Friday, 16 October 2015

Guest Post: My Dream Wedding Destination by Samantha Tonge

Today it's my stop on the My Big Fat Christmas Wedding blog tour and Samantha Tonge has popped by to talk about dream wedding destinations.

I’ve always thought of the Greek islands as being one of the most romantic destinations in the world. My Big Fat Christmas Wedding is set on Kos and I have happy memories of a girls’ holiday there once – the sultry nights, turquoise seas, the shortbread sands and island breeze... There is something about holidaying on a small island that gives one a real sense of freedom; the feeling that you have truly left the rat-race behind, even if just for a couple of weeks. So, I have to say, my dream wedding destination is indeed Greece.

Of course, this view of mine was strengthened by watching one of my all-time favourite films Mama Mia! The untouched, simple Greek scenery is the perfect backdrop to a wedding ceremony – along with catchy string music, refreshing ouzo, locally grown floral decorations and honey cakes. And oh, to be taken to church on the back of a donkey! 

As a younger woman, it was my fantasy to get married on a beach abroad. I dreaded a fuss - just wanted to keep things straightforward. But, of course, a wedding isn’t just about the bride and groom. Whilst I managed to keep the Big Day fairly small, with only fifty guests, it was important to have my close family and good friends there. So to get married in Greece I would have needed to win the lottery and fly out everyone I wished to attend. And Christmas would be just about the perfect time of year. The weather is still mild and added to the wedding buzz, there would be the excited atmosphere belonging to that sparkly time of year. 

I almost got my wish, back in the day, as we at least honeymooned in Greece. *chuckle* - although things didn’t exactly go to plan. When we arrived, the room was a bit ramshackle and I hadn’t been prepared for how to use Greek toilets. Plus there was no aircon and at night all I could do was listen to the predatory buzz of mosquitoes! What’s more, for the first time, on that holiday, my skin reacted to the sun and from head to toe I came out in a prickly heat rash!  It didn’t leave me feeling very amorous!

I guess, what I learnt was, we all have dream wedding destinations, but the most important thing is who’s by your side. My husband was great at catching mosquitoes and still joins in with my laughter as we look back on the challenging aspects of our honeymoon. 

In My Big Fat Christmas Wedding, Pippa has some hard choices to make and the story is all about the destination for the rest of her life – sleepy, genuine Taxos village or glitzy London with its fast pace. It’s a rollercoaster of a journey to find out what she decides!

Samantha Tonge lives in Cheshire with her lovely family and a cat that thinks it’s a dog. When not writing, she spends her days cycling and willing cakes to rise. She has sold over 80 short stories to women’s magazines. Her bestselling debut novel, Doubting Abbey, was shortlisted for the Festival of Romantic Fiction best Ebook award in 2014. Her summer 2015 novel Game of Scones hit #5 in the UK Kindle chart.

Things don’t always run smoothly in the game of love…

As her Christmas wedding approaches, a trip back to snowy England for her ex’s engagement party makes her wonder if those are wedding bells she’s hearing in her mind, or warning bells. She longs for the excitement of her old London life – the glamour, the regular pedicures. Can she really give that all up to be…a fishwife?

There’s nothing for it but to throw herself into bringing a little Christmas magic to the struggling village in the form of a Christmas fair. Somewhere in amidst the sparkly bauble cakes and stollen scones, she’s sure she’ll come to the right decision about where she belongs…hopefully in time for the wedding…

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