Page 1


Issue 21



for sensational WEDDINGS


Santorini & Rhodes Fiji, Thailand Southern Ireland

❤ Worldwide weather guide ❤ Advice from the planners ❤ Wedding countdown ❤ Bridal hair, make-up & diet plan

pages of wedding ❤ WOW venues ❤ SENSATIONAL fashions ❤ BEAUTIFUL themes

Discover Japan

from a whole new perspective HONEYMOON SAVINGS

Live it up in Amsterdam Chill out in Zandvoort ❤ Cruise the canals ❤ Stroll hand-in-hand ❤ Take the car ❤ Ride the bike!


Say ‘I do’ in the South Pacific



Wild love in East Africa


Credits Published by Joint Venture Media Ltd Tel: 01937 58 48 92

Publisher Martin Cody-Owen

Editor-in-Chief Congratulations


You are newly engaged. How wonderful! You are now at the beginning of one of the most exciting journeys of your life – planning your wedding! With a blank canvas in front of you, where do you begin? You will need ideas, inspiration, recommendations and a guiding hand. Perhaps you are further down the line with the planning of your Big Day? Brides Abroad magazine can help you every step of the way, from that all important dress to choosing your wedding and honeymoon destination. Sit back and relax with your copy of Brides Abroad and be inspired as you read the true experiences of other couples, as well as advice from the experts, to help you choose your perfect wedding and how to make it happen seamlessly and without stress. In this issue, our Real Weddings take us to the sunny Greek Islands of Rhodes (P.24) and Santorini (P.66) and, closer to home, a country house wedding in beautiful Southern Ireland (P.42). If you prefer to go long-haul, then you’ll be delighted to see our couple being blessed by a baby elephant in Thailand (P.32), or perhaps you’d prefer native warriors dressed in grass skirts to be your witnesses in Fiji? (P.58). We’ve noticed a growing trend for honeymoons with a difference, as well as a rising interest in

Japan as a destination – so take a Pacific Cruise around the Japanese coast and see the country from a whole new perspective. (P.110). Or go glamping in a luxurious tent in the African plains and be in awe of wonderful wildlife! (P.116).

If you only have time for a mini-moon, then hop on a North Sea ferry and explore the amazing city of Amsterdam and stunning beach at the Dutch resort of Zandvort – who knew Holland could be so much fun? (P.98) Meanwhile, make sure you are a winner by going for gold in a bridal gown hot off the catwalk (P.74). And follow our tips on everything from hair, make-up and diet to world weather, and advice from expert wedding planners to ensure that organizing your wedding is an effortless, stess-free experience. If you need further inspiration our team are always happy to help on 0800 so much more, visit

Terri Cody-Owen

Assistant to Publisher Patsy Fleeman

Fashion Editor Lulu Bousfield

Contributors Lisa Burton Holly Catz Lily Hardwick

Photography Dreamstime Savvas Argirou Gina Smith/Jaran Kaewklam Naoise Culhane Rob at Three Coconuts Ben and Vesna Wyatt

Design Chris Peach

Printer Warners Midlands Plc.

211 8255. And for


Advertising Sales Joint Venture Media 01937 58 48 92

Director of Sales Terri Cody Owen Editor-in-Chief To Subscribe to Brides Abroad for just £22 for 6 issues, email

0800 211 8255 ©Joint Venture Media Ltd. All material in this publication is strictly copyright and all rights are reserved. Reproduction without permission is prohibited. The views expressed in Brides Abroad magazine do not necessarily represent the views of Joint Venture Media. Every care is taken in compiling the contents but the publisher of Brides Abroad magazine assume no responsibility for any damage, loss or injury arising from participation in any offer, competition or advertisement contained within Brides Abroad magazine.

Sylvia Oakley 0113 284 31 00

Cover Image courtesy of Taj Vivanta, Sri Lanka


Contents 58



Barefoot in Greece


A lesson in love

42 58 66

Giulia and Giovanni wed on the stunning island of Rhodes with sand between their toes School friends Lynsey and Joe have learned an important lesson – that Thailand’s beaches are a wonderful place to say “I do”!

A magical Irish marriage

Aoife and Shane tie the knot at historical Adare Manor on a beautifully crisp Irish winter’s morning, with 170 friends and family to help them celebrate

Nice day for a GREEN Wedding! Nicolla and Karl’s South Seas wedding in Fiji that’s everything but traditional!

Swapping school for Santorini

They were classmates who met at the age of three, but Heather and William finally sealed their love in the setting sun on the Greek island of Santorini


8 22 30


24 SUBSCRIBE SIX ISSUES FOR ONLY £18.00 Worth £23.94 inc FREE P&P


Wedding & honeymoon news Rhodes – an iconic Greek Island

Perfect beaches, endless sunshine and relaxed Greek charm make the island of Rhodes an idyllic place to marry

Thai the knot

Thailand’s spectacular beach settings and exotic venues ensure that its weddings and honeymoons have the wow factor!

A traditional Irish wedding

Embrace Irish traditions and enjoy an abundance of good fortune at your magical wedding in Ireland






Mermaid pops the question


Fall in love with Fiji


The ultimate marriage proposal at the luxurious Maldivian resort of Ozen by Atmosphere was guaranteed to get a huge “Yes!” The Pacific island of Fiji makes an incredible location to exchange vows in tropical paradise and totally relax for the honeymoon of a lifetime!

Marry in Santorini

Sensational sunsets and stunning views make t he Greek Island of Santorini a truly iconic wedding destination.



76 77 78



80 82

Golden girls

Go for gold this season with a beautiful wedding gown that’s hot off the catwalks, to ensure that you win first prize in the fashion stakes!

Get the look beach bride

Look belle of the beach with sand between your toes!

Get the look city style

Stylish looks for sophisticated city weddings

The bridal body work out

Dress to impress with your fab new bridal dress body, honed and toned to suit the shape and style of your chosen wedding gown.

Bridal Style

Celebrity stylist Daniel Galvin Jr creates three beautiful bridal hairstyles paired with the perfect accessories to enhance your look

10 Celebrity make-up secrets

Look like the star that you are as you walk down the aisle, with 10 hot make-up tips from celebrity make-up artist Julia Carta



Weather permitting


Pop the Question




Your worldwide guide to wedding and honeymoon weather Experts answer your most frequently asked questions on planning your dream wedding

Wedding countdown

Your wedding day will arrive before you know it, so take care to read our 12-month wedding planner, specially created for those marrying overseas

Ask the planners

Wedding planner, Lisa Burton, of the Bridal Consultants shares her expertise with brides-to-be



Going Dutch

Amsterdam is an enchanting European city for a mini-moon, but for those in the know, Holland has oh so much more to offer honeymooners along its magnificent coastline

110 5 ways to SEA Japan 114

See Japan from a whole new perspective abroard a luxury cruise ship - from the pulsating city of Tokyo to the lesser-known tropical islands of southern Japan

Go glamping in Africa

Camp in luxurious style at the heart of the African planes and get up close and personal with awesome wildlife in its natural habitat 7

Brits happy to travel to weddings It’s official. Your British wedding guests are happy to go the extra mile for loved ones’ nuptials, both in distance and financially, according to a survey of 2,000 UK adults carried out by One4all, the Post Office multi-store gift card. It revealed that guests would be willing to travel an astonishing 1,163 miles to be at a loved one’s wedding. And newlyweds-to-be shouldn’t be put off by guests attitudes to weddings abroad, as 84 per cent don’t consider the wedding couple are being selfish to marry abroad – in fact, a third are actually delighted at the prospect! Brits are willing to spend an

average of £827.45 to attend a loved one’s wedding, including travel, accommodation, wedding gifts, an outfit, beauty treatments and drinks – 28 per cent said they do not mind splashing the cash as it’s a special occasion – this will be welcome news for couples who are concerned about keeping costs down for guests. The One4all Gift Card is available to buy from Post Offices nationwide and online at, and can be uploaded with any amount from £10 to £400.

BRIDESABROAD NEWS Be inspired, informed and amazed by the latest news on overseas weddings & honeymoons

Wonderful Waterfall Weddings

Marry in style to the magical sound of a cascading waterfall at The Sarojin, Thailand’s luxurious 56-room boutique hotel, set along an 11km stretch of white sand beach at Khao Lak. The 5-star hotel has launched its enchanting new wedding packages offering beautiful beach weddings – including the option to say “I do” at the foot of a stunning waterfall in the heart of the jungle. They can also choose between a traditional Thai or Western ceremony – and have the unique opportunity to embrace Thai customs with a spiritual blessing from a Buddhist monk. The Sarojin’s dedicated wedding team will be on hand every step of the way. The Sarojin is committed to hosting no more than one wedding per week, creating a more personal experience and ensuring that the venue is unique to each wedding party. The wedding package nuptials include tailor-made vows, readings and music; a Buddhist monk or celebrant; wedding cake; decorated venue including luck chains, frangipani and orchids; a bottle of sparkling wine; a personal wedding planner; photography, plus a 90-minute Royal Oriental Spa Massage for the couple and candlelit dinner on the beach with personal chef

Book it!

The Sarojin’s ‘Wonderful Waterfall Weddings’ are available from £2,854 and include 3-nights luxury stay in a Garden Residence.


Babymoonwalk If you want a romantic honeymoon retreat, but you’ve got a little one on the way, now’s the perfect time to enjoy a self-indulgent break before the baby arrives. La Maison d’Ulysse, a small luxury hotel in the South of France, has put together a Babymoon package in the French countryside, which is ideal for enjoying your precious time together pre-baby. Take a walking tour around the idyllic village of Baron, a pampering spa treatment or an intimate feast at the hotel’s restaurant, just the two of you. La Maison d’Ulysee was recently voted in the Top 25 Coolest Hotels in the World and is set in a lovingly restored, independently

owned 16th Century building steeped in history close to Nimes and Avignon. The Babymoon Walking Tour takes parents-tobe on a guided stroll around the local village of Baron, with its hilltop feudal castle, ending with a relaxing walk across a beautiful vineyard. La Maison d’Ulysse also offers a range of spa treatments suitable for mothers-to-be. Dads-to-be can also prepare themselves for their little arrival by opting for a relaxing massage or taking a dip in the hotel’s own Turkish bath.

Book it!

Luxury in the Wilderness Disneyland Paris has opened its magical gates to bring to life couples’ dream weddings in a storybook setting with Sleeping Beauty Castle as a backdrop. Disney’s Fairy Tale Weddings is offering two wedding collections – Royal Wedding Collections where couples can design an entirely personalized celebration and Romantic Wedding Collections where they can choose from a range of wedding packages. The Royal Wedding Collections offer unique entertainment and exclusively-designed settings that make this bespoke celebration an ultimate fairytale wedding. The Romantic Wedding Collections allow couples to choose from an array of venues with spectacular themes. They can then select unique add-on enhancements, such as Disney characters or live music, to make this celebration extra magical. Disney’s Fairy Tale Wedding specialists have been making dreams come true in Disney destinations around the world for 25 years. Couples can now rely on both their expertise and experience nearer home at Disneyland Paris, Europe’s number one tourist destination, which boasts two theme parks, seven themed Disney hotels, several event venues and Sleeping Beauty Castle as a magic setting.

Book it!

- 9

Fit for a Royal The Jamaica Tourist Board have just announced that British and Irish couples choosing to get married in Jamaica are up by 40 per cent from the previous year! The appeal of getting married in a tropical paradise - warm waves; dreamy beaches and incredible sunsets - is why more couples are flocking than ever before. There are also several benefits of marrying in Jamaica which are attractive to UK couples – firstly, they can be married 24-hours after arriving, plus all marriage documents can be provided in English and many of the resorts in Jamaica offer great all-inclusive deals, including Sandals, Beaches and Riu. Add to that the fact that there are excellent regional departures from the UK, including Cardiff, Newcastle and Glasgow, and it’s easy to see why Jamaica is becoming a number one location for destination weddings. Jamaica has recently seen Royal approval too after Prince Harry’s best friend, Tom Inskip, hired out the exclusive Round Hill Hotel and Villas for a lavish three-day celebration. In addition, American music legend Stevie Wonder recently announced that he is to wed for the third time in a star-studded beachside ceremony on the island.

Underwater vows in Greece Exchange your vows underwater at the Minos beach Art Hotel and delight your guests with a totally unique way to wed on the beautiful island of Crete. The bluegr Hotels & Resorts group offer three gorgeous hotels in Greece, which cater specifically for beautiful weddings: Minos Beach Art Hotel in Crete ( caters for larger weddings, whereas Sensimar Minos Palace (, also in Crete is better for smaller, intimate wedding parties. If you want a prime city location in Athens, Life Gallery ( also offers private, romantic weddings for smaller groups. The Underwater Wedding Package is available at the Minos Beach Art Hotel, it’s a new and thrilling wedding, which includes a dive master to perform the


ceremony, rings presented in a shell and a lovely decorated area on the shore for you and your guests to celebrate with a cake and sparkling wine. The bluegr hotel group’s expert wedding planners will arrange everything to ensure you have the perfect wedding, from bespoke menus, cakes and photography to documentation and witnesses.

Book it!

Wedding packages start from £2,145. experience/greece-honeymoon-weddings





...the world’s most romantic holiday...

Expect more, because we include more! Let us transform your dream Caribbean holiday into a memory that will last 2 lifetimes - yours and his.

Elegant indulgence for discerning romantics. Your holiday package includes FREE

~ Water skiing with professional instrucion ~ Scuba diving with professional instruction ~ ~ Scuba diver resort course ~ Windsur ng with professional instruction ~ ~ Tennis with professional instruction ~ 24 hour gourmet dining ~ In room stocked bar ~ ~ Unlimited Premium brand drinks ~ Gold (18 holes, transfers and green fees) ~ ~ Selection of o -site excursions Weddings* *Mandatory $250 for marriage license

Reservations 020 7749 9285 Information & brochures 01582 794 420

BestWeddingHotel Say “I do” in the breath-taking Maldives at the Velaa Private Island, and you will see why it has been voted ‘The Best Wedding Hotel’ by the Love Travel Awards. The gorgeous resort is tucked away in the Noonu Atoll, where its name is derived from the sea turtles that flock there to nest and hatch. The resort offers plush accommodation in 47 private villas, houses and exclusive residences and personal butler service for guests. Couples can select from Velaa Private Island’s ultimate wedding and renewal collection including: Walking On Clouds, Ocean Romance, Wave Whisperers and Happily Ever After. The Walking On Clouds package grants couples the opportunity to celebrate their union on top of the futuristic 75-foot Tavaru Tower, the highest point in the Maldives, with a bottle of Champagne presented from the largest wine cellar in the Maldives; Alternatively, the Ocean Romance enables couples to exchange vows aboard a luxury sunset cruise yacht; The Wave Whisperers ceremony takes place on the white sandy beach at sunset; The Happily Ever After package offers long-term love birds the chance to tie the knot under a floral gazebo with intricate baskets brimming with soft petals, lanterns and candles. All the wedding packages include romantic couples’ treatments at Clarins Spa, plus bridal hair and make-up; A bottle of Champagne and a photographer.

Book it!

Each bespoke renewal of vows package starts approx. £7,3000

Villa Weddings in Barbados For the ultimate island wedding, marry on the beautiful Caribbean island of Barbados in the privacy of your own gorgeous villa, or have a dream honeymoon tucked away in your own private haven. Barbados Dream Villas (BDV) has the largest selection of luxurious private properties and stunning beachfront villas, which are perfect for weddings and honeymoons with their breath-taking panoramas of clear blue ocean, white sandy beaches and tropical gardens. BDV are renowned for their spacious properties, often housing smaller cottages within the private grounds of the main villa, making them the perfect choice for wedding parties. For larger parties Crystal Springs Barbados, a 10 bedroom luxury villa on the beach on the West Coast of Barbados has re-opened after an extensive renovation to offer accommodation for up to 20 guests in a beautiful 1.7 acre beachfront estate. Leamington Cottage, on the other hand, is a delightful


one bedroom beachfront cottage, which is a perfect love nest for newlyweds, or alternatively it can be grouped together with the exclusive four-bedroom Leamington Pavilion next door. With a large selection of villas to choose from, BDV has the ideal property to suit your requirements in Barbados.

Marfa Road, Cirkewwa, MLH 9068, Malta T. (+356) 2152 1166 F. (+356) 2152 1153 E.

Night adventure in the Maldives Honeymoon adventures in the Maldives don’t just happen during daylight hours. As night falls, a whole new experience awaits newlyweds at Park Hyatt Maldives Hadahaa, following the launch of its starlit activities. The resort is one of the leading dive resorts in the Maldives and its reefs are never more stunning than at night. The one-hour guided Night-time Snorkelling Tour (from £65 pp) offers guests the chance to discover incredible sights below the ocean, particularly the bioluminescent plankton – a spectacular marine phenomenon, which twinkles like millions of tiny blue stars in the shallows. The resort’s Starlit Cruises with Stargazing excursion (£286 per couple) takes guests for an evening sail aboard a traditional Dhoni, with Champagne and canapés to toast the sunset before the night sky comes alive with stars – and zero light pollution in the Maldives makes the perfect setting for stargazing as guests are guided through the constellations by expert guides. Finally, the Chef’s Maldivian Cooking Class and Fishing Adventure is perfect for foodies, (£142 pp) – this ultra-romantic dining experience includes a culinary class with the resort’s master chef who will demonstrate how to mix spices for seasoning fish dishes, followed by a sunset fishing trip aboard a traditional Dhoni. Then, upon returning to The Island Grill, guests will enjoy a front seat view to see and taste their evening ‘catch’ cooked to perfection.

Book it!

Nightly rates at Park Hyatt Maldives start at £677 per villa, inclusive of Breakfast. Meal plans up to all-inclusive are available.

Iconic Middle East Weddings

If you are looking for opulence with an exotic flavor of the Middle East for your destination wedding or dream honeymoon, then head to Doha, in Qatar, which is celebrating the grand opening of sbe’s iconic new hotel, the Mondrian Doha – its first in the Middle East. The hotel’s striking contemporary design is the work of world-renowned Dutch designer Marvel Wanders and boasts 270 plush rooms in five distinctive room categories. The hotel is an exceptional new offering with a number of facets, levels and layers – a fantasy-like environment, which is sensitively rooted in local Arabian culture. Mondrian Doha feature a stunning Pearl Bridal Suite, complete with a 24k gold-sculpted caged elevator that descends directly into the beautiful Jawhara Ballroom, ensuring that bride and groom will make the grandest entrance to their lavish weddings. Meanwhile, honeymooners can make use of state-of-the-art facilities including a remarkable rooftop pool skybar, and an exclusive spa. Culinary offerings are truly exceptional, encompassing eight restaurants and bars, including Wolfgang Puck’s CUT and Morimoto Doha from Japanese Chef Masaharu Morimoto.


YummyChocolateWeddings For the sweetest of weddings choose a Chocolate Wedding Package at the True Blue Bay Boutique resort in Grenada. The package includes a chocolate themed wedding venue, candle-lit chocolate inspired dinner and a chocolate Champagne breakfast in bed, a basket of chocolate goodies and a complimentary room upgrade. For extra indulgence, couples can spend a day being pampered at the resort’s Blue Haven Spa enjoying treatments such as the Chocolate Body Wrap or a calming Cocoa Bath Soak. Choose between two wedding packages: the Simply Chocolate wedding package, ideal for an intimate wedding for two, and the Pure Chocolate wedding package for larger groups. Whichever package couples choose, they get to spend a night or two in the truly romantic honeymoon suite, which is reached via a

bridge through the treetops. The suite has custom designed décor such as heartshaped wall lights and a wrought iron tree decorated with pink glass hearts.

Book it!

Tropic Breeze offers seven nights at True Blue Bay Boutique Resort from £1,968 pp on a B&B basis, including return flights from London Gatwick with Virgin Atlantic and flights airport transfers. Price includes the Chocolate wedding package.

