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Issue 22

Fly to Australia & stop-off in Paradise

WAYS TO

Why have one honeymoon when you can have two? Make your journey into an exciting adventure!

WOW

REAL WEDDINGS

at your destination wedding ❤ Gorgeous settings ❤ Stunning gowns ❤ Fabulous décor ❤ Creative themes & accessories

Month-by-month guide to

HONEYMOON WEATHER

Beauty Sins

Wet & Wild in

Hawaii

Make-up tips from the experts

Dress to please Plunging necklines – we dare you!

PLAN YOUR WEDDING ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤

Tips from expert planners Countdown to the big day Wacky wedding traditions Avoid family feuds

HONEYMOON SAVINGS!

BE A ‘Cool’ BRIDE IN

Iceland

Get the Look!

❤ Beach bride ❤ City style ❤ Cathedral Princess ❤ Ice Queen

www.bridesabroad.com

£3.99

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Iceland, Croatia,Crete Portugal & Sri Lanka


JAMAICA

A N T I G UA

D

SAINT LUCIA

BAHAMAS

G R E N A DA

BARBADOS

oes the idea of joining the love of your life at the end of a powdery, whitesand aisle make your heart skip a beat? Do you dream of kissing under the Caribbean sun while the vibrant blue ocean paints a picture-perfect backdrop

for your vows? If this is what you’ve always imagined your big day to be, then allow Sandals to create the wedding of your dreams. Whether it’s just the two of you or your celebration includes family and friends, Sandals is the perfect location for a romantic destination wedding. And best of all, after your magical wedding day, the two of you can slip away to your romantic Love Nest Suite®. Enjoy 5-Star Global Gourmet™ dining at up to 16 outstanding restaurants, endless pours of Robert Mondavi Twin Oaks wines and premium brand drinks 24/7 and unlimited land and water sports. It’s all included, all unlimited, all the time.

COME IN-STORE TO SEE OUR SANDALS SPECIALISTS Make an appointment at sandals.co.uk/store ALTERNATIVELY, Call 0800 012 1878 Visit sandals.co.uk • See your local Travel Agent *Free for certified divers. ^Mandatory caddies at cost.

2017

22 Years Running


Welcome&

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

Publisher Martin Cody-Owen martin@bridesabroad.tv

Editor-in-Chief Congratulations

Terri Cody-Owen terri@bridesabroad.tv

Congratulations!

Springtime is all about planning your wedding and, to help you, there are wedding shows popping up at exhibition centres and wedding venues all around the country. It’s a fantastic time for gathering ideas and inspiration for your big day. This is where Brides Abroad magazine can help. We have researched the international wedding market, and kept in step with the latest ideas and trends, so that whatever stage you’ve reached in planning your destination wedding and/or honeymoon abroad, we can help to take the stress away and ensure that you can look forward to simply saying, “I do”. All you have to do is choose your ideal destination and decide on the style and budget of your wedding and honeymoon. The cool, crisp winter may have inspired you to have a sparkling winter white wedding, with snow, dramatic landscapes and possibly the spectacular Northern Lights as your wedding backdrop – well it’s easier than you think! Iceland is just over two hours away by WOW Air, offering you the perfect destination for a wedding to really wow your guests! (P.62) Alternatively, if you’ve had enough of winter and long for sunshine and warmth, then we highly recommend Sri Lanka, where you can be sure of a colourful, traditional send off into married life, complete with an elephant’s blessing! (P.38) Nearer home, the glorious wedding and honeymoon destinations of the Mediterranean beckon – the Greek Islands are, as always, a spectacular place to host your wedding and honeymoon – with a long sunny season from early spring until late autumn. Each island has a charm of its own, and in this issue we showcase a beautiful wedding in Crete (P.52). Alternatively, Croatia is becoming an iconic European destination, with stunning wedding venues, from deserted islands to the historical city of Dubrovnik (P.22)

Assistant to Publisher Patsy Owen

Fashion Editor Lulu Bousfield

Contributors Lisa Burton Tilly Wilkinson Holly Catz Lily Hardwick www.888poker.com Hairtrade.com

Photography

Draw inspiration from us on the world’s most fabulous honeymoons – from wet and wild adventure in Hawaii, perfect for active couples (P.108) to Australian honeymoons with a difference – incorporating stop-offs en-route in exciting destinations including Vietnam, Tokyo and Mauritius (P.118)

Dreamstime Veronica Arevalo (www.svadbasphotography.com Grant Walsh, Algarve Wedding Photography Duminda Nawarathne Hanna Monika (www.jannamonika.com) Gunnar Freyr Steinsson Nathan Wyatt (www.nathanwyattphotography.com) Lukas Agelasto of Story Studio

Plan your big day meticulously with the help of Brides Abroad – we offer everything from worldwide weather charts (P.88), ways of dealing with troublesome relatives (p.96) and wacky wedding traditions (P.98) to wedding countdown (P.94) and tips from professional planners (P.100)

Design

Our fashion special will inspire you with the latest trends in bridal fashions – see our gown collection with stunning plunging necklines (P.76), plus accessories and beauty tips for looking at your most gorgeous on your big day. If you need further inspiration our team are always happy to help on 0800 211 so much more, and honeymoon bargains too, visit www.bridesabroad.com

8255. And for

Enjoy!

Chris Peach www.chrispeachdesign.co.uk

Printer Warners Midlands Plc. www.warners.co.uk

Advertising Sales Terri Cody Owen Editor-in-Chief terri@bridesabroad.tv To Subscribe to Brides Abroad for just £22 for 6 issues, email Martin@JointVentureMedia.tv

0800 211 8255 www.BridesAbroad.com ©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.

Joint Venture Media 01937 58 48 92 martin@bridesabroad.tv

Director of Sales Sylvia Oakley 0113 284 31 00 Sylvia@bridesabroad.tv

Cover Gown by Wilderly Bride. Style, Adele. www.allurebridals.com/wilderlybride


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


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Contents

IN THIS ISSUE REAL WEDDINGS

24 34

Amour in the Algarve

40

Elephant blessing

52 66

“I do” in Dubrovnik

Charlotte and Andy’s stunning wedding in Croatia. Shonagh and Martin celebrated their wedding in the gorgeous Hotel Hilton Vilamoura As Cascatas in Portugal’s Algarve. Cath & David chose to have a traditionally dressed elephant at their Buddhist ceremony in exotic Sri Lanka.

Celebrations in Crete!

Workmates Gemma and David headed to their favourite Greek Island to say; “I do”.

Ice Ice Baby

In search of the ‘coolest’ winter wedding, Clare and Damon from Yorkshire headed to Hotel Ranga in Southern Iceland.

WEDDING DESTINATIONS

8 22

30 38

40 24 SUBSCRIBE SIX ISSUES FOR ONLY £18.00 Worth £23.94 inc FREE P&P

martin@bridesabroad.tv

6 www.BridesAbroad.com

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Wedding & honeymoon news Enchanting Croatia

Have a fairytale ceremony in a country with charming historical towns set against a backdrop of stunning scenery.

Vows in the Algarve

For year-round sunshine, beautiful golden beaches, lush golf courses, pretty white villages and endless blue skies.

Sri Lanka – marry in a blaze of colour

Embrace the island culture and have a beautiful Buddhist wedding with an elephant blessing and simply gorgeous scenery.

Charming Crete

IF you are seeking a rustic and truly romantic Greek Island, then Crete has so much to offer.

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WEDDING DESTINATIONS

50 62

CONTINuED

“I do” in Greece

Olympic Holidays can hold your hand and guide you through your perfect wedding in Greece.

Fire & Ice

For weddings with thrilling scenery both winter and summer, and more than a small chance of seeing the spectacular Northern Lights.

FAShION

76

78 79 80 81

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76

82 84

Take the plunge

Necklines are dropping and sending the temperatures soaring – be sure to stay on trend with the latest looks.

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.

Get the look church weddings

Float down the aisle in pure romantic style and melt his heart.

Get the look Ice Queen

Cool and elegant, yet warm as toast, how to look chilled at your winter wedding.

7 Deadly beauty sins

Avoid hair and beauty disasters - we show you how!

5 Tips to beating bridal body hang-ups Beat those nagging body concerns before you say, “I do” with help from the experts .

PlANNING

88

Weather permitting

92

Pop the Question

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

94

Wedding countdown

96

Family Planning – for your happy ever after!

98 100

Your wedding day will arrive before you know it, so take care to read our 18-month wedding planner.

Make sure your wedding is a happy family occasion with no frustrating conflicts with help from wedding expert Tilly Wilkinson!

21 Wacky wedding rituals

The best man is shaving the groom, the mother-in-law is throwing ducks at the bride – some international wedding customs are jaw-dropping!

Ask the planners

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

hONEYMOONS

108

Wet & wild in Hawaii

114

Fly to Oz – with FAB stopovers

Hawaii’s stunning ocean and waterways are the perfect choice if watersports is high on your honeymoon agenda! As if a honeymoon in Australia isn’t enough, now you can include a truly tantalizing choice of stop-overs, allowing you to create a duel destination honeymoon – the world really is your oyster! www.BridesAbroad.com 7


Wedding trends

Brides and grooms-to-be will be interested to discover what’s hot and what’s not in the wedding industry. The International Academy of Wedding and Event Planning (IAWEP) has released its annual International Wedding Trend Report revealing findings from the world’s most recognized wedding experts. In the report, celebrity Wedding Planner David Tutera says: “Couples are bringing back formalwear in a big way. We’ll see more tuxedos and long dresses on guests, and upscale venue choices.” Emma Hla, founder of Coco Wedding Venues says, “Gone are the days of the conveyor-belt style Wedding Package – everything needs to be bespoke now - from food and cocktails, to throwing away the traditional order of the day,” she says. UK blogger Louise Beukes of B.Loved sees an increase in the use of social media when it comes to wedding planning. “Pinterest in particular continues to play a huge role, with savvy brides not just seeking out inspiration but making purchases directly from the platform. www.weddingacademylive.com/wedding-trend-registration/

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

Wow weddings in St Lucia

St Lucia is one of the top destinations for UK couples choosing to marry abroad – so it’s not surprising that the beautiful tropical island has been awarded the Caribbean’s Leading Honeymoon Destination for the fourth year running. Cap Maison in St Lucia offers many packages for weddings, tailored and created to suit all tastes and budgets such as the wow-factor ‘Wedding on the Sea’ where you can marry aboard the resort’s private luxury yacht. Cap Maison is a beautiful boutique resort set in 3-acres of tropical gardens atop a secluded sea-front bluff with sunset views over the Caribbean Sea. It now offers four new wedding packages – and is unique in hosting just one wedding every three weeks to ensure exclusivity on the day. Packages available include The Premier Wedding Package; Luxury Wedding Package; Wedding on the Sea and Exclusively Yours (which gives couples exclusive use of the entire hotel). Couples can work closely with the resort’s experienced Chef Craig, who is the 2016 Caribbean Chef of the Year, to create a bespoke wedding menu, which can be served almost anywhere across the resort.

Book it

! Wedding packages start at £900. Room rates form £270 per night. Cap Maison offers wedding party reductions on standard rates. www.capmaison.com

8 www.BridesAbroad.com


NewArctic retreat Lovers of winter wonderland honeymoons will be delighted to know that a spectacular new haven of luxury and indulgence has just opened in Swedish Lapland. Set in the pristine Arctic wilderness, the family-owned Arctic Retreat is a log cabin-style hotel, deep in the forest at the foot of the Raven rapid in the Rane River valley. Honeymooners staying at the hotel can snuggle up by the free-hanging fireplace and watch the breathtaking Northern Lights first hand from dramatic floor to ceiling windows. The hotel allows newlyweds to combine the adventure of the Arctic Circle with honeymoon luxury, including personal service, fine food, spa experiences, a hot tub on their private terrace and an array of Arctic activities set against a magical backdrop of snow and ice.

Book it!

A three-night stay with Off the Map Travel at the new Arctic Retreat costs from £1,988 per person based on two people sharing including exclusive use of the lodge, snowshoeing, skiing, ice skating, ice fishing and private transfers. The package can be included as part of a more extensive Arctic adventure, exploring Norway, Sweden and Finland for winter adventure-seeking couples. www.offthemap.travel

Floating weddings in Phi Phi Couples in search of an idyllic tropical island wedding will be delighted to discover the pictureperfect Phi Phi Island Village Beach Resort, which offers a range of wedding packages in beautiful settings. With 800 metres of untouched white sand beaches, Phi Phi Island Village Beach Resort is in a prime setting surrounded by dramatic scenery framed with swaying palm trees, traditional long-tail boats and the aquamarine expanse of the Andaman Sea. You can choose from either traditional Thai or Western wedding packages including: Touch of the Sea package (£2,025) – a beach ceremony complete with flower archway, breakfast in bed and a Love Tree planting ceremony and Pool Serenity Memories of Love package (£3,512) – this wedding comes complete with a floating stage over the resort’s swimming pool, accommodation in a private Hillside Pool Villa, candle-lit dinner on the beach, and a spa Couples Massage. Optional extras include an evening fire show.

Book it!

www.phiphiislandvillage.com

www.BridesAbroad.com 9


Flowers from Amsterdam What could be more romantic for a bride than to hand-pick her own bridal bouquet in the fields of Holland with her Hens in tow? ECT Travel has launched a bespoke bridal package to the Netherlands, which allows brides to personally pick their bouquet and gather inspiration for floral table decorations. As part of the tour, brides can select their preferred flowers straight from the soil and have them sent back to the UK, visit a flower auction, flower farms and shop for trendy floral accessories. Designed for groups of ten or more, the tour makes the perfect Hen Party and can be designed to include: a private tour of Meijer Roses a flower farm specialising in Avalanche Roses – favourite blooms of royalty and celebrities including Kim

Kardashian; a visit to Royal Flora Holland, an inspirational trip to the world’s largest flower auction; shopping for trendy floral accessories at wholesaler Dillewijn Zwapak; a visit to Anco Pure Vanda, growers of the purple Vanda orchid from the South Pacific and a bridal workshop with famous Netherlands based florist Astrid Van den.

Book it!

From £650 per person, based on a group of ten or more. Price includes flights and two nights’ accommodation in a hotel of the bride’s choice. www.ecttravel.com

Big Blue experiences in Sri Lanka Couples looking for adventure honeymoons will love the Big Blue Experience, launched by Sri Lanka’s Cantaloupe Hotels, they are perfect for newlyweds who love wildlife and crave sea adventures: At two of its boutique hotels in Galle, couples can discover a huge array of marine mammals, with the opportunity to watch the blue whale – the largest animal ever to inhabit the Earth. With the breeding ground for a 200-strong pod of blue whales lying just six miles offshore, there are few better places to see them in their natural environment. With nothing but an expanse of ocean separating Sri Lanka from Antarctica, the waters off Sri Lanka’s south coast are teaming with spectacular marine mammals, including dolphins, sperm whales, pilot whales and blue whales. The warm currents around Sri Lanka also create one of the most ideal breeding grounds for turtles, and guests at Cantaloupe Hotels will be enthralled by the multi-day experiences with an expert guide to accompany them to the Kosgoda Turtle Hatchery and on a whalewatching trip.

Book it!

The Big Blue experience at Cantaloupe Aqua starts from £670 for a four-day package; At Cantaloupe Levels, the experience starts from £840. Packages include B&B, a Sri Lankan dining experience and airport transfers. www.cantaloupehotels.com

10 www.BridesAbroad.com


Advertising Feature

The Wedding of Your Dreams In The Hotel of Your Dreams

Celebrate your wedding on Crete at the St. Nicolas Bay Hotel on the terrace of the hotel’s beach side chapel. Say ‘I do’ in this dreamy location with the blue waters of the Cretan Sea glinting in the background. The sumptuous Honeymoon Suite is sheer elegance with an exceptional personal service and attention to detail. The spacious terrace next to the pool, the intimate atmosphere and the luxury all combine to create memories of your Crete honeymoon that will stay with you forever. Celebrations are tailor-made, whether a couple is planning a romantic wedding or a festive family celebration. St. Nicolas

Bay Resort Hotel has at your disposal the guest service team dedicated to providing couples with personalized attention to meet any special requests. The St Nicolas Bay offers a number of fascinating outdoor venues for the wedding of your dreams for just the two of you or for your friends and relatives. Culinary options alongside your choice of music, the services of a professional photographer and even a fireworks display can also be arranged on request. Flowers for all occasions and wedding table decorations are created by the hotel’s expert florist to be tailor-made particular requirements.

Life is a collection of experiences – Let us be your guide Further information St Nicolas Bay Resort Hotel & Villas Aghios Nikolaos, Crete 72100, Greece T: +30.28410.90200 Email: reservations@stnicolasbay.gr www.stnicolasbay.gr www.thalassavillas.gr


RitzynuptialsinDubai IThe 5-star Ritz Carlton, a world-class hotel on the beach of Dubai, has just announced a new collaboration with expert wedding planners, My Dubai Wedding, to expand its offering of world-class wedding venues to include ballrooms and beautiful gardens with views of the Arabian Gulf. My Dubai Wedding will help to coordinate your wedding and elevate your celebrations to an unprecedented level of luxury, whether you are planning an intimate wedding or a large-scale occasion. Each couple can expect a personal relationship with one of the expert wedding co-ordinators from the very first meeting until departure in order to create a bespoke wedding to suit their personalities, tastes and individual style. www.ritzcarlton.com

Earlymoon in Marbella

You’ve heard of MiniMoons, WeddingMoons and even BabyMoons, but I bet you’ve not heard of EarlyMoons yet! This exciting new trend has emerged as a necessity for stressed-up couples, allowing them to step away from their wedding planning and onto sandy beaches to relax and top-up their tans before their upcoming nuptials. The 5-star, Puente Romano Beach Resort & Spa on Spain’s Costa del Sol, has just launched its EarlyMoon package in its unrivalled setting on Marbella’s Golden Mile. Puente Romano has created the perfect package to ensure that lovebirds will find their inner calm before their walk down the aisle. The ‘EarlyMoon’ package includes a romantic 12 www.BridesAbroad.com

three-night stay in an elegant Junior suite, a surprise gift upon arrival, a daily healthy breakfast before escaping into the sunshine, a couples massage at the resort’s Six Senses Spa, nutrition counseling, personal training sessions and wellness screenings. After special ‘us time’ before the wedding rush, couples can emerge refreshed and rejuvenated in time to enjoy the most important day of their lives.

Book it!

Prices start from £1,850 per couple. www.puenteromano.com.


Surf the Indian Ocean Action-loving newlyweds looking to embrace new skills on honeymoon, as well as experienced surfing enthusiasts will be delighted to discover that they can surf the waves in Sri Lanka at Anantara Peace Haven Tangalle Resort, a luxury 5-star honeymoon retreat. The Australian-based surf company, Tropicsurf, has built a network of surf centres in many leading resorts around the world, including Anantara Tangalle’s Surf Centre, where a seasoned surf guru is on hand year-round to guide guests through the thrills of this exciting sport. At the resort’s Surf Centre everybody can enjoy surfing’s ultimate thrills and best waves in safety, comfort and style, regardless of experience or age.

Book it!

https://tangalle.anantara.com

Waterfall Dinner in Thailand

Honeymoons are all about experiencing magical moments, and ‘The Waterfall Dinner’, a private dining experience at the luxury Sarojin in Thailand, has been named one of the top three best honeymoon experiences in the world in Kuoni’s Honeymoon Trends Report. The Waterfall Dinner, an intimate candle-lit jungle waterfall private dinner, is part of the three-night Luxury Honeymoon Package on offer at The Sarojin, a luxurious 56-room boutique hotel in Kao Lak. The hotel is designed in contemporary Asian style, in ten acres of tropical gardens leading directly onto a long stretch of secluded white sand beach. It’s surrounded by five spectacular national parks and world-famous dive sites of Similan and Surin Islands. The Luxury Honeymoon Package also includes three-nights B&B, sparkling wine and flowers in room on arrival, Royal Oriental spa massages, spirit lantern release on the beach, personal service and private return transfers. Price from £1,137 per couple. www.sarojin.com/en/khao-lak-resort-sarojin.html.

Book it!

