Witcher weds Swanson in Bermuda ceremony

Wednesday, August 8, 2012
Mr. and Mrs. Jordan Thomas Swanson

In a June 23rd sunset ceremony on Honeymoon Beach at Bermuda's Grotto Bay Beach Resort, Dr. Lisa Ann Witcher, younger daughter of Mr. and Mrs. James Wayne Witcher of Bella Vista, Ark., became the bride of Mr. Jordan Thomas Swanson, son of Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Ervin Swanson of Elkhart, Ind. Dr. Witcher is the granddaughter of the late Dr. and Mrs. Lloyd Rolufs of Eureka Springs.

In addition to the parents of the bridal couple, wedding guests included Mr. and Mrs. Robert (Julie Witcher) Wessen of Mt. Pleasant, S.C.; Mr. and Mrs. Michael (Staci Swanson) Goede of Springfield, Va.; Mrs. Derek (Holly Swanson) Conley of Elkhart, Ind.; and Mr. and Mrs. J. P. Miller of Cincinnati, Ohio.

Pastor Dean Smith of Hamilton Parish officiated the double-ring ceremony, held on a private beach setting that fronted the ocean and was otherwise surrounded by lush tropical greenery and flowers. A white linen runner led to a four-poster arbor draped in voile and greenery and accented by floral arrangements of blue hydrangeas and white English roses. The runner was strewn with cedar saplings, as is customary in Bermuda, to symbolize the bride and groom's growing love. Music for the wedding was provided by a steel pan player.

The matron of honor was Mrs. Julie Wessen, sister of the bride. Mrs. Wessen wore a knee-length, capri blue cotton sateen dress that featured a Y neck and skirt pleating. Carrying a bouquet of pale blue hydrangeas, white English roses, and white calla lilies, she was attended by best man Mr. J. P. Miller, friend of the groom. Mr. Miller wore a tan suit and light blue shirt that coordinated with the matron of honor.

Mr. Witcher escorted his daughter down the aisle to a steel pan version of "What a Wonderful World." The bride wore a Paloma Blanca gown of champagne colored Dupioni silk. The strapless bodice featured white Alencon fitted lace with scallops along the neckline. The gown was ruched and draped at the empire. The back of the fit and flare skirt was adorned with silk covered buttons to the hemline and along the chapel train. She carried a hand-tied bouquet of mid-blue hydrangeas, with white freesias, calla lilies, and English roses. Mr. Swanson wore a custom made tan suit with a blue pinstripe and an open collar blue dress shirt. His boutonniere featured a calla lily accented with a blue satin ribbon.

Representing the tradition of "something old," the bride wore a jeweled brooch in her hair belonging to her Godmother, a great-aunt on her maternal side. For "something new" she wore a pearl bracelet given to her by her father and a crucifix pinned inside of her dress next to her heart, a gift from her mother-in-law. The bride "borrowed" from her mother an heirloom ivory handkerchief with edges crocheted by her maternal grandmother. "Blue" was represented by the bride's choice of the featured hydrangeas and her blue satin shoes. Following the ceremony and introduction of the newly wed Mr. and Mrs. Swanson, the bridal party and guests made their way to the Bay Terrace for a cocktail hour. Guests enjoyed champagne and hors d'oeuvres of fresh salmon tartar served in baby sesame cones, savory barbecue-glazed mini meatballs, skewers of apple wood smoked bacon-wrapped blue point scallops, and ricotta spinach spanakopitas. The highboy tables were covered in floor-length white linen and topped with blue hydrangea water arrangements. Music was provided by the pan player.

The wedding dinner, featuring an open menu, was served in a private dining room at the resort. The King's Table was dressed in floor-length white linen and steel blue runners that set the stage for silver rimmed glass chargers accented with lilac napkins and white dendrobium floral blossoms. The center piece, which covered the length of the table, consisted of alternating trough vessels and fluted hurricane vases filled with shells, coral, and floating candles along with blue hydrangeas and white frangipani flowers. The two-tiered, four-layered wedding cake featured two layers of vanilla cake filled with delicate white chocolate and two layers of lemon cake laced with fresh raspberries. The cake was iced with white chocolate buttercream frosting and delicate flowers.

Upon their arrival to the resort, each of the ladies was welcomed with an L.L.Bean monogrammed beach bag and a personalized beach towel from Pottery Barn, gifts from the bride and her mother. The bags also contained a special letter of welcome from the bride and groom, itineraries, and an assortment of specialty snacks.

On Friday evening all enjoyed a surf and turf buffet on the Bay Terrace. The groom's parents presented each couple with boxes of Sea Salt Caramels and Sea Turtle Chocolates from the South Bend (Ind.) Chocolate Company. The box fronts featured the names of the bride and groom and their wedding date. The bride and groom presented their gifts to their matron of honor and best man. Mrs. Wessen received a Tiffany's Diamonds by the Yard bracelet; Mr. Miller was given a custom Tom James tailored dress shirt.

Mrs. Witcher pampered the women with spa treatments throughout the weekend. The morning of the wedding, Mr. Witcher treated the men to 18 holes of golf at the Tucker's Point Club. The groom hosted a deep sea fishing trip for the men on Sunday. In addition to the open menu, the resort prepared tuna caught on the trip, both sashimi and grilled, for Sunday evening's meal.

In mid-March Dr. Witcher was honored at a bridal luncheon in Leawood, Kan., and in mid-May she and several dear friends celebrated a bridal getaway in Charleston, S.C.

Following an extended stay in Bermuda, the Swansons returned to Kansas City, Mo., where the groom is a large group sales executive with Humana Inc., in Overland Park, Kan. The bride is a certified forensic examiner. She is employed by the Missouri Department of Mental Health, Division of Comprehensive Psychiatric Services at the Center for Behavioral Medicine and is an adjunct faculty member at Rockhurst University in Kansas City, Mo.