Diamond Safari They say a diamond is a girl’s best friend, so what bride wouldn’t like to select her very own rough diamond to be cut, polished and set into a beautiful piece of custom jewellery as a reminder of a unique honeymoon to the mineral-rich west coast of South Africa. This exclusive Diamond Safari, created by Ellerman House and Benguela Diamonds, originates in Cape Town where the newlyweds board a private charter flight to Port Nolloth on South Africa’s west coast. After breakfast at a luxurious coastal villa, they have the option to either join Benguela’s dive masters (PADI Open Water 1 certificate required) or wait for the divers to return with seabed gravel, which is then sorted using a vibrating pan system so the heavier stones, including garnets and diamonds, are separated from the rest. After a gourmet lunch, followed by an afternoon of gemstone sorting with experts who will give handson-training on the grading of diamonds, the custom jewellery will be completed and certified, before the couple fly back to Cape


Town aboard the private charter. The Diamond Safari also includes a Dom Perignon experience – a guided Champagne pairing and culinary treat

Book it!

Price from £12,775 pp, including return air transfer on a private jet.



SOMETHING BLU RADISSON BLU RESORT & SPA, MALTA GOLDEN SANDS Golden Bay, Limits of Mellieha, MLH 5510, Malta T: +356 2356 0000 E:


Malta If you want so much more than simply sun, sea and sand then Malta, with its glorious heritage, offers an incredible choice of wedding venues and an abundance of historical buildings, picturesque piazzas and dramatic landscapes to keep honeymooners enthralled The beautiful islands of Malta and its neighbouring Gozo and Comino, form a tiny archipelago nestling at the heart of the Mediterranean, which have a rich blend of cultures – from Moorish to Italian, and British too – as a consequence of frequent past invasions by those nations who have tried to make Malta their own. With sunshine throughout the year, ease of communication and a wealth of historical architecture that will make a glorious backdrop to your photographs, a wedding or honeymoon, or both, in Malta could be the perfect choice.

Historical Malta

There is plenty for you and your guests to see and do – film fans can visit the locations where Gladiator and Troy were 18

filmed, foodies will be impressed with local wines and seafood and sun worshippers will love to simply stretch out on a beach with a good book or swim in the inky blue Mediterranean sea. Valletta, the islands’ capital, is a glorious city of golden stone, flanked on either side by magnificent natural harbours. Within this fortress the Renaissance streets unfold in an elegant grid, lined with princely palaces and dominated by the spectacular Co-Cathedral of St John. Culture vultures will love the Hagar Qim and Mnandra temples, built on the coast of the Mediterranean over a thousand years before Stone Henge. Or visit the pretty fishing village of Marsaxlokk, and see the pretty painted boats bobbing about in the bay. Don’t forget to take your camera!

Gorgeous Gozo Gozo, Malta’s charming sister island, accessed by ferry or seaplane, provides a tranquil haven and scene change from Mainland Malta. Gozo is greener, smaller and more rural with fishing and agriculture as its main industries. Explore Gozo’s rugged landscape and spectacular coastline, which boasts some of the Mediterranean’s best dive sites. At the western tip are wild and wave battered cliffs with dramatic rock formations known as Dwejra - the perfect spot for a photo opportunity.

Further Information

Marry in Malta With its stunning countryside, beautiful ancient towns and over 300 days of sunshine each year, it’s no wonder so many couples choose Malta and Gozo as the venue for their wedding and honeymoon

It’s English speaking, so planning a wedding is easy, and Malta’s rich heritage means a variety of stunning venues are on offer, with grand hotels and beautiful landscaped gardens making a perfect backdrop for the most romantic of ceremonies. Whether you choose a traditional wedding in a majestic cathedral, a simple affair in a country church or even a civil ceremony overlooking Valletta’s historic Grand Harbour, magical memories for you and your guests are guaranteed, assisted by specialist wedding planners.

The crowning glory is the Roof Terrace, with panoramic views of the Grand Harbour making the ultimate backdrop for wedding photos.

New to Malta’s thriving hotel scene is an exclusive, small collection of luxury boutique hotels that offer intimate ceremonies with elegant and discreet receptions in a unique, often historic setting.

Malta welcomes couples from all over the world, and has created a truly romantic way to commemorate weddings with their Lovers Tree project. All overseas visitors getting married on the islands can have a tree planted to celebrate their marriage, complete with named heart-shaped plaque. Grown by seeds from the local Nature Trust - it’s the ultimate way to create a lasting tribute to your wedding, and why not return year after year to see it grow?

The stunning Ursulino, a grand, baroque townhouse located in the Three Cities, Valletta, has been meticulously restored with a blend of traditional architecture and cutting edge 21st Century comforts.


Also in Valletta is the smart Palazzo Consiglia, one-time palace and now 5-star boutique retreat where you and your guests can enjoy lavish hospitality surrounded by splendid baroque architecture and sumptuous furnishings.



An iconic Greek Island Perfect beaches, endless sunshine and charming Greek culture await couples choosing to say “I do” on the picturesque island of Rhodes


If you are looking for a gorgeous location for your wedding ceremony, which is close enough for your guests to travel with ease, then the stunning Greek island of Rhodes is absolutely perfect. The island offers an idyllic choice of venues for both religious and civil wedding ceremonies, from pretty chapels and luxury hotel grounds to beautiful golden sandy beaches. There’s something for everyone on Rhodes, the largest of the twelve Dodecanese islands in the eastern corner of the Aegean Sea. It’s an island of contrasts – offering everything from the well-preserved Medieval city of Rhodes to popular holiday resorts and pictureperfect fishing villages that dot the island’s shores. Rhodes boasts secluded coves and long sandy beaches, a great nightlife, ancient sites, buzzing towns and charming villages, plus an abundance of activities to suit all tastes. And if you are looking for authentic Greece, it can be found in the hilly interior of the 50-mile long island. Best of all for sun worshippers, Rhodes enjoys 300 days of glorious sunshine, making it a perfect year-round wedding destination.

Marry in Rhodes

If you marry on the island of Rhodes, there are many beautiful venues to choose from for your ceremony and reception. In Lindos you can marry in a choice of two beautiful chapels, St Paul and St George, both with superb ocean views, whilst in Kallithea you can marry at Kallithea Spa, a historical monument set in beautiful gardens or Agia Sophia, a chapel perched on a rock with a view over the Aegean Sea. You can also marry under a cross with a view out to sea in Filerimos or in the charming streets of Rhodes Old Town. Of course, if you prefer, you can say “I do” on the beach or in the manicured gardens of one of the many luxury hotels on the island – the choices are endless for both civil and religious weddings. Although most couples opt for a civil wedding in Rhodes there is also a Roman Catholic church on the island, where weddings can take place as well as a Protestant church and a Synagogue. If you have an idea in mind of where you want to tie the knot, it is well worth speaking to a wedding planner, such as Margarita Kasfiki at Weddings in Rhodes (www. who will advise you

as to where weddings are permitted to take place.

The legal paperwork

You will need the following documents for your wedding ceremony in Rhodes: Civil Ceremony • Full Birth Certificate • Divorce decree or Death Certificate • Certificate of No Impediment • Apostille stamp (to certify that a document is a true copy of the original).

Top 5 Things To Do 1 2 3 4 5

Stroll through the narrow streets of historical Rhodes Old Town, protected by the castle walls built by the Knights of St John.

• Change of Name or Deed Poll Certificate (if relevant) • Adoption Certificate (if relevant) • Baptism Certificate (for Catholic or Greek Orthodox ceremonies) • Document translations Religious Protestant Ceremony • Both parties must show evidence of Christian faith and baptism • Certificate from the couple’s Pastor for a series of pre-marital counseling sessions.

Step back in time at Filerimos Hill, the remains of a Medieval monastery and chapel.

• One of the parties must be of Protestant faith.

Party the night away at Faliraki, known for its lively nightlife – During the day you can enjoy it’s magnificent sandy beach and watersports on offer.

Roman Catholic Ceremony

See the pretty whitewashed houses scattered on the slopes up to the historical Acropolis overlooking the beautiful village of Lindos. Visit Seven Springs (Epta Piges) and walk around the maze of footpaths, through the tunnel and around the lake set deep in the gorge with turquoise waters and spot the peacocks wandering through the site.

• Two witnesses must be in attendance

Catholic weddings can only be performed if the bride and groom were not previously married, either the bride or the groom must be Catholic and both must be baptized. Each couple must provide certificates of Baptism, Confirmation and Freedom to marry.

After the wedding

After the ceremony the couple have a legal obligation to register the wedding at the local council within 40 days, failure to do so will result in the marriage having no validity. Your Marriage Certificate will be issued in Greek, so you will be required to have it translated into English. Your original documents will be kept as records in the mayor’s office. 23


Barefoot in Greece


It’s not just English brides and grooms who are choosing to marry abroad in some of the world’s most gorgeous locations, so when Italian couple Giulia Formichetti and Giovanni Matellon who live in north-east Italy met and fell in love whilst working on the Greek island of Rhodes, it seemed only fitting that they should return to the island with their friends and family for a barefoot wedding on the island’s magnificent sandy beach 25


Finding ‘the one’ We met in Rhodes in Greece at the beginning of the summer season in 2009. We were the new members of animation team in a 4-star hotel. It was definitely love at first sight for me, but not so much for Giovanni – I was the one that wooed him!

The proposal It was just a normal day in a week. I was preparing dinner at home, cutting courgettes with a big knife when he came in the kitchen with a small, unmistakable packet. He came over to me, showed me the ring and said something strange – “Back to Rhodes or nothing!” It was absolutely unexpected as we always said we will never be married, and we “do not need a wedding to prove our love” and things like that, so it was a lovely surprise. First of all I loved the way he proposed and surprised me, in a very easy simple way, without get down on one knee, on a normal unexpected night. When I realised he’d proposed I was exhilarated – I totally couldn’t imagine it!

Location location We always dreamt of bringing all our family out to Rhodes, to show them the island, the sea and the place where we meet, so we took the opportunity for our wedding.

The planning We started to plan our wedding a year before the event, and thanks to ‘WeddingsRhodes’ wedding coordinators and planners, especially Margarita, we made our dreams come true. When its time to organize your wedding you realise there are so many things to think about, and some of them are not even in your language, for example documents, bureaucracy or how to reserve a ceremony venue. When you use the services of a wedding planner to organize every single aspect of your wedding, with attention to all the details, it offers a solution for all tastes. Moreover they have contact with many suppliers and they know about the logistics. We used a tour operator to book our stay, which is the best solution when you are organising a holiday for 21 people. The Greek people, who were so nice and helpful with their hospitality and kindness.


The guests We had 36 guests at the wedding, 21 family members and the rest were friends. My family stayed in an all-inclusive hotel. Our friends booked a villa all together and some already live in Rhodes. We invited our guests one year before, to give them plenty of time to organise with work, summer and holidays. Not everybody could make it, but the most important people for us were there!

Getting the look First of all I have to tell you the truth, I am not the usual type of bride, I never dreamt about my dress and the first time I came into a bridal shop I had a nervous breakdown crying in front of my sisters! When I realised that I was not that kind of bride I decided to make my own tailored outfit and in the end it was perfect, wonderful and just the right shape for my figure for that special day! A friend of mine is a great designer with a lot of patience and good advice; she made me feel beautiful, comfortable and unique. My accessories were simple and elegant –two white pearls as earring and a diamond necklace. My hair was styled by a Greek hairdresser, recommended by local people and make-up was done by one of my friends who is a professional bridal make-up artist.

Something old, something new Something Old: necklace, from my mama’s wedding! Something New: my lingerie; Something Borrowed: earrings from my twin sister; Something Blue: I had the beautiful sea as my backdrop.

Groom & bridesmaids My groom was so in style! He wore a fresh, elegant sandy suit, rigorously without shoes! As for my bridesmaids, I let them decide on their own outfits, which worked out very well and nobody wore shoes, so they could feel the sand between their toes. It was truly a barefoot beach wedding.

The details I had a wonderful bouquet with soft pink roses, and our cake was apparently a disaster! It’s funny to remember the caterer’s mistake but thankfully it tasted delicious, which is the most important thing!

The ceremony We had our unforgettable ceremony on one of the most beautiful beaches in Rhodes. It 27


was quite a short service – just 20 minutes, and we were married by the Mayor of Lindos. After the ceremony we hired a bus to take us all to the reception venue, which was definitely the best idea.

The reception

We booked a table for 36 people in our favourite Greek tavern, Ristorante Palestra, which is located in Lindos Bay on the beach. We had our dinner with an amazing full moon and had a wonderful view of the Lindos Acropolis. We organized an aperitif with Mojito cocktails, Prosecco and soft drinks with a little fried shrimp. Our guests appreciated this aperitif, during our wedding photo shoot. When it was time to sit we shared dinner like the Greek locals with all the food in the middle of the table. We ate traditional Greek food with fresh fish washed down with good wine. The decoration of the tables was crisp and simple with flowers, given to me as a present from my lovely wedding planner! We did our First Dance to Elvis Presley ‘Can’t Help Falling in Love’.


Photographic memories One of my favourite memories about our special day was having the photographs taken. Margarita, our wedding planner, works with an extremely professional team! The wedding photographers, captured moments, with attention to detail and the results were wonderful. The photographers made us very comfortable and took great photographs! We had 400 to choose from and printed 100. My favourite wedding photograph is the one where I kiss Giovanni in Lindos Bay, with the Acropolis on top and white houses around. Giovanni’s smile was fabulous and the landscape reminded us of our beautiful island, with one of the best views ever.

Magic moments My best memory was arriving with my parents down on the beach. The only disaster on the day was the cake, but as I said before, it tasted delicious!

The honeymoon A few days after wedding we moved on to Santorini by boat. But the real honeymoon will be in March – destination Australia!

On budget? The whole wedding cost around £4,650. That was right on budget – and sincerely less than what we initially thought!

Further information WEDDING PLANNER Margarita Kasfiki, Weddings Rhodes. VENUE Ceremony Venue Private Beach of Lindos Memories Hotel, Lindos. Restaurant Venue: Ristorante Palestra, Lindos Bay, Lindos. PHOTOGRAPHER Savvas Argirou


y o u r w E d d i n g at i t s b E s t

At Twinpalms Phuket, we provide the perfect wedding stage for you and your soul mate – Whether a wedding ceremony inside the resort, a beachside wedding, a wedding on a luxury yacht, a Thai monk blessing or Chinese tea wedding ceremony, we pride ourselves on our seamless service, heavenly cuisine and the personal touches that make you feel like the most important person in the world.

Twinpalms Phuket Phuket’s Most Exciting & Stylish Contemporary Resort 106/46 Moo 3, Surin Beach Road, Cherng Talay, Phuket 83110, Thailand t +66 (0) 76 316500, f +66 (0) 76 316599 e

Thai the Knot

Say “I do” in some of the world’s most spectacular beach settings and have a sublime honeymoon in exotic Thailand


Beautiful, vibrant Thailand is rapidly becoming one of the world’s number one destinations for overseas weddings, as well as honeymoons in paradise. Thailand boasts friendly, hospitable people, exotic culture, delicious cuisine, stunning beaches, verdant forests and mountains and colourful nightlife. What more could a bride and groom possibly want? There can be few more stunning countries with so many romantic honeymoon options as Thailand, and even fewer offering such amazing value for money, with an endless supply of hotels and resorts to suit all pockets, from traditional Thai beach love nests to boutique chic and grand scale resorts offering an abundance of facilities. You can easily combine a multi-centre honeymoon in Thailand to enjoy the beach combined with a city centre adventure for shopping, culture and nightlife


Koh Yao Noi

This busy, exciting city combines wonderful sights, shopping and sumptuous hotel retreats to plunge you into modern Thai culture. Get into the Thai spirit at the awe-inspiring Grand Palace with golden temples and the Emerald Buddha, dazzling in gold leaf. If you love haggling, then shop till you drop at the numerous markets and shopping centres. At night, the rooftop bars and restaurants are buzzing, however, a romantic night-time boat trip gives you a sparkling view of the city from the river.

A short boat trip away from Phuket, Koh Yao Noi is a picturesque Muslim island and a different time zone, so it feels exciting to hear the call to prayer as you watch the sun go down.

Hua Hin Take in the bustling nightlife of Hua Hin, the royal resort just three hours drive from Bangkok, where you can ride horses on the beach and drink fresh coconut juice, and look our for beautiful local handicrafts.

Cha Am Only 25km from Hua HIn’s nightlife, Cha Am is loved for its relaxed, laid-back vibe, stunning beach and Thai atmosphere. This romantic resort is a perfect hideaway for honeymooners.

Koh Samui Famous for its white beaches, tropical gardens and coconut palms, this is an island packed with opportunities for activities, from walking in the jungle to exploring waterfalls, temples and a butterfly garden, as well as enjoying the vibrant night life.

Chiang Mai In its northern setting, Chiang Mai offers another side of Thailand. From here you can take in the glorious temples, find silk scarves, jewellery and Buddha carvings galore at the famous night market and wash or feed rescued elephants at the wonderful Elephant Nature Park.

Phuket The holiday island of Phuket has buzzing nightlife, beaches and ladyboy shows. Throw yourselves into the clubbers’ paradise or find a more secluded base and enjoy the nightlife only if you want to.

Insider tips ● Cover up your shoulders and arms, and take off your shoes if you visit a temple site or someone’s home. ● Make an effort to return the local politeness with the Sawadee greeting. ● Don’t accept the offers from friendly Bangkok touts who say they’ll give you a tour of the city – you are likely to end up at a shop being pressurised into spending money.

● Be aware that the Royal Family is revered here: any insults can land you in trouble. ● Check whether you will need vaccinations for the area of Thailand you visit – and make sure you take a good insect repellent with you! ● Avoid the roads for long journeys as they are notoriously busy; use the trains or take internal flights instead.

Find out more – visit 31

Marry in Thailand Brides and grooms getting hitched in Thailand can choose from many possibilities – from a colourful traditional Thai wedding or a Christian wedding or a blend of the two which can be done simultaneously. You can also have a fabulous Muslim wedding or a ceremonious Chinese one. The choice is yours. However, as far as wow-factor wedding locations are concerned, you’ll be spoilt for choice – from stunning white sandy beaches and lush, tropical resort gardens to mountain peaks, pulsating cities and even underwater ceremonies! Some resorts offer extra touches to make your big day more special – from elephant blessings to traditional Thai dancers and the release of lucky lanterns at sunset for the ultimate in romance. As long as your wedding is properly registered in the local Registration Office, your marriage in Thailand is recognised back home. However, to do this properly it is recommended that you use the services of an independent wedding planner or your tour operator’s experienced wedding team. A good wedding planner will take care of all aspects of your wedding, from the documentation and wedding ceremony to your wedding bouquet and cake, so that all you have to do is enjoy your day!

The Legals ● Marriage in Thailand should be performed according to Thai law and any questions on the procedure should be addressed to the appropriate Thai authorities. ● A religious ceremony on its own is not sufficient. ● The documentation to be produced is at the discretion of each individual Registrar ● The Marriage will only be recognised under UK law if it is valid under Thai law, therefore, the marriage must be registered with the Registrar at an Amphur (District) Office. A list of Ampur offices is available from Tourism Authority of Thailand’s UK website: ● Your marriage certificate will be in Thai. It is recommended to commission a ‘sworn translation’ of the marriage certificate from a translation bureau for legal use in the UK. ● Consular Section can arrange for your marriage to be recorded in the UK although this is not a legal obligation. ● It is important to note that a foreign national does not automatically acquire British nationality.

Documentation ● Proof of identity is required. ● Bride and groom must be 18 years of age or over. ● Bride and groom must both be single. ● If either party is widowed or divorced, relevant paperwork must be provided (original only). ● Passports must be valid for at least six months from date of entry to Thailand.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION: Consular Section British Embassy 1031 Wireless Road Bangkok 10330 32


A lesson in



School friends Lynsey Cuthbertson and Joseph Poole from York became great pals as they studied together, but no georaphy lesson could have prepared them for the joy of getting engaged on a Thai beach in Hua Hin – and better still, the magical moment when they exchanged vows in the grounds of a luxury resort in Phuket. The rest, as they say, is history! Finding ‘the one’ We met at school, I was 15 and Joe was 17. It wasn’t love at first sight though, we became like best friends before we started dating.

