Tracy & Cheng
Timeless navy and pink meet fun-loving, personalised details on this big day
PHOTOGRAPHY BY Courtney Louise Photography, courtneylouisephotography.co.uk
One box inside another box inside another box kept this bride guessing when it came to the proposal. “We were getting ready to go out for dinner one night on holiday in Singapore. Cheng said he had something to show me and passed me the box. Inside the last white box was the most beautiful brilliant cut diamond ring!” Tracy smiles.
The moment the bride was reunited with her dress, the day before the wedding, also ensured an element of surprise remained throughout the wedding planning. “I found my dress eight months before the big day, but it wasn’t until the day before the wedding that my parents brought it over for me, so I didn’t see it again for all that time!” The white gown featured a sweetheart neckline, lace train and mermaid silhouette.
“My dress was embellished with crystals for a touch of sparkle, too.”
“I wanted to wear flats because I knew they would be more comfortable, but I struggled to find a pair that I liked that were suitably bridal but not satin, ballerina-style shoes. In the end I purchased a pair of white peep-toe flats and added the lace appliqués myself to create the design I wanted.” A Swarovski necklace and earrings set complemented her glittering gown.
The groom selected a timeless grey suit from The Kooples for his big day attire. “He accessorised with a pink tie and pocket square, both of which were purchased from ASOS, adding a floral buttonhole too.”
Tracy’s godsister and good friend embraced their roles as bridesmaids. “They wore blueberry coloured, floor-length, multi-way dresses from Dressabelle. I let the girls choose how they’d like to style them.” Combined with the groom’s tie, the bridal party’s outfits coordinated with the couple’s navy and pink colour scheme.
“Hopefully because the design can be worn in so many ways, my bridesmaids will be able to wear their outfits again for other occasions.”
Heidi Sykes Wedding Hair and Makeup Specialist took care of their beauty looks.
Two flower girls also attended the bride, wearing white frocks and carrying heart-shaped balloons. “I let their mothers choose their dresses. The balloons worked so well – they looked cute and distracted the girls so they didn’t get stage fright!”
“We had a first look before the ceremony to calm our pre-wedding jitters!”
The couple exchanged vows in a civil ceremony at Manor by the Lake in Cheltenham. “We fell in love with the venue from our first visit. I’d set my heart on an outdoor wedding by the lake, but knowing how temperamental British weather can be, I wanted an equally stunning indoor option as a back up, and Manor by the Lake ticked all the boxes. It ended up raining during our ceremony, but superstition says that’s a lucky sign anyway!”
“We chose readings from ‘Les Miserables’ and a poem called ‘The Square Root of Three’.”
“I didn’t want to stick to safe, traditional music choices for the ceremony but Cheng vetoed a few of my more out-there ideas. In the end, we compromised and I walked down the aisle to the final song from Final Fantasy VIII. We exited to American Author’s ‘Best Day of My Life’.
When it came to the wedding menu, the choice was simple. “We love a good hog roast,” the couple laugh, “so it was a no brainer. We chose salmon and caper fishcakes for the starter, followed by the hog roast with apple and fennel slaw, roast potatoes and spicy grilled vegetable salad.” Dessert was a popcorn panna cotta with salted caramel sauce.
“My dad surprised us all by referencing the fact that our venue is in fact a Pokestop in his speech!”
“Cheng’s speech was lovely, as was my maid of honour’s, and the best man summarised our relationship perfectly. We also hosted a traditional Chinese toast – the Yum Seng. Each toast represents a different blessing – from a blissful marriage to eternal love and fertility… but it’s really a contest of who can shout for the longest and loudest!”
Tracy chose a cascading bouquet of calla lilies, avalanche roses, spray roses, stephanotis and hydrangea, with blue delphiniums adding a pretty fragrance and blue accent. The arrangements were created by Donna Beaver at The Flower Studio. “We chose the same flowers for the table decorations and I added white frames and a wedding day post box to decorate. The venue was beautiful enough already.”
The couple opted to have a salted caramel cake to cut, served with cupcakes in chocolate and raspberry, red velvet and chocolate and Guinness flavours, made by Cut Above Cake.
“We provided boxes if they’d like to take the cupcake away and thought that serving them this way would be easier for guests to tuck into.”
A homemade photo booth, created with a ribbon, lace and fairy light backdrop, props and a Polaroid camera, as well as acoustic duo, The Distance, kept all the guests entertained. “They created a great vibe. It was infectious and everyone got up to dance! We chose ‘You and Me’ by Lifehouse for our first dance, a waltz.
VENUE Manor by the Lake, Cheltenham
DRESS For similar, try Maggie Sottero
BRIDESMAID DRESSES Dressabelle
GROOM The Kooples, ASOS
HAIR & MAKEUP Heidi Sykes Wedding Hair and Makeup Specialist
FLOWERS The Flower Studio
CAKE Cut Above Cake
ENTERTAINMENT The Distance
VIDEOGRAPHER Mr and Mrs Productions