grande St. Lucian.
Immediately after the wedding, the Chens said, “We’re in awe. We can’t believe how Sandals made our dream wedding come true when we hadn’t even planned to be there.” Although Bobby and Patrice didn’t know it at the time, their wedding would be just the first in a series of realized dreams.
A little background about the Chens’ wedding …
Actually, their favorite photo pretty much says it all! The intimate moment captured at sunset is now a centerpiece in the Chens’ Bahamas home. In it, Bobby and Patrice are at total peace in front of the Over-the-Water Chapel at Sandals Grande St. Lucian. The joy they are feeling is as real as the sunset behind them.
“After everything that happened,” Patrice said after the wedding, “we feel indebted to the Sandals staff. They seemed to enjoy our wedding as much as we did.”
For the next 12 months, she and Bobby continued to gush appreciation for the people who pulled everything together: the perfect flower arrangements, the perfect music, the perfect fireworks show over the Caribbean Sea, and the perfect pictures that remind them of … perfection.
As any bride knows, this is no small accomplishment. Patrice had been dreaming about her perfect wedding since she was a little girl. Remember that fact because the imagination of a little girl is a recurring theme in the Chens’ story…
When their wedding celebration and honeymoon ended, Bobby and Patrice boarded a flight home and began to talk about making a return trip to Sandals Grande St. Lucian. And that’s just what they did. During their one-year Sandals anniversary trip, they relived moments from the best week of their lives. They stayed in the same quiet Rondoval suite a few steps from the powdery-soft island sand. They soaked in the same garden-framed jacuzzi. They felt the same chills whenever the same wonder hit them: “We’re a forever couple in paradise.”
The Chens even re-enacted their photoshoot at the Over-the-Water Chapel where they were married. The mountains are behind them. The water is beneath them. The happiness is practically lifting them off the boardwalk.
But there’s more to the re-enacted photos than meets the eye — literally more. Look closely. Is that a … bump? Could there be three Chens in the new pictures?
“Patrice is due with a baby daughter in July,” Bobby says with the same bliss he expressed when Patrice became his wife. “We’re going to name our girl Dior because we wanted a D-name in honor of Patrice’s father.”
He points out that the name is also synonymous with “class and quality” — fitting for the destination of their wedding, their one-year anniversary, and what we now know was their celebratory babymoon.
“Bobby and I have made a pledge to visit a Sandals every year,” Patrice says. “It’s going to be part of our family tradition.”
The trips will be like sequels to a fairytale, always reflecting on the best of the past while relishing in the creation of new and brighter chapters. On this most recent trip to Sandals Grande St. Lucian, for all the moments Bobby and Patrice recreated (morning beach walks, snorkeling hand-in-hand over barrel sponges and clownfish), some moments were decidedly different.
Patrice indulged in virgin mango mojitos – a new favorite - instead of her beloved gin and tonics. They enjoyed candlelight dinners for two rather than for the party of 24 that had traveled to attend their wedding.
“We know things will be different soon,” Patrice says, “but Sandals will always have a place in our hearts — all of our hearts.”
Bobby and Patrice are already looking ahead to when Dior can join them on a family trip. It will be to one of the family-friendly Beaches Resorts.
“I can already imagine it,” Bobby says. And so can we …
He and Patrice are walking along the beach and looking down at Dior’s little footprints next to theirs. They’re ordering mango smoothies in the pool and dancing with Elmo and Cookie Monster at the Sesame Street parade at Beaches.
And there will be pictures – lots of pictures – special enough to hang alongside Bobby and Patrice’s cherished photos of their amazing wedding at Sandals.
To listen to the Chens’ story, from wedding to babymoon, make sure to tune into the Sandals Palmcast Episode 17 - A Real Love Story– A Spotlight on The Chens’!