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edding MR&MRS MONAHAN1AUGUST 26TH 2012

The happy couple’s beachside photoshoot

Wedded Bliss The wonderful wedding of Karl and Nicole Monahan


&

Karl Nicole Monahan, Sunday 26 August 2012

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ontents 16

The Journey

26 At Last

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Get the Look

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With this Ring...

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Just Married

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Bridal Preparation Say Yes to the Dress Get the Look Daddy’s Girl The Journey Here Comes the Boys Let’s get hitched With this Ring...

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The vows At Last Mr & Mrs Just Married Grecian Grace Hotel of Love We ♥ the Details Mother of the Bride

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Love Is... Guest Watch Love at First Bite Guinness Extravaganza Let Them Eat Cake Speech Time Brighton Rocks Guest Messages

64 Party Time 66 Boy Meets Girl 68 Engagement Shoot 70 Hen and Stag Exposed 72 The Honeymoon 76 Always and Forever

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We ♥ the Details

EDITORIAL TEAM

EDITOR Krystle Downie

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CREATIVE DIRECTOR Pauline Downie ART EDITOR Rickardo Watkins PHOTOGRAPER Mick Shah

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Always & Forever

Love at First Bite

SENIOR COPYWRITER Isha Richards CONTACT info@itsmymagazine.com www.itsmymagazine.com itsmymagazine.com | Spring 2013

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NICOLE’S TOP TIP:

Hairspray your face once all the make up is on, it’s going nowhere after that!!!

Bridal party the

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s any self respecting bride-to-be knows, the bridal preparations are an exciting start of the festivities, and often accompanied by the all important glasses of bubbly. Although Nicole opted out of a traditional bridal party, for a long time, bridesmaids wore dresses much like the bride’s gown, while ushers dressed in clothing that was similar to the groom’s attire. This tradition apparently began for protection against evil rather than for uniformity; if bad spirits or jealous suitors attempted to harm the newlyweds, they would be confused as to which two people were the actual bride and groom. Industrious Nicole opted to do her own make up, thereby allowing her to get it just right. She didn’t go into the task blindfolded however, having prepared by undertaking a MAC makeup lesson a few months before, which proved invaluable. “They do the makeup on one half of

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your face, leaving you to complete the other half. I can now carry this skill with me for the rest of my life.” Nicole used a selection of high quality brands, choosing to keep the palette subtle, with caramel and rose overtones. Although happy to be let loose on her own face, the hair was another story, with Nicole choosing to leave it in the hands of the professionals. “I chose Willy from Willy Hendry’s salon in Brighton. He has worked for The Wedding Channel and Italian Vogue to name a few, so I knew I was in good hands. He came down to my room at the Hotel Du Vin and did a great job.” Having travelled down for a few dry runs in advance of the big day, the trials at his salon were vital, allowing Nicole and her stylist to fully plan the look they intended to execute. This ensured there were no last minute surprises, preparing the bride, so she fully knew what to expect. Together they devised a modern take on the traditional chignon updo, tousled yet chic.


Left: Nicole and friends celebrated the upcoming nuptuals in style, bringing out the bubbly and having a laugh as the preparations get underway.

Quite untraditionally we didn’t have any bridesmaids, page boys, flower girls or

maids of honour... Just us!


ydresses Say

to the

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aving imagined her dream day since childhood, Nicole knew what she wanted, and wasn’t afraid to put in the leg work to find it. “I went to many dress shops both in Surrey and London and to be honest they all looked nice, but nothing stood out.” Undeterred the search continued, until a chance recommendation from a close relative pushed her in the right direction. “My auntie had gotten married seven weeks before me and purchased her beautiful dress at Ozone in Brighton and suggested I should go.” It was worth the journey, as a train ride and few buses later, she found the shop. After perusing the aisles, she was in luck, hidden behind a few nondescript numbers, she knew she was onto something when she felt an unfamiliar tingling in the pit of her stomach. “I fell in love with the dress even before I had even put it on. As soon as I tried it, I knew I’d found the one.” The dress in question, or ‘Heidi’ as she is called, is a sleek, sophisticated off-white piece by Sophia Tolli. A very classic silhouette, with a sweet heart neck line, the material is made up of a fine misty tulle with hand beaded lace appliqués over the top. ‘Heidi’ had a long, chapel length train, however Nicole’s elegant and understated tastes compelled her to reduce the length, having it professionally altered, in addition to removing the halterneck that was also a part of the original design. Nicole said yes to the dress and once she tried it on, the rest was history, “I felt amazing, It’s funny to say, but I honestly felt really glam. I felt like a bride.” Sure that Karl would feel the same, she promptly paid up and started on the long trek back to London. itsmymagazine.com | Spring 2013

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Aerin Nude Lipstick Subtle yet flattering shade of dusky pink moisturising lipstick

Beauty

to inspire

MAC, Aerin, Pearlina, Gualilio, Nicole got to grips with her arsenal of lotions and potions, a vast collection any professional would be proud of...

YSL Waterproof mascara Perfect for brides susceptible to possible water works

Gualilio Eyeshadow Caramel and rose tones added a fabulous splash of colour to Nicole’s look

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Pearlina cream blush The perfect shade to add a peachy glow to the blushing bride’s cheeks

MAC Ruby Dynasty Glamourous yet vampish nail colour was selected


Get the look As far as beautiful brides go, Nicole definitely comes top. So how did this ultra glamorous bride-to-be achieve her classically stylish look?

Top left: Pearl effect earrings from Ozone, and also Nicole’s “something borrowed” from her aunt Top right: Real flowers served as Nicole’s sweet yet chic hair accessories Left: Dress is ‘Heidi’ by Sophia Tolli Right: Bouquet handle is comprised of a silver cluster broach and trimmed ribbon Bottom left: Shoes are ‘Jess’ by Rainbow

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he father who “gives away” his daughter at her wedding ceremony is following an ancient tradition that has evolved over hundreds, if not thousands, of years. The custom dates back to the time when a daughter was considered property, and the groom had to pay a price to her family before he could be permitted to marry his intended. Another theory is that it symbolized the transition of authority from the bride’s father to her husband as she moved from the parental home to the conjugal home. Today, many brides follow this custom, but its meaning has emerged as an outward approval of the groom by the parents or family of the bride. Although Karl hadn’t gone down the traditional route and asked her father, Stuart for his daughter’s hand in marriage, Nicole reveals he had already been given the green light; “when my dad was first introduced to Karl at his 60th birthday, only six months into our relationship, he had told Karl he could marry me…. So I guess he was already in credit!”

There’s

My Girl

FIRST LOOK

WHEN I FIRST SAW GAIL WALKING TOWARDS ME I couldn’t believe how beautiful she looked, and I felt like the luckiest man in the world. I’m really delighted to finally be “putting a ring on her finger” and so proud that all the chil;dren could be there to see it.


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Journey The

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ne of the main attractions of Brighton for Karl and Nicole was the fact that everywhere was simply a stone’s (or pebble) throw away from each other. In line with the couple’s eco-friendly affinity, they found that nothing suited them better than a leisurely stroll from destination to destination. “We walked everywhere, we chose everything so close on purpose, the Town Hall was 3 minutes away from the Hotel Du Vin and walking back and forth provided one of the best memories of the day! Karl and Nicole had discovered the Hotel du Vin, Brighton that previous October, and knew immediately that this was the location for their special

day. The major planning was soon underway. “As we run our own business (the Bodyworks Practice) and work most Saturdays,our time was pretty limited, therefore, all of our non work weekends were spent drawing up lists of suppliers and speaking with them over the phone and then eventually whittling those on the initial list down to a shortlist of just a couple and meeting directly with them. We found the process so much easier by drawing up lists of everything and slowly ticking things off as we went. I can honestly say that we weren’t too stressed about the planning because we had to get so much done in advance (work commitments dictated this), leaving only a handful of things to do in the final month.” itsmymagazine.com | Spring 2013

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HERE COME THE BOYS Heidi by Sophia Tolli, classic strapless silhouette with a sweet hear neck line and gorgeous hand beaded lace appliques.

Having met at school as scrappy eight year olds, best man Tony was ready to back up the groom in any way necessary, however his fighting skills were uncalled upon for this happy occasion.

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any centuries ago, before the women’s rights movement, men who had decided upon a wife often had to forcefully take her with him (or kidnap her) if her family did not approve of him. The tradition of a “best man” has its origin with the Germanic Goths, where it was customary and preferable for a man to marry a woman from within his own community. When women came into short supply “locally,” eligible bachelors would have to seek out and capture a bride from a neighboring community. As you might guess, this was not a one-person operation, and so the future bridegroom would be accompanied by a male companion who would help.

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Our custom of the best man is a throwback to that wingman, strong-armed tactic, for, of course the future groom would select only the best man he knew to come along for such an important, and often turbulent task. The role of the best man evolved. By 200 AD his duty was still more than just safeguarding the ring. There remained a real threat that the bride’s family would attempt to obtain her return forcibly, so the best man remained at the groom’s side throughout the marriage ceremony, alert and well-armed. He continued his duties after the ceremony by standing guard as sentry outside the newlywed’s home, so trust was a priority.

Luckily there was no chance of a botched kidnap attempt at Karl and Nicole’s wedding, as the bride had given her full consent. Karl’s best man Tony Northest backed up the groom, providing full support to the nervous groom throughout the day. Nicole remembers first meeting Tony at their local pub upon his return from a two year stint in Australia, “We got on really well and Tony is a great guy. There’s a saying that you can always tell what a man is really like by his best friends and his relationship with his mum, after meeting them both, I knew I was onto a winner.”


Fifty shades of Navy; The stylish groom was impeccably turned out from head to toe. Left; Imperial gel took care of Karl’s hair styling needs. Below; Karl’s timepiece, a classic addition to his signature look

Bottom left; Karl selected timeless brown leather brogues to compliment his navy suit Below; Co-ordinated wedding themed cufflinks completed the ensemble

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arl wore a fully tailored, Bloom Classic three piece suit from Reiss and selected TM Lewin for the fitted shirt, tie and handkerchief. As he spends most of his time in tracksuit bottoms and polo shirts (he is a sports massage therapist after all) wedding shopping was an obvious departure from his usual attire and there were many choices to consider, from the colour, fit, buttons, lapels, two piece/three piece, tails, tie, hat…. the exhaustive list goes on. In the end selecting a fitted multi-purpose suit in a smart, flattering shade of navy, Karl

effortlessly combined comfort and style in an outfit that made him stand out for all the right reasons. Whilst not usually known for being ultra fussy in the fashion stakes, Karl was keen to get the look absolutely right, returning his suit several times to ensure that the fit was spot on. His final choice earned him full brownie points from his bride Nicole, who loved his stylish selection, and appreciated his change of direction. “Karl’s outfit was a big departure from our usual casual dress code at work, so I was all the more impressed that he did such a great job. I‘m very lucky.”

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Letsget

Hitched T

he couple’s deep love and affection was even noted by photographer Mick, “Every wedding is great for the reason that you’re celebrating two people in love, but what really struck me about this wedding was the love and affection between both their families and the ease they interacted together. In fact they were so at ease at times I forgot who was Karl’s mum, dad, sister etc or who was Nicole’s. You really felt this was about not just two people being joined together, but two families.”

Best man Tony could always be counted upon to provide light relief to the groom, and was a natural choice for Karl

Tying the Knot, is an old term for a ritual now being renewed in our weddings today. The term Tie the Knot came from the Renaissance Ceremony called “Handfasting”. ‘Handfast’ and its variations are defined in the Oxford English dictionary as “to make a contract of marriage between (parties) by joining of hands.” This could also be interpreted today as a proposal of marriage for a specific period of time, traditionally a year and a day. A Hand Fasting ceremony is incorporated into formal wedding ceremonies and sometimes undertaken at Engagement Parties.


Proud father of the bride Stuart escorts his daughter down the aisle towards her new life as Mrs Monahan


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‘‘

If I should die this very moment I wouldn’t fear

For I’ve never known completeness Like being here

Wrapped in the warmth of you Loving every breath of you

Still in my heart this moment

‘‘

Or it might burst

Could we stay right here

Until the end of time until the earth stops turning

Wanna love you until the seas run dry I’ve found the one I’ve waited for All this time I’ve loved you

And never known your face

All this time I’ve missed you

And searched this human race Here is true peace

Here my heart knows calm Safe in your soul

Bathed in your sighs

Wanna stay right here Until the end of time

’til the earth stops turning

Gonna love you until the seas run dry I’ve found the one I’ve waited for.

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‘‘

Left; Uncle Mike was chuffed to bear witness to this very special day Below; Everyone was keen to capture the kiss

“Oh my God, Oh my God, Oh my God, this is really going to happen... Wow... Doesn’t she look beautiful!”

-Karl’s first thoughts upon seeing his bride walking towards him.

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L


Last at


Mr and Mrs

Delighted to make it official, Karl and Nicole proudly signed the register for the first time as husband and wife. Welcoming the Monahan’s to married life, and wishing them health, wealth and prosperity.


On this day... The 26th of August was a very special day in history as... 580 - Chinese invents toilet paper 1498 - Michelangelo is commissioned to carve the Pietà. 1791 - John Fitch grants US patent for his working steamboat 1819 – Albert, Prince Consort of the United Kingdom born (d. 1861) 1907 - Houdini escapes from chains underwater at Aquatic Park in 57 seconds 1910 – Mother Teresa, Indian-Macedonian missionary, Nobel Prize laureate born (d. 1997) 1920 – The 19th amendment to United States Constitution takes effect, giving women the right to vote. 1929 - 1st US roller coaster built 1946 - George Orwell published “Animal Farm” 1980 – Macaulay Culkin, American actor born 1994: Man gets world’s first‘bionic’ heart in Britain. 2012 - Whilst Karl and Nicole celebrated their nuptuals, across town in London, “Bridesmaids” actor Chris O’Dowd (32) weds British TV presenter Dawn Porter (33) at an intimate ceremony with family and friends.


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The giddy bride and groom exit the building clasping each other tightly, and ready to face the world as husband and wife


Just Married!! &

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gi n i v lo

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Above: Family and friends join the happy couple for some humorous, quirky shots Left: Delicious cupcakes declaring the couple’s newfound status

amily oriented Karl and Nicole wanted as many of their loved ones with them for their big day, as they enjoyed strong relationships with both their immediate and extended families. “As we had our wedding on the Sunday of the August bank holiday weekend, we asked many of the guests to join us in Brighton for Saturday night as well as the Monday after the wedding, creating a mini beach holiday in the sun, “Ok, not exactly Caribbean weather, but the sun had his hat on for us on the Sunday!” Nicole laughs. Although not Barbados, the sunny English Isles was ideal for the Monahans, as they were able to have their nearest and dearest partake in a beautiful day, two families brought together as one. They wouldn’t have had it any other way. itsmymagazine.com | Spring 2013

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ian Grace

So much in love the couple gaze at each other in awe, Karl’s shades are vital to offset Nicole’s dazzling beauty

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fter the Monahan ceremony which took place within the Regency room at the Brighton town hall, the bridal party then took the very short three minute walk to the Hotel Du Vin on Ship Street en masse. Cheered on by well wishers and members of the public, the couple led the way in the glorious British sunshine.


The couple stayed in the gorgeous honeymoon suite in refined, pastel tones. A freestanding bath added to the atmosphere of indulgent romance and decadence.

LOVE

HOTEL OF

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he magnificent Hotel Du Vin was the venue of choice for both the wedding breakfast and evening reception. The mock Tudor style inn, a hop, skip and a jump away from Brighton’s famous pier, offered the perfect balance between traditional flair and contemporary elegance. Its 49 bedrooms erected, appropriately by a wine merchant on the site of an old inn. Among many interesting features are a heavily carved staircase and bizarre gargoyles, while the original double-height hall now houses the wine bar and Laroche tasting room. The couple chose the perfect venue for a picturesque wedding, within the impressively large and airy Dome room. The Dome room of the Hotel du Vin is such a gorgeous venue, the area didn’t need many changes to transform it into a beautiful setting. This suited Karl and Nicole too a T, and was one of the reasons they chose it over a blank canvas room that required a lot of dressing to make it wedding ready. Spring 2013 | itsmymagazine.com


guests Mingling G

uests were treated to reception drinks and canapes within the sunlit courtyard. Next door, awaiting the party was the wedding breakfast and evening entertainment, in the stunning Dome room. Nicole and Karl had originally planned to head to the Caribbean and stage an intimate, low-key wedding, however with two newborn babies in the immediate family, fate had other plans. “To ensure the ease of convenience for our loved ones, we felt a wedding on home shores would be much more accessible. We decided that a wedding by the sea with all the family was still very possible so chose to celebrate our special day in Brighton.� The vision was to create a laid back, fun and easy going atmosphere, paying homage to the relaxed, welcoming atmosphere of the Caribbean. The couple achieved this by using beach flowers, seashells, coconuts, palm fronds, giant seed pods and of course, Caribbean rum punch. Twinkling tea lights throughout the space and on the tables helped to finish the look, injecting just the right amount of sparkle and pizazz.

The effortlessly elegant Nicole looked radiant as she mingled with her guests. A beautiful mix of family, friends and close work colleagues from throughout the UK all convened to create a joyous atmosphere.


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WE ♥ ♥ THE DETAILS

♥ ♥

The Monahans were keen to incorporate lots of special touches and heartfelt mementos to really reflect their sentimental sides. From handmade stationary to personalised sweetie jars and bespoke cupcakes, the couple went the extra mile to show their love for their guests, and what a great job they made of it all.


From left to right; Handwritten notes, gumballs and childhood photos, the Monahans were keen to embrace their childlike sides, with family ever at the heart of the occasion.

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“My sister is the artist in the family, so she created our bespoke invites for us in the beach theme that ran through the wedding. We ordered our name tags from ‘Count the Kicks’ a charity very dear to our hearts, and one we raise money for, in memory of our beloved niece.” - Nicole The couple’s floral needs were met by Quince, popular florists in the heart of Brighton. The flowers selected for the tables were beach themed – long stemmed, blue delphiniums, with a variety of grasses and exquisite shells. In addition the couple included palm leaves, dried star fish, sand and white and baby blue petals to really set the tables off.

“Quince were absolutely amazing and so creative, designing beautiful themed table decorations and button holes, all of which were completely unique and different, whilst using our chosen colour palettes.”


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Mother of the bride From the first day that we held her and looked into her eyes, we thought we knew the road ahead, but each day brought new surprise. We promised to delight her, with new and wondrous things, but truth be told the delight was ours, each time she spread her wings. We tried to give her freedom, yet shelter her from harm, it would have been so simple, just to keep her safe and warm. But her spirit always boundless, needed room for her to soar, and we watched with awe and pride, as she opened each new door. Now she’s getting married, and my hope is that she’ll find, the kind of joy that we’ve shared since the day I made you mine. I Love You,

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Mum xx Spring 2013 | itsmymagazine.com


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Don’t let your precious memories fade away Commission your very own love story, today

N www.itsmymagazine.com

info@itsmymagazine.com


Left; Fresh faced Nicole looks exhilarated and ready to face life as Mrs Monahan Right; An adoring Karl is ready to face whatever lies ahead with his beautiful soulmate by his side

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n medieval times, the groom would most often pay for the bride’s hand in marriage. Precious stones were often included in this payment as a symbol of his intent to marry. While this practice eventually stopped, the gift of the precious stone as a symbol of intent remains today.

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Love is. . Love is life. And if you miss love, you miss life. -L.Buscaglia Love does not begin and end the way we seem to think it does. Love is a battle, love is a

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From our destiny to a war, throughout the ages many wise philosophers have waxed lyrical about the true meaning of love and what it means to humanity.

war; love is a growing up .-JamesA. Baldwin Love is our true destiny. We do not find the meaning of life by ourselves alone we find it with another. -T. Merton Love is like war: easy to begin but very hard to stop. -H. L. Mencken


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Karl and Nicole’s beautiful guests were working the coral magic. We profile some of the best.

Style file

Left: Jess displays her beautiful silhouette within this vibrant coral Evans dress Right: Effortlessly chic Tash looks summery in this Warehouse number

Get the look Clutch bag from Jane Norman ‘Je t’aime’ gold necklace from BobLovesSue.com

Above; Amber goes for a fitted patterned sheath dress with matching coral sandals

Try this Watch with pink gold feature from Marc Jacobs Shoes; Christian Louboutin, nude

Six months pregnant Laura rocks a Karen Millen coral lace dress and nude pumps from LK Bennett


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YOUR LOVE STORY DESERVES TO BE TOLD: You are one of the

amazingly fortunate few to have found their true soulmate. Now elegantly document your story for generations to come as trust us, the grandkids will want to know.

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NO MEMORY GETS LEFT BEHIND: After all that hard work and planning, once the cake has been eaten and the dress packed away, often your photo album is the only reminder of your gorgeous occasion. Ensure that you capture it all.

HIGHLIGHT YOUR BEAUTIFUL DAY IN THE STYLE IT DESERVES: With stunning images, well written editorial, thick luxurious pages, It’s My Magazine is a stunning accompanyment to any coffee table. Why should the biggest day of your life be relegated to the cupboard, only to be retrieved annually, if at all? Be limited no longer by large cumbersome albums.

REASONS 10 TO CHOOSE

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MORE PICTURES THAN YOU CAN THROW A BOOK AT: Standard photo albums coontain roughly 90 images, however our standard 80 page It’s My Magazine contains roughly 200 well placed images. Many GET THE BEST OF THE BEST: Where photographers are also precious about their else can you get the best journalists photo albums consisting of purely and copy writers and professional their own work. We however photographers, at the click of a welcome any contributions from button? Majestic prose that skilfully weaves guests that you’d like included. your story together, and traditional and As we all know that whilst many quirky photography to bring it to life, we’re huge advocates of creative story telling. Our photographers’ shift ends after the first dance, the beautiful post production editing party never stops will also make your pictures “pop” and really leap out from the page as then, so why miss a piece of art.. it out?

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NO ONE MISSES OUT: Your close friend’s recently emigrated to Australia and can’t attend? Aunty Val too infirm to travel? Worry no longer, they can both be a part of your day AND experience a slice of it too. We can interview or include their greetings without them being there in person and as you can order anything from 10 to 1000 copies, you can send them a copy to cherish too.

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WE DON’T FORGET YOUR LOVED ONES: Many photo albums focus purely on the couple, yet weddings are also so much more. It’s My allows a greater inclusion of family and friends who all help to make your day so special. Optional articles such as GuestWatch and StyleFile will also have you admiring or giggling for years to come.

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TRADITIONAL ALBUMS TELL ONLY 50% OF THE STORY: Imagine your favourite novel reduced to a collection of images. Whilst interesting, it wouldn’t hold anywhere near the depth or convey the true meaning of the author. Same goes for standard photo albums. It’s My Magazine’s well written editorial gets to the parts that cameras can’t reach.

ROMANCE DOES NOT HAVE TO BE BORING: We are strong advocates of a stylish, timeless elegance, however, where appropriate, we strive to inject humour, and fun, providing an entertaining twist on your every day romantic shots.

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You deserve it

Why do we work so hard 24/7 if not to treat ourselves when it really matters? You’ve invested so much financially and timewise, that you need to ensure your day is successfully captured and remembered forever. This is the one day of your life where you can never feel guilty for celebrating life and love, so go ahead and indulge, you’re worth it!

tel: 020 8858 9099 e-mail: info@itsmymagazine.com

I T S M Y


LOVE AT FIRST BITE

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or the couple whose love of good food is legendary, the best part of the planning process was the selection of the edibles, cake tasting, menu sampling, wine sipping, and cocktail slurping. Having decided to go against the grain, by choosing cocktails instead of champagne for their reception drinks, there was never a more compelling reason to get it right, so bottoms up as they say! For the morning meal, guests were treated to a delectable three course menu consisting of a selection of salamis, chicken satay and pickles for starters, slow-roasted lamb, potatoes and vegetables for the main, followed by what Nicole describes as “the most amazing chocolate torte ever…” for dessert. Gourmet canapes and nibbles were served in the evening, including the quintessentially British mainstay fish and chips, superbly wrapped in miniature cones. “It’s Brighton. We’re by the sea. There was only going to be one choice in our minds when it came to our selection,” Nicole joked, a lifelong fan of the nation’s customary dish. It gave the lovebirds an overwhelming sense of delight and satisfaction to see everyone happily enjoying the exquisite food and sharing in their momentous occasion.

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Guınness xtravaganza E Granny’s

Ingredients Serves 12-14

250ml (9fl oz) Guinness 250g (9oz) unsalted butter 80g (3oz) cocoa powder 400g (14oz) caster sugar 2 eggs 1 tsp vanilla essence 140ml (5fl oz) buttermilk 280g (10oz) plain flour 2 tsp bicarbonate of soda ½ tsp baking powder 50g (1¾oz) unsalted butter, softened 300g (10½oz) icing sugar 125g (4½oz) full-fat cream cheese (such as Philadelphia) Cocoa powder, for dusting (optional) one 23cm (9in) diameter spring-form cake tin

Method

1. Preheat the oven to 170°C (325°F)/gas mark 3, then line the base of the tin with baking parchment. 2. Pour the Guinness into a saucepan, add the butter and gently heat until it has melted. Remove the pan from the heat and stir the cocoa powder and sugar into the warm liquid. Mix together the eggs, vanilla essence and buttermilk by hand in a jug or bowl, and then add this to the mixture. 3. Sift together the remaining sponge ingredients into a large bowl or into the bowl of a freestanding electric mixer. Using the mixer with the paddle attachment or a hand-held electric whisk, set on a low speed, pour in the contents of the pan. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and continue to mix thoroughly until all the ingredients are incorporated. 4. Pour the batter into the prepared cake

They say the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach, and in this instance, it may just be true. Rich, dark and chocolatey, and Karl’s absolute favourite, his grandmother’s infamous Guinness cake hits all the right places. Whilst an unusual cake ingredient, Guinness actually gives the sponge extra depth and helps to keep it moist., take it from Granny. tin and bake for approximately 45 minutes or until the sponge bounces back when lightly pressed and a skewer inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean. Set aside to cool, and then remove from the tin on to a wire rack, making sure the cake is cold to the touch before you frost it. 5. Using the electric whisk or the freestanding mixer with paddle attachment, mix the butter and icing sugar together until there are no large lumps of butter and it is fully combined with the sugar in a sandy mixture. Add the cream cheese and mix in a low speed, then increase the speed to medium and beat until the frosting is light and fluffy. 6. Place the cooled cake on to a plate or cake card and top generously with the cream cheese frosting. The cake can be decorated with a light dusting of cocoa powder.


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Let them

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ot being a fan of traditional wedding cakes, Karl and Nicole preferred something a little more imaginative, with a slightly quirky twist. Selecting a delicious range of individual beach themed cupcakes by Sada at Flutterby Bakery, each creation had its own decoration, from flip flops and starfish to beach huts. The brainchild of Sada Ray, Flutterby Bakery was established in 2009. As a youngster, Sada discovered that her unique mixture of butter, sugar, eggs and flour made people around her very happy and has been beating away ever since. Flutterby Bakery are also strong advocates that the tastiest cakes deserve the best ingredients, therefore they only use locally sourced free-range eggs, fairtrade sugar and organic butter. Interesting yet little known fact; originally, the wedding cake was not eaten by, but thrown at the bride! It developed as one of the many fertility traditions surrounding a wedding. Wheat too, is traditionally a symbol of fruitfulness and was among the earliest grains (predating rice) to be ceremoniously showered on the bride and groom. In its earliest

origins, the unmarried young women in attendance were expected to scramble for the grains to ensure their own betrothals, much as they do today for the bridal bouquet. Early Roman bakers, we are told, changed the “throw it” to the “eat it” tradition. These bakers were distinguished and respected in their trades. Somewhere around 100 BCE, they began taking the wedding wheat and creating small, sweet cakes with it; which were eaten while the service was in progress. In medieval England the tradition broadened to include the practice of washing down the cakes with special ale called “bryd ealu,” translated as “bride’s ale,” words that eventually became the word “bridal.”

became more affordable in Europe and by no coincidence, later in that century, its use with wedding cakes became so common. The whole wonderment of the white cake was driven mostly by the purity and virgin state that white stuff often symbolizes, but iced wedding cakes were iced for practical reasons as well. The most refined sugar was the most highly valued and it was also the whitest, so you showed off your wealth by getting the whitest of white icings. When bakers started to stack cake layers, the icing had to be very solid in order to hold the cake together and keep it from collapsing in an era when there was no refrigeration or air conditioning to help fight off the heat. The four delicious flavours chosen by Karl and Nicole included; SUGAR, SUGAR - Raspberry and Chambord Early layered wedding cakes were actually - Lemon iced in lard which was scraped off just - Elderflower and lime before the cake was served. As sugar - White chocolate and passionfruit became more affordable, it was blended Each selection had a heavenly coulis filling, with the lard to make it more palatable, adding depth and texture to the cake. and the icing could be left on when the Leading glamour puss Marie Antoinette cake was served. was a big fan and advocate of the sweet Only in the 19th century did sugar stuff, so who are we to refuse! itsmymagazine.com | Spring 2013

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love

The look of

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Speeches – from embarrassing childhood tales to shameful adult shenanigans the couple didn’t know what to expect...

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icole was surprised when her dad took to the microphone to kick off proceedings. Usually quite reserved, and not a man of many words, he had those who knew him spellbound as he proudly addressed the room. “It was lovely seeing him stood there. I was so proud of him,” Nicole beams, with an indication that the memory will be etched in her mind for a very long time. Husband Karl followed on from his father-in-law with some humorous banter, but also used this chance to solemnly reflect on a recent family tragedy. In a blink of the eye, Nicole’s expression went from elation to unmistakable sorrow. “We devastatingly lost our baby niece 18 months before and Karl thanked her for all she has taught us, which brought most people in the room to tears,” Nicole shares, her tone stricken with sadness. Karl’s calm and humble character along with his natural

ability to acknowledge the positives in the most heart-wrenching situations is exactly why Nicole loves him so much. She can always rely on him to make her smile even through the difficult times. His speech undoubtedly touched her heart and all of those present with them. Best man Tony, who Nicole remembered was a nervous wreck, took centre stage after the groom’s poignant tribute. “He was so sweet. He didn’t want to drink before his speech. He wanted to keep himself as sober as possible…” That plan soon went out the window when Tony was coaxed into breaking his ludicrous pact and having a few glasses of wine. “My brother-in-law turned to him half an hour before and said ‘you can’t do a speech sober!’ and I think that really broke the ice,” Nicole laughs.

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From iconic tourist attractions to beachfront cool, Brighton is a treasure trove of things to do and places to go. Vibrant, colourful and unique, Brighton offers the energy of the city and freedom of the sea and was the perfect dream destination for the husband and wife to be. Impressive local landmarks range from the stunning heritage of the Royal Pavilion, Regency architecture and Victorian aquariums, to the seaside fun of Brighton Pier. The Brighton Wheel and the famous pebble beach, where where the lucky couple enjoyed a romantic photo shoot are also must see places to visit in the seaside town.

Rocks BRIGHTON


is rs ion or u o is fav dec able ll, g t a din , the por sm e d r we task ing ig o l, th e re is ng asy eth t, b enta . Th mo oo e som ee im ess he o Ch t an en g sw sent ndl all t tw We ther no twe thin or be e de ned ic. “ f o ds be me ous an ma cer clin ds o on as so ivol es c was con lth loa alm be rage fr oic on s it hea ave ated to ou to ch cisi lt a f a o h co try enc nted be de fficu rs o nt t gar we and wa uld e di ne wa r su s, as ble lso wo d th reen e ow dn’t s, o ble ssi e a hat en G icol di eet e ta s po s. W ng t the ture N nd, sw th y a her ethi In inia with he e hey on alth n ot om oo.” r m es in t d t t he at i se s ul t fo olat led ” an oun e . th oo ingf pted hoc uck et! ‘C l th dly ch ean e o s c e b swe the h al arte m upl lack “w ing n to hic ehe co d B ting eth tio y, w hol an mit som ona arit d w ad ith a d ’ ch rte w ade icks ppo m e K s su th est gu

Wish you were

here Your kisses are like candy Nicole and Karl share a sweet romantic embrace on the shore front of Brighton Beach

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2 Nile Street Brighton BN1 1HW Tel: 01273 227 004 hello@quincebrighton.com


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WALKINGin SUNSHINE N

icole and Karl certainly know how to have fun. In amongst the heart warming and touching moments of the day, they were still able to have a relaxed, enjoyable session on the shoreline, despite the somewhat cooler temperatures of Brighton beach.


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he Bodyworks story begins back in 2008 with Karl and Nicole (that’s us). We are two therapists with a sense of adventure, having worked and studied all over the world including Australia, the States, Belize and Mexico. We both have a great passion for good, honest healthcare and decided to set up Twist Bodyworks in Sutton. Not a panel beaters or car garage, as many of our first telephone enquiries suggested! But a two room therapy centre within Twist Gym (hence the name!).

GROWING TOGETHER

After a very enjoyable and successful first year we wanted to spread our wings and challenge ourselves a little more. So, at the beginning of a recession we decided to move two miles up the road to my old home town, Nork in Banstead, where we currently run The Bodyworks Practice and where we do not get any car related enquiries.

THE FUTURE IS BRIGHT

The team has grown with the move, from five therapists at Twist, to 14 therapists now working at the Practice in Banstead. But our values remain the same - Placing the patient’s health and wellbeing as our highest priority, understanding that all clients are individuals and that they require individual treatments.”

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LOVE KISSES... BEAUTIFUL MESSAGES OF LOVE TO KARL & NICOLE FROM GUESTS BOTH ABSENT AND PRESENT To my beautiful daughter and new son, may your marriage continue to be wonderful with love in abundance. Never go to sleep on an argument, and remember Karl, the wife is always right! Love Dad

Wishing you both God’s blessing on this special day, and hope he may continue to guideyouwitheverlasting love always, lots of love, Elizabeth, Rob & family xx

To Nicole and Karl, A beautiful couple, an emotional ceremony and a wonderful day. Thanks for inviting us to share in it. The Johnson family To our lovely son and wonderful daughter, we’re so happy that you found each other and may your relationship, home life and business continue to go from strength to strength, we love you both. Mum and Dad xx

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Love you both lots, your wedding is beautiful, and the food has been delicious. All back for the ten year anniversary knees up! John and Miranda x

Dear Karl and Nicole, we wish you both all the happiness in the world, you’re a really special couple. Lots of love, Jane & Family xxx

To Karl and Nicole So delighted to share in such a lovely occasion, and the joining of such a wonderful couple. May you have many happy years together. Jess xx

My prayers and well wishes to you both and continued love between the two of you forever, Sorry I couldn’t make it. Aunt Edna xxx

Congratulations on a truly magical day. Enjoy your new journey as man and wife, but don’t be a stranger! Sarah & Paul xxx

Nicole, we met so many years ago at our boring job and never knew that ten years later we’d still be here, so close and still the best of friends. I’ve never seen you so happy. Love you lots as you deserve such a wonderful guy as Karl. May you both continue to make each other happy. Tash x

To Karl & his beautiful bride, It’s been a long time coming, the culmination of a wonderful relationship that will develop into a glorious, solid marriage. Enjoy it. Kev

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f music be the food of love, play on! Shakespear’s Orsino muses that an excess of music might cure his obsession with love, in the way that eating too much removes one’s appetite for food. Although Orsino may have been frustrated in his pursuit of Countess Olivia, Karl was by all means satiated, a lucky groom, actively involved in the selecting and planning of the evening’s melody maker. “I first met Karl at our initial client meeting a year or so back after I was recommended to him by his Best Man – Thanks Tony!!” remembers Neil from Odyssey Wedding Disco. “Nicole wasn’t at this initial meeting, which was a bit strange, as it’s usually the bride-to-be knowing all the details, colour schemes, timings and the like – but to give credit where credit’s due, Karl seemed to know all the right information!” The deal was done, and the stage set, the guys conducted a site visit, “I was to set up before the Wedding Breakfast so that there would be a smooth transition from the Wedding Breakfast to the Jazz set, through to the Evening Reception Disco. It would also provide me with enough time to set out the mood lighting around the fabulous Dome Room to give it that real WOW factor later on in the evening.” The night continued in the same vein with the newlyweds performing their first dance as man and wife. The couple swayed to the sound of circuit singer Tom Ashley who crooned Al Green’s “Let’s Stay Together”. Not the type to jump on the bandwagon of choreographed wedding dance routines, Nicole states that they “just wanted a beautiful song that we could dance to…” Afterwards DJ Neil stepped up to the decks and “spun his wheels of steel” providing an eclectic mix of tunes. From Northern soul to Motown, old-school rock to modern day pop, DJ Neil pulled out all the stops to ensure that there was no time for a sit down and the celebration went on in full swing. What ensued was a night of fun, frolics and festivities and a wonderful time was had by all a memory that will live with Karl and Nicole always. itsmymagazine.com | Spring 2013

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Boy Meets Girl K

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arl grew up in the quiet town of Ewell, an inquisitive, adventurous child with his parents and sisters Colette and Simonne, and Nicole in a leafy area of Banstead with her mum, dad and sister Zoe. Having come from similar backgrounds and fortunate enough to both have spent time traveling around South East Asia whilst foot loose and fancy free, their paths weren’t destined to cross until the summer of 2006. When Nicole turned up to a job interview for a massage therapist role at a gym in Surrey, she never would have imagined that she would fall for her prospective boss. Or that he would become her future husband. That was until she locked eyes with Karl Monahan.“As soon as I met him, I was instantly attracted to him,” she recalls fondly. It didn’t help that she had to give him a massage during the interview, to demonstrate her competence – a task that left her slightly embarrassed but secretly thrilled at the same time. Despite her budding crush on Karl, Nicole knew she had to be professional. Cautious of the fine line between business and pleasure, she was determined to keep the two separate. as she had only just returned to the UK intent on establishing a career Spring 2013 | itsmymagazine.com

for herself, after living in Australia for a while. Nicole soon discovered she wasn’t the only one going through an emotional conundrum, as Karl was battling feelings of his own and the attraction was mutual. To Nicole’s surprise, Karl asked her out for a coffee one evening after work. They went on a night out and soon realised they had a lot more in common than just physical magnetism. “We went to a local place in Surrey and it was very relaxed and comfortable, sat by an open fire, and we just clicked straight away,” Karl enthuses, with a warm glint in his eye as he remembers their first date. “We talked about anything and everything. It just felt right.” This was the beginning of something truly special. The relationship continued to blossom, with the pair recently tying the knot in a romantic ceremony where they declared their commitment to each other in front of close relatives and friends. As well as becoming life partners, Nicole and Karl are now business partners. They opened their own health clinic in 2009, which Nicole considers one of the highlights of their time together so far, besides their wedding of course. The blissful couple are living proof that workplace dating can have a fortunate ending. Together they found happiness, together they found true love.


The Next Chapter Four years into their relationship, in November 2010, Karl whisked Nicole away to Norfolk for a long weekend break. The romantic getaway was the perfect setting for an unexpected proposal, as a nervous yet poised Karl casually popped the question over a Sunday roast. Nicole was confident that Karl was the man she was destined to spend her life with, and accepted straight away. “I was completely surprised, but ecstatic. It was out of the blue but the timing couldn’t have been more perfect. I was keen to tell my family the news and texted my mum straight away.” Upon their return, the couple began planning in earnest, with Nicole leading the way, “I had always dreamed of my ideal wedding being an intimate occasion, surrounded by family and the man I loved, quite conventional really but with the key special touches that conveyed our personalities.”

“Nicole really brings out my inner child, we make each other laugh all the time, and she really gets my humour.”

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Karl and Nicole enjoyed a beautiful fun filled pre-wedding engagement shoot which really showed off their dynamic personalities, with the talented photographer, Mick.

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igh on Karl and Nicole’s list of enjoyable wedding related activities included their engagement photoshoot with Mick Shah from Miki Photography, “He really did a great job of putting us at ease and helping us to relax so our natural characters could be conveyed to film. It’s always a bit nerve wracking doing a photo shoot, and we didn’t want to come across as two corny star-crossed lovers, we wanted our shoot to reflect our true personalities.” So whilst loved-up, they also wanted to remain clued-up, with their session demonstrating the depth of their shared experience as well as their quirky, playful sides. Their fun personalities and willing sacrifice for “their vision”were captured in abundance, as after all, who else apart from Karl and Nicole would even consider doing handstands on pebble strewn grounds?

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Nicole’s beach themed Hen night was organised by big sister Zoe who assembled all fifteen girls in a bar deep in the depths of trendy East London. After wetting their whistles, the gang then went on to enjoy a fun filled cocktail making class, which got them all extremely merry, and ready to party. In line with the tropical theme, the ladies then trooped on to Cottons in Islington, to feast on some sumptuous Caribbean cuisine. The festivities wrapped up in a karaoke bar where they crooned away to the classics until the wee hours, before stumbling home to bed. Certainly a night to remember... well sort of.

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Stag Revealed Tequila’s, three-a-sides and inflatables, how did the Monahans enjoy their last nights of freedom? Best man Tony was responsible for Karl’s stag do, an activity filled weekend in sunny Amsterdam. Six of the boys boarded a plane at Gatwick, ready to enjoy the delights of the cosmopolitan city. “Tony did such a great job, we all had a really fun weekend. I haven’t laughed so hard, for so long, possibly ever, my face hurt for two days after we got back!” Karl confirms. In addition to drinking, playing three-a-side footie, comedy clubs, and more drinking, the posse made time to visit Amsterdam’s oldest restaurant in the heart of the old city centre. The boys got a real taste of Amsterdam’s party atmosphere as they got to experience Europe’s largest gay festival.

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Sensual sunsets; The couple take full advantage of the romantic sunsets, making the most of their beautiful surroundings.

D Honeymoon Hat trick From the Cotswolds to Koh Samui, the Monahans certainly know how to honeymoon in style

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ue to the fact that the couple jointly run their own business, taking time off for a cross continent jaunt immediately after the wedding was always going to be difficult. Despite this, the lucky couple ended up going on two honeymoons! “We first chose a ‘staycation’ traveling only a few hours up the country, away to the Cotswolds.” The couple first stayed in the Wheatsheaf Inn Northleach, a beautiful, traditional gastro style pub with exceptional rooms for two nights. The romantic getaway gave both Karl and Nicole time to catch their breath and get acquainted with married life. However, their ultimate vacation destination was Thailand, the perfect escape in a beautiful climate. “Christmas time tends to be a little bit quieter in the clinic and we are fortunate to have wonderful staff that kept the business running whilst we jetted off to Thailand for three weeks for our official honeymoon.” The newly weds split their time between Koh Samui and Koh Phangan, where they spent both Christmas Day and New Years Eve.


on o e m v y i e us n HoE xcl

Out and about in tantalising Thailand

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hailand is a wondrous kingdom, featuring Buddhist temples, exotic wildlife, and spectacular islands. Along with a fascinating history and a unique culture that includes delectable Thai food and massage, Thailand features a modern capital city, a pastoral countryside, and friendly people who epitomize Thailand’s “land of smiles” reputation. Karl and Nicole enjoyed the sights and tastes of Thailand in abundance, keen to experience everything the beautiful country had to offer.


DID YOU KNOW... In ancient times, the Teutonic people began the practice of the honeymoon. Teutonic weddings were only held under the full moon. After the wedding, the bride and groom would drink honey wine for one full moon cycle (thirty days). This “moon” (i.e., “month”) became known as the “honey moon.” While the name survived, the purpose of the honeymoon changed. After the wedding, newlyweds would leave their family and friends to go and do what newlyweds are supposed to do. Today that purpose survives, only now a vacation is incorporated, usually to a romantic get-away locale.

It may well be that even the honeymoon had its origin with the bridal capture scenario. It may well have served as a cooling-off period for the bride’s family. It was the groom’s hope that when the newlyweds returned from their honeymoon that all would be forgiven.

Thailand is home to the world’s largest crocodile farm, the largest restaurant, the longest single-span suspension bridge, and the world’s tallest hotel. In the past, all Thai young men including the kings became Buddhist monks for at least a short period of time before their 20th birthday. Today, however fewer young men observe the practice. itsmy.com


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Always Forever WHAT ARE YOUR MOST MEMORABLE MOMENTS FROM THE DAY?

Our readings to each other, taken from ‘Gorecki’ by Lamb and the groom’s speech paying our respects to our niece My garter dance (not once, twice, but three times!!!) and the best man’s speech!

Heart warming - Walking through the streets of Brighton with my new husband being cheered, congratulated and honked at by everyone we passed Getting ten minutes by ourselves after we had photos on the beach, just to catch up, chat and enjoy our own company, to reflect and toast our new life. WHAT WILL BE THE BEST THING ABOUT BEING MRS MONAHAN? I have the best company for the rest of my life, I know I will be looked after and loved by the man I love with all my heart. DITTO FOR MR MONAHAN? I can call her my wife forever. HOW DO YOU SEE THE FUTURE NOW? Running the Bodyworks Practice together, and making it a success. We hope that our business continues to thrive and perhaps we will start a family in a year or so.


Thank youall for making our

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