Gemma + Paul
A SPRINGTIME WEDDING BESIDE THE WATER
PHOTOGRAPHY Sarah Carter
Fortune dictated that this couple would find each other, at least that’s what Gemma’s clairvoyant told her. “I’d sceptically seen a clairvoyant the day of our first date. He said that I would marry Paul and have three children with him. I thought it was hilarious and told Paul that night and his response was, “so what are we going to name these children then?” and told me he’d liked me for a long time. I was pleased because I’d always had a soft spot for him too.
My grandmother had a beautiful ring that I’d admired for as long as I can remember and she offered to give it to Paul when he was ready. I didn’t know he’d asked for it, but when I arrived home one day there was a rose, wire cutters and a note. He’d placed notes all around our town with special sentiments for us. I turned around after reading the last one and Paul had written ‘Gem, marry me’ in beach stones – it was very cute!”
The bride to be chose a Justin Alexander dress to walk down the aisle in.
The gown was made from a soft, sheer chiffon and featured a sewn in pearl and diamond belt with similar embellishment around the neckline.
“I added a cowl back and removed the capped sleeves,” Gemma tells us. “As soon as I put it on the dress hugged my body and smoothed out my shape. It looked so classic and I know that when I look back in 20 years it will still be a timeless gown.”
Gemma accessorised with a veil from Pure Brides, Norwich, Jersey Pearl earrings and peep toe Freya Rose bridal shoes with heels made from mother of pearl. “My bridesmaid Laura made my garter which was my something blue and Paul gifted me my Tiffany necklace.”
The couple headed to Savile Row for Paul’s suit, which was hand tailored from Cad and the Dandy. Paul added a Ted Baker tie, Barkers tan brogues and Mulberry cufflinks. “I gifted him an Omega watch, he looked so handsome!” smiles Gemma.
Four bridesmaids joined the bride. “My two elder bridesmaids wore Ghost gowns in a pale dusky pink silk. They were the first things I bought after seeing them in Millie Macintosh’s wedding. My two younger bridesmaids had their dresses made. The material came out more of a yellow and cream colour rather than ivory but luckily they looked beautiful on the day because I’d chosen yellow flowers. On the morning of the wedding I gifted them each a pair of pearl earrings.”
Having been in the hair and beauty trade for 13 years, this bride did the bridesmaids and mother of the bride makeup herself, with her friend doing hers. The bride’s friend and talented hairdresser Sarah Burnett stepped in to style their hair for the day.
“Paul had a local barber come to the venue to offer professional shaves and do his hair – I think it’s a great touch for the men to be treated, it is their big day too after all!”
The couple’s civil ceremony was held outdoors on decking that looked out to the Norfolk Broads. “I had always wanted to get married outside and it had just stopped raining on the day so we could! We said our vows under a white wooden area that was surrounded by blossom. Brighton-based singer Alice Amelia sang Ed Sheeran songs during the ceremony – it’s the CD Paul had in his car for weeks when we first got together.”
After the ceremony guests dined on asparagus wrapped in Parma ham, pork belly for the main and a chocolate brownie for dessert. “The speeches came afterwards and were a favourite part of the day for us. My dad said he’d gained another son, which had us all in tears. My brother, on the other hand, ripped Paul and I apart, but it was what we needed after such emotional speeches!” laughs Gemma.
Their waterside wedding theme was springtime pastels. The bride made jar candles by pouring melted wax inside, decorated throughout with spring flowers and rented wedding accessories and props from A Little Lending Company.
“Our florist was Irene’s House of Flowers, which is co-owned by Abi, one of my closest friends. Our arrangements featured tulips, daffodils, narcissus, muscari, roses, daisies and forget-me-nots, which are my grandmother’s favourite. They were nestled into clusters of twigs that looked like birds nests.”
Three cakes echoed the spring colours with white, blue and yellow in chocolate, lemon, vanilla and fruitcake flavours!
“We booked our honeymoon with Travel Counsellors, heading to Mauritius and Dubai – both were amazing! We walked with lions in Mauritius – it was scary but one of the most incredible things we have ever done.”
VENUE The Boathouse, Ormesby Broad, Norfolk
DRESS Justin Alexander
BRIDESMAID DRESSES Ghost
GROOM Cad and the Dandy
ACCESSORIES Tiffany, Pure Brides, Freya Rose and Jersey Pearl
DÉCOR A Little Lending Company
FLOWERS Irene’s House of Flowers
HONEYMOON Travel Counsellors
VIDEOGRAPHER Thomas Brown, Browns Films