Gemma and James had a beautiful autumn real wedding with the golden touch in the heart of the New Forest in October 2009. Read on to find out all about it…


WHO: Gemma and James

WHERE: The Beaulieu Hotel, Beaulieu

WHEN: October 2009



The proposal

Having been together over five years without a hint of a proposal, Gemma had come to the conclusion that James wasn’t the marrying type.

“But then, on holiday in Egypt, James woke me at 5am one morning to go and watch the sunrise,” Gemma remembers.

“I’m not a morning person, so when we got to the beach I curled up on a sun lounger and started dozing off again – until he told me to wake up, because he was going to propose!”

The bride’s outfit

After searching through bridal magazines, Gemma had set her heart on an Augusta Jones gown for her Autumn big day. “The real wedding dress I chose was only the third that I tried on, but I knew it was the one for me,” Gemma recalls.

The simple cream charmeuse design featured spaghetti straps and a dropped back finished with a vintage-style brooch – the perfect colour for an Autumn theme.

“It was me to a T,” says Gemma. She accessorised her real wedding style with a bespoke silk veil from Anna-Maria D’Amato and towering Manolo Blahnik shoes, ordered in from the States – her ‘something blue’!

“I’m known for being a shoe addict, so I couldn’t resist my sky-high, blue Sex and the City Manolos!”

The groom’s outfit

James, his two best men and the dads looked dapper in chocolate brown suits with Prince Edward-cut jackets, cream waistcoats and gold ties, all hired from local boutique Cloud Nine.

The bridesmaids

For the Autumn theme, Gemma chose classic tea dresses in harvest gold raw silk for her five bridesmaids. The dresses were made by a local dressmaker, and enhanced with sparkling brooches from Crystal Bridal Accessories.

The flowers

Florist Jo Hicks brought the Autumn theme to life with mango and cream calla lilies, cherry brandy and cream roses and freesias.

“She also suggested using hurricane lamps with candles as our table centrepieces, very warm and welcoming” adds Gemma

The venue

The Beaulieu Hotel in the heart of the New Forest was decorated with hundreds of different candles from Melody Maison. Gemma also placed a pocket of petals on every chair and made all the stationery herself using kits from Wedding Crafter.

“We had 120 guests during the day, and another 50 in the evening – we couldn’t bear to leave anyone out!”

The cake

Gemma and James’ real wedding cake was found at the National Wedding Show. “Anns Designer Cakes had the perfect cake for us with iced calla lilies!”

The entertainment

Seven-piece band, Groove Instinct kept guests entertained all evening. Later everyone enjoyed a hog roast (A perfect Autumn warmer!) and tucked into bowls of delicious retro sweets!