Wedding Stories 

Paul Cotterell & Dawn Binding

From Somerset, UK
Married in the Alameda Gardens on 14th July 2012
Drinks reception in the Alameda Gardens
Wedding breakfast at the Caleta Hotel
Honeymooned in Portugal
Celebrated First Wedding Anniversary in Gibraltar on 14th July 2013

And have since celebrated their 2nd, 3rd. 4th & 5th Wedding Anniversaries in Gibraltar 

with Bride Gibraltar 

Paul Cotterell & Dawn Binding

Paul met Dawn when she was a carer for members of his family.  Paul's young daughter had a dream...she wanted to swim with the dolphins in Florida.  There was another thing...Paul's daughter was fighting a losing battle against a life threatening disease and it was near impossible to fly her anywhere.  A childrens' charity came to hear of her plight and they offered to fly Paul, his daughter and her 3 siblings out to Florida to fulfil her dream.  

In the capacity of a carer and because Paul was already falling in love with Dawn, he invited her to join the family on the trip.  After some hesitation, Dawn agreed. Paul's daughter got to swim with the dolphins in Florida but the following day, in temperatures of 100 degrees, she fell ill and had to be hospitalized.  Doctors told Paul his daughter would not make it. Distraught, Dawn had to fly back to the UK with the other 3 children whilst Paul stayed on to be by his sick daughter's bedside.  Shortly after, Paul was able to fly back to the UK with his daughter where she was flown by helicopter to her local hospital.   Soon after, Paul's daughter sadly passed away.  

Some time later, unable to hide his feelings for Dawn any longer, Paul confessed that he was in love with her.  To his delight, it was reciprocal.  One day, Dawn's boss called her in and to her utter surprise, Paul was waiting for her, in front of all of her co-workers, with flowers and champagne and he proposed to her.  

Paul & Dawn got married on Saturday 14th July 2012 in the stunning Open Air Theatre situated deep within the Alameda Gardens. They invited 35 of their closest family & friends to join them.

The outdoor, civil ceremony took place with the Bride walking down a stone aisle into the centre of the large, fish-filled pond where her Groom awaited her. Following the nuptials, a drinks reception took place to toast the happy couple with a finger buffet served shortly after. The wedding party then moved onto the Caleta Hotel where they enjoyed a sunset wedding breakfast on the ocean view terrace. They ended their evening dancing under the stars in the hotel's private garden.

Paul Cotterell & Dawn Binding Children

We arranged the flights, hotel, airport transfers, the legal bit, venue hire, flowers, photography, hair & make up, catering and transport for them and their guests.

Here is what the delighted newly-weds had to say whilst on honeymoon in Portugal – they couldn't wait to let us know!

'What can we say Kay? Fantastic, fantastic, fantastic! Thank you so much for all you have done for us. The below feedback is a testament to what you did for us and for everyone involved in our wedding in Gibraltar. It was perfect in every way from start to finish. We were in your hands and you gave us, especially Dawn, the wedding we dreamed of and for that you will always have a special place in our hearts.

You said you would pray for a lovely sunny day and that's just what we got. I got up on our wedding morning and the sun was out and it was a gorgeous, fantastic, sunny day so your praying worked! Along with your fantastic gifts which we never expected at all...you made our day extra special, thank you so much.  The Open Air Theatre was fantastic...nothing was too much trouble for Pat and her team. The theatre looked perfect. Wanda was absolutely lovely and did a fantastic job...please thank her from the bottom of our hearts. 

Donovan was great too and we can't wait to see the wedding photos.  Dawn looked gorgeous and her hair & make up were top class.  The staff at the Caleta looked after us very well...they were fantastic...the room and food were first class...all our guests had nothing but praise for everyone from the cleaners to the manager...brilliant!

We haven't met you Kay but we feel very close to you. How you did it, we don't know but you gave us the fairytale wedding we wanted and we couldn't have asked for more.  We do plan to meet and thank you in person once we're back. We hope you can make it to our UK wedding reception in August. We are in Portugal at the moment Kay...we have another week and it's gorgeous here.

What can I say that hasn't been said already...fairytale, fantastic, brilliant!  You did it all for us, thank you, thank you, thank you!

We look forward to seeing our feedback and photographs on your website which should include nothing but praise for the wedding you gave us.

