Angelica Angles talks us through her magical wedding from the proposal in Canada, to the ceremony in Hong Kong and honeymoon in Antarctica…
With award-winning planetary scientist and astrobiologist Angelica Angles searching for extraterrestrial life on Mars and Hamilton digging up dinosaur bones in the Mongolian desert, the two explorers were always torn apart by work. But a wedding was just the thing to bring them together. From a Christmas proposal in Canada, the wedding ceremony in Hong Kong and an adventurous honeymoon in Antarctica, read on for all the details on Angelica’s out-of-this-world wedding.
Every bride has a proposal story. What’s yours?
We were spending Christmas in Canada with Hamilton’s family. It was really cold and raining every day, but on Christmas Day we had a beautiful sunny day. He took me to a cliff, where he used to play as a child with his brother. Because Hamilton and I are from different countries, we’ve never been able to be together in the same place for very long. On that day, he told me he found a solution to that problem, so we would never have to be separated again. And then, he asked me to marry him. This happened nine months after we met and, of course, I said yes!
Tell us about the ring.
Actually, there were two rings! One is from Hamilton’s father’s side of the family and is more than 100 years old. It belonged to Daisy, who was a concert pianist (like myself). In 1903, a gentleman proposed to Daisy. Daisy never married him but kept the ring. That ring travelled with Daisy to India and then in Scotland, until it made its way to Canada. It is a beautiful ring with over 15 diamonds and a vintage gold structure.
The second ring was from his grandmother from his mother’s side. This one has a big diamond and Hamilton always remembers his grandma with the ring, so he decided to give it to me. Both rings have a long family history, and I love to tell the stories of the rings.
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What did you do for your hen party?
My friends in Hong Kong organised a ‘space party’ for me. My friend Maria, who is a designer, created T-shirts for the girls with my name, and even designed a logo for the menus. The logo consisted of a rocket with my dog Salchicha and myself, travelling through the universe. They also gave me a T-shirt with the same logo. All the girls made a huge effort to prepare the party. They studied all the details, from the names of the food on the menu to the rules of the games we played. It was one of the best days I spent with all my friends!
Tell us about the dress. How many did you try on?
I did not try a single one. I knew exactly what I wanted, so I went to a designer named Christina Devine, who designed the dress for me. As a planetary scientist and astrobiologist, my job consists of the search for extraterrestrial life on Mars, and I wanted my dress to reflect my career, but also wanted a classy style. Christina placed over 1,000 Swarovski crystals in the shape of stars and moons all over the skirt. The dress also had detachable angel wings, which I loved having instead of a veil. Lastly, Christina created a black bow with the same stars and planets for my hair, that matched the ribbons on the dress. Lastly, I wore the most beautiful Jimmy Choo shoes that were very sparkly, which matched the sparkles of the dress. The end result was even better than I ever imagined.
The best advice you received before the big day?
To enjoy the day and not worry about things going wrong.
What was the wedding like?
It all went too fast. I was nervous in the morning, but then I told myself to relax and enjoy every minute. Our families could not physically be at the wedding because of the pandemic (we will do another wedding with family and friends that couldn’t come to this one) so that part was hard. Both our families were celebrating on different continents, and at different times zones. At 7am in Spain my family was drinking champagne as they watched me walk down the aisle. My mum also sent a speech to one of my friends and we had three of our friends make really beautiful speeches. The whole day was magical and we had the best day of our lives.
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Do you have a favourite part?
The dance! We had a dance teacher that taught us some choreography. We practised the waltz of Sleeping Beauty and we had not managed to follow all the choreography perfectly when we were rehearsing. But on the wedding day, the dance was perfect, we did not make a single mistake, and everyone thought we had been dancing for years! Our teacher Sunshine Chan was very proud of us!
What were the memorable parts from the speeches?
When they talked about how we met, how they could see we were a perfect match, how happy they were to be celebrating with us… it is difficult to choose, each speech was different and the three of them together ended up being so perfect.
What was your first dance song and why did you choose this?
The Waltz of Sleeping Beauty. Since I was a child I knew I wanted this song for my wedding day.
One detail you and the groom just couldn’t agree on?
We did not have a wedding cake, we couldn’t decide on one, but in the end, we decided to have a different type of dessert, which everyone loved!
What was the most fun element of planning your wedding?
Definitely our dance rehearsals! We were so bad at home but we had good times stepping on each other or completely forgetting the steps. We only had two months to prepare for our wedding, so it was intense, but we had a great time preparing everything together.
Most stressful moment?
When it was time to walk down the aisle, the song that was supposed to be for my entrance did not play for a few seconds and I got really stressed! Luckily the music started playing and I successfully walked down the aisle!
The best decision?
I am also a pianist, and since we couldn’t have musicians in the church, I went to a recording studio and recorded the music for my own wedding. I chose the songs I liked, and I even prepared a very meaningful song for my husband as a surprise. I also have two friends who are singers, so they sang live to my music in the church. My husband loved the music, it was worth all the time I spent thinking about the songs and recording the music!
What were the wedding favours?
Both my husband and I did not want anything that could harm the Earth, so we gave little bags filled with lavender seeds. We thought that our friends could plant the seeds, remember us, and also do something nice for the planet! Also, part of the money spent on the seeds went to a charity that helps elephants in Thailand. We liked the idea and will most likely repeat it at our wedding with our families.
Any tips and tricks for brides-to-be?
Enjoy the day, don’t worry about the details, even if something goes wrong people are there to celebrate with you and they don’t care if something doesn’t work. Oh, and try to have a good sleep the night before!
Where did you end up going for your honeymoon?
I must say we are an unusual couple… my husband and I met at the Explorers Club in New York (this was in the year of the 50th anniversary of the Apollo landing on the moon), where he was receiving an award for finding new dinosaur bones in the desert in Mongolia. We do expeditions for work, so naturally, for our honeymoon, we wanted to go on an expedition to Antarctica! For our second wedding, I want to take my husband to Sweden, where I used to live, because he has never been there and it’s such a beautiful country.
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