Writing now as a Mrs for the first time after a day that changes everything and nothing all in one moment. It’s wonderful.
Our day started of course with preparations on our two sides of the fence. James, his three best men, Master of Ceremonies and ushers, gathered and readied themselves together. I am so happy with the choice of colours for the boys: James in a Dark Green suit and the groomsmen in a light green, pistachio colour. All with reddish brown shoes from our home town in the UK, and with hand made ties from a small independent shop in London, the city where our adventure began some years ago.
On our side, I was beginning to take in all around me. Lucky to be surrounded by my favourite people in the world, my bridesmaids, my sister and my family. As well as the wonderful kind people who had offered to help put the final pieces of the puzzle together. As I sat in the flurry of activity, I felt so loved and so lucky to be surrounded by these sorts. I don’t know what I’ve done, but I’m fortunate to have done it.
With my make up done by a great local beautician Valerie Lee, and my hair done by a talented close family friend from the U.K, Gemma (and Julie), who had worked for days and days to get things just right, we had time for some celebratory snaps together on the beach and in the villa. By this point I guess our guests had started to gather some distance away on the beach, greeted by our brilliant jazz band ‘Gin n Tonic’ we met at Outrigger resorts and a Mauritian rum cocktail, but for us it gave a moment of just us girls to savour. My last few moments as a Miss.
My beautiful shoes called Victoria Vapour by Emmy London. I loved them so much, but I didn’t even wear them in the end…sandy toes the best way forward. For our flowers we wanted white roses and gypsophilia, trying to create my little corner of a beautiful English country garden on the Mauritian beach. Thanks to my generous new Auntie Steph, they were so perfect that I decided I wanted them for my hair too (on the morning, yes!). Last minute choices are always the best…
And then the reveal came, after some small (ish) alterations, last minute changes of heart and double, double checks. Once I heard the knock on the door from my Dad I knew time was up. This was it. I think they liked the dress? This was my second dress (another story!) and I hadn’t told my bridesmaids, so a complete surprise for them!
As we toasted one last time, James and his best men waited at the ceremony spot, just metres from the sea that had turned a postcard picture palette of blue. Despite it being April, the sun was doing its best impression of a blazing Mauritian summers day as James’ request, David Bowie’s ‘Starman’, roared out. We, as the girls side, took the first walk to wait under the tent in the shade for one last deep breath and for our cue: La Ritournelle by the eclectically wonderous Sébastien Tellier.
With a civil service, our ceremony lasted some 20 minutes or so, just enough to give our back story but beating the clock before some of our guests combusted in the heat. Stevie Wonder’s ‘Signed, Sealed and Delivered’ played us out with our family lining the route. With the emotion of what was to come (and trying not to fall over my dress, even in bare feet!) I had barely looked at our crowd up the aisle. But turning to the sound of cheers and the sight of 100 smiling loved ones isn’t something I’ll never ever forget.
Not one for staged photos, we’d planned just 20 minutes or so to get some shots of James and I on the beach. After all the planning and living so far away from our dearest, I didn’t want to waste any time not being in their company. I love this picture though, totally unplanned as we happened to stumble upon a temporary pop up bar at The Dinarobin Resort. Kindly, the guys with the promotion offered us home made rums to cheers with for our photos, I mean it was our wedding day right? Not so kindly, they then sent over a bill(!). Only in Mauritius.
We had worked on making the day a reality for months and months beforehand, but alongside our friends and family who joined us in the weeks before, we have to thank our incredible friends Brigitte and Benoit. Beyond wedding planners, they shared our vision of style and mood for the day and created (literally, crafting wood and handpicking flowers!) the perfect setting for us to celebrate. Exactly as I had wanted: rustic, shabby chic and naturally beautiful. An inviting atmosphere that let people just enjoy the day. That’s what we wanted and that’s what they delivered, always with a laugh and a smile.
For our lunch seating plan, we wanted to do something a little different. My wonderful niece and nephews spent the week before choosing corals for our guests. The night before the wedding we had our best men and bridesmaids tirelessly attaching name tags with their table names. We returned most to the beach the following days, although some guests kept them as a keepsake to take home.
The white sand and blue seas might have given away the game that we were in Mauritius, but just to be sure, a troop of Sega Dancers joined the party just after the reception, and led our guests across the beach to their tables for lunch. They were beautiful, bright colours and showing our guests traditional Mauritius! Of course, we had to join in…
We’d chopped and changed our minds on our wedding favours for a long time, but when it came to it, we chose a local bottle of beer, Phoenix, topped with a badge supporting the Alzheimer’s Society, a charity close to both of our hearts. It gave us the chance to give a donation to a cause we care about for all those suffering with the many forms of dementia, as well as a show of support and a keepsake for all our guests. And something to toast it with, of course. Looking at the pictures now of the day after the lunch, especially into the late evening, you can usually spot the small blue symbol on our guests.
My mum has been a chef for years, and we managed to twist her arm into making our cake. Three tiers of spongy delight, and absolutely no fruitcake. Phew! We wanted something simple, elegant and with real flowers. Having spent months preparing it – even testing the heat resistance of icing by keeping the rehearsal cakes in our warm airing cupboard at home! – it was just perfect. Thanks Mum!
The only thing I don’t like about fireworks is usually they are too short! So we went for a solid nine minutes, starting just before we finished our first dance and giving everyone a reason to run to the front of the beach. They really were spectacular and gave us some cracking photos.
The best day of my life. I feel so lucky and loved, and thankful for all the effort our special people made to be here with us.
p.s. Getting married in Mauritius isn’t as easy as it is beautiful. I’ll be writing a blog soon with some hopefully helpful tips for all you brides in waiting.
And here is our video of the day, hope you like it!