Wedding of the Week: Jackie Edwardes and John Perry
17 Sep 2018
Greek dancers, chicken bus transportation and a visit from the mayor were just some of the highlights from this Cyprus wedding, all made possible by two local wedding planners
How did you meet?
Online, at Plentyoffish.com.
Tell us about the proposal.
After several proposals from John, I proposed to him in Mexico on his birthday: 17/05/15. We were upgraded at our hotel in Mexico to an amazing room but it was in the nudist section. We remained fully clothed but had a fantastic time. I asked the hotel to decorate our amazing room for John's birthday and my proposal. They even filled the room's Jacuzzi with bubbles. I bought John a collectable bear called Grumpy which he was very surprised to receive, but around its neck I had attached a note in the shape of a heart. He couldn’t read it because he didn’t have his glasses on and while I was looking for them, I heard him shout: "YES". On the reverse of the note, in bigger letters, it said 'Marry Me?'. We had a three-year engagement.
What was the theme for the day, and did you have a colour scheme?
The colour scheme was bright tangerine and the theme was traditional Cypriot. None of the guests knew what we had planned.
What venue did you choose and why did you choose it?
We chose the venue because it summed up everything we wanted our wedding to be. The ceremony took place next to Agios Epiphanios Church in Ayia Napa. The traditional and very old church, sea view and breeze, on a hillside and overlooking Ayia Napa; it was very different from the norm. Our celebrations were held at O Dikos Mas Mezes in Deryneia.
When did you know when you’d found ‘the’ dress?
The dress I chose was by Serenity; it was called 'Enchanting'. I picked it because the bodice looked a little like a Greek dancer's bustier and the back was beautiful. It was about the 10th dress I tried.
What did the bridesmaids wear?
My maid of honour and best friend wore a long tangerine dress and my three granddaughters wore cream dresses which had additional ribbon around the waist and hem.
What did the mother of the bride wear?
My mum wore a blue mid-length dress.
Where did you find your suits?
We sourced the suits from Haggerty and they were made to measure online.
Did you hire a wedding planner? How did they help?
We hired Beth Christou and Jenny Carter, wedding planners from bookmyweddingincyprus.com. Jenny has been a planner on the Island for more than 20 years and believes herself to be the first. They were both amazing. When we said we wanted traditional they came up with so many ideas which we loved, including riding donkeys through the village. It made our wedding stress free. On the day, they both went above and beyond to make sure it was perfect. Jenny even jumped in the car to go and get some cigarettes for our guests.
Tell us about your floral arrangements.
I sent the planners pictures of colours and designs of bouquets which I liked. I asked to have cala lillies and a few freesias (in memory of my dad). They sourced the florist and wow, did they come up trumps. As well as the venue flowers and table displays, they even decorated the donkeys in flowers.
Often the aspect that makes a wedding original to the couple is the detail – tell us about the details of the day.
Our wedding was original because of all the different aspects. John and his groomsmen all went for a traditional shave in the barbers. Our guests were only told the time they would be collected from their accommodation and knew nothing else. They were collected in the chicken bus which everyone loved and have not stopped talking about. We released doves which unfortunately were on their maiden flight and will forever be known as Jackie and John. The champagne bus was next which went into the village and stopped by the donkeys. The guests followed us riding down the street, led by musicians, to the taverna. Locals stopped their cars and took photos. Even the mayor came and took pictures for the local newspaper. We then had Greek dancers, plate smashing, pin the money on the bride and a Michael Bublé tribute singer.
I also spent a year with a singing tutor, Cat Bloomfield, learning to sing. I surprised John during the speeches by telling him I had something to say and they played my recorded CD of How Long Will I Love You by Ellie Goulding (see video). Even I was impressed with myself.
How did you feel as you walked down the aisle?
I felt amazing and so happy.
How did you make the ceremony personal to you?
The registrar allowed us to add to the vows. We chose ‘I Choose You’ which is the same title as the music we picked for walking down the aisle (by Ryann Darling).
What was your most memorable moment?
John's face when he first saw me and as I walked down the aisle. He says I looked like Audrey Hepburn in the film Breakfast at Tiffany’s.
What was the most challenging aspect of planning this wedding?
It was made easy because the wedding planners had it all covered. The most difficult part was obtaining the fans I wanted as favours.
What was the most important investment for you?
The most important investment was the wedding planners. We are now friends and they have helped us in our future venture of moving, living and working in Cyprus... €325 very well spent.
What song did you choose for your first dance, and why?
Close Your Eyes by Michael Bublé. John and I went to see him in concert and John told me the words meant so much to him because it was how he felt about me.
Did you have any evening entertainment?
The tribute singer's first session was Bublé and the Rat Pack and the second was a mixture of popular songs.
Tell us about your wedding cake.
As part of the wedding package we had a two tier cake. We had been to a Cyprus wedding the year before and I loved the traditional Doukissa cake so asked for it to be the bottom tier and a sponge for the top. I had a lookalike cake topper made in the UK which also included our two beagles. We also had pearl embellishments which matched those on the back of my dress.
If you could go back and change anything, what would it be?
We would have kept the chicken bus to transport us from the wedding venue, along the coast via Cape Greco to the taverna rather than the champagne bus.
Did anything go wrong on the day?
I found holes in my wedding dress and the hairdresser was almost an hour late.
Where did you go on honeymoon?
We extended our time in Cyprus and stayed at the hotel Pernera Beach in their top of the range room.
Do you have any advice for couples in the planning stages?
Use a wedding planner who can work to your budget and give you ideas you would never have thought of. They also take the stress of planning away.
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Photography: Leo Leonidas
Videography: Theo Michaelides