Cool Blue Waters
A big white wedding was not Chloe Barrett and fiance Paul Jones’s style, the couple from Gloucester preferred to have a private wedding, just the two of them, in a spectacular gazebo setting at the Blue Waters resort on the Caribbean island of Antigua. More importantly they wanted their ceremony to reflect their individuality, which they achieved perfectly with a totally chilled big day.
FINDING THE ONE
We met a long time ago, when we used to work for the same company, but it wasn’t love at first sight!
Paul asked me to marry him in Covent Garden. It was totally unexpected. He simply told me to hold my hand out and put a ring in my palm!
We chose to get married overseas because we wanted privacy, however we do understand the irony of it now our wedding is being featured in Brides Abroad magazine. We knew we wanted to go to the Carribean, and didn’t want to get married on the beach as we didn’t want to become a spectacle for other holiday makers, so we looked specifically for hotels that had nice grounds and more private surroundings.
We used the wedding planner at the hotel, Mandie, who was amazing. She couldn’t have been more helpful and enthusiastic and took care of all the details for us. We booked our hotel and flights through Virgin Holidays, but didn’t need the help of the Virgin wedding co-ordinator as Mandie had sorted everything out for us. We planned very little before we went, we viewed it more as a holiday where we also happened to get married!
Because we wanted our wedding to be low-key and private we didn’t invite any guests along with us, it was just the two of us.
Getting the look
I decided against wearing a traditional white dress and didn’t have a ‘theme’ for our wedding either. My dress was a navy blue silk kimono style wrap dress from French connection, the emphaisis when choosing a dress was to feel comfortable and cool due to the heat, I have never wanted to have a big white wedding, so I was very happy with my choice. Keeping the whole wedding understated in our own individual style, I didn’t buy anything to wear specifically for the day. I didn’t wear any jewellery either as I am not a big jewellery wearer. As for my hair and makeup, I did my own on the day. I always like to look very natural and enjoy doing my hair and make up (not that I am very good at it). I am a slight control freak – not sure I would have trusted anyone to do it for me. My good friend Vici who runs the salon Beauty by V in cheltenham did my nails prior to us departing for Antigua.
Something old, something new?
We didn’t have any of those! Our wedding wasn’t traditional.
Groom & Bridesmaids
Paul’s outfit matched mine in colour scheme, he also dressed to be cool and relaxed – he wore blue chino shorts and a white shirt. I didn’t have any bridesmaids.
Our wedding was designed to be just a casual affair, which was perfect for us. However, I knew I wanted yellow flowers, but the specific flowers were chosen by our wedding co-ordinator. We also had a chocolate cake, which was arranged by Mandie.
We tied-the-knot in a floral-decorated wedding gazebo in the gardens of Blue Waters hotel, Antigua, in a private, secluded spot on a small peninsula overlooking the ocean, which is approached down a candle-lit pathway. The ceremony lasted around 20 minutes, though I can’t be sure as it already feels like a blur. We were married by a local registrar, who happened to be the ex-Prime Minister of Antigua’s son. He was a flamboyant character, who injected wit, passion and uniquely Caribbean enthusiasm into the procedings. We also had two witnesses – the editor and publisher of Brides Abroad magazine!
After the ceremony we had a Champagne toast and cut the cake, followed by a private meal in the gazebo where we were married, from here we could enjoy a panoramic view of the ocean and the setting sun. For our wedding meal we had requested to dine Mexican-style, so the chef prepared of Nachos, Chicken Burritos and Tequila! The table was set up beautifully by hotel staff but we did not request any specific decorations, we left it up to them. We didn’t have a First Dance.
Our photographer was a lovely lady called Ann, her company is Wadadli Digital. We had the basic package which comprised photos only, no video and we have them on a memory stick. We didn’t want anything more, just a couple of photos to show to famliy and friends. However, our favourite photograph is a selfie we took after the cermony, because it’s relaxed and makes us laugh when we look at it!
Our best memory is relaxing after the ceremony, drinking champagne and eating cake. The funniest memories are some of the things the registrar said – he was very humorous!
Our wedding and honeymoon combined cost around £10K. We didn’t really have a set budget, however we knew it would always be less than if we married in England, so were fairly relaxed when choosing a hotel.
We stayed at Blue Waters for the duration, we got married a week into our holiday. It was just the two of us throughout our trip. We didn’t invite anyone for any of it, and our friends and family respected our decision and were just happy that we were happy.
WEDDING PLANNER UK
WEDDING PLANNER ANTIGUA
Blue Waters hotel, St Johns, Antigua
Ann Granger, Wadali digital
Tell us about your wedding
Did you marry abroad? Whether you said “I do” on a palm fringed sandy beach or in a French Chateau, or even in an Icelandic winter wonderland with the Aurora Borealis dancing in the skies above, we would love to hear from you, and feature your wedding on our website .
“We were married by a local registrar, who happened to be the ex-Prime Minister of Antigua’s son. He was a flamboyant character, who injected wit, passion and uniquely Caribbean enthusiasm into the procedings. “
Need help planning your wedding?
Brides Abroad, in conjunction with Brilliant Honeymoons can help you every step of the way, from finding the venue, arranging the details and helping with the paperwork to organising the flights, accommodation and transfers for you and your wedding party.