When Maria and Simon met, neither of them were looking for a relationship, so it was truly lovely to “meet someone you just click with so easily,” says Maria. Their first date was in March 2010 in Newcastle and since then they have done a lot of travelling together – including swimming with dolphins in Mexico, travelling through Thailand, and Simon tried to teach Maria how to snowboard in the Alps…
Simon proposed during a mountain hike in Tenerife, during which he searched seemingly endlessly for the perfect spot for a picnic. After eating and while overlooking the snow capped Mount Teide, the couple stood up to leave, when Maria turned to find Simon on one knee. Apparently Simon had asked Maria’s mum for her blessing some time beforehand, but Maria had no idea.
Maria spotted her dream dress in Wedding Ideas and rang a few shops in the area to find a stockist. She tried on other dresses, but nothing came close to her Sophia Tolli gown in champagne silk with an ivory lace overlay, bought from Angel Brides in Leeds.
Outside the Chapel at Wynyard Hall, after the bridesmaids had walked in and down the aisle, Maria stood outside with her mum… She could hear the string quartet playing Pachelbel’s Canon in D and suddenly her nerves turned to excitement. She says she will never forget the doors opening for her entrance, and looking up at Simon waiting for her at the end of the aisle. She couldn’t wait to be married to him!
Simon is six foot three, so doesn’t always find it easy to find suits that fit well, but his three-piece Ted Baker suit from Moss Bros was perfect, and Maria said that he looked so handsome when she saw him. She had two bridesmaids – her friend of ten years, Kate and another good friend Lara, as well as Simon’s niece Ava as flowergirl. They wore Alfred Angelo dresses from AJ Bridal – luckily Alfred Angelo do maternity dresses, because it looked like Lara was going to be heavily pregnant on the day. She actually gave birth to her little boy two weeks before the wedding! Wedding guests were treated to a wonderful meal of cheese soufflé, nut roast or lamb shank and a trio of sumptuous desserts, which was followed by some lovely speeches, including Maria’s mum who spoke without notes, and Simon who walked around the room delivering his! He also paid tribute to Maria’s father who passed away when she was seven, and there wasn’t a dry eye in the room. Best man, Simon’s brother Martin turned the tears to laughter with his hilarious speech.
The theme for Maria and Simon’s wedding was gold, ivory and pink. Wynyard Hall is very grand and doesn’t need much decoration, so Maria kept it simple with ivory pink tuck table cloths with pink runners, and gold charger plates. The centrepieces were mirrored plates with a square cube vase that were filled with ivory and pink hydrangeas. Each vase had eight votives around it, each containing a candle or a rose. The table plan was inside a vintage suitcase and luggage labels formed the table names. There was also a poem and a candle for Maria’s dad, which was lit during the ceremony and glowed all day. Five foot tall LOVE letters completed the spectacular reception décor. Guests received favours of cupcakes in a jar from Lottie McPhee’s and there was a BBQ later in the evening. The band Func on the Rocks played during the evening, and later one of their DJ’s took over to keep the dance floor filled. Simon and Maria took their first dance to Christina Perri’s A Thousand Years.
Reception: Wynyard Hall
Dress: Sophia Tolli
Groom: Ted Baker
Bridesmaids: Alfred Angelo
Florist: Cinnamon Rose
Cake: Lottie McPhee’s
Honeymoon: Thailand, visiting Bangkok, Koh Samui, Ko Phangan, Khao Lak and Phuket
Photographer: Sean Elliott