Creative bride Michelle took the hands-on approach to personalise the couple’s autumn wedding day. Full of DIY ideas this wedding is inspiring for any bride!
How they met
Michelle and Simon met at work, and it wasn’t long before something special had developed between them. “When we first met, I knew I wanted to be friends with Simon forever,” Michelle smiles. “Our first date was for an Italian meal with great food and wine. It felt like we were the only people in the room.”
When Michelle planned a romantic weekend away to Watergate Bay in Cornwall, she had no idea that Simon would seize the opportunity to propose. “We got there on the Friday evening and went for a wander down to the beach,” Michelle recalls. “When the last person had left the beach, Simon got down on one knee and asked me to marry him. It was a magical moment.”
The bride’s outfit
Michelle looked sensational in a vintage-style lace dress from Essense of Australia, with a sweetheart neckline, V back, fishtail skirt and pearl beading. “I thought I had found my dress, but tried on a few other styles just to make sure, and when I tried on the Essense gown, I was sold,” Michelle explains. “I didn’t expect to get a feeling about a dress, but it had everything I was looking for and I knew it was ‘the one’. Michelle added a pearl headband, veil and cream lace flowers in her hair, and chose to wear flat lace pumps.
The groom’s outfit
Simon wore a three-piece slim fit checked suit from Next, teamed with a white shirt and a burgandy woollen tie from Moss Bros. “He looked amazing – really handsome,” Michelle says.
Michelle was attended by her sister Lisa and best friends Liz and Jane. “They were truly amazing, on hand to help at every opportunity, and organised the best hen weekend I could have asked for,” says Michelle. The maids wore elegant pleated dresses from Phase Eight, in deep burgundy, to fit the Autumnal wedding theme, and paired them with chic nude open-toe shoes.
The couple were married in a civil ceremony at The Orangery in Maidstone.”It was wonderful, as we were able to make it really personal to us,” Michelle explains. “My dad walked me over the bridge towards The Orangery and down the aisle, which was unbelievably special. “It was quite nerve-wracking but dad kept chatting and joking to put me at ease.” The following day, the marriage was blessed at Michelle’s parents’ local church.
Creative bride Michelle and her mum put together all the bouquets, buttonholes and floral arrangements from Autumn blooms bought from New Covent Garden market. “I was so pleased with how they turned out, and as well as saving us lots of money, it felt really special because I had arranged them myself,” Michelle says.
Michelle and Simon’s reception included elements of vintage, lace and rustic themes. The guests dined on a menu of shredded duck in a filo basket, chicken breast with a champagne and tarragon sauce and a trio of desserts. “The speeches were one of the highlights – Dad’s was hilarious and heartfelt, and Simon said some truly lovely things that I will remember forever,” Michelle adds happily.
Michelle made many of the wedding decorations herself, including over 50 metres of bunting, 60 hessian and twine-wrapped jars and a DIY sweet buffet with vintage sweet shop jars. “I’m a very hands–on person, and love the personalised feel of handmade decorations,” Michelle explains. The centrepieces were cream metal jugs filled with Autumnal flowers, and the couple used chalkboards to display messages around the venue.
“My mum is a cake decorator and always wanted to make my wedding cake, and she did an incredible job,” says proud daughter Michelle. The three-tier cake was topped with icing models of the bride and groom, and lots of sugar flowers. “She made it exactly how I wanted,” Michelle adds.
The couple gave their guests two types of fudge, homemade by Katie Crunch Confectionery, in little boxes with personalised notes from the bride and groom to every guest. “It took ages to write all the notes, but it was worth doing as many people told us it was lovely touch and something they would keep forever,” Michelle says.
The first dance
Michelle and Simon took their first dance to Man and Wife by Michelle Featherstone. “It’s not very well known, but we first heard it on holiday in Turkey and fell in love with it,” Michelle explains.”It says exactly how we feel about each other, so it was perfect for our first dance.”
Michelle and Simon put together an ice–breaking quiz for their guests, with questions about the bride and groom. Simon also booked a magician, Joe Encock, along with a photobooth and garden games, plus a DJ in the evening. “We put together a playlist of cheesy floor fillers, which went down brilliantly,” Michelle says. “We also had a game of limbo, which came into its own as the night drew on!”
The newlyweds enjoyed a relaxing honeymoon in beautiful Venice.