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Ian and Jo's wedding vow renewal April2013 
PostPosted: Wed Apr 24, 2013 4:09 pm Reply with quote
Ian & Jo
Joined: 31 Jan 2008
Posts: 343
I (Jo) thought that rather than writing a full trip report, I’d focus on our wedding vow renewals. I know I had lots of questions before hand and if you’re thinking of renewing your vows in the future, this may help.

I’ll start by saying it was a fantastic experience. We had seen other people do it before and had thought we might do it one day too. With holiday prices increasing sharply and salaries on a never ending ‘pay freeze’ we decided to do it while we could so this year we got ourselves organised and took the plunge.

We emailed Meeru a couple of months before our holiday and made our initial request. We asked for a specific date near the start of our holiday as we know that wet weather can result in postponements. We had a very quick response confirming our booking. You are charged after the event and it appears on your room bill. We also booked the photographer as we were travelling alone and had no other way of getting photos of the two of us taken.

I chose a light/floaty dress from the Monsoon sale. I’m only 5’ 4” and many of their dresses are designed for 5’7” people. However, the ankle length dress was a perfect full length dress for me and at ¼ of the original price was good value for money. Ian decided that if we were doing this in the Maldives (the whole thing was his idea by the way, I didn’t bully him into it) he wanted to wear a traditional man’s sarong. These are available ready made in the gift shop on Meeru. Ian’s cost $49. My dress not only had the advantage that it was cool to wear in very hot, humid conditions, but it folded neatly into my hand luggage and weighed almost nothing.

When we arrived at Meeru, we were contacted by Shihab who, amongst his other responsibilities, is the ‘wedding planner’. He talked in detail about the day and answered many questions. He is fantastic in this role

On the day itself, I was met at 10am by two local ladies in traditional dress who took me to the land spa for my makeup and hair to be done. I took my dress with me and I did take some toiletries and cosmetics but they had everything. They even put sunscreen on under the makeup –not only on your face but neck, shoulders, back etc. I will warn you, that as someone who doesn’t normally wear much eye makeup, I found the look a little scary. The lady did assure me, that I would need it for the photos in the very bright light and she was right. I took a clip on pony tail from Hothair (available in Selfridges and online) which she attached for me. The Spa does have curling tongs and strengtheners etc so can do most things for you but do arrive with clean dry hair as they only have 30 mins for the whole transformation. I would recommend tying back long hair as it can be windy. The pony tail worked really well to add length and was easy to attach so I wore it several more times during the holiday. Other things worth noting of a ‘girlie’ nature – I wore a M+S stick-on bra. It worked brilliantly and I wore it again 3 times during our stay. The sticky patches do feel like they might peel off and as with most strapless bars, the cup fit isn’t brilliant but once you have your dress on, it sits well and you do feel secure. You can also leave a bag with your bits and pieces in at the spa and collect it later.

While I was being ‘beautified’ the two ladies went back to the room to collect Ian to meet me. Shihab then met us at the Spa and the ‘formal’ part of the day began.

Outside the Spa, 8 local ladies and men were waiting for us. They walked with us, singing and playing drums all the way to the beach outside the Asian Wok.

The ceremony took place on the beach at 11a.m. During our initial meeting with Shihab, we had chosen ceremony 2 of 3 which was specifically for vow renewals. We used our original wedding rings and my flowers were real and supplied by Meeru.

After the ceremony, we had a short break and a coconut drink before taking a boat trip back round the Island to the Uthuru bar. They take you to a point near your room. Ian bravely carried me into the boat. The journey was a bit choppy but the two guys in charge did a good job of protecting us from the choppiest sections and we didn’t get too wet.

At the Uthuru bar, Shihab and the men and ladies met us and sang us back to our room. Inside our room, our room boy had dressed our bed. Note, Shihab and the photographer will come into your room! Do a bit of housework before you go out unless you don’t mind strangers seeing your PJs etc. We had time at the room to freshen up and take a comfort break.

Ian and I were then left with the photographer for around 90 mins. Using buggies and walking we went to various spots around the Island for photographs. This time passed quickly. Ian did have problems keeping his eyes open for photos but the photographer was able to apply a few clever strategies to help.

Once we’d finished, we went off for lunch. We then met the photographer to choose our photos. He had taken nearly 250 and we could choose 40 for an album. It was actually quite easy to do as many photos are of the same point in time and it’s just a case of choosing the one where you’ve both got your eyes open etc.

We were then free to enjoy the day. This was when I realised that this day was even better than our real wedding day. Now we could do what we wanted rather than worrying about family and friends and meeting their needs. We had a gentle stroll back up the island stopping off for drinks and chatting to people who had seen us earlier in the day. Take care if you have a cocktail. Most have a cherry in the edge of the glass and I got cherry juice on my dress!! Thank goodness for travel wash. Back at the Uthura Bar we had quite a few white wines. Yovan was keen to know how Ian had got on lifting me into the boat and he took a great photo of us using Ian’s phone which we were able to ‘facebook’ to family and friends.
We finished the day with a meal at the Asian Wok. Sushi, spring rolls, lobster and fried beef all finished off with tempura bananas. We made our way back up the Island with a slow wobble stopping briefly to listen to the live music at the new Donhi Bar (same group that do the Full Moon dinners). One of the best days ever as far as I was concerned.

Our photo album was back in a couple of days. We met up with Shihab to go through it. We also had a CD with the album plus all other photos which Shihab checked for us – we all had a laugh at the many photos where Ian had his eyes closed.

Our holiday went on to be as fantastic as it started. For days people came up to us to speak about our special day. The weather remained great and we reached a point of such relaxation it was hard and sad to leave at the end of the fortnight. Well done Meeru – another brilliant holiday.

If you are renewing your vows/getting married and we can help with any queries, please ask.

I have attached a link to our photo album so that you can take a look.



http://www.flickr.com/photos/77576226@N07/sets/72157633250263049/

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 25, 2013 10:58 am Reply with quote
Casey Jones
Joined: 30 May 2008
Posts: 1497
Location: Cumbria
Great synopsis Jo of your wonderful day Very Happy
Couldn't ask for more perfect weather.

Casey Cool

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 25, 2013 8:22 pm Reply with quote
karyn
Joined: 13 Apr 2011
Posts: 401
Location: Derbyshire
I really enjoyed reading this Jo, thank you! I've looked at your album on Flickr too. Your dress is absolutely beautiful - perfect for the venue and the occasion. If you hadn't mentioned it, I would never have guessed that your pony tail was clipped in - it looks so natural.

Ian's sarong looks brilliant too.

Everything looks brilliant! What a perfect day.

Congratulations!

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 27, 2013 8:20 pm Reply with quote
Freckles
Joined: 17 May 2005
Posts: 473
Location: Shropshire
Lovely photos and great report, brought back memories of our vow renewal in 2011

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Ian and Jo's wedding vow renewal April2013 
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