Hannah & Matthew
From the venues to the menu, this celebration exudes coastal charm
PHOTOGRAPHY BY Simon Hawkins, Document Your Dream,
What do beaches and birthstones have in common? For Hannah and Matthew, they combined to create the perfect proposal.
“Matthew knew I had no idea what I wanted for an engagement ring, so, during a trip to our favourite place – Aldeburgh, Suffolk – he got down on bended knee with a pearl. It’s the reason we came back to Aldeburgh to get married, it holds so many good memories for us.”
Newly engaged, Hannah started to search for all things bridal inspiration, and it didn’t take her long to find Wedding Ideas!
“I found the website and the next thing I knew I’d entered a competition to win £1500 towards my dress. A few weeks later, I discovered I had in fact won!”
“The competition took me to Courtyard Bridal Boutique in Kettering, where I chose my Pronovias Atelier gown over a glass of pink bubbly. As soon as I put on the simple, elegant design I felt like myself and not a girl dressed up as a bride.”
Hannah’s hairdresser, Vicki Lord, created a floral headpiece in place of a more traditional veil, and the bride stepped down the aisle in pink silk Badgley Mischka shoes. “I didn’t want to wear any jewellery apart from my rings,” she explains.
The groom began his search with a contrasting jacket and trousers in mind, before choosing a dark navy suit with a matching waistcoat. A pastel green shirt from Alexandra of England, pale pink Bertie shoes and a Mrs Bow Tie bow tie and pocket square in pastel stripes completed his style.
“Our dog wore a matching bandana, too!”
Three bridesmaids attended the bride, each with different sizes to cater for. “I found beautiful lace and pastel dresses from Coralie Beatrix, an American designer. My maid of honour wore a floor-length mint gown with lace on the lower half, with my other two girls choosing dusty lilac and pink dresses. Nude sandals and flower crowns helped to tie them all together, having each wrapped their dresses differently.” The bride’s nephew was a pageboy.
Hannah’s hairdresser added a hairpiece to her bohemian hairstyle to give her the height she wanted, while her makeup artist, Lucy Jayne, created a standout smoky eye by introducing small sparkling gems, too.
“We married in a civil ceremony at The White Lion Hotel in Aldeburgh, in which we shared our own vows to each other. I think I even promised to cook him homemade dinners and supply him with beer – I’m a good wife!” the bride laughs. “Choosing a venue that has personal meaning to both of us and being somewhere we love made all the difference. I was so much more relaxed beforehand as a result!”
“Writing our own vows to each other was nerve-racking but I’m so glad we did it!”
The couple’s wedding breakfast offered a culinary celebration of their beach location. “We strolled along the beach with our guests for his and hers cocktails before returning to dine on a seafood platter to start and deconstructed fish and chips for the main course. The dessert was the most fun, though – we had a vanilla panna cotta, shortbread sand, a cherry ice cream lollipop, popping candy and chocolate fondant buckets – dessert was a beach scene, plated.”
A pastel colour scheme was a match made in heaven for their fun-filled wedding. The couple added balloon letters, long pastel ribbons tied to chair backs, candles and an assortment of nostalgic Fentimans drink bottles to decorate their venue.
“We wanted the floral arrangements and bouquets to look wild and pretty with nothing too structured”
“I dreamed of a long bouquet that was full of colour and had trailing ivy, and that’s exactly what I received,” smiles Hannah. “Our florist Debbie Aitken did a beautiful job.”
The groom’s aunt baked their wedding cake. Based on a design spotted on Pinterest and a recipe adapted from a Persian love cake, the final result included pistachios, white chocolate, spices, rosewater and cream cheese.
“Our cake tasted like Turkish Delight – it was amazing!”
The Soul Thieves took to the floor as the party progressed, performing during the canapés and cocktail reception and again in the evening. “They were young, fresh and fun. For our first dance we chose ‘You and I’ by John Legend. It’s a bit different but we love it.”
Having set their sights on a European honeymoon, Hannah and Matthew flew to Mallorca, staying at Predi Son Jaumell Boutique Hotel. “It was stunning but relaxed with an indulgent Michelin-starred restaurant to enjoy, too. It made the perfect base from which to explore the island – we’ll definitely be going back.”
CEREMONY The White Lion Hotel, Aldeburgh
RECEPTION VENUE The Brudenell Hotel, Aldeburgh
DRESS Pronovias Atelier at Courtyard Bridal Boutique
BRIDESMAID DRESSES Coralie Beatrix
GROOM John Lewis, Alexandra of England, Bertie
and Mrs Bow Tie
SHOES Badgley Mischka
HAIR Vicki Lord Bridal Hair
MAKEUP Lucy Jayne Makeup
FLOWERS Debbie Aitken
ENTERTAINMENT The Soul Thieves
VIDEOGRAPHER Shoot it Yourself
HONEYMOON Predi Son Jaumell Boutique Hotel, Mallorca