Alexander and Zara met at school. No, not as students; they were teachers! Which just goes to show that schooldays really can be the best days of our lives!

Alex and Zara’s relationship is built on the fact that they have so much in common. It starts with their mixed heritage: Zara is half English and half Moroccan while Alex is half Welsh and half Maltese. Their paths crossed when Alex took up a teaching post at The Abbey, a private girls’ school in Reading in the UK. Zara was already working there. “I had been told that a person called Alex would be the new biology teacher. I assumed that the name was short for Alexandra so It was a bit of a surprise when a man entered the staff room!”

Alex and Zara clicked on a professional level and initially were just good work colleagues. However, their similar ways and compatibility were obvious to others, one of Zara’s friends telling her that Alex would be the man she would marry – yet they weren’t even dating! But that all changed after an outing to Windsor Castle. What should have been a tour and a coffee turned into lunch and then dinner as the couple did not want their day together to end. The attraction was sealed when they discovered their shared love of cars and of Formula 1 motor racing.

Similar tastes in music revealed that they were both fans of Rihanna. “Crunch time for commitment came when tickets for one of her concerts went on sale. We had been dating for just a few weeks and the concert was a year away but we knew that we were right for each other,” explained Zara.

Alex proposed (with a ring from Tiffany & Co!) while they were in Spain. So why choose Saint Lucia as the wedding and honeymoon destination? “We both love the beach, the sun and palm trees. Plus I had always wanted to stay at a Sandals resort,” answered Zara. And Sandals Grande St Lucia did not disappoint. The couple has high praise for all the staff at the resort but especially Jenna, the wedding coordinator, and Ghema, the photographer.

The wedding took place on the beach on Friday 7th April, 2017 witnessed by close family including Alex’s mother, Vicki, and Zara’s mother, Linda. “For me the most memorable moment was seeing Zara walking down the aisle, accompanied by Brian [her stepfather], with pink petals thrown in her path and the live steel pan music, revealed Alex. And their first dance together? To Rihanna’s “Diamonds”.

“The entire experience has been wonderful,” admitted Zara, “from the helicopter transfer with the phenomenal view of the Pitons and the coastline, to the trip to the volcano, the speedboat tour and the jet-ski rides.” Added Alex: “We have such terrific memories of this resort and island; we’re already planning on revisiting for our first wedding anniversary.”

Tropical Traveller congratulates Zara and Alex on their marriage and looks forward to seeing them next year, during school break.