Kuoni is offering seven nights at The Sarojin, Khao Lak, Thailand in a Garden Residence, including breakfast, flights on Qatar Airways from London Heathrow and private transfers in resort. Prices from £1794 per person, based on two sharing. www.kuoni.co.uk

14 www.BridesAbroad.com


HeavenlyHoneymoonsinZanzibar Zanzibar forms an archipelago, a group of islands off the African coast of Tanzania in the Indian Ocean – mysterious, exciting and remote, the islands boast pure white sand beaches, unspoiled coral reefs and exotic food, making Zanzibar an ideal destination for tropical weddings and honeymoons. The Zanzibar Collection is a privately-owned collection of four award-winning boutique hotels on the south-east coast of Zanzibar, which has created a ‘Heavenly Honeymoon’ package. The package has been designed to enhance your honeymoon with treats including a chilled bottle of wine on arrival; flowers in your room; a selection

of sundowners delivered to the room; 10 per cent discount on all diving courses at the Dive Centre. The package is complementary to all newlyweds staying at Breezes Beach Club & Spa, Baraza Resort & Spa, The Palms or the– Zwadi Hotel. Each hotel is unique and reflects the islands’ rich history and Swahili culture and all offer a romantic, luxurious and authentic experience, inspired by the magic of Zanzibar.

Book it!

www.thezanzibarcollection.com

Same sex “I do’s in Oz The start of 2018 marked a milestone for LGBT couples around the world, as 9th January was the first official day that same-sex couples can legally wed in Australia. Filled with stunning landscapes and delicious local wines and beers, Australia is a destination that is hard to beat for wow-factor weddings and dream honeymoons. As well as planning tailor-made Australasian holidays, Austravel, the leading tour operator for Austrialasia, is able to organisee tailor-made wedding packages to suit your stye – from a relaxed beach ceremony to getting wed in front of the iconic Sydney Opera House, Australia offers many iconic places to say “I do”. Alternatively, tie the knot in picturesque New Zealand, or beside the Islands of Tahiti’s calming waters for an intimate and romantic ceremony. All can be organized by Austravel.

Book it!

Two of the many wedding packages available from Austravel include: a 14-night wedding package against the backdrop of the Sydney Opera House from £10,095 pp, followed by a tour of Australia’s famous beauty spots, including Hamilton Island and Hunter Valley, plus car hire and return flights. Alternatively, a 14-night Islands of Tahiti wedding package costs from £9,249 pp. www.austravel.com

16 www.BridesAbroad.com


We’reloving Please say “Yes!” Wedding wall

Add a special touch to your proposal with stylish letter balloons – a surprise that’s sure to make them smile, how could they possibly say no? Foil Balloon Letters £1 each. Available from Flying Tiger stores nationwide or www.gb.flyingtiger.com

Personalised Wedding Dress Hanger

Display your special day on the wall of your home by transforming those precious wedding photos into stunning wall murals. Log on to Wallsauce.com and upload your favourite wedding photo along with the dimensions of your wall and have that wonderful moment from your special day as a unique wallpaper in your home. Prices from £26/ m². www.wallsauce.com/upload-your-own.

Off the cuff

Display your wedding dress in style with this personalized dress hanger, which displays your names and date of your wedding and makes a beautiful keepsake to remember your special day. Price £39.99. www.gettingpersonal.co.uk

Make your new groom smile with this cheeky cufflink set – the perfect wedding day gift . Price £10. www.gettingpersonal.co.uk

7TIGMEP (IPMZIV] Post your greetings to the bride and groom in their personal letterbox, engraved with their names and date of the wedding. Available in a choice of colours. Price £29.99. www.gettingpersonal.co.uk

A bouquet for life

Brides can preserve the beauty of their bouquet and wedding flowers forever with the new bouquet and wedding flowers preservation service offered by EnduraRoses.com, which is available for as little as £25 per bouquet. Flowers are picked by hand from the world’s best nurseries, then they go through a unique absorption process to evaporate the water and sap within the plant, and replace it with a natural preservation formula. The flowers are then kept in a microclimate, which controls the humidity, heat and light. Once preserved, the flowers are kept at the peak of their natural beauty for many years without water, sunlight or any other kind of care. Couples can choose their own design, colours, quantity and type of flowers with free consultation and advice.www.enduraroses.com

7MKRIH WIEPIH HIPMZIVIH

Finish off your wedding invitations with a classic regal look, using the wax seal kit. For just £5, with a choice of gold or red wax and a fleur-de-lis or heart motif, you can add a touch of sophistication to your special day. Wax Seal Kit £5. From Flying Tiger nationwide. www.flyingtiger.com 18 www.BridesAbroad.com


Marfa Road, Cirkewwa, MLH 9068, Malta T. (+356) 2152 1166 F. (+356) 2152 1153 E. events@paradise-bay.com

www.paradise-bay.com


I do Love

MALTA If you are looking to get married on a beautiful Mediterranean island, just a 3-hour flight from the UK, where English is widely spoken and the sunshine is guaranteed over 300 days a year, then Malta is the perfect destination for you, offering all this along with fascinating history and spectacular wedding venues

When it comes to Mediterranean weddings, you need a bit of WOW factor to really impress your guests. Malta has so much to offer – not only through providing you with a stunning backdrop for your wedding, but also by keeping you and your wedding party entertained on this enchanting island, steeped in history and culture. From the ink blue hues of the Mediterranean sea and the bustling capital of Valletta to the rural countryside of Gozo, Malta is not only a gorgeous place to marry but also a perfect location for honeymoons. It offers an exciting cocktail of modern diversity against an intoxicating history – which can be seen especially in its ancient city of Mdina and in the historical architecture of its capital Valletta. This UNESCO World Heritage Site exudes romance with its horse drawn carriages, breath-taking cathedral, awe-inspiring Grand Harbour and its rustic narrow streets; it’s no wonder Valletta has been crowned this year’s European Capital of Culture.

Beautiful venues

Malta is an English-speaking country, making planning a wedding and expressing your vision a lot easier compared to other Mediterranean islands. Malta’s rich heritage means a variety of stunning historic venues are available to host your wedding ceremony including Fort St Angelo, Hagar Qim Mnajdra Temples and Inquisitor’s Palace. There is

also an abundance of accommodation venues, from rustic boutique hotels to larger 5-star properties with beautiful landscaped gardens. Malta and Gozo offer both civil and religious ceremonies, and the islands boast over 365 beautiful churches. Whether you choose a traditional wedding in a majestic cathedral, a simple affair in a country church or a civil ceremony overlooking Valletta’s Grand Harbour, magical memories for you and your guests are guaranteed. Should you require the assistance of specialist wedding planners there are a host of excellent wedding planners based on the island. (www.maltauk.com/weddings) The Maltese Islands are refreshingly liberal and welcoming to UK couples, offering a breadth of choices for spectacular weddings. Same-sex marriage is welcomed on the Mediterranean archipelago; the Maltese empower the LGBT community and celebrate love, life and diversity.

Heritage Malta

A great place to start your search for the perfect location is Heritage Malta - the proud custodians of some of the island’s most treasured historic buildings. They are working to raise awareness of the grandeur and beauty of Malta’s national heritage by making iconic venues available for glamorous weddings, whilst at the same time generating funds that can be

invested into their upkeep. Go the extra mile to impress your guests with Heritage Malta’s unbeatable historical locations, whilst at the same time helping to preserve the archipelago’s impressive history. Some of the awe-inspiring palaces and historical sites available for hire include the Megalithic Temples; the oldest free-standing structures in the world, The Vilhena Palace; found in the National Museum of Natural History in Mdina and the esplanades and gardens of the former Royal Naval Hospital in Bighi. You could also choose to say: “I do” in the surroundings of a historical fort or Valletta’s Grand Harbour. For further details and a full list of memorable wedding venues. visit: www.exclusivevenues.org.

Lovers Tree project

Malta has created a romantic way to commemorate weddings with the Lovers Tree project. All overseas visitors getting married on the islands can have a tree planted to celebrate their marriage, complete with a 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 you will have the perfect excuse to return to Malta year after year to see it grow! Further information: www.maltauk.com/weddings/

www.BridesAbroad.com 21


Enchanting

Croatia

Have a fairytale wedding in Croatia, Europe’s best-kept secret destination. Then enjoy a dream honeymoon sailing along the stunning Dalmatian Coast, or discovering the magic of historic Dubrovnik 22 www.BridesAbroad.com


It’s hard to believe that a country so beautiful could be less than a three-hour flight away, but Croatia is a gem that really is practically on our doorstep. Croatia has retained its magical, old-world charm, as if it has been untouched by time, and couples seeking a truly charming wedding destination will discover that it offers stunning venues and locations for both marriages and dream honeymoons. It is rustically chic and effortlessly cool.

Top 5 Things To Do 1

With an impressive 1,778 km coastline, the Adriatic laps against rocky coves and pinefringed beaches. Its charming fishing ports remain refreshingly free of high-rise hotels – you are more likely to discover intimate family-run beachside restaurants serving the catch of the day. Yachts glide lazily up Croatia’s Dalmatian coast, dropping anchor in tranquil coves to watch spectacular sunsets or visiting Croatia’s 1,185 islands – many still uninhabited.

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No trip to Croatia is complete without a stop in magical Dubrovnik, an UNESCO worldheritage site. This Medieval walled town is as hip as it is historic – perfect for wow-factor destination weddings and an absolute MUST on your honeymoon itinerary.

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Dubrovnik From the land or sea, one of the world’s most enchanting sights is of the red roofs of Dubrovnik old town, peeping from within the ancient walls of the old port town that once rivaled Venice in wealth and influence. Not surprisingly, Dubrovnik is a globally popular tourist attraction. Each day people from near and far, including cruise ship passengers, visit to spend the day shopping for souvenirs in the old town’s boutiques before stopping for refreshments in the open-air bars and cafes. The best way to visit Dubrovnik is to circumnavigate the ancient walls of the town from which you can view the narrow winding streets, alleys and squares and the blue waters of the Adriatic beyond. At dusk, when tranquility falls over the bustling streets of old town and the air cools, the nightlife begins, and ‘the fashionable set’ arrive to enjoy lazy cocktails outdoors in the many bars before heading to romantic restaurants where the mellow sounds of live jazz serenade the diners.

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factors that make the country the perfect choice for overseas weddings! It offers stunning locations and venues for weddings – from pretty coves and beaches to idyllic towns, gorgeous islands and the walled city of Dubrovnik.

Walk along the ancient walls of Dubrovnik A walk around the ramparts is a must – the walls of Dubrovnik incorporate fortresses, towers, and cannons along the way and offer amazing rooftop and sea views. Take a photo of Zlatni Rat Beach Visit Croatia’s most photographed beach, Zlatni Rat (Golden Horn) in Bol on the south coast of Bra and snap away! This beach landform is known as a ‘spit’ and is made up of fine pebbles. It’s perfect for sunbathing and watersports. Explore Mijet National Park Sail across to the island of Mljet’s woodland National Park, and swim in its two turquoise saltwater lakes, one boasting a 12th-century Benedictine monastery. A 9K trail runs around the lakes, making it ideal for walking or mountain biking. Visit Diocletian’s Palace in Split Split is Croatia’s second biggest city set within the Roman walls of Diocletian’s Palace, built by Roman Emperor Diocletian in AD 305. Within the walls, you can see the Cathedral of St. Domnius with its elegant bell-tower. See wildlife at Plitvice National Park Plitvice National Park is set in steep forested hillsides surrounding 16 emerald-blue lakes and a succession of waterfalls, bridges and footpaths. It’s a haven for wild animals and birds, including wolves and bears, owls, eagles, and falcons.

Marry in Croatia They say that Croatia’s appeal is its unique combination of beauty, culture, history, cuisine, accessibility and affordability –

Legal There’s no set residency period in Croatia, but if you are marrying there you will need to visit the registrar a couple of days before your wedding. You can obtain a Certificate of No Impediment in the UK or at the British Embassy in Croatia. You will need the following documentation: • Passports and photocopies • Photocopies of your witnesses passports • Full birth certificates issued no more than 3 months before the marriage with an apostille stamp • Certificate of No Impediment with apostille stamp • If divorced then your first marriage certificate and the final divorce papers must be shown • If widowed then the death certificate of your previous spouse must be shown.

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REAL WEDDINGS

“I DO” IN

DUBROVNIK

, Charlotte and Andy s romantic wedding in Croatia 24 www.BridesAbroad.com


They say that it’s a small world, and Charlotte Bousfield realised that it’s surprisingly true when she met her Mr Right whilst working as a teacher in Dubai. Her fiancé, Andrew Walker, turned out to be an old school friend from her home town in Yorkshire, nearly 5,000 miles away! Finding ‘the one’ I bumped into Andrew at a beach bar in Dubai and started chatting, as we knew each other already – we went to the same school in Harrogate, Yorkshire and were now both working in Dubai. Andy bought me a drink, and the rest is history! I wouldn’t say it was love at first sight, but I knew very soon that we had a connection that I hadn’t felt with anyone before.

The proposal Andy and I had gone on holiday to my parent’s beach house in Majorca, and on the last night at the house, he had told me he wanted to go down to the rocks on the seafront with drinks to toast the beautiful sunset. He disappeared into the house and, when he was gone for ages, I wondered what on earth he was doing! When he came back he began saying some lovely words to me, and then got down on one knee! He had told me that he wanted to video the sunset, so he caught the whole thing on the Go Pro camera, which is a lovely thing to have and to watch back. Andy’s proposal was totally unexpected. He had dropped a lot of hints that he was going to do it a couple of months later, as we had a weekend away booked. I’m so glad he decided to do it when he did – it couldn’t have been more perfect.

Location location I had always had in my mind that I would like to get married abroad. I love the sea and the warm weather. I liked the idea of our wedding being small and informal, with a holiday vibe. My parents had fallen in love with Dubrovnik when visiting many years ago, so when we were looking at possible locations, it sounded like the perfect fit. I loved the idea of having a ceremony on a little island and drinks on a boat. I also wanted it to be close to an airport with convenient accommodation for our guests. My mother and I went to visit for a long weekend to see if I liked it. I instantly knew it was the place I was going to get married. I took Andy a few weeks later and he also loved everything about it. www.BridesAbroad.com 25


REAL WEDDINGS

The planning We used a fantastic wedding planner called Kike from the company DoYouWed.Me. We met her for a coffee while we were visiting and she instantly made us feel at ease. She offered excellent advice from start to finish and nothing seemed too much hassle. We were blown away by her and her team’s professionalism on the day. Kike was such a fabulous support with the planning, it really felt like there was not much for us to do! We made all the big decisions about locations fairly early on and then a few months before the wedding we decided on menus and decorations etc. Kike met us a few days before the wedding to go over the final details and even travelled to the island with us to go through the order of the day.

The guests There were around 80 guests in total. One of the great things about Dubrovnik is that you have some wonderful hotels near the Old Town, but you also have some excellent self-catered apartments in the centre where everything is within walking distance. I didn’t want to choose a venue where my guests have to travel to get to the locations. We were very surprised that most people accepted the invitation. Everybody seemed really excited to have a weekend away in the sunshine. A lot of people had not been to Croatia and travelled on to make a proper holiday of it.

Getting the look My dress was from Enzoani. It was not something that I would ever have chosen. However, as soon as I tried it on I knew it was the one! The flowers on the bottom of the dress fitted in perfectly with the garden theme for the ceremony. I also had an evening dress, which was made for me by one of my best friends. I wouldn’t have been comfortable dancing in the big dress. It was very warm under all those layers! My colour theme was pink coral. Our wedding planner also has her own flower shop so she arranged the beautiful bouquets to go with the theme. My talented best friend made me my hair piece. I didn’t want to wear a veil, but wanted something that would stand out and look pretty against my long hair. My sister and friend kindly helped me with my hair and make-up on the day. We did a few trials on the lead up to the wedding.

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The jewellery I wore during the day was given to me by Andy – a beautiful pearl and diamond necklace that he had specially made for me to open on the morning of the wedding. I also wore an infinity heart bracelet that he gave me for my birthday a few days before the wedding. When I changed for the evening I put on different jewellery – a matching Swarovski necklace and bracelet that my grandma had bought me.

Something Old, Something New? My Something Old was my grandma’s handkerchief. I needed that as there were lots of happy tears! Something New was my necklace and dress, Something Borrowed and Blue was my garter that my godmother had kindly lent me.

Groom & bridesmaids Andy wore a blue linen suit. My father and the best man wore the same suit and the ushers wore waistcoats with the linen trousers. We tried to make it a bit cooler for them! The groomsmen also wore a pink coral tie. The bridesmaid dresses were a beautiful bright pink coral colour from Confetti and Lace in Leeds. The colour looked fabulous in the sunny setting.

The details We had an ocean theme for the evening reception – we had attached place names to starfish and decorated the tables with shells. My wedding bouquet consisted of a few peonies, as well as some pink coral roses and lots of greenery. Kike did an amazing job at matching the bouquets to the pictures I had sent her from Pinterest. My mum and sister kindly made the cake. We stuck to the theme of starfish and shells and used crushed biscuits for a sand effect. They actually carried the pre-made fruitcake out in their hand luggage! They then decorated it when we arrived in Croatia.

The ceremony The ceremony took place on Lokrum Island, which is just ten minutes by boat from Dubrovnik Old Town. We hired an area called Palm Gardens. It was a stunning setting, the guests were facing the sea and had a lovely, scenic walk to and from the garden. The island has lots of tame rabbits and peacocks! The ceremony lasted approximately twenty minutes. Two of my best friends did a poetry reading and one www.BridesAbroad.com 27


of Andy’s cousins sang a wonderful opera song. My father gave me away. He did very well not to step on my dress as we walked down the aisle. It was very narrow! After the ceremony we had family photos while the guests had drinks. We then went back to the boat for an hour’s boat cruise before heading back to the Old Town for the evening reception.

The reception Our wedding reception was held at a place in the walled Old Town called Sponza Palace, which is just a moments’ walk away from where the guests got off the boat. The Palace is a Gothic-renaissance building from the 16th century with an open roof and balconies. As soon as I saw it I knew that it would be an incredible place for an evening reception. The guests were all blown away by the venue. The catering and waiting staff were supplied by Restaurant Dubrovnik – for starters we had Dalmatian Ham with Sheep’s Cheese; for the main we had lamb, then for desert we had Chocolate Mousse. The food was delicious and the staff were extremely attentive.

First dance We danced to Dire Straits ‘Walk of Life’. We had practised a cheeky little routine with lifts! We had two members of the phenomenal band ‘The Lightyears’ fly out to perform at the wedding. They played music from dinner onwards and also played the guitar during the ceremony. They had everybody up on the dance floor as soon as they began, nobody wanted them to finish!

Photographic memories We had two fantastic photographers, Veronica and Dino. We met up with Veronica a few days before the wedding to discuss the photography that we wanted. The photos were amazing. We had photographs taken in a few different locations on the island and in the Old Town. The ancient walls and castle features make a stunning backdrop for wedding pictures. Andy’s best man, Nigel did the wedding video for us. He did the most incredible job! We wanted the video to have a relaxed feel to it with background music. He had a couple of Go Pros and a drone that gave us some wonderful shots of the island and the boat. We were over the moon with the video, it captured every special moment and all the crazy dancing later on! I loved the pictures of Andy and I on the front of the boat. It sums everything up!

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We look so happy with drinks in hand, on a boat, in the sun, sea in the background, and all the time knowing that our family and best friends were around us.

Magic moments So many to choose from! It was amazing to see Andy’s reaction when I reached him at the end of the aisle. Andy and I also had a special moment, just the two of us, in Sponza Palace. We went up to the balcony and looked down on everyone. It was a lovely five minutes on our own, looking down and seeing what a fantastic time everyone was having. The funniest memory was seeing how sweaty everyone was! All the guests were dripping as it was the hottest day of the year so far, but nobody cared. They continued to dance the night away regardless! There was just one near disaster – in preparation for my First Dance, I needed to change my dress in an apartment a few doors down from Sponza Palace. We had left the room key behind the reception desk, and when we arrived there, it was shut! We stood there for fifteen minutes ringing and banging on the door. Eventually someone came, I would not have been able to do the fast First Dance in my big dress!

The honeymoon We moved on to a different location the day after the wedding for our honeymoon after having a lovely lunch with family before we went. We had a few days exploring other parts of Croatia and had a second honeymoon in the Seyshelles a month later.

On budget? The whole wedding cost around £24,000. Our budget was £20,000. However, we went over, due to our choice of evening reception venue at Sponza Palace. We have no regets though, it was absolutely the right decision; a magical location.

Further information WEDDING PLANNER Kristina Skvrce (Kike) – DoYouWed.Me www.doyouwedme.net VENUE Dubrovnik Old Town Ceremony- Palm Gardens, Lokrum Island Reception- Sponza Palace PHOTOGRAPHER Veronica Arevalo- Svadbas Photography www.svadbasphotography.com


An idyllic location by the Ocean is just one good reason to choose our Resort as the venue for your Wedding. Located by the ocean and close to a nature reserve, the Vidamar Resort Hotel Algarve offers different outstanding venues for your ceremony and an array of facilities and services to spoil your in-house invitees before the main event. Let yourself get involved by the charm of the resort hotel, the choice of facilities, the service excellency and allow your dream to come true.

