A real wedding that was planned in a whirlwind six months and from the other side of the Atlantic – now that’s organisation!


WHO: Holly & Peter

WHERE: St James’ Church and Hotel du Vin, Poole, Dorset

WHEN: August 2010



The proposal

Romantic Peter literally swept Holly off her feet with a surprise hot air balloon ride over the California coast on her 22nd birthday. “We were watching the sunset when Peter asked if I would be his wife,” remembers Holly. “I was so overwhelmed, I could hardly speak – but he just wanted me to answer so he could put the ring on my finger before he accidentally dropped it through the holes in the basket!”

The bride’s outfit

After a long day dress shopping for the perfect real wedding dress, Holly finally met her match in the last shop she visited. “I wanted to feel like a princess in the summer, and I wasn’t disappointed,” says Holly, who looked radiant in the intricately beaded lace gown from True Bride. Her beautiful tiara and necklace from USA Bride complemented the beading on her dress and fitted perfectly with the Champagne and pearls theme of the real wedding

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“The walk down the aisle passed in a blur of nerves and excitement, but I’ll never forget Peter’s smile…”

The groom’s outfit

With seven groomsmen to get suited and booted for the real wedding, three of whom were based in California, the men decided to hire their outfits from preloved.co.uk to allow for last-minute fittings, and chose traditional lounge suits with ivory waistcoats and Champagne cravats. “Peter looked so handsome: my Prince Charming,” says Holly

The bridesmaids

Holly chose her sister Emily and childhood friend Lucy as “Their summer dresses were my biggest bargain: full-length Champagne gowns with an ivory belt, on sale for £75 each at House of Fraser” says Holly. “They were the last two on the rail, and just happened to be the right sizes: amazing!”

The ceremony

“We wanted a traditional church real wedding – but not too traditional,” explains Holly, who personalised the service with readings, poems and contemporary music, including an organ version of ‘All I Ask of You’ from the couple’s favourite musical, The Phantom of the Opera. “At the end, we surprised our guests by releasing doves – it was Peter’s idea, and he was very proud of it!” Holly adds

The honeymoon

After heading home from the States for their British real wedding, Holly and Peter decided against any more travelling, and are planning an Alaskan cruise in May 2011 as a belated honeymoon.