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Competition winners get married at sea

28/11/2016

Zoe Little and Ian Craske were the winners of our Weddings at Sea competition earlier this year. Here we catch up with them following their big day on board Azura in October

Competition winners Zoe Little and Ian Craske on board Azura

Zoe Little and Ian Craske celebrated their big day on board Azura

On a cruise to the Canaries on Oceana in April 2006, Alan and Sue Boffey became the first couple to tie the knot at sea with P&O Cruises, marking the beginning of our Weddings at Sea packages.

 

We’ve come a long way since then, and to celebrate the 10th anniversary of our Weddings at Sea we ran a competition in February, in association with Heart radio station, for one lucky couple to win a wedding on board one of our ships. The winners were announced in early April on the P&O Cruises Facebook page as Zoe Little and Ian Craske.

 

The lucky couple

The couple first met 23 years ago and got engaged a few months after meeting. ‘We were only 19 when we first met while working together,’ says Ian. ‘We got engaged after just six months… And it’s taken 23 years to get married!’ he laughs. ‘I think it’s the longest engagement in history – Zoe’s even had a replacement engagement ring as the first one broke.’

 

Despite dreaming of their wedding for all this time, the big day had to be put on hold. ‘We had always wanted to make the commitment, but because we got engaged quite young and we’ve now got two girls, it kept getting pushed back when other things came up,’ says Zoe.

 

Zoe heard about the competition while listening to Heart and entered online in February. ‘I really didn’t think we would win,’ she says. ‘A couple of months later I got a phone call and was told that, out of thousands of people, I had been picked and had won the wedding package on a P&O Cruises ship. After I calmed myself down, I texted Ian telling him I had some news. When he got home, I asked him if he still wanted to marry me. He said yes, of course!’

 

The couple knew that they wanted to have family and friends with them on their special day. ‘When we found out we’d won, we invited Ian’s mother, my mother and father, my best friend, and our two daughters and their boyfriends to come with us,’ says Zoe. ‘We were so excited that we were finally going to be married, but getting to bring our loved ones with us was the icing on the cake.’

Zoe and Ian with their family and friends

Zoe and Ian were able to share their wedding day with family and friends

Wedding bells

Ian and Zoe chose to get married on Azura on a seven-night cruise to Iberia in October. ‘We chose this particular cruise due to our family,’ says Zoe. ‘My father can’t fly, and October is school holiday time – one of our daughters is in year 11 and can’t miss school. Plus, we’d heard that Azura is an amazing ship.’

 

The big day came on Wednesday 26 October in a beautiful ceremony conducted by Captain Robert Camby. ‘It was an amazing day, emotional but fantastic,’ says Zoe. ‘Being married by Captain Camby and hearing his many stories was one of the highlights of the day. It was everything we expected and more. Saurabh Patil, the Events Manager who organised the whole day for us, was absolutely amazing, too – so kind and organised. He really couldn’t have done any more to make our day special.’

 

Would they recommend getting married at sea? ‘One hundred per cent,’ says Zoe. ‘The fact that you can have your family and friends with you and that you have everything you need to enjoy the day, plus the fantastic staff… It’s wonderful.’

 

Your perfect day

If Zoe and Ian’s story has inspired you, our Weddings at Sea packages are available on many of the ships in our fleet, and our celebration packages suit every type of occasion and budget. Whether you’re seeking a sense of tradition or want a contemporary wedding, a family-friendly atmosphere or a ship that’s exclusively for adults, we can help. We’ll make you feel extra special with lots of lovely perks, too. Depending on your package, cruise and group number, these can include: on-board spending money for the bride and groom, as well as for each couple within the wedding party; up to three complimentary cabins for your wedding party; and an additional 5kg luggage allowance for both the bride and groom if travelling on a P&O Cruises fly-cruise holiday.

 

From the minute you book all the way through to your special day on board, our dedicated teams will take care of everything to make your wedding day unforgettable. We can even send you special invitations to give out to your guests, and provide thank-you notes afterwards to write from the comfort of your cabin.

 

We’ll make your day one to remember. For more details and terms and conditions, visit the weddings section of our website, or see our brochure.

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