B ki Bookings: ((+351) 351) 289 038 003 Email: events@algarve.vdm.pt Herdade dos Salgados, Rua Boca da Alagoa, Lote 1, Fase 2, 8200-424 Guia- Alfufeira

GPS GPS: Latitude: 37.090497/37º 5’ 25.78” Longitude: -8.324525/ -8º 19’ 28.28”

www.vidamarresorts.com


Vows in the

ALGARVE - Romantic Portugal

If you want a bright, warm sunshine destination that’s just a short hop away from the UK, then Portugal’s Algarve is a perfect choice 30 www.BridesAbroad.com


Blue skies, white villages and golden sandy beaches framed by jagged limestone cliffs await visitors to the Algarve, making it idyllic for destination weddings and honeymoons. From pretty sheltered coves to wide stretches of pristine sand, not forgetting its pretty towns and villages and world-class golf courses, The Algarve has it all! However this region of Portugal has so much more to offer than simply sun, sea and sand. Situated at the southern tip of Portugal, the 200-kilometre Algarve coastline blends a rich mixture of year-round warm sunshine, beautiful scenery, history, culture, lush golf courses, and an extensive choice of luxury hotels and villas that are ideal venues to host your ‘big day’ or honeymoon – or both. For golfers, there couldn’t be a better destination to marry or honeymoon. The Algarve boasts over 30 challenging golf courses, in fact some of the luxury golf resort hotels in the Algarve cater for destination weddings, which is especially ideal for golfloving couples and guests. There’s also an abundance of watersports available, plus tennis and cycling along coastal paths. The lesser-known wild, western Algarve embraces the power of the Atlantic – it’s ideal for surfers as well as spotting dolphins, bird watching and nature trails. The Algarve’s whitewashed villages beg to be explored, with their enchanting narrow streets and winding alleys. Shop for locally hand-crafted souvenirs and sample the regions delicious wines and cuisine. The town’s churches make a beautiful alternative to the beach for a more traditional wedding As night falls you can stroll along the marinas and sample the Algarve’s lively nightlife in bars, discos and casinos. Whichever part of the Algarve you choose, it will most definitely have all the ingredients for an unforgettable wedding or honeymoon – from the warm welcome you will receive and stunning scenery to excellent local food and wines – at superb prices.

Marry in the Algarve Whether on a sandy beach, a cliff top, a hotel garden, golf resort, local church or private marquee or villa, you can choose from a host of gorgeous venues to tie the knot in The Algarve to suit your individual taste, style and budget. Select the style of

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Visit the Quinta do Francês Vineyard One of the Algarve’s finest vineyards is Quinta do Francês, a family-run vineyard near Silves, offering guided tours of the vineyard and its cellars. Visitors can choose from a range of vintages and local liquors. www.quintadofrances.com Sail aboard a pirate ship Take a trip aboard the historical wooden “Leãozinho” pirate ship, which sets sail from Albufeira to visit amazing rock formations and the fishing village at Armacao de Pera, stopping off for swimming and an on-board BBQ. www.dreamwavealgarve.com Go holistic horseriding The Holistic Riding Centre in Monte Velho offers a chance to really understand your horse! The Centre’s founder, Andreas Endries, is a German-born equestrian whose unique ‘holistic’ philosophy brings a profound understanding of the welfare of his horses, and uses meditation and relaxation techniques. Call: +351 916 269 813 See the Cerro da Vila ruins Close to the port of Vilamoura, the Cerro da Vila ruins is a fascinating set of Roman ruins comprising the remains of two Roman villas – a remarkable reminder of Portugal’s history of continuous occupation. www.marinadevilamoura.com Surf on the Costa Vicentina Portugal is surfer’s paradise for beginners through to experts – last year a surfer broke the Guinness World Record for the biggest wave ever surfed. So head down to Costa Vicentina to enjoy some of the best surfing in the Algarve.

ceremony to suit your individual taste – from a religious Catholic or Protestant ceremony to legally binding civil wedding ceremonies and blessings. If you are marrying at one of the hotels, there are usually wedding

co-ordinators on hand to help you every step of the way.

Civil Ceremony The simplest way to marry in The Algarve is for couples to have a civil wedding. Couples no longer need to have a 30-day residency requirement, making it easier for non-residents to have a legally binding Civil Ceremony in Portugal. Civil weddings can take place at many venues, from a Registry Office to a beautiful beach service.

Religious Ceremony Catholic Ceremony: Because Portugal is a very religious country it has an abundance of beautiful Catholic churches of all sizes. There are also plenty of English-speaking priests in The Algarve. Church of England Ceremony: There are several Englishspeaking vicars in the The Algarve who are able to perform ceremonies in the Catholic churches, with prior permission from the Catholic Priest. They can also perform weddings at other selected locations.

Blessings Like a Civil Wedding, a Blessing Ceremony can take place at any location in The Algarve. This purely symbolic ceremony is ideal for couples wanting to renew their vows.

Legal For your Civil Ceremony you will need: • Identification documents. • Birth certificates. • A Certificate of No Impediment. • Additionally you may need divorce certificates or death certificates of former partners or previous marriage certificates. • All documents must be translated into Portuguese and notarized locally, and you will need a translator for the civil ceremony. For Catholic Ceremonies you will also need: • Documentation from your parish priest granting permission for the ceremony. • Documentation for the Bishop of your parish. • Documentation regarding baptism, first communion and confirmation.

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HotelVilamoura As Cascatas

Beautifully situated within ďŹ ve acres of picturesque landscaped gardens, Hilton Vilamoura As Cascatas is a romantic haven, which offers a choice of settings for your dream wedding in Portugal’s warm sunshine


If you are looking for a stunning resort close to the UK to host your wedding ceremony or for a luxury honeymoon, then Hilton Vilamoura As Cascatas is an excellent choice, in its gorgeous setting on Portugal’s Algarve. It’ is just 25 minutes from Faro Airport and close to Vilamoura Marina This luxurious 5-star resort boasts six large pools with cascading waterfalls, perfect for soaking up the sun or enjoying a leisurely swim. They also make a beautiful setting for poolside wedding ceremonies. The hotel is close to Falesia private beach as well as two Vilamoura golf courses, including the prestigious Pinhal Golf Course, so it’s an extra special venue if members of your wedding party are keen golfers. For total relaxation of mind, body and soul as well as for pre-wedding pampering, the hotels Spa features a range of indulgent treatments for you to sample and offers a haven away from the stresses of everyday life. There’s also a 24-hour fitness centre for keeping in shape before and after your big day! The Paradise Islands Kids Club is open throughout the summer months, providing an excellent service for wedding guests and brides and grooms with young families in tow.

Dine in style

There’s a choice of restaurants and dining facilities to suit every palate at Hotel Vilamoura As Cascatas. Almar offers tapas by the sea as well as sunset lounge parties; Listen to the sound of cascading waterfalls as you enjoy the Mediterranean BBQ whilst enjoying poolside views at Aquarela; Cilantro is a seasonal Italian restaurant with inspiring a la carte dining; You can dine indoors or out on the terrace throughout the day at Moscada; Watch sporting events on TV in the Rubi Bar, serving drinks and snacks. Or sip a cocktail later as you dance the night away to live music.

Rooms & suites

The hotel offers a choice of 176 rooms and suites. Deluxe guest rooms at Hotel Vilamoura feature views of the pool and gardens from the balcony, as well as a marble bathroom and Wi-Fi access. Upgrade to a suite and enjoy a spacious balcony with views of Vilamoura and a separate seating area. Some suites have a second bedroom.

Spa pampering

Couples can head to 7 Seven Spa, Portugal’s largest spa at the Hilton Vilamoura As Cascatas Golf Resort & Spa to indulge in a range of spa treatments, which use Rituals products. Water is the inspiration at the spa, which not only boasts comfortable treatment rooms and a relaxation area, but also an indoor thermal pool, a steam room and sauna to melt away stresses. The spa’s aquatic theme continues with lush garden views and the soothing sound of cascading water on glass or rough-stone walls. This Zen-like oasis is the perfect place to lie back, unwind and pamper your body and mind after a work-out shift in the hotel’s 24-hour fitness centre, a day on the golf course or in preparation for your wedding.

Fitness centre The resort’s Fitness Centre is a great place to keep up with your personal fitness programme, whether it’s exercising for muscle tone, cardiovascular health or simply to feel good and keep the body in good shape. The fully-equipped gym has cardiovascular, resistance and weight-lifting equipment, with television screens throughout the centre and a dedicated personal trainer.

Weddings Hilton Vilamoura As Cascatas Golf Resort & Spa has everything you need to plan your wedding from start to finish, with the expert assistance of the resort’s wedding coordinator. Weddings of all sizes can be catered for, from just the two of you to up to 200 Guests. Couples can select from easily customised catering options and a choice of seven indoor and outdoor venues. All the venues are available year-round, weather permitting. After their wedding, newlyweds will enjoy the added luxury of the honeymoon suite. They will also receive a complimentary menu and wine tasting, special access to the 7 Seven Spa and a Honeymoon Registry Tool.

Further information

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Vilamoura As Cascatas Golf Resort & Spa Vilamoura, Portugal Tel: +351 289 304000 Info.vilamoura@hilton.com www3.hilton.com


REAL WEDDINGS

Amorinthe

Algarve

7LSREKL ERH 1EVXMR W WX]PMWL RYTXMEPW MR 4SVXYKEP 34 www.BridesAbroad.com


Shonagh Diack and her partner Martin Robertson had been together for many years before they finally decided to tie the knot. They chose to celebrate their wedding in sunshine and style so they invited friends and family to join them at Hilton Vilamoura As Cascates, one of the finest hotels in Portugal’s Algarve. Finding ‘the one’ We met back in 2000 when we both worked at Chiquito. It wasn’t love at first sight, it was a slow burn. We didn’t get engaged until 2015.

The proposal Martin proposed to me at home on the sofa. We had recently been away on skiing holiday in France, but he said there was never an appropriate moment, so we were in our pyjamas watching TV when I got one of my other rings caught on something and had a little moan about it – so he said I could have another ring to moan about! It was, totally unexpected as getting married had never been something we’d really discussed.

Location location We decided that we didn’t want a traditional wedding that was the same as everyone elses. We’d been on holiday to Vilamoura before and both loved it, so it seemed like an appropriate place.

The planning We did a lot of the planning ourselves, and also had the Events Manager from the Hotel Vilamoura As Cascates to help us. We arranged our own flights with BA and had everything planned before we went – we made two trips out to visit the resort before the actual wedding trip.

The guests Our wedding guests included 61 adults and six children who stayed in various hotels and villas throughout the Algarve. A lot of our friends and family made it into their summer holiday. www.BridesAbroad.com 35


REAL WEDDINGS

Getting the look My Dress was a Mori Lee gown from a lovely shop called Our Day in Aberdeen. I also had a bird cage fascinator designed specifically for me by Mairi Brunning Millinery. I had a watch that my grandad had given to my gran on their 30th Wedding Anniversary made into a bracelet to match my dress by Modiste. For our hair and make-up, my bridesmaid and I used the services of Unique and Chic.

Something Old, Something new? My Something Old, Borrowed and Blue was my mum’s garter that she wore to her wedding. My something new was my Jimmy Choo shoes.

Groom & bridesmaids Martin, my groom, wore a blue Hugo Boss suit. The bridesmaid wore a royal blue Grecian-style dress.

The details We chose to have a 1920’s Great Gatsby theme to our wedding, to match my dress! We told the florist the theme and allowed her to choose the flowers. As for the cake – neither of us like cake that much, so we decided against having one!

The ceremony The wedding cermony took place in the gardens at the Hilton Vilamoura in the Algarve. The service, conducted by a Portuguese Registrar, lasted about 20-minutes as it had to be conducted in Portuguese and then translated into English. My Dad gave me away, with my Godson, two nieces and best friend as bridesmaid walking down the aisle before us.

The reception We had a BBQ buffet with traditional Portuguese food in the ballroom of the Hilton Vilamoura. The florist made centre pieces in the 1920s theme and we had Jo Mallone candles that were the same scent as the perfume I was wearing. We had our First Dance to James Bay Scars, then we had DJ – Manu from ABC Sound and Lighting. He was brilliant, as, although 36 www.BridesAbroad.com

he was Portuguese, he accomodated our scottish tradition of having Loch Lomond played as the final song.

Photographic memories We had Garrett Walsh from Algarve Wedding Photograpy, but decided against a Video. There are lots of beautiful photos to choose from but my favourites are the one of me looking excited before I go down the aisle, one of me and Martin laughing at the alter, or the one where a guest is dancing to Proud Mary.

Magic moments Seeing Martin for the first time at the end of the aisle was one of my most special memories. One of the funniest is when my friend lost her shoes as she took them off for dancing and couldn’t remember where she’d put them. The only near disaster was when a beer pump we had placed outside for the guests to enjoy tripped all the electricty, which caused a half hour delay to get everything back up and running!

The honeymoon We stayed in Vilamoura for another four days after the wedding with most of the guests. However we will be going away on a special Honeymoon together next year – but we haven’t decided on where we want to go yet.

On budget? It all cost around £25,000 – we didn’t really have a budget.

Further information WEDDING PLANNER IN PORTUGAL Nicole Mestre, Hilton Vilamoura VENUE Hilton Vilamoura As Cascatas Golf Resort and Spa PHOTOGRAPHER Garret Walsh, Algarve Wedding Photography


Sri Lanka - Marry in a blaze of colour! Thrill your guests with a colourful Buddhist-style wedding in Sri Lanka that embraces the local culture in a truly meaningful ceremony, set against a stunningly beautiful backdrop

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A world of possibilities await couples choosing to say “I do” at destination weddings across the globe, however, if you are looking for the wow-factor, then a traditional Poruwa wedding celebration in Sri Lanka has to rank as one of the world’s most magical ways to begin married life. And it’s not just during the wedding ceremony that you will be honoured with charming tradition – after the service your wedding transport will be aboard an elephant, which has been colourfully decorated and represents a symbol of good fortune for the newlyweds. Your day will then be filled with traditional dancers and musicians to ensure that you celebrate in style. Sri Lanka is a tropical island at the toe of India, with mystical cities, thick jungles, tea plantations, miles of soft sandy beaches and the brilliant bluke hues of the Indian Ocean making it one of the most scenically interesting islands in the world. For those seeking a picture-perfect wedding destination, Sri Lanka is hard to beat.

Marry in the Sri Lanka

You can exchange your vows in a choice of stunning ceremonies – from an intimate civil wedding, just the two of you, to a flamboyant, religious ceremony with friends and family. Weddings in Sri Lanka are legally recognized in the UK, as long as you have the correct documents and are free to marry. You can have a Civil, Christian, Buddhist, Hindu or Muslim wedding and can even dress in traditional Sri Lankan wedding attire for a Sri Lankan-style Poruwa Ceremony, complete with ancient rituals, blessings and customs.

Traditional Poruwa Ceremonies The traditional Poruwa Ceremony is named after its decorated marriage platform, the Poruwa, which is prepared in accordance with ancient rites and customs by being covered with a white cloth placed with rice, medicinal herbs, a coconut and coins to

Top 5 Things To Do 1 2 3 4 5

Fall in love with the baby elephants as they bathe in the river at the Pinnawala elephant orphanage. Get an adrenaline rush at Kitulgala and have a go at white water rafting. Be amazed by the sacred canine tooth relic of Buddha at the Buddhist Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic in Kandy. Explore the ancient capital city of Anuradhapura Sacred City, with its monasteries, ruins and historical remains. Discover the endangered flora and fauna in the Central Highlands of Sri Lanka – an UNESCO World Heritage Site.

bring the couple blessing and prosperity. Oil lamps are lit on the corners of the Poruwa, which are believed to give protection from the Gods. The bride is escorted to the platform by a troupe of Kandyan drummers and dancers, then afterwards the couple travel on the back of an elephant. As part of the ceremony some of the following rituals may be conducted: the couple will be asked to cast seven sets of betal leaves to the ground, which symbolizes happiness, joy and luck for the next seven generations; The couple’s fingers may be joined together and water poured over them to depict anointment of the union

together; The splitting of a coconut brings a blessing and prosperity to the marriage; The lighting of an oil lamp brings light to a new life. A traditional Poruwa wedding package can be booked through leading tour operators. Most couples marring in Sri Lanka have a basis of this ceremony either after their religious ceremony as a blessing or combined into a civil ceremony.

Honeymoons Sri Lanka has much to offer honeymooners, with its rich culture, breathtaking scenery and tropical climate. The island is absolutely fascinating, with more than its fair share of top-notch sightseeing spots, and exploring it is a must. The best way to see Sri Lanka is to take a 4-5 day tour that includes accommodation and takes in the famous attractions – from the jungles, the summit of Adams Peak and watching baby elephants bathing in the river to visiting tea plantations and white water rafting. PL Tours are offering private tours with your own driver from £450. info@travel-srilanka.eu.

Legal You must send photocopies of all the documents at least three weeks prior to your arrival and need to be resident in Sri Lanka for at least four days before the wedding. Those under 18 need parental consent with a sworn affidavit. You need: Birth certificate valid for at least 6 months Proof of Status: affidavit signed by a solicitor stating there is no legal objection to the marriage. Decree of Absolute: if either of you is divorced Death Certificate: if either of you are widowed.

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REAL WEDDINGS

Elephant Blessing 'EXL (EZMH W &YHHLMWX :S[W MR 7VM 0EROE

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For international couple, Cath Cutten and David Curren the world is their oyster – they were born in Ireland and South Africa, currently live in Qatar and got engaged in Kenya, so not surprisingly they chose an exotic location to say “I do”, in a traditional ceremony with an elephant to bless them both. Finding ‘the one’ We met in Thailand. I say it was love at first sight, but he says no – he says he needed extra time to suss me out!

The proposal David proposed to me at the Masai Mara in Kenya. He tried to encourage me to go for a romantic post-dinner stroll, down to the Hippo Pools; (a dam with hippos and elephants wandering around.) We had decided that we weren’t doing Christmas presents, as our group were going to go Hot Air Ballooning on Christmas morning, so when David said he got me a gift, the female frustration began to rise. Thankfully, I turned around to see that he was on his knee with the ring! It wasn’t totally unexpected, as we had chatted about getting married, but at the time, he definitely managed to take me by surprise.

Location, location Dave is Irish, I’m South African and we opted for a short engagement. Family and friends had already booked holidays, and we wanted to work in our own time frame, so we explored overseas options. We love Asia so we were looking at the various regulations for getting married in each country. Sri Lanka was the most straightforward. We had been there and knew how beautiful it is, so it was quite an easy decision. I wanted beach and Dave wanted jungle – so our choice of the Reef Resort in Sri Lanka was a good compromise.

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REAL WEDDINGS

The planning We liked the wedding package that Reef Villa & Spa had to offer, and selected a few things that suited us. With other things, like photography, we had a few connections and did our research. The hairdresser was Lucy Bonner, a friend from Qatar, who lived in Sri Lanka so it just made sense to use her. We did our own travel arrangements.

The guests We didn’t take any guests with us. We invited family only, but it was only my mum that was able to make the day. She stayed at a neighbouring hotel, down the road

Getting the look I had been on a girls’ weekend to Dubai to get an idea of the style of dress that suited me best. I went for a simple yet elegant look. I ordered the dress from a ‘pre-owned’ website, however it was brand new, never worn and with all the tags on, so I really did hit the jackpot. It is a David Tutera dress. As for my hair and makeup, I’m not the biggest make-up person on a good day, so my friend Mel gave me lessons for about a month before the wedding, and I was able to do my own make-up. Thankfully I didn’t have to do my hair – I let my friend Lucy do her magic, which I was thrilled about. Even with all the humidity, it looked great.

Something Old, Something New Something Old were the pearls from my granddad, New was the dress, Borrowed was the make-up a friend lent me and Blue was an aquamarine from my gran, passed down from my dad.

Groom & Bridesmaids David wore a tailored grey suit with an aqua tie. I didn’t have any bridesmaids.

