PURPLE AND ORANGE | JIMMY CHOO PEEP TOES | ORCHIDS AND ROSES | SWAROVSKI CRYSTALS AND PEARLS | IVORY & CO TIARA | WILD FLOWER FAVOURS.
How did you first meet?
Ben and I met at school, I was in year 11 and he was in year 12. It was a school romance that blossomed – we were together for nine years and the wedding marked our 10th year together.
What’s your funniest story of your time dating?
Ben turned up to our first date playing tennis in a red and white flowery Hawaiian skirt with mirrored Oakley glasses on (he thought he was very cool). I am completely useless at tennis but have always been good with hand-eye coordination, so the ball ended up on every court but ours. We laughed so much.
How did the proposal happen?
On our eighth anniversary, Ben took me to the Isabella Plantation in Richmond Park which is one of our favourite places to go to escape busy day-to-day life. We passed a quiet and secluded pond and he got down on one knee with a ring and asked me to marry him. A surprise bottle of champagne soon appeared and we drank into the afternoon while ringing our relatives to tell them the news. As the sun went down we walked along the river and made our way to Goucho Grill for a romantic meal. It was perfect.
Where did you find your wedding dress?
I found my silk Essence of Australia dress in Amante (now the Secret Dress House) in Reigate. It was strapless with a sweetheart neckline, corset and a slight flair at the bottom. The material had diagonal pleating running through it and below the bust there was a beautiful band of pearls and Swarovski crystals. The dress made me feel AMAZING!
How did you accessorise?
I added Jimmy Choo silk satin peep toe sandals, a freshwater pearl necklace with a collection of diamonds which was gifted by my dad and an Ivory and Co silver-plated pearl and Swarovski tiara.
Ben hired his charcoal grey suit with a silk lining around the lapel from Dapper in Dorking. When I first saw Ben he had a huge smile on his face and mouthed ‘wow’ – just what a bride needs to see!
I had three bridesmaids and one flower girl. The bridesmaids wore Hilary Morgan purple dresses with chiffon drapes, a single shoulder strap and a cluster of elegant Swarovski crystals on the bust.
We had a civil ceremony at Coltsford Mill, Surrey with readings from Richard Bach’s ‘The Bridge Across Forever’ and ‘Scaffolding’ by Seamus Heaney. My best memory of the ceremony was when I saw that Ben’s cravat pin was not central or sitting perfectly. I decided in the full flow of the registrar’s speech to correct it… hilarious!
Guests enjoyed Bucks Fizz or Pimm’s and canapés on leaving the ceremony, before sitting down to a three-course wedding breakfast including spring rolls to start, roast rump of lamb or plum tomato tart for main and pears poached in red wine with mascarpone cream for dessert.
Our wedding was purple and orange themed. We hung glass balls from light fittings filled with orange beads and purple silk, had personalised wooden blocks with our names and wedding date on them, lanterns and candles and puzzle money boxes on the tables for guests.
Our flowers were by Hazel Hewitt at The Flower Pot in Tadworth. I had a bouquet of purple and orange blooms, including roses, and so did my bridesmaids. The orchid table centrepieces were also displayed to fit the purple and orange colour scheme, with orange ribbon and purple material on each pot.
The cake was five tiers with alternate purple and orange ribbons around them to decorate. The bottom was an illusion layer, with fruit, Victoria sponge, white and milk chocolate orange and lemon layers too.
We gave our guests personalised wildflower seed packets.
We had live music from Honeymooners, a photo booth and caricaturist. Our first dance was to Seal’s ‘Kiss From a Rose’. Ben and I learned a personalised Viennese Waltz to our wedding music.
We went to Cancun, Mexico where we got to swim with dolphins, relax poolside, go fresh water swimming, enjoy a couples’ massage at the spa and play golf.
What are your top tips?
Brides, try not to get stressed out about planning. Book a venue as far in advance as possible to get the date you want and the rest will fall into place, just be proactive.
Grooms, be supportive and take an interest. Let her make most of the decisions and put some thought into her wedding present.
When it comes to planning, make a spreadsheet and document all dates, costs and suppliers, then colour code what you have bought and what you haven’t to keep track.