Belfast Telegraph

Would YOU let the groom plan your wedding day without you?

Belfast DJ Mark Lima surprised his girlfriend Linzi Corr when he proposed – just weeks before a wedding he organised entirely by himself

Claire Graham spoke to the happy couple about his solo plans for the nuptials... and how he managed to keep it all secret.

HE SAYS

Planning a wedding in Jamaica – behind the back of my girlfriend of seven years – was not easy.

Thankfully she said yes when I proposed. Now all she has to do is turn up at the airport in three weeks' time.

Flights are booked, the wedding's booked, the reception's booked and honeymoon's booked – all entirely by me.

Linzi didn't suspect a thing when I popped the question on the river bank below the Eiffel Tower in Paris, just seven weeks before rings would be exchanged.

I had to steal a long birth certificate so I could apply for the marriage documents and then get the sister to forge it.

Well, apparently that's not allowed and I learnt that the hard way – but once we were legally sound we were good to go.

Having to do all this behind your best friend's back is difficult.

I even had to bite my tongue when it was just me and her in the house.

I would want to tell her things about the friends I'd been catching up with in the Caribbean who were helping me out with the arrangements.

I am confident everything will be as she hopes. The week I booked it all, she came home from a night out with friends and told me: "When we get married, it has to be on a beach in Jamaica."

And I smiled to myself.

There is one finer detail I'm leaving to Linzi – the dress.

And wedding favours, because I've never even heard of them, much less know what they are, what to do with them and where to get one.

My inspiration for doing this all by myself is easy: I love her and I knew she'd love this.

 

SHE SAYS

I've never been one of those girly girls who had all the details planned out for their dream day.

I'm still in shock since Mark revealed he had gone ahead and planned the whole thing – but that is honestly the best thing that could have happened.

I had no idea whatsoever until he proposed. Before that, he was like a typical man: every time marriage was mentioned he would run a mile.

I never in a million years could have guessed what he was planning. In the few conversations we had about marriage, I did mention I'd like to get married on a beach, but only in passing.

I'm delighted to be marrying Mark but I really would have dreaded choosing everything.

Now, all I have to do is pack my suitcase and pack my man. I've watched the Don't Tell The Bride shows on television so I can see how a bride could be terrified of what the groom would have up his sleeve.

But he's really pulled it out of the bag. And it's safe to say I'll now have a lot to live up to as his wife. I can hear it now, "Remember that time I planned our whole wedding".

Mark is an expert in surprises, and looking back he threw in lots of random stuff to throw me off the scent. With my journalistic background, I'm ashamed I didn't pick up on it sooner.

He's better at organising these kind of things than me. He has organised the invitations, dresses – even make-up artists.

He's been quite the wedding planner and I wouldn't be surprised if I have a few more brides-to-be knocking down my door.

I bought my own dress, on the first day of looking, first shop and in the first hour. And that was my job done.

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