The details We were aiming to theme our wedding with hot pink and aqua/turquoise accessories, but when in Asia, nothing is guaranteed, so we had to roll with any and all pinks. For my wedding flowers, we had to be very mindful of the season in Sri Lanka so we opted for Gerberas. For our wedding cake, Piya Siri, the head chef at Reef Villa & Spa, made the most delicious carrot cake. 42 www.BridesAbroad.com


The ceremony We had two ceremonies, which took place at Reef Villa & Spa. The first was an English Civil ceremony for signing the register, with a reading and traditional Christian vows which we wrote ourselves, followed by a Buddhist Blessing in the garden outside, overlooking the Indian Ocean and the palm-strewn sandy beach. We were married by the local registrar of Wadduwa for Panadura. After signing the register David and I lit a traditional brass oil lamp to signify a bright new future together. We had Kandyan dancers and drummers ahead of us as we proceeded into both the Plantation House as well as into the tropical gardens for the Buddhist Blessing. As part of the Buddhist Blessing we were asked to stand on a bed of rice that had been carefully prepared. The Buddhist celebrant, who is called a kapuwa, tied our little fingers together with golden thread to symbolise the bond, and holy water is then poured over the fingers. As part of the blessing we also had to hand each other seven betel leaves which were neatly stacked and then throw them on the grass. The seven betel leaves are offered to the Gods with a request that protection is provided to the seven generations that will originate from the marriage. Once the blessing was finished the celebrant broke open a coconut as a symbolic gesture to drive away evil spirits. Another added extra we chose, was to have Monica, the local temple elephant, join us for the photos. A great ‘Asian’ touch. I had a bespoke ‘dress’ for Monica, the elephant, made to match her colour scheme. The wedding team from Reef Villa & Spa had to go to the elephant’s home to obtain her measurements and email them through to me.

The reception We didn’t really have a reception as we decided to just have a special meal in Summer Breeze, Reef Villa & Spa’s al-fresco restaurant that evening. My mum joined us and we still talk about the amazing dishes that were presented. We had a six-course candlelit dinner with Champagne.

Photographic memories We had Duminda Nawarathne take our photos and his team put together the most incredible video too. We initially weren’t going to go for the video, but with our family not with us, we needed to film the wedding. Duminda was so much more than we expected – professional, prompt

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and artistic. We love the photo of us on the bench. We were so hot by then but the light and the greenery in the background, reminds us that we were in Asia.

Magic moments The Buddhist Blessing with all the unusual, yet beautiful traditions was one of the best memories of our wedding day. The Buddhist Blessing was held in front of a flower arch near the beach that David and I had requested. Funniest moment was when we played rock, paper, scissors to see who gave the ring first. We always play best of three, but I’m sure we went to five. Dave won.

On budget? The wedding cost £5,000. We didn’t really set a limit but we made sure we got everything that we wanted.

The honeymoon My mum went home the day after the wedding, and we stayed on for our honeymoon, spending a week at The Reef and then another two weeks travelling around the coast of Sri Lanka.

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Further information WEDDING PLANNER Provided by Reef Villa & Spa VENUE Reef Villa & Spa 78 Samanthara Road Wadduwa Sri Lanka E: info@reefvilla.com Sri Lanka Tel: 00 94 382 28 4442 UK Tel: 020 8874 7000 www.reefvilla.com www.reefvilla.com/facilities weddings-and-honeymoons App: http://onelink.to/reefvilla PHOTOGRAPHER Duminda Nawarathne

Cath and Dave stayed seven nights at Reef Villa & Spa and took up the resort’s ongoing offer of a complimentary civil wedding which includes: Services of a Registrar, documentation (Wedding certificate), translation of documentation (translation of wedding certificate), bouquet of seasonal flowers for the bride, buttonhole for the groom, decorated brass oil lamp, witnesses as required, wedding coordinator, wedding cocktail for two.


T

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

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Let The Racha realize your dreams. Contact the resort’s wedding professionals today at sales@theracha.com

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Charming

CRETE

Couples seeking rustic and truly romantic weddings in the Mediterranean sun will be delighted to discover the gorgeous settings that the Greek island of Crete has to offer

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Crete is a delightful Greek island boasting a stunning 1,000 kilometer-long Mediterranean coastline dotted with pretty coves, bays and peninsulas, fringed with soft, sandy beaches. Newlyweds looking for a blissful Mediterranean honeymoon will discover that this gorgeous island has so much more to offer than simply sun, sea and sand. It is also the perfect place for couples to tie the knot – with its choice of beautiful locations and, best of all, Crete is close enough for your friends and family to travel with ease to join you for your wedding day. With a mild climate Crete is one of the sunniest Greek islands, so a Crete wedding is ideal for those wanting to escape the unreliable British weather! Crete is the largest island in Greece, and the southernmost island in the Mediterranean. It has four main areas: Chania, Heraklion, Lassithi and Rethymno, with two international airports offering daily flights from the UK to Heraklion and Chania. It enchants visitors with its mountainous landscapes, dramatic gorges (including the world-famous Samaria Gorge), beautiful beaches, rocky coves, quaint towns and traditional Greek villages. You will also enjoy excellent food in the many tavernas and, of course, an exciting nightlife! For beach lovers the stunning coastline beckons, with its secluded coves and large stretches of sand, and a choice of holiday resorts to suit all tastes and styles, from the exclusive VIP favourite of Elounda to the party atmosphere in Malia, and everything in between. However, culture vultures will be enthralled by Crete’s rich history. It is home of the Minoan civilization, the oldest form of civilization in Europe, which has resulted in important archeological finds at Knossos, Phaistos and Gortys. Crete was also ruled by Venetians for more than four centuries and the historic coastal towns of Rethymno and Chania bear a remarkable similarity to Venice.

Marry in the Crete A wedding in Crete offers both charm and character. The Greeks take their weddings seriously, and Greek weddings in Crete are

Top 5 Things To Do 1 2 3 4 5

Visit Balos Lagoon This rocky outcrop is surrounded by white sand and the crystal clear Mediterranean and can be reached by car or boat from the port of Kissamos. Be sure to take your bikini and a camera. Take a hike Walk through the breathtaking Samaria Gorge, supposedly the longest canyon in Europe, which passes through sheer cliffs, mountains and pine forests on an 11-mile trek. www.samaria.gr See the capital Stroll through the streets of Chania, the cultural capital of Crete and gaze at the beautiful mix of Venetian and Turkish architecture in Old Town. Browse the wealth of art galleries and museums and visit its stunning harbor framed by its Venetian lighthouse. Explore the ruins Discover the famous Minoan palace of Knossos, near Heraklion – it’s the most popular attraction on Crete, its ruins were uncovered in 1900 by the British archaeologist Sir Arthur Evans. It’s now reconstructed so you can walk through the palaces rooms. Take the train Follow the famous footsteps of Leonardo di Caprio and Lady Gaga and visit the ‘celebrity resort’ of Elounda, then take the little blue sightseeing train from Elounda to the fishing village of Plaka and enjoy the breath-taking views en route. www.littletraintours.gr/index.html

more spectacular than anywhere else in Greece! All sizes of weddings are catered for on the island, from grand events to just the two of you! Crete boasts many beautiful wedding venues for both religious and civil weddings and blessings – from beach ceremonies with soft sand between your toes to the lush gardens, wedding pavilions, terraces and ballrooms and private beaches of its many stunning hotels.

Legal The following documents are required for both church and civil weddings: • Passport • Certificate of Non Impediment (CNI) – proof that you are free to marry • Birth Certificate • Decree Absolute or Death Certificate if relevant • Deed Poll Certificate or Statutory Declaration if you have changed your name. • Adoption Certificate if relevant Note: UK documents must be officially legalised with an Apostille stamp (available for UK public documents from the Legalisation Office in London; (0 20 70081111) then officially translated when in Greece via a certified translator or the Translations Bureau of the Greek Ministry of Foreign Affairs ( +30 210 3244036).

Registration of the Marriage All marriages in Greece must be registered by the bride and groom at the local Registrar’s Office/Office of Vital Statistics (Lixiarhio) within 40 days following the ceremony. Once registered, a Marriage Certificate will be issued within three days and can be picked up or sent via mail. Marriages not registered have no legal validity.

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“I Do”In Greece With Oympic Holidays

Imagine a sun-kissed wedding on a glorious Greek island beach, with the sparkling Mediterranean as your backdrop! A magical occasion that you, your friends and family will never forget – and, of course, when the festivities are over, you can simply kick off your shoes and let the honeymoon begin! The dedicated Wedding Consultants at Olympic Holidays can help you arrange everything for your Greek wedding – from your departure date and choice of hotel and venue right up to organising the entire reception. Call 020 8492 6789 or email weddings@olympicholidays.com We asked Fanoulla Spyrou, Weddings Executive from Olympic Holidays to explain why booking with Olympic Holidays is the perfect choice.

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What makes Greece so special? Greece is a perfect backdrop for a wedding. Only three-and-a-half hours away from the UK, it offers a variety of venues and islands to choose from. Couples and their families can combine their wedding with holiday/ honeymoon options, with great choices to suits all tastes and budgets. The venue options are pretty much endless – bride and groom can take their pick of many possibilities including hotel grounds, small chapels, wineries, restaurants or even boats.

On which islands can couples marry via Olympic Holidays? We organise weddings on Rhodes, Crete, Zante, Corfu, Kefalonia, Santorini, Skiathos, Kos and Parga. We have found that many couples favour Rhodes, Santorini and Zante as a wedding venue, despite the fact that Santorini tends to be a little bit more expensive for weddings

How can the dedicated wedding team at Olympic Holidays make your wedding a success? We understand that this is one of the most important days in a couple’s journey, and as such we have a dedicated wedding team both in the UK and in resort. It means we are there every step of the way to assist with all the arrangements, including any last minute details! Olympic Holidays has over 50 years of experience in the Mediterranean and that wealth of experience is invaluable both with process and administration but, most importantly, with the detail that really makes a day memorable. We also provide a dedicated team here and in the resort and an extensive holiday programme for the perfect honeymoon post-wedding. We also pride ourselves on sourcing competitive wedding suppliers to ensure a great wedding day that comes in on budget. We organise weddings from May to October to make the most of the gorgeous Mediterranean weather.

Where is best for a WOW wedding? A WOW-wedding will very much depend on the couples’ taste, however Santorini does provide a quintessentially Greek backdrop, with world-renowned views that would be a WOW setting for any wedding. For romantic settings there are many options to choose from but one favourite location is Cameo, a private island in Zante off the shores of Laganas. The bride can cross a bridge to meet her groom to say ‘’I do’’.

What service is offered by Olympic Holidays Wedding Team? As part of the Olympic Holidays’ Wedding Team service, we provide full assistance with booking dates, arranging the wedding reception, adding any extra touches to make the day even more special – including flowers, music and personalised touches. We also provide assistance with necessary documents, paperwork and formalities. We can provide exceptional guidance for couples and we will always do our best to source anything they ask. We can cater for a wide range of wedding parties, from a private ceremony with just the couple to a wedding for a 100+ guests. After they have booked, we send our wedding couples a pack explaining all steps of the process and paperwork necessary. We will check that everything is in place prior to departure.

Is it easy to marry in Greece? The procedure is fairly straightforward but we would advise couples to allow some time and to allocate some budget to ensure that they have all the correct documentation for the wedding. Residency for Greece is 7-9 days so a 2 week holiday works really well when planning the big day Olympic Holidays only organises civil weddings and civil renewal of vows in Greece. We have seen an increase in couples wishing to renew their vows so this is definitely a growing trend

with Olympic Holidays. Optional extras can be added on, as all weddings are tailor-made to suit individual tastes and requirements. We can also arrange honeymoons in some of the most exquisite hotels in Greece. Our Gold collection properties will also include extras such as lounge access, taxi transfers and dedicated concierge in resort.

What is the best advice for couples marrying or honeymooning in Greece? This is one of the most important days, so preparation is key and it’s important to research a choice thoroughly before committing, this includes ensuring that guests can afford to travel to the chosen destination and that all the right documentation is in place to ensure that the wedding can happen. Our team really get to know our customers at the beginning of their wedding planning journey so we can offer ideas and location options to short list and guide the couple into making the perfect choice for their dream wedding and honeymoon.

What’s included in the Olympic Holidays wedding and honeymoon packages? There is an £289 admin fee for weddings when the couples have booked a holiday

Olympic Holidays Honeymoon Packages Example of honeymoon deals available through Olympic Holidays

Olympic Holidays is offering 14 nights at the 5-star Aldemar Royal Mare Thalasso in Crete from £855 per person based on two adults travelling. The package includes 14 nights on a bed and breakfast basis in a twin room inland view VIP UK airport lounge access, private taxi transfers in destination and return flights from Luton. Departures are available on 09/05/18. The package is subject to availability.

Book it! Call 0208 492 6868 or visit

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REAL WEDDINGS

Celebrations in

CRETE

+IQQE ERH (EZMH W FEVIJSSX [IHHMRK SR E WERH] +VIIO FIEGL 52 www.BridesAbroad.com


Gemma Coyle and David Armstrong from Harlow in Essex were workmates when Cupid’s arrow struck them both, and they admit it was definitely love at first sight. After David’s romantic proposal during a holiday in Crete, the couple decided to head back to their favourite Greek Island to become Man and Wife.

Finding ‘the one’ We met at work – I work for a housing association maintenance company and David was one of my heating engineers. I used to plan his day-to-day workload. It was love at first sight – we knew each other about a year before we become official, but both felt something on that first day we met in the kitchen at work. David even talked about that day in his wedding speech, which had our guests in fits of laughter.

he asked me to open my eyes and he was down on one knee holding a ring. He said a beautiful speech, even remembering the number of days we have been together, before asking me to marry him. It was totally unexpected – I didn’t even say yes! All I answered was “Are you serious?” I was in such shock I didn’t think it was real. He stood up shaking with nerves and cuddled me and said “Gem, you still haven’t said yes!” to which I replied “Of course, Yes!”.

The proposal

The planning

David proposed on holiday in Crete. It was the second night of our holiday and we had finished dinner when we decided to have a stroll around the hotel grounds. The hotel had a cave that you could walk through, so we went to explore. It was at this point David asked if I trusted him, “Of course” I said and he asked me to close my eyes. I half expected him to run away and hide as we were in a dimly lit cave, but instead

David wanted to get married abroad, and I love being on holiday, it’s when I’m most relaxed, so we agreed that a wedding abroad was our best option as long as we could still invite all of our close friends and family as we knew we wanted to be surrounded by those we loved. As David had proposed in Crete it seemed only right to go back there, we did look at other areas in Greece but we absolutely loved our www.BridesAbroad.com 53


REAL WEDDINGS holiday to Crete and the locals we have met there are so welcoming and friendly. We used the wedding planning services of a company call the Bridal Consultant. We found them online and they helped us the whole way through. I mainly dealt with a lady called Lisa from the Bridal Consultant who was absolutely brilliant. Everything was explained, she was always there to help and make sure all our legal documents were covered. I would highly recommend them. We booked our trip through Thomas Cook; they were helpful on booking and researching hotels next to the location where we would get married. Everything was planned before we left for Crete. We met our Wedding Planner out in Crete a few days before the wedding to go through every detail and to see our venue. We put all our trust into Lisa and her team for us to marry in an area we had never actually seen and had arranged everything via email, but wow! They really did prove themselves!

The guests Including Dave and I there were 55 adults and seven children who travelled out to Crete for our wedding. About 40 of our guests stayed with us at White Palace Grecotel Luxury Resort, the others were in different hotels and apartments across the island. Pretty much all of our guests accepted the invitation. A few guests with children left the little ones at home with family as it was during school term. Other than that there were only two guests invited that couldn’t make it.

Getting the look I was actually quite nervous about trying on dresses, even to the point of making sure I had full make-up, hair curled and a manicure and pedicure so I looked perfect in the dresses. I had been looking online and seen a dress by Essence of Australia and liked the style. I was having a beach wedding so wanted something sheath that just flowed. The dress I had chosen was actually called ‘The Beach Dress’ and I found a shop in Colchester called The Wedding Shop who stocked Essence of Australia, including the dress I liked. I tried it on and it fitted perfectly and was absolutely perfect for our style of wedding – barefoot on the beach! My parents bought my Swarovski earrings for me – they were the

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perfect match to my pear drop engagement ring. David also bought me a beautiful Pandora diamante bracelet, which he gave me on the morning of the wedding – that was an extra special surprise. My hair and make-up was done by Michalis Tsotras, arranged though the wedding planners, and I didn’t meet him until the day of the wedding. He was nice, friendly and so talented.

Something old, something new I was given my Great Aunty’s gold wedding ring to wear as my Something Old and Borrowed – she passed away last year but had such a long, happy marriage, and it was an honour to wear it and to hope to have a life like both of them. My Maid of Honour had bought me a blue Swarovski crystal with a sixpence and a little silver heart, this was my Something Blue which I tied to the inside of my dress and wore it all day. My dress was my Something New.

Groom & bridesmaids David wore a 3-piece suit from Next. We were looking for a light tan, beige colour, which proved very difficult as we were buying during the winter season. Luckily we found one, which was the exact match to what we wanted. He wore light brown boat shoes, a white shirt and a light cream tie. The Groomsmen wore the same but they only had waistcoats without the blazer and pink ties to match the bridesmaid’s dresses. The bridesmaids wore long, dusty pink dresses from Debenhams. We bought multi-way dresses so they could pick a style that suited their shape, which they loved. The best part of it was that throughout the day they kept changing the way they were wearing them. They all had their own style and were also bare foot. As a gift I bought them earrings and matching bracelets, designed and hand-made by Alice Jewellery.

The details Our theme was ‘holiday’; our wedding invites were made to look like flight tickets and we just wanted it to be a great party and everyone to have fun. To me, when on holiday everything is just so easy-going and fun. For my flowers I had pink roses, daisies and gypsophila. The bridesmaids had gypsophila with pink roses. For my cake, I loved the idea of cupcakes, so we had them with a top tier where we had a clay Bride and Groom made to look like us.

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It’s a nice keepsake and always makes me smile as I think they look funny.

The ceremony The ceremony took place in a beautiful location on the beach in Rethymno. It lasted 20 minutes, and we had two friends who did readings for us to make the service personal. We were married by the Mayor but we also had a translator, so after each sentence spoken in Greek by the Mayor, the translator would repeat it in English. My dad walked me down the aisle and gave me away.

The reception The reception was next to the Rethymno Beach, in a garden area behind the Minos Mare Royale Hotel. We had various hot and cold appetizers, breads and salads, followed by a mix grill for mains and for dessert we had seasonal fruits and traditional Greek sweets – all I remember is more and more food being brought to the table, and all our guests saying how lovely it was. There was enough to feed us for the week! Our table names were Greek Gods and Goddesses – the head table, of course, was Hera, Goddess of Marriage. As favours, all the ladies had handmade bracelets by our friends company @alicejewelleryuk, made with real chip stones. We also had a Message in the Bottle where guests could write us a little note and pop it into a glass bottle; we will open this on our first anniversary. I used a suitcase, which we had lined and decorated on the inside, for our guests to put cards inside. 56 www.BridesAbroad.com

First Dance We danced to the song Lucky by Jason Mraz and Colbie Caillat. It’s a beautiful song where they sing to each other, and there is one line in the song “I’m lucky I’m in love with my best friend” and that’s true for us. We had two DJ’s for the night who were brilliant; even they were enjoying the party. Our friends got on the microphone, and at one point the DJ’s were even recording us all dancing after we were going crazy for certain songs.

Photographic memories We had a video, a short feature clip and also all of our photos taken by Hanna Monika Wedding Photography – they are a husband and wife team and spent all day with us snapping away at every opportunity.

Magic moments My best memory is walking down the aisle, David and I had stayed in separate rooms the night before, I hadn’t slept much and I just couldn’t wait to see him and officially call him my Husband. It had felt like such a long wait all day and I just wanted to start our new life as Mr and Mrs. One of my funniest memories is, David will hate me for saying this, but yes he stripped down to his boxers on the dance floor! We have photo evidence!!!

The honeymoon David and I spent 11 nights in Crete in

total with my parents. Our guest’s stayed for 7 nights and shared the holiday with us, but had different flights – it was more like a group holiday than a honeymoon. It was so lovely to see everyone getting on so well. We have decided to have our honeymoon, just the two of us in Thailand, on our first wedding anniversary.

On budget? David and I believe that we got a lot for our money. To have everything that we had at home in England would have cost a lot more, but at the same time we didn’t hold back, the guests that stayed at our hotel had travel provided and we had an open bar at the wedding, which was more of a thank you for everyone coming all that way to be there.

Further information WEDDING PLANNER Lisa at The Bridal Consultant www.thebridalconsultants.com VENUE Rethymno Beach, Crete HOTEL White Palace Grecotel PHOTOGRAPHY Hanna Monika Wedding Photography www.hannamonika.com/ weddingphotography


Make memories last forever

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

www.ikarosbeach.gr


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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

Weddings

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: reservations@stnicolasbay.gr www.stnicolasbay.gr


Advertising Feature

Lesante Blu Honeymoon bliss in Zante

Zante is a stunning Greek island gem in the Ionian Sea that is simply breathtking. No wonder the new Lesante Blu is set to be a firm favourite for couples looking for a dream honeymoon destination – or the perfect place to say “I do.”


