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It Was A Dark 'N Stormy® Wedding

Updated: Jul 12, 2022

But first, the rest of the story . . .

A fun benefit to dressing so many mothers of the bride and groom are the families we meet and the stories they share. We learn about fascinating wedding venues throughout the country and overseas, are in awe of the creativity and detail that goes into the planning, and we love the varied and wonderful family histories. This season in particular has been extraordinary so we wanted to share one we’re sure you’ll enjoy.

Catherine Regehr aqua laser cut gown

Recently, we dressed a favorite customer for her daughter’s marriage into the legacy rum family, Gosling Brothers Ltd. of Bermuda. Their famous

Dark ’n Stormy® is one of only four cocktails in history ever granted an international trademark. Though its heritage is Bermudian, the story of this rum company goes way back to the early 1800’s in England. Originally a wines and spirits merchant in London, it was William Gosling’s son James who ventured to America in 1806, but his ship the Mercury fell short of its goal after 91 days at sea and ended up in St. George’s, Bermuda. A fortuitous turn of events. James was enchanted by what he saw on the island (The Rock) and set up shop. By 1860 the Goslings were importing barrels of rum distillate, which they then refined into a blend that today is still their secret recipe—Goslings Black Seal Rum.

Goslings Black Seal Rum and Ginger Beer

In the beginning, customers came and filled their own bottles right from the barrels. But in 1914, with the start of WWI, there were plenty of empty champagne bottles at the Royal Navy Officer’s Club, so the Goslings began filling those and capping them with black sealing wax, thus Black Seal Rum. It remains today one of the world’s premier dark rums.

So how did the cocktail evolve? The story goes that the Royal Navy also favored ginger beer, perhaps for its stomach soothing qualities, and reportedly had their own factory. Someone, somehow joined Goslings Black Seal Rum and ginger beer together—what you might call an “Ah ha!” moment. The name came a little later, allegedly from a sailor declaring the drink “the color of a cloud only a fool or dead man would sail under.” And so the Dark ’n Stormy® embarked on its journey of fame. It was even a recent clue on Jeopardy!

But enough about history, on to the drink! This cocktail is the perfect refresher to beat the heat of summer. A proper, and official, Dark ’n Stormy® is made with a float of Goslings Black Seal Rum over ginger beer on ice. It has a crisp yet smooth note of spice and caramel that is pure pleasure. And be advised, to call this cocktail by its name with any other rum is actually illegal.

Wedding at The Colony Hotel, Palm Beach, Fl. Photo by Jessica Bordner
Wedding photo by Jessica Bordner

The Shelly/Gosling wedding included a nod to the Bermudian legacy with Dark ’n Stormy’s served aboard the rehearsal dinner yacht down the Intracoastal. And at the wedding itself, the groom and all the groomsmen donned Bermuda shorts. How cute is that? Another fascinating family story and beautiful wedding we were thrilled to play a small part in. Cheers to Lee and Malcolm!


Goslings Dark 'n Stormy cocktail
My personal Dark 'n Stormy at Hillstone in Winter Park, Fl.
  • 6 oz. Goslings Stormy Ginger Beer

  • 2 oz. Goslings Black Seal Rum

  • Lime wedge (optional)

Into a tall glass filled with ice, pour the ginger beer and load the rum on top. Stir until it looks like a storm cloud.

To learn more about Gosling Brothers Rum go to

Wedding photos - Jessica Bordner

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Welcome to our nina raynor blog!  We will post from time to time, but this isn't going to be just about fashion or the store.  It will include lifestyle pieces too - maybe a new restaurant we discovered, or a recipe, or maybe trends in hairstyles or home decor ideas.  It is a potpourri of items we come across that we enjoyed, and think maybe you will too!  

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