In February 2005 Jon asked Andrea if she would do him the enormous honour of agreeing to marry him. Fortunately she said yes and the two of them became engaged. In 2006 they started thinking about plans for their wedding. They had heard from Malcolm and Jenny about the beautiful Caribbean island of Antigua and that it was popular for weddings. So the plan started coming together.
On the 1st June 2007 Jon and Andrea, along with their parents, brothers, sisters and their partners flew to Antigua and arrived at the scenic beach resort in Hawksbill Bay. With Jon and Andrea were Malcolm, Jenny, Jo and Mike Claydon, Mike's Fiancee Rachel, and Trevor, Liz and Mark Hudson with Caz, Mark's partner.
Everyone settled into the resort, made to feel very welcome by the staff there.
The big day itself was Tuesday 5th June. The wedding took place in the gardens of the resort under the old sugar mill and overlooking the bay and the Caribbean Sea. Jon's best man was his brother Mike, and Caz was Andrea's bridesmaid. Caz had chosen a light green gown for her Bridesmaids dress, so Jon had outfitted the Best Man and other gents in the group with gold and green waistcoats and ivy green cravats. This, coincidentally meant that along with the black trousers worn by the gents the colour scheme happened to match the colours of the Saint's Rugby club, revered by Jon and his family. Even Trevor, the father of the bride and a life long supporter of rival Leicester Tigers went along with this. The groom himself was wearing a light coloured suit with a waistcoat and cravat to match the others. Andrea mean while was in a beautiful ivory coloured traditional wedding gown with a long flowing train.
It was a hot sunny afternoon with a bit of a breeze, and everyone was quite warm in their suits and dresses. It has to be said though that despite the heat the bride looked stunning as she walked up the path on her fathers arm!
The ceremony was conducted by Ineta Michael, the local Marriage Officer from St.. Johns. The service was friendly and the words of the registrar and the vows were very touching. Along with their family, the ceremony had drawn a small crowd of onlookers from the resort, who's swimsuits and trunks did not quite match the waistcoats and gowns of the wedding party. They were all welcome none the less.
Following the ceremony and some photo's (kindly taken by Malcolm), the wedding party moved up to the terrace by the Mill for the signing of the register, the cutting of the cake and the traditional toasts.
After the cake and Champagne, and a few more photos, everyone decided to change out of their finery into something cooler and more comfortable for the evening Wedding Banquet. The table was arranged outside on the terrace by the resort's main restaurant. The starters were enjoyed, followed by the speeches. Mike also read the cards of greetings and best wishes from Jon and Andrea's friends and family.
Then, just as the wine was flowing and the main courses were arriving, it started spotting with rain. Everyone really should have taken the hint when the waitress serving the main courses gathered up the tray with the remainder of the plates and scuttled pack to the kitchen. But no, expecting this to be a passing light shower everyone sat there, looking expectantly at the heavens waiting for the rain to stop. It didn't. In fact it did the opposite and proceeded to throw it down! Finally everyone did all take the hint and run for shelter. Andrea sat eating her soggy chicken on a chair by the bar while a new, dry table was arranged.
Once everyone was sat in the dry, the evening carried on as it had left off with good food, wine and the friendship of two families now united.
The remainder of the week carried on this theme, with time spent together on the beach or enjoying the water sports at the resort. On the Friday the remainder of the family reluctantly said good-by and flew back home, leaving Jon and Andrea to enjoy a further week's honeymoon at the lovely resort and the surrounding island.