The proposal Joe proposed to me in Hua Hin, Thailand. We went on holiday to Dubai then on to Thailand and Joe told me that the hotel give all their guests a free meal on the beach, so I was looking forward to this. On the proposal day, Joe has tried to contact my parents to ask for permission but hadn’t been successful. My dad then rang me as he was worried we may be in a Thai prison when he saw Joe had called four times. Joe brushed it off and said he rang by accident – me, being completely obliovus to this, just called him an idiot! As we were getting ready, I came out of the bathroom and Joe had gone. He then text to say, “somebody will pick you up shortly. Love you”. At this point, I knew in my head he was going to propose, but had no idea how. A staff member from the hotel came to pick me up and we walked towards the beach. As I got there, Joe was waiting for me at the steps leading to the beach. There was a candlelit dinner with our own private BBQ, a massive bunch of roses and a bottle of Champagne. To top it off, he had a violinest play for the entire evening whilest we sat on the beach. It was beautiful. I had no idea all the way through the holiday until Joe left the hotel room and sent that text, that’s when I knew he was going to propose!

Location, location Neither of us have very big families and we always liked the idea of getting married on a beach. Thailand is very close to our hearts and we’ve been four times now. As that’s where we got engaged, it seemed the obvious choice for our wedding ceremony. We knew some areas in Thailand, and as our friends and family were going to be visiting, we wanted them to know there is plenty for them to do, so we chose Phuket. We were lucky enough to visit Phuket a year before the wedding to look at wedding venues. 35


The planning Joe and I did all the arrangments for the day. We could have used the services of the hotel’s wedding planner, but as we used a lot of external businesses for the wedding, we arranged it all ourselves. We arranged our flights and hotels ourselves, booking the flights with Ethihad on skyscanner and for the hotels. The wedding was all planned before we went, the only little things we needed to do in Thailand was buy sparklers, as these can’t be taken on the plane, and some photo frames.

The guests We had 40 guests all together – the majority of the guests stayed in the hotel where we got married (Katathani) and a few in the nearby hotels, (Sugar Marina Resort and the Chanali Gardens). We had a few guests decline the invatation – some who didn’t want to fly and some with young children, but most people we invited were able to make it.

Getting the look I wore a Pronovias dress that I bought from Bridal Rouge Gallery in York. I visited five wedding dress shops and this dress must have been the 15th I had tried on. It’s the first dress that made me cry, so I knew it was the one! I bought a handmade wedding hair vine from Bobby Pin, which was beautiful. We had a hair and make-up artisit called Neil Donkin, who lives and works in Thailand, to do hair and make-up for the wedding party.

Something Old, Something New I wore my grandma’s wedding ring for my Something Old and Borrowed. My Something New were a pair of Vivenne Westwood earrings from my aunty. My Something Blue was a blue bracelet from my mum.

Groom & bridesmaids Joe, the groom and ushers wore Ted Baker Suit, apart from the jacket. They had waistcoats and brown brouges. The bridesmaids wore a dress from TFNC at ASOS in a taupe colour – a light peachy pink.



ransform the wedding of your dreams into reality that’s what “we do”.

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The details We decided on a travel theme for the wedding. I had a bouquet made of pink David Austin Roses, rice flower and pink hydrangea. We had a three-tiered travel themed wedding cake – two suitcases with a world as a cake topper to decorate.

The ceremony It took place in the beautiful hotel grounds at the Katathani Phuket Beach resort. The ceremony lasted around 25 minutes, and my friend Niamh was our celebrant. I was given away by my dad. We did incorporate some Thai tradition at our wedding ceremony by having an elephant there – which is seen as a Thai blessing.

The reception This was held at one of the restaurants in the hotel, right by the wedding venue. We had a buffet of lots of different Thai dishes for people to try. For fun, we had an ‘Advice for Bride and Groom’ card, so each guest could write down their best piece of advice. We also had macaroons as favours, and the guest names were in a napkin made into a suit jacket. We danced our First Dance to Lifehouse – You And Me, then we had a fire show and a disco. We also had a makeshift photobooth.


were there from 3pm-11pm, so they got plenty of photographs. Our guests took plenty of photographs too, many really excellent ones.

Magic moments My best memory was walking down the aisle with my dad and seeing Joe waiting for me. Funniest memory was ‘Cutting The Cake’ and feeding it to each other!

The honeymoon After the wedding we changed location and wernt to Koh Samui for five days, then on to the Maldives for a week. Some of our guests had already left when we went to Koh Samui and some stayed in the same hotel for another week and had a holiday.

On budget? The wedding, with the flights, hotels and spending money for the month cost around £27,000 but the wedding itself cost around £16,000. That was on budget!

Further information WEDDING PLANNER Satinee at the resort

Photographic memories

VENUE Katathani Phuket Beach Resort

A lady called Gina Smith and her team did the photography. We had a photographer each and a videographer each and they

PHOTOGRAPHY Gina Smith/JaranKaewklam

A traditional

Irish wedding

Romance fills the air in Ireland, it is one of the most magical countries on the planet to host your fairytale wedding – which is why couples from all over the world come here to say “I do” 40

From the Causeway Coast and the Wild Atlantic Way to the Sunny South East and the 11 cities in between, including the charming capital, Dublin, Ireland offers a host of delightful locations that are picture perfect for your wedding celebrations. The Republic of Ireland is also honeymoon bliss for couples seeking lush green scenery, rugged landscapes, pretty villages, vibrant towns and a warm and friendly welcome from the locals. There are 26 counties in the Republic of Ireland, each with its own identity. Ireland’s special charm is that it remains unspoiled, in fact, exploring the country is like stepping back in time, when the pace of life was slow and uncomplicated. The best way to enjoy the full Irish experience is to tour by car. But be sure to find time to savour a Guinness or two and sing along to Irish folk music in the local tavern. The Republic of Ireland is still a member of the EU and a parliamentary democracy with a president as head of state. There are 4.3 million people living in the Republic of Ireland of which one third of the population is under the age of 29 – and their reputation for throwing a truly wonderful party is legendary, so it’s not just the beautiful landscapes that inspire Paul McCartney, Dita Von Teese, the Beckhams and Pierce Brosnan to say “I do” here.

Getting married in Ireland For old world charm, there couldn’t be a better choice of wedding venues – there is an incredible variety of fairytale castles throughout Ireland, such as Ashford Castle in County Mayo as well as stunning country house hotels and golf and spa resorts, such as the K Club, Mount Juliet, Killarney Park Hotel, Aghadoe Heights Hotel and spectacular seaside resorts, like Inchydoney Island Lounge & Spa and the Park Hotel Kenmare, all of which can host weddings of all sizes in their richly decorated rooms or beautifully manicured grounds. You can marry with a religious ceremony in one of the beautiful churches, or a civil service in the great outdoors – on a beach, in the countryside, on a golf course or in a rustic village - the choices are endless.

Top 5 Things To Do 1 2 3 4 5

Kiss the Blarney Stone The famous Blarney Stone at Blarney Castle, in Co Cork, is officially called the Stone of Eloquence. Legend states that if you kiss the stone, you will never be at a loss for words. Kissing this mystical stone can only be done by hanging upside down over a sheer drop from the castle’s tower. See where Guinness is brewed A visit to the Guinness Storehouse is must for those who want to see the birthplace of the famed dark beer and taste it straight from the barrel. The seven-story, pint glassshaped interior of the Guinness brewery includes interactive exhibits and demonstrations of the brewing process. Visit Dublin Zoo Dublin Zoo is one of the oldest zoos in the world, and it sees over a million visitors a year. The 70acre park houses over 400 animals split into various sections. Visit the African Savanna; The Gorilla Rainforest; The Kaziranga Forest Trail and The Asian Forests. Discover Waterford Crystal Established in 1783, in the city of Waterford, Waterford Crystal has created some of the world’s most iconic objects, including the chandeliers at Westminster Abbey and the Times Square New Year’s Eve Ball in NYC. On a small-group factory tour you’ll get to see the whole process of crystal making. Dingle A busy fishing port and one of Ireland’s largest Gaelic-speaking towns, Dingle (An Daingean in Gaelic), is a charming town with historic pubs and a lively folk music scene – walk along the rugged coastal cliffs, tuck into fresh seafood at a waterfront restaurant or join the locals for an afternoon pint of Guinness.

The Legals Getting married in Ireland is straightforward once you are aware of the procedures and legalities and know the kind of marriage ceremony you want. There are usually three types of wedding ceremony in Ireland religious, civil (done by a state representative - a registrar) and a humanist (non-religious) ceremony.

Catholic Wedding Catholic weddings are by far the most common religious wedding ceremony in Ireland. Policies on conducting marriage ceremonies vary from church to church, so it is essential to discuss your request with the priest of your chosen parish to ask if he will marry you (there’s no guarantee that he will allow you to marry in the parish if you’re from outside the area). It’s imperative to confirm the details - a minimum of three months in advance, so make an appointment to give notice to the Civil Register of Marriage ASAP to obtain a Marriage Registration Form (MRF). You will also need documentation including baptismal certificate, confirmation certificate and a letter of freedom from each parish you have lived in since you were 18-years-old. You must also complete a Marriage Preparation Course and provide a certificate to the priest.

Civil Wedding You must notify your registry office of the county you intend to marry a minimum of three months in advance, with a longer lead time for popular dates and times. If you plan a wedding at an alternative venue, check that it is licensed for civil ceremonies and be aware that it will incur extra cost for the Civil Registrars. You can only marry Monday to Friday – not at weekends. Each county office has its own rules, check with your chosen office on the details.

Humanist Ceremony Now that the Civil Registration Amendment Act 2012 has come into force, couples can be legally married in a humanist ceremony, with the officiant accredited by the Humanist Association of Ireland. The form of the ceremony is flexible and can include poetry, readings, vows, music and traditions. Couples must give notice to the Civil Registrar of Marriage a minimum of three months in advance. For further information: 41

A fairytale Irish wedding

Why not add a touch of traditional Irish magic to delight your guests on your wedding day by embracing those old superstitions to ensure you have a marriage filled with good luck and good fortune! Local traditions, cultures and superstitions can add colourful, magical elements to your wedding, giving it a distinctive local flavour. Irish superstitions and rituals can become an integral part of your celebrations, making your wedding ceremony or reception original and unforgettable. If you don’t know too much about Irish wedding rituals, you will be intrigued to learn the history and meaning behind them, which can be charming, amusing and whimsical. But before the bride accept the marriage proposal in the first place, it is worth bearing in mind an old English rhyme which suggests that it is unlucky to marry a man whose surname begins with the same letter:

Claddagh Engagement Rings

Traditional Irish Claddagh Rings are an elegant choice for Irish weddings. The Claddagh ring is given as a token of affection and symbol of faithfulness. For hundreds of years Irish couples have worn Claddagh rings in lieu of plain gold bands. Couples can now choose gorgeous Claddagh rings embellished with solitaire diamonds or emeralds, delicate engravings or tiny precious gems.

Irish Wedding Vows

There are many Irish wedding vows to choose from, but if you are looking for simple, beautiful words you can use the Irish Vow of Unity: ‘We swear by peace and love to stand Heart to heart and hand in hand Mark, O Spirit, and hear us now Confirming this, our Sacred Vow’.

Wedding Veil

It’s considered unlucky to put on your own wedding veil on the big day. If you want to ensure good luck, have a happily married woman do the honours for you. In many countries, wearing a wedding veil is thought to disguise the bride and outwit evil spirits.

To change the name and not the letter Is to change for the worse and not the better! Once you’ve passed the first hurdle with flying colours, there’s another traditional rhyme to consider before you pick the wedding day of the week:

Monday for wealth Tuesday for health Wednesday the best day of all Thursday for losses Friday for crosses Saturday for no luck at all It’s probably best to take that old superstition with a pinch of salt, bearing in mind that most happy marriages take place on Fridays and Saturdays. However, you might like to keep the third rhyme in mind when choosing the month of your wedding:

Married when the year is new, he’ll be loving, kind and true When February birds do mate, you wed nor dread your fate If you wed when March winds blow, joy and sorry both you’ll know Marry in April when you can, joy for the maiden and for man Marry in the month of May, and you’ll surely rue the day Marry when June roses grow, over land and sea you’ll go Those who wed in August be, many change is sure to see Marry in September’s shrine, your living will be rich and fine If in October you do marry, love will come but riches tarry If you wed in bleak November, only joys will come, remember When December snows fall fast, marry and true love will last! Now you’ve decided on the lucky date, you can ensure that you have the luck of the Irish by customising your wedding in true Irish style. 42


Tucking a pretty hankie, decorated with Irish Lace into a wedding gown is thought to bestow fertility and good luck upon the bride. Some Irish brides embroider lucky horseshoes onto their wedding hankies for extra luck.

Shoes for luck

For yet more good luck put an Irish penny into your shoe. Still on the subject of shoes, guests should tie a pair of shoes to the back of the newlyweds’ car as they drive off after the wedding to bring good luck to the couple.


Don’t worry if it rains on your wedding day. It can bring good luck. According to Irish legend a rainy day is a guarantee of a happy marriage, which is just as well, because the Irish weather is unpredictable at the best of times! If you don’t want it to rain on your wedding day then put a statue of the Child of Prague (a holy statue) in your garden the night before the wedding!

Twitter on…

It’s good luck to wake up to a twitter on your wedding day, and no, we don’t mean a gossip on the Internet, we mean good old fashioned bird song!


A Magical

Irish marriage


On a beautifully crisp Irish winters morning, Aoife McGivney and Shane Cahill, who both work in the City of London, welcomed 170 friends and family to the historic town of Adare to celebrate their wedding at the beutiful Holy Trinity Abby Church.

Finding ‘the one’

Although we are both Irish, we live in Battersea, London and work in finance in the City. We met through mutual friends in London and we hit it off straight away.

The proposal

Shane proposed whilst on holiday in Mozambique, on Benguerra Island. He waited for the first perfect African sunset and proposed on the beach, which was deserted except for us – extremely romantic! It was totally unexpected and he completely caught me off guard. I had no idea. He designed the ring himself and got a replica made to bring to Africa to propose.

Location, location

Although we live in London we wanted to get married in Ireland, close to family. We were looking for a beautiful setting, with a fantastic reception room and Adare Manor just ticked all the boxes – romantic manor, more castle like, beautiful church in Adare, with breathtaking grounds and scenery, truly 5-star service and food of Michelin star standard. But most of all it

was the people at Adare Manor that made us so welcome and at home.

The planning

We made our own arrangements but the team in Adare were extremely helpful, they made the whole experience very easy – there was no need to have a wedding planner. The theme of our wedding was ‘to have a good time’.

The guests

We had 170 guests who mostly stayed at the venue or on the grounds of the estate. We had people travelling from Australia, San Francisco, Canada, New York, South Korea, China, Geneva, other areas of the UK and of course across Ireland. The only people who couldn’t attend had other family commitments – or couldn’t travel due to personal circumstances (many of our friends are expending!)

Getting the look

My dress (style Tara) was designed by our family friend, Internationally acclaimed Irish fashion designer Patrick Casey. It was a fully circular, hand made silk dress that used almost 100 metres of material! 45

I also wore a short white fur jacket and a veil, also designed by Patrick Casey ( My shoes were ‘Chantilly’, designed by Harriet Wilde ( I wore a handmade hairpiece, which as a gift from Patrick Casey and my hair was styled by Nicola Kelly and makeup by Adele Miley.

Something Old, Something New…

Something Blue – the stitching in my dress; Borrowed – my white fur stole from Patrick; New – my dress/shoes and earrings; Old was a silver dollar given to me by Shane the morning of our wedding.

Groom & bridesmaids

Shane wore Black Tie with a white bow tie. The A-line bridesmaid’s gowns had a oneshoulder neckline and draped bodice in a subtle candlelight colour designed by JLM Couture (style JH5255). They also had faux fur stole and hats from John Lewis. 46

The details

Flowers were chosen by Danielle of Abbeyfeale flowers – the bouquet’s were exquisite. The bridal bouquet was a small snow handtie bouquet with lilac, bouvardia and white astilbe with ivory lace finish with a vintage brooch on the handle lace. Our wedding cake was created by Una Flynn. It was white with hand made flowers cascading down the side.

The ceremony

I arrived to the church in a classic Bently S2 for the hour-long wedding ceremony, which took place at Holy Trinity Abbey church in Adare. We were married by a family relative, Fr Sean Manning, and I was given away by my father, Dr Declan McGivney.

Customs and traditions

It was a good Irish wedding with a twist, and each guest received a mini bottle of


Lemoncello, which were designed and put together by the bride and groom.

The reception

Champagne, hors d’œuvres and canapes were served in the drawing room at Adare Manor, then the dinner bell was rung, and guests were wisked up to the magical Minstril Gallery, where we had a table plan consisting of special places around the world that are close to our hearts. On the menu was Crispy Skin Salmon & Tiger Prawns and Blackberry and Sloe Gin Sorbet for the first course; Roast Rack of Irish Lamb for main course and Open Granny Smith Apple Tart for men and Warm Chocolate and Raspberry Tart for ladies for dessert followed by a selection of cheeses. The meal was washed down with French wines from Chateau Payrabon and the vineyards of Louis Latour. Our First Dance was to Your Song in the style of Ellie Goulding sung by the band CrossTown. The evenings speeches concluded with a spectacular fireworks display. New Years Eve was rung in by dancing to the Irish band CrossTown, with midnight celebrated as cannons blew confetti into the air before the evening ended with a tasty Suckling Pig.

Photographic memories

My favourite wedding photo is of Shane and I coming into the reception – the shot, taken by our wedding photographer Naoise Culhane, captures everything about how happy and excited we both were.

Magic moments

My favourite memory is of arriving at the church. When the doors opened in the church, my nerves left as I caught a glimpse of all my close friends and family

looking back as I started to walk down the aisle to my beautiful husband to be – it really was an extremely exciting but emotional moment. Shane remembers entering the reception room seeing all our family and friends.

Any disasters?

Nothing! It was absolutely perfect –- the Events Team, front of house and food and beverage senior personal were unbelievable and made the whole day run extremely smoothly.

The honeymoon

After the wedding we had a meal the following day in a local pub where we had food/ beverages and traditional Irish music played. Then we took off for our honeymoon, spending seven days surfing on the south coast of Sri Lanka before jetting off for 10 days relaxing and diving in the Maldives.

Further information

PHOTOGRAPHY Naoise Culhane, Dublin DRESS Designed by Patrick Casey SHOES Harriet Wilde FLOWERS: Supplied by Abbeyfeale Flowerists “Tie The Knot Weddings” by Abbeyfeale Flowers HAIR & MAKE-UP Nicola Kelly / Adele Miley VENUE Adare Manor 47

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The Verandah Resort & Spa

Nestling on the lush agricultural northeast coast of Antigua, The Verandah Resort & Spa offers wedding and honeymoon packages in a spacious oasis of luxury and tranquillity, just a 5-minute drive from the spectacular Devil’s Bridge National Park. Set in 30 beautiful beachfront acres, it boasts pretty white sandy coves with calm turquoise waters and luxurious accommodation in suites and villas within manicured gardens – each boasting its own signature ‘verandah’ to enjoy the tropical and sea views. The resort has gorgeous settings for weddings with 5 wedding gazebo options including a wedding gazebo overlooking the bay. An expansive swimming pool is the resort’s centrepiece, there’s also an adult-only pool for quiet relaxation. With three restaurants and four bars, guests have a choice of dining options followed by live evening entertainment. The Tranquility Body & Soul Spa is an elegant hideaway for pampering and relaxation.

THE GRENADINES Palm Island Resort

For perfect Caribbean weddings and honeymoons, the Palm Island Resort in the Grenadines is a magical escape. Completely secluded on its own 135-acre private island fringed with coconut palms, soft white sand and turquoise sea, it is an idyllic place to relax and unwind. The resort has been built to blend in with its natural surroundings, with many of its rooms, suites and villas located on the beach. Here honeymooners can hike, swim, enjoy non-motorised water sports and explore the island at their leisure. Palm Island offers relaxation with five white sand beaches, a swimming pool with waterfall, fitness centre and Spa Treatment Room. The beachfront restaurants take advantage of locally grown vegetables and fresh seafood, and romance seekers can enjoy private beach dining at the romantic heart-shaped tree (additional charge).


St James’s Club Morgan Bay


The Club Barbados Resort & Spa

Set in a beautiful location, just a 10 minute drive from Rodney Bay Marina, and offering plenty of Caribbean charm, this fun-filled beachfront resort has an abundance of first-class facilities to keep honeymooners relaxed and entertained in the St Lucia sunshine. The all-inclusive resort is the perfect place to say: “I do” with a choice of inclusive wedding and honeymoon packages. Rooms are set in pink blocks around the resort with garden, pool or ocean views. There are six delightful dining options and four swimming pools, including a large main pool area with swim-up bar and separate kids and adultonly options. The Hilltop Spa offers luxurious couples treatments whilst active rest is offered with a range of activities including water sports, tennis courts, fully-equipped gym, pilates and spin classes and fantastic live evening entertainment.

