In a UK first, Thomson teamed up with their Facebook community to give one loved-up couple the wedding of their dreams in Cyprus. We hear all about it from El Berwick from Thomson Weddings…

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A cost-free, faff-free wedding may seem like the stuff of fairy tales, but for ex-Army soldiers, Kriss Aixill and Natalie Bilston, it was their reality. The lucky couple won an all-expenses-paid Thomson wedding at the luxurious Constantinou Bros Athena Beach Hotel in Paphos, Cyprus – but there was a twist.

Thomson’s Facebook following handpicked the couple from a shortlist of finalists, then made the key decisions for their big day – including what the bride wore and the song for the couple’s first dance. So, what Kriss and Natalie were left with was a hassle-free wedding celebration in the sun with their closest friends and family. Jealous, us?

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The lucky couple

Kriss and Natalie met 7 years ago when they were serving in the Army and later got engaged on a tour of Iraq. As proud parents of two sons – baby Alfie and 4-year-old Jake – they applied to the #YourBigDay competition to make their ‘little family official’. Little did they know Thomson’s Facebook community would fall for them big time – they received over a whopping 10,000 votes to be named as the winners.

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The I dos

The happy couple swapped vows just a stone’s throw from the beach under a cobalt blue sky, along with their friends, family and their two little boys (Jake was on ring duty). Natalie floated down the aisle in a strapless ivory gown with a coral bouquet, while Kriss worked the laidback-luxe look in a slim-fitting sandy brown suit. Their smiles couldn’t have been any wider if they’d tried.

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The celebrations

After tears and laughter at the service, it was time to party. The group was whisked away on an open-top bus ride around the city, before heading back to the hotel to kick off the evening’s festivities with canapés, cake and cocktails. The new Mr and Mrs Aixill got their pose on for some jaw-droppingly beautiful sunset pictures – which we’re pretty sure will take pride of place on their mantelpiece – before hitting the dance floor and throwing some serious shapes with their guests.

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What did Kriss and Natalie’s #YourBigDay package include?

  • Wedding ceremony and reception
  • Flights and 14 nights in an all-inclusive accommodation in a suite with a private pool
  • Flights and a week’s accommodation for 8 guests
  • Stag and hen dos in Cyprus
  • Outfits for the bride and groom
  • Dresses for the bridesmaids

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What choices did the Thomson Facebook community make?

  • A strapless, ivory gown for the bride and one-shoulder coral dresses for the bridesmaids
  • ‘Coral beach’ for the theme and colour scheme
  • John Legend’s hit song ‘All of Me’ for the first dance
  • A quad bike adventure for the stag do and a VIP boat trip for the hens

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If you fancy your own dream wedding abroad, simply send an email to weddings@thomson.co.uk, or call 0871 9843195 to speak to the Thomson Weddings team. If you want to keep the organisation to yourself, but are still thinking about a wedding abroad, we’ve got lots to help you!