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A couple of weeks ago I got an email from Jonny Draper a photographer that I know about a surpirse wedding that he was involved in. It took a few reads of the email and a few follow on emails from Jonny before I really got my head arond what was going on.
this is how the email read:
‘Alex and Lisa are getting married in West Didsbury, Manchester on Monday, they then fly out on a 2 year trip round the world where they’re getting ‘married’ every place they go. At the end of the trip they’re returning to their favourite place and doing it for real. They’re going to blog their entire journey and it’s started already here. Alex the groom has organised Monday as a complete surprise for Lisa. She knows exactly what they’re doing when they’re away but she doesn’t know that they’re kicking it off with their friends and family this Monday with (this is very last minute, hence the last minute email!)’
Well as you can imagine I was blown away! Jonny asked me if I would be interested in blogging the story….and I jumped at the chance! hell yeah! I would love to!
But this story is way more than just the story of a secret wedding…..Alex and Lisa have a BIGGER story to tell and one that I am deighted to be sharing with yo over the next 2 yeras…yes I said 2 YEARS!
Here in Alexs words is their plan:
‘My name is Alex and I’m getting married to the girl of my dreams. A girl I’ve been dreaming of marrying for the last 10 years of my life.
In fact I’m so excited about marrying her, I wish it could happen again and again. Imagine being able to re-live the best day of your life as many times as you wanted (without getting arrested for polygamy).
So that’s exactly what we’re going to do. For the next year and a half we’re going to travel the globe exchanging vows in the most unusual wedding locations we can find.
Whether we cut the cake under the canvas of a Berber tent in Morocco, or share our first dance under a remote waterfall in Tahiti, we’re going to blog and share our experience with the world.
We’re even planning to have a wedding onboard one of our flights, creating our very own romantic version of the Mile High Club. And with so many weddings, who knows, we might even set a few Guinness World Records along the way!’
Pretty cool right?? so we will be following them around the world living their story with them and living each wedding with them!!
But back to the secret wedding, Jonny gave me a bit more information about the whole thing came about and how he managed to keep it a secret from Lisa.
‘Alex had a meeting with the guys at Didsbury Life about something non-wedding related 3 weeks ago. His travel and wedding plans came up in conversation and Helen and Pete (owners of Didsbury Life) immediately suggested making their very first wedding a West Didsbury one – the day before they were due to leave! They also agreed they would keep it a secret from Lisa!
Helen & Pete then rang me immediately and insisted we meet for a drink and chat that very moment! They explained to me what the plan was and I was in! Emma Draper MUA is also my wife AND also works at The White Closet so we started scheming further about all things bridal prep and dresses. I’ve done a lot of work with Charlotte Balbier recently so I rang her to ask if she’d like to be involved and supply a dress through The White Closet – Charlotte jumped at the opportunity and actually gave Lisa a dress to get married in yesterday but also to take with her on her travels!
Dress fittings were done under the pretense that Charlotte was letting Lisa have a dress for travelling.
Monday came and Lisa was sent off to have her hair done and then dropped off at The White Closet with no idea what was going on! It unfolded before her very eyes over the course of the day.’
In a nutshell the running order of the day was:
Bridal prep at The White Closet
Ceremony at The Metropolitan (King and Jones played)
Canape and drinks reception at Rhubarb (Zoe Chiotis played)
Ice cream and cocktail reception at Love to Eat and Pinchjo’s
Fish & Chips and champagne at Frankie’s and Reserve
‘The main concept behind it all is that from all of the suppliers point of view (if you live somewhere really cool like West Didsbury!) you can organise your entire wedding locally (if you have amazing local suppliers!) and it’s amazing working with a bunch of seriously good wedding professionals who all know each other. We all knew that everybody would take care of the things that they needed to take care of individually, but that we would all communicate with one another to ensure that we all knew what was going on. The benefit – a bride and groom who knew they could just leave their chosen suppliers to it and they would get exactly what they wanted from it.’
Before the big day I manged to get to talk to Alex and he told me abit about the basics of teh wedding and answered some questions fore me.
Lisa Marie Gant and Alexander James Pelling
Tell me about the ring
It’s quite unique in that the diamond is a single cut star shape (rising star cut) once I had the ring in the UK I got it set on a twisted shank.
How did you meet?
We met 11 years ago (2000) through friends that was the day i fell for Lisa, we became really great friends ourselves but we were both in relationships and never had the opportunity to get together. In 2003 I moved to Manchester with my business and we both lost touch. In 2008 I had just come out of a really bad relationship and I gave Lisa a call to catch up. Amazingly Lisa had also just come out of an equally bad relationship. Lisa came over to Manchester to catch up and never left. A lot of our mutual friend commented that ‘It was just a matter of time!’
Date of wedding
First ceremony Monday 6th June 2011
Who was your dress by
Charlotte Balbier – Through White closet – ‘Tabitha’ in Vintage gold (think I have that right)
Did you have a theme/colour scheme?
English Vintage Wedding
What made you decide to get married where you did?
The opportunity arose through chance to arrange a secret wedding – the rest followed
Did you have any personal touches? Or things that you did yourself?
I was chief wedding planner (by default)! Haha.
How many guests?
30 for the official ceremony, unsure of actual turn out
Is there anything you would do differently?
Not so far
What advice would you give any other couples?
Don’t get bogged down with the details, just enjoy the rarity of the day.
Well I just love this story, I think the whole thing is amazing! What an amazing bunch of people to be able to pull something like this off! Full marks to the team at Didsbury Life, to Jonny for all his efforts, all of the other suppliers involved and of course Alex for being brave enough to plan it and keep it all a secret from Lisa!
I wish them every luck in their adventure together. I can’t wait to hear more about their journeys and their other weddings, and to share them with you here on the blog.
To follow them on their adventures round the world and find out more about the couple go to: www.2people1life.com/blog
Didsbury Life – www.didsburylife.com
Jonny Draper Photography – http://blog.jonnydraper.co.uk/
The White Closet – www.thewhitecloset.co.uk
Charlotte Balbier – www.charlottebalbier.com
Emma Draper MUA – http://emmadrapermakeup.blogspot.com/
King & Jones – www.kingandjones.com/videos.html
And The Dish Ran Away with the Spoon – www.dishandspoonfood.co.uk
Thyme Out Deli – www.thymeoutdeli.co.uk
Frankies Fish Bar – www.frankiesfishbar.co.uk
Reserve Wine – www.reservewines.co.uk
Rhubarb Restaurant – www.rhubarbrestaurant.co.uk
Love to Eat Restaurant – www.love-2eat.com
Pinchjo’s Restaurant www.pinchjos.co.uk
The Metropolitan Bar & Restaurant www.the-metropolitan.co.uk
Silver Sixpence in Her Shoe www.silver-sixpence-in-her-shoe.co.uk
Didsbury Flower Lounge www.didsburyflowerlounge.co.uk
For more information on Jonny’s photography services go to: