Tamara didn't move out to Spain to find the love of her life, but when she met Jesús it was a done deal.
The pair got engaged in 2018, and set their date with a sense of humour - 29th February 2020! "It quickly became a running joke that we'd done it on purpose, so we only had to celebrate every four years," says Tamara.
By the time they got engaged, Tamara's family, who had initially been part of the move to Spain, had moved back to the UK.
"The wedding dresses in Spain all looked the same to me," Tamara says. "I knew I wanted something different."
Tamara set about planning a trip home to see her family - and to start looking for her wedding dress.
"My sister arranged for us to go to a few different shops, but being a plus size bride - one who isn't that body confident - it was difficult."
When Tamara's mum suggested visiting Elite Bridal, they called ahead to make sure we catered for plus size brides. The advisor reassured her that we carry all our current styles in a wide range of sizes, so they booked an appointment.
"In my mind, I wanted a wedding dress with sleeves... not too booby... with sparkle and lace," Tamara remembers.
But the second Tamara walked into our boutique, with her parents and sister in tow, she saw her dream dress right in front of her.
"I pointed it out to my mum straight away and said, 'That's the one!'" says Tamara. "She wanted me to look at more, but I already knew."
Tamara had already spotted her dream dress, but she was falling in love with the boutique itself too.
"The bridal advisor was fantastic and super reassuring. She really put my mind at ease," she recalls. "I loved the way the boutique was laid out - you could see all the dresses, and that they had every size available. It really was wedding dress heaven!"
Tamara, her family and bridal advisor picked out a few more dresses, but she didn't see anything she loved more than the first one she'd laid eyes on. She had to try it on first.
"My dad and sister cried immediately!" But Tamara's mum wanted to see more.
"The bridal advisor was so patient," says Tamara. "She helped me try on more styles, but I think she also knew I'd already found my dress..."
Once Tamara had tried on every pick, her bridal advisor asked her the all-important question... Was there one she'd like to go back to?
This time the bridal advisor provided Tamara with a shrug and veil to complete the look.
"This time when I walked out, everyone cried. Even my mum agreed this was the one."
Tamara had to fly back to Spain and Jesús, leaving the dream dress with her family.
She was used to missing her family whilst in Spain, but now she found herself missing a wedding dress too. "I nagged my sister to send me pictures of it all the time, just so I could see it again and again!"
Tamara planned one more trip back to the UK for her hen do, and managed to fit in a fitting with Elite Bridal.
"I still loved the dress as much as I did the first time," she remembers.
Finally, it was time for the wedding - which meant Tamara's parents travelling to Spain in their motor home, with some extra precious cargo on board: her wedding dress!
As soon as Tamara got home from work, she had to try the dress on again - just to make sure it fit, of course.
Throughout the week, more and more of Tamara's family started to arrive in the run-up to the wedding. The nerves began to kick in, but Tamara was more excited than ever.
"We held the ceremony at our local church. It was beautiful. The sun was shining and it was an amazing day."
Then on to the reception at a local golf hotel, Valle del Este - where the party raged on until 4:30am!
"We wanted a personal, intimate wedding, and that's exactly what it was," says Tamara. "It was fantastic and so memorable. Everything was just perfect."
We think Tamara's wedding adventure is worth celebrating more than once every four years!
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