In a gorgeous setting on the west coast of Barbados, known as the ‘Gold Coast’, The Club Barbados Resort & Spa nestles amid lush tropical gardens and is a haven of blissful relaxation. The adults-only, all-inclusive resort is a 30 minute drive away from Bridgetown with its vibrant nightlife. The hotel has a small beach with its own extensive list of water sports, including water-skiing. A short stroll in the warm sunshine takes you to one of the beautiful beaches on either side of the resort, or relax on a lounger by the hotel’s split-level pool, or in the spa where you can be indulged with luxurious treatments including couples massage and aromatherapy. The hotel offers mouth-watering cuisine in a choice of two restaurants and the Rum Shop Bar is a true Bajan rum shop and a great place to round off another day in paradise.

Book it! or though your local travel agent

Mermaid pops the question

Finding the perfect way to propose to your beloved takes thought and preparation – however, few proposals can be quite as enchanting as when Jed from Dubai asked his girlfriend Rita to marry him six meters beneath the Indian Ocean

If you are thinking of proposing to your loved one, there can be few more romantic ways to pop the question than the heartwarming way Jad proposed to his Rita on a magical getaway to the beautiful Ozen resort in the Maldives. The Ozen resort, which opened in July last year, is home to a fine-dining underwater restaurant called Minus Six Meters (M6m), which was the location for the carefully planned underwater proposal that lucky Rita will never forget. Jad had been in constant touch with the OZEN team for months prior to couple’s arrival at the resort, to carefully prearrange the entire sequence of events for this special moment, with his partner Rita completely unaware that this highly momentous occasion was going to occur on their getaway. Whilst the couple were enjoying a romantic dinner in the restaurant, a diver, along with OZEN’s very own ‘Mermaid’, swam down to appear at the window facing the couple’s table and unveiled a banner stating: ‘Will You Marry Me?’ 50

Rita, his bride-to-be was in absolute shock, but totally delighted and, of course, the answer was a huge ‘Yes!’, with tears of joy flowing. The rest of the couples dining at M6m joined in and applauded this amazing experience with a Champagne toast.

Tears of joy Jed and Rita, both HR professionals met in Dubai and have been together since 2016. However, his proposal definitely took Rita by surprise. He says: “It was a

surprise proposal. All details were organized to perfection and arranged discretely by the staff and management of Ozen. By the time we reached M6M and sat at our table, I was so excited that I could feel my heart bouncing. When she saw the banner she answered “for sure”, whilst the guests cheered her on. Then I put the ring on her finger and all I can say is that it was simply an unforgettable moment.” The atmosphere in the restaurant afterwards was incredible with guests, staff and the special couple raising a toast and applauding to this magnificent and seriously unique gesture.

Ozen by Atmosphere resort Set in an expansive turquoise lagoon in the South Male Atoll, the luxurious Maldives island resort of OZEN by Atmosphere at Maadhoo is just 35-minutes by speedboat transfer from Male airport and is not only the most romantic place for a wedding

proposal, but it is an idyllic choice for wedding blessings and dream honeymoons.

Accommodation Plush accommodation is thoughtfully appointed with state-of-the-art facilities and breathtaking views. Villas are located on the beachfront or over the lagoon, and many feature infinity lap pools. Along the beach, 10 Earth family Pool Suites offer two bedrooms and a private 35 square metre pool, whilst over the water, The OZEN Water Suite with private pool is the most indulgent accommodation, offering three bedrooms and dedicated maid’s room in its prime position at the tip of the pier, looking out into the blue of the Indian Ocean – perfect for private wedding parties.

Wining & dining Dine at one of four sumptuous restaurants, offering everything from pizzas to authentic Maldives fare, plus enjoy a range of

premium drinks including Champagne and vintage whiskeys. Of course, the Minus Six Meters (M6m) is the resort’s spectacular steak & lobster restaurant with the extra wow factor – with its amazing underwater views of colourful marine life.

All-inclusive activities The Atmosphere Indulgence plan also includes an incredible range of activities including unlimited snorkeling excursions, non-motorised watersports, full access to the Sports & Recreation centre, indulgent spa and OZEN Kids Club.

Further information Ozen by Atmosphere Maadhoo South Male Atoll 51

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AnantaraVeli Maldives Resort

If an island paradise of chic simplicity in a charming adults only tropical setting is what you need, the white sand and azure waters of Anantara Veli Maldives Resort will provide the perfect setting. Relax with your loved one in the over water bungalows, as a spectacular plethora of sea life swims in the crystal clear lagoon beneath you

Set on a palm-fringed island with pristine coral reefs in the South Male Atoll, Anantara Veli Maldives offers the perfect island setting for couples looking for a relaxing honeymoon island hideaway. This stunning resort offers 5-star luxury against a backdrop of soft white sand, azure waters and exotic vegetation. You can enjoy active rest swimming in the infinity pool, working out in the Fitness Centre or on the outdoor tennis courts, or with an abundance of watersports and PADI diving in the tranquil surrounds of the resort’s crystal clear lagoon. Alternatively, simply experience the ultimate relaxation on the beach, by the pool or in the SUNDARI Ayurvedic Spa, which offers a holistic approach to health and wellbeing, and get in touch with your inner self in the Yoga pavilion, where you can take morning meditation and yoga classes. At this stunning Maldives resort you can unwind any way you choose.

Luxury accommodation While away the hours in your choice of intimate accommodation – from beach bungalows, some with direct lagoon access, to over-water villas with sun terraces over the turquoise lagoon, watching as a spectacular selection of sea life swims beneath you. Over Water and Ocean Pool bungalows at Anantara Veli offer the perfect blend of seclusion and deluxe amenities, including flat screen TV, high-speed WIFI access and mini bar, matched with breathtaking views. Each of the striking new bungalows features a magnificent plunge pool and offers the ultimate in privacy.

Wining & dining The perfect romantic getaway is provided for honeymoon couples with a host of dining options of various world cuisines, such as international cuisine at 73 Degrees, Japanese delights at Origami and Thai food at Baan Huraa, in captivating dining locations. In the evening, add an element of gourmet dining with a unique menu designed by you and the chef, served on a deserted sandbank that has a backdrop of a breathtaking Maldives sunset. Additional dining options are available at the hotel’s sister resort, Anantara Dhigu, just a short boat ride away.

Weddings Seal your love amidst the splendor of the Maldivian sunset. Exchange vows overlooking the breathtaking Indian Ocean and feel the traditional beat of island bodu beru drums as you make an everlasting promise to each other in a beautiful Symbolic Wedding Ceremony. Celebrate your wedding reception under a secluded ‘faree’ tent on a deserted stretch of sand as you gaze at the bright stars, fresh Maldivian seafood grilling on the beach. The events team at Anantara Veli Maldives Resort will take care of every detail to ensure your special day goes without a hitch.

Choose a beach wedding and stand on soft white sands beneath the coco palms, where crimson bougainvillea thistle and tropical flowers garnish a ceremonial beachfront sala.

Book it! Anantara Veli Maldives Resort P.O. Box 2098, Veligandu, South Male Atoll, Male, Republic of Maldives Tel: +960 664 4100 Fax: +960 664 4101 Email: reservations.maldives

Fall in love with


Whether you are seeking a romantic getaway, the perfect backdrop to your wedding, or vow renewal, or simply looking for a honeymoon location to make you swoon, it’s easy to fall in love with the islands of Fiji


Set in the South Pacific and blessed with approximately 333 beautiful islands, of which only a handful are inhabited, Fiji is most certainly going to cast a love spell on your heart. With white sandy beaches, swaying coconut trees, tropical sunsets and deep azure oceans to gaze across, Fiji provides an idylllic atmosphere to reconnect with the one you love and switch off from the world. The perfect backdrop for a romantic getaway, Fiji appeals greatly to couples looking to exchange vows or embark on their honeymoon. From being serenaded on arrival by a traditional Fijian band and conch shell blowers and the famous welcome “Bula!” to award-winning spa treatments and candlelit dinners on the beach, Fijians are masters at adding a sprinkling of magic to your honeymoon. And with temperatures reaching an average of 30ºC between May and October, Fiji can’t be beaten for couples seeking sun, sea, sand and romance. Famous for its pristine natural environment, Fiji is a leader in eco-tourism. Known as the ‘soft coral capital of the world’ it has so much to offer its visitors. Revel in Fiji’s 5-star resorts, stroll on the white beaches hand-inhand at sunset, snorkel, dive, surf or kayak on the ocean, white-water raft on clear and clean waterways, cruise around its mainland and outer Fiji Islands to discover remote secluded beaches and hidden bays, trek the rainforests, backpack the outer islands, visit the local villages or check out the vibrant town of Nadi with its shops and restaurants, and immerse yourself in its unique culture and history. Adventure lovers can surf the world famous Cloud Break, trek the wilderness or embark on a rugged off-road adventure – you can’t help but have fun. Several wedding packages in Fiji include day-trips and excursions such as diving at Dolphin Bay and jet boating adventures.


There’s a reason why so many newlyweds and about-to-be-weds flock to Fiji to celebrate their love. This is one of the most romantic places on earth. If you want help with planning, many resorts offer wedding or honeymoon packages to take the pressure off. As a popular wedding destination, Fiji has an abundance of spectacular venues. If

Top 5 Things To Do 1 2 3 4 5

Catch a ferry to Mamanucas Leaving from Port Denarau, zip over to the breathtakingly beautiful Mamanucas, a set of islands that were the location for Tom Hanks film Cast Away and TV show Survivor. Be awestruck by Firewalking Vilavilairevo, Fijian for “jumping into the oven,” is the practice of firewalking. It originated on Beqa Island, where the natives believe that Tui Namoliwai, a spirit god, allows the Beqa people to walk safely on scalding stones. Today, you can watch firewalking throughout Fiji. Learn the history of Fiji The Fiji Museum, in the town of Suva on Viti Levu, tells the history of the archipelago with artifacts that span 3,700 years. From cannibal forks to shell jewellery and Indian artwork, the items here showcase a long and diverse history. Stroll around Port Denarau Port Denarau is located on Fiji’s Denarau Island, which is connected to Viti Levu by bridge. Here you can enjoy the buzz of hotels, restaurants, and shopping – plus watersports and an 18-hole golf course. Visit the Garden of the Sleeping Giant Located in the Nausori Highlands, The Garden of the Sleeping Giant’s highlights are the stunning collection of orchids, planted in 1977 by actor Raymond Burr, and the “jungle walk,” which meanders past a lily pond and through a rainforest.

you’re looking for something traditional, resorts on tropical islands offer gorgeous wedding chapels or exotic gardens. Fiji is famous for its beachside ceremonies with the stunning backdrop of white sand, blue ocean and stunning green islands. Viti Levu, is the best option for larger weddings, but for something more intimate, there are countless alternatives on Fiji’s offshore islands. Fiji’s magnificent, thick rainforests provide another perfect wedding spot amidst waterfalls and green foliage and the sound of tropical bird song. Or for something completely different, have your wedding on board a luxury yacht or cruise. The options in Fiji are endless. If you do decide to get married in Fiji, you can relax in the knowledge that everything is taken care of. There are a number of professional wedding coordinators who can customise your ceremony to your needs – from photography, flowers and food to honeymoons.

Fiji Marriage Requirements

Overseas visitors marrying in Fiji are required by law to obtain and sign a marriage license from the nearest marriage registry at least 36 hours prior to their ceremony. The couple must also provide the following personal documents to the Registrar for verification purposes at least two weeks before the wedding: • Original birth certificates for the bride and groom • Valid passport • If applicable, divorce papers • If previous spouse is deceased, a death certificate • Written parental consent is required if either party is under 21 years of age • Two witnesses who are 21years of age and over must be present

Getting there

Now easier than ever to reach, Fiji Airways provides flights from Singapore and San Francisco to Fiji. Fiji Airways also connects with flights from Hong Kong, Australia, New Zealand, Hawaii and Los Angeles, so holidaymakers from the UK will need to change at one of these destinations.

Further information 55

Fiji wedding venues If you are looking for a seriously gorgeous resort to say “I do” or have the honeymoon of a lifetime, we recommend a selection of resorts that will take your breath away…

Tropica Island Resort

Nestling in Na Toba o Lakelaka, a private sheltered bay on the beautiful island of Maloto, the 4-Star retreat of Tropicana Island Resort is a unique tropical oasis. Tropicana Island Resort is surrounded by palm tree-lined beaches and is the epitome of romance, Guests can choose from a beachfront suite, bure or resort room to unwind before they head to the onsite spa for a couples massage, or after spending the day in the sunshine in hammock under a swaying coconut tree. For newlyweds on honeymoon staying for a minimum of four nights, they will receive a complimentary spa treatment each, a bottle of sparkling wine and his and hers Tropicana sulu (sarongs)

The Intercontinental

For soon-to-be-married couples, pursuing a traditional chapel wedding, the Intercontinental in Natadola offers invited guests who were unable to make it to the wedding ceremony in Fiji, the opportunity to still be part of the couple’s special day via a live webcam. Perfect for those with large families.


Viwa Island Resort

If you are looking for a romantic honeymoon on a budget, the Viwa Island Resort is a small boutique resort, located in the Yasawa Island Group. Offering just 11 bures at affordable prices, guests are surrounded by a colourful coral reef teeming with life and the sound of singing tropical birds. It is the perfect spot for every love bird to hide away for a spot of intimacy and indulgence. The resort not only offers a Bula Bar and ďŹ ne dining using fresh ingredients daily from the resort garden, but for those looking for adventure, the Viwa Island also offers diving and game ďŹ shing excursions.

Tokoriki Island Resort

For those looking for a little luxury, Tokoriki Island Resort is the ideal romantic hideaway for a honeymoon of relaxation An adults-only resort and situated in the Mamanuca group of Fijian islands, Tokoriki has been named the Number One Hotel in Fiji for romance in the 2017 Trip Advisor Awards. What better place to celebrate your love, or even to pop the question? This boutique resort consists of 12 beachfront bures, 14 beachfront pool bures and 10 sunset pool villas and offers packages for weddings and honeymoons. Soon-to-be newlyweds can choose a relaxed barefoot beach wedding or a traditional ceremony at the onsite chapel. 57


Nice day for a

GREEN Wedding!

Nicolla and Karl's traditional South Seas wedding in Fiji 58

When charity workers Nicolla Birkby and Karl Place from West Yorkshire met by chance at a friend’s farewell drinks party, they both knew instinctively that they had found ‘the one.’ They were right! And a short time later they sealed their love in the most spectacular way with a traditional Fiji wedding celebration, accompanied by native warriers

Finding ‘the one’ We previously worked in the same school but it’s fair to say that we didn’t exactly see eye to eye. By chance, we both attended leaving drinks for a mutual friend at a pub nearby to work. It was a lovely evening and we got chatting outside for a couple of hours. I knew Karl was ‘the one’ and left the pub that evening knowing it was a life changing experience – even though I knew so little about him. It was strange as we both didn’t expect to even get along, let alone like each other! I was at the end of a previous relationship and trying to tie up some awkward loose ends, whilst Karl had completed paperwork to leave the UK to take up work in the Emirates. Nothing happened between us on the evening that we met yet I instantly walked away from my previous relationship giving up all rights to my property, and Karl ripped up his paperwork and told his family he was staying in the UK. Remarkable as neither of us even knew if the other one felt the

same. I knew straight away that I wanted to spend my life with Karl – luckily he felt the same. I never believed in love at first sight until that evening!

The proposal We were on a mini-break to Berlin to visit the Christmas markets. We were at the ice rink in Alexander Platz when he proposed. It was magical and romantic. It had been raining so we were warming up with a gluwein at the side of the ice rink and the next minute Karl was on his knee in a puddle asking me to marry him after only six months. Karl certainly hadn’t planned it as he proposed using a hair bobble as a substitute for a ring. Whilst it was unplanned, the magic of Berlin and its Christmas markets made it a perfect place for us and we like to be spontaneous anyway. We enjoyed coming home and chosing an engagement ring together just in time for Christmas. 59


Location location We both love to travel and we are not particularly traditional. We enjoy being part of other cultures and wanted our wedding to be different and a once in a lifetime experience, which we would look back on and be proud of. We looked at so many venues and decided what was important to us. This included being the only wedding on one day. We wanted somewhere unique, different and where it was a private beach. We saw Viwa (love island) in Fiji and knew straight away that it was our perfect venue, offering tranquility, culture and beauty.

The planning We were lucky enough to have a wedding planner in Viwa, Sheung Dawson, who was amazing and accomodated everything we asked for. We made all our own travel arrangements and our wedding turned into a 40-day trip around the world with the wedding and honeymoon in the islands of the South Pacific. We enjoyed all the planning and having complete control over our itineary. We arranged flights from the UK to Germany and then to mainland Fiji. After a few days we flew on a seaplane to Viwa. Our return from Fiji took us to Tonga (via Aukland) and then on to Raratonga (also via Aukland). I couldn’t have asked for any better help to plan my wedding. Sheung answered all my queries and I emailed her regularly explaining exactly what we wanted.

The guests We didn’t take any guests with us – it was just us and the beautiful people of Fiji. We started our trip in Germany and my cousin Andi and his wife Allie flew out to wave us off from there, which was lovely. The one thing that was important to us was making sure our wedding day was exactly what WE wanted it to be, after all it’s one day that we will look back on for the rest of our lives and we needed to be able to say we did exactly what we wanted and enjoyed every minute of it.

Getting the look I initially bought a traditional ivory dress! After a few months I decided this was a huge mistake as Karl and I are not traditional and it just didn’t feel right. Karl was very supportive and we agreed that I would go dress shopping again. My friend Anne and I trailed shops looking for 60

the right dress and just as we were about to give up we visited Celebration Village in Manchester where I fell in love with a green dress! I thought Anne would think I was being ridiculous but I tried it in on and my first words were “Karl will love this!” Anne’s first words sealed the deal “It’s very you”. A lovely lady called Bev made sure it was perfect for the big day and I will be forever grateful. I never set out to buy a green dress but I am so glad I did – everyone comments how unusual it is and it fitted perfectly into the backdrop of Fiji. When I got home that evening I told Karl I had found a dress and hinted it was a little different. His response was: “Nothing would surprise me, knowing you it will probably be green!” I just couldn’t believe it and I really tried to hard not to give it away! I wanted to keep things really simple, a green dress was a statement enough. I knew I didn’t want veils and tiaras and decided I wanted a diamante headdress to drape over my face. This was really hard to find and I nearly gave up until I randomly spotted the perfect item in New Look the week before we were leaving for the wedding. Karl and I had bespoke wedding rings made by Andrew Buckingham. Our rings each had the others finger print engraved on them. I also bought Karl a watch on our wedding day as a surprise gift. The photographer delievered this to Karl’s room and captured the moment he opened it.

Finishing touches My hair and make-up was done by Lydia from Totoka. Lydia was great fun on the day and really made me feel special. My hair and make-up were beautiful. She attended our wedding and was on hand to make sure everything stayed in place all day, which was a lovely touch.

Groomed to perfection Being non-traditional Karl opted to wear a Fijian warrior outfit, which he loved! He wore a full length grass skirt and handmade accessories that took six weeks to create by local villagers. We had four witnesses who wore green to match my dress.

The details Our destination of Fiji became the theme for our wedding. We also had Fijian warriors to add character to our special day, which was amazing. For our wedding flowers we chose Frangipanni, the main flower in Fiji – so I had a beautiful bunch held in a coconut to reflect the exotic venue. The colourful flower arch where we were married was 61

simply beautiful too. We opted not to have a cake as there were just the two of us.

The ceremony The ceremony took place on the beach at sunset and was framed beautifully with a flower arch. I walked down the aisle to ‘The Grande Finale’ (better known as the theme tune to ‘Edward Scissorhands’) which was a surprise for Karl as this is one of his favourite pieces of music. It brought a tear to everyone’s eye! I was escorted down the aisle by two Fijian warriors, which was just what I dreamed of. The ceremony was so amazing that we lost track of time – I have no idea how long it lasted. We were married by a Minister from the mainland who was also the uncle of one of the staff. To add a touch of local tradition, after having rice grains thrown at us (no one told us this is the custom rather than confetti in Fiji) the Fijian Warriors did a ritual dance after the ceremony and involved Karl and then myself in the dance – this was amazing! My only regret is that I don’t have a video of it. 62

The reception

After the ceremony we had a candlelit meal for two on the beach, which was so romantic. The chef allowed us to choose anything we wanted! At the end of the meal I arranged for surprise fireworks to be let off – Karl wondered what was happening!

experience from start to finish. One of my funniest memories was going back to the room and trying to decide who was to get out of their dress first, then working out how!

