Childhood sweethearts, Holly and Anthony tied the knot in a colourful 1950s-themed celebration in Oxfordshire…
How they met
Holly and Anthony met as children, and their love was a slow burner. “We went to the same school, so it feels like we grew up together,” Holly smiles. “We were friends for ages, then it developed into something more. Our first date was in Brighton, where I was at university. We went out for Thai food, drinks and a film.”
The miserable British weather failed to dampen Anthony’s proposal, which took place while the couple were enjoying a long weekend in Brighton. “It was the middle of July, but it rained all day!” Holly remembers. “We were about to go out for dinner when Anthony dropped to one knee. He had planned to propose on the beach, but the weather spoiled his plans. I was so excited that I couldn’t eat anything for dinner.”
The bride’s outfit
Holly was a picture of glamour in Alan Hannah’s ‘Sorrento’ gown in Italian silk damask with a rose print, bateau neckline and a nipped-in waist. “As I’m quite short, I thought I wouldn’t feel right in a full dress, but it fitted beautifully and even made me feel tall!” laughs Holly. “I loved the 1950s style and the fact that it was from a British designer.” The bride added champagne Jimmy Choo kitten heels – the most expensive shoes Holly’s ever owned – and a bespoke headpiece from Gillian Million.
The groom’s outfit
Anthony wore a bright blue custom-made suit from Austin Reed, in 100% wool fabric from an Italian manufacturer. “I’m passionate about men’s tailoring and knew it had to fit perfectly,” explains Holly. “He looked so smart, and all the tie-tying preparation paid off!”
Holly was accompanied by three adult bridesmaids, who wore distinctive 1950s-style floral dresses in an English rose print from retro clothing boutique Dollydagger, with extra petticoats. “The petticoats complemented the dresses really well, and the girls kept twirling in them all day,” says Holly.
Holly and Anthony’s civil ceremony included two light-hearted readings, I Rely on You and He Always Leave the Seat Up. “It was a truly special moment when I started to walk down the aisle with my dad,” Holly recalls. “Seeing everyone there to help us celebrate was just wonderful.”
The wedding flowers were put together by Karen at The Flower Loft, in a relaxed, English meadow style. “We chose lots of small blooms, displated in cut glass vases that I had been collecting for 18 months,” explains Holly. “I wanted the flowers to look as if they had been cut from the garden that morning.”
The newlyweds chose a seasonal, locally sourced menu, beginning with a salad of tomatoes, mozzarella and asparagus from Dorney Court, where Holly’s dad works, followed by Spring lamb and a trio of desserts. “The food was great, and the owner of the venue came out and gave everyone seconds, and even thirds in some cases!” Holly laughs. The guests were entertained by a jazz trio during the wedding breakfast, with a DJ later in the evening.
The striking red, blue and ivory floral bridesmaids’ dresses sparked the wedding’s colour theme, with its vintage and DIY edge. “I collected many of the decorations from charity shops, vintage fairs and markets, including over 80 cut glass vases and 120 champagne flutes,” Holly says. “It was fun to keep looking for them wherever we went. We also collected old books for the table centres, which took some times, as we tried to make them personal to the people sitting at each table.”
The sensational cake with its pearlescent lace icing was made by the mother of one of the bridesmaids. “She was understandably nervous and threw herself into researching everything for it, and it was perfect,” recalls Holly. The cake was decorated with fresh flowers and displayed on a cake stand from Etsy.
Straight after the wedding, Holly and Anthony flew to Las Vegas, where they renewed their vows in a pink Cadillac with Elvis! They then enjoyed two weeks in Mauritius as they main honeymoon.