Ordering the correct ring size for your girlfriend ahead of a proposal can be awkward. But robotics engineer James Gilbert had a cunning trick up his sleeve.
James and his partner Alice Baker, aged 30 and 29 respectively, moved from seaside town Paignton to Australia to start a new life. “Our first years in Australia were a whirlwind of adventure and by this point I knew I had to spend the rest of my life with her,” explains the groom. “At the time I was working as a robotics engineer, which came in handy when I needed the size of her ring finger. I explained I was building a robotic hand in the lab, and that I wanted to model it on her, so I had to take very precise measurements!”
Crossing off a bucket-list item for Alice, the pair traveled to the Greek island, Santorini, where James found the perfect moment to propose. Then it was time to plan the big day.
“There’s no doubt that our dream wedding venue would have been an Australian beach, but this was too far for many of our friends and family,” explains James. “Instead, we moved things closer to home: Greece!”
They found the ideal spot to marry with their feet in the sand at the Skiathos Princess Hotel on the island of Skiathos. Forty two of their nearest and dearest flew to the island for the July 13, 2015 destination wedding.
“The beach, exclusively ours for the night, was awash with cushions and fairy lights,” explains James. “Dinner was at bench tables directly on the sand, and we partied (with Greek dancing) until the wee hours.”
Photos courtesy of X Studio.
The ring that resulted from James’ robot-hand alibi! “It fit perfectly,” says James.
Alice walked down the aisle to Snow Patrol’s Chasing Cars – a special song for the pair. “We’d lie on the beach until midnight, looking up at the stars and listening to Snow Patrol,” James says of their early relationship.
“We were sure from the beginning that we didn’t want contrived shots or too much posing,” James says of the photography.
“It was so wonderful to spend a week with 40 of the people we miss the most while living on the other side of the world,” says James.
Bomboniere: Homemade / Brides Accessories: Beaverbrooks, Jen Giles, Liberty in Love / Brides Gown: Essense of Australia / Brides Shoes: Debut / Bridesmaid Shoes: Debut / Bridesmaids Accessories: Beaverbrooks / Bridesmaids Dresses: Not Another Boring Bridesmaid Dress / Cake: Skiathos Princess Hotel / Celebrant: Anastasia Ghighis / Ceremony Music: Apostolis Giagkos / Entertainment: Apostolis Giagkos / Flowergirl Dress: Marks & Spencer / Flowers: Skiathos Princess Hotel / Gift Registry: Honeymoon fund / Grooms Attire: Moss Bros / Grooms Shoes: Moss Bros / Groomsmen Attire: Moss Bros / Groomsmen Shoes: Moss Bros / Hair: Skiathos Princess Hotel / Honeymoon: Cunard / Invitations: Homemade / Photobooth: DIY / Photographer: X Studio / Rings: Gemstone Designs / Venue: Skiathos Princess Hotel / Wedding Night Venue: Skiathos Princess Hotel / Wedding Planner: Alexandra Minou