Destination Weddings – A Brides Perspective.
For those of you who read one of my most recent posts about ‘Proposing’, you will have seen that I recently spent my anniversary on the sunny Island of Barbados. It really gave me time to think about what make people celebrate their marriage and union away from their homeland. There is of course the obvious – why not exchange your vows in an idyllic setting and then party the night away under the stars and 80 degree heat?! Who wants to have to manage the seating plan, British weather and Auntie Vera who you ‘have’ to invite out of duty, even though you haven’t seen her for 100 years! Taking your wedding at least 8 hours away may cut out this feeling of ‘guilt’ out of the invitation’s list!
So, I thought it only fitting to ask a ‘REAL’ Bride who decided to hold her Wedding actually in Barbados ( yes I have a small obsession with this island!) and what were her main drivers to concrete this sometimes tricky ( and awkward with family members) decision!
Im going to hand you over to the most fabulous lady, Hayley Edwards, to explain her motivations for having a Destination Wedding and the choices she made for her dress, her family and her friends to make this the most spectacular and intimate day for all that were lucky enough to attend! Over to you Hayley ….
Hayley and her Mum on her Destination Wedding Day!
‘I didn’t spend a lot of time thinking about my wedding. To be honest the thought of being centre of attention terrified me! I remember telling Mum that ‘If’ and ‘When’ I got married it would be somewhere hot and she would have to fly.
Luckily when I met Jamie, he wasn’t bothered about a big church wedding and was happy to escape to the sun too. PHEW!
We chose Barbados because for me, it’s the ultimate holiday destination. Somewhere I longed to visit and somewhere I knew Mum would love! I managed to locate the email address for the wedding co-ordinator at The Almond Beach Village Hotel, Barbados.
The Sugar Mill at The Almond Beach Village, Barbados.
By the time our wedding day came she must have been sick of seeing my name in her inbox! But Naomi was great. She took all the stress out of the actual wedding itself, leaving me to arrange 13 return flights to Barbados.
This was quite stressful in itself, but working for the airline meant I had a duty to fulfil. In total we had 23 guests at our wedding, most of whom worked for the airline too. Less stress for me!
I found my dress in a small boutique called ‘Wedding Time‘ in my home town of Dorchester, Dorset. My choice was relatively limited as apparently in wedding dress terms, I’d left it pretty late. The train was huge, but they managed to shorten it, making it easier for me to transport. I found matching shoes from John Lewis, which had a buckle attached that matched the belt on my dress. Perfect!
Jamie purchased a tailor made suit from Hong Kong, which was a fantastic investment. Light grey, with a white shirt. No ties allowed. I wanted everyone to be comfortable. The majority of the guests wore linen. We even caught some spectators in Speedos! Not really the attire I had in mind!
Hayley's Wedding Dress with Long Train detail.
We decided to be brave and packed both wedding outfits in a clearly marked suitcase and and hoped for the best.
Hayley and Jamie Edwards in their Wedding Day outfits!
Everything else was arranged by the resort. We had a meeting with Naomi, our wedding co-ordinator, the day after we landed. She ran through the requirements and showed us some examples of flower arrangements and button holes. Once these were chosen, we requested the steel band and the sugar mill for a 4pm wedding ceremony. We hoped it would be a little cooler by this time. Everything was planned.
The Ladies of the Wedding Party!
The day before the wedding I had a Hen do I could only have dreamed about. ‘Rumpy Pumpy’ and his crew took all the girls out in his boat and we sailed around the island with chocolate and champagne, stopping in a secluded bay to swim with turtles. Just perfect!
Hen Party in the Caribbean Sea.
At 4pm on the 7th March 2006 (7th March chosen because this was the date of our first date) there was a knock at the door. I was escorted down towards the sugar mill where close family and friends were waiting. Photos by the lilly pond followed as the steel band played then dinner in a restaurant lit by lanterns overlooking the sea.
Signing The Register - Caribbean Style!
I’ll never forget my special day in the sun and don’t regret a thing! ‘
This story certainly lends itself to the thought that a ‘Wedding In The Sun‘ is a fabulous idea if you want to move away from having to stand up in front of 200 people to say your vows! It also has the benefit of having all your nearest and dearest in a fantastic location and the celebration can be extended for a week! I definitely think its worth the consideration – and Ladies – not only does a Destination Wedding add to the romance of this very important day, you may come home with a magnificent sun tan!Win Win!