Holiday Romance to Happily Ever After

Our Russian Princess, Yana, becomes an English Queen, as she marries her Charming Prince Gary.

It is the most romantic of dreams.  A holiday romance that blossoms into true love.  A finding of soul mates on a tropical island, ending in a fairy tale wedding… 

A Koh Phangan Love Story

Yana met Gary in Thailand, on the party island of Koh Phangan.  Their love story blossomed over the season, and continued as they took off around Europe to the party hotspots of Milan and Ibiza.  Separated for a few months that autumn, they met again in Thailand last winter.

Their affair of the heart was soon confirmed, as Gary and Yana decided to spend their life together.

Seven weeks before the wedding, Yana called to say she’d arrived in England – and it was time to organise the wedding!  A week later, she was in the Brides by Solo boutique, as we crossed our fingers that we’d find a dress to fulfill her bridal dreams.

We were in luck.  Yana found not one, but two, dresses with which she fell instantly in love.  The first was a slim-fitting brocade wedding dress, which made Yana feel “like the Swan Princess out of the Russian fairytale…”

The second dress, laced bodice, illusion neckline and full skirts with satin underlay, was fit for a queen.  Yana went home to sleep on it, which wedding dress would it be?

In the morning we had her answer: “Queen it will be!”

Russian Queen marries her Prince Charming

In his dapper suit, groom Gary was the ultimate Prince Charming to match his beautiful bride.  His loveable nature shone as he greeted his gathering guests: his family and friends, Yana’s Russian friends, and an intimate group from the close-knit community of Koh Phangan.

Saying their vows, Gary and Yana forsaked all others for each other.  Raw emotion touched the bride and groom in gentle waves, spreading out to reach over all of us. On the back row, us Koh Phangan girls dabbed away tears of joy at the blissful union.

Yana looked resplendent in her wedding dress.  The dress not only fitted her – she fitted the dress.  She took our breath away all day long.  The perfectly fitting bodice, the intricate illusion back, the delicate buttoning detail – the voluminous skirts, fit for a queen!

She could have walked down the aisle in Westminster Abbey in that dress, I swear.

The Wedding Reception

The dovetailing of two different cultures continued into the evening.  The happy couple entered the reception to the congregation’s applause.  Then, on the threshold, bride and groom fed each other bread and salt:  an old Slavic tradition – ‘the bitterest thing to feed each other from now on!’

We greeted the bride and groom to offer our congratulations, and the party and merriments began in earnest.  In another Russian tradition, Gary and Yana each lit a candle.

Then together they lit a larger candle, signifying the union of the flame of their love.

Dancing Into The Night

The first dance was a classic from the Thai islands.  We were soon up dancing with Gary and Yana in celebration. Even the waiters joined in!  Serenaded by a stunning Russian MC over a sumptuous dinner, our Koh Phangan DJ took to the decks – to continue the party well into the night.

The evening ended with Yana the bride dancing on the tables, as groom and wedding party danced around her!

A love-filled wedding from start to finish, amazing company – and a divine dress.  “The best day of my life!”, says an excited Yana.

Congratulations to the happiest of couples, Gary and Yana, as they begin their fairytale life together.


Originally published on our Brides by Solo wedding blog for HELLO! Magazine in Nov 2014.

Wedding Photography by Vadim Nester

A Maggie Sottero Dress for a Santorini Wedding: Lois and Alex

Lois looked the ultimate blushing bride in her Maggie Sottero dress for her Santorini wedding.

Lois, a teacher from Cambridge, met Alex, a London construction manager, at summer sports camp. Sports coach Lois fell for dashing lifeguard Alex that summer, and they’ve been together ever since. The bride and groom celebrated their destination wedding, on the dream island of Santorini, in August.

“We have been together 10 years – so it was about time!” says Lois.

“I had seen Maggie Sottero dresses advertised and I really loved them – I am a big fan of lace! I didn’t know for certain I wanted one, but once I tried on one of her dresses, I knew she was the designer for me.

The dress had arrived in the bridal boutique that morning, and I was the first person to try it on. Brides by Solo manager Odette understood the style I wanted straight away. As soon as I put it on, I knew it was the one.

My Brides by Solo experience was excellent – the service was personal and they made me feel very special. Even though they must deal with hundreds of brides every year, I felt that they really cared for my needs and understood my style.

I love lace and the detail on my Maggie Sottero dress was beautiful...

On the day, I felt like a princess! Everbody commented on how beautiful the dress was, and it fitted perfectly. A company called ‘Bella’ did my make up, they were brilliant – they managed to get it exactly how I wanted it.

My favourite memory is walking down the aisle, and seeing Alex standing there. Alex loved my dress – which is great, as we have very different tastes! He kept commenting on how lovely it was throughout the evening…”

32 friends and family gathered with Lois & Alex, for their Greek wedding on Santorini

“We had always imagined a simple and personal wedding, and Greece is our favourite place in the world. We love the culture, beaches, food and people – and we knew they would give us a great day. We got married at La Maltese hotel on Santorini at sunset.

The day was perfect, and we were so pleased people made the effort to come all that way – we really appreciated it.

It was lovely as the wedding was so intimate, with our closest friends and family. We spent lots of quality time together – it was not only a wedding but a great holiday! There were 32 people all together. I had three bridesmaids – two friends and my sister. My brother was usher and the best man was Alex’s best friend David.

Santorini was absolutely our dream wedding. It was exactly how we imagined it. The views were breathtaking and getting married at sunset was always our dream. Santorini is such a beautiful island and the most romantic place I have been.

We want to go back every year for our anniversary (in my dreams!!!) Everything from the food to the band was outstanding and we could not have asked for anything more!

For our honeymoon, we went island hopping to Ios, a small island with beautiful beaches and great food. Next we went to Mykonos, which had beautiful sunsets. A truly fabulous two weeks!”

“I just want to do it all again – I can’t stop looking at the pictures,” says Lois, the beautiful bride.

Congratulations to Lois & Alex on their wedding – Lois, you looked beautiful in your Maggie Sottero dress!

Wishing you a long and happy life together.

Love from Brides by Solo x


Originally published on our Brides by Solo wedding blog for HELLO! Magazine in Sept 2014.