The honeymoon

We asked the hotel’s resident band to play ‘To love Somebody’ (by the Bee Gees) as our First Dance.

After we were married we stayed on a couple of days at our resort, and then flew to Tonga so that Karl could swim with humpback whales in the wild before flying to Rarotonga.

Photographic memories

On budget?

We hired Rob from Three Coconuts to do our photography. Rob became a special part of our day and has captured every moment perfectly. We also had the wedding planner on hand taking pictures both on our wedding day and the following day, which was a lovely addition as Sheung captured pictures from a different angle. We really do have too many amazing pictures to choose from.

Magic moments

Sharing our special day with the staff at Fiji was magical – they went the extra mile to make our day truly a once in a lifetime

We did a 40-day trip of the South Pacific from the UK via Germany – all in all it cost £11,000, plus spending money. That was right on budget!

Further information WEDDING PLANNER IN FIJI Sheung Dawson VENUE Viwa Island Resort PHOTOGRAPHY Rob at Three Coconuts

Enjoy being a Star on your Wedding Day

Gracing the shores of the Caribbean’s most breathtaking beaches, IBEROSTAR Hotels & Resorts offers a setting second to none to begin your life of wedded bliss. Beneath swaying palms on sunkissed beaches, your dream day will become a stunning reality, with a personal wedding coordinator on hand to take care of every detail, so that you can relax and enjoy your day to its fullest. On your wedding´s day at IBEROSTAR Hotels & Resorts, you are the Star. SPAIN · HUNGARY · GREECE · BULGARIA · MONTENEGRO · TUNISIA · MOROCCO · CAPE VERDE · JAMAICA · CUBA · DOMINICAN REPUBLIC · MEXICO · BRAZIL · USA

Santorini Marry in

Couples wanting to impress their wedding guests with astounding views of the Mediterranean will discover that Santorini’s offering is iconic – and this magnificent location is just a short flight away in the Greek Islands. 64

The beautiful island of Santorini offers wild, unparalleled beauty as well as breathtaking views and a sunny climate with golden sunsets making it perfect for weddings. The eternal rock of Santorini stands majestically, rising proudly from the Agean Sea and inspiring the words of great poets. No wonder couples from around the world travel to this iconic Greek Island. The island of Santorini owes its distinctive crescent shape to the fact that it is the remains of an enormous volcanic explosion dated back 3,600 years. This created the current geological caldera; a giant, rectangular central lagoon surrounded by steep cliffs on three sides with two small volcanic islands within the caldera – Palea and Nea Kameni, which are impressive tourist attractions.

pretty churches dotted around the island in traditional picturesque villages. Catholic wedding ceremonies are held at the Catholic Cathedral, a baroque church with an elegant bell tower in the Catholic Quarter in the centre of Fira.


Top 5 Things To Do 1

Sun-drenched Beaches Santorini’s beaches can be found mainly along the eastern and south-eastern side of the island. Each beach has its own characteristics ¬– the black pebbles, the unique land formations and the black, white and red sand. Most beaches are well organized and offer sun loungers and umbrellas and a range of water sports.


Glorious weather Santorini enjoys a typical Mediterranean climate with long periods of warm sunshine throughout the summer, lasting from April until October and mild, rainy winters from November until the end of March. Even during winter the sky does not remain cloudy for more than a few days in a row. Evenings can be cooler in April and October so take a sweater or jacket if you are visiting at that time of year.

Romantic weddings Whether you are planning a grand affair or a romantic wedding with just the two of you, Santorini is a world-class location. If you are already married you can re-live your special day and renew your love vows in Santorini – it can be a very romantic way to strengthen your love and devotion for one another. Whatever your style of wedding ceremony you prefer Santorini can offer you a variety of choices to suit all tastes.

Wedding ceremonies For civil weddings, you can have your ceremony at almost any location of your choice, in restaurants, tavernas, wineries, museums, on boats or down on the beach. Religious weddings ceremonies in Santorini can be held at the Orthodox Metropolitan Cathedral, located in the centre of Fira, the island’s capital, and overlooking the volcano and the sea, or one of the other

3 4 5

Watch the Santorini sunset The most famous vantage point to gaze in awe at the magnificent setting sun is from Oia Castle. Or view the sunset from Profitis Ilias (Pyrgos), one of the highest spots of the island. Stroll around Akrotiri A trip to the pre-historic city of Akrotiri is like travelling in time – walk around the streets and squares of the city which boasted 30,000 inhabitants in 17th century BC Go scuba diving Discover the unique experience of Santorini’s underwater world as you see the distinctiveness of the bottom of this sea: the volcanic stones and the bottomless depth of the caldera. Take a Wine Tour Wine production in Santorini dates back to Roman times. Visitors can sample plenty of dry whites, roses and reds at the island’s best wineries, including Sigalas and Gaia Wineries which offer an excellent selection. Take a Donkey ride Donkeys are an integral part of the local tourism scene, providing much-appreciated rides up and down the 588 steps leading down to the old harbor of Fira. There are hundreds of donkeys and mules lined up along the way. The cost is 5 Euros per person one-way.

For religious weddings you need to prepare the paperwork with your church. Here is the list of requirements for Civil weddings: Birth Certificates required for both parties; Change of Name or Adoption papers, if applicable; Divorce Decree or Death Certificate of spouse if previously married; Certificates of no impediment issued by your local register office. This is only valid for three months from the issue date in Santorini. The documents need to be stamped with an Apostille stamp which you apply for with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office ( ). The documents then need translating into Greek and presented to the town hall in Santorini no later than four weeks before the wedding.

Wedding planners If you are planning the wedding of your dreams in Santorini, and want it to reflect your unique character and style, then it is a good idea to use the services and expertise of a wedding planner. For a UK based wedding planner, Lisa Burton of The Bridal Consultant wedding planning services specialises in exclusive destination weddings in the Greek Islands, including Santorini and Zakynthos as well as in Italy and Cyprus. Lisa writes a regular column for Brides Abroad magazine. For further details email Lisa on

Getting there By plane Santorini can be reached from most international airports via Athens. The flying time from Athens to Santorini is approximately 40 minutes. Numerous charter flights fly directly to the island during the summer period. By ferry boat Another way to reach the island is by a regular ferryboat service from the port of Piraeus or Crete and almost all the Cycladic islands (during summer). The boat trip takes approximately 5 - 9 hours depending on the ports of call. Daily high speed boats are also available during the summer from the Piraeus, other Cycladic islands and Crete. The trip lasts about 4 - 5 hours. 65


Swapping school for



They met at the age of three, but it wasn’t love at first sight for toddlers Heather McLeod and William Ladbury from Nuneaton in Warwickshire. However, after being classmates throughout school, they finally fell head over heals for each other after graduation – and sealed their love in the most romantic way possible, with a beautiful wedding ceremony on the Greek island of Santorini Finding ‘the one’ We both attended nursery, pre-school, school and 6th form together, but we didn’t have our first date until after University! We have known each other since the age of three, so it was not really love at first sight. But after the first date I knew he was a keeper!

The proposal

Will finally proposed to me at the Carlton Hotel in Cannes. We wined and dined in the most fabulous and elegant setting, with Will’s sister Alex and her fiancé Wesley. It really was a special meal. When the desserts were served mine was bought out last under a silver dome. I looked around the table thinking this was strange, the waiter asked Will if he was ready and pulled off the dome to reveal a gold ring box. Before catching my breath, Will was down one knee in front of the entire restaurant asking if I would marry him, and live happily ever after as husband and wife. All of the guests dining that evening began to applaud and cheer (in French). After more champagne and tears, I simply couldn’t eat my dessert as I was on cloud nine! Will made our engagement so incredibly special and memorable. He is a true gentleman! I had been hoping and praying for a proposal for a good few months, but he caught me off guard. I never thought for one moment he would propose in a busy restaurant in front of all those people.

Location, location We decided to marry abroad rather than in the UK as we both love the sun and warm weather, so it was an easy decision to make. Before we were engaged we watched a TV program on Santorini and completely fell in love with the heavenly island. Our decision to marry on the island was as easy as that!

The planning

Our wedding would not have been as spectacular and beautiful if we hadn’t used the expertise of Lisa Burton at The Bridal Consultants, a UK-based wedding planner. She helped to make the wedding planning run smoothly and pulled out all of the stops to make it extra special. We all flew out together from Gatwick with easyJet and booked our accommodation directly with Dana Villas. Dana Villas was exceptional and went the extra mile to ensure we all had a magical week. The hotel staff arranged transfers, with wine and canapés on arrival for all. It really is an extra special hotel. We had booked a big meal the night before the wedding at our favourite restaurant on the island, Onars. We were lucky to visit Santorini nine months before our wedding, to put a set menu of our favourite Greek dishes together for our guests. Two days after the wedding we all climbed aboard a private catamaran and sailed around Santorini, visiting the beautiful beaches, eating delicious food and watching the sunset. It was simply magnificent.

The guests We had 24 guests at our Santorini wedding. 20 guests stayed at Dana Villas and the other two couples stayed in the nearby Sunset Hotel and Hotel Sofia. There were a few people who could not attend, so we arranged a big party the week after we returned for everyone to be a part of our wedding – which was a great excuse to be able to put my wedding dress back on!

Getting the look I searched all over the Midlands for a dress, and it wasn’t until a few 67

REAL WEDDINGS unsuccessful trips that my mum suggested I had a look in the local bridal shop. The first dress I tried on I fell in love with! It was a Stella York dress, teamed up with a beaded belt. The theme for our wedding was gold and dusty pinks, which were picked up in our beautiful flowers and bridesmaid dresses. I kept the accessories to a minimum with pearl drop earrings, pearl beads for my hair and a silk trim cathedral veil. However, my shoes were my absolute dream come true! I splashed out on a pair of Manolo Blaniks, which we tracked down the right colour in Harrods. We were incredibly lucky to have had such amazing hair and make-up artists on the big day – not only did they make us look fabulous, they helped to calm me down as my nerves were starting to build up. They were perfect.

Something Old, something New My Something Old and Blue was the beaded design made for my bouquet from my Gran’s jewellery; Something New was the dress; Something Borrowed was a sixpence given to me from my stepfather’s coin collection. A very good friend of my mums had made me a beaded floral design to wrap around the handle of my bouquet, made from necklaces that my Gran wore, so a part of her was at our wedding.

Groom and bridesmaids The Groom, Best Man and Usher all wore suits and shoes from Reiss. The bridesmaid dresses were from the same bridal shop as my wedding dress. They were gold sequin dresses by Sorella Vita.

The details There wasn’t really a fixed ‘theme,’ I just wanted to have lots of beautiful flowers and plenty of candles. We chose a selection of soft pinks, and ivory flowers. My only requests were peonies, big bouquets and fresh flowers everywhere! The florists, Wedding Wish, were absolutely fabulous and exceeded all my expectations. We had a simple two-tier sponge wedding cake with ivory icing, with a ‘Mr & Mrs Ladbury’ gold cake topper from etsy.

The ceremony The 30-minute open-air ceremony took place on the wedding terrace at Dana Villas, with breathtaking views. My Stepfather, Robert, gave me away. 68

The reception Our wedding reception was held on another terrace at Dana Villas, with equally spectacular views. The menu offered two options for guests, which they preselected a few weeks before the wedding. We all started with tzatziki and grilled pita breads, followed by either Santorinian bruschetta or Cretan smoked pork, then a Mediterranean salad or a Greek salad, grilled swordfish or rack of lamb, and we finished with either Millefeuille or fruit tart for dessert. Beautiful tall gold candelabras wrapped in flowers adorned the tables, with smaller bunches and candles around the centrepiece. The place settings were ornate gold chargers, with the nametags tied to the cutlery (as it can get a little windy in Santorini.) There was a Jacuzzi on the wedding reception terrace, which was covered in flowers and floating candles – Wedding Wish had thought of every little detail!

First Dance We danced our First Dance to ‘How Long Will I Love You? By Ellie Goulding. We also had entertainment laid on, including a DJ and Greek Dancers. The Greek Dancers started just as our guests were finishing their dessert and they had everyone up on their feet. We are so pleased we picked them for our entertainment as they kick started the evening perfectly.

Photographic memories Our photographers were a lovely married couple called Ben and Vesna from Ben Wyatt Photography. We arranged to meet up with them the day before to discuss the photographs we wanted them to capture and a list of the group shots we wanted. They were fabulous and so calming and helpful. Vesna even helped my mum and the bridesmaids lace me up into my dress, as they were struggling!

The photographs they captured are truly beautiful and we are finding it very difficult to pick our favourites to hang in the house! One of my favourite photos is where we are saying our vows and I am just so happy and cannot take my eyes of Will. That moment is when I realised my dreams had come true and I was the luckiest girl in the world.

Magic moments My favourite memory is standing on the idyllic white roof tops as Mr & Mrs Ladbury, capturing beautiful photos and looking down to see all our guests below sitting in their seats and looking back up at us and cheering.

The honeymoon We booked the honeymoon suite through the Bridal Consultants, and on the day of our wedding, Dana Villas upgraded us to the infinity suite. I made sure this was kept a surprise for Will after the wedding. The suite was beyond our wildest dreams, with an indoor cave pool and a pool on our balcony. It really was the ultimate luxury! We loved Dana Villas so much that we are returning for two weeks this August! We wanted to celebrate the whole ‘wedding week’ with our family and friends, to show them the island that we had fallen in love with. It is safe to say they now all feel the same about this special island! When we return later this year, we will be treating it as a honeymoon with more time alone with Will and our baby bump!

On budget? We are quite private when it comes to discussing money, you couldn’t put a price on the most special and memorable day of our lives. However, we were relatively good when it came to sticking to the budget .

Further information WEDDING PLANNER UK Lisa Burton The Bridal Consultant VENUE Dana Villas Santorini, Greece FLOWERS AND DECORATIONS Wedding Wish PHOTOGRAPHY Ben and Vesna Wyatt from Ben Wyatt Photography 69

Advertising Feature

St Nicolas Bay Resort

Couples looking for a magnificent wedding venue or a magical Mediterranean honeymoon will fall in love with St Nicolas Bay, a unique luxury private beach resort hotel on the sun-drenched Greek island of Crete. Tucked away between the charming fishing village of Agios Nikolaos and Elounda, St Nicolas Bay Resort Hotel & Villas enjoys a beautiful, secluded beachfront setting overlooking the spectacular Gulf of Mirabello Bay. Agios Nikolaos is just a mile away, so hotel guests can easily explore its picturesque fishing port and many trendy shops and seafront cafes, bars and restaurants. The Mediterranean bungalow-style St Nicolas Bay Resort and its private pool villas are designed to reflect Crete in style, perfectly blending fresh, contemporary design, exceptional service, fine cuisine and unique amenities, including a tranquil spa and fitness centre.

Rooms and suites Accommodation is in a range of individually

designed and decorated rooms and suites. These delightful residences offer the height of luxury combined with all modern technology and amenities. Secluded ambiance, comfort, extra space and panoramic sea views feature in all guestrooms.

Wining & dining Guests at St. Nicolas Bay enjoy unsurpassed cuisine, created using the finest fresh local ingredients, in a choice of five restaurants: Abyrinthos restaurant veranda offers local cuisine and excellent views; The Blue Bay serves an all-day menu of Mediterranean and Asian dishes overlooking Mirabello Bay; Minotaure is an exclusive restaurant by the pool where intimate dining by candlelight under a starlit sky makes it a romantic choice; The Greek Karenion offers genuine local hospitality

with authentic Cretan food and live music just a few steps from the beach; Breakfast is served on the breakfast terrace. Guests also have a choice of two bars, Astra Bar is an ideal place to socialise and enjoy piano music and glorious sunsets; Bonatsa Jetty Bar serves cocktails and trendy music at the water’s edge.

Activities St. Nicolas Bay Resort & Villas offers a wide variety of exciting activities, from scuba diving off the coast of Crete and exhilarating water sports at the Water Sports Center to open-air screening of the latest movies and well-known classic films. The Water Sports Centre offers water skiing, windsurfing, canoes and jet skiing. There are also two jogging routes and a Fitness Centre offering a state-of-the-art gym.

The Poseidon Spa


For the ultimate indulgence, head to the resort’s Poseidon Spa, a truly relaxing and revitalizing experience designed to pamper you from head to toe, using Elemis and Cinq Mondes trained therapists and skincare products. Targeted body and facial treatments are offered in luxurious spa treatment rooms with jacuzzi tubs and showers. Here you will begin a journey to re-discover your senses and energy in a tranquil, contemporary environment. The spa also offers: Indoor heated pool with Hydro Jet bubble seats; Marble Turkish steam baths and saunas; The “Aphrodite’s Bath”, a treatment cave for two, with seawater Thalassotherapy pool; A Beauty Salon for manicure, pedicure and facial treatments.

Celebrate your wedding at St. Nicolas Bay on the terrace of its beach side chapel with the Cretan Sea glinting in the background. Your wedding will be tailor-made, whether you are planning a romantic wedding or celebration with family and friends. After the ceremony a celebration meal can be arranged in one of the resort’s restaurants and bars – for just the two of you or for your wedding party. Culinary options, music, flowers, table decorations, photographer and even a fireworks display can also be arranged on request. Complimentary wedding package includes: Upgraded accommodation subject to availability; Guaranteed upgrade to the Honeymoon Private Pool Suite for the wedding night; Couples spa massage and aromatherapy; Honeymoon breakfast and Champagne throughout your stay; Four-course candlelit

dinner at Minotaure Restaurant. The Honeymoon Suite is sheer elegance with an exceptional personal service. The hotel’s complimentary honeymoon package includes: Guaranteed upgrade to the Honeymoon Suite Private Pool for one night during stay; Nuptial floral bed decoration and Champagne bar on arrival; Honeymoon room service breakfast and Champagne during entire stay.

Book It St Nicolas Bay, Thessi Nissi P.O. Box 47, Gr-72100, Agios Nikolaos Crete, Greece Tel. +30 28410 90200 Res:+30 28410 90214 Email:

Make memories last forever

IKAROS BEACH, LUXURY RESORT & SPA, Malia, Crete, Greece. Tel.: +30 28970 31268 Fax: +30 28970 31341 E-mail:

Fashion & Beauty

74 Golden girls

Be bang on trend this season with a glowing golden gown, guaranteed to shimmer in the light and wow your groom and guests!

76 Get the look tropical beach bride

Look belle of the beach with sand between your toes!

77 Get the look city style

Stylish looks for sophisticated city weddings

78 The bridal body work out

Choose your exercise programme to suit your dress style and to ensure you look fit and fabulous in all the right places!

80 Bridal style

Celebrity stylist Daniel Galvin Jr creates three beautiful bridal hair styles paired with the perfect accessories to enhance your look

82 10 Celebrity make-up secrets

Julia Carta, make-up artist to the stars, gives her top ten tips for looking a million dollars at your wedding 73

GOLDEN GIRLS Look like a goddess this season in shimmering gold – the latest look hot off the catwalks. Choose golden fabrics, patterns and trims – in shades varying from a glimmer of gold to rich, deep hues, and you’ll be sure to melt his heart!


www.charlottebalb 74


ibone www.clairepett

andr www.alex 75

Get the look

Flower pendant, £75

Tropical beach


Silk tropical bouquet, £50

Be bright and beautiful at your tropical beach wedding, and get back-to-nature with a theme of colourful tropical fruits and exotic flowers Pineapple earrings, £189

Pineapple ring, £279

Sunglasses, £100

Flower headband, £12

Bag, £35 £75

Napkin rings, £56

Sandals, £80 76

Dress by Claire Pettibone

Get the look

City Bride Look hot in the city with a cute, but chic shortie dress with stylish accessories making the perfect finishing touches

Earrings, style Infinity, £175

Bracelet, style Infinity, £475

Silk Bouquet, style Kristi, £79.99

Sunglasses, £100

Bracelet, £11.00

Chain necklace, £12

Bag, £45

Kitten shoes, £95

Earrings, £12

Dress by Justin Alexander 77


Bridal Body Workout

Match your exercise programme to the style of your chosen wedding dress, to ensure your figure looks at its absolute best on your wedding day

Backless beauty

Our backs are rarely on show, so are often neglected in our workout routines. If you’ve plunged for a daring backless dress for your wedding, ensure your back is toned and strong by incorporating these moves into your workout. Strengthening your back will also help with your posture for those all-important wedding photos.

