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Sally and John’s big day by the sea

Le Méridien Limassol Spa & Resort, Cyprus

Sally and John’s big day by the sea – The couple

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The couple

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Sally Lyons first met John Rutland in a bar and the pair exchanged telephone numbers. “We talked for a month or two over the phone before finally arranging a proper date,” says Sally. “I then cancelled – twice! Eventually we met up and hit it off straightaway.” After dating Sally for two years, John proposed while the couple were on holiday in Portugal with his eight-year-old daughter, Isabel.

“He said to Isabel, ‘Shall I ask her then?’ and she jumped up and down and said ‘Yes, yes!’” recalls Sally. “He then produced the ring and asked me to marry him. I said yes straightaway – I made him wait long enough for our first date, so I didn’t want to make him wait again!”

Photography: The Pink Panther Studios in Limassol

Sally and John’s big day by the sea – The venue

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The venue

The couple set the big date for 27 May 2008 and decided to have an “intimate, relaxed and fun” wedding abroad.

“We chose Cyprus due to the gorgeous weather, but it was still close enough that the people we wanted there could come over,” says Sally. The bride and groom tied the knot at Le Méridien Limassol Spa & Resort, exchanging vows under a gazebo next to the beach.

“The venue was excellent and it was great to exchange vows while we looked out to sea, in the glorious sunshine,” says Sally. “It was such a beautiful setting and our intimate guest list made it even more relaxed.”

Sally and John’s big day by the sea – The wedding outfits

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The wedding dress

Sally wore a wedding dress from Berketex Bride, completing her look with a necklace and earrings (both by Swarovski) that John bought for her. The groom wore a light-coloured linen suit from Marks & Spencer.

The bridemaids

Isabel and Sally’s niece Lauren were bridesmaids and looked adorable in blue dresses from Pronuptia. “Isabel chose the colour as it reminded her of the sea,” says Sally.

Sally and John’s big day by the sea – The flowers

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The flowers

The bride carried a pretty over-arm bouquet of calla lilies. “The wedding co-ordinator from Classic Collections went all over the island to get me those lilies,” says Sally.

Sally and John’s big day by the sea – The reception

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The reception

The ceremony was followed by champagne and photos on the lawn outside the gazebo. “We also cut the cake at that time,” says Sally. “We then all got changed into beach wear – I had a white bikini and white linen skirt to keep with the bridal theme – and went onto a catamaran for the reception. We did the speeches and the first dance on the boat and then all went swimming in the sea by some caves! It was fantastic and really made the day even more special.”

Sally and John’s big day by the sea – Any tips?

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Any tips?

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“My top tip for brides is to relax,” says Sally. “I enjoyed the day so much by not worrying about the detail. Do something different and enjoy every moment. It was honestly the best day I have ever had.”