Wedded Bliss in the Sunshine!
Isn’t it amazing what sunshine does for us all. Makes you feel happy. People are smiling. We’re all so much friendlier! Vitamin D is good for the soul. I’ve been enjoying picking up where i left off a few weeks ago in Florida enjoying the beautiful sunshine and summer like weather in London. It caste me back to 4 weeks ago…. The wedding day had arrived – which had been 18 months in the making.
Since getting engaged on my birthday in 2015 my world had been consumed with not only my amazing hypno baby boy Oliver but also an exciting time of wedding planning. My inner little girl dreaming of getting married in a beautiful sparkly wedding dress had come true! The day came and as all brides say it passed in a flash. At 1am I had to admit defeat and leave the hardcore guests who were still standing around the pool to party on without me! Brides prerogative and all that…
The Wedding Day – 27.04.17
It was a wonderful day surrounded by most of our closest friends and family in the beautiful setting which Anna Maria Island, Florida. Set on a beach that is so white and impressed all of our guests. So much so my very good friend Cathy, co-owner of Puddle Ducks South West London, upon arrival said ‘why are there are diamonds in the sand’.
I started my day with a massive plate of pancakes, blueberries and maple syrup in the delightful Ginny’s & Jane’s cafe. Against tradition I enjoyed this with the groom Jamie and our son Oliver. As the getting ready process begun i was spoilt to be joined by lifelong friends throughout the day.
We picked The Sandbar to hold our wedding as it ticked all the boxes of what we were looking for. It was a very relaxed affair and I wanted people to enjoy the day not be worried about formalities. I wanted the guests who had kids with them to be able to enjoy the day. Not feeling like they need to keep the kids quiet or keep them seated in their seats for hours. By total coincidence the cottage we were staying in practically backed onto the entrance of Sandbar. I couldn’t have planned it any better if i’d tried.
Dad & I managed to walk down the aisle without tripping over one another as I was struggling to walk in the sand! We laughed all the way down the aisle which was great although took us a while to even get to the aisle as Oliver was insisting Grandad picked him up. Thankfully he took the hand of my Maid of Honor and his Godmother Lauren and eventually lead the way. At one point i was thinking they will need to re-start the song My Girl at this rate but then he decided he’d walk. Lets be honest he was the star of the show.
We invited guests to wear what they were comfortable in, bring the kids and to just enjoy themselves. The outcome a very happy set of guests on the day. We didn’t exchange rings instead opted for a sand ceremony where 2 sands are blended into one bottle. Whizzing through the vows so we could get on to the fun part! Piña coladas and mojitos consumed and copious portions of food to ensure everybody was well fed. The kids were well entertained with gift bags but i think the selfie station was more of a winner with them!
A big thanks to our support team
My superwoman also known as ‘Essex Kelly’ to differentiate between my childhood friend ‘Richmond Kelly’ joined me at 10am. I could write a book about this girl – her efforts on my wedding day were truly amazing. To say I feel blessed to have her in my life is an understatement. There is nothing Kelly wouldn’t have done for me and yes she helped me pee at the end of the night. She’d also held my hair back whilst throwing my guts up after my hen party. So i’m sure you’re getting the jist about how amazing she is. Her opening words when she arrived were this is your day and i’ll do anything you need me to. She was true to her word. She ensured the fizz was flowing whilst we were getting ready too.
The best man and his gorgeous girlfriend popped in during the course of the day to say hi – and yes Neerav certainly earns the title of Best Man. He is an amazing friend to Jamie & I and fantastic Godfather to Oliver. Helping me plan to surprise Jamie with his wedding gift. He put him off the scent by presenting him with a pair of personalised flamingo boxers. 15 minutes later he presented the real present – a watch. Can’t wait to see the look of disappointment on Jamie’s face with the boxers, as Chelsea our photographer was on hand to capture the moment!
Jamie was running around most of the morning including getting us girls all lunch before setting off himself to start getting ready with the boys.
My Stepdad Nigel and good friend Noddy must have lost about a stone in weight the morning of the wedding. They were rallying around doing lots of jobs behind the scenes in the baking sunshine. Never complaining and unfortunately no time to breath for them before the 5pm ceremony!
Thankfully whilst this was all going on Oliver was a super star and having a massive afternoon nap for Mummy! Nanny and Grandad had truly worn him out that morning when they took him off my hands.
I loved having all my friends around me whilst i was getting ready. It was wonderful to be surrounded by good friends and family when I was putting my wedding dress. So blessed to have shared it with them.
One of my best friends, Diane couldn’t be with me as she is heavily pregnant. Yes we’d had lots of tears together about her not being there but thanks to FaceTime i got a picture with her. Albeit with my hair in rollers and Diane on an iPad screen! Joined by Superwoman Kelly in the picture to make The Three Musketeers as we’ve always called ourselves. Diane does have to take credit as being the driving force behind Jamie & I getting together with her endearing mischievous ways.
A great team of people goes a long way
We had amazing people around us to ensure what we wanted happened. A great event planner – A.J. owner of TheLoft5. A super talented cake maker Cindy owner of Hometown Desserts. I don’t even know where to start about our super talented photographer, Chelsea, owner of Finding Light Photography. I’ve taken the liberty of posting a couple of Chelsea’s pictures for you all to see. I’m beside myself to see the final full set of pictures. This girl is such an amazing photographer!
I loved the laid back approach in Florida and the stress it took out of a traditional wedding. Friends enjoyed not only the wedding but loved Anna Maria Island. Many have told us they want to go back which delights us. It’s a lot to ask of people to fly across the Atlantic so for them to love the location was fantastic. Good friends who run their own businesses left those to join us again a big ask. To name a few Leanne putting her pilates classes in Twickenham on hold; Cathy leaving her husband Pete to man the fort for Puddle Ducks South West London; Laura taking a break from Laura Beth Photography and Jack putting down the plumbing tools. A massive thanks guys.
The best thing i found about getting married abroad, other than the relaxed style was the extended celebrations. We had drinks with friends the night before and the day after a BBQ at our gorgeous place we called home for a week – Anna Maria Cottage. We were truly spoilt to be surrounded by everybody for a few days.
It’s easy to get caught up in the finer details with weddings. My main objective was to keep it about Jamie, Oliver & I and about our guests. We wanted people to enjoy themselves, eat, drink and be merry. Upon reflection we achieved that, and all the other things that you sweat over deciding on dissolve in the background. The reason for this is because to be surrounded by those that love you and are enjoying your day as much as you are is the most important thing. To be thanked by friends for making it such an enjoyable day truly makes me happy.
So who’s up for an Anna Maria reunion?! Let’s get planning!
When i’m not getting married…
I’m busy helping expectant parents achieve the best birth for them. I offer hypnobirthing classes in Twickenham, Richmond, Kingston and surrounding areas in London. So to find out more about hypnobirthing or to book your hypnobirthing classes get in touch – i’d love to hear from you.
Keep in touch
Sending you all positive vibes from my happy wedded place.
Mrs Ali Coleshill x