“We didn’t see a point in packing up and heading off somewhere else especially when we love Portugal so much!”
The couple: Johnny and Suzanne Ayton
Length of engagement: 11 months | Wedding date: 9th June 2015
Wedding venue: Vilamoura, Portugal
Wedding Coordinator: Algarve Weddings by Rebecca
We met… 15 years ago on a bus when we were both 15 and both going to a yearly amusement park in Dublin! Johnny then harassed me for a couple of weeks after that until I gave in and the rest they say is history… ‘Childhood sweethearts’ at its finest!
The dress… my dress was my own design that Sarah from Sarah Foy Couture created for me. The service and personal attention was out of this world.
Our proposal… was a team effort from Johnny and our two daughters. We were on holiday in Portugal and Johnny said he had booked a boat trip for us to go on as a treat! It was amazingly beautiful just the four of us cruising on the ocean with our own private captain. I felt like a million dollars! The captain came and asked if I would like to sit up front as the sun was about to set and Johnny said he would get drinks with girls. As I was taking in the sunset, thinking this really is the life I was interrupted at the sound of the girls calling my name, I turned around to the three of them wearing t-shirts ; Abby’s said WILL, Melissa’s said YOU MARRY and Johnny’s said ME! Simply the most fantastic moment ever – the three most important people in my life asking me a united question! I laughed and cried all within the same breath!
Wedding theme/colours… Colour colour colour! I love bright oranges/pinks against a white backdrop. It was simply breathtaking and worked amazingly – the flowers were by Flowers by Suzannah.
Our ceremony… was by the sea in an out of this world location called Lady of the Rock. Our ceremony was very personal and we wrote our own vows.
We chose our photographer because… Our photographer was Branco Prata. Algarve Weddings by Rebecca recommended that I look at a couple of photographers. I fell in love with Andre and Sophia’s work the moment I looked through their portfolio and website. I knew they were what we were looking for – their outside-the-box ideas and creative minds are fascinating! It’s true what they say, the photographer is the best money you’ll spend on your day and it shows if you didn’t do your homework on one!
We chose our wedding coordinator because… Rebecca (Algarve Weddings by Rebecca) had been my brother’s wedding coordinator three years previous to our wedding and I loved how personal, professional, likeable and dedicated she was and it was why I contacted her for our wedding. I had no hesitations – Rebecca works harder than anyone I know, she will go above and beyond in creating your day! She doesn’t push you. She listens and works with you rather than for you! Her personal touches are second to none and if you’re thinking of getting married abroad, go to Rebecca and you won’t be disappointed – I think our pictures speak volumes!
My favourite part of the day… Honestly it’s not fair for me to choose only one thing – the whole day was fun, relaxed and amazingly organised thanks again to Rebecca! We had a few fun things – a cocktail bar, a cocktail show, fireworks display, a photo booth – which was a last minute decision the morning of the wedding. Boy am I glad we decided to get it, it was the perfect way to get people to do something together rather than sitting and drinking!
Our honeymoon… we arrived a week before the wedding and stayed three weeks after it! We made that our honeymoon and the kids were in heaven swimming first thing in the morning everyday for a month! We didn’t find a point in packing up and heading off somewhere else especially when we love Portugal so much!
My advice for brides… Always make sure you’re happy with your decisions throughout the planning, it can and most likely will get stressful. And remember why you’re doing it, also make sure you have the right people around you, everyone has an opinion and it’s easiest to take it “on board”, it’s about you and your husband-to-be.
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Former editor, current contributor, (she just can't let go!) Karen enjoys writing fashion but is known to dabble in decor from time to time. Her favourite section on the site is the Real Wedding section, followed closely by the Health & Fitness forums.