Tuesday, 28 May 2013

May 18th - Happy Birthday Mum - Happy Wedding Elaine and Paul

Our hopes of a lie in and leisurely breakfast faded fast this morning when we had a panic phone call from Paul asking for our help down in Akourdalia as time was running out and there was still a shed load of work to be done.  Unfortunately although the sun was shining and there were clear blue skies the wind decided to wreak havoc just at the point when the guys were trying to erect the gazebos.  The tape that Paul had used to strengthen the joints just wasn't man enough and with the roof on a sudden gust just took it all apart.  There was nothing for it but to take them back down and for John to go around every joint with some duck tape.  Paul wanted them put back up later and we had to make sure that they would be safe.  Hadeel, Mike and I desperately tried to lay the tables but the wind was too strong.  Poor Elaine arrived and lost it - the stress and strain had taken its toll.  As we tried to explain to her only she knew the vision she had for the day - everyone else would arrive and see what we had achieved and not know any better.  In the end she conceded to make the best of it and we persuaded her to go and get ready - it was 12.00 and she was supposed to be at the church for 3.00.

Elaine and Paul's blessing was taking place in the tiny little church in Akourdalia.  Elaine and Paul had done everything themselves and when I say everything I mean everything down to the decorations inside and outside the church.  You can see why when Elaine puts up her Christmas decorations it takes her four days!  The little church looked stunning and it was standing room only by the time the ceremony took place.  

Elaine had been given away by Yianni (on the right) who at 95 is the oldest inhabitant of Akourdalia and quite a character.  A bit of a one with the ladies methinks!!  It was lovely to see local Cypriots from the village come down and join in the celebrations - after the service Elaine and Paul stayed for some time with the villagers to have a private local get together.

John and I took our two cameras - complete with the one with the dodgy lens - but the pressure was off of us today as there was an official photographer so we could stand back and snap.  Once again we fired off about a thousand photographs which we had to whittle down to a more reasonable number.  The confetti had been made by Elaine and Paul from hundreds of rose petals taken from their garden!

By the time we all got to Al and Lyn's beautiful house in Akourdalia (where the reception was taking place) the wind had dropped and it was a scorcher.  

John rallied the men to get the gazebo roofs put back up and with a quick tidy of the place settings everything looked stunning.  It may not have been exactly how Elaine had envisaged it but it looked stunning none the less.

Drinks and nibbles were served up on the balcony which has absolutely stunning 360 degree views with mountains on one side and sea on the other and the garden looked absolutely immaculate.

Elaine and Paul's attention to detail meant that the guests wanted for nothing, welcome drinks and nibbles on arrival, an open bar throughout, a sumptuous buffet, yummy sweets, cheese and biscuits and then later even more food!

The waiting staff were provided by Orexi and although Elena could not be there - being otherwise engaged in hospital - she was not forgotten and remembered in all the thank-yous given out.  Her husband Bassam was there and her great friend Phillipa (who had kept us up to date on her progress) and Phillipa number two and I know that Elena was there in spirit because she text me several times to check how it was all going!

We had live music to dance away the hours and eventually when they could be sure that everyone was enjoying themselves Elaine and Paul managed to relax and enjoy themselves too.  They were both shattered!  

The Hen girlies even managed to perform their wedding dance although I think a bit more practice might have been needed!!

The piece de resistance towards the end of the proceedings was the cutting of the cake which had been made by Lyn and was a spectacular piece of confectionery which tasted as good as it looked!

We all wrote our names in the dusk with the sparklers provided and shortly afterwards Elaine and Paul slipped away for some peace and quiet leaving the rest of us to party on.

It was a truly spectacular day - the weather didn't beat us and in the end it all looked fantastic and everyone had a wonderful time. 

What on earth they are going to do now to fill their time Lord only knows - they wont know what to do with themselves now!

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