What could be more romantic than a wedding in the Maldives? Katie and Jonny's special day was spent on one of the white sand beaches, to the sound of the waves, surrounded by close friends and family, elegantly and sincerely. We learned from Katie all the details of preparing for the heavenly wedding as well as her love story with Jonny.
How did you meet?
Jonny and I met when we were in our early 20s while we were finishing university. We would cross paths through mutual friends and nights out and became close friends, but we didn’t get together until a year or so later. We have been together ever since. After 3 houses, a dog (Ralphie), and a marriage proposal in February 2020, we began planning our wedding in the summer months – 10 years after we first met!
What do you do for a living?
Jonny works in Tech and I work in Finance. We both lead busy lives and our work requires regular travel which makes the time we spend together more valuable. So we make lots of time for holidays and trips to sunny locations to escape the Scottish climate!
What are your hobbies?
We enjoy long walks with our dog at the beach and in the hills, we enjoy traveling and exploring new places and cultures, and seriously enjoy food and wine! Jonny is an avid golfer so I lose him on weekend mornings. We love to host friends and family at our house for dinner and as one of our friends once said, ‘Jonny loves to cook, Katie likes to drink!’
What was the concept behind your wedding and how did you find your inspiration?
We spent a long time working with our wedding planner, Holly at Wonderlust Events, touring French and Italian venues (virtually) throughout the pandemic. And whilst we eventually decided that we wanted something that we couldn’t find a venue for, we were able to take a lot of inspiration from the locations we viewed and the discussions we had with those venues. This gave us some direction and Holly helped to create something that was very ‘us’, curated from all of our thoughts and ideas as we went through the planning process. We knew from the start that we wanted a destination wedding because we wanted a celebration that extended beyond the big day with all of our guests, but we also wanted to put lots on outside of the wedding day in terms of experiences and memories that we cherish as we think back to our wedding.
Jonny and I think of the entire trip as ‘our wedding’ which is so special as we experienced and did so much with all of our closest family and friends that we simply could not have fit into one day. Everything from swimming with turtles and whale sharks to a private sunset cruise, paddle boarding, and a private cinema showing of Pretty Woman on the beach under the stars. We were so lucky that our friends and family had made the trip across the world to celebrate us, which also made us very conscious that we had enough planned for our guests across their stay on the island. We also didn’t want to overload everyone with activities when we were in such an amazing location – allowing everyone to do it their own way. Holly really helped us to find a good balance and ended up planning a lot more than just our wedding day.
We really wanted something that was romantic and intimate, yet still glamorous and fun. The location was so idyllic and special that it made it easy for us to decide on our color palettes, flowers, and stationery to work with the venue and setting. We worked with the venue to find locations on the island that worked with our timings for the day in terms of light and using the beautiful Maldivian golden hour as we settled into post-ceremony drinks and canapes before our reception. The sun setting over the sea became our backdrop to the dinner location under fairy lights on the beach. The structure for our lighting with the backdrop of the water and the sun setting is one I will never forget. Our photographer Katie Julia captured these moments and the whole day perfectly. I still pinch myself when I look at them. We had a clear vision in our minds of how we wanted our photography to look, which was to capture all of the colors and tones of the location while still remaining very elegant and classic, which Katie did so immaculately. Katie also captured a few key moments in the days before and after our wedding day which we are so thankful for, this really helps to frame the wedding and all of our amazing experiences when we look back at the photos.
Where was your wedding? Why did you choose this venue?
Our venue was the beautiful LUX* South Ari Atoll in the Maldives. We had joked about having a small wedding following our engagement, flying to an island somewhere with some close family and a few friends, but then quickly realized how difficult it was to decide where to draw the line in terms of guests and then didn’t give it much more thought. Planning in the midst of the COVID pandemic was also a consideration when guest numbers were limited in some countries and venues. When we began our venue search, we were looking at larger 80-100 guest venues in France and Italy where we began to feel a little lost and couldn’t find anything that we felt would give us everything we had dreamed of in terms of the full destination wedding vision we realized we wanted. With the uncertainty of the pandemic and considering all of the options we had seen, we decided that an intimate wedding was what we had wanted all along and it turned out to be everything we hoped for and more. We ended up somewhere in between our two options in terms of guest numbers but having viewed numerous island options, we quickly settled on the LUX* as it ticked all of our boxes.
It is a beautiful island. It’s big enough that our guests could spend time themselves and offers so much variety in terms of dining and drinking, but also small enough that it is easy to meet as a wider group across the bars and restaurants, beaches, and pools. The island was really the perfect size and this was a big consideration when picking the venue. The staff at the venue could not have been more helpful or welcoming and went above and beyond to make everyone’s trip very special. The venue provided a fabulous concierge for the group contactable via Whatsapp, which made it easy for us to send out communications and updates but also helped to ensure that our guests had a knowledgeable single point with that they could interact at any time for any queries or requests.
How many guests did you have?
We had 38 guests in total.
Tell us about your outfits.
The night before the wedding we had arranged a sunset cruise for our guests, I wore a Nadine Merabi dress. My wedding dress was Berta and was from Opus Atelier and it was the first dress that I tried on in the store. I knew as soon as I put the dress on that it was the perfect dress for me. I had always envisioned myself getting married in a Berta dress, and Lauren from Opus listened to what my style and preferences were to help me find my dream dress. My shoes were Jimmy Choo. Jonny’s tux was a mix of bespoke items and Suitsupply. We have an amazing tailor locally who made a number of the pieces for Jonny’s outfit and customized the bought items from Suitsupply with covered buttons and different fabrics to arrive at something that, most importantly to Jonny, fit extremely well and felt special, but was also was unlined and lightweight enough for the Maldivian heat!
What was your first dance song?
Jake Isaac - You and I. Finding our first dance song was not actually as easy as we had expected, we don’t have a ‘song’ and didn’t want something cheesy. We just spent a lot of time listening to music we liked over dinner and ended up picking the song we felt we had the most in common with.
What flowers did you choose for the bride's bouquet and why?
I chose white roses for my bouquet. I wanted something classic, elegant, and timeless, and white roses were the perfect flower to compliment my dress and tie in with the rest of the design details for our day.
What was your wedding cake like? And where did you order it?
Our wedding cake was a very simple three-tier cake with flowers that tied in with our arch and tablescape. The LUX* made the cake for us, we were not sure whether we had wanted a cake to begin with but with the help of the LUX*, we delivered it to all of our guests’ rooms during the dancing so everybody had a sweet treat waiting for them in their room when the night was done.
Are there any vendors that you would like to tell us a little more about?
All of our vendors were amazing, but our wedding planner, Holly at Wonderlust Events really made our dreams come true. Holly sourced all of our vendors and has a wealth of knowledge and contacts. For example, when it came to picking stationary Holly knew an exact fit for us with Ivy Inks Studio which meant we worked with the first stationer we met. She worked seamlessly with our local Maldivian supplier, Ikebana, despite very different time zones and very specific requests on everything from chairs, charger plates, and cutlery, to the structure and lighting above our dining area on the beach and fireworks for our first dance. Our very talented photographer Katie Julia captured the whole day beautifully, we are so thankful that we chose her and for all of the extra work she put in to make the photos special.
Destination Wedding Planner @wonderlustevents
Floral Design @ikebanamaldives
Hair & Makeup @yasminhairandmakeup @thecollectivehmua
Dress Designer & Dress shop @berta & @opusatelier
Wedding & engagement rings @77diamonds
Groom suit @suitsupply