After postponing their nuptials for two years due to Covid, Dale and Samantha were joined by 27 of their nearest and dearest as they wed in the Cypriot sunshine. Was it all plain sailing in the end?

Samantha Nairn & Dale Richardson

9th May 2022 in Paphos, Cyprus

Venue | Exclusive Yacht Weddings
Photography | Thimisy by Alex and Chris McRae Photography

“We got engaged in June 2015 on holiday in Cyprus, and originally planned to marry there in May 2020: Paphos is a special place to us and we wanted to have a small, private wedding,” bride Samantha tells us. “Covid, however, had other ideas.”

In 2019, before the pandemic struck, she and Dale had returned to the island to begin the planning process. They met up with Sharron Masoura of Exclusive Yacht Weddings, who would be on hand to help make their dream day a reality.

The couple immediately fell for Lemba Vrisi as a ceremony spot: this secluded and serene hilltop location 20 minutes from Paphos overlooks the sea and plenty of lush greenery, making it a truly idyllic spot. Having celebrated their engagement with a boat trip, they planned to take to the sea once again for their wedding reception. “We fell in love with the Sea Star yacht as soon as we stepped aboard: it was private and luxurious, which was exactly what we were after.”

The yacht has the capacity for 150 people for big weddings, but Samantha and Dale chose to keep their numbers small, with 27 of their kin joining them to celebrate tying the knot.

The bride says it was easy to marry abroad, despite having to reschedule their date twice. “Covid was the only thing that got in the way for us,” she adds. “The team at Exclusive Yacht Weddings made it as stress-free as possible and kept in touch with us throughout.” Being overseas also wasn’t an issue, as the couple kept in contact with their coordinators via email and video calls – the only way to communicate during the pandemic anyway.

When their long-awaited day finally arrived, Samantha and Dale had a civil ceremony on the Mediterranean island, noting that they didn’t have to have an official ceremony here in Scotland before jetting off. “We did, however, have to complete a joint statutory declaration and get a solicitor to sign it prior to the wedding,” says the bride.

If you’re marrying abroad, what better way to bring a little bit of home with you than to incorporate the national flower into your big day? “We wanted to keep a Scottish element to our abroad wedding, so the flowers included thistles, and the men’s buttonholes were thistles too. Dale and the groomsmen also wore kilts to keep with the theme.”

A real highlight, according to Samantha, was the yacht: “Our guests are still talking about how amazing our day was. The yacht definitely has the wow factor as everyone said they’d never been to a wedding like that before!”

Planning a wedding can be stressful, so the couple recommend keeping a spreadsheet that will allow you to see what you’ve booked (and paid for) with just a quick glance.

“Another top tip for anyone marrying abroad would be to take your wedding outfits in your hand luggage,” smiles Samantha. “And try not to go over the top with taking extra things unless they are really important to you. You can get hold of a lot of extras abroad and that’ll save room in your suitcase.”

So what do the newlyweds think was the highlight of their big day? “I genuinely can’t pick one – the whole experience was incredible,” says the bride. “Dale and I were both surprised by how calm we felt while organising the wedding, and when it came around it was perfect – we wouldn’t change anything!”

Venue, wedding planning, fireworks, magician, DJ and catering All organised through and supplied by Exclusive Yacht Weddings
Photography and videography Thimisy by Alex and Chris McRae Photography
Bride’s dress Bijoux Bridal
Groom and groomsmen’s kilts Anderson Kilts
Bridesmaid dress Biba
Hair and makeup Maria’s Hair and Beauty
Flowers and decor Cyprus Wedding Decorations
Cake and biscuit favours Love Island Cakes
Transport Wedding Bus Cyprus
Engagement and wedding rings Monaghans
First dance routine FitSteps Dumfries

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