Lana Newell and Mark Voisin are finalists in the Bahamas 16 Weddings online voting contest.
“We got engaged four years ago, when we were working as teachers in New Zealand,” said Newell, who grew up in Truro and now lives in Bedford. “We thought we would wait until we got back to get married but then we didn’t get full time work so didn’t make any concrete plans.”
When Newell, who now runs her own dog walking business, heard about the contest, she quickly looked into the details. Entrants were required to choose one of the many islands in the area, tell why they chose the island and describe how they would incorporate features of the island into their wedding.
“We chose an Exuma island, which is very serene and surrounded by water,” said Newell. “We scuba dive and kayak so we love the water.
“What really tipped it for me is that there are wild pigs you can swim with on one island and they’re very friendly.”
She researched flowers, food and music of the island and decided if they won they would incorporate coconut palms, Royal Poinciana flowers, calypso music and soca dancing to their wedding.
Twenty couples were chosen as finalists but one is no longer involved. There will be 16 winning couples, who will be married on 16 different islands Nov. 16.
Airfare and accommodation will be provided for the winning couples, along with two other members of each wedding party.
“This is very exciting and we really appreciate any support,” said Newell.
Newell and Voisin are the only Nova Scotians in the semifinals. Voting can be done every 24 hours at http://www.bahamas16weddings.com . The contest closes June 10 and winners will be announced on June 16.