Olympic sprinter Shaunae Miller wanted to find a unique and empowering way to celebrate the eight members of her bridal party before her wedding. After an interesting planning journey, the future bride settled on a professional swimsuit shoot in the Bahamas, where she was born and raised.
“All of my ladies are fit,” Miller tells The Knot in an exclusive interview. “And I thought it would be a great way to show the strength of women.”
Indeed, Miller’s bridesmaids are all professional-grade athletes. Some are world champions and others, like the bride, are Olympians. “We’re from different countries,” she explains. “Shauntae Miller, Katrina Seymour, and myself are all from the Bahamas. Akela Jones is from Barbados and Natoya Goule is from Jamaica. Tiffany Townsend, Tiffany Harris, Jessica Beard, and Kamaria Brown are all from the United States of America.”
“The suits were originally purchased for my bachelorette party last October,” Miller continues. However, the group’s original plan to party in Puerto Rico was foiled due to Hurricane Matthew.
They made lemonade instead. “I figured it would be best for us to do a shoot with the swimsuits,” says the bride, who opted for a white one-piece design by Glen Riley and Rudolph Brown. Her bridal party, meanwhile, sported coordinating black swimsuits from Boohoo.
Miller—who won gold in the 400 meters event at the 2016 Rio Olympics—also saw the shoot as a great opportunity to spotlight her home country of The Bahamas, “the best in the world,” she proudly notes. “When I brought up the idea to my photographer, he loved it and picked out the perfect beach for us.”
The meaning behind Miller’s crown also held significance. “I believe that all women are queens. And what is a queen without her crown?” she muses. “I knew it would give the photos the perfect touch.”
With the exception of her sister, Miller met the other members of her bridal party while competing through the years. “I started competing when I was 5,” says the newlyweds, now 22. “My bridesmaids mean the world to me, and I love each of them dearly. I’m so happy that each of these ladies was able to share my special day with me.”
Her photographer, Stanley Babb of Stan Lo Photography, says the easy, breezy shoot took place on February 1, the week of the wedding.
“There were zero challenges,” he tells The Knot. “The vision for the shoot was to express the strength of women in relation to the beautiful islands of the Bahamas… From the first camera click, I knew these photos would be something special. I just told them to have lots of fun and they did just that!”