Your wedding day, the one day that is meant to be all about you and your other half making a lifelong commitment to one another… or… A day that takes months or years to plan, causes stress, a lot of crafting of invites/table decorations/bunting, chasing RSVP’s, organising every last detail (sometimes more for others than yourselves), tears and sometimes fallouts. So why do most couples do this to themselves?!
Choosing To Go Abroad
For our big day, we chose a different option – to get married abroad with the help of a wedding planner. We didn’t want to spend twice or triple the money in England – have you noticed that as soon as they add the word wedding before something they then add 00’s to the end of the price?!! We didn’t want to worry about the weather, to feel as though we had to invite every second cousin removed from my Dad’s side who I didn’t know just to please family and I certainly didn’t want a cold drafty church.
My (now) hubby proposed on a beach at night on the Greek island of Zante and having visited Rhodes once on a day trip (when staying in Turkey) we decided to keep the Greek theme for the wedding. We loved Rhodes so much that we immediately looked into how to make our big day happen there. It turns out it’s pretty easy! I contacted a British lady who ran her own company in Lindos, Rhodes. She met us in England at a local hotel, I gave her all my ideas and, in a nutshell, she made it all happen. All I had to do were invites, get dresses, suits, rings and organise a holiday – easy!
I see women getting so excited about wedding dress shopping. They traipse around every shop they can find, try on dress after dress, all in different styles and shades of white, usually with family and bridesmaids in tow, having themselves pulled and tied into dresses in wrong sizes to try and get an idea of how it may look once altered. I just knew this wasn’t for me (definitely not girly enough!) and I never stepped foot inside a bridal store. I knew the style I wanted and turned to eBay, with the help of my Mother-in-law who actually spotted the dress whilst we scrolled through and pointed it out to me. Wanna know the cost?.. £40! Yep, I was not prepared to pay hundreds or thousands for one dress for one day and as we wanted a beach wedding it didn’t matter if it got sand, seawater or drink on it. I will never understand the costs of wedding dresses and why people will happily pay so much to wear it just once. I did the same with my bridesmaid dresses, £34.99 on eBay and sashes for their waists at £3 each. No stress, no hassle, no wasting time in shops and all delivered to my door.
Rings? Well, they were eBay too. Plain white gold bands for each of us.
From the moment we got engaged to the wedding day was only about 6 months so we had to move fast on invites. We sat one Saturday and worked as a team getting these done. He printed off the information about the island, where to stay and what it’s like there whilst I hand wrote the shop-bought invites. Again, we didn’t need extra expense as I am sure that most people just throw them away later on.
The Wedding Decisions
All of the flowers, legal arrangements (except the notification here with the registry office), decorations, photographer, ceremony, hair, makeup, transport, DJ, musician, food and venue ideas were all down to my wedding planner and her team. We just had to sign off on it all with the wedding planner. We picked the beach we wanted to have the ceremony on and the reception venue once we were out there – although that was a tricky process and we spent many, MANY hours driving around with her to get our perfect spot with all of us getting a bit anxious at some points. But, she pulled it off! We ended up finding a beach where no one had ever been married before. We were due to get married on Saturday 19th but the town mayor had to agree to the ceremony due to it being a new venue and this wasn’t actually confirmed until the Thursday night!! The relief when we got that phone call was immense. I’m not too sure what we would have done if the Mayor had said no.
Those Who Couldn’t Come
The day itself was all about us. after all, that is what a wedding is all about, you making a commitment to another person. We wanted an easy-going wedding, no stress and for everybody there who wanted to be. Unfortunately, some people couldn’t get the time off work, were ill, pregnant etc so we did have a party at home for everybody 2 weeks after we got back. We showed photo’s, video’s, used the same colours in the room and had the DJ play all the same tunes.
The Wedding Day
On my wedding day I had 28 guests, I had already seen all these people the night before at a lovely meal so I did not spend my day trying to get around talking to everybody and making sure I had said hello, thank you and having to make idle chit chat. I easily spoke to everybody and got to enjoy my day with my new hubby both being able to party with friends, having the time of our lives. One of the biggest complaints I have heard in the past from brides is that they felt they spent most of their day thinking about who they had and hadn’t yet spoken to as they had so many guests. I do agree it’s lovely to have so many people who love you at your wedding, please don’t get me wrong, but you want to be able to look back at your day and remember dancing and drinking and having fun, not about how stressful it was doing the rounds and wondering if you had kissed old Aunt Edith yet!
My wedding planners were in the background dealing with all the arrangements so I never had to worry about anything, although not one of us noticed how many bottles of wine the Greeks had opened – they do like to keep their food and drink flowing and the bill at the end of the night was a bit surprising!
Our honeymoon was simply incorporated to the holiday. We went out a week before the wedding to chill, see everyone and get a tan. We were married on the Saturday in the middle and then had another week to enjoy – I could have stayed a month, it was amazing.
Small Yet Perfect
We didn’t need a 25k wedding, we didn’t need all the fancy trimmings, we didn’t need the normal traditions, we didn’t even need England! And thanks to our wedding planner, we didn’t need to ever worry– she pulled out all the stops, she listened to our every need and she made our dream wedding come true. My friends and family overwhelmed us by coming out to Rhodes to support and celebrate with us and every single person said what an amazing time they had.
It’s your wedding, your day, do it your way and make it special.
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