St Lucia, a Paddleboat on the Thames and 4 Dresses

Hi All, you may have seen me lurking around the forum for the last 6 months and i always intended in doing a planning thread, i just never seemed to get round to it. So am combing the two!

Here goes:

Background and Proposal:

 

H2b and i met on holiday in lanzarote in 2008. I was out alone doing an advanced diving course and bar the dive team, had barely met or talked to anyone else. I was gagging for a decent chat! On one of my final dives, my inital buddy was feeling a bit worse for wear after being out the night before with a group  that had flown in the previous day. Needless to say he didn’t survive the dive, but we got chatting on the boat and he invited me out to dinner with this group. Figuring i had nothing to lose, i agreed. 
H2B was out with a friend doing adventure sports and turned up as part of the group, and during dinner we started chatting. A few drinks later, we ended up in a pirate bar and a few sparkley cocktails later, we shared a drunken kiss!

And that was the start. Fast forward 4 years and after commuting the length of the country for weekends(H2B has been based in oxfordshire, north yorkshire and lincolnshire..im based in surrey!) and  3 deployments later (H2B is RAF), we own our own home together. 20th July 2012 was just a normal Friday and we had decide to go out for dinner. I came home from work in a foul mood and decided nothing i owned was suitable to wear out.  H2B was lovely, brought me a glass of wine and  left me to it. An hour and half later, ive managed to work myself up into a proper state (this is very out of character for me...total tomboy so looking ‘girly’ is a big effort...and that night i felt like making one..my head was having other ideas! image ). H2B comes back upstairs wondering what is going on, tries to coax me into getting dressed but im having none of it. (god sound like a stroppy cow!) He disappears and returns with a little box and  says ‘ will this make you feel better?’...to which i stare in disbelief and then say ‘yes..no...yes...but no....i mean yes!! But its not meant to happen like this!’. Safe to say i got dressed pretty sharpish after that! Very unexpected image

image

 

Posts

  • YEAH! so glad you're doing this, I have been waiting for your pictures! Congratulations Debs and keep it coming! image

  • Debs270613Debs270613 Posts: 225

    Wedding Planning

    So after that we told our parents. We wanted to do this in person but we couldn’t see his for a week so had to keep this quiet for a week...OMG how hard!? Lol but as soon as we told his parents, his sisters whacked it up on FB so we followed suit and made it ‘official’!

    In terms of wedding there were a few things we both agreed on: a) no big wedding 2)no long engagement. Preferences: H2B wanted to wear #1 dress and I (having not had my ideal wedding planned from girlhood!) had fallen in love with a beach wedding.
    We had a month before H2B deployed to the Falklands for 4 ½ months so used this time to decide our budget and realise that the UK was 1) to risky in terms of weather and b) out of budget to get our beach.

    Then came the fun idea of going abroad ! H2B was easily persuaded and argued that  the wedding would ‘last the week rather than just a day’...cant argue with that! So we raided the travelagents.

    Deciding where to go was the next hurdle. On holiday in Mexico in 2009 we stumbled across this amazing beach bar called ‘La Buena Vida’ ...when we visited they had set up for a wedding reception with lanterns..it was gorgeous , i fell in love. So naturally this seemed like the obvious choice...until we researched the cost...US$1000 just basic hire! image add in document translation, minimum residency and a blood test and suddenly Mexico wasn’t too appealing.

    image

     


    It had swings around the bar and a treehouse!

    image

     Back to the drawing board, we looked elsewhere. H2B didnt want to go anywhere he could be posted so that ruled out Cypress and we werent awed by Greece so looked back to the Caribbean. Family has travelled extensively out there and it seemed to tick all our boxes. We decided we would book closer to the time once H2B had returned home.
    It was at this stage that MIL decided to announce that her and SIL1 had booked two weeks at the end of June 2013 for holiday even though we hadnt fully decided on that date. image This meant H2B's brother wouldnt be able to come as he would still be in trade training (also RAF)...this didnt sit well with me as i dont like being dictated to, especially on my own wedding!! But we went with it (also turned out to be the cheapest time to visit too...) so that was that.

