Shantoura & Nathan
A decade-long friendship that led to a day of love, romance and the breathtaking beauty of Curaçao.
The notion that love can find us in the most unexpected of places is certainly true for Shantoura and Nathan who met fatefully at their company’s gym. Upon their first meeting, the pair kept things strictly professional. But from the outside looking in, there was no doubt that a spark — and plenty of good-hearted banter — existed between the two.
According to Shantoura, “This guy would be hogging all the gym equipment! That’s how I met him. We would often talk in the gym, in that context, and then had a strictly professional friendship at work.”
Despite their fast-growing friendship, romance wasn’t in the cards for Shantoura and Nathan just yet. Over the next decade, Shantoura would briefly move with the company from Atlanta to California and back to Atlanta.
As one of the first weddings at Sandals Royal Curaçao, these newlyweds take us on a journey from love is patient to love is paradise.
Upon Shantoura’s return, the two picked up right where they left off, getting to know each other for a few more years until Nathan finally popped the question in the comfort of their home!
From there, the wedding planning began and first on the to-do list was finding a venue and destination. Shantoura and Nathan never stayed at a Sandals Resort prior to their wedding weekend, so they leaned into advice from friends who had spoken highly of their own experiences.
“The harder decision was where do we go?” recalled Nathan.
“Shantoura found two or three places. Barbados was one. Curaçao came up, and Saint Lucia. But she kept going back to Curaçao.”
Located in the Southern Caribbean, Curaçao is rich in natural beauty and features desert landscapes with rocky coastlines carved along azure waters. The vibrant-colored city of Willemstad, the island’s capital, serves as an epicenter for Dutch, English, Latin American, Asian, and Afro-Caribbean cultures. A testament to the profound melting pot that is Curaçao, “I love you” is often heard across the island in four languages, including Curaçao’s native language, Papiamentu — making this the perfect destination wedding locale.
“For me, there was also curiosity in what they were developing through the Sandals brand,” said Shantoura. “Bringing development to that island is huge. I wanted to support that and I’m so glad we did.”
With wedding planning top of mind, the couple wanted to ensure they had a trusted team that could bring their vision to life — even when they were thousands of miles away.
“We wanted a destination where there were people who were really well-versed at taking care of an event because when you’re at home, you can’t detach,” said Shantoura. “Sandals just naturally bubbled up to the top.”
To say the weekend — from the welcome party to the reception — was one of magic and celebration, and so much love, only begins to scratch the surface.
When the big day finally arrived, Shantoura and Nathan exchanged vows beneath a whimsical, oceanfront wedding structure, surrounded by 12 of their closest friends. Afterwards, the real celebrations began as guests mingled over cocktails, delighted in culinary creations by the resort’s world-class chefs, and danced among the glow of bistro lights and sparklers.
One highlight for the couple was when their friends brought in a soul train line and everyone broke out their favorite junior high school dance moves. “I was laughing, busting my gut, dancing,” laughed Shantoura.
When asked what advice they would give couples planning a destination wedding at Sandals Resorts, the answer came naturally: “You have one moment with your bride or groom — enjoy that. Live it up. Be in the moment. Be with your friends. When you focus on the memories you make, it’s a different experience.