Love from
Dawn and Paul x


 

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Kevin Coughlan & Sandra Davidson

From West London, UK
Married in the Alameda Gardens on 30th June 2011
Drinks reception in the Alameda Gardens
Wedding breakfast at the Rock hotel 
Evening bbq & live entertainment at the Rock Hotel Poolside 
Farewell dinner in the Wisteria Room, Rock Hotel 
Honeymooned on the QM2 from Southampton to New York (17 nights)

Some years ago, Kevin was involved in a near fatal motorbike accident. Following a long but full recovery, Kevin decided to live life to the fullest and to make the most of every moment. The first thing he did was to marry the love of his life, Sandra Davidson, whom he'd been with for 17 years. The second thing he did was to drop an email to our wedding planning team. What followed was a lavish, fairytale wedding.

The brief from Kevin was simple:

'To have the most memorable & enjoyable wedding possible for an intimate party of 30 closest friends & family in a sunny destination that's neither too far nor too drastically different from home...plus a wedding reception in the UK for 120 guests and an unforgettable 3 week honeymoon on the QM2'

Our suggestion was just as simple. A destination wedding in Gibraltar which is both neither too far from home, always sunny and intrinsically British followed by a wedding reception at the Sheraton Skyline Hotel near their home in West London and then a 17 night, relaxing cruise on the QM2.

Here is what the couple had to say upon their return from their honeymoon:

'Well Kay, where do I start? Both Sandra and I are so over the moon with all that you have arranged for us on our wedding. We don't know how we could have ever had such a perfect wedding without your input. It has been one of the most stress-free and pleasant arranging of an event that I have ever been involved with and, to be truthful, I really didn't have to do anything thanks to your fantastic arranging skills.

The pool at the Rock Hotel was probably the best of all the venues. All our guests tell us the same thing when we chat about it.   The Wisteria Room & Terrace at the Rock Hotel was a great setting to top off what had been a great wedding. Just like everything else you had chosen for us, it was both a relaxing and most perfect venue for our farewell dinner.

The upgrade you arranged for us on the QM2 to the Master Cabin was, quite literally, the icing on the cake. The whole 17 nights, from start to finish, was first class. It will be hard to top this holiday in the future but I am willing to bet money that you will come up with something.

I have never met a more motivated person in their job as you and both Sandra and I will never forget the way you put all the little touches into our wedding to make it perfect. We cannot thank you enough. I cannot find any more words to describe our happiness...the wedding was so well executed! Thank you!'

Love from Kevin & Sandra x

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Ritu (Ria) Kumar & Mark James Sapsford
from Essex, London
married on Saturday 17th August 2013
honeymooned on Regent Seven Seas 10 night cruise around the Mediterranean 

     

When Ria first announced she's getting married to the Bride Gibraltar team, our heads were spinning with excitement and nerves as each of us created varying fantastic illusions of how the wedding would be and which one of Gibraltar's finest venues it would be in.  Record screeching halt to the violins playing in our ears as Ria then announced she was expecting 140 guests for the ceremony (Open Air Theatre, we thought) and 450 guests for the evening reception.  Mental mathematics took place as our then furrowed foreheads concentrated hard on which venue could hold Ria's vast guest list...most unfortunately, Gibraltar's beautiful venues could not cater to such a large wedding party.  

The other thing with Ria's wedding was that it was a 'fusion' wedding with a blend of cultures, traditions, entertainment and cuisine plus Ria wasn't planning on having just one day of celebration...she was going to be partying the entire week!  

So it was with a heavy heart that we informed Ria we would have to source another not only another venue for her wedding but also country.  It would probably be best, given the large number of family & friends attending, that it was in the UK.  Parklands at Quendon Hall with its grand stately home, immense green acres and deer park, option of an outdoor wedding under the gazebo and capacity for up to 600 guests in their brand new, starlight ceiling lit marquee was the obvious choice.  It was also within close proximity of both Ria and Mark's Essex homes.

All planning was, naturally, by the Bride Gibraltar team although we were now known as the Bride London team  The celebrations actually kicked off at the end of July with Ria's hen night in London.  Moving on swiftly...there were parties, sometimes two (lunch and dinner) on the same day a week prior to the wedding day which included a religious blessing, a champagne luncheon, disco diva night, a song & dance night and a henna party to name just a few!  
On the actual wedding day, the morning kicked off with champagne shots as the bride & bridesmaids had their hair & make up done professionally at Quendon Hall.  Meanwhile, back at the bride's parents home, guests who had gathered there for the courtesy ride to Quendon Hall via two 50 seater coaches were being served morning tea with custom made wedding biscuits with wedding bells and love heart decoration.  

