I’m not ashamed to admit that I didn’t train at all in the week leading up to our wedding – I think if there’s any time I can get away with it, it would be then!
Darren and I spent the week finishing off wedding favours, place names, the table plan and getting gifts for the bridal party. I also had my final dress fitting and some pampering with my mum at my beautiful bridesmaid’s salon in Chelmsford.
The wedding itself was an absolute dream! Nerves took over in the morning and I became a silent mess – definitely not normal for me – but, putting on my dress was a when the nerves really set in… this was it! My dad came in to meet me and I’ll always remember his face when he saw me – such a special moment. Walking into the ceremony room was a complete blur (and my glassy eyes in the below shot show it!) but the ceremony was beautiful – our venue and registrars did an amazing job.
Onto the meal and, again, our venue were amazing – the food was incredible, and the flow of the afternoon perfect. My husband, his best woman and my dad gave the most witty, emotional and loving speeches and we smiled so much our faces hurt! My dad made me totally blub… you can see how much in the photo below! It’s such an ugly photo but I absolutely love it because it reminds me of his speech!
And then there was dancing… lots and lots of dancing! We chose to book a photo booth, which was the most fun, and we hit the floor most of the night with our favourite songs being played by our DJ. We honestly had the best day of our lives, and were so lucky to have everyone there to share it with us.
Thank you so much to everyone who helped make our day so special.
Monday – Rest day. We booked to stay in a hotel near the airport last night, so were lucky not to have to wake up too early to catch our flight to the Bahamas. Our flight left at 10:35am, arriving in Nassau at just after 14:40 local time. We were staying at a Sandals resort and went all out when booking, choosing a swim-up suite, which came with butler service. This meant we also got private transfers to the hotel. The driver was so friendly and chatty, giving us a history of the island as he drove. When we got there our butler had booked us dinner at the main restaurant, which gave us a fantastic welcome with some traditional Bahamian dishes.
Tuesday – Aqua bike, morning. Today was our first full day so after breakfast we decided to head over to the watersports area where something had caught our eye yesterday… the aquabikes! In case you don’t know what this is, it’s a big frame with a double seat, two sets of pedals and three huge floating wheels, one of them with steering. We floated around for a while pedaling our way around the zone and looking down at how clear the water was.
The rest of the day was spent chilling out by the pool, with the odd dip, and relaxing.
Wednesday – Gym, some time in the afternoon! Today we decided to go over to the private island. We had a quick breakfast and I had my nails done straight after. The boat goes over once an hour from 10am, so we had a quick breakfast and then headed over to the pier for 11am. Around lunchtime it started to rain really heavily. We ate lunch under the protection of the café roof, before catching a boat back to the island.
In the gym I did a complex of 15 deadlifts, 10 cleans, 5 shoulder to overhead for 3 rounds. I then did some front squats, and finished off with hanging leg raises.
Thursday – SUP, afternoon. Thursday was the most gloriously hot day. We spent the whole day on the beach, heading over to the pizzeria for lunch. The sand on the beach was super fine and soft, and the water oh so clear – I’ve truly never seen anything like it.
As the afternoon clouded over we stopped by the watersports hut on the way back to our room. I’d been bugging Darren about doing stand-up paddleboarding – something I’ve wanted to try for ages. The water was a little more choppy than was ideal for SUP, but we gave it our best go and both managed to stand up on our first attempts. Floating around on the top of the water with the private island in view and the clear sea below was just stunning. And then… I fell in! I made my way back to the board and got back up and we paddled around some more and then… I fell in again! I couldn’t believe after my persistent nagging to try SUP, I fell in twice and Darren didn’t fall in at all!
Friday – Gym, afternoon. Friday was, unfortunately, our first full day of rain. It was actually a bit of a godsend because after the full day of sunshine yesterday my skin broke out with a really strange reaction to the sun. I’ve never had anything like it before but my face was covered in acne-like spots. Thankfully, I’d packed my Pixi Glow Tonic, which I am convinced helped it recover more quickly, but I was stuck with it for a few days at least.
After breakfast we went back to the room and watched a film, chilling out on our four poster bed. We grabbed another pizza lunch, running back to the room with a Sandals umbrella to shield them from the rain. Later in the afternoon we hit the gym together. This time I did a circuit of bosu squats, goblet squats and kettlebell swings. I then did some cable wood choppers and russian twists on the bosu.
Saturday – Rest day. Today was the day we swum with dolphins. It seems to be pretty controversial, but we absolutely loved it and it was definitely the experience of a lifetime. We got a minibus and boat over to Blue Lagoon Bay, just off Paradise Island, and were greeted with the most beautiful lagoon. After a welcome talk, including some fascinating information about the dolphins and advice for if you ever get to see them in the wild, we changed into our wetsuits, ready to start the experience.
The dolphin we spent most of our time with was called Andy… of course – an obvious Bahamian dolphin name! He was lovely. Apparently the average age of dolphins in the wild is around 12 years, but the oldest dolphin at Blue Lagoon Bay is 48! We got to stroke him, hug him, kiss him, and dance with him. It was so amazing. The final treat of the experience is the infamous dolphin push, which I was convinced I wouldn’t be able to do and felt suddenly terrified of – but I needn’t. I laid in the water as instructed and Andy and another dolphin swum up behind me and pushed me straight out of the water. It was honestly such an amazing experience and I loved every minute of it.
Sunday – Gym, mid-day. After the luck of a slightly drier day yesterday, we were hit with another full day of rain and strong winds. We spent the day playing cards under shelter and reading. I also took a rainy dip in the swim-up lagoon at the back of our room! For my final gym session of the holiday I did a more skills-based circuit including split squats, supine rows and straight bar dips, finished off with some single leg dragon flags.
Monday – Tennis. Our flight wasn’t until after 10pm, so we had the day to chill at the resort. It was another on and off day weather-wise, so we played some games at the resort including a few rounds of bocce (similar to lawn bowls) and then hit the tennis court for an hour or so as it brightened up. We went for our final quick dip of the holiday, then headed back to our room to get ready for dinner before having to leave. We were treated to the full luxury experience with a Rolls Royce transfer to the airport, ready for our night flight home.
We were so lucky on holiday to have the benefit of Butler Service – something I would never normally have opted for, but it came with the grade of room we wanted. I can honestly say that it wasn’t what I expected. They treated us so nicely, whether it was to bring us surprise cocktails while we were on the beach, reserve our sun loungers by the pool, or make sure we had the best table possible at the restaurants – they really did take care of us.
We both loved our Bahamian holiday, and our first Sandals experience (hopefully of many!), and feel so lucky to have been able to make it possible thanks to the generosity of our friends and family.
Have you recently gotten married? How did your big day go? Or have you been on a Sandals Inn holiday? I’d love to hear your experiences!