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Alison and Simon brought the in the outside in with their Secret Garden theme wedding, with the most beautiful vintage and handmade touches.

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How they met

Alison first met Simon when he went for an interview at the company where she worked. “As he came up the stairs, I was instantly drawn to how tall, dark and handsome he was,” Alison recalls. After working with each other for a year, they finally got together. “On our first official date, I was so nervous I couldn’t eat, even though we’d been friends for such a long time,” laughs Alison.

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The proposal

Simon planned the sweetest proposal for his beautiful bride, while holidaying in the Lake District. “Our B&B had offered a free bottle of wine when we booked, so when Simon came into the room with a cake box and said the hotel had given us cream cakes instead, I was delighted,” Alison says. “I jumped up to take one, but when I opened the lid, inside was a beautiful cake topped with a sugar box with a ring inside, and the words ‘Will you marry me?’ iced on it. I turned around, and Simon was on one knee – there were lots of tears!”

The bride’s outfit

Alison looked breathtaking in a Venetian lace, Justin Alexander gown with a sweetheart neckline, pleated cummerbund and textured trumpet skirt. “They say you know instantly when you’ve found ‘the one’, and I did,” Alison says. “I fell in love with the buttons flowing down the back and the lace that bordered my shoulders.” A handmade pearl and silver hair comb and a chic cathedral-length veil were the perfect finishing touches to Alison’s look.

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The groom’s outfit

Simon looked handsome in a light grey suit with tails from Coe’s, with a cream waistcoat with silver thread detail and a classic taupe cravat.

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The bridesmaids

Alison’s four adult bridesmaids wore delicate pink lace gowns from high street favourite Monsoon, with shoes from Marks and Spencer. The flowergirl – Simon’s daughter Bethany – also wore an outfit from Monsoon.

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The ceremony

Alison and Simon’s wedding was extra meaningful, as it took place in the church that Alison attended as a child, and was conducted by a vicar who was an old family friend. “I was so excited walking down the aisle with my dad, and when I got to the end, Simon had tears rolling down his face,” Alison smiles.

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The flowers

“Our wedding flowers were very important to me because I grew up in the countryside and wanted our big day to have a Secret Garden feel,” Alison explains. “I also love floral designs, and based all of my textile degree work on a floral theme.” Hydrangea and gypsophila featured in the gorgeous flower arrangements, created by Deborah Buckles.

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The reception

The guests dined on a menu that included salmon with watercress and spinach and ricotta-stuffed chicken breast. For dessert, guests were treated to ice cream from a vintage cart, served with tasty macaroons and wedding cake. A barbeque followed in the evening, and guests were entertained with croquet, a delicious sweet stand and a homemade photobooth.

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The details

Alison and Simon’s wedding theme came together beautifully with vintage and outdoor-inspired decorations. Finishing touches included glass bottles filled with fresh flowers, napkins screen-printed by the bride, vintage cups and saucers and even a Singer sewing machine. “Our table plan was arranged on an old door covered in ivy and flowers, and my dad made wooden boxes for garden plants to bring the outside in,” Alison explains. “Our card box was a bird nesting box made by my dad, and I made bunting and cushions with fabric from a vintage market.”

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The cake

The beautiful three-tier wedding cake featured lace designs inspired by the bridesmaids’ dresses, printed vintage fabric and a vintage tape measure, along with sugar flowers in the style of the bridal bouquet.

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The honeymoon

Alison and Simon took the trip of a lifetime to Canada, where they explored Calgary, Banff, Lake Louise, Whistler and Vancouver. The adventurous couple tried out activities from white-water rafting and whale-watching to a seaplane tour.

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