A beautiful Wedding we had the pleasure of last year, that of Kristina, 30 from Chelyabinsk in Russia, and Jamie, 32 from Kettering in the UK. Their wedding took place on the 14th July 2021. Kristina an events organiser and Jamie a Senior Geologist in the oil and gas industry, chose to opt for a modern, minimalistic, romantic boho wedding style with neutral and natural colours.
A happy-ending that started with a dating app…
“Jamie and I both worked and lived in Dubai, UAE, when we met on Tinder. I was just out of a long-term relationship and wasn’t looking for anything serious. My friends suggested that I download Tinder and after a few hours of being on there Jamie asked me out. We were never apart from then onwards. The rumour is that after our first date Jamie told his parents that I was the one. We have been together since our first date in April 2018, which would make it over 3 years now.”
“We always wanted to have an intimate wedding ceremony in a close family circle and then a bigger symbolic ceremony with all our friends at a later date. After Jamie proposed we immediately booked the closest date available in April 2020 for a wedding ceremony.”
Unfortunately things didn’t go to plan for the couple due to covid restrictions.. “Both our families booked their flights to Dubai in the hope that travel restrictions would be lifted by then. Unfortunately, this hasn’t happened, the flights were canceled and the church postponed the ceremony until further notice.”
Making the best of what they could Kristina and Jamie married at the British Embassy in Dubai in the middle of July 2020, before moving to the UK shortly after which the pandemic made it earlier than they had originally planned to. Once settled in the UK, they were determined to book their destination wedding.
Jamie had planned to propose during a staycation in one of the UAE resorts but then Covid-19 happened and plans had to change. Jamie ended up proposing over the Easter weekend whilst they were in lockdown and were only allowed to step outside with a special government permission for essential trips only. He set up a beautiful cheese board (one of Kristina’s favourites) and hid a ring box in a large chocolate easter egg as part of their Easter Egg hunt tradition. The engagement ring was a gorgeous round solitaire diamond in a white gold Tiffany setting, 1.5 carat.
For their wedding rings, Kristina chose an eternity band that went beautifully with her solitaire diamond engagement ring, and Jamie’s wedding band was custom made.
Kristina’s dress was created in a boho style out of the most beautiful beaded lace fabric. “I always wanted to have an open back which seemed very fitting with the Cyprus heat in July. We added a detachable wedding dress train at the last moment as I didn’t feel that a veil was right for me or for the dress but wanted something a bit more grand for the entrance. I could not have been happier with my dress; it was absolutely perfect.”
To accompany the dress, Kristina wore stunning drop earrings from H&M that she had had for a couple of years. “I couldn’t find anything else, so I just took them in case they would look good with the dress. And luckily, they did”
“My shoes were nude block heel sandals from Stuart Weitzman. I also had them for a couple of years and could not have found a more comfortable pair. I think I only changed into flats an hour before the evening was over.
Kristina ended up having 2 dresses – the long one for the official ceremony and the shorter one for the party afterwards.
And what about the Groom..
“Jamie didn’t feel like wearing a full suit or something too formal. We managed to get a navy Ted Baker blazer on our trip to London and matched it with an All Saints white shirt and black smart casual trousers. Initially, Jamie planned to wear sand-colour fitted chinos that we got taken up in Cyprus. However, after trying them the night before the wedding, it was clear that they didn’t pair well with the shoes he planned to wear on the day, so Jamie ended up wearing his black trousers.”
As Kristina and Jamie didn’t have any Bridesmaids or Best Men, instead they asked all guests to wear whatever they would be comfortable in, preferably smart casual. They gave them no restrictions on colours, however they told men that it perhaps would be nicer for them to wear long trousers during the ceremony and group photos, after which they could change into shorts if they would like to.
What made you choose Liopetro?
“I think the hardest part of planning a wedding was to settle on the country and the venue. Cyprus seemed like a great option as it is a short flight away from the UK, UAE and Russia where all of the guests would have been travelling from with minimal visa restrictions. We must have looked at dozens of the wedding venues in Cyprus but nothing seemed right. We wanted for the venue to be beautiful, unique and most of all private. After almost giving up hope to find a perfect venue, we came across Liopetro on social media and immediately fell in love with it. Communication with Makis and Michalis was great from the start which was important to me not only as an event professional but also as a bride, so we put a deposit down a week later.”
“We went for the minimal décor as the venue itself is stunning as it is. We ordered a few table centerpieces for the cocktail tables around the lawn area, drink menus, candles and flower arrangements for the guest book table. We brought over from the UK a creative Connect Four style guest book which looked great.
We had a beautiful pampas grass ceremony arch that was moved to behind the sweetheart table after the ceremony. Two long guest tables and a sweetheart table were decorated with small flower centerpieces and tea lights. We also ordered Liopetro’s Gold Pack for cutlery and dinnerware. Each place setting had a charger plate, menu and a bunny tail tied with a dusty rose ribbon to match the colour scheme.
“We ordered personalized clear acrylic place names that also served as drink coasters to match our Save the Dates and Invitations design. All guests took the place names away with them as a small wedding favour.”
“We had a 2-tier cake (5’’and 8’’ wide cake that is extra tall) with the top layer being vanilla and lemon curd flavour and the bottom layer zingy lemon with raspberry coulis”
Personally, I felt that the cake was a bit too sweet and dry for my taste. We had quite a bit of cake leftover from the wedding and served it at a family dinner the next day.
We also ordered a doughnut tower from Love Island Cakes which was amazing. We didn’t manage to have any during the wedding but thoroughly enjoyed it for breakfast the next day.”
