Odette and Avelino standing next to one another against a grey wall

Odette and Avelino met at a cherry festival in Madeira, Portugal. “I was really young and still at school,” says Odette.

“We went for a drink that same day and felt like we had known each other all our lives. 27 years later, here we are, celebrating our silver wedding anniversary. I have no idea where the time has gone.”

A crop image of Odette in her off the shoulder wedding dress and holding her simple wedding bouquet An image of Odette looking to one shoulder whilst holding her simple wedding bouquet

A proposal in Madeira

The couple had been dating for about a year when Avelino proposed. “It was a sunny day and we were sightseeing in Madeira,” says Odette. “As we got back in the car, he popped the question. After I said yes he also went to ask my parents for my hand, which is very traditional in our culture.”

Avelino tying the ribbon on Odette's bridal belt on the morning of their wedding

A 25th wedding anniversary

“When we decided to renew our vows for our 25th anniversary I found WED2B’s bridal shops Surbiton online,” says Odette. “My store experience was unforgettable. I was with my husband and the dress I wanted was the only one available, as it had just arrived that same morning.”

Odette and Avelino posing in their living room with their son on the morning of their vow renewal

Bridal shops Surbiton

“I bought it and kept it instore, as I wanted to come back with my mum and my sister,” says Odette. “I wanted them to be part of the experience and also because my mum was buying the dress as an anniversary gift. So, I made another appointment without telling them I had already bought a dress. All the lovely ladies at the store went along with the acting and we all pretended this was my first appointment!”

Odette and Avelino standing in the chapel with their son to renew their wedding vows
Odette and Avelino holding their wedding rings

“Luckily, when I tried on ‘my dress’ at the end of the appointment, they both said OMG that’s the one! I knew then I’d made the right purchase. I then told them both the truth about the dress and that I had already bought it, they were shocked and so surprised. We had such a laugh with the lovely ladies at the Surbiton store. It was a day I’ll never forget.”

Odette and Avelino sitting during their vow renewal with their son making a speech

Odette wore Frankie. “I loved the simplicity of it, the fit and the luxurious fabric,” says Odette. “It’s so elegant and comfortable, it made me feel confident and beautiful.” For similar styles, have a closer look at Gisella, Domenica or Sebastiane.

Odette and Avelino on a rooftop embracing while having their photos taken

The big day

“We renewed our vows with our family and friends in Madeira on the 31st July 2022,” says Odette. “We chose a beautiful small chapel, within a manor house, with lush gardens overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. Everything was just perfect, including the weather. After the Covid pandemic we were so blessed to share our special day with people we hadn’t seen in years.”

Odette in her off the shoulder wedding dress sitting in a forest
Odette and Avelino embracing while surrounded by white coloured plants

“It was a beautiful summer day and I had my hair and makeup done with my mum and sister,” says Odette. “Then my husband helped me to get dressed and off we went in a vintage car to the chapel. Avelino and I walked down the aisle with our son, while a violinist and a pianist played ‘Ave Maria’. My son and sister also gave readings."

Cropped image of Odette in the forest holding her bouquet
Odette embracing her son during her vow renewal

“The most special moment was when we were saying our vows. My son decided to play a joke by telling us, in front of the priest, that he had lost the rings. Everyone was silent, including us, but thank God it was all just a joke and we had a great laugh!”

Close up image of Avelino during his vow renewal celebrations

Let’s celebrate!

“After the ceremony there were canapés, cocktails and jazz music,” says Odette. “We had lots of pictures taken followed by a sit-down meal with our 90 guests in a beautiful white marquee, decorated with fairy lights and flowers. Our first dance song was ‘Looks Like We Made It’ by Shania Twain, because the lyrics meant so much and it was our story.”

Odette posing with som eof her female freinds and family

Simple but stylish

“Because it was our silver wedding anniversary, I had a simple colour scheme for the flowers,” says Odette. “Just green and white with a few silver accents. We had a red carpet up to the chapel and lots of candles and lanterns scattered around the grounds of the manor house. There were also lots of sitting areas for our guests to admire the beautiful sea views.”

Odette posing and smiling with one of her female wedding guests

“I had a four-tier wedding cake with flavours of orange, Ferrero Rocher, and Victoria sponge with passion fruit. We cut the cake outside at midnight, with fireworks and champagne overlooking the Atlantic. It was an amazing feeling.”

Odette and Avelino posing in a picture frame outside

The best bits…

“The most memorable things were my dress, the renewing of our vows and the priest’s blessing,” says Odette. “Also, feeling so blessed to be celebrating our 25th wedding anniversary with our family and friends and, finally, all the laughter and fun after everyone had a few drinks.”

Odette and Avelino holding hands and walking onto the dance floor
Odette and Avelino dancing on the dance floor with their wedding guests
Odette dancing with a female guest

My top tips…

“My top tip for future brides is to make a list and plan and plan some more,” says Odette. “But, most importantly, enjoy every second, as the day will be over before you know it.”

Odette and Avelino standing outside with fireworks going off and their wedding cake shown in the image

Odette and Avelino’s Dream Team

Photographer and videographer: Miguel Nobrega at A Dream Story

Venue: Quinta Santa Rita, Madeira 

Bridal shops Surbiton: WED2B

Florist: A Tulipa

Cake: 4Cakes Madeira 

Makeup and hair: Ricardo Dias at Cabeleireiro Glamour

If you would like us to feature your big day, like this silver wedding celebration, then please click here to share your story and photos with us and we’ll be in touch. Your nearest WED2B is closer than you think, click here for your nearest store and bridal shops Surbiton, and here for what to expect when you visit.