Bent over row n Holding a pair of dumbbells, keep your feet hip-width distance apart and bend at the waist and knees. n Hold your arms and the dumbbells extended out in front of you towards the floor n Squeeze your shoulder blades together and bring the weights up, keeping your elbows in. n To complete one rep, lower the weights back down, keeping your elbows in tight. Lat Pulldown n Using the lat pulldown machine, adjust the weight so you can complete 10-12 reps n Keep your hands shoulder width apart n Lean back slightly as you pull the bar towards you n Focus on keeping your shoulder blades pulled together Assisted pull-ups n Using an assisted pull-up machine on bar with pull-up bands is a great way to build strength if you can’t do a pull-up - yet. n Grip the bar with hands, shoulder width apart n Focus on pulling your shoulder blades together and lift yourself up to the bar n Slowly bring yourself back to the start position

Sweetheart neckline

With a sweetheart neckline, your shoulders, arms, neck and chest will be in the spotlight. Draw attention for all the right reasons with these workouts that will sculpt and tone these typical trouble spots. Upright row n Stand with your hips feet distance apart, holding a dumbbell in each hand n Lift the dumbbells up to just below your chin, keep your elbows sticking out n Slowly bring back down for one rep Triceps dips n Facing away from a bench, put your hands shoulder width apart n Straighten your legs out in front so you are close to the floor n Bend your elbows towards the floor to lower your body n Push back up to complete one rep Bicep curls n Stand up tall, feet together, with a dumbbell in each hand n Engage the core and keep your shoulders back n Curl the dumbbells up to your shoulders and slowly back down 78

Little Mermaid

For form fitting wedding dresses, build that body with strength exercises that target the glutes. The glutes are the biggest muscle and need to be challenged to change, so to really build a firm round bum, you’ll need to target with a few tough workouts a week that hit the glutes, back, hamstrings and quads. Squats n Standing with feet shoulder width apart, keep your chest up and face forward n Sit down slowly into an imaginary chair n Push up explosively, focus on engaging the muscles in your bum n Ensure your heels stay on the floor throughout n Mix up your squats and narrow and sumo (wide stance) and add dumbbells to really target all the glutes. Lunges n With one foot in front of the other, bend at the knees and drop your hips, keeping your front knee above your ankle. n Keep your weight in your front heel and lift yourself back up n Add dumbbells to make it more challenging. Glute bridge n Lie on the floor and bend your knees n Squeeze your glutes and push your hips up, hold and squeeze that bum! n Slowly lower down for one rep, to make it harder add a bar or medicine ball held across your hips.

Hourglass shape

For a smooth silhouette, you’ll want to increase the strength in your core and hips, while trimming down your waist for maximum impact, you might also want to mix in some of the back exercises above. Seated Russian twist n Sitting on the ground, lift your feet slightly in the air n Lean back slightly with your back straight n Twist from side to side slowly, focus on engaging your core n Make it more challenging by holding a medicine ball Skipping n Skipping is an all-round fat burner that will help you to lose weight and sculpt your waist n Try skipping with high knees or do double unders (two rotations of the rope in one jump) to text yourself n Rotate the rope from your wrist not your shoulders for maximum effect Side bends with dumbbell n Standing straight with your feet hip width apart, hold a dumbbell in each hand n Slowly lean on one side keeping your back straight and head in n Slowly come back up to the starting position and repeat on the other side.

Short but sweet!

If you’ve opted for a fun and flirty short dress, you’ll want picture-perfect pins to match. Women often store excess fat on knees due to high oestrogen levels, so clean up your diet to really help tone this trouble spot. For long and lean legs, mix these into your routine. Jumping lunges n As above with the lunges, speed it up by jumping from one foot in front to the other. Side lunge n Stand with feet shoulder width apart and take a large step to the left n Keep your left knee above your toes and push back up n Repeat on the other side Step-ups n Step up onto a weight bench or box with your right foot n Focus on pressing through the right foot and don’t swing your arms n Bring your left leg up to stand on the box, then step back down with the right n Rinse and repeat on the other side 79




This gorgeous, sophisticated style works ned bridal look. First perfectly for a sleek and refi refined secure brushed hair into a ponytail centrally with a bobble. Twist the hair around and secure with bobby pins. Remember to leave a bit of hair to twist around the base to hide the bobble. Finish the look with Daniel Galvin’s Organic Head (Oh!) Extra Hold Hairspray for a long lasting hold.


8LI JIWXMZEP FVMHI This timeless look is everyone’s favourite, done but not too done, sultry for day and evening. Why waste time with tongs and straighteners, simply apply Daniel Galvin Junior’s Organic Head (Oh!) Huge Hair Mousse, take big sections and loosely twist away from the face. Use a diffuser to finish if desired.



A great look for the Boho bride. Start by curling your hair and teasing it at the hairline to create volume (use Organise Head Huge Hair Mousse for extra va va voom!) then use your creativity to produce a combination braided look. Looser and more relaxed fishtails look more interesting and you can vary the size of stands to make it more distinct. Daniel Galvin Junior’s Organic Head (Oh!) Extra Hold Hairspray will add texture and hold.


www.rosegarden 81


Celebrity Make-up Secrets

Julia Carta, make-up artist and stylist to the stars reveals her ten top tips for brides who want to do their own make-up on their big day Start preparing

It’s imperative to get your skin glowing for the big day well in advance. It’s not all about the makeup – preparation is vital. Drinking lots of water to hydrate your skin from within, eating healthily and having facials way in advance are the golden key as you approach your wedding day. Book a course of facials in advance but be aware, facials can bring out the impurities in your skin causing spots/pimples or blemishes as it rids itself of toxins and unwanted impurities. This is why it’s imperative to have a facial at least once a month in the run up to your wedding day. Treat yourself to your last facial at least a week before your big day and prior to a spray tan. If you’re planning on a spray tan, have a practice run in advance and test your foundation against your tan to get it looking seamless and flawless. I recommend having your spray tan two days before the big day to give it more time to adjust and look more natural. Fake Bake’s new professional tan, Flawless Glow has a hint of guide colour, and develops into a natural golden brown. It’s the perfect lunchtime tan.

Julia Cart a

Practice your make-up

If you’re doing your own make-up, practice as much as you can – confidence is key! Make a make-up chart and be organised to avoid last minute nerves. Have a few options to choose from on the day if you are still unsure. First of all decide on the final look you want and take into consideration the location and time of year. Keep your make-up very simple and natural – luminous, classic with a modern twist – and try to stick to classics.

Be on trend

The face of the moment is about enhancing your natural beauty and defining your best features. It’s about looking the best you can possibly look, with fuller brows, defined eyes and full bee stung lips – not forgetting the blushing bridal glow!

Wedding day make-up 1 On the big day exfoliate your face and body very lightly with a product like the Fake Bake Passion Fruit Body Polish, and then apply a facemask to plump and hydrate the skin. Hydration is key so opt for the Embryolisse Lait-Crème Concentre, because it’s ultra hydrating and will leave your skin supple and moisturised all day without a greasy shiny finish.




Blot your moisturiser with a tissue, then apply a primer to reduce the appearance of large pores, and fine lines. It will mattify the skin and help your foundation to last longer and its colour stay true, promoting a blemish free, flawless finish. Primers help to prevent unwanted shine whilst locking in your moisturizer and serum all day. They come in a matt silky finish or a luminous, iridescent, radiant finish that leaves the skin with a healthy even glow.


Apply a cream highlighter/illuminator like the Becca Skin Perfecting Illuminator. Try applying with a foundation brush or tap with your fingers on the top of your cheekbones/brow bones to give the illusion of higher luminous cheekbones, or on the brow bone for an instant eye lift, in the corner of the eyes near the tear duct for a wide awake look and to the brighten the eyes You can even mix your luminizer/highlighter with your colour corrector or foundation to give a more brightening and radiant effect. You can use highlighter down the centre or bridge of the nose to help slim down or lengthen the nose and along the cupids bow on top of the lip and to the centre of the bottom lip to create the illusion of a fuller lip and sexier pout. A highlighter is equally effective on the collarbone or top of shoulders to keep the skin looking flawless consistent/uniformed. I recommend using Scott Barnes Body Bling for body makeup that gives your skin a more radiant and polished glow in an instant. Go for fluids/creams for a more dewy hydrated look and blend thoroughly for a seamless complexion.



Picking the right foundation for your look is key as it sets off your whole look. Test shades along your jaw line and neck in day light for a perfect colour match, key for selfies or close-up photography. Take care if your you’re going to be shooting outdoors for a sunshine destination wedding in harsh daylight. Opt or the Cailyn Fluid Touch BB Cream, which will help to hide imperfections as it has built-in colour correctors which work like a liquid filter and illuminates skin to brighten a dull lifeless complexion, leaving you with a flawless radiant glow. If you’re going for an autumn/winter wedding why not opt for a ultra hydrating foundation with slightly heavier coverage like Lord & Berry Cream Foundation, £22, Always remember to choose your foundation closer to your wedding day to make sure it matches with your current skin tone perfectly. If you have great skin already don’t overdo it by applying foundation over your entire face, just add where you need it most and conceal where needed.


On your big day conceal under the eyes with No Dark Shadows By Know Cosmetics, £9.99, Superdrug. This clever concealer will help to bounce back the light from a camera flash, brightening and banishing any blemishes or dark circles.

5 6


To be a blushing bride, sweep a cream blusher across the apples of your cheeks. Creamy textures give your cheeks a natural, healthy pop of colour and make your skin look fresh with a dewy glow. If you have extremely oily or blemished skin you will have to opt for a powder blush such as Lord & Berry Blush in ‘Peony’, £18. Brush across your cheekbones to prevent your make-up from disintegrating with unwanted oil/shine. Lightly sculpt beneath your cheekbones where you have applied the highlighter to create a soft, feathered, contoured effect. Less is more with contour this season, so remember, no harsh lines and blend to a seamless finish.


To eliminate any unwanted shine, use a minimal amount of HD loose powder like NYX HD powder, along your T-Zone avoiding under the eye area. Cheeks and cheekbone should be kept to a bare minimum to achieve that lit from within look.


Brows frame the windows to your souls and should be a main focus of balance for your face. For a natural, youthful look, opt for fuller, thicker brows and tiny brows and lashes. If you can get them threaded by an expert like Shavata in advance, even better! Fill in sparse brows with an eyebrow palette like the Shavata Brow Palette or the KNOW No Bare Brows, and subtly fill in the areas where the gaps are. Finally comb through with an eyebrow gel or wax to hold perfectly in place all day.

8 9

Eye shadow

Apply an eyeshadow primer to prevent oily lids and your eyeshadow creasing, it will ensure the colour stays perfectly true and lasts all day without budging. Stick to nude, earthy tones likes bronzes, golds and soft browns, and concentrate on contouring the socket line or apply a light brush of iridescent colour across the lids in a neutral earthy tone.


Don’t forget to use eyelash curlers, like the Shu Uemura eyelash curlers, to give your peepers a wide-awake look and create a natural curve to your lashes, making them look longer and fuller. Then apply a couple of coats of brownish black or jet black waterproof/water resistant mascara like Lord & Berry Scuba Pro. To create the illusion of thicker lashes, apply a brownish black eyeliner under the inner rim of the top waterline and a fine line close to the top lash line, blend away harsh lines with a cotton bud. Add to bottom lash line for extra focus on the eyes. For soft, beautiful, butterfly lashes try a very natural set of strip lashes close to lash line.



Finish off with an understated lip and liner in nude or a fruity cherry stain for an autumn/winter wedding or a peach/coral/pink lipstick for spring /summer, which is perfect if you have a tan. Once applied blot and pat lipstick onto your lips using your ring finger to create a stain like finish. Avoid lip liner. Blend and blur edges with a cotton bud or with your finger for a softer edge. 83

Planning Guide

86 Weather permitting

Don’t let your wedding day be a washout – check our worldwide weather guide for the sunniest beaches, snowiest peaks and perfect temperatures

90 Pop the Question

Expert wedding planners answer your most frequently asked questions

92 Wedding Countdown

Your 18-month wedding abroad planner!

94 Ask the planners!

Lisa Burton of the Bridal Consultant professional wedding planning service shares her wisdom and experience with brides-to-be 85



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Jungle & Safari

Jungle & Safari

Japan, Morocco, Egypt, India

Borneo, Botswana, Tanzania, Zambia


Caribbean, Thailand, Sri Lanka, Vietnam

Japan, Egypt, Morocco

Belize, Borneo, Botswana, Kenya, Tanzania, Zambia, South Africa


Caribbean, Thailand, Sri Lanka, Vietnam, French Polynesia



Caribbean, Australia, Brazil, Hawaii, Maldives, Thailand, Florida USA, Dubai

Caribbean, Australia, Brazil, Hawaii, Maldives, SriFlorida Lanka,USA, Florida USA,Canary Dubai Islands Thailand,Thailand, Sri Lanka, Dubai,

Hot spots

Cool and chilled

Hot spots

Cool and chilled

European Alps, Canadian Rockies, Colorado USA, Scandinavia, Iceland

European Alps, Canadian Rockies, Colorado USA, Scandinavia, Iceland

Japan, Egypt, Morocco, Vietnam

Japan, Egypt, Morocco, Vietnam

Something different Jungle & Safari

Belize, Kenya, Tanzania, South Africa, Costa Rica


Seychelles, Mauritius, Zanzibar, Fiji, French Polynesia, Bali, Borneo, India, Sri Lanka

Something different Jungle & Safari

Belize, Costa Rica, Botswana, Kenya, Tanzania, South Africa


Seychelles, Mauritius, Zanzibar, Fiji, Bali, Borneo, India, French Polynesia

When will I receive my Marriage Certificate?

It will either be handed to you at the resort or sent via registered post to your home address. Don't panic if it takes a while to arrive – this is normal, especially if you marry in Jamaica where it can take up to 12 months! If you get married in certain countries, like Mexico and the Dominican Republic it will need to be translated, which will cause extra delay. For more information visit and search under passports.

The ceremony… Can we invite guests to our wedding?

Of course! Some hotels even offer reduced rate weddings for more than four guests. Remember to order extras for your guests, such as more wine, a larger wedding cake or extra buttonholes. If the wedding couple is staying at an All Inclusive resort, they will need to buy oneday passes for guests staying at other hotels, and in adults-only resorts you will need to ask special permission for children to attend the wedding on a day pass. All this can be organised at the resort by your wedding planner.

When do I meet the resort's wedding planner?

One to three days after your arrival at your resort. Your wedding planner will sort out the fine details of your wedding, from Champagne to the icing on your cake, and check your documentation so that you can relax as the arrangements are done on your behalf. Once the local registrar is happy your paperwork is in order, your wedding planner will give you a date and time for the ceremony and send out invitations to your guests.

Where will our ceremony take place?

The hotel wedding planner will show you the locations to choose from – usually in the gardens of your hotel, or in a decorated wedding pavilion. If you are marrying in Europe you may choose to exchange vows in the local church or town hall, or in Las Vegas, a wedding chapel. The hotel wedding co-ordinator will show you the locations to choose from. It's unusual to have a ceremony on the beach, but many couples take beach photographs after the ceremony.

Who will be at the ceremony?

Most overseas weddings are civil ceremonies, in the style of registry office services, unless a religious ceremony has

been pre-arranged. The ceremony will be conducted by a Judge, Celebrant, Minister or Registrar. You will need two to four witnesses, who could be anyone from your wedding guests to people you have met on the beach the previous day. Your wedding planner will be there too, to ensure your day goes without a hitch.

The important bits… How should I transport my wedding dress?

We recommend wedding outfits should be packed in a hard suitcase or strong box, as they will be placed in the hold of the plane. It might be an idea to contact your airline for more information. Generally, there is no extra baggage allowance for wedding outfits. You can also take out extra insurance to cover the transportation of your dress.

Can I choose my flowers?

Absolutely! At the resort, your wedding planner will show you photos of bouquets for you to make a selection. Your wedding bouquet and his buttonhole are included in your wedding package, but extra flowers and buttonholes can be ordered for guests and bridesmaids.

What about the music?

You can request whatever music you prefer and it will be arranged for you – from a DJ playing your favourite songs to calypso bands. If you prefer you can pack a CD with your chosen musical selection, which can be played at your wedding.

Will I have a cake?

A wedding cake is included in wedding packages; this is usually a sponge cake with white icing. You can add your own decorations, and even arrange for an upgraded cake. Sandals Resorts offer a

choice of themed weddings, which feature colour-co-ordinated cakes to match the chosen wedding palette.

Who will take care of my hair and makeup?

Every bride wants to look her best and fortunately many hotels have hair and beauty services with makeup artists on hand. Even if they don't, your wedding planner can arrange for experts to come to the hotel.

Can I arrange for a good wedding photographer?

At your pre-wedding meeting, your wedding planner will show you examples of local photographers work so that you can choose the style that suits you best. Your video can also be arranged when you get to the resort. Photographer and DVD are usually at extra cost; they are rarely included in your wedding package.

What about the wedding dinner?

If you have a group of guests at your wedding, a gala dinner is usually arranged as part of your wedding package. If it's just the two of you, your wedding planner will arrange a candle-lit dinner for two in a romantic location.

We want friends and family at the ceremony but can we be alone for our honeymoon?

Absolutely. Simply ask your guests to stay at a different hotel close by, or transfer to another hotel after the ceremony.

And finally… How can I find out more?

Speak to Brides Abroad’s Wedding Planning Team on 0800 211 8255.

W edding Countdown

Pic courtesy of Sandals

Don’t be caught out! Set your diary for our month-by-month wedding checklist

12 MONTHS • • • • •

Decide on a budget Fix a date and time Decide on guest numbers Research to find your perfect venue! Check world weather


• Send out save the day cards • Take out wedding insurance and include your wedding dress • Make appointments to try out wedding dresses • Start downloading music if planning a CD for reception • Check availability at resorts and get prices


• Book your hotel and wedding package • Order invitations and envelopes as well as place cards • Inform guests of travel plans and give them your tour operator details so they can work out their own arrangements • Set up a honeymoon gift list


• Pick your bridesmaids, ushers and best man • Decide on your dress – allow at least four months for a made-to-measure gown to be delivered


• Start thinking about a theme for your wedding • Choose and order your bridesmaids outfits • Discuss with your wedding planners what documents you need • Check your passport is up to date • Arrange your travel insurance


• If you are having a religious ceremony, discuss readings and choose music for your service • Check whether readings and music permitted for a civil ceremony


• Choose and order favours • Shop for table decorations, confetti and trimmings


• Choose shoes and accessories for you and your bridesmaids


• Remind your fiancé to get his and the ushers’ outfits • Choose gifts for your attendants, best man, mum and helpers • Chase up any guests who haven’t responded


• Book a consultation with your hairstylist • Start your course of Restylane fillers, permanent hair removal, cosmetic tweaks and slimming treatments


• Go shopping for honeymoon clothes • Check whether you need visas or inoculations • Start arrangements for your stag and hen party • Start your diet and fitness campaign


• Check that you have received all the

Honeymoon checklist 6 MONTHS

• Do your research • Health and safety – check for travel advice and updates at the Foreign & Commonwealth Office ( • Set the honeymoon budget


• Make your choice early as airline prices can soar for late bookings • Check on visas • Check your passport is up to date


• Have your jabs • Start health and fitness plan


• •

• • •

correct documentation, including travel tickets. Check the details carefully for correct names, dates and times of flights Inform the tour operator of guests who are staying at different hotels – day passes need to be arranged for them Book a make-up session at a department store and choose your wedding make-up. Make sure it is heat -and-water-resistant if you are going to hot climes Choose your ‘special wedding perfume’ Book your pre-wedding hair appointment for cut and colour Choose a company for a gift list and make your selection


• Check that your fiancé has the rings and his wedding clothes • Collect your wedding dress • Book your beauty treatments, including nails, facial, fake tan, waxing, eyebrow shape, false lashes


• Double check that you have all the original documentation for your wedding • Make sure you have a suitable luggage carrier for your wedding dress for transportation in the hold of the plane • Buy your sun protection, travel-sized products etc • Boost and fine tune your diet and fitness plan • Work out the seating plan for your reception • Discuss final checklist with your wedding planner • Check that your passport, visas, inoculations and insurance are in place


• Have your final hair appointment and ask for tips and products. Take photographs to show hairdressers at your destination

• Two days prior to departure have beauty treatments including nails, facial, fake tan, waxing, eyebrow shape, false lashes etc • Order your travel cheques and currency • Have your stag and hen party

• Choose your honeymoon wardrobe • Book appointments for fillers, permanent hair removal etc.