After Kristina and James married at the British Embassy in Dubai, they drove to the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs to legalize their marriage, before moving back to the UK a couple days later. They had planned to book a wedding reception in a year’s time (July 2021) or as close as possible to their wedding anniversary, and were lucky enough to book us for the 14th July 2021.
“At the point of booking the venue, Liopetro had only 3 dates available for 2021 – two in April and one date a day before our wedding anniversary. Needless to say, we were happy to put the deposit down pretty much right away”
How did COVID-19 affect you and your wedding?
“Initially we invited 60 guests knowing that a few guests would drop out by default. What we didn’t expect is that more than half wouldn’t be able to make it and we only had 29 guests confirmed. Then something unpredictable happened, 7 guests tested positive for covid before their flight to Cyprus and weren’t able to attend. This was heartbreaking as these were my very close friends of 20 years and our wedding witnesses from Dubai. Less than a week before the wedding we had to reduce the numbers for food and drinks, re-arrange a table plan and adjust transportation requirements. Michalis and Makis have been absolutely amazing and offered alternative options and elements to add on in order to utilize the funds remaining from the guests who weren’t able to attend. The words cannot express how appreciative and thankful we are for their support during this time.
We also had a few issues with our flights to Cyprus. Jamie and I booked EasyJet flights that got cancelled a month before the wedding. We immediately re-booked with BA. A couple of days later our flight to Paphos was cancelled as well and moved to a day later. After another cancellation, we changed the arrival airport to Larnaca and thankfully our flight went ahead as per schedule.
Our honeymoon hotel sent us a cancellation email a week before our trip. No explanation or even an apology. We found out from their website that they moved their opening date to the end of July instead of the beginning of the month. We managed to re-book at the most beautiful adults-only hotel Sunrise Jade in Protaras.”
What was the best part of the day and why?
“I think [it was] the excitement of walking down the aisle and seeing all of our loved ones. Even though we had been married for a year at that point, Jamie was still very nervous on the day, so I wanted to get to him as soon as possible to calm him down.
Jamie’s best part was most definitely the cocktail reception when he could finally relax after the ceremony and had a couple of drinks.
Is there anything you learned that you think is an important tip for future wedding couples?
“I wish that someone would have told me to leave the flower bouquet alone at some point and get a few photos without it. Now I am concerned that all photos would have this massive bouquet and no one would be able to see how beautiful my dress was.”
“Late snacks sounded like a great idea but in reality, it was too much food that we couldn’t finish.”
“And I think most importantly, never give up hope and try to stay calm. There is no point in planning a wedding that causes you stress and discomfort. As for me, not once during the planning process did I think that we would have to cancel the wedding or get stressed at any point. Perhaps, due to my profession, I handle stress rather well and with time got good at crisis management. At one point, a couple of months before the wedding it was just my mum and I who believed that the wedding would happen as planned. Unlike the majority of our guests, I wasn’t fully vaccinated when we travelled, so another challenge was getting a PCR test for me before we flew. Perhaps this was the most nerve-racking moment for us as at that point there was no going back and nothing we could have done if I tested positive. With a bit of luck on our side we all made it to Cyprus and had the most beautiful day surrounded by our closest family and friends.”
“We decided to go ahead with Beziique as we thought 2 photographers would be better to cover the wedding of 60 guests as this is what we initially planned for. Nick was also great at communication which we appreciated.”
Bride’s Dress: Angelo Mio in Chelyabinsk, Russia
“I have decided to take a trip to my home country (Russia) and create a tailor-made wedding dress over there, so that my mum could also be there and share this moment with me. I have found an atelier on one of my previous trips back home who managed to order the most beautiful fabric from Italy. There was no sketch or an agreed design in place, we were just seeing what worked best as we went ahead. My dress was finished and handed over to me a couple of hours before my flight to the UK. It was worth it though.”
Groom’s Suit: Blazer from Ted Baker, Shirt & Trousers from All Saints
Wedding Rings: Monili Jewellers in Dubai, UAE
“We had the rings cleaned before the wedding at a local jeweller in Kouklia who also plated Jaime’s wedding band in rhodium.“
Wedding Cake: Love Island Cakes
Flowers: Marry Me Cyprus
Decorations: Marry Me Cyprus
Transport: Jack and Sons Transport Services
“Janine from Jack and Sons has been the best. We had a few changes along the way and each time she found the best solution for our group. We ended up having a 22-seater bus collecting the guests at their accommodation and then dropping them off after the wedding.”
Entertainment: Saxophonist – Zack Evangelou, “Zack played saxophone during the cocktail reception and he was fantastic. We cannot recommend him highly enough.”
MC – Tatiana from T-Style Weddings, “Makis from Liopetro highly recommended Tatiana and she was wonderful. Tatiana is very professional and is just a great person. As Tatiana is fluent in Russian and English, she hosted the symbolic ceremony and the rest of the evening in both languages.”
DJ – Andreas from Pure Entertainment, “Andreas was a pleasure to deal with. We had a few calls before the wedding and shared our music preferences with him on Spotify.“
Hair & Makeup: Maria from Cyprus Brides to be and Inna Make Up Artist Cyprus
“Both were fantastic. There were four of us getting ready at Liopetro bridal suite on the day (bride, mother of the bride, bride’s sister-in-law and bride’s aunt) and all of us were so happy with the end result.”
Invitations & Stationery: Etsy, “We also had dinner and drinks menus created by Best Wedding Banners”. “We ordered acrylic place names also serving as drink coasters from ‘A Touch of Sparkle’ on Etsy. The team there was great and managed to find a design in a similar style as our Save the Dates and Invitations.