The island’s newest and most luxurious resort hotel, the Lesante Blu, opens in May 2017, to offer Zante’s ultimate romantic honeymoon haven. Surrounded by views of the sparkling blue sea, the hotel is a romantic paradise for both newlyweds and those looking for a wowfactor setting for their special day. Located in the picturesque village of Tragaki and boasting its own private secluded beach, the Lesante Blu is simply a one-of-a-kind experience offering exclusivity, peace of mind and 5-star comfort. This adults-only resort has intimate touches for couples, such as private pools, state-of-the-art suites and discreet staff. There’s an impressive array of facilities and activities on offer to ensure that guests are indulged throughout their stay, everything from the impeccable 24/7 room service to the guest’s private heliport, all add up to a unique and memorable experience.

Wining and dining At Lesante Blu you will find three exciting concept restaurants, each with an amazing view of the sea and all serving the finest creative dishes. Whether you choose to dine by the pool, the a la carte or the main restaurant, the hotel’s talented chefs prepare delicious food, inspired by authentic Mediterranean and Greek recipes, each adding an exciting twist to elevate every traditional recipe.

Spa and Wellness What could be more sublime, after the stresses of planning your big day, than some well-deserved, honeymoon spa pampering to relax and recharge your mind, body and soul? The Essence Wellness & Spa, with its indoor heated pool, sauna and hammam, offers a wide range of treatments for you to unwind and restore your energy in a haven of tranquility. Private sessions and VIP rooms, perfect for ‘his and her’ treatments, will help you to share this precious time with your loved one. For those keen to stay active, the Lesante Blu’s Fitness Centre offers a wide range of activities, including personal training, a fully equipped gym and a tennis court.

Weddings The Lesante Blu’s spectacular grounds create the ideal setting for intimate gatherings as well as grand-scale weddings. Whether you dream of a sophisticated garden ceremony, a barefoot venue at the beach, an elegant reception-style celebration in the stunning ballroom or by the state-of-the-art pool, Lesante Blu’s team of professional wedding co-ordinators will be proud to make your wedding vision come true, exactly the way you dreamed! They will guide you through your special day, from the first day of planning to the last detail of your honeymoon.

Honeymoon packages The resort is idyllic for honeymooners. Stroll around and you will discover romantic spots for sunset cocktails, seductive menus in candlelight dinners under the stars and a special selection of ‘his and her’ treatments at the Wellness Spa. The choices are endless. A complimentary Honeymoon Package at the hotel includes rose petals to decorate your bed upon arrival, a bottle of wine and fruit basket in your room and breakfast in your room on your first day, plus complimentary access to the spa. Couples can upgrade to the Deluxe Honeymoon Package and receive a bottle of Champagne and bouquet of flowers on arrival, breakfast in your room daily, honeymoon turndown service, complimentary couples massage, candlelit dinner for two and private Mercedes taxi airport transfers.

Further information Lesante Blu Tragkaki, Zakynthos 291 00, Greece T: (+30)26950 41330 E: info@lesanteblu.gr www.lesanteblu.gr


FIRE & ICE

Couples wanting to wow their guests with dramatic scenery and iconic landmarks should head to Southern Iceland to tie the knot – It’s also an awesome destination for nature lovers to enjoy adventure honeymoons all year round

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Iceland offers stark beauty and an abundance of natural wonders. It is a place of fire and ice, of hot volcanoes set against icy glaciers and towering mountains against vast expanses of volcanic tundra, roaring waterfalls and sweeping black sand beaches. It’s an exciting landscape, and one, which just begs to be explored. For lovers of nature and adventure, Iceland is a compelling place to spend your honeymoon, and for a quirky and charming wedding location, you couldn’t find anywhere else that can offer such diverse options for your wedding ceremony, both in winter and summer. Iceland has more than its fair share of iconic venues. The Icelanders are a friendly, welcoming race, and many speak excellent English, making planning your wedding and honeymoon so much easier. Iceland is just over two and a half hours flight time from UK Airports, making it easily accessible. You can fly from the Bristol, London, Dublin and Edinburgh direct with Wow Air – Iceland’s own low-cost carrier, which focuses on transatlantic flights – enabling you to fly into Keplavik and stay in Iceland for the duration of your wedding and honeymoon. Alternatively you can take the opportunity for a twocentre honeymoon by flying on to America – Wow Air operate flights from Reykjavik to a number of destinations in the USA including New York, Los Angeles, Miami, St Louis, Dallas and Chicago. Winter in Iceland is a magical time to visit when, chances are, a layer of crisp snow covers the lava landscape like a white carpet. The sky is clear and the pure unpolluted air is refreshingly chilly as the temperature dips well below freezing point. The landscape is transformed into a winter wonderland as snow falls and waterfalls are frozen in their tracks. You can witness spectacular sunrises midmorning, and romantic sunsets mid-afternoon, and cosy up in front of log fires or in steaming hot tubs in the evenings. You may also be treated to a spectacular display of the Northern Lights, which will take your breath away, and must surely be on most people’s ‘bucket list’. Alternatively, in the summer months honeymooners can experience the joys of the Midnight Sun, as the volcanic landscape reappears, with a covering of grass and meadow flowers and ponies graze in the lush pastures. Both seasons offer their own enchantment for weddings and honeymoons. Be sure to hire a car and travel around free-style, or take advantage of the thrilling organized excursions available. You can even take to the saddle and enjoy a pony-trecking day out.

THE BLUE LAGOON Also at the top of the list for visitors’ attractions is the geothermal Blue Lagoon in Keplavik. This steaming milky-blue lake is set in a dramatic landscape of jagged peaks and black lava fields. Here you can spend the day simply bathing the hot spring waters, sipping a cocktail in the mineral rich waters, then finish the day off with a meal and spa treatment in the Visitor’s Centre.

THE GOLDEN CIRCLE Southern Iceland’s most iconic natural attractions form the Golden Circle – and the best way to take in the famous sights is by taking an organized tour, though all can be reached easily be car. Spectacular attractions on a Golden Circle tour include the hot springs of Geysir, Gullfoss Waterfall, Seljalandsfoss waterfall, the glaciers of Eyjafjallajokull and Myrdals Jokull and the Black Sand Beach in picturesque Vik, Iceland’s most southerly village, with the iconic Reynisdrangar Cliffs jutting out from the sea.

REYKJAVIK The beautiful coastal city of Reykjavik is the most northern as well as being one of the smallest capital cities of the world. It is home to two thirds of the entire Icelandic population and manages to combine a terrific blend of hip and wholesome culture with a thriving arts community. Reykjavik is one of the cleanest, eco-friendly and safest cities on the planet From its harbour, visitors can watch the fishing boats glide in with their catch of the day, and sail off on whale watching excursions. www.BridesAbroad.com 63


Top 5 Things To Do 1

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Stroll around Reykjavic Take in the beauty of one of the world’s smallest capital cities, visit the shops, bars and restaurants, historical sites or head to the port and take a Whale Watching tour.

Get up close at Geysir Hot Spring Area Watch in amazement as the highly active Geysirs, including Great Geysir, explode hot steam into the air. The most lively is Stokkurm which spouts water up to 100 ft every few minutes! Stop off at the Geysir Visitors centre for refreshments and souvenirs before you leave.

3 4

See the frozen Gullfoss Waterfall Visitors can walk along a narrow path to witness the two-tiered Gullfoss Waterfall, which freezes over in the winter into undulating waves of glistening ice. On sunny days you can see thousands of rainbows, a natural reaction to the clouds of spray.

5

Bathe in the Blue Lagoon No trip to Iceland is complete without an afternoon spent bathing in the hot geothermal waters of the Blue Lagoon. The pale blue mineral-rich waters of the lake are covered by a haze of steam and are therapeutic and especially beneficial for treating psoriasis.

Walk behind Seljalandsfoss Waterfall Fed by melting water from the Eyjafjallajokull glacier, the powerful Seljalandsfoss waterfall cascades dramatically into a pretty meadow full of wildflowers. It’s the only waterfall in the world that you can walk behind – along a path running under the curtain of water.

Marriage requirements The local District Commissioner will issue an authorization for a marriage ceremony after the necessary documentation in English or any of the Scandinavian languages has been submited. All documents must be originals and be received two weeks before the planned wedding date

Documents required Marriage Statement Form - filled out and signed. Birth certificate Certificate of marital status. The certificate must be issued within 4 weeks prior to your wedding ceremony. A divorce decree absolute. This must be provided if either bride or groom has been divorced.

WEDDINGS IN ICELAND A wedding in Iceland is guaranteed to enchant your guests. Whether you marry in winter, when the scenery sparkles with snow and ice or in the summer when the pastures turn green and the days are endless. There are so many stunning locations to say “I do”. You can marry on top of a glacier, in a cave, on a volcanic beach, on a cliff, by a waterfall, in a pretty-as-a picture church or at a luxury hotel -in Reykjavik or deep in the heart of the countryside. Iceland legalised same sex marriage in 2010 and it is now listed as one of the top 10 gay marriage countries.

If bride or groom is a widow/ widower. An official document showing that the estate (assets and liabilities) of the deceased spouse has been finalized/divided. Legal stay in Iceland. Confirmation of arrival date (flight ticket or passport stamp), visa or residence permit must also be presented. Passports – up to date

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Fly from Edinburgh & London don to Iceland Iceland, nd Canada via Iceland USA an s for less WOW air offers the lowest fares, a modern eet with the lowest emissions and the biggest smile; this is the WOW air promise to its valuable customers. As of spring 2018, the airline services 36 destinations across Europe and North America.

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REAL WEDDINGS

Ice Ice Baby

Clare and Damon's cool ceremony in Iceland 66 www.BridesAbroad.com


Schoolfriends Clare Handley and Damon Holiday, from Doncaster in South Yorkshire, met as young teenagers when they both attended their school camp in Wales. Love was definitely in the air from that first encounter. As they grew older the flame of love grew more intense, until a decade and two children later, the two lovebirds finally tied the knot in a totally ‘chilled’ ceremony amidst Iceland’s snowy landscapes Finding ‘the one’ We met at school camp in Anglesey when I was 13 and Damon was 15. We grew up in neighbouring villages but we actually only met at the camp as we were in different years. It was love at first sight, but we were too young! It was two years later when we got together properly.

The proposal Damon proposed on a cliff top overlooking a secluded bay near Flamborough in North Yorkshire. It was a cold October morning and we decided to visit the coast for the day. There was nobody else around and we walked along the cliff top watching the waves crashing on the shore. Completely out of the blue, Damon stopped walking and got down on one knee to ask me to marry him. It was totally unexpected!

Location, location Both Damon and I wanted a small wedding and, when we visited Iceland for a holiday, we were overwhelmed by its raw beauty. We decided then that when we were ready to book our wedding, we would do so in Iceland. We also both love going on holiday and visiting different places so combining a wedding and a holiday was just perfect for us! We wanted to have the wedding ceremony outside and after much deliberation, we decided to have it by the Ranga river. Being in the grounds of the hotel meant that we were close to the facilities and could easily relocate to have the ceremony inside if the weather conditions were unfavourable.

The planning We used the services of the wedding coordinator, Eyrún, who was based at Hotel Ranga , she took care of all the details for us. I booked our flights and car hire myself. The hotel stay was booked directly with

Eyrún at Hotel Rangá . Eyrún was wonderfully helpful, every question I had was answered politely and professionally. She obviously has exceptional knowledge of the local area and was willing to share this with us. She also had countless ideas and suggestions to make the wedding day run smoothly. Everything was planned before we travelled to Iceland. It was just a case of meeting with the District Commissionner prior to the ceremony so that she could verify our documents. We also met with Eyrún the day before the wedding to run through the days itinerary.

The guests We had nine guests, plus our two daughters. All guests stayed in Reykjavik and travelled over to Hotel Rangá on the day of the wedding. As we only wanted a small wedding, we only invited a small group of people.

Getting the look My wedding dress was ‘Spencer’ by Sophia Tolli and was from Elegance Bridal Studio in Barnsley. It was a lace trumpet gown with cap sleeves and a chapel length train. It also had a crystal belt and an illusion neckline. I absolutely loved my dress and was rather upset that I only got to wear it for one day! My shoes were white, glittery T-bar shoes from Irregular Choice, again I absolutely loved them! I decided against a veil or tiara and opted instead for a small hair slide, which was from Elizabeth Kate in Crowle. My earrings were a gift from Damon and my eldest daughter on my first Mother’s Day - it meant a lot to me that I could wear them. Eyrún organised a hairdresser and make-up artist to come to the hotel to do my hair and make-up on the morning of the wedding. Both were extremely

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REAL WEDDINGS talented and professional. The make up artist (Sigga) was really kind to my two daughters too, she even allowed them to look through her make-up trunk and try out a few lip glosses!

Groom & bridesmaids Damon and his Best Man wore dark blue, three piece suits. They also wore mustard yellow ties to match my flowers. Our two daughters, Isobel and Robyn, were bridesmaids. They wore ivory dresses from Next with flower detail on one shoulder. They also had faux fur cream jackets as we knew the weather would be cold!

The details I had pale cream roses and yellow/ orange ranunculus for my flowers. The hotel provided various cake options, from traditional Icelandic marzipan cake to flavoured sponge cakes. We decided not to have a wedding cake though and instead enjoyed a dessert course following our wedding meal.

The ceremony The ceremony took place by the Rangá river within the grounds of the hotel. It was a short ceremony that lasted around ten to fifteen minutes. We were married by the District Commissioner for South Iceland (Kristín Þórðardóttir). Again, she was so helpful and immediately put us at ease when we met with her the day prior to our wedding. I didn’t follow the tradition of being ‘given away’, so I just walked with our two daughters, however I did follow the Icelandic tradition of wearing an Icelandic wool cape after the ceremony.

The reception Our wedding reception was held at Hotel Rangá in the River Hall room. It included a four course meal with wild mushroom soup to start, an interim course of salmon, main course of pan fried fillet of lamb and dessert was chocolate mousse. The food was outstanding and all our guests really enjoyed the cuisine. For decoration, we had rose petals and tea lights on the table and had a bouquet similar to my wedding flowers as a centre piece. We just had a relaxed and intimate meal with our guests. There were no speeches or First Dances. We just wanted everyone to feel relaxed.

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Photographic memories Our photographer was Gunnar Freyr Steinsson. Initially, a family member, who is a photographer, was going to take photos for us, but around six weeks prior to the wedding, he told us he couldn’t attend. This made me panic and choosing a photographer was one of the hardest things about planning the wedding. Thankfully we made the right choice with Gunnar, he was friendly and put us all at ease whilst still maintaining professionalism. He was happy to meet with us prior to the ceremony so we could introduce ourselves and talk about any specific photographs we wanted him to take. Gunnar had a drone but unfortunately the weather conditions were unfavourable and he wasn’t able to use it during our photo shoot. I have two favourite photographs! The first one is just after the ceremony and we’re walking back to the hotel. Damon is mid-way through throwing a snowball – I think this captures the relaxed and fun atmosphere really well. The other is of

Damon and I next to the waterfall, we look so happy and the scenery just looks out of this world.

Magic moments My best memory was the moment when I walked down the snowy aisle and reached Damon and he turned to see me. It was just magical. And the snow just made our day even more special, we’d hoped and dreamed that it would snow but didn’t dare believe it actually would. The funniest memory was that impromptu snowball fight immediately after the ceremony. We were walking back towards the hotel and the snow was starting to come down faster and harder. The Best Man threw a snowball first and it just escalated! Thankfully I didn’t get hit but I enjoyed watching the others

On budget? The wedding cost around £8,000. This included flights, accommodation, car

hire, District Commissioner fee, wedding outfits and meals. I was very careful and managed to stay within budget. Having such a small wedding did make it easier for me to plan and manage the budget.

The honeymoon We stayed a further few days at Hotel Rangá for our honeymoon. Our friends and family all stayed in central Reykjavik and travelled back to the city after the wedding. This meant we could enjoy our first few days of married life with just us and our two daughters.

Further information WEDDING PLANNER Eyrún Aníta Gylfadóttir wedding@hotelranga.is VENUE Hotel Rangá www.hotelranga.is PHOTOGRAPHY Gunnar Freyr Steinsson

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Hotel Ranga

Is seeing the spectacular Northern Lights during your Icelandic honeymoon high on your bucket list? Then there can be no better place to stay than Hotel Ranga, a beautiful hotel set in the heart of Southern Iceland’s Golden Triangle If you are looking for a gorgeous, log-cabin style hotel for a wowwedding or adventure honeymoon in Southern Iceland, Hotel Ranga ticks all the boxes. This delightful hotel nestles in the vast landscapes of Iceland’s volcanic tundra, where the panoramic vistas stretch out to the horizon, and the Northern lights are a regular sight in the endless skies. Hotel Ranga has acquired an excellent reputation for its gourmet food, charming accommodation and service. It offers all the facilities of a modern resort, whilst retaining a cosy ambience and traditional Icelandic values. The resort lies between the towns of Hella and Hvolsvollur, by the banks of the River Ranga in middle of South Iceland’s beautiful panoramic scenery.

It is ideally situated for exploring the iconic sights of Iceland – including the famous Geysir, Gullfoss waterfall (which is frozen in the winter), the Blue Lagoon geothermal lake and the two glaciers of Eyjafjallajokull and Myrdals Jokull, it is also just an hour’s drive from the city of Reykjavík and Keflavik international airport. Sightseeing tours, an absolute must to help you get the most out of this fascinating country, can be organized from the hotel. Or you may prefer to travel freestyle by hiring a car to get you out and about. The hotel is a wonderful base to return to after a day’s exploring; enjoy a leisurely soak under the starry night sky in one of three steaming hot tubs followed by a delicious dinner in the highly-acclaimed restaurant.


Perhaps a nightcap in the bar – sitting, of course, on one of the cheeky bespoke bar stools, which are shaped like a pair of legs – and, if you are lucky, finish the day off with a display of the incredible Northern Lights.

Dream honeymoons Hotel Rangá is the only 4-star hotel in Southern Iceland and offers 51 luxurious, individually styled rooms and suites. If you are on honeymoon, treat yourselves to the Antarctica Suite – which has been creatively themed in black and white to reflect all things Antarctic – complete with decorative penguins. The room boasts a triple aspect from its balconies and windows – so if the Aurora Borealis does make an appearance you can be awe-struck at the phenomena from the comfort of your own suite! The hotel also features a riverside restaurant for tasty breakfasts and fine dining, a lounge and bar, two meeting rooms, a game room with jigsaw puzzles, board games and pool table; massage facilities and three much-loved outdoor hot tubs. Your best chance of viewing the Northern Lights is between September and April, and to ensure that you won’t miss them if they appear in the middle of the night, you can request a phone call to your room to alert you to one of nature’s most spectacular light shows. The Hotel also has a first-class observatory for both stargazing and sun gazing – and, thanks to its rural location, light pollution is not an issue. The hotel can also turn off the external lights to provide optimal conditions to view the sky at night.

Wonderful weddings Couples marrying at Hotel Ranga can choose from a multitude of places to say “I do” – from it’s own stunning location on the banks of the River Ranga to the spectacular scenery around the hotel – including breathtaking waterfalls and glaciers and lunar landscapes. This year the hotel has extended its wedding offering to include candle-lit ceremonies in a nearby cave, privately owned by the hotel and adapted to host weddings, including musical accompaniment. Choose either winter nuptials, when the sparkling snow and ice make a stunning backdrop to your special day or a summer wedding when the days are at their longest, the snow and ice has melted away and the meadows turn lush and green. The hotel’s wedding co-ordinators offer four types of wedding ceremonies: by priest, district commissioner, a civil union or even a pagan ceremony. They will do their utmost to ensure your wedding is picture-perfect and filled with lasting memories. Contact them and let them help you begin happily ever after with one of their specialty wedding packages that cater to various budgets and tastes: Hekla, Eyjafjallajokull, and Katla. All three include accommodation for two nights and four-course luxury dinner with various services.

Further Information

Hotel Ranga Suðurlandsvegur, 851 Hella, Iceland Phone: +354 487 5700 www.hotelranga.is


EVERY TRIP IS AN ADVENTURE

WWW.GEYSIR.IS

HAVE THE DRIVE OF YOUR DREAMS IN ICELAND RENT YOUR RIDE WITH GEYSIR CAR RENTAL ON — WWW.GEYSIR.IS —


Aurora · Adventure · Stargazing · Events · Gourmet · Romance · Luxury

A perfect setting in South Iceland for weddings, honeymoons and romantic getaways


Fashion & Beauty

76 Take the Plunge

Wow your groom with the latest plunging neckline – guaranteed to ensure you look sizzling hot, whilst his temperature soars!