    With H2B away, i started looking at potential venues for our reception party for when we got back. Nothing really stood out until i found a company right under my nose. Having grown up in Middx/Surrey, i know the Thames well and turns out there is a company that hires boats.I saw a picture of their second biggest boat and was drawn to it. As somewhere different I dragged my mum along for a look, with no intention of anything more...i mean boat parties are for students right?

    Wrong, we stepped aboard and i fell in love.

    image

     Knowing we needed after June 2013, they only had 3 saturdays free between then and the end of Sept, and without realising it, the 20th July......after chatting with H2B on skype and sho

  • Debs270613Debs270613 Posts: 225

    Thanks Barbados! its a stuggle trying to remember everything cos as soon as i type i remeber something else!! lol image

  • I know! My planning report is a right mish-mash as its been weeks since I last updated!

  • Debs270613Debs270613 Posts: 225

    after chatting with H2B on skype and showing him all available resources, he gave me the green light to put the deposit down. So now i had a reception date but no wedding date....frustrating or what!!!

    And that was wedding planning for us for 2012!

    2 weeks into 2013 and i am at Brize Norton at 7am to pick up H2B...talk about delayed christmas and birthday present. Any forces WAG will understand how hard separation can be, even when you are used to just being a 'weekend couple', or have been through several deployments. But the best feeling in the world is that moment the one you love comes through that door and you share that first hug and kiss, you get butterflies and everything!

    H2B had a few weeks leave so he was given the task of sorting the holiday and decidng on final destination. So far we had narrowed down to the Caribbean.....ummm theres quite a few islands there! First choice was Barbados but nothing jumped out at us, then looked at Antigua and the Blue Waters hotel...i wanted that but our budget said no! Then we came across St Lucia and everything fell into place, and we settled on St James Club, Morgan Bay. We booked with Virgin after comparing and playing off tour companies against each other. For around £3k we got upgraded rooms, free wedding package, airport lounge etc. Once we had booked we sent word around to family and friends that we would be on the island for these dates with a provisional wedding date of teh 27th (4 days after arrival for residency). Turned out BA had their sale on and worked out at £900pp without transfer and standard room....so most of our guests went with that. A few weeks later, my best friend and another close friend called me at work to say that they were coming out too! If i hadnt been in work i would have squealed! image

  • Debs270613Debs270613 Posts: 225

    Dresses

    I wont go into dress shopping but boy did that turn into an experience....i think i visited every bridal shop in Norwich and Surrey/Sussex! I never had the one moment and ended up with 4...but i can explain each one!! Due to having 4 ½ months, most dress shops weren’t helpful and its amzing how customer service varied. If i could’ve there were at least 3 shops I wanted to buy a dress from but my dress wasn’t there...

    Dress one was the first dress i ever tried on...a San Patrick 2009 sample from Pure Brides in Norwich. It was reduced to £70 and was so pretty. Apart from being strapless, it was everything i wanted in a dress. So by the end of day 1 dress shopping it was still in my head so i thought sod it, if i don’t find anything else. It needed a wash and had a couple of tiny snags in the chiffon but nothing too noticeable.

    image

     Dress two is a bridesmaids dress by Belsoire. This is the only dress ordered in especially for me. Having looked at pictures of brides online, i did like the quirkyness of a short dress on the beach. I loved the lace detail on top and the belt on it. I had trouble taking it off, it was so pretty!

    image

    Two weeks after ordering dress two (14 weeks to the wedding) i was having conversations with various people and anyone i talked to said that a long gown was more ‘bridal’. So i started looking again. Found a gorgeous Romantica dress in a small dress boutique and made a second appointment to go try it with the intention of ordering. After an evening on ebay ‘browsing’ i saw a few dresses by the same seller who turned out to be a bridal shop in Reigate just up the road. I emailed to see if i could try them and they replied yes so i booked in before the other dress shop. Out of the 5 dresses id picked out, this Amanda Wyatt Bermuda turned out to be the nearest to ‘the one’ i’d come...a steal at £250 image A ‘deep ivory’ and looked brand new. It felt very right. So i bought it there and then!

    image

    So  still browsing on ebay  I come across a Romantica Mauritius dress with its gorgeous grey band and embellishment. Again, i fell in love and thought i’d just put in  a best offer. My convincing arguement to myself was that my Bermuda dress would look ‘dirty’ as it wasn’t white (madness i know!). That best offer was accepted and there i was with 4 dresses.........

    image

     There were a couple of monsoon ones (Katiana was my fav, Waterlilly my mums!) but it put me off seeing other girls trying on the dress I was wearing...i did want mine to be a bit special....

     

    TBC

  • kez79kez79 Posts: 114

    debs... glad you are doing a report, have been waiting for this. x

  • RinaGeeRinaGee Posts: 751

    Yay!!! Can't wait to read more image

  • Debs270613Debs270613 Posts: 225

    sorry for the delay..been a busy few days (finally got our thank you cards and reception piccies!)...right so where was i?image

    So house was looking like a dress shop...i finally took the plunge about 2 weeks before we left to get dress 3's front length altered and pin up at the back. Turns out it was pretty much made for me and if i was wearing heels i wouldnt have needed any length alteration. She pinned up about 1/2-1" from the front...the dress shop were fantastic (The Bridal Room in Reigate) and she packed my dress into my wheelie holdall for me.

    SHOES!!!

    So, it being a beach wedding i was hoping to go barefoot, therefore dress would need to be altered to my height and shoes would need to be flat. Was looking at glitzy sandals and saw Pink Paradox ‘Heaven’ Sandals...thems are pretty!

    image

     

    But at £70 i couldn’t bring myself to get them. I then saw the ‘Flower’ shoe and had to have it. By chance about 3 weeks before the wedding there was a lisiting on ebay for my size and i won it for half the RRP. Hooray! But they arrived and were a size too small inside the correct sized box! Gah! At this point we had a week to go so i just went for it and bought them at full RRP (no moneysaving there).

    image

     

    For the reception I got a pair of Beatrix shoes from Monsoon which are sparkley, peeptoe and gorgeous...i lasted the whole evening on these which is a miracle in my eyes!

    image

     

  • Debs270613Debs270613 Posts: 225

    HAIR & MAKEUP

    After having my makeup done by ‘professionals’ before and looking worse than i started, i didn’t want to trust that to some stranger on my big day so decided i was going to do it myself (with a few practice runs!).

    Make up was easy (since i barely wear any..bad skin..) i just needed a cement type foundation that wouldn’t slide off in sweaty conditions. I couldn’t be bothered with faffing around so went for a Bobbi Brown bridal makeover. I did amuse me when the girl behind the counter goes ‘ so how much are you looking to spend? It is quite expensive!’ yes i know...its called investment!

    Would totally recommend it, the £30 bottle of foundation is going to last a while and the gel eyeliner is amazing.

    My hair i would get done in resort, especially as i wasn’t sure how i wanted it. I had decided against a veil and opted for flowers (white orchids to match the button holes and my bouquet). 

    For the reception my new SIL pretty much strapped me to a chair in her hotel room and made my hair look fanstatic, just set off with a (childrens!) Accesorize crystallised aliceband.

    GROOM

    This one was fun. For the reception it was to be #1 dress but it was going to be way too hot in St Lucia for that so we both started scouring the internet for inspiration.

    This was the picture that did it:

    image

     

    image

     

    And then trying to source something similar became a nightmare. Longstory short, i ended up importing the waistcoat and trousers from JCrew in the USA (though they have now just opened a shop in London...drat!). Its the Ludlow suit in Wheat, no jacket. Lovely.

    We then picked up a blue shirt and tie in Slaters and a gorgeous reversible Ted Baker belt.

    I have to say, Mr Debs looked good!!!

  • Debs270613Debs270613 Posts: 225

    Rings and Favours


    Our rings came from an independant jewellers in Suffolk after i saw a ring at a wedding fayre whilst visiting the inlaws. We knew we both wanted Palladium rings (more so that mine matched my e-ring) and i wanted some sparkle.

    Hubby has a 5mm brushed ring with a polished bevel edge and mine is a 2mm polished ring with 9  inset 0.03carat diamonds around the ring with a tiny engraved detail on each one. I can truelly say when we went to pick them up that i had that 'one' moment!

    image

     Favours

    Not really sure what the score is with favours but wanted to give our guests that had come out a momento and something practical too. So decided on a paper fan, tied with a custom made token in a chiffon bag with a minature rum (sourced locally). This was my only real bit of DIY. Ordered a custome stamp with our initials and wedding date, made the hearts out of FIMO and tied with white ribbon. The fans came from favourfairy.co.uk and the bags off ebay. image

    image

     

    image

     

    image

     

  • Debs270613Debs270613 Posts: 225

    Right after another spurt of being stupidly busy and attending other weddings, i'm kicking myself back into finishing this report!

