Written by Paula Jones Last updated: March 30, 2010
We met through a friend in 2007 at some wedding celebrations. He was at another wedding but we all partied together the night before.
He whisked me away to Venice a year later where, after a romantic day sightseeing (and drinking wine!) he popped the question over dinner in a secluded restaurant.
I went to Hope in Derbyshire to a cottage with 20 friends where we ate, went caving, played sing star and went dancing in Sheffield. I also had a night in London where we had a burlesque dance class then on to a burlesque club. Andy went skiing in St Anton with about 15 mates.
We married abroad but had a huge party in Ireland afterwards. Andrew mostly liaised with the Ireland hotel and sorted all the music and procured the wine. For the wedding itself he sorted his own suit! ‐ and created the playlist.
Yes, it was great for ideas, links to dresses, the bridal forums and tips on budgeting.
We were bought some Just married flip flops. I bought wrapping paper and keepsake boxes from the store on Tottenham Court Road.
My dress was a couture dress hand made in Italy by Le Spose Di Gio. Way over budget but after months of looking it was the only one I really loved. It was a very simple V neck balancing on my shoulders with a Deep V back. Bright white and ruched to an A line skirt with a puddle train.
I had three (though was one unable to make it to Mauritius so was my official attendant at the party in Ireland.) They wore cobalt blue chiffon dresses from Debut at Debenhams. They were A line to the knee, with a strap and chiffon roses at one shoulder and a sweeping cowl neckline and sleeve over the other. They wore hot pink shoes and nails which matched their bouquets.
Andy had a grey 3 piece suit made (very hot he was!) which he wore with a white cravat tie. His best man was his brother Kevin who wore his own smart black suit.
A fantastic informal civil ceremony. The registrar chatted with us and the congregation about where we met, how we fell in love, it was lovely. Mauritan vows were all about us prominsing to share everything, love one another and guide each other through life. He stopped to get us to kiss at least 4 times! He had the congregation in tears and laughter all the way through.
We were due to hold it on an outcrop overlooking the beach under a flower arbour. Tropical rain blew in so we moved the arbour under the shelter of the beach restaurant which was open at all sides.
Again we were due to have a BBQ and bonfire at the beach restaurant but the storm blew everyone to huddle under the beach bar for romantic and wet cocktails and speeches while the hotel relocated all the dining and musicians into the plush restaurant in the main building.
Golf buggies! Took me to the ceremony and back to the reception.
We had 28 guests in Mauritius and 170 to the party in Ireland.
Electric blue and hot pink were featured colours with as many tropical flowers, smells and vibes as we could include. Butterflies featured quite heavily as they are my favourite thing. To continue the tropical theme the rings were presented in a conch shell filled with sand.
Tables were sprinkled with aromatic coffee beans and dried star anise with tropical flower arrangements of orchids, frangipani and bougainvillae on all the tables. Butterflies were in my hair, on my shoes, and on the cake. In Ireland we added butterflies to all the lily table arangements, cakes and had jars of tropical jelly sweets like starfish and seahorses. In Ireland I had hot pink and cobalt blue personalised cake napkins embossed with butterflies
We had sandalwood fans for all the ladies and bottles of personalised suncream for all the boys. My mum hand picked millions of bright petals from her Leicestershire home and dried them to make confetti. we took over 15 little boxes for the girls to throw along with some blowing bubbles.
I had a waterfall of small white orchids and frangipani with frangipani in my hair. The girls had posies of hot pink bougainvillae with frangipani and frangipani in their hair. Allt he tables and the cake were covered with beautiful white orchids, hibiscus and frangipani. The flower arbour included orchids, stargazer and cala lillies and bougainvillae.
We chose the BBQ buffet menu of langoustine, prawns, beef, lamb chops, hot spicy skewers , enormous salads, fruits, snapper and plates of different individual desserts.
In Mauritius the hotel provided us with a 3 tier fruit, carrot and walnut cake iced in white with piping and white anthriums and hibiscus on. In Ireland Andrew’s cousin Leoni made a fantastic 3 tier plain white fruit cake which we decorated in Lillies and butterlies.
We had Andrews brother Jack play me down the aisle on his violin. He later joined a guitar duo and played Irish folk songs with them. We had a traditional Mauritian band and sega dancers ‐ so our first dance was a huge ‘dance off’! We later joined the hotel bar for their live band playing fantastic rock and roll and contemporary music.
No gifts. We asked that anyone desperate to spend money on our behalf should donate to the charity of their choice. People were fantastically generous.
First night was in our suite at the Belle Mare Plage where we got married. For our honeymoon we went snowboarding in Cervinia Italy. Hot to cold!
Holding Andrews hand and saying I do ‐ and swan diving in the dress!
It was all so simple. The weather put us back by an hour but I was determined to sit it out. In the end the storm made it more magical, intense and romantic. The bridesmaids bouquets were an uneven size and half of us couldnt get our shoes on as our feet had swollen in the heat!
Don’t over complicate things. Its more to stress over. And on the day nothing matters but getting married so don’t worry about it in advance. Oh and get someone to carry a lipgloss for you!