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A 16th-century walled garden was the tranquil setting for Alison and Christopher’s back-t0-nature rustic wedding celebration, with personal touches to create the perfect day.

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The proposal

Alison and Christopher first met in a bar in Leicester, where they were introduced by a mutual friend. After eight years together, Alison assumed Christopher wasn’t the marrying type but then he surprised her by proposing during a trip to Venice to celebrate her 30th birthday. “Chris handed me a glass of prosecco and got down on one knee in our apartment before dinner, overlooking one of the canals,” Alison recalls. “It was the perfect proposal.”

The bride’s outfit

Finding a wedding dress proved tricky for Alison. “I found the experience quite difficult as I’m very tall and curvy and I felt quite awkward in most of the dresses I tried on,” she explains. “I had a style in mind but it didn’t suit me, so it was back to the drawing board.” She eventually fell for a stunning taffeta gown by Ellis Bridal, with exquisite pearl button detailing at the back. “The material draped beautifully and felt so luxurious and I knew Chris would love it,” smiles Alison.

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The groom’s outfit

Christopher wore a French navy lounge suit from Waterers Tailors. “He knew it was the suit for him as soon as he tried it on,” Alison says. “The cut was perfect, and the rich blue brought out the colour of his eyes.” He teamed his suit with an ivory waistcoat and cravat, and brown shoes from Jones the Bootmakers.

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The bridesmaids

Alison’s three bridesmaids wore bespoke gowns from Light in the Box in a bold cornflower blue. “When they arrived, they were much brighter than I expected, and as they were custom made, I couldn’t return them,” Alison says. “I was a bit worried, but luckily, they looked beautiful on the girls and they all loved them.”

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The ceremony

Alison and Christopher were married at their local church. “We tried really hard to personalise the ceremony,” says Alison. “The singing club from the primary school where I worked performed Stand by Me and You Raise Me Up, and my bridesmaid, Nicole, wrote the prayers. We excited the church to At Last by Etta James, which made everyone laugh.”

The reception

The reception was held in the 16th century Shenley Walled Garden, with its terraced grounds, apple orchard and grass amphitheatre. “It provided a tranquil and stunning setting, which we adored,” says Alison. The couple let the venue do the talking, and chose natural details with meadow flowers, a willow trellis seating plan, hanging hearts and ivy boughs.

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The honeymoon

The newlyweds honeymooned in Turkey, visiting Istanbul and the South West coast.

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