Sand ceremony at Sandals
When they met at their lawfirm in London, it took a little gentle pursuasion for Alexander to get a date with his colleague Omega, however love soon followed, and the couple didn’t need much pursuasion to choose Sandals in St Lucia to host their gorgeous destination wedding ceremony.
FINDING THE ONE
We met at work but Omega refused to go out with me. She asked me for a recommendation for online dating which I provided (eHarmony). The next morning I logged on to see the daily 6 or 7 matches within a 25 mile radius and there she was as number one. I was also her first match. She then agreed to a date! Was it love at first sight? Far from it, Omega thought I was a ‘git’. There was potential for her to take away some of my work flow.
Omega loves forests, so the proposal was on the edge of a forest next to a lake with a view of the Pyrenees in South West France on a sunny day on Christmas Eve. Omega turned to becon the dog back to us, I got down on one knee with the ring and asked as she turned back around. She turned round and asked what I was doing (not understanding why I was kneeling!) The penny dropped quite quickly though with an affirmative response!
Omega had always wanted to get married on a warm beach. However, we did also have a reception at Fulham Palace on 6 June for 130 people. As for our chosen location, we had considered the BVI, as friends have a house there which we could have used, but transport there was a nightmare. It was, therefore, down to direct flights with BA to maximise the likelihood of guests attending. St Lucia promised more activities than most – with lush jungle and wildlife to explore as opposed to just sitting on a beach.
Sandals sorted everything to do with the resort/actual wedding day. We booked directly with BA for flights and Sandals, and they helped us with all the planning.
The Sandals wedding team were always fantastically helpful and friendly and did a great job of getting round any headaches. It was all planned before we went to St Lucia – we worked through Sandals’ checklist!
Our wedding party included approximately 40 of us. Around 30 stayed with us at Sandals resort and others around the island. We gave the option of attending a London reception or travelling out to St Lucia, so out of a total 150 invitees 40 came to our wedding in the Caribbean. We were pleased with the number, given the distance and cost.
Getting the look
After many attempts at finding the ‘right dress’, the bride’s mother-in-law kindly agreed to go dress shopping. She lives in France, and bought with her a dress that had been in a friend’s attic for almost 20 years ‘just in case’. It was an Elizabeth Emmanuelle that had been a show piece but never worn. After a long and unsuccessful day of dress shopping, Omega tried on the dress and it fit. It was a must have, so we bought it from the friend. She had it cleaned and shortened slightly, then it was good to go. We had a necklace and earrings made bespoke to match a head piece, which included pearls and white flowers. The resort organised for someone to do both hair and makeup for the bride.
Groom & Bridesmaids
I wore a Ralph Lauren linen suit. The bridesmaids wore a white suit – with shorts and a jacket.
We chose the Sandals Resorts’ ‘Island Paradise’ theme, which uses the vibrant colours of the Caribbean islands in its decorations. We also chose to upgrade to the ‘Twilight’ package, so that we could enjoy the beautiful Saint Lucian twilight hour.
The Island Paradise theme includes orchids in bright tropical colours (magenta, pink, orange, and yellow). The bamboo ceremony arch was embellished with banana leaves, and the centrepieces were natural wood trays, filled with tropical fruits and bright blooms. The cake, which was a Chocolate and Coconut Cake, was also trimmed with fresh orchids for a Caribbean feel. The table decorations were in coral colours with colourful orchids in conch shells and pretty lanterns.
Our wedding ceremony lasted around 25 minutes and took place at the end of the beach in a private area. We were married by Dr Urban Seraphim, a judge who was originally from Lewisham in the UK and who had lived in Saint Lucia for many years. A gentleman! Omega’s father ‘gave her away’. We kept our wedding service traditional non-religious, although a guest kindly surprised us with a Sandals Sand Ceremony!
After the wedding ceremony we had our reception in Neptunes, one of the restaurants on the resort which is on/adjacent to the beach. The restaurant was closed to other guests, it was just our wedding party. The menu included
|Blue Marlin Carpaccio with citrus fragrant oil sea salt and crushed pink pepper corns;|
|Roasted red pepper & tomato bisque;|
|Grilled pinwheel skewered shrimp on ginger mashed sweet potato with sake infused miso cream sauce|
|Chocolate pudding with caramel bananas and chocolate crisp.|
FIRST DANCE & ENTERTAINMENT
Our First Dance was Ed Sheeran ‘Thinking Out Loud’ performed by two work colleagues live – a singer and guitarist. Our entertainment consisted of friends singing and then the DJ.
Sandals Resorts in-house photographers ‘Snapshots’ did both the photos and the video. My favourite photograph is of us walking up the aisle with confetti falling behind us. The smiles on our faces are the widest I have ever seen and it’s wonderful to see our guests so happy! Some of the sunset pictures are lovely too.
Omega says that her favourite moment was seeing me standing under the arch waiting for her and smiling like a Cheshire cat.
Our St Lucia wedding cost $12,500 plus the cost of 7-day holiday in Butler Suite at the Sandals Regency La Toc. The price included the Island Paradise theme (flowers, decoration, cake etc), all of the standard complimentary wedding inclusions, twilight upgrade, dinner and drinks for 38, bridal spa package, DJ and steel band. This was a little over budget once non-resort guests had been added plus some photo upgrades etc. but overall it was very reasonable when compared to UK!
We spent three more nights at Sandals Regency La Toc after the wedding – to try and recover!! Then we will be going to the USA later in the year for our honeymoon.
WEDDING PLANNER UK:
WEDDING PLANNER IN ST LUCIA:
Sandals Regency La Toc Golf & Spa
Sandals Resorts (Snapshots)
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 .
“One of my favourite memories was seeing Jamie at the alter and him looking at me whilst he said his vows”
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.