78 Get the look beach bride

Starfish, shells and tropical flower give your beach wedding a seaside flavour

79 Get the look city style

Cool, sophisticated, with a playful hint of Sex and the City’s Carrie Bradshaw

80 Get the look church Wedding

Make a grand entrance at your religious wedding as you sweep down the aisle in stunning style

81 Get the look Ice Queen

Sparkle and shine against a snowy backdrop, whilst keeping snug and warm

82 7 Deadly beauty sins

Avoid hair and beauty pitfalls if you want to look your perfect best on your big day

84 5 Tips to beating bridal body hang-ups

Beat those nagging body concerns before you say “I do” with help from the experts www.BridesAbroad.com 75


TakethePlunge Add pure glamour to your bridal style with the season’s hottest new trend – the plunging neckline, guaranteed to send his pulse racing …

Dress by Be www.berta.cortma

Dress by Nicole Spose www.nicolespose.it 76 www.BridesAbroad.com

en Dress by Nurit Hom .c en -h rit www.nu

Dress by Winnie Couture www.winniecouture.com


www.houseofmooshki.com

Hen Dress by Nuerint-.com www.nurit-h

Dress by www.bertaBerta .com Dress by Rita Vinieris www.ritavinieris.com

Bride from Dress by Wilderly wilderlybrid.com Allure Bridal www. D www.nicoleress by Alessandra spose.it/en R audo /alessandin ra-rinaudo .php Dress by Randi Rahm www.randirahm.com

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Get the look

Beach Bride Be belle of the beach with a seaside themed wedding – with floaty dress accessorised with shells, starfish and tropical flowers

Flower hairband www.riverisland.com

Starfish earrings, £16 www.oliverbonas.com

Tropical flowers silk bouquet, £58.85 www.sarahsflowers.co.uk

Starfish diamond ring, £358 www.jewlr.co.uk

Pink sunglasses www.riverisland.com

Starfish charm, £158 www.jewlr.co.uk

Festive bunting www.dotcomgiftshop.com

Gold love knot bracelet, £22 www.oliverbonas.com Sandals, £99 www.dune.co.uk

Dress by Wilderlybride.com 78 www.BridesAbroad.com

Conch shell T-light holder, £26 www.in-spaces.com


Get the look

City Style

Crystal birdcage veil, £55 www.ivoryandcotiaras.co.uk

Brides wanting to look hot in the city should go for a sophisticated, chic style – with just a fun hint of Sex and the City’s Carrie Bradshaw Bow head band, £85 www.ivoryandcotiaras.co.uk

Constellation earrings, £1,200 www.mimibaldwin.com

Bow bag, £65 www.dunelondon.com Love pendant, £1,400 www.mimibaldwin.com

Sunglasses, £55 www.oliverbonas.com

Bow shoes, £99 www.dunelondon.com Dress by Muse Collection by Berta www.berta.com

St Moritz bracelet, £85 www.ivoryandcotiaras.com.uk

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Get the look

Church

Tiara, style Rebecca, £255 www.ivoryandcotiaras.co.uk

Wedding

Aphrodite earrings, £35 www.ivoryandcotiras.co.uk

Elegant, sophisticated and pure – the perfect combination for a stylish bride to sweep down the aisle at her religious ceremony, whether it’s in a rustic village church or a historical cathedral

Aphrodite necklace, £45 www.ivoryandcotiaras.co.uk

Mimi Baldwin earrings, £2,900 www.mimibaldwin.com

Charm bracelet, £12 www.riverisland.com

Paper flower bouquet, £100 www.paperjackdaw.co.uk

Sunglasses www.riverisland.com Pearl drop earrings, £29.50 www.oliverbonas.com

Bag, £60 www.dunelondon.com

Pearl ring, www.riverisland.com

Shoes, £165 www.rachelsimpsonshoes.co.uk

Dress by Nicole Spose www.nicolespose.it 80 www.BridesAbroad.com

Candle holders, £95 www.amara.com


Get the look

Ice Queen

Valkyrie tiara, £175 www.ivoryandcotiaras.co.uk

Warm his heart with a cool and sparkling allure at your winter wonderland wedding, with faux fur and diamonds adding a touch of glamour

Starry night necklace, £185 www.ivoryandcotiaras.co.uk

Silver Donaire posy, £209 www.silkblooms.co.uk

Starry night earrings,£55 www.ivoryandcotiaras.co.uk

Starry night bracelet, £75 www.ivoryandcotiaras.co.uk Bag, £175 www.dunelondon.com

Snow boots style Morgana Brae, £237 www.olang.co.uk

Dress and bolero, style Iris www.randirham.com

Crystal candleholder, £125 www.amara.com www.BridesAbroad.com 81


7

Deadly Beauty Sins

Do you think you have your hair and beauty routine down to perfection? Then think again! The seven deadly beauty sins will always try to catch you out, say the online hair and beauty experts at Hairtrade.com

They may not know it, but chances are most brides-to-be commit at least one of the seven deadly beauty sins at some time, according to the team at Hairtrade.com, an online hair and beauty retailer. They want to help brides in resolving these common beauty mishaps – from foundation tidemarks and overdone eyebrows to cakey powder, a streaky fake tan and, not forgetting, frizzy hair and visible hair extension clips. Joanne Dodds from Hairtrade.com said: “We’re all guilty of making beauty blunders, but the good news is that they can easily be put right. You might even find that, by following some of our top tips, you can even save time and money, all whilst looking gorgeous.”

Here’s the Beauty Sins check list!

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Foundation tidemarks Overdone eyebrows

An orange foundation line around your neck looks careless and dirty, so make sure you pay attention when applying your base coat. Invest in a good stippling brush or blending sponge to ensure it’s perfectly blended out. Also, don’t forget about blending it into the neck as well. Be cautious about picking the right shade when you’re in the store.

Tips: Be warned that, when trying on foundation in a shop,

you are seeing the colour in an artificial light, which can change as soon as you walk out of the store.

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Big brows have been a trend this past year, so it’s easy to be tempted to add a few more coats of brow pomade or powder. But it’s important to avoid having them look like two slugs plastered on your forehead. When defining your brows, always make sure you take care. Brush through them lightly and avoid completely coating them. Use a pomade or powder that’s similar to your hair colour shade so they don’t look too dark.

Tips: It’s also important not to apply your makeup too close to

the mirror. This is so you can see how the brows are complimenting your face.


3 4 5 7 6 Visible extension clips

Streaky fake tan

Hair extensions are a great way to boost your hair so it feels thicker and full of volume. But one sin we hate is when your hair extensions clips are visible through your normal hair. To avoid clipins showing, gently backcomb your real hair at the root where you put in the extensions.

The idea of overnight tan is so tempting, but even if you follow the instructions to the letter, the reality is that you can wake up looking like a Cheesy Watsit. Make sure that, before you apply fake tan, you use a body scrub to remove any dead skin cells. This will help you achieve an even glow rather than your tan looking blotchy.

Tips:

Tips: Finding the right fake tan for your skin can be tricky, but

Remember to avoid placing them too close to the hairline or too low on the back of the head.

investing some money into a more expensive brand is worth it.

Bad contouring

It’s easy to have a bad contouring blunder. The most common ones are badly blended contouring on the cheekbones, contour colours that are too dark or warm toned, too much highlighter or badly blended nose contour. To resolve bad contouring, pick a contour shade that’s not too light or dark. If you are cool toned, try an ashy brown colour. If you are warm-toned, you are better off with a bronze colour.

Tips: It’s also very important to blend. Use a brush

that is smaller than a bronzer brush, but a bit bigger than a blush brush. When applying it to the cheeks, always make sure you blend the product in using circular motions.

Cakey face make-up Frizzy Hair

Nothing is worse than seeing your makeup go cakey and orange the second you apply a bit of face powder to it. To resolve this, always make sure that your skin is oil-free before applying powder. Use a colourless, loose powder to set the face.

Tips: Using a damp blending sponge, press the powder

into the skin so the product is absorbed by the foundation. Leave it to set for a minute before sweeping the excess off.

Untameable, frizzy hair is the enemy of all women. But many people don’t realise that dehydrated hair is at the root of the problem. Use a deep conditioning treatment regularly, particularly throughout the summer, to repair damaged hair. When you’re styling your hair, try using a few drops of serum to smooth out flyways.

Tips: Steer away from using heat styling appliances and try and find

products that create a similar effect. However, if you can’t bear to be without your straighteners, make sure that you apply heat protection spray religiously. www.BridesAbroad.com 83


5Tips to beating BRIDAL BODY HANG-UPS Every bride-to-be has her fair share of body insecurities she wants to overcome before she slips into her wedding dress. Brides Abroad comes to the rescue with hot tips on beating five body concerns before you walk down the aisle

When you say “I do” you want to look and feel at your very best But sometimes, striking a balance between keeping yourself in optimum condition ready for your big day, whilst managing a full-time job and other life pressures can be tricky.

1

2

With your wedding day looming, there is no better time to ‘spring clean your lifestyle’ to get in shape. To help you achieve your aims, leading names in the lifestyle industry have come together to provide a list of top tips for boosting both your health and confidence before tying the knot.

The Muffin top

For many brides, looking slim and slender in their wedding dress is a priority. If you are conscious of your body weight, the good news is that it isn’t too late to minimise your muffin top, making you look and feel better whilst improving your health at the same time.

Expert Tip:

Banish your muffin top for good by making healthier food choices, is the advice given by Luciano Venezia, founder of the revolutionary food and nutrition app EDO. She says: “Following a healthy and balanced diet can be challenging and many of us are confused by food labels and what they mean. However, by using the new EDO app, you can now scan the barcode on a food label to find out more about its nutritional information in a matter of seconds. The app uses a unique algorithm to analyse the food’s ingredients, before rating the food on a healthiness scale of 0-10 and outlining its pros and cons – helping you get a beautiful body in time for your wedding.”

84 www.BridesAbroad.com

Varcose veins

No newlywed wants to show off their veiny legs on the beach during their honeymoon, however the condition is by no means rare and can affect up to 40% of the population during their adult lives.

Expert Tip:

“If not treated correctly, varicose veins will not only spoil your honeymoon, but are likely to get worse in time,” says Professor Mark Whiteley, founder of the UK’s leading vascular clinic, The Whiteley Clinic “Varicose veins can potentially lead to more damaging problems, such as skin damage and leg ulceration, so if you think you are suffering from this condition, the advice would be to get it checkout out by a venous specialist. There are many cutting-edge procedures now available, which are performed under local anaesthetic and are much more comfortable than out-dated treatments, and your legs will be restored to their former beauty in time for your wedding and honeymoon”


3

Bloated tummy

Most of us will suffer with bloating at some point in our lives, which can leave us feeling sluggish and unconfident in our appearance. The last thing we want is to have a bloated tummy on the most important day of our lives, our wedding day!

Expert Tip:

Bloating can be a sign of IBS, IBD, a food intolerance, food allergy, or a general infection. Dr Akbar Consultant, Gastroenterologist at St Mark’s Hospital advises: “ By keeping hydrated and drinking large amounts of water, you can potentially reduce these problems, because dehydration and electrolyte imbalances can stop digestion and cause your body to hold on to excess water. If you eat too fast you inhale air, which can cause bloating and result in excess gas. In addition, PMS makes you susceptible to constipation and water retention and bloating increases when ovulation takes place, as more fluids and blood builds up. Something else to try to reduce bloating is decreasing your carbohydrate and dairy intake. This may help with bloating, as many people’s digestive systems can’t break down lactose or gluten.”

Bad breath

From time to time, we all fall victim to having less-than-lovely breath, however, this can be particularly troubling for women who are soon to hear the infamous line, “You may kiss the bride.”

Expert Tip:

5

Dr Sameer Patel, Clinical Director at Elleven, the dentist to the stars, offers the following advice for keeping your breath nice and fresh. “There are over 700 different bacteria that thrive in the mouth and when these micro-organisms fester, they multiply and give off bad odours. Many popular diets have also been linked to bad breath, including those with low carbohydrate intake, such as the Atkins Diet and those that include acidic juices, which means maintaining good oral health is even more essential for fresh breath. Simple tricks and good practice include brushing your teeth at least twice daily for two to three minutes, and flossing at least three times a week to banish hidden food particles and plaque (a coating of bacteria that forms around the tooth). Chewing gum and drinking plenty of water throughout the day, particularly after meals, is also a simple way to keep your mouth hydrated and fresh. This prevents bacteria from thriving and bad breath from taking hold.”

Excessive sweating

Excessive sweating is a common issue and something that people can experience every so often, especially in hot climates. So if you are marrying in a hot destination, you may be worrying about how you will cope with the heat. However, the condition can also affect people year-round and is often caused by medical reasons such as anxiety, menopause or hyperhidrosis (a condition which leaves you sweating severely all over your body). Excessive sweating can be extremely embarrassing, leading to unsightly sweat patches and increased feelings of anxiety – which isn’t ideal for bridal attire!

Expert Tip:

To combat this issue, Theresa Pope, founder of Dandi Patch (www.dandipatch.com), has created a solution that’s available online. “I know from experience that excessive sweating can lead to low self-esteem, low confidence and in general it can really effect a person’s sense of wellbeing. With Dandi Patch we have created a product that finally allows sufferers of excessive sweating to go about their lives, without worrying that they will break out in a sweat!” Dandi Patch is an ultra-discrete perspiration shield that absorbs up to 20 ml of sweat throughout the day to ensure that you stay dry. Perfect for brides who want to be cool and dry in the heat of their special day! www.dandipatch.com

www.BridesAbroad.com 85


AWARD WINNING WEDDING PLANNERS IN MALTA & GOZO WWW.IDOKNOT.COM


Planning Guide

88 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.

92 Pop the Question

Expert wedding planners answer your most frequently asked questions.

94 Wedding Countdown

Your 18-month wedding abroad planner!

96 Family Planning – for your happy ever after! Make sure your wedding is a happy family occasion with no frustrating conflicts. with help from wedding expert Tilly Wilkinson.

98 21 Wacky wedding rituals

The best man is shaving the groom, the mother-in-law is throwing ducks at the bride – some international wedding customs make throwing the bouquet seem tame!

100 Ask the planners!

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

www.BridesAbroad.com 87


January

February

Caribbean, Australia, Dubai, Hawaii, Maldives, SriMalaysia, Lanka, Malaysia Mexico, Mexico, Thailand,Thailand, Sri Lanka, Canary Islands

Caribbean, Australia, Dubai, Hawaii, Maldives, SriMalaysia, Lanka, Malaysia Mexico, Mexico, Thailand,Thailand, Sri Lanka, Canary Islands

Hot spots

Cool and chilled

Hot spots

Cool and chilled

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

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

Argentina, Egypt, Hong Kong, Morocco, New Zealand, Vietnam, Abu Dhabi

Argentina, Egypt, Hong Kong, Morocco, New Zealand, Vietnam

Something different Jungle & Safari

South Africa, Kenya, Tanzania, Costa Rica

Avoid

Something different Jungle & Safari

South Africa, Kenya, Tanzania, Costa Rica

Avoid

Bali and Indonesia, India, French Polynesia, Fiji

Bali and Indonesia, India, Seychelles, Mauritius, French Polynesia, Fiji

March

April

Hot spots

Caribbean, Australia, Dubai, Hawaii, Maldives, Caribbean, Australia, Dubai, Hawaii, Maldives, Mexico, Thailand,Sri SriLanka, Lanka,Malaysia, Malaysia Canary Islands Mexico, Thailand,

Cool and chilled

Hot spots

Caribbean, Australia, Dubai, Hawaii, Maldives, Mexico, Thailand, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Bali

Cool and chilled

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

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

Argentina, Egypt, Hong Kong, Morocco, New Zealand, Vietnam

Argentina, Egypt, Hong Kong, Morocco, New Zealand, Vietnam, Abu Dhabi

Belize, South Africa, Kenya, Tanzania, Costa Rica

Belize, South Africa, Zambia, Botswana, Borneo

Something different Jungle & Safari Avoid

Bali and Indonesia, Seychelles, Mauritius, French Polynesia, Fiji

Something different Jungle & Safari Avoid

India, Mauritius, Zanzibar, French Polynesia, Fiji


rg e h t ttin a Weermi p

May

Hot spots

June

Hot spots

Europe, Dubai, USA, Hawaii, Mauritius, Mexico, Seychelles, Bali

Europe, Bali, Mauritius, Seychelles, Zanzibar, French Polynesia, Malaysia, Hawaii, Fiji

Cool and chilled

Cool and chilled

Alaska, Iceland, Chile

Something different

Egypt, Hong Kong, India, Morocco, Brazil

Jungle & Safari

Belize, Borneo, Botswana, South Africa, Zambia

Avoid

Argentina, Chile, New Zealand

Something different

Scandinavia, Peru, Hong Kong, Scotland, Ireland

Jungle & Safari

Borneo, Botswana, Tanzania, Zambia

Avoid

Maldives, Sri Lanka, Zanzibar, Kenya, Vietnam, French Polynesia

Maldives, Thailand, Dubai, Egypt, Vietnam, Sri Lanka, South Africa, Australia

July

August

Europe, USA, Bali, Mauritius, Seychelles, Zanzibar, French Polynesia, Malaysia, Hawaii, Fiji

Europe, USA, Bali, Mauritius, Seychelles, Zanzibar, French Polynesia, Hawaii, Fiji

Cool and chilled

Cool and chilled

Hot spots

Argentina, Chile, New Zealand

Something different

Hot spots

Argentina, Chile, New Zealand

Something different

Peru, Scandinavia, Japan, Ireland, Russia

Peru, Scandinavia, Japan, Ireland, Russia

Jungle & Safari

Jungle & Safari

Borneo, Botswana, Tanzania, Zambia

Borneo, Botswana, Tanzania, Zambia

Avoid

Avoid

Maldives, Thailand, Dubai, Egypt, Vietnam, South Africa, Australia, Sri Lanka, Morocco

Caribbean, Maldives, Thailand, Dubai, Egypt, Morocco, Vietnam, Australia, Sri Lanka, South Africa


September

October

Europe, USA, Bali, Mauritius, Seychelles, Zanzibar, Hawaii, Fiji, French Polynesia

Europe, USA, Bali, Mauritius, Seychelles, Zanzibar, Maldives, Fiji, Dubai

Argentina, Chile, New Zealand

Canada, Scandinavia

Hot spots

Hot spots

Cool and chilled

Cool and chilled

Something different

Something different

Jungle & Safari

Jungle & Safari

Japan, Morocco, Egypt, India

Borneo, Botswana, Tanzania, Zambia

Avoid

Caribbean, Thailand, Sri Lanka, Vietnam

Japan, Egypt, Morocco

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

Avoid

Caribbean, Thailand, Sri Lanka, Vietnam, French Polynesia

November

December

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

Avoid

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

Something different Jungle & Safari

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

Avoid

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 direct.gov.uk 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

11 MONTHS

• 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

10 MONTHS

• 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

92 www.BridesAbroad.tv

• 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

9 MONTHS

• 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

8 MONTHS

• 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

7 MONTHS

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

are

• Choose shoes and accessories for you and your bridesmaids

6 MONTHS

• 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

5 MONTHS

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

4 MONTHS

• 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

3 MONTHS

• 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 (fco.gov.org) • Set the honeymoon budget

5 MONTHS

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

4 MONTHS

• Have your jabs • Start health and fitness plan

3 MONTHS

• •

• • •

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

2 MONTHS

• 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

1 MONTH

• 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

TWO WEEKS

• 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

1 MONTH

• 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

2 WEEKS

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’

2 MONTHS

• 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

1 WEEK

• 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 fco.gov.uk for further details, and do check with your tour operator and wedding planner before you leave for your destination.

www.BridesAbroad.tv 93


FAMILY PLANNING - for your Happy Ever After! Your wedding should be a happy family occasion, of course, but wedding expert Tilly Wilkinson says family conicts are frustrating brides-to-be. She provides a few tips for dealing diplomatically with any disagreements during wedding planning

96 www.BridesAbroad.com


Your day, your way! Resolving conflict is all about recognising your rights. That way you know when to defend your rights, and just as importantly, when you ought to be flexible. The phrase ‘your day, your way’ is valid here. You should have the wedding day you’ve always dreamed of, regardless of whether relations are contributing financially or fulfilling roles like serving as bridesmaids, and so on. So recognise your rights, and assert them diplomatically if you need to – but recognise, too, that others will have opinions motivated not by a desire to take control of your big day, but by a desire to help to give you the best day possible. Often conflict is just the result of good intentions delivered in a slightly overenthusiastic way.

Be direct Let’s say there’s a source of conflict. A bridesmaid who’s not keen on your choice of dress, or a parent or in-law who wants to invite a particular guest, for example. Being British we’re socially programmed to drop hints, ignore the situation or otherwise avoid confrontation rather than directly contradicting someone. But confrontation doesn’t have to be nasty. You can be polite and direct at the same time, without sounding horrid. Phrases like “I like your suggestion but I’d prefer…” or “I really want this [dress, colour] because it’s my favourite” or “I’m going to choose this” rather than a very British phrase like “Hmm, I’ll think about it” leave no room for ambiguity, with the other party clear on where you stand.

Time and place It’s fair to say that there’s a time and place to tackle disagreements. If a wellmeaning friend, relative, bridesmaid or in-law is offering unwelcome advice, you might feel annoyed. An annoyed frame of mind is not the best one in which to tackle disagreements. If you’re irritated, cross or angry, don’t tackle disagreements immediately. Cool down first, then approach the problem directly after you’ve taken time out and had a chance to compose your thoughts, and a firm but friendly response. Likewise, avoid disagreements in public, or in front of other people, it’s embarrassing for bystanders.

A way out A very common frustration we hear from brides-to-be concerns bridesmaids who seem to lack the enthusiasm or seem reluctant to embrace the role. Our advice is to choose a good time and place for a timely, direct but sympathetic conversation. Do they feel they don’t have the time, organisational skills or money to devote to the job? Would they rather just attend as a guest? If the answer to that question is yes, try not to be cross; at least they’ve given you an honest answer to an direct question! But hopefully, directly and diplomatically voicing your concerns will get them back on Team Bride.

Diplomacy matters People always appreciate feeling like they’ve been heard, not just dismissed. For that reason, if you need to reject an opinion or tell a well-meaning in-law to back off, sandwiching a negative comment between two positive comments can help you to deliver a direct response a bit more gently; “You’re right, that dress looks nice, and

you’ve got great taste – but I’m just not keen on short bridesmaids’ dresses, so I’m choosing long ones, but I think you’ll look great in that one.”

And finally. . . A word of advice – perhaps the most important! When you’ve a single topic of disagreement, stay on topic. Often conflict escalates because of ‘criticism spread.’ Think about a row you’ve had with your other half, and how a disagreement about, for instance, money, has led to a disagreement about the cost of going out, then about whether one of you is trustworthy on nights out, then about housework and so on. Sometimes people bring unrelated issues into arguments to deflect or apportion blame on an unrelated subject. If there’s a specific thing you’re unhappy about, keep the conversation civil, and on topic. Resolve that point of disagreement before moving on to another one.

*Tilly Wilkinson is the editor of UKbride.co.uk.

www.BridesAbroad.com 97


From sneaking out of the wedding reception to spitting at the bride, there are many different rituals used across the globe to bring good luck to a couple on their special day. Weddings are different for every culture around the world, and now a survey from 888Poker (www.888poker.com) reveals a collection of the most interesting and colourful traditions – though it’s up to you whether you want to include them in your own wedding day. Some of the rituals might be familiar, like throwing the bouquet or breaking a glass – but others won’t be. We are generally a superstitious lot – most British couples wouldn’t get married without following the western tradition of Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed and Something Blue, and 75% of British men believe it’s bad luck for the groom to see the bride in her wedding dress before the big day. But how many couples are willing to borrow an old tradition like running away; bell breaking or even throwing ducks at the bride? Whether you’re looking for a bit of extra luck at your wedding, or have some unusual traditions of your own, have a look at some amazing wedding rituals and traditions from around the world.

AFRICAN-AMERICAN TRADITION - The couple jump over a broom at the end of the ceremony. Whoever jumps higher over the broom is supposedly the decision maker in the household. GERMANY - The guests smash porcelain dishes, which are then cleared up by the bride and groom. The smashing wards off evil spirits and the clearing up proves the couple can deal with any challenge together.

PHILIPPINES - The bride and groom release two white doves at the end of the ceremony. The birds symbolize a loving and successful marriage.

GUATEMALA - The groom’s mother breaks a white ceramic bell filled filled with grains when the newlyweds arrive. It symbolizes that the couple will prosper. 98 www.BridesAbroad.com


 8LI -VMWL &IPP

IRELAND - The bell is rung after reciting the vows. The chime of the bell is said to ward off evil spirits.

 ;IHHMRK (YGOW KOREA - Carved wooden ducks or geese are thrown to the bride by her mother-in-law. Mandarin ducks mate for life, which is supposed to represent the marriage. The bride is supposed to catch the duck – if she succeeds, her ďŹ rst child will supposedly be a boy. If she fails, she will have a girl.

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VENEZUELA - The bride and groom sneak out of the wedding during the reception. It’s good luck if they make it away without getting caught and good luck to any guest that realises they’re gone.

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INDIA - The eldest unmarried girls from the bride’s family steal the groom’s shoes, while the groom’s family tries to recover them. Eventually, the girls ransom them back. No one really knows why, but it’s very popular and gets the whole family involved.

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NORWAY - The bride wears a silver and gold crown which has metal charms hanging from it. The clinking of the charms, as she moves, is said to ward off evil spirits.

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UK - The bride throws her bouquet into a crowd of unmarried women for them to catch. The woman who catches the bouquet is supposed to be the next to wed.

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GREECE - The groom’s Best Man (called a koubaros) shaves his face, while the other friends help dress him. The shaving symbolizes the trust between two men, and the dressing assistance gives them all a role in getting the groom ready.

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ITALY - Sugar-coated almonds – called confetti – are given to wedding guests or the couple. They are also thrown at the couple. A tradition dating back to Roman times, the almonds are a thank you to guests representing health and happiness, but are usually replaced by scraps of paper in modern times.

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GERMANY - The couple saw a log together with a two-handle long saw. It represents the ďŹ rst obstacle the couple must overcome together.

 7EOIWLEVMRK GIVIQSR] JAPAN - The couple each takes three sips from three sake cups, as do their parents. It is seen as a formal bonding of the families.

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JEWISH TRADITION - A goblet made for the wedding is broken, usually underfoot; most often the man does it. There are several interpretations, including a reminder of the destruction of the First Temple of Jerusalem, or to scare off demons.

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 7TMXXMRK SR XLI &VMHI KENYA - The father of the bride spits on her head and chest. It is said to be good luck for the bride.

 6IH :IMP CHINA - Chinese Brides wear red veils, and a red umbrella is held over their head. Red is an important colour in china, symbolizing luck, love, boldness and wealth.

 9RMX] &S[P AUSTRALIA - Every member of the family is provided with coloured stones unique to them. They add these stones to a bowl that is displayed in the couple’s house. It’s a display to show how the family has ‘coloured’ the couple’s life – and to remind the newlyweds of their family.

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PERU - The cake has ribbons leading out of it, tied to charms in the middle. One of these is a fake wedding ring. If a single lady is served the slice with the ring, they’re thought to be the next to get married.

FIJI - To propose, the groom-to-be presents a wreath of whale’s teeth (tabua) to either the bride or her father. A tabua is a traditional gift in Fijan culture with high value, often used in the past in negotiations between rival chiefs. Good luck for the couple, not such good luck for the toothless whale!

 7ILVE  :IMP JSV XLI KVSSQ PAKISTAN - A ‘sehra’ is a form of headdress worn by the groom. It usually incorporates some sort of veil, often made of owers or beads. The veil protects the groom from the evil eye – as well as adding a sense of pride and prestige. www.BridesAbroad.com 99


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

Venue Dilemma

My fiancé and I have recently got engaged and are keen to get the venue booked, but putting plans in place has turned out to be really difficult for us. His family are very traditional and would like us to get married in the local church in our hometown, but it has always been a dream of mine to get married on the beach. My partner also likes this idea, but does not want to disappoint or go against his family. Should I compromise on the venue for my wedding because my groom’s parents disapprove? Kim, Essex

Hi Kim

The important thing to remember here is that choosing a venue for your wedding is a big decision and is something you both need to be happy with. If getting married abroad is what you both want, I would advise sitting down with your groom’s parents and telling them exactly how you feel. This is likely to show them how important it is for you and they may give you their blessing. If, following this, they still disapprove and you do not want to go ahead without their blessing, it may be worth looking into alternatives to keep you both happy. Have you thought about having a traditional legal wedding in your hometown followed by a blessing abroad with your closest friends and family, or even just the two of you? This way, you are keeping things traditional for your parents whilst still getting to experience your dream of saying ‘I do’ on the beach. Whatever you decide, remember that your wedding will be one of the most special days in your life, so it is a must that you are both happy on the day!

Budget planning

I have finally booked my wedding venue! The only thing that is worrying me is working out a budget plan. We have decided on an overall budget, which is realistic for the type of day we want (we are going to be paying for the whole wedding), but we don’t know how to set a budget for each aspect of the day. My friends and family have told me how easy it is for the costs to start adding up and have advised me to put a plan in place. Do you have any advice on how to do this? Brogan, Barmouth

Hi Brogan,

It is possible to stick to a set budget for your wedding, as long as you are realistic and know what aspects of the day are your priorities. The first thing I would advise you to do is make a list of everything you want included in your day (from the dresses and suits, to the photographer, flowers and decoration) Then, from this list, decide with your partner which aspects of the day are most important to you – whether it’s wearing your dream wedding dress, having a world-class photographer, or a five-course dinner and an open bar that is going to WOW your guests! Having the above ‘priority list’ will help you to budget and focus on the more important parts of the day. If, down the line, you need to start making compromises, you can make these on the less important parts of the day rather than the things included on your priority list! Good luck!

Contact Lisa:

Do you have any questions for Lisa Burton, The Bridal Consultant?

Email your questions to: lisa@thebridalconsultants.com The Bridal Consultant is a full wedding planning service that specialises in exclusive destination weddings in Santorini and Zakynthos (Greece), Italy, Croatia and Ibiza. www.thebridalconsultant.co.uk 100 www.BridesAbroad.com

Groom’s involvement in the planning My fiancé’s lack of involvement in the planning is beginning to upset me. I really want his help and advice on the decisions that need to be made but he doesn’t show any willingness to be involved. I haven’t told him how this makes me feel, but I feel his lack of involvement shows that he doesn’t care about our big day. What can I do? Sarah, Cheshire

Hi Sarah,

My advice would be to sit down with your partner and explain to him how you are feeling. If you have not communicated this to him yet it is likely that he does not know how much his lack of involvement in the planning is upsetting you. It may also be that he thinks that you are enjoying the planning and don’t need his help, so communication here is key. What I would also recommend is asking your partner what parts of the planning he would like to be involved in. Some parts of the planning are going to be less interesting to him than others (for example flowers may be a big part of the day for you, but for him they may be a minor detail), so ask him what aspects of the day are important to him and let him make the decisions on these! A tip – have a night off from wedding planning once a week. This will recharge both of your batteries and give you some time away from any wedding planning.


Honeymoons

108 Wet & wild in Hawaii

Situated in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, Hawaii’s stunning ocean and waterways are an exciting choice for adventureseeking couples, especially if surfing, kayaking and a host of other watersports is high on your honeymoon agenda!

118 Fly to Oz – with FAB stop-overs

A honeymoon in Australia doesn’t have to be just that. Now you have a truly tantalizing choice of stop-overs, allowing you to create a duel destination honeymoon – combine Vietnam, Tokyo, Mauritius or even expand your adventure into a trip around the world. The world really is your oyster!

www.BridesAbroad.com 101


Advertising Feature

BANDOS MALDIVES

The Maldives is the number one choice for honeymooners seeking a tropical paradise, and it’s easy to see why. Its stunning white sand beaches fringed with swaying palms and lapped by the warm, crystal waters of the Indian Ocean make it picture-perfect for both wedding blessings and dream honeymoons


Renewal of Vows The Bandos Maldives renewal of vows package is for those who seek a traditional island ceremony. Held on the white sand beaches of Bandos, the ceremony is followed by a private sunset cruise on a Dhoni (Maldivian boat) after which the couple can enjoy a romantic private dinner by the sea.

Ocean Inspired Capture the romantic spirit of the ocean’s melody with an Ocean Theme wedding, featuring accents inspired by the sun, sand, and the sea. Exchange vows under an aqua blue and white decorated pergola. The pathways are decorated with hanging shells, blue and white stones and sand.

Bandos, a stunning resort in the North Male Atoll, is just 10 minutes from Velaana International Airport and is located within one of the most beautiful house reefs in the atoll. The resort is an excellent choice for honeymooners, as well as diving enthusiasts, as it carries one of the best PADI certified dive facilities in the Maldives.

Accommodation Guests are offered luxury accommodation in a choice of seven categories: Garden Villas are situated by the pool within tropical vegetation; Standard Rooms – a cosy choice right by the beach; Deluxe Rooms are more spacious and close to all the facilities; Jacuzzi Beach Villas are ideal for couples, with an open Jacuzzi providing the perfect place to relax together; Guests can also choose from superior categories which includes a Jacuzzi Pool Villa with its own private pool and patio, ideal for honeymooners or Water Villas which offer luxurious seclusion over the Indian Ocean.

Wining & dining Bandos Maldives offers continental dining as well as specialty dining plus three bars, which provide nightly entertainment in gorgeous locations. The Gallery Restaurant consists of three spacious pods and is the main restaurant at Bandos, serving up elaborate buffet-style dining; Koon Thai Restaurant offers delicious, authentic Thai cuisine in elegantly designed inside/outside surroundings overlooking the lagoon; Sea Breeze is situated at the edge of the water where guests can lounge and enjoy international cuisine on the large outdoor over-water deck – everything from hamburgers to pizza; Umi Yaki translates to ‘Grill by the sea’, which is fitting as guests can enjoy beautiful views in the open air restaurant during their dinner. Huvan, which means blue skies and calm seas, is the best place to view the stunning Maldivian sunsets.

Private dining Intimate Dinner - Experience a private dinner on the beach. The couple sit surrounded by candles and soft music while a private chef serves delicacies of Bandos exclusively to the couple. Candle-Lit Dinner - Candle-lit dinner is arranged at the beach of our most romantic sunset restaurant, The Huvan. Soft music plays in the background while dining under a dark sky lit up by millions of stars. Lobster Dinner - The perfect romantic choice for just the two of you.

Activities & entertainment The Club House at Bandos offers numerous activities including a gym, sauna and steam room, plus a Water Sports Centre. The Excursion Centre ‘Riya’ can arrange unique experiences, such as a Sand Bank Excursion – this is a magical treat for honeymooners to experience complete romantic seclusion on the whitest sandy beaches surrounded by the turquoise waters of the lagoon. Complimentary Wi-Fi is available throughout the island.

Tropical Paradise The Tropical Paradise theme wedding brings together the vibrant colours of the Maldives. Local style decorations with gorgeous tropical flowers and lush heart shape coconut leaves embellish the ceremony along with an impressive arch entrance. The tropical beat of Maldivian drums will signal the start of this unique ceremony. Tropical Paradise Package Includes: Bodu Beru Procession with Traditional Maldivian Beats and Maldivian Sarongs for the couple.

Rustic Romance The Rustic Romance wedding enhances your special day with a sense of natural elegance. Organic elements and drift wood sets the stage for a wedding that is tranquil and charming.

Further information BANDOS MALDIVES North Male’ Atoll Tel: 00960 664 0088 sales@bandos.com.mv www.bandosmaldives.com


Advertising Feature

WestinTurtle Bay Resort & Spa

Situated on the beach of the historic Turtle Bay in Balaclava, on the North West coast, the Westin Turtle Bay Resort & Spa is an idyllic place to say “I do� and is a blissful haven for honeymooners.


The bay, from with the Westin Turtle Bay takes its name, was the former breeding ground of the Mauritian green sea turtle. Now, with an eye to sustainability, the resort aims to interact with the environment as well as local communities. Westin Turtle Bay is just steps away from a stunning natural beach and boasts two outdoor pools, watersports, tennis, golf, ecofriendly boat trips and local excursions to keep you happy and occupied throughout your stay. It is ideally positioned to explore the island, and is just 15 kilometres from Grand Baie, the hub of Mauritius, which is renowned for excellent shopping, restaurants, bars and nightlife. The beautiful Westin Turtle Bay resort has been designed to incorporate the natural beauty of the Mauritian scenery, and has been built using natural tropical elements, including local teak and lava rocks to create a serene and elegant atmosphere. The suites and bedrooms have all been luxuriously designed to ensure a feeling of sophistication. Romantic touches are everywhere for newly-weds. Westin Turtle Bay boasts five dining venues, including two specialty restaurants reflecting the diverse cuisine of the island. With internationally-trained staff, the chef de cuisine ensures that dishes of the highest quality are prepared with flair. The menus are a delight, in particular the Trilogie de Chocolat dessert – a most divine and memorable experience for those with a sweet tooth! The resort also offers the Westin brand’s signature Superfoods RX™ menu – healthy and exceptional food combinations rich in nutrients, antioxidants and regional flavour. Away for the beach, guests can further relax in the Heavenly Spa by Westin, designed to enliven and heal the mind, body and spirit and uplift the senses. One of the spa’s signature treatments is the Rollersage ritual to release burdens and cleanse your spirit. This exclusive stress-relieving treatment is just one of many therapeutic treatments available – perfect for pre and post wedding pampering.

Weddings Planning your special day at the Westin Turtle Bay could not be easier as the experienced wedding planning staff are on hand to guide you every step of the way and offer various packages to suit all tastes and budgets.

Further information Westin Turtle Bay Balaclava Mauritius Tel: (230) 204 1400 www.westinturtlebaymauritius.com


Advertising Feature

VERANDA POINTE AUX BICHES Couples seeking a tropical haven for their barefoot beach wedding or exotic honeymoon will know they have found paradise in Mauritius at Veranda Pointe Aux Biches

Kick off your shoes and embrace nature at its barefoot finest at Veranda Pointe Aux Biches, a stunning resort on the north west coast of Mauritius, on the shores of the Indian Ocean. It’s the epitome of what ecochic should be: think romantic strolls along the pure white sand, Mauritian architecture built with rustic, raw materials, sand-floored restaurants serving great seasonal Mauritian food made with locally-grown produce and all the sounds, aromas and colours of the local flora and fauna. This resort simply oozes romance! Veranda Pointe Aux Biches is a delightful 4-star boutique hotel, which is situated near Grand-Baie, a gorgeous beach resort

fringed by swaying palms and lapped by the turquoise, crystal clear ocean. Although it is a family-friendly hotel, couples seeking privacy and tranquility have access to ‘Sandy Lane’ an entire wing of the hotel reserved solely for adults with its own restaurant, bar and pool. There is also a luxurious spa for top-to-toe pampering.

Accommodation

You can select from a range of rooms and suites, depending on your taste and budget – from Comfort Rooms, with pretty blue and white interiors giving a light and airy ambience to the Privilege Rooms and Superior Rooms, in adults-only Sandy Lane, complete with private pool and

restaurant, which are the perfect choice for honeymooners, unless of course, you have a little one in tow!

Wining and dining

The dining experience at Pointe aux Biches is second to none. The main restaurant, Senses, offers a bright and airy décor with an impressive view of the lagoon, in the deepest hue of turquoise, and the coral reef. A sumptuous buffet offers Mauritian cuisine as well as international dishes; Take shelter from the midday sun at Foot Loose, a sandfloored bar serving divine cocktails, where at sunset, the bar comes alive with the sounds of live bands. Couples and newlyweds can dine at the adult-only Sandy Lane, a chic


and exclusive restaurant available only for guests occupying the Privilege Rooms – its sand-floored grill borders the gorgeous swimming pool and serves seafood platters and BBQ as well as signature dishes. The Sandy Lane Bar, also reserved for Privilege Room guests, is situated between the pool and the beach and is a picturesque spot for a cocktail.

Activities

There’s plenty of free activities to keep couples occupied and entertained at the resort, including the fitness centre, three swimming pools, aqua zumba, water polo, pedal boats, stand up paddle, snorkeling beach volley, tennis, kayaks, table tennis and shuttle bus to the beach. At extra cost, you can also partake in bicycle hire, deep sea fishing, PADI diving, submarine and sub -scooter trips, catamaran excursions, golf

at the Heritage Golf Club or the Mon Choisy Golf Club.

Sublime spa

The resort’s Seven Colours Wellness Lounge embodies simplicity and charm in its prime position overlooking the beach. The treatments, inspired by the philosophy of Chakras, are based on the interaction and balance of the energies and colours. Each treatment will be customised to suit your needs and wants. The spa has two treatment rooms, a spa kiosk that looks out to sea and Nailcare services. Perfect for pre-and-post-wedding preparation for you and your guests as well as honeymoon pampering.

Weddings

An exotic decor, an outing on a traditional wooden pirogue in the lagoon, a candlelit

dinner on the beach… your magical wedding on the other side of the world will be unforgettable. The wedding consultant at Pointe Aux Biches will work hand-in-hand with you to make it happen, and you will be able to share your big day with your family and friends with memorable snapshots taken by the resort’s talented photographer.

Further Information Veranda Pointe Aux Biches Royal Road, Pointe Aux Piments 22310 Mauritius Tel: 230 265 5901 Email: helpdesk@vlh.mu www.veranda-resorts.com


Wet & wild in

Hawaii For the honeymoon of a lifetime, head to Hawaii’s water wonderland, its stunning ocean and waterways are an enthralling choice for adventure-loving couples

Situated in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, the beautiful tropical islands of Hawaii are America’s 50th State, located 2,390 miles off the coast of California. The Hawaiian Islands are the projecting tops of the biggest mountain range in the world and consist of eight main islands: Niihau, Kauai, Oahu, Maui, Molokai, Lanai, Kahoolawe and the main island of Hawaii. These lush islands produce more than a third of the world’s pineapples and are the only US state to grow coffee.

108 www.BridesAbroad.com

Hawaii is world-renowned for its crystal clear waters stretching for miles in every direction as well as its lovely year-round climate (average daytime temperature in July is 82 F and 72F in January), making it a popular place for destination weddings, and the perfect place for an action filled honeymoon down on the beach. Here’s Hawaii Tourism Europe’s guide to making the most of Hawaii’s stunning ocean and waterways.


1

Book a surfing lesson: Oahu

Jumping on a surfboard and riding the waves in Hawaii is a must. The islands are the very birthplace of the sport and lessons are available on almost every island. Waikiki Beach, on Oahu is renowned for its calm and gentle waves, which provide the ideal conditions for first time surfers. With the help of expert instructors, beginners will experience the thrills and spills of surfing in no time, against the backdrop of the famous Waikiki Beach. Hawaii Hot Spots Surf School provides group lessons at $95 (approximately £75) per person, or private one-on-one sessions for $160 (approximately £124) per person. hawaiihotspotssurfschool.com

2

Kayak down the Wailua River: Kauai

The Wailua River, located 15 minutes north of Lihue, will take visitors on a peaceful journey through exquisite jungle scenery. The journey along the river takes in views of the breathtaking Opaekaa and Wailua Waterfalls, which can only be reached by kayak or hiking, as well as the Nounou Mountains. Whether visitors are after a romantic kayak for two or an exciting water adventure with friends, this will be an unforgettable experience enjoyed by all. Kayak Kauai offers kayak tours down the Wailua River from $60 (approximately £46) per person. kayakkauai.com www.BridesAbroad.com 109


3

Swimming with Manta Rays: Island of Hawaii

Entering the exotic underwater world of the Island of Hawaii and swimming with one of the largest fish in the ocean, the manta ray, is a truly awesome experience. The unique clear waters offer the dream conditions to encounter these mysterious creatures. Sunset tours can be booked to offer visitors the opportunity to come face-to-face with the 20 ft mantas. Fair Wind offers a cruise and manta ray snorkeling adventure from $129 (approximately £100) per person. fair-wind.com

4

Embark on a Submarine Tour: Maui

If you love the sea but hate getting wet, then climb aboard an advanced, state-of-the-art submarine and venture into the enchanted underwater paradise of Maui. The Atlantis Undersea Adventure offers an opportunity to experience the delights of Hawaii’s astounding marine life whilst remaining dry in the comfort of an expansive and air-conditioned submarine. Visitors will encounter tropical reefs, sunken vessels and a variety of marine life from small exotic fish to predators such as the white tip reef shark. Atlantis Adventures offer submarine tours from $105 (approximately £81) per person. atlantisadventures.com/maui

110 www.BridesAbroad.com


5

Snorkel around Hulopoe Bay: Lanai

Lanai’s Hulopoe Bay presents exquisite blue waters and gleaming white sands and offers one of the best snorkeling spots in Hawaii. One of Hulopoe Bay’s many highpoints is its exclusive tide pools, home to a range of colourful creatures including crabs, sea stars and limpets. Visitors may even be greeted by spinner dolphins that are frequently spotted off Hulopoe Bay. The excitement does not end here, as just half an hour north of Lanai City, visitors can stroll along Shipwreck Beach, and explore an eight mile stretch of wrecked ships including an historical and eerie 1940s oil tanker.

Experience the great Paddleboard Race: Molokai

6

There are very few places in the world that are able to present untouched and undisturbed beaches, something that Molokai offers in abundance. For those who enjoy the rarity of complete tranquility and stillness, be sure to visit the beautiful beaches of Molokai. For those seeking added excitement, venture over to the Kaiwi Channel to witness the thrill of the Molokai to Oahu paddleboard race. The annual race, which dates right back to 1997, welcomes a huge number of solo and team competitors from around the world, creating a competitive and lively atmosphere. molokai2oahu.com/history/kaiwi-channel

Further Information

For more information about Hawaii, please visit GoHawaii.com/UK.

www.BridesAbroad.com 111


Advertising Feature

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 LUCIA

St James’s Club Morgan Bay

BARBADOS

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!

www.eliteislandresorts.co.uk or though your local travel agent


Aisle to Isle With Sandals

If you dream of saying: “I do” in an enchanting Caribbean location, followed by a delightful reception, all exquisitely themed to reflect your individual style, then allow Sandals to create a destination wedding beyond your wildest dreams, which will inspire and delight you and your guests The Caribbean’s leading luxury, all-inclusive brands: Sandals Resorts (adults only, for couples in love) and Beaches Resorts (for everyone), have just launched Aisle to Isle, a new destination wedding experience that is perfect for couples wanting to tie the knot with the Caribbean as their stunning backdrop. Sandals’ latest Aisle to Isle concept is fully customisable and will deliver your dream wedding whilst you relax at your chosen Sandals or Beaches resort and enjoy the unique Sandals wedding experience. Not surprisingly, Sandals has been voted the World’s Leading All Inclusive Resorts for the past 22-years at the World Travel Awards, and offers Caribbean paradise at its best in a choice of 18 beautiful resorts on seven stunning islands – each perfect for both destination weddings and honeymoons. Better still, you don’t need to worry about going over budget, as Sandals exclusive Luxury Included® concept means that everything is included and unlimited - from gourmet dining at up to 16 restaurants per resort to unlimited premium brand drinks, water sports and land sports. “Brides and grooms now seek inspiration and information above all else when planning their wedding celebration,” says Sandals and Beaches Resorts’ Director of Romance, Marsha-Ann Brown. “Aisle to Isle has been designed with that in mind, offering couples eight new inspirations, enhanced food and drink options and gorgeous

new ceremony and reception venues to give couples endless choices,” she says. If you thought that destination weddings are straight off the conveyor belt, at Sandals and Beaches, that’s simply not the case. Sandals Resorts believe that weddings should be ‘inspired by love, created by you,’ and offer you the ability to customise every facet of your wedding experience, so that it is unique and truly reflects your personality and style – no wedding at Sandals will be a replica of another couple’s!

Be truly inspired The eight new wedding inspirations offered by Sandals are influenced by the tropics, gardens, romance, passion, the islands, sophistication, nature and sand and sea. Each inspiration offers creative themes from which you can design and plan your perfect wedding – from table decorations, floral arrangements and setting to runners, chair selection, altar and more. You can also choose from enhanced food and beverage options, including themed bar design, custom cocktails and expanded menu selections to compliment your chosen theme. From the dramatic flower-topped candelabras of White Romance


to the shabby-chic Caribbean Breeze featuring driftwood spheres and white lanterns, there is a style for every personality and whim, from simple and elegant to playful and extravagant, the options are truly limitless.

Location, location, location Sandals and Beaches Resorts offer beautiful settings for weddings, including the ever-popular beach, garden and gazebo locations, and now exciting new venues have been added for both ceremony and reception as part of the Aisle to Isle launch, including the first-ever over-the-water chapels in the Caribbean in Saint Lucia and Jamaica and the chance to elevate a beach or garden wedding with a twilighttimed nuptial and unity sand ceremony.

Wedding days are wedding stays Many couples are now choosing destination weddings instead of traditional one-day weddings, because they know that their whole wedding experience will be extended from just one day into a wedding holiday with family and friends. Sandals makes it easier to plan this extended experience, offering couples their own ‘Wedding Entourage’ – a team of experts to assist with all the details throughout the wedding stay and honeymoon, from organising welcome celebrations and spa days to groomsmen outings and other activities. Even better news for couples is that the more of their wedding guests that book rooms at the resort, the more tangible rewards (called bells and whistles) the couples will earn. e.g. couples booking 12 guest rooms can choose from perks such as $1,000 towards a private catamaran cruise, a complimentary room upgrade and even a two-minute wedding trailer video.

Stress-free Sandals Resorts and Beaches Resorts are the perfect choice for those looking for a stress-free experience and excellent value. Whether five guests or 50, all weddings include a one-hour cocktail reception, bride and groom signature cocktail, a surprise gift, the ‘Wedding Entourage’ of expert planners, white Chivari chairs, manicure, 30-minute foot massage, personalised wedding website, personalised gift registry, honeymoon dinner, breakfast in bed and wedding photograph. What’s more, if you stay six-nights or longer you will receive gift credits valued at $1,500, so you can indulge in every aspect of the Luxury Included® offerings at Sandals and Beaches. Couples staying three or more nights may opt for a Mokara orchid-inspired free wedding design that includes Mokara bouquet, boutonniere and two-tiered cake with Mokara orchid topper

Capturing the Experience Destination weddings begin with the initial communication to the guests. This is where the Sandals journey begins too – from destination-inspired wedding websites with RSVP capabilities to customised stationary – Sandals Resorts and Beaches Resorts weddings facilitate every step of the wedding from the very first moment. Capturing the experience on camera is another vitally important element for the couple and the new Aisle to Isle program has expanded its photo and video resources to introduce new photo and video packages which include drone capture; a wedding day photo booth and island photography tours to some of the Caribbean’s most iconic locations. Alternatively couples can even elect to bring their own choice of photographer.

Further information The new Aisle to Isle destination wedding program is available at Sandals Resorts and Beaches Resorts, visit sandals.co.uk, beachesresorts.co.uk, call 0800 597 0002, or pop in to the Sandals Luxury Travel Store at 135 Fulham Road, London SW3 6RT.


Krystal Cancun

Brides and grooms are having a love affair with Mexico – both for destination weddings on stunning white sand beaches and dream honeymoons, where they can combine awesome sightseeing with luxurious relaxation

Wedding celebrations It’s easy to see why Mexico has become so popular – this enchanting country promise romance in abundance! There can be few more stunning places to say “I do” than at the Hotel Krystal Cancun, where you can celebrate your wedding beside the turquoise blue Caribbean Sea with one of the most impressive ceremonies of the Mayan Culture. Krystal Cancun offers a complete services for weddings, including specialized coordinator, florist, fashion designers, photographers, experts in banquets, musicians, etc. The dedicated team will create a unique atmosphere to make the wedding of your dreams.

116 www.BridesAbroad.com

In the Mexican Caribbean there are a range of options for this most important day of your life, from a romantic supper on the edge of the beach, a theme party, a typical Mexican Wedding accompanied by mariachis, an elegant banquet for any number of people, to the highly requested Mayan Ceremony. Krystal Cancun can take care of all the details – the flowers, the cake, the music, the ambience, the menu, your guests, even the dress! So if you are dreaming of a wedding where the colours of white, turquoise and emerald blend to form a magnificent backdrop, then this is your ideal choice. Allow Krystal Cancun to pamper you and discover all the services they offer to celebrate one of the most important moments in your life – your wedding day.


Legal Wedding package ($2,400 USD) This wedding package is recognized around the world as a legal wedding and is available for a maximum of 25 people. There is an added charge of $60.00 per extra person. The package includes: ■ Beach ceremony set up: Decorated wedding gazebo, chairs and ceremony table ■ Complimentary welcome drink ■ Legal judge: Documentation process, ceremony execution and medic tests ■ Photo session ■ Audio services ■ Champagne toast ■ Wedding cake ■ Wedding night accommodation ■ Romantic room decoration

Symbolic Wedding packages ($2,100 USD) This wedding is ideal for couples looking for a blessing only, as it is not legally recognized. Available for a maximum 25 people, with an added charge of $48.00 per extra person. It includes: ■ Beach ceremony set up: Decorated wedding gazebo, chairs and ceremony table ■ Complimentary welcome drink ■ Symbolic Minister (Spanish, English, Portuguese or French) ■ Photo session ■ Audio services ■ Champagne toast ■ Wedding cake ■ Wedding night accommodation ■ Romantic room decoration

Further information Blvd. Kukulcan Km 9, Zona Hotelera, 77500 Cancun, Mexico Tel: +52 998 848 9800 www.krystal-cancun.com WEDDING CONTACT Karla Vazquez Weddings and Events Manager +52(998) 8489800 ext. 768 banquetescancun1@krystal-hotels.com

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FLY TO OZ With Fab Stop-0vers

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118 www.BridesAbroad.com


Some say it’s better to travel than it is to arrive – well now your journey to your dream honeymoon in Australia can include a tantalizing choice of stop-overs in stunning destinations that you wouldn’t normally have a chance to discover Australia is a country of many contrasts, and is one of the world’s most amazing honeymoon destinations for couples planning a trip of a lifetime. However, it’s a long flight from British shores. A stop-over is the best way to break up a long journey into two separate holidays. Thanks to the increasing number of routes available worldwide, you can now avoid those traditional stop-overs, including Hong Kong, Singapore and Dubai, where passengers usually wait within the airport and see little of the country they have landed in, and instead enhance your honeymoon in your own style with an exciting tailormade route Down Under. Australasia specialist, Austravel (www.austravel.com), is encouraging travellers to think outside the box and, rather than being confined to an airport, visit alternative destinations for a ‘layover’, taking the opportunity to explore another country before continuing the holiday. The traditional way to fly to Australia is to head east, and the Far East is home to a host of incredible alternative destinations that can be used as a layover, including the Maldives, Sri Lanka, Vietnam and Tokyo. Alternatively, you can break away from the conventional flight path and travel west with a stopover in America. For more information and ideas on booking an alternative stopover/layover visit www.austravel.com.

%FSYX %YWXVEZIP Founded 40 years ago, the leading Australia, New Zealand and South Pacific specialist Austravel is perfectly placed to introduce travellers to the superb diversity and attractions of these countries. As well as providing great deals on holidays, flights, hotels, cruises and organized tours, Austravel prides itself on its expert knowledge and always finding the right holiday for its customers. www.BridesAbroad.com 119


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As well as discovering a new destination, stopovers are an ideal break and help travellers overcome the symptoms of jet lag. Seven hours ahead of the UK and just three hours behind Sydney, Vietnam is an ideal layover that will ease travellers into the Australian time-zone.

&SSO MX Austravel is offering a 13-night holiday to Vietnam and Australia from £1,989 per person – a saving of up to £170 per couple. The offer includes a three-night stop-over at the 5-star Windsor Plaza Hotel in Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam, followed by two nights at the 4-star Rydges Hotel, in Sydney, a six-night Sydney to Melbourne Coastal self-drive with car hire, and two nights at the 4-star Oaks On Market, in Melbourne. The offer also includes a one-day Great Ocean Road tour and return international flights from London Heathrow with Vietnam Airlines. www.austravel.com

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Often overlooked as a short-stop destination, Tokyo is an ideal stop-over destination with fantastic flight connections across the world. A city packed with excitement, Tokyo attracts thousands of tourists each year. Be seduced by the bright lights and city thrills, or immerse yourself in its cultural and spiritual offerings and visit some of the world’s greatest temples and structures.

&SSO MX Austravel is offering a 13-night holiday to Australia with a stop-over in Tokyo from £2,229 per person – a saving of up to £185 per couple. The offer includes three nights at the 4-star Mercure Ginza in Tokyo, two nights at the 4-star Oaks On Market, in Melbourne, two nights at the 5-star Chateau Yering Historic House, Yarra Valley, followed by two nights at the 4-star Woodman Estate, in Mornington, and two nights at the 4-star Doubletree Flinders Street, Melbourne. The offer also includes a one day Great Ocean Road tour and return international flights from London Heathrow with Emirates and Qantas. www.austravel.com 120 www.BridesAbroad.com


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Ease into the holiday mode with a short stop-over in the Indian Ocean. Relax and unwind in paradise before travelling onwards to your final destination.

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Austravel is offering an 18-night holiday to Mauritius and Western Australia from £2,619 per person – a saving of up to £260 per couple. The offer includes five nights at the 4-star Preskil Beach Hotel in Mauritius on a half-board basis before flying to Australia for a five night South West Highlights Self-Drive tour, followed by three nights at the 4-star Seashells Mandurah, before returning back to the Preskil Beach Hotel in Mauritius for three nights on a half-board basis. The offer also includes eight nights car hire, return transfers in Mauritius, and return international flights from London Heathrow with Air Mauritius. www.austravel.com

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Visit three continents in one trip as you travel around the world westwards. With no written rule that you can only have one stop-over, combine multiple destinations into one trip and enjoy a short layover as you travel to and from your holiday destination.

&SSO MX Austravel is offering a 20-night holiday to America, New Zealand and Singapore from £3,349 per person – a saving of up to £295 per couple. The offer includes three nights at the 4-star Millennium Biltmore, in Los Angeles, six nights at the 4-star Courtyard By Marriott, in Waikiki Beach, Hawaii, two nights at the 4-star Rydges Hotel, in Auckland, three nights at the 4-star Scenic Hotel in the Bay of Island, two nights at the 4-star Regent of Rotorua, followed by two nights at the 4-star Beechtree Suites, in Taupo, followed by one night back at the 4-star Rydges Hotel, in Auckland, and three nights at the 4-star Furama Riverfront in Singapore. The offer also includes nine days car hire in New Zealand and international flights from London Heathrow with Air New Zealand. www.austravel.com * All prices quoted are based on travel in March 2018

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Image courtesy of Dominic Wright Photography

Luxury Wedding Fairs

enquiries@theweddingaffair.co.uk 01904 236345

www.theweddingaffair.co.uk

Register

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Your Personal Invitation The Wedding Affair at Wood Hall Hotel & Spa

Sunday 4th March 2018, Trip Lane, Wetherby LS22 4JA, 1-4pm, Free

The Wedding Affair at Swinton Park

Sunday 25th March 2018, Masham, Ripon HG4 4JH, 1-4pm, Free

The Wedding Affair at The Queens Hotel

Sunday 8th April 2018, City Square, Leeds LS1 1PJ, 12-3pm, Free

The Wedding Affair at Bawtry Hall

Sunday 15th April 2018, S Parade, Bawtry DN10 6JH, 12-3pm, Free

The Wedding Affair at Talbot Hotel

Sun 22nd April 2018, Yorkersgate, Malton YO17 7AJ, 12-3pm, Free

The Wedding Affair at Cannon Hall

Sun 29th April 2018, Bark Hse Ln, Cawthorne S75 4AT, 12-3pm, Free

The Wedding Affair at Aldwark Manor

Sunday 20th May 2018, Aldwark, York YO61 1UF, 12-3pm, Free

The Wedding Affair at The Orangery at Settrington Sun 16th Sept 2018, Settrington Estate, YO17 8NP, 12-3pm, Free

The Wedding Affair at Deighton Lodge

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Sun 30th Sept 2018, York Road, York YO19 6HQ, 12-3pm, Free

The Wedding Affair at Aldwark Manor

Sunday 14th Oct 2018, Aldwark, York YO61 1UF, 12-3pm, Free

The Wedding Affair at Oulton Hall

Sun 28th Oct 2018, Rothwell Lane, Oulton LS26 8HN, 12-3pm, Free

The Wedding Affair at York Marriott Hotel

Sun 20th January 2019, Tadcaster Rd, York YO24 1QQ, 12-3pm, Free

The Ultimate Wedding Affair at Ripon Cathedral

Saturday 26th January 2019, Minster Rd, Ripon HG4 1QS, 12-4pm

Your Inspiration, Our Passion


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Wild love in East Africa LONDON FLAGSHIP STORE 94, NEW BOND STREET CONTACT CENTER 0203 445 5424 WWW.PRONOVIAS.COM


Heaven or Paradise? You choose!

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

THE WESTIN TURTLE BAY RESORT & SPA MAURITIUS

Call: (230) 204 1400 www.westinturtlebaymauritius.com

Call: (230) 403 9000 www.stregismauritius.com

Call: (230) 204 3333 www.lemeridien-mauritius.com

Brides Abroad - Issue22  
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