This whole, sweet-filled celebration started with one of the best proposals – ever!

WHO: Stephanie & Gary

WHERE: Dodmoor House, Northamptonshire

WHEN: February 2012

PHOTOS: Dasha Caffrey


How they met

“I was really anxious, a bit scared but mainly excited and happy – I felt all of this because it was actually the first time I was meeting Gary in person,” explains Stephanie. “In 2005 we met online through a mutual friend, but nothing came from it until we reconnected again in 2006. Ever since that day we spoke constantly for four straight months before we met in person.

“Coincidentally, before we had started speaking again, he had also booked tickets to Orlando for a holiday,” adds Stephanie. “I’m from Miami so it worked out really well because I just had to take a Greyhound bus for about five hours where we met at the station.

We got along better than I ever expected. From there we began a two-year long-distance relationship until I moved over to the UK in 2008!” smiles Stephanie.

The proposal

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“Gary proposed to me on my 21st birthday at home. He knew that I would hate a public proposal because we’re both pretty shy people. He always said that when the time came to propose he wanted it to be done in a very geeky and unique way – and he didn’t disappoint!” remembers Stephanie.

“He proposed to me through our favourite video game, Portal. He got the help of two level designers and the actual voