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It’s Our Wedding MAGAZINE 12 . 0 8 .18

East Meets West A cultural fusion with two classic celebrations

The Wait is Over

From childhoods to ‘I do’, the love story of Sarah and Simon Zeneli


Sarah & Simon 12. 08.

2018

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S I M o N l ov e S S A R A H


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n e t n o C 20

A beauty to inspire

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Sugar & spice

Engagement party

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He put a ring on it!

08 Destiny fullďŹ lled

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S I M o N l ov e S S A R A H

Say yes to the dress

16 Hen party


s t n

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Butterfly dreams

Tribute

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My girls and I

Mum’s the word

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The wait is over

A love story in Albania

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Sentimental moments revealed

edItoRIAl teAM edItoR Krystle downie CReAtIve dIReCtoR Pauline downie ARt dIReCtoR Rickardo Watkins SeNIoR CoPyWRIteR Mia lane PHotogRAPHeRS various CoNtACt info@itsmymagazine, 020 3086 8982 www.itsmymagazine.com

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W HeN W e W eR e yoUNg

Sugar & I N A C L A S S I C TA L E O F E A S T M E E T S w E S T;

HIM, A N E N T E R PR IS ING YO u NG L A D R E A DY FO R A N E w L IF E A b R OA D A N D H E R , A F u N LOV ING LO CA L L A DY w I T H S T R O NG C O M M u NI T Y R OOT S.

w E E X P L O R E H O w T H E I R w O R L D S C O L L I D E D A N D S TA R S w E R E b O R N .

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& Spice Family oriented Simon was born in the village of borje, high in the Albanian mountains. Coming to England as a young whippersnapper, his enterprising nature and strong work ethic led to Simon beginning life as a chef before finding true enjoyment in his work as a Construction Manager. Sarah was born in a military hospital in Aldershot. A local young girl, she has lived in Reading since the age of three, building up a strong network of friends and acquaintances. An animal loving, highly social young woman, Sarah is now an Events Manager and spends a lot of her time campaigning for animal rights as well as indulging in a few additional hobbies, such as dancing and theatre acting.

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HoW We Met

destiny fulfilled A Chance Meeting Leads to Love

F R O M S wA S H - b u C k L I N G R O b I N H O O D M OV I E S TO A H I G H S P E E D M OTO R b I k E AC C I D E N T A b R OA D, T H I S AC T I O N LOV I N G C O u P L E C E R TA I N LY R E L I S H L I F E ’ S A D V E N T u R E S

Simon Zeneli and Sarah Leigh first met on Sarah’s nineteenth birthday in 2010. Having both attended a night out at Revolution nightclub in Reading, Simon summoned the courage to approach Sarah and cheekily asked for her number. Simon texted Sarah the very next morning after that meeting, asking her out. A few days later, they had their first date at the cinema watching Robin Hood. Soon after the couple met, Simon invited Sarah for a romantic holiday to Crete in Greece. unfortunately, whilst on the road motor biking, the loved-up pair experienced an accident, caused as they swerved to avoid a goat which was crossing the road. Sarah’s knee was badly injured, “I knew Sarah was special really but at least Simon was a strong early on and I love everything about support during this unexpected traumatic event. whilst an accident, her. She’s beautiful, clever, kind and Simon vowed that he would spend the fun; and I’m very lucky to call her my rest of his life making it up to Sarah, wife. She is my princess and I look and thankfully has stuck to his word, and the incident made this fledgling forward to spending the rest of my life young couple grow even closer. with her. In fact, I even have her name

tattooed across my heart, so we are stuck together forever! I would like to thank Sue and Peter for welcoming me into the family. You have raised a wonderful daughter, and I will always love her and protect her.” – Simon –

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“Simon has been calling me his wife since the very start! When Simon left work to meet me for our first date, he told his friend that he was going to meet his future wife” – Sarah –

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She is kind,

beautiful & clever – Simon –

He is confident, fun & loving – Sarah –

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loved-Up With laughter T H I S A D V E N T u R O u S C O u P L E w A S k E E N T O S TA R T M A R R I E D L I F E H AV I N G E XPERIENCED AS MANY FuN-FILLED MEMORIES AS POSSIbLE.

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H E R E T H E Y D I S C u S S T H E I R FAV O u R I T E S H A R E D M O M E N T S .

What do you like to do together for fun? “we enjoy travelling and exploring different places; visiting places of historical interest; going to the theatre and the cinema; and dining out as well as staying in for a movie with popcorn.” Describe one of your shared romantic moments: “Every Valentine’s Day, Simon gives me a piece of jewellery and a bunch of red roses which are my favourite flowers. For one surprise, Simon had ‘Sarah’ tattooed across his heart!” Another stand-out memory for the couple occurred on the morning of their wedding day, whilst swapping gifts. Simon arranged for Sarah to receive a gorgeous framed photo of themselves by Vera wang, alongside a handwritten letter to say how he was looking forward to seeing his beautiful bride now that the day to marry his sweetheart had finally arrived. Sarah arranged for Simon to receive a watch personalised with their engagement photo with an engraved box stating ‘Happy wedding Day! with love from your wife-to-be Sarah’.

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tHe PRoPoSAl

He put a ring on it! P R E T T Y Q u I C k LY S I M O N k N E w I T w A S L O V E A N D H AV I N G

E N S u R E D T H E F u T u R E I N - L Aw S w E R E O N b O A R D , H E S E T A b O u T P u T T I N G H I S G R A N D P L A N I N P L A C E I N O P E R AT I O N “ S AY Y E S ”

On Valentine’s Day 2017, Simon hired a sports car and drove Sarah to Cardiff Castle where they enjoyed a romantic day out prior to dining at a vegan restaurant. Simon did his research and booked the impressive five-star rated St David’s Hotel nearby, overlooking the river for their stay. Previously, Simon had asked Sarah to wear a flattering sapphire dress that he’d surprised her with. He’d chosen wisely and that evening, he proudly escorted her to the bar for a (non-alcoholic) cocktail.

THE RING Sarah’s engagement ring is a super sparkly 18-carat round diamond ring in a tulip style from Beaverbrooks. It goes perfectly with her 18-carat white gold diamond ring in a waved style from Woodley Goldsmiths. Simon’s wedding ring is a palladium ring with a Greek pattern (with an inside engraving of ‘Sarah and Simon Forever’) from Smooch.

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When Sarah returned to the suite, she found it filled with candles and real rose petals, spelling out ‘I love you Sarah’ and a smartly dressed, slightly pleased for himself Simon was waiting for her. with sentimental music from La La Land playing in the background, Simon pulled her closer and said “Sarah, I’ve been waiting for this moment. As you know, I love you so much and I want to spend the rest of my life with you. I want to look after you and look after your Mummy and Daddy, so that we all have a good life. I would be very happy and glad to have you as my fiancée and I love you.” He then got down on one knee and presented a beautiful diamond ring before asking “Sarah Elizabeth Fiona Leigh, will you marry me?” A freshly engaged Sarah immediately phoned her parents to let them know the good news. However, they were in on the little secret, as Simon had previously asked Sarah’s father’s permission having taken him out to lunch a week before. Finding out it was all go, the plan was ready to execute and an ecstatic Sarah couldn’t have asked for a better evening. Sarah’s parents have known Simon for over eight years and they’ve developed a warm relationship with one another. They believe Sarah and Simon are a great match and appreciate the couple get on very well together and that they both want the same things in life. Simon’s family thinks that they are an amazing couple and that Simon is very lucky to have found such a wonderful wife.


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En g a g e m e n t P A r t y

Flamingos

Following

A S P E C I A L I N V I TAT I O N T O A SECRE T GARDEN THEMED E N G A G E M E N T PA R T Y

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S i m o n L Ov e s s a r a h


P

Following a welcome speech by Simon a n d F a t h e r o f t h e b r i d e P e t e r, g u e s t s enjoyed traditional circle dancing and an English and Greek vegan buffet. This included a tasty spread of salads, falafel, dolmades, pit ta breads, dips, cheese plat ters, scones, cupcakes, baklava and watermelon slices - phew! The centerpiece under the pagoda was a tiered cake with pastel hear ts, topped with cute miniature versions of Sarah and Simon, down to the same outfits!!!

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i c t u r e t h e s c e n e , i t ’s S a t u r d a y 12 t h A u g u s t 2 0 17, a h o t b r i t i s h s u m m e r ’s d a y, e x a c t l y o n e y e a r before the wedding. Sarah and Simon host an engagement par ty in Harris Gardens nestled in the hear t of the universit y of Reading. Making the most of the magical set ting, the ‘Secret Garden’ theme featured signs leading guests to a roped - off private garden lined with beautiful flowers and topiar y and a pretty area surrounded by trees.

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H e n P ar t y

Lights, Camera, Action! T he pop princess ta k es the stage as she shot a m u sic video w ith her co - ordinated b ride tri b e , hitting the to w n to see o u t her singledom in style .

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On Saturday 16th June 2018, Sarah and 13 of her friends met at a centrally located studio in London for a pop video experience where they created a music video to the song ‘Bad Boys’. Epitomising sass and divahood, the ladies were led by front woman Sarah who sung lead vocals with confidence. In a case of feel the fear and do it anyway, this is yet another example of this bride-to-be’s indefatigable spirit and desire for female empowerment that has been displayed throughout her wedding choices. Her close relationships with her beloved bridesmaids and working with many female owned small businesses throughout her wedding were other small incidents which reflect her love of positive female re-enforcement. Simon and his friend joined for the latter part of the session as the ‘bad boys’ which was a lot of fun. After pre-drinks at The Lillie Langtry (where Jeanette had organised a surprise ‘Mr and Mrs’ quiz for Sarah), the girls headed to 222 Vegan Cuisine for a delicious meal. But the night didn’t end there, they then took a party stretch limo (complete with Spice Girls karaoke inside - obviously!) to Covent Garden to see the theatre production of Mamma Mia! A fantastic night all round and Sarah loved sharing it with her nearest and dearest. For his stag, on Saturday 30th June 2018, Simon and 13 of his friends went out for a meal in a Turkish restaurant then went onto the Sugar Lounge nightclub in Essex for champagne with sparklers.

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bR IdAl be AUt y

Say Yes to the w H Y H AV E O N E w H E N Y O u C A N H AV E T H R E E ? T H I S FA S H I O N I S TA k N E w T H AT w H E N I T C O M E S T O S AY I N G ‘ I D O ’,

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dReSS SHE COuLDN’T COMPROMISE ON ST YLE.

A wedding gown is an all important addition to the final look and a lot of thought went into it. Sarah’s main bridal dress was a beaded satin mermaid-style ivory gown by berketex. Spotted at the National wedding Show in London, it was the first dress that Sarah tried on. The gown stood out amongst the nearly twenty dresses she subsequently tried afterwards! Slipping on the cool material, Sarah felt like royalty. The form-fitting gown seemed like it was made for her and the connection was instant. Her fittings took place at the swanky berketex boutique in

Mayfair. In a curious case of history repeating, coincidently Sarah’s dress was by the very same designer as her mother’s wedding dress. Alongside Sarah’s mum, Lina (kiara’s mother) helped the bride get dressed on the day. For a completely different flavour, Sarah’s evening dress was a chiffon beaded tea-length gown called Enchanting by Mon Cheri from Georgina Pimm bridal boutique. A huge fan of beautiful things, the bride’s going-away dress was a 1920’s inspired beaded gown from a vintage boutique.

Bridal accessories included a genuine Austrian crystal Arabella tiara, necklace and bracelet by Ivory & Co. Glamorous diamante shoes were adorned with a lucky sixpence charm and ‘I Do’ crystals on the soles. The bride’s evening shoes were white satin and vegan suede with sparkly soles from International Dance Shoes. The something blue garter was by Bride to Be Bridal Boutique. S A R A H l ov e S S I M o N

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M A K eU P by: bA MbI tHAt vegAN SAloN

Lips – Illamasqua (liner colour ‘Woo’)

Concealer – Kat Von D Foundation – Kat Von D

A Beauty to

Powder – Kat Von D

Perfume – Eden Perfumes

Inspire Mascara – The Body Shop

Blush – PHB

Eyeshadow Primer – Urban Decay

T H I S A N I M A L- L O V I N G b R I D E w A N T E D H E R w E D D I N G T O b E C O M P L E T E LY C R u E LT Y- F R E E A N D E C O - F R I E N D LY, A N D T H AT S TA R T E D w I T H H E R V E G A N F R I E N D LY b E A u T Y P R E P.

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bR IdAl be AUt y

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Choosing an elegant yet stunning bridal transformation, Sarah wanted to place her finished look in the hands of the experts. As well as looking beautiful however, she also wanted a cruelty-free beauty solution, so as a step in the right direction she chose bambi – That Vegan Salon as her official make-up artist and hairdresser for the bride and Mother of the bride. For her picture-perfect hair style, Sarah modelled a semi-up-do hairstyle, with the remainder cascading into tousled ringlets. Bride’s Top Tip: Research for inspiration on bridal styles and make sure you get your beauty sleep the night before the wedding!

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The bridesmaids were transformed by stage make-up artist Pam Dennis, using Arbonne products. Their hair was styled in classic ballet buns with pastel ower garlands.

Emily My Girls And I

b O N D S T H AT H AV E b E E N C E M E N T E D b Y T I M E A R E N ’ T E A S I LY b R O k E N . S A R A H w A S D E L I G H T E D T O H AV E H E R G I R L S S H A R E H E R b I G D AY w I T H H E R .

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Bonnie

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Jeanette

Three young ladies were handpicked to journey with Sarah through her big day and Emily, Bonnie and Jeanette answered to the call. Valued friends, they were on hand to support her and soothe the inevitable nerves. Kiara (the Best Man’s daughter) was a lovely flower girl, and she was very excited to dress up and wear high heels! The Bride met Emily at The Abbey School in 2002 when Emily joined for secondary school; whereas Bonnie and Sarah met at The Henley College in 2007 where they shared Art and English classes together. Completing the bridal party, Sarah was Jeanette’s manager at Guide Dogs from 2015 and the girls meet up regularly for delicious vegan meals out. Sarah was keen to have a clean and crisp style for their outfits; contemporary and modern in design. So the plan was for all three bridesmaids to sport short chiffon pastel-coloured dresses in a variety of shades. The selections were Emily in pink, Bonnie in blue and Jeanette in green, coincidentally the same colours of the three fairies in Sleeping Beauty! Kiara’s flower girl dress had pastel roses and cherry blossoms to go with the theme.

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S im o n LOv e s sarah


“It’s wonderful to see couples like Sarah and Simon, as you can see how much they truly love each other and how much they support one another. I’m sure that any vegan business, or any ventures that Sarah and Simon undertake together will be a massive success. I am also positive that these two will have many happy years together and would like to say again what an honour it is celebrating their special day with them and meeting more of their family and friends.” – Jeanette – “Sarah is the best kind of friend that anyone could ever hope for. She’s so caring, really funny and a great listener. She always reminds me how to let go in life, not be so serious, and to have lots of fun. Incredibly smart, Sarah is really talented and so driven; and I know in the future whatever she becomes, I know she’ll be so successful.” – Emily– “I am continuously amazed by Sarah’s strong work ethic and commitment to getting everything possible out of life; she is extraordinarily successful. Over the years, we have been through different jobs, triumphs and experiences together, and it is a privilege to witness her begin her married life with Simon.” – Bonnie–

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Sporting light grey day suits with silver waistcoats and rose buttonholes, the Groomsmen were ready to represent. Simon’s best Man was his cousin Fatri Nela chosen as Simon knew that he could be trusted to take the role seriously. Perlat koka proudly assisted as an usher and is an old friend of Simon’s having met in England 15 years ago. His calm, organised manner meant Simon knew he was the man for the job.

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the Wait Is

Over

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tHe CeReMoNy

“Seeing Sarah walking down the aisle as my beautiful Bride-to-be was absolutely my top moment. I definitely had a tear in my eye!”

- Simon -

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Th e C e r e m o n y

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ABOVE: Sarah’s father Peter walked her down the aisle to Wagner’s Bridal Chorus.

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To Have And To Hold

F inally at the aisle , this co u ple

w ere more than ready to share their special vo w s and declare their love .

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Th e C e r e m o n y

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ABOVE: Sarah’s mother Susan read an extract from Captain Corelli’s Mandolin by Louis de Bernieres and the Bible extract 1 Corinthians Chapter 13. TOP RIGHT: Emily read an extract from Les Misérables by Victor Hugo and The Art of Marriage by Wilfred A Peterson. BOTTOM RIGHT: Wedding hymns included All things bright and beautiful, and Give me joy in my heart; plus the church choir sung Amazing Grace and Hail Holy Queen (from Sister Act as a nod to Sarah’s interest in musical theatre).

For a picturesque ceremony, the couple chose Harpsden, a rural village and civil parish near Henley. St Margaret’s Church is believed to date from the twelfth century where traces of colourful medieval interior decoration and monuments still survive today. Reverend Thomas Leigh (Jane Austen’s father and a distant relative of Sarah!) was a rector of St Margaret’s Church. St Margaret, known as Margaret of Antioch in the West and as Saint Marina the Great Martyr in the East, was one of the saints who spoke to Joan of Arc. The members of Harpsden parish are very friendly and welcoming. It is the perfect church for a quaint English countryside wedding and the ideal location for their dream wedding. The marriage service was a Church of England ceremony conducted by Reverend Pamela Gordon.

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“Danesfield House looks like a fairytale castle – perfect for our theme!”

The p erfect country setting D anesfield H o u se

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S im o n LOv e s sarah


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A fairytale venue was vital and the couple immediately fell in love with a castle-style mansion, where Sarah had always wanted her wedding reception. The setting of choice was the eye-catching venue Danesfield House in Buckinghamshire. This stunning Grade II country house built in 1901 in the Italian Renaissance style, is surrounded by sixty-five acres of landscaped gardens with outstanding views over the River Thames and the Chiltern Hills beyond. Sarah knew that she could create an enchanting blossom tree forest in the stunning chandelier-clad ballroom and that all of their guests could enjoy a magical experience.

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“I used to visit Danesfield House after ballet classes when I was a little girl and it has always been my dream wedding setting.�

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Butt erfly dreams

T H E R E ’ S N O b E T T E R w AY T O C E L E b R AT E A H A P P I LY E V E R A F T E R T H A N w I T H T O u C H E S O F b L O S S O M S A N D FA I R Y TA L E S , A N D T H I S T H E ROMANTIC COuPLE HAD IN AbuNDANCE.

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Dessert-loving Sarah was keen for the guests to enjoy a tantalising taste experience so set to work searching near and far to find the perfect confectioner. Their creation of choice was made by Restoration Cake, run by This Morning’s baker Charlotte white, who produced a tall, tiered, pastel coloured, airbrushed creation. In a nod to their secret garden engagement party theme, it was fabulously decorated with delicate sugar roses, cherry blossoms, butterflies and vines.

Described as a ‘Vegan Fairytale Extravaganza’, their cake was topped with ballet fairytale books and a sparkly ‘Sarah & Simon’ motif. The piece also had a hand-piped ‘Happily Ever After’ on the bottom tier, making a show-stopping multi-flavoured (pastel rainbow, lemon and fruit) focal point.

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Ballet Shoes & Sugared Almonds

w I T H A L L T H E F O R M A L I T I E S O u T O F T H E w AY, S A R A H A N D S I M O N w E R E N O w R E A D Y T O R E A L LY S H O w T H E G u E S T S A G R E AT T I M E .

“We wanted quite a traditional wedding, in terms of our vows taking place in the English countryside and having a church ceremony, but with pops of the contemporary. It was also important for us to have a vegan wedding with all the food, cake, clothes and make-up, and I’m really proud we did!” – Sarah –

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tHe ReCePtIoN The main wedding theme was a whimsical fairytale, with romantic pastels and sparkle being the highlights. Sarah planned the wedding for 18 months. There was a lot to get in order, but she was very well organised and found it all went rather smoothly. Sarah’s long relationship with ballet ensured that it was a significant element in the theme, influencing the table names and it was also provided in the form of the dancing entertainment. Sugared almond bonbonnieres were a must-have for the couple. This was a Greek tradition incorporated in honour of Sarah’s grandmother and each represent health, wealth, happiness, fertility and longevity. The couple chose floral arrangements by Cherubs Floral Design. The pastel coloured flowers featured ribbons and diamante pins. The intricate bouquet included sweet avalanche roses in shades of dusky pink, blue delphiniums, ivory freesias, pale pink peonies and lilac dwarf hydrangeas. Other special items included a classic car which was an Imperial Limousine, personalised ‘Mr and Mrs Zeneli’ crystal butterflies, cootie catcher quizzes and disposable cameras for the guests to use. Other sensational suppliers included Toastmaster Graham Dorward, Photographer Matthew bishop, Second Photographer Daria Radwan, Videographers bloomsbury Studios, and vintage photobooth coordinators booth Nineteen.

The First Dance A Thousand Years by Christina Perri Dance choreographed by Dance Reality Studios

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A night to remember

b O T H L O V E R S O F T H E A R T S , T H E R E w A S E N T E R TA I N M E N T I N A b u N D A N C E O N T H E N I G H T w I T H E V E R Y T H I N G F R O M O P E R A S I N G I N G wA I T E R S T O b A L L E R I N A S I N I L L u M I N AT E D T u T u S

The magician during the drinks and evening reception was the talented Iain Bailey.

Ballerinas before and during the ďŹ rst dance were from Sophie Adams Dance

The opera singing waiters during the meal were The Singing Sta


The Greek/ Albanian band for the evening was the Balcan Band

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The string trio during the drinks reception and meal were the Covent Garden Strings


n a g Ve

Foodies for life

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If food is the way to the heart, then this couple were certain to fall in love. both possess a keen eye for the finer things and agreed on a menu that was sure to delight and satiate their guests. of course, it was sure to be vegan all the way!

Main

the three course seated vegan meal was prepared by the Michelin-starred chef billy Reid and consisted of:

Cheesecake, Blueberry Sorbet, Blueberries and Coulis

Canapes during the Drinks Reception Aubergine Caviar, Cheese and Onion Flatbread, Cheese and Beetroot Potato, Olive and Tomato Skewer, Courgette Wrap Starter Cream of White Beans with Truffle Cream and Truffle Oil Pitta Breads with dairy-free butter

Roast Slices, Jackfruit Roulades, Fondant Potato, Butternut Squash Cuboid, Vegetables and Gravy Dessert

Petits Fours Chocolate Truffles, Tea and Coffee with Almond Milk Evening Menu Fill-your-own crepes with a fabulous choice of toppings including strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, cherries, banana, peaches and vegan marshmallows, garnished with whipped cream, chocolate sauce, strawberry sauce or fine sugar. Delicious!

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Revealed

Sentimental Moments

Speeches are always a major part of the proceedings. It is a time when emotions and stories are shared, and the first time both sides of the families unite as one. Father of the Bride Peter was the highlight of the speeches, which everyone found hilarious: “On the evening they first met, Sarah was sitting with a well-behaved group of young ladies, while standing at the other end of the bar was a crowd of rowdy young men speaking in a foreign language and presumed to be from the Albanian mafia. Eventually one of the young men walked over to Sarah, invited her to dance, and the next I heard, they were an item! Sarah and Simon blend very well together. They are both hard workers and have been sensitive to each other’s needs throughout the years they have known each other. One day last year, Simon asked if he and I could meet privately and (at his expense!) in a country restaurant; and I was clever enough to guess what the subject would be. I gave my permission of course, but then Simon knows, I will agree to anything for a free lunch.”

“Sarah you look so beautiful and stunning. You Simon, not so bad. All those among you who know the bride will know that she is a wonderful and caring person. I wish you lots of love, happiness and long life.” – Fatri –

“Since you’ve been together, I’ve seen you both change each other for the better. Each of you has brought out qualities in the other that weren’t there before, and despite all the difficulties that both of you have faced, I’ve watched you both still come out the other end full of so much love for each other and that’s what makes you two such a beautiful match. I pray that your future together will be forever more, continue to be filled with love for each other, even when you two grow old together.” – Emily –

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M o t h e r o f t h e b ri d e

My advice? Happy wife equals hap p y life! Simon is a confident, charismatic young man who has very much become part of the family. Sarah was a delightful child to bring up, waking up with a smile, friendly and entertaining. She used to love to dance, sing and dress up (she still does!) and was well behaved and polite. She has grown to be a loving, caring daughter. She has been planning and organising everything for the wedding for the past 18 months, and I thank you Sarah, for a job well done. This wedding celebrates the two cultures coming together – East meets West Europe. My advice to the couple is as follows: Simon’s name means ‘listen’ and Sarah’s name means ‘princess’; so Simon, always listen to your princess and you can’t go far wrong. Happy wife equals happy life! – Susan –

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AlbANI AN W eddINg CelebR AtIoN

A Love Story in Albania A P P R E C I AT I N G T H AT T H E L O V E S T O R Y E N C O M PA S S E S b O T H S I D E S O F T H E FA M I LY, T H E C O u P L E w E R E E A G E R T O S H A R E T H E I R L O V E I N T H E w A R M C L I M E S O F S I M O N ’ S H O M E L A N D.

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In a nod to Simon’s Albanian roots, the couple were keen to ensure they blessed their union in his homeland, amongst Simon’s loved ones. It was also a chance for Simon to introduce his new wife to a slice of Albanian tradition which included the ceremony and the attire. with 140 guests in attendance, on Saturday 8th September 2018, after three nights of moonlit dancing outside Simon’s mother’s house, Sarah and Simon had a second wedding celebration at the Tropikal Resort in Durrës, Albania. Despite being based in the uk, the couple organised a sunset beach ceremony with a live singer and string duo. Sarah wore a vintage-style hand-embroidered dress and golden wreath crown from Greece. Simon’s nieces Disa and Silda were bridesmaids, and his nephew Samuel served as a great Page boy.

Further consolidating their VIP experience, Sarah and Simon took part in the famous Albanian prime-time television programme, ‘Lufta e Nuseve’ (war of the brides), so were always being followed around by the cameras. The couple received a fantastically positive response from members of the public and it was a lot of fun to be a part of.

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Guests enjoyed a poolside drinks reception with cocktails and carved tropical fruit, while an overhead drone displayed both the british and Albanian flags. There was a historical theme with decorations by famous Albanian wedding artist Frederika Arti Martesor, including a mosaic alter, Grecian pillars, amphitheatre-style seating, olive branches and table names of historical Albanian places. Their reception included traditional and modern Albanian dancing with a live band; and a ballet performance. Similar to the uk, traditionally in Albania, sugar-coated almonds (kufeta) are exchanged between the guests as a token of good fortune. Other sweet treats included the main attraction, a double chocolate flavoured, multi-tiered vegan wedding cake. Onlookers waved sparklers during the cutting of it.

