Many thousands of miles to travel, an out of date passport, a missed flight, a death in the family – yet it all came together at the last minute when Alison and Nigel tied the knot with friends and family of many nationalities as witnesses, in Los Gigantes Church.

It was always Alison’s dream to have a white wedding and to walk down the aisle with her father, and that dream came true earlier this month on June 14th.

Nigel and Alison have been an ‘item’ since 1999. They met in the 80’s at Warwick University while each was there with their brothers. Nigel’s brother was studying and Alison’s brother played volleyball.

Nigel works in Nottingham as an IT field engineering manager and Alison works 3 days a week, catering in her now retired fathers’ previous bar, the Queens Head in Meriden, as well as running her own beautician business mornings and evenings. 

Nigel’s roots originate in St. Lucia in the Caribbean and Alison’s father, Frank and Mum Pat live here in Los Gigantes – so where to have the wedding? England was definitely out of the question, too cold, too rainy, St Lucia – well very nice but logistics proved too difficult, so the choice was Tenerife, only 4 hrs flying time and guaranteed good weather.

So how could Nigel and Alison arrange this wedding from England with their busy work schedules? This is where  Alison’s Mum and Dad, Pat and frank Pope, stepped in. Several months to organise everything, plans falling together like clockwork – until 3 weeks before the wedding!

Nigel’s Mum and Dad had left St Lucia to work in the UK in their younger days. Nigel was born in Huddersfield. Upon retiring in 2001 his parents decided to return to their roots and move back to St Lucia. Nigel, having met Alison by this time was staying put.

Three weeks before the wedding, amidst all the plans, Nigel received a phone call the type that we all dread. His father had died. So he was on a plane to St. Lucia before the news had properly sunk in. None of the family wanted to postpone the wedding so it was all systems go – until the next problem – his youngest sister’s passport was out of date – by 2 years. Panic. The passport office was in Barbados, another Island in the Caribbean. However, with the help of some friends (in high places, always being useful) who were able to pull lots of strings and the passport was finally delivered the day before they were due to fly to the UK, and all this amidst the sadness of his dads funeral.

Due to the difficult legalities, here in Tenerife, the wedding took place in a registry office in Coventry on the Wednesday, then over the following 2 days all the family and friends, about 40 in all caught their various flight to Tenerife for the blessing in Los Gigantes church by Father Keith, followed by a reception at San Francisco Sports and Beach club – all except 2!

Frank was all set to hop in his car to the airport to collect his brother and sister in law when the phone rang!! “We’ve got all the pork pies and everything else you wanted – look forward to seeing you”…Eh.. “But we’re just on our way to get you from the airport, where are you”?……. “We’re at home, we fly tomorrow the 8th”………. “But, it’s the 8th today!!!!” (ooops) Silence…. It cost them £370 for another flight!

The day itself went like clockwork. Alison’s dream came true; she walked down the aisle with her father and her 2 daughters, Avril and Ashleah, to beautiful music played by Julia Watkins, followed by the wedding blessing by Father Keith.

The reception was held at the San Francisco Sports and Beach Club where a mouth watering buffet was waiting. The wedding cake had been made by Lizzi Ward and the disco afterwards was DJ’d by Fred Dudman, who according to the Brides father has the perfect face for radio (TeeHee). One member of the family that’s not been mentioned so far is Mark, the grooms’ son who spent the day dodging all the cameras, but even he was unable to escape the set photos after the service.

Father Keith’s comment “marriage should be like a toilet roll……. Soft, strong and very, very long”.

Alison’s final comment “Mum and Dad should come out of retirement and become wedding organisers – they are very good at it”.

All this in the same weeks as the Roonies, got the exclusive – and it didn’t cost us £2.5 million!