Upon arrival at Quendon Hall, a breakfast of Indian savouries and English pastries was served to the guests attending the day civil ceremony and, entertained by a string quartet playing a fusion of English & Indian classical tunes, they were seated outdoors ready for the arrival of the bride & her 5 bridesmaids, 5 flower girls and 1 pageboy.  Following the romantic ceremony, the wedding party of 140 guests proceeded to the Banqueting Room for a Champagne Afternoon Tea complete with finger sandwiches, cream scones and mini samosas!  Quite the fusion!

   

Two hours later and it was time for the evening wedding guests to arrive...a total of 450.  They were welcomed with champagne and mimosas as they checked the seating plan and took their seats in the Marquee.  Two Venetian themed strolling tables serving gazpacho shots mingled with the guests as they watched the strollers magically gliding over the dance floor - a most elegant touch!  A solo violinist walked amongst the guests' tables playing beautiful tunes as they then got up to help themselves to the vast buffet of starters which included live food stations serving crispy duck pancakes, noodles, chicken kebabs, minted lamb cutlets and spring rolls to name just a few.  



Then it was time for the arrival of the newly-weds.  The Master of Ceremonies announced their arrival but there was no arrival.  All eyes were on the glass doors leading to the Marquee and there was a positive electricity in the air as the newly-weds were requested to enter again but nothing happened.  The DJ, who had started up the opening strains of 'Marry You' for a second time went quiet and it seemed as if we had a case of 'Runaway Bride' on our hands!  

The puzzled Master of Ceremonies announced their arrival a third time and now a funky Bollywood tune blared out as the bride's brother and brother-in-law suddenly jumped up on their chairs and began to sing!  Still no sighting of the couple as the two brothers took to the dance floor surprising all the guests with their Travolta-esque dance moves!  Then, without warning, from all corners of the Marquee, a few of the bride's friends & relatives all jumped up from their respective tables and joined the brothers on the dance floor entertaining the guests no end.  And then it happened...that record screeching halt again as the music changed from  mad Bollywood to Bruno Mars' 'Marry You'.  The dancers looked around surprised at the DJ as now another batch of dancers arrived onto the dance floor moving elegantly to the more suitable tune.  

As the stunned guests looked on, some not realising what was going on, the music changed back to the Bollywood song then back to 'Marry You' as the newly-weds finally made their entrance followed by the entire team of dancers.  What had happened here, if you don't yet know about the latest wedding dance trends, is a flash mob!  Check out our videos on YouTube soon to be loaded here.  

Once the bride & groom had had their first dance - a fusion of an English & Hindi song which had the guests in stitches as Mark lip synched the Hindi lyrics to Ria - it was time for the cake cutting (a gorgeous 5 tier (all real!) Victorian Raspberry Sponge, Chocolate Ganache and Fruit cake and then a video presentation on the LCD screens put up especially in the Marquee to surprise the newly-weds.  It was a film of both the bride & groom's immediate family members and friends including their hairdressers, nail technicians and work colleagues lip synching and dancing to the same tune in their individual homes and work places.  The couple were truly stunned at how many people made the effort to be involved and it remains a great memento of the love shown by their family & friends for them.  

Once everyone had caught their breath, it was time for the speeches and toasts.  More surprises followed as Mark took to the mike and sang an Elvis Presley number to his new wife which had all the guests captivated.  Russian dancing girls entertained with an energetic floor show and then dinner was served at 9pm and it was a feast to behold with the buffet tables extending all the way from one end of the Marquee to the other laden with delicious cuisines to suit every palate.  There was a separate section of tables for the hundreds of desserts and cheeses.  

To work off all that eating & drinking, the fantastic DJ played into the wee hours of the morning and all 450 guests took to the dance floor with great gusto and aplomb including elderly relatives joining in the impromptu limbo!  The Russian dancing girls stayed on for the dancing much to everyone's delight :)

The evening ended with the couple and their immediate close friends drinking champagne and eating wedding cake in the regal surrounds of the stately home until the couple finally bid their farewells and headed upstairs to the honeymoon suite for the night.  

Having fed the guests five times during the course of the day and entertained in four different ways, it was really time for bed and the guests who had elegantly made their way to the venue were seen staggering off, some shoeless...others legless, into the night singing and still dancing...a good night was had by all!

In total, over the course of the week, a total of 1000 guests were fed, watered & entertained and many happy memories were created.  Congratulations to Ria & Mark and we wish them a lifetime of happiness together x

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