    GOING ABROAD

    So we were all booked, documents sent off and ideas approved by the resort. Dress had its alterations and was packed ready to go. The day before we flew we were the other end of the country for hubbys kart team who were racing (and that i take pictures for!) which didnt finish til 7pm. After a very long day, plus 4 hours driving we made it home, where i then decided it would be the right time to pack. Needless to say I didnt sleep that night! We made our flight and out to St Lucia all ok image

    The next day we met with the resorts wedding co-ordiniator who went through our options for how things were done, from whether we were against religious references to chairs (this became a bit of a sore point - after us confirming extra champagne as we had more guest and confirming extra charge, she neglected to tell us the decorated plastic chairs were $15US a pop..so i argued back at the end of the trip that this hadnt been highlighted with the champagne, where you would expect any extra expense to be agreed..so got $150US taken off our bill) Other than that our co-ordinator was fantastic - even after she tried to convince me to have the wedding march as walking in music. She played it on the cd player and i just burst out laughing. There was no way that was my music. So we had til next day to choose something!

    Finally meant i had a date and time for getting married! woohoo 27th June at 4pm! image

    We also had to choose our location to get married. Id had my heart set on a beach, and we had been shown this pic of the beach gazebo:

     

     Which turned out to be 10m from a restaurant and 20m from the main pool image I was pretty upset (no tears, just moody cow!) so settled with their main wedding location which was a hilltop gazebo, tucked away from the main areas.

     

     

    The rest of our family was due to arrive that afternoon and we met them off the minibus. After initial greetings, the story came out how my mum, brother and two family friends almost missed the flight due to an accident on the m23 image That same night we got a message from my aunt due to join us the next day saying she wasnt going to make it due to not being fit to fly. This was probably the worst the worst point of the whole trip (so no real lows at all!) but a few cocktails and the mood lifted.

    Tuesday i left hubby to sort the photographers as i suffered with a bit of dehydration (and now a big aversion to Fruit Loops!) and then we met back with the wedding coordinator in the afternoon, and the solicitor to sign our documents of no impediment and check over final details.

  • Debs270613Debs270613 Posts: 225

    ...We also decided on having Ed Sheerans Give Me Love as my walking in music as it sounds beautiful at the start and its a lovely song too image

     

    3pm with an hour to go, im getting ready and the heavens open to 15mins of tropical rain! :S eek! Thankfully it was a short spell and dried by the time we left.

    My transport to the gazebo on the otherside of the resort was a golfbuggy! Which i quite liked!

    So waiting round the corner, chatting with the photographers and my brother (who is walking me to the ceremony - there wasnt an aisle!) and realisation kicks in. Music starts and off we go! After that things go a bit blurry as it all went past so fast. 

    But low an behold we did it! and dont think we messed up the words either!

    image

     So we became officially MR & MRS!! Yey!!

    Heres some pics of the rest of the day:

    image

     

    image

     

    image

     

    image

     (you may have seen these on the Flash Your Favourites thread!)

     

  • Debs270613Debs270613 Posts: 225

    We had some beautiful sunset shots, and after dinner the wind had disappeared so we released chinese lanters from the beach (100%biodegradable with no metal parts!)

    image

     

    image

     

    image

     

    image

     So all that was left after that was to enjoy the rest of our trip and look forward to our reception in a few weeks after we got home image

    TBC

  • Ooohhhh i am so glad you have posted these... giving me lots of ideas! As my countdown clock has just ticked to 99 days i think we need to get some more bits done!

  • Debs270613Debs270613 Posts: 225

    I've just realised a massive part of my post has gone! About the wedding morning! Oops.

    will have to redo that bit tonight! Barbados, utilise every bit of luggage space of everyone going! And take things that you don't mind leaving out there (paper decs) though you may be able to source locally image

  • Cajo2013Cajo2013 Posts: 361

    Love your pics, especially the group photo on the beach, beautiful x

Sign In or Register to comment.