On arrival at your resort


• Meet the resort’s wedding co-ordinator to check all documentation and set a day, time and location for the ceremony • Choose your flowers, cake and witnesses • Order add-ons such as larger cake, more wine, extra buttonholes, photographer, music and transport to the ceremony • Check that day passes and special permissions for children have been arranged for guests staying at other hotels • Arrange hairstylist, beauty appointments and spa treatments


The day before your wedding • You will have a wedding rehearsal with your wedding co-ordinator • Have a spa massage to relax you for your big day • Have a top-up spray tan if needed

The big day • Have your hair and make-up done at the hotel • Your wedding co-ordinator will check everything else is in place • Once the Marriage Officer arrives you will receive a call to let you know it’s time to say ‘I Do’


• Buy your luggage • Confirm bookings • Choose your perfume and water and heatproof holiday make-up • Order travellers cheques and currency • Check your holiday insurance carefully


• Book a pedicure, have a spray tan and leg and bikini wax. • Check in online • Check airport transfers

Check your documents!

You will need originals – or copies certified by a notary or solicitor of the following. But do check with your wedding tour operator and/or wedding planner. • 10 year passport, valid for at least six months • Birth certificates • If you are divorced, a decree absolute • If widowed, a death certificate and previous marriage certificate • An affidavit signed by a solicitor stating no legal objection to the marriage • If you have changed your name by deed poll, ensure it is proof stamped and signed by a solicitor. Visit for further details, and do check with your tour operator and wedding planner before you leave for your destination. 93

Ask the planners!

We asked Lisa Burton of The Bridal Consultant wedding planning service to answer your burning questions on planning a wedding abroad.

To invite or not to invite I’m thinking about booking a wedding abroad rather than in the UK due to it being cheaper and a lot less stressful! My only problem is that I am only inviting my closest friends and family and I know a lot of people will be upset that they have not been invited to one of the most important days of my life. I would really love everyone to be there but my budget just won’t stretch to this. How can I let them know that I want them there but can’t due to this reason? Jenny, Edinburgh

Hi Jenny, This is always a tricky situation! Have you tried simply telling them the truth? Explaining that you would love for them to be there to but because of your budget restrictions can’t invite as many people as you would like, often just the fact that you are being honest with them will avoid any upset. Also have you considered a small get together when you get home with those that couldn’t make it abroad? It doesn’t have to be an expensive ‘do’ but perhaps lunch or dinner at one of your favourite

restaurants? Of course they can also get involved in your hen and stag do.

The groom’s attire I am having a beach wedding in Greece next year and my hubby-to-be is worried about what he will wear. He doesn’t want to feel uncomfortable all day due to being too hot in a suit. Can you recommend something for him to wear that is smart yet suitable for the hot temperatures? Kate, Plymouth

Hi Kate, As heat will be a big factor of the day it is important that whatever he chooses to wear is comfortable for the duration of the day. A waistcoat and a cravat is a great choice for a wedding abroad as it doesn’t require a suit jacket, however if he does want to wear a suit then I recommend linen as this is a very cool fabric. Another option is to go down the stylish yet casual route by wearing a suit and jacket with an open neck collar. There are many options other than the traditional three-piece suit. Start the search early on, try on different styles and see what works best whilst keeping in mind the hot temperatures!

Contact Lisa:

Do you have any questions for Lisa Burton, The Bridal Consultant? Email your questions to:


Top table trouble I’m getting married in just under three months and I’m struggling to come up with a seating plan that will suit both my divorced, and now remarried parents!! The last thing I want on my wedding day is tension at the top table! Is there an alternative to the traditional top table set up? Suzanne, Newcastle

Hi Suzanne, Family drama is definitely not what you want on your big day! Why not have a top table with just you and your bridesmaids and groomsmen and then have each set of parents host their own table? Could be a solution, however your parents may feel excluded so best to check with them before making any final decisions. Another alternative is to have a ‘Sweetheart’ table for just you and your partner, this is a great idea if you want to have some alone time together to reflect on the day. Another idea that is becoming increasingly popular is to leave a couple of free chairs at each table, this way you can move around and mingle with all of your guests throughout the evening.

The Bridal Consultant is a full wedding planning service that specialises in exclusive destination weddings in Santorini and Zakynthos (Greece), Italy, Croatia and Ibiza.

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98 Going Dutch

For the mini-moon of a lifetime, just a short hop from British shores, Holland has oh so much to offer honeymooners – from the delightfully eccentric and totally romantic city of Amsterdam to Zandvort, the Dutch Riviera, with its long stretch of sandy beach!

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For the mini-moon of a lifetime, just a short hop from British shores, Holland has so much to offer honeymooners – from the delightfully eccentric and totally romantic city of Amsterdam to Zandvoort – with its mega-long stretch of sandy beach 98

After all the stress of planning your wedding, and the big day itself, a honeymoon with a relaxed, chilled vibe is just what you need. However, if you simply have no time to go long-haul, then have a fabulous fun-filled mini-moon much nearer home in Holland, one of the world’s most liberal countries, where absolutely anything goes – so get into the laid-back groove of the Dutch and let your hair down! We visited Holland on a cold week in February, in time to celebrate Valentine’s Day at a charming bistro on the long, sandy beachfront at Zandvoort, a stylish seaside resort close to Amsterdam which is best-known for its motor racing circuit, as well as being a popular weekend retreat for Dutch city dwellers. We arrived after a good night’s sleep in a roomy cabin aboard the DFDS car ferry ( which sails between the ports of Newcastle and Amsterdam We could’ve flown in just an hour from any UK airport, but chose the longer route via the North Sea to add to the fun of the trip. A good decision, as it felt like a mini cruise, with an excellent meal and live entertainment thrown in for good measure.


On disembarkation we headed straight to Zandvoort, beside that stunning beach and checked into Center Parcs Strand Hotel which, from the outside, is a charmless 70’s tower block. But don’t let looks deceive you! Once inside our comfortable room on the 12th floor, we made ourselves a coffee in the compact kitchenette and sat in the relaxation area beneath the huge window to take in the incredible, panoramic views of that vast expanse of beach, which framed the ink-blue North Sea. From here we could enjoy a birds-eye view of dog walkers and holidaymakers taking leisurely strolls along the shores, stopping off in the stylish beach cafes for coffee in the spring sunshine. We couldn’t wait to join them for a long, bracing February walk on the pure white sand, rub shoulders with the locals and sample their enviable lifestyle. Back in the hotel room that evening, there could be few better places on earth to enjoy watching the magnificent sunset, which we toasted with a couple of chilled glasses of bubbly, before strolling to Club Nautique, a nearby beach restaurant, for a celebration dinner in a truly romantic setting.

enjoying the ambience of what is arguably Zandvort’s finest beach restaurant. There were groups, young and old, businessmen, locals, hipsters - in fact just a really eclectic mix of diners clearly enjoying the vibe. I suspect that we could have visited at any time of day or night throughout the year and the place would be buzzing. Whilst we were there on this chilly but clear early spring evening in February, on the very first day of the season, we could only imagine what a wonderful place it would be in the high season, when you could enjoy alfresco dining in the sun on the terrace overlooking the famous Zandvoort beach. But there is more to the Club Nautique than it’s enviable location - the food offering is simply scrumptious! Gastronomes, especially fans of the freshest locally-caught fish, would be delighted at the quality of the mouth-watering dishes on offer – the seafood platter is particularly notable for praise! Other diners were marveling at their melt-in-the mouth sea bass, succulent burgers, and big fat double-cooked chips – just simple food cooked well in a funky establishment with friendly, attentive staff and great service.

Making a splash! There’s a big kid lurking in all of us, so what better way for newlyweds to blow away the cobwebs than getting wet and wild at Park Zandvoort? We headed down the short stroll from the Center Parcs hotel to its water playground, just 5-minutes away, to begin a morning of fun and frolicking. The park is perfect for all the family and offers a large wave pool, outdoor pool, 60-metre slide, hot whirlpool and poolside restaurants. There’s also a 25-metre pool for serious swimming and even an Aqua Cinema, where you can find a float and watch a good movie whilst you bob up and down to the motion of the water – a most unique way of watching the latest blockbuster! The Park offers a range of alternative activities, from saunas and steam baths to bowling, tennis, squash, bicycles, Go-karts and Jump XL trampolines. After a mornings play, dining in one of the poolside restaurants is a great way to round off a relaxing and refreshing water experience.

Valentine’s Day treat You could reasonably expect that pretty well any restaurant would be busy and lively on Valentine’s Day and the Club Nautique was certainly no exception. But looking around, it wasn’t just couples 99

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Center Parcs

Park Zandvoort There’s a big kid in all of us, longing for adventure and carefree, fun-filled days by the seaside. So why not release the child in you with a mini-moon at Center Parcs Park Zandvoort? You’ll find it just a few steps from Holland’s magnificent stretch of beach at this famous resort. Don’t just take our word for it. Discover Park Zandvoort for yourselves in Zandvoort, one of the finest resorts on the Dutch coast; close enough to the city of Amsterdam for the perfect dual-destination honeymoon.

laps, before retiring to the warm waters of the outdoor pool or the hot whirlpool for stress-free relaxation. Turkish sauna and steam baths are also available for a spa experience.

Getting around

Before you dry down, head to the Aqua Cinema for a truly unique experience, available only at Park Zandvoort. A swimming pool has been transformed into a cinema so that you can watch a movie on the big screen whilst floating around on the water!

Because Center Parcs villages are largely car-free zones, a bicycle is the ideal mode of transport: great for a trip to the shops and an easy way of getting to Aqua Mundo, the exciting heart of Park Zandvoort. And, of course, you can also go on fantastic rides through the natural surroundings of the park and along the sea front to enjoy the spectacular resort of Zandvoort. Alternatively, you can simply stroll around at your own pace, taking in the fresh sea air. All the accommodation and facilities are within easy walking distance.

Aqua Mundo You don’t need to rely on perfect weather for your holiday; it is beach weather all year round in the covered water park Aqua Mundo. Here you can indulge in endless water fun, swim lengths, watch a film in the Aqua Romana or play with young family in the children’s activity pool where the little ones can splash around safely to their heart’s content. The wave pool will excite and delight, while the 60-metre slide and family slide will provide endless fun for children, and big kids alike! Meanwhile adults can work on their health and fitness in the 25-metre pool and swim

Market Dome The Market Dome houses shopping and restaurants including the Grand Café with lunch and snacks available throughout the day, whilst the Grill serves delicious dishes hot off the grill. At House of Games, you can be immersed in the world of games, drive a Formula 1 car, play pinball, fight virtual enemies, and win prizes!

Activities Park Zandvoort also provides a host of alternative activities, from bowling, indoor tennis, squash, and archery to mini-golf and Jump XL indoor trampolines – suitable for everyone, from beginners to experts. There’s absolutely no chance of finding yourselves with nothing to do!

Accommodation Center Parc’s Park Zandvoort offers accommodation to suit all budgets and sizes of party. If it’s just the two of you on

a romantic honeymoon, then stay in the comfortable 4-star Strand Hotel, which offers stunning sea views from all rooms – and for that extra touch of romance, it provides the perfect viewpoint to watch the setting sun over the North Sea. The Strand Hotel is situated along the boulevard overlooking that amazing stretch of beach, with all the services you can expect from a 4-star hotel. A stay at the hotel includes a large breakfast buffet at the hotel’s Market Restaurant, plus accommodation in a studio apartment style room with seating area and flat screen TV, kingsize bed and fully equipped kitchenette. The hotel is within easy walking distance of Aqua Mundo and Market Dome. Alternatively, you may be honeymooning with a young family in tow, in which case the idyllic cottages set in dunes close to the North Sea beach are the perfect solution. Book a Comfort cottage, which provides bright, comfortable family accommodation, and is available in a range of sizes to sleep from 2-10 people – making the perfect choice for families as well as larger hen parties. Whilst Newlywed couples can push the boat out and book a luxury VIP cottage for just the two of them. They boast private saunas, whirlpool and rainshowers as well as WIFI and fresh bread rolls every morning. Whichever accommodation you choose, you can enjoy most of the facilities on offer free of charge, and are guaranteed to have the time of your lives!

Book it! 101


We hopped in the car and drove the short distance from Holland’s spectacular coastline, to its iconic city, Amsterdam, where a car is definitely not the preferred mode of transport. In Amsterdam it’s all about the bicycle. Yes, if you don’t have two wheels beneath you, then you’ve missed the point.


On your bike We soon parked up, hired two bikes and ‘went Dutch’. It takes a little time to get into the swing of cycling around the fast-moving city, but once you’ve mastered the art, you are laughing all the way to the next canal. The beautiful city of Amsterdam promises to delight even the most discerning of visitors. With its charming architecture, and network of enchanting canals criss-crossing the city, it’s got a magical vibe all of its own, and is the perfect place for a romantic city break or mini-moon.

Take to the water

And what better way to explore the city than to start with a leisurely cruise aboard a canal boat, which will float you past all the sights and tourist districts of Amsterdam. You can take a hop-on and hop-off cruise, allowing you to disembark at the tourist spot of your choice, such as the museums or floating flower market, or you can take an hour’s cruise, taking in the perspective of the city whilst you relax and enjoy the experience. You can even opt for the Candlelight Cruise and Dinner Cruise, when an exclusive 4-course dinner is served aboard, and the city is lit up in all its glory.

Cultural wonders

Art lovers can immerse themselves in this creative metropolis and discover the history and culture of Amsterdam in its museums and art galleries, which house the works of the masters including Van Gough and Rembrandt. Head to the Museum Quarter and spend the day browsing the Rijksmuseum, Rembrandt House Museum, Stedelijk Museum, Diamond Museum and Royal Concert Hall – and that’s just for starters. The city has more than its fair share of museums and galleries! Moco Museum (The Modern Contemporary Museum of Amsterdam) makes a wide range of contemporary art available to the general public, the basis of the collection is formed by the famous British artist Banksy. Visit the NEMO Science Museum and admire the spectacular city views from the roof terrace. The Amsterdam Dungeon will scare you with 500 years of Amsterdam’s horrible past. However, be sure to visit Ann Frank’s House, a historical tribute to the Jewish child hero of World War II and her diary memoirs, The house remains intact, capturing this poignant time in war-torn Europe.

which is legal in Amsterdam, fills the air with its pungent aroma as you pass the famous Brown Cafes and Bars, where tourists and locals alike can indulge in their darker side. Browse around the Sex Museum and the Hemp Museum for insight into Amsterdam’s fascinating alternative ‘culture’. Amsterdam is most definitely a city of contrasts, as most residents are not only cycling-fit, but they take their health very seriously, with jogging, healthy eating and working out in the abundance of health clubs in the city centre.

Hit the shops!

Shopping is mostly in the Western Canals area and Old Town. In the heart of the city’s canal district is an area of nine narrow streets called the Negen Straatjes with great restaurants, cafés, galleries, jewellers, boutiques and vintage stores. Whilst for luxury shopping head to the Museum Quarter where you’ll find the P.C. Hooftstraat, Amsterdam’s most exclusive shopping street, featuring designer brands like Chanel, Louis Vuitton, DKNY, Mulberry, Ralph Lauren and more. Continue down the Van Baerlestraat for brands like Vanilia, Gant and Miss Sixty. The two main shopping streets are the Kalverstraat and the Leidesestraat. Kalverstraat is home to all the well-known high street brands like H&M and Zara plus two shopping centres, Magna Plaza and De Kalvertoren. Whereas Leidsestraat has the more exclusive shops like Filippa K, Karen Millen, Paul Warmer. Amsterdam’s famous De Bijenkorf department store is situated in an impressive historical building just behind Dam Square.

Sun down

For an irresistible photo opportunity the two-metre high red and white lettered Amsterdam sign has become an iconic landmark. More adventurous tourists can literally hang upside down over the letters!

Alternative Amsterdam

The Red Light District reflects the more liberal side of Amsterdam and receives more than its fair share of publicity – not surprisingly it is a favourite destination for stag parties. A stroll through this area will reveal some jaw-dropping sights, and the aroma of cannabis,

The Holland Pass

Nightlife in Amsterdam provides everything from glamorous bars and restaurants to quaint and unique establishments oozing character and charm and, of course, those infamous cafes. Icebar is, without a doubt, one of the ‘coolest bars in Amsterdam with 60 tons of natural ice sculpted into the form of a real bar. For style in abundance, head to the rooftop bar and restaurant at W Hotel, where in the winter months visitors can snuggle beside the log-burning fires and sip Champagne and cocktails, or in the summer step outside onto the bar’s terrace for aerial views of the city. Best place to find the most popular bars and restaurants and quaint and romantic bistros is in and around the canals of Jordaan. No doubt about it, Amsterdam will keep you entertained with its charm, culture and fun-loving vibe – there can be no city so close to home with so much to offer honeymooners. Only question is, can you fit it all into a mini-moon? It’s a city that will definitely leave you wanting more!

Save on sightseeing with The Holland Pass, which offers free and reduced entrance tickets to attractions and museums in Amsterdam. It entitles you to fast track entry, allowing you to skip the long queues at the busiest attractions. 103


In Amsterdam, the city of culture, art and fashion, there can be few hotels that reflect the uniqueness of the city more than W Amsterdam, an iconic hotel that boasts space, style, edgy design and a rooftop bar that wows its trendy clients with panoramic views across the city. It’s the ultimate urban place to say “I do” and for honeymoon bliss! Split across two re-furbished historic buildings in the Western Canals region of Amsterdam, a 1920s telephone exchange and a former 1906 bank, W Amsterdam is an intriguing mix of heritage and contemporary design where nights never end and the pulse is set high. If you are planning a wedding in Amsterdam, or a stylish honeymoon this hotel most definitely has the wow factor.

EXCHANGE The Exchange building is for those seeking a vibrant and lively scene. Book into one of Exchange’s stylish rooms and prepare to be truly blown away as you begin married life with a hotel experience beyond

your expectations, in a new side of Amsterdam, where design, fashion and music fuse together. That experience begins as soon as you step inside W Amsterdam Exchange, board the elevator and are whisked straight to the top to check in at the rooftop W Lounge on the 6th floor. After admiring the captivating 360º views, you’ll be greeted warmly by trendy, young staff who are highly trained to deliver W’s trademark ‘Whatever/Whenever service, with a smile! W Lounge is the place to see and be seen, and is one of Amsterdam’s hottest venues for cocktails whilst enjoying spectacular views over the city against a backdrop of the latest hip sounds. It features WET® deck – Amsterdam’s first rooftop pool overlooking the Royal Palace; the Great

Room is an ultra-modern meeting and event space (and a great place to host your wedding), with glass wood burning stoves as centerpieces, creating a warm, cozy atmosphere in the winter; MR PORTER steakhouse restaurant is on the same floor and blends incredible flavors and world-class service with a dynamic ambiance and bold, open kitchen. Its breakfast menu is reported to be the best in town! Allow yourself to indulge in the innovative design and luxury in a choice of 172 contemporary and playful guestrooms including 10 fabulous suites, which vary in price, size and style, but all are spacious with high ceilings, large mirrors and glass walls, with open-plan bathrooms and shower cubicles echoing old Amsterdam telephone booths. Espresso machines, iPod docks and large televisions are standard.

