Exclusive interview: Alex Bowen & Olivia Buckland
by Claire Muffett-Reece
The Love Island duo chat exclusively to Celebrity Secrets about their upcoming wedding plans
Why have you decided to marry in Essex?
O ‘We love Essex, and all its villages and countryside. Plus it’s where I grew up, so it’s nice to do it somewhere I call home.’
Olivia, did you have any idea Alex would propose?
O ‘No. I was so certain that if he was going to propose he’d do it in Venice, just because it was somewhere really romantic and where we’d always wanted to visit. He also threw me off the trail by saying, ‘I’d never do it in New York’, so I really didn’t think it would happen.’
Why did you choose New York?
A ‘I rang my best friend to tell him my plans about getting a ring and proposing in Venice, and he said, ‘if you’re going to do it in Venice, why don’t you just do it sooner and propose in New York instead?’’
How did you manage to pack the ring without Olivia finding it?
A ‘I nearly got caught with it going through security at the airport on our way out there! I had it in my hand luggage and the security people took me one way and Liv the other – taking my bag with Liv and her bag with me! I whispered to the guy about the ring being in the other bag, and luckily he managed to swap them over!’
Did you have like an engagement party when you got back?
O ‘No. We were going to have one in May, just like a nice little barbecue at ours with friends and family, but we’re so busy that we didn’t get anything sorted! But we’re always out with our friends, so we’ve had a lot of parties since. So that can count!’
Let’s talk traditions. Will you be spending the night apart?
A ‘Yeah. Liv’s staying at the venue and I’ll be at home.’
O ‘I’m staying with my mum and a couple of friends. We won’t be together the night before, which will be weird. I think that’s when my nerves will really kick in, because he won’t be there with me and I’ll just get the worst anxiety.’
Olivia, you told us in the magazine you found it hard finding the right wedding dress…
O ‘Yes, I got carried away and cried at about four that I tried on, but when I left I realised that they weren’t the dresses for me. However, there was one style that stood out for me the whole time, and that’s what I kept going for. It was just finding a way to make it bespoke. There’s not going to be another dress out there like it.’
Alex, are you looking forward to being suited and booted?
A ‘I’ve got a very nice suit that I get to keep forever. I actually don’t like wearing suits, though! People say I look nice in one, but I’m not a very ‘suit’ person. But my wedding suit’s a bit jazzy.’
Olivia, are you looking forward to your sister being a flower girl?
O ‘We’re actually wondering whether she’s going to be able to walk down the aisle – she’s a bit of a nutcase anf might decide to throw rose petals in peoples’ faces! I’m also really excited for everyone to see the bridesmaids’ dresses, as I’ve designed them myself. The first one’s being made at the moment for my maid of honour to try, then once I’ve confirmed everything they will go in to production.’
Is your dog, Reggie, going to be dressed up for your wedding?
O ‘I’m going to get him a little suit made for the day. I found this page on Instagram where they make dog suits, so I’m going to get him one.’
A ‘We wanted him to bring the rings to us, but he’ll probably run off or eat the rose petals – and then throw them up in front of our guests!’
O ‘We really want him there on the day. He’s literally like our child, but I think we’re going to get someone to look after him and bring him down, then we can have pictures with him.’
Have you decided on wedding favours?
O ‘I had to explain what they were to Alex the other day, because he didn’t know anything about them. There’s a couple of ideas, but I don’t want anyone to steal them, so I’m keeping them secret.’
And what about a gift list?
O ‘We haven’t done that yet. I was reading a bridal magazine the other day and saw there’s a wedding shop online that you can put on what you want.’
A ‘It’s quite a weird thing to do, asking people for presents, but I suppose if not you end up with things that might not be to your taste.’
O ‘I don’t like accepting things from people, as I find it really awkward.’
Are you going to give each other a gift to open on the morning of the wedding?
O ‘Erm… yes!’
A ‘I think we’ve both got the gift of each other, to be honest. If not then I’ll have another Rolex, please.’
O ‘You’re not having a Rolex. I want a Cartier love bangle, though!’
Are you both spending more time in the gym in the run up to your wedding?
A ‘I’m in the gym every day anyway, so I’m just maintaining my shape because of all the work we’ve got coming up.’
O ‘Alex has the fastest metabolism ever – if he doesn’t eat over 4,000 calories a day he loses weight! It’s so unfair – I only have to look at a slice of pizza…’
Let’s talk speeches. Alex, is yours all written?
A ‘It’s all in my head. If I’m having like a long drive somewhere I’ll recite it when no one can hear. I’ve got a funny joke to start off with that’s going to hopefully kick off. I’ll just wing it, but I know little bullet points of what I’m going to say.’
Who’s going to cry first on the day?
A ‘Me – the second I see Liv walk up the aisle! I’m an emotional person and know I’ll start blubbing when I see her.’
O ‘I think I’m going to do what I did when you proposed. I think I’m going to be alright during the service then it will hit me later that day.’
A ‘She cried the other day when I picked her up from the airport as she missed me!’
O ‘We spent a week and a half away from each other and that’s the longest we’ve ever spent away from each other since we’ve met.’
How’s the new house going?
A ‘That’s my main thing – Olivia does the wedding and I do the house. It’s going to be a family home that we’re going to be in for years, so we’re not rushing and are taking our time to plan it properly.’
O ‘Alex will pop out to the shops and come back with a random lamp or something else for the house.’
A ‘We’re sorting out the cinema room right now and are putting a little bar up there. It’s like a boy’s room, but also our main living room. In our main lounge we haven’t got a TV. Plus we have cream sofas, so Reggie’s not allowed in there.’
O ‘He doesn’t know that yet!’
Have you got an office for all your business ventures?
A ‘Yeah, but that’s just full of boxes at the moment.’
O ‘We actually still haven’t fully unpacked, but we need to get it up and running for when Alex starts his clothing brand.’
A ‘I’m rebranding now and have got a new manufacturer, new web designers, the lot!’
O ‘I’m so proud of him, the samples look amazing. Alex is doing it completely on his own – which is exactly how you should do it. Everyone already wants his clothes – and they haven’t even seen them yet!’