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“Wonderful couple, God bless you both” - Astrit “Love each other forever and ever” - Ahmet -

“I wish you all the best in your life” - Disa -

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The traditional dancers included Sarah in a Kosovan dress (red velvet with gold satin and embroidery) and Simon in a traditional Tirana outfit.

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Love & Kisses

To my lovely daughter Sarah and son-in-law Simon. A truly wonderful day. God’s blessings and happiness always. Much love forever. Mumzy

Sarah and Simon, May you have the happiest of marriages. Father Thanks for a beautiful day and the great fairytale wedding. Love and all the best. Hanne and Michael There once was a guy called Simon, he thought himself a right diamond. Her name was Sarah, no-one was fairer. The wedding bells, they were chiming! Best of luck for the future – congratulations! Becky and Meggie A fairytale wedding for the perfect Prince and Princess. A truly beautiful day. Congratulations! Sara God bless your marriage. Wishing you love and happiness always. Donna You are a beautiful couple, you’re going to have a wonderful life. We’ve loved every minute of being with you today, we’ve been surprised over and over again. Yvonne and Ron I would like to congratulate you on a wonderful wedding you’ve had. Something we’ll remember for a long, long time. I wish you all the very, very best for the future. Norman

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Guest watch

T H E G u E S T S w E R E O u T I N F u L L FA S H I O N I S TA E F F E C T A S T H E Y POSED AND POuTED IN SuPPORT OF THE HAPPY COuPLE Lina is pretty in pink with her flowing floral number perfectly complimenting her Pre-Raphaelite tumbling curls

Photoshoot ready, Karina and Iwona wouldn’t look out of place in the pages of a Vogue spread in their complimentary floral outfits

Looking like perfect princesses, Fatjoua and Ioana wow in regal colour with Ioana’s floor-length gown really turning heads

Jay’s nod to traditional eastern attire was appreciated as she wowed in teal and Manju looked effortlessly glowing in a floral embellished dress that flattered her shape to perfection..


Wish You Were Here Family is everything , and despite b eing s u rro u nded b y love , there w ere a fe w b eloved family mem b ers missing from the cele b rations Sarah was very close to her Nana and Grandpa who passed away when she was young. Marika and Bob met by the River Nile in Egypt, and they got married in Jerusalem at the start of the Second World War. Sarah’s grandmother was originally from Athens in Greece and she loved to see Sarah smile. Marika and Sarah shared a love for animals and adored their dog family members. She was a very loving and caring person, and very talented at playing the piano (particularly songs from The Sound of Music). A particular stand out memory was her creating imaginative and magical bedtime stories for Sarah. Sarah’s grandfather was a retired army major and ran the local stamp and coin shop. Bob gave Sarah one-pound pocket money each week and asked her to sign for it! He was a super fan of the God Channel on Sky TV and she always enjoyed visiting him. Rest in eternal peace.

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We HAd oUR dReAM WeddINg ANd tHe beSt dAy oF oU R lI v eS So FA R . t H A NK yoU So M UC H to e v e RyoN e W Ho WA S PA Rt oF oU R H A PPIly e v e R A F t e R . – The Happy Couple -

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The best thing about being Mrs...? I have to get used to calling myself Mrs Zeneli, but it is nice to introduce Simon as my husband. It feels very grown up! – Sarah –

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The best thing about being Mr...? I’m just so happy that I married my princess and the fact that we’re going to spend the rest of our lives together. – Simon –

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And they lived hap p ily ever after

info@itsmymagazine.com www.itsmymagazine.com Capture your love story within your own magazine

Profile for It's My Magazine

Sarah and Simon's love story magazine  

A casual approach on a night out led to an adventurous love story where a romantic prince found his princess. Cue a fairytale romance filled...

Sarah and Simon's love story magazine  

A casual approach on a night out led to an adventurous love story where a romantic prince found his princess. Cue a fairytale romance filled...

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