BANK Meanwhile, across the street, the entrance lobby of the Bank building offers is a perfect alternative for guests looking to escape the hustle and bustle of the city and immerse themselves in a sophisticated sanctuary. The Bank building offers luxury accommodation in 66 super-stylish rooms, including 13 suites, in a tranquil, calm environment. You will be immediately struck by the contrast to the Exchange as you enter Bank’s large gallery entrance space which displays local fashion, art and music and exhibitions from time to time, and offers access to the sublime AWAY® spa, the ultimate escape within the city where you can detox, retox and repeat, and FIT, an energy-charged fitness centre. The recently opened AWAY Spa by W Hotels is an urban sanctuary where you can find your balance, boost your stamina, whilst at FIT, the state-of-the-art fitness facility, you can enjoy an energetic work-out in the fully-equipped Technogym whilst soaking up natural daylight and canal views. Personal training sessions are offered at hourly rates. With health and vitality in mind, Bank’s XBAR is not an ordinary bar, it’s your own refueling station. A juice bar which offers deliciously tasty, healthy cold-pressed juices extracted from the freshest fruit and leafy green produce. The DUCHESS is the hotel’s plush restaurant, which became the talk of the town when it opened, as much for the space and opulent décor as for the cuisine – everything from foie gras-filled donuts to Beef Wellington. The DUCHESS is host to a restaurant dining area, tearoom, bar and for the ultimate DUCHESS chef’s experience, a private table of 8 seats, set in the heart of the Molteni kitchen. The lunch and dinner menu is inspired by Southern France and Italy – also known as Nouveau-Nicoise Cuisine and dining at DUCHESS is most definitely an elegantly glamorous experience.

WEDDINGS From the perfect proposal to the dreamiest honeymoon, W Amsterdam provides an iconic backdrop for a wedding in the city of canals. Couples will enjoy exclusive Whatever/ Whenever® services so that every wedding experience is exactly how you’ve always imagined. The experience begins with pre-wedding pampering – savour a romantic rehearsal dinner and indulge in spa treatments and signature sips, complete with VIP service. In addition you can start earning Starpoints® before the big day arrives. Everything from bachelor (ette) celebrations to rehearsal dinners rack up the rewards. Keep track of it all with a personalized weddings website. Then share the site with your guests so they can book their rooms directly. On your big day, everything is coordinated to perfection, from signature flowers and extraordinary eats to glittering candles and more, W Amsterdam provides unique service and venues to give your wedding the wow factor. After your wedding, take off to a spectacular bridal suite, and, of course, Whatever/Whenever® is on call for your every post-wedding desire – from Champagne to spa treatments and more. Your dedicated wedding specialist will ensure that your celebration is a distinct reflection of your personality, with every detail perfectly to order.

Book It! W Amsterdam, Spuistraat 175, 1012 VN Amsterdam Tel: (00) +31 20 811 2500 Email:


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Radisson BluAmsterdam

In a tranquil location at the heart of Amsterdam, surrounded by two picture-perfect canals and with the historical monuments of Dam Square on the doorstep, the 4-star superior Radisson Blu Amsterdam hotel couldn’t be better placed for a sightseeing honeymoon – with the famed Van Gogh Museum and Anne Frank House just a short stroll away There are plenty of public transport options within walking distance of Radisson Blu Amsterdam, making it an ideal location for business travellers as well as the perfect sightseeing starting point. However, for honeymooners, there can be no better way to start exploring than by hiring a couple of bicycles from the concierge desk and spending an exciting day cycling along the canals to the famous tourist hotspots or the charming shops and cafés, which Amsterdam has in abundance. The hotel’s concierge staff can help with everything from directions and reservations to booking theatre tickets and guided canal tours as well as arranging transportation including bicycles, car rental, taxis and limousines.

Radisson Blu Amsterdam is housed in a building that has seen many uses over the years,. Sandwiched between two canals, the hotel balances historical charm with modern amenities designed for your comfort. All 252 guest rooms and suites boast all the mod-cons such as One Touch Service and free high-speed wireless Internet. The vast entrance lobby, with its high glass atrium ceiling, is an elegant space filled with natural light, with large check in area leading to De Palmboom, a superb restaurant serving organic and local dishes and Pastorie Bar, a cozy, welcoming place to unwind after a long day of sightseeing. The hotel’s facilities also include a fitness room, sauna, solarium and digital reading material.

Accommodation Wake up to the sights and sounds of Amsterdam in one of the hotel’s beautifullyappointed rooms and suites. Each features clean modern design and air conditioning with coffee and tea making facilities, minibar and many boasting gorgeous views of the canals. Free high-speed wireless Internet is available throughout the hotel.

Wining & dining Restaurant De Palmboom is situated within the hotel, but can also be accessed via the street. It is on the exact same premises as the renowned 19th local grocery after which it was named – thus the philosophy of using local and organic ingredients emerged. The atmosphere is bistro-style with bright,

cheerful decor and a relaxed ambience. The warmth of the staff is particularly noted – and the chef is more than happy to rustle up a delicious special dish for anyone with specific dietary requirements! In contrast, the Pastorie Bar reflects Old World charm in a room which was previously a vicarage adjoining a secret clandestine church, in which Catholics and other religious dissenters, unable to worship in public at the time, held services. This is now a memorable spot for enjoying small bites, coffee, aperitifs and cocktails – its dark woods and gold tones and cozy fireplace create a refined atmosphere as you socialize and choose from a wide selection of beers, wines and spirits.

Health & fitness You can re-energize at the hotel’s on-site fitness centre. Guests of the Radisson Blu Hotel, Amsterdam have free access. The large gym features Technogym cardiovascular equipment and a sauna. Alternatively book an in-room massage, and enjoy honeymoon pampering within the comfort of your own room.

Weddings For a magical wedding by the canals, Radisson Blu Amsterdam offers the Exclusively Yours concept, designed to help you plan and create flawless, engaging events and celebrations, including weddings. For an exceptional Amsterdam experience, why not impress your guests by arriving by canal boat? A special Something

Blu wedding package can be customised with an excellent range of elegant choices, including an unrivalled menu selection, crafted by the head chef and complimentary anniversary offering. After your wedding, Amsterdam beckons for the honeymoon of a lifetime!

Book It Radisson Blu Hotel, Amsterdam Rusland 17 NL-1012 CK Amsterdam Netherlands Tel: +31 20 623 1231 Email:

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Timeless Elegance at

St Regis Mauritius

Weddings at St Regis are celebrations ‘Beyond Expectation’. Every detail is attended to with care; every moment is a cherished memory in the making – Imagine exchanging vows in an elegant ballroom setting or delighting in a first dance on a private beach lit only by the stars! Weddings and Renewal of Wedding Wows at the St Regis Mauritius are always the talk of the town; elegant affairs distinguished by the finest wines, most exquisite cuisine and personal attention that St Regis promises. From personalised menus and exquisitely appointed venues to impeccable service with a seasoned St. Regis specialist standing by ready to ensure your most precious day is also your most memorable, you are guaranteed that your wedding day will be absolutely perfect. There is no address like the St Regis Mauritius Resort. Reclining on white sands of Le Morne Beach and a turquoise lagoon,

the 5-star luxury resort boasts a magical setting, located on the south-west peninsula of the island known as the ‘Pearl of the Indian Ocean’. It offers lavishly appointed accommodation in 172 guest rooms and suites with breathtaking views over the Indian Ocean.

Wining and dining Newlyweds can enjoy a delicious choice of superb restaurants offering a myriad of gastronomic influences – from Frenchinspired and traditional Mauritian cuisine, to the exotic dishes of South-East Asia and fine Japanese selections. Le Manoir Dining

Room reflects the decor and service of a stately home, serving delicious Mauritian and French cuisine; The Boathouse Grill is an elegant beachside gourmet experience where you can eat with your feet in the sand and dance into the sunset; The Floating Market is an East Asian inspired restaurant offering Thai, Malay, Vietnamese, Indonesian and Singaporean cuisine; Atsuko restaurant presents the hallmark of the Far East in a haven of calm; Simply India is a signature restaurant that features traditional Indian cuisine with aromatic Tandoori specialties. As night falls, The 1904 Bar, a quiet haven of relaxation by day, becomes the social

hub of the resort. Beginning at dusk with light background jazz artists and residential pianist, night follows with full-flavoured cocktails – from rum cocktails to Mauritian ‘teasers’ – snacks and live entertainment. The date 1904 coincides with the building of New York City – the hallmark of the St Regis brand today.

Sports and activities For honeymooners seeking action and adventure there’s plenty to keep them occupied – from kite surfing, windsurfing, snorkeling and water skiing to SUP (stand up paddling), kayaking, snorkeling, scuba diving and glass bottom boat trips. Couples will find an abundance of complementary activities available at the Watersports Centre on the beach. Or they can take to

the sea on organized Catamaran cruises and Big Game fishing trips. However, no honeymooner should miss the opportunity to go out to sea on a sunny morning excursion to swim with wild dolphins! Human fascination with these intelligent creatures is as old as humanity itself, and all those who have experienced a close encounter with wild dolphins will carry these wonderful memories for a lifetime.

Spa and Wellness Couples seeking tranquility and relaxation will find a sensory heaven in the St Regis Mauritius Resort’s Iridium Spa. Guests will enter on a journey that takes them through half-an-hour to half-a-day of pampering and indulgence in the spa. The Iridium Spa nestles at the heart of the property

in a colonial style building overlooking the Indian Ocean, where it offers treatments in 12 luxurious treatment rooms; a hair and beauty salon; jacuzzi, sauna; steam room and Fitness Centre where you can book personal training, fitness classes and keep in good shape in the state-of-the-art Techno Gym.

Further Information St Regis Mauritius Resort & Spa Le Morne Peninsula Mauritius Le Morne Mauritius Call: +230 403 9000 Visit:

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5 ways to SEA


A surprising destination is becoming increasingly on trend with newlyweds, and it’s easy to see why. Japan offers a unique culture that is bound to delight and inspire couples looking for a honeymoon with a difference – and what better way to explore its shores than aboard a luxury cruise ship? 110

1 Get set to Sumo! A trip to Japan would not be complete without experiencing Japan’s national sport at one of the few sumo tournaments that take place each year. Originating in ancient times as a performance to entertain the Shinto deities, today a sumo tournament is a celebrated event that still preserves many of the traditions, including the use of salt purification. This, combined with a visit to see the Japanese macaque, or snow monkeys, makes for a truly quintessential Japanese holiday. The famous snow monkeys can be spotted in their habitat at the Jigokudani Park, the only place in the world where monkeys bathe in hot springs. This monkey species is native to northern Japan, and is the most northern-living non-human primate, surviving winter temperatures of below -15 °C.

Book it!

Iglu Cruise offers a 15-night cruise and stay on board Princess Cruises’ Diamond Princess. The trip includes a five-night Japan Land tour including a four-night stay in Tokyo, a one-night stay in a traditional Ryokan with a traditional Japanese dinner, the chance to watch a Sumo Wrestling tournament and a visit to the Snow Monkeys at the Jigokudani Park. It also includes a visit to Mount Fuji 5th Station, which incorporates a ride on the aerial ropeway and a cruise on Lake Ashi before a Bullet Train ride back to Tokyo. Return flights to the UK, and stop offs in Kushiro, Shiretoko Peninsula (cruising), Korsakov, Otaru and Hakodate are also incorporated. Price from £3,099 pp (full-board on cruise). 111

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2 Marvel at the Spring Blossoms If your honeymoon is planned for spring 2018 and, if the timing’s right, you can be in with the chance to marvel at Japan’s iconic ‘sakura’ (spring blossom) which blankets the country with beautiful pink flowers for just a few weeks of the year. If lucky, cruisers can enjoy these spectacular views set against a backdrop of snow-capped Mount Fuji or within the picturesque Kenroku-en Garden, a beautiful Japanese garden expanding over 11.4 hectares and located on the heights of the central part of Kanazawa.

Book it!

Iglu Cruise offers a 13-night cruise and stay on board Princess Cruises’ Diamond Princess (full board on cruise) flying from the UK on 16th April 2018. The trip includes return flights to the UK, a three night hotel stay in Tokyo, a Mount Fuji and Hakone tour with the Bullet Train and the opportunity to visit top Spring Blossom viewing sites, such as Kenrokuen Garden in Kanazawa*. Stop offs in Kanmon Straits, Busan, Sakaiminato, Kanazawa, Hakodate and Aomori are also incorporated. Prices from £2,249 pp (full-board on cruise).

3 Discover tropical islands The lesser-known southern islands of Japan are a chain of tropical, coral-fringed islands, perfect for nature lovers and those in search of white sand beaches and crystal clear waters. Okinawa, in particular, is a world away from home, evolved into a unique melting pot of cultures, combining Ryukyuan, Chinese and Japanese traditions with an American pop culture developed from the U.S’s long military presence on the island. Meanwhile Ishigaki boasts white-sand beaches, emerald mountains and tumbling waterfalls, as well as easily accessible coral reefs filled with captivating tropical fish.

Book it!

Iglu Cruise offers an 11-night cruise and stay on board Princess Cruises’ Diamond Princess flying from the UK on 5th June 2018. The trip includes return flights from the UK and a two-night stay in Kyoto. Stop offs in Kobe, Okinawa, Ishigaki and Taipei (Taiwan) are also incorporated. Price from £1,999 pp (full-board on cruise). 112

4 Experience Japan’s incredible fireworks! One of Japan’s largest firework displays, The Kumano Fireworks Festival, takes place on the 17th August every year. This famous display has a history of over 300 years and, with the Kumanonada Sea as a backdrop, launches over 10,000 fireworks from boats to light up the night sky. What makes this display particularly unique is the sound the fireworks make as they echo off the rock face of Onigajo – something that needs to be heard to be believed!

Book it!

Iglu Cruise offers a 12-night cruise and stay on board Princess Cruises’ Diamond Princess flying from the UK on 11th August 2018. The trip includes return flights to the UK, a three-night hotel stay in Tokyo, a Mount Fuji and Hakone tour with the Bullet Train and the opportunity to watch one of Japan’s largest firework displays - The Kumano Fireworks Festival. Stop offs in Shimizu (port of call for Mount Fuji), Kumano, Kochi, Kanmon Straits, Busan and Yatsushiro are also incorporated. Price from £2,149 pp (full-board on cruise).

5 Wider Asia For those looking for a longer stay and the chance to explore more of Asia, cruise lines such as Holland America and Norwegian Cruise Line cater for such experiences. These trips combine visits to Japan with explorations of the likes of Hong Kong, Shanghai and Beijing, for truly unforgettable experiences.

Book it!

Iglu Cruise offers a 20-night cruise and stay on board Holland America Line’s MS Volendam flying from the UK on 10th October 2017. The trip includes return flights to the UK, a two night stay in Tokyo, a two night stay in Shanghai, an overnight onboard in Bejing, an overnight onboard in Shanghai and a Mount Fuji and Hakone tour (including a Bullet Train journey). Stop offs in Shimizu (port of call for Mount Fuji), Osaka, Jeju Island (South Korea), Incheon and Qingdao are also incorporated. Price from £2,449 pp (full-board on cruise) Alternatively, Iglu Cruise offers a 20-night cruise and stay on board Celebrity Cruises’ Celebrity Millennium flying from the UK on 29th March 2018. The trip includes return flights to the UK, a two night hotel stay in Shanghai, a two night hotel stay in Tokyo, an overnight onboard in Beijing and a Yu Garden and Bund tour. Stop offs in Seoul, Jeju Island (South Korea), Kobe and Shimizu (port of call for Mount Fuji) are also incorporated. Price from £2,329 pp (full-board on cruise).

* has been trading for 15 years and is the UK’s largest independent cruise agent, following acquisition of Planet Cruise in June 2013. Iglu Cruise offers cruise deals to over 3,000 ports in 30 destinations from over 40 cruise lines. This gives them the absolute best variety of cruises anywhere. Iglu Cruise is ABTA and ATOL bonded. 113

Go Glamping in


Safari honeymoons are the perfect way for newlyweds to get up close to nature for the ultimate wildlife adventure. But if you thought that staying in tented camps in the African plains was to compromise on luxury and romance, then think again!

Abandon thoughts of damp canvas, cold nights and cramped spaces. The luxury travel company andBeyond, has selected a hot list of its African tented camps, which are perfect for romantic couples looking for glamping at its best – where honeymooners can fall asleep in comfort; close to the stars and a footstep from nature. 114

BOTSWANA Chobe Under Canvas

Sleeping under canvas is one of the best ways to enjoy life in the African bush. Set within the game-rich Chobe National Park, which is home to some of the largest elephant herds on the African continent, andBeyond Chobe Under Canvas moves to a different private campsite every five to six days. Each time it is carefully positioned as close as possible to the resident game. AndBeyond Chobe Under Canvas has walk-in tents with en-suite bathrooms, hot bucket showers and superb camp cuisine. This is a place where guests can connect with the culture, taste local food and explore the stunning landscape with game drives and private boat cruises on the Chobe River. It is as experiential as it gets.

Book it

Rates are from £520 per person per night, based on two sharing and including thee meals daily, teas and coffees, two safari activities per day and transfers to and from Kasane Airport.

Xaranna Okavango Delta Camp This intimate camp has just nine tents, providing an exclusive retreat among a network of secluded islands in the Delta. In high water season, the camp is only accessible by boat, but provides a brilliant opportunity to explore the intricate waterways while hippo spotting. This beautiful watery wilderness camp is surrounded by idyllic reed beds and lush plant life. All tents have their own fully sized private pool, with spectacular views over the channels.

Book it

Rates are from £665 per person per night, based on two sharing and including three meals daily, teas and coffees, two safari activities per day and transfers to and from the camp airstrip. 115

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KENYA Kichwa Tembo Tented Camp

andBeyond Kichwa Tembo Tented Camp sits in a private concession on the western border of the Masai Mara National Reserve – where some of the most spectacular scenes in Out of Africa were filmed. This simple, yet elegant tented camp celebrates the panoramic views of the game-filled Mara plains. The 12 luxury tents and 28 superior tents all overlook the open grasslands or the shady forest surrounding the Sabaringo River and the rim-flow swimming pool looks out onto magnificent open vistas. With a strong emphasis on privacy, the camp layout maximizes the uninterrupted views, ensuring that each tent enjoys its own Mara experience. The guests’ areas have also been constructed with the camp’s spectacular Mara views as a focus.

Book it

Rates are from £485 per person per night, based on two sharing and including three meals daily, teas and coffees, two safari activities per day, and transfers to and from the camp airstrip.



Serengeti Under Canvas

The mobile camps of andBeyond Serengeti Under Canvas offers guests the opportunity to see wildlife from different vantage points and wake to the sounds of animals on the move. The camps’ locations are carefully planned to anticipate the movement of the Great Migration across the Serengeti. Enjoying the full tranquility of the African night, guests can watch the sunset and admire the spectacular night sky during dinner. The ultimate in luxury camping, the camp successfully exudes elegant charm and embodies oldworld glamour, complete with a private butler service, chandeliers, silverware and cut glass crystal.

Book it

Rates are from ÂŁ626 per person per night, based on two sharing and including three meals daily, teas and coffees, two safari activities per day and transfers to and from the nearest airstrip 117


Ngala Tented Camp There is something inherently romantic about sleeping under the stars, particularly in the African bush. andBeyond Ngala Tented Camp’s nine elegant and sophisticated tents overlook the seasonal Timbavati River on the edge of the Kruger National Park and are ideal for couples and honeymooners. Within the 35,000acre andBeyond Ngala Private Game Reserve, Ngala Tented Camp offers exceptional game viewing, with the lodge’s swimming pool and sundeck often frequented by elephant and buffalo.

Book it

Rates are from £628 per person per night, based on two sharing and including three meals daily, teas and coffees, two safari activities per day and transfers to and from the camp airstrip

andBeyond is one of the world’s leading luxury experiential travel companies, designing personalized high-end tours in 15 countries in Africa, five in Asia and four in South America. The company also owns and operates 29 extraordinary safari lodges and camps, as well as set-departure expeditions, throughout Africa; which positively impact more than 9 million acres of wildlife land. 118

Established in 1991, andBeyond takes exceptional care of its guests in order to make a difference; its commitment to sustainable responsible travel, conservation and community empowerment has been globally recognized with multiple awards over the years. They offer warm local hospitality and sublime natural luxury that combine with interpretive natural experiences, led by highly skilled guides and ranges.

Heaven or Paradise? You choose!

For the ultimate wedding and honeymoon in Mauritius, these are the only addresses you need to know!


Call: (230) 204 1400

Call: (230) 403 9000

Call: (230) 204 3333

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Brides Abroad - Issue 21  

Inspiring weddings & honeymoons

Brides Abroad - Issue 21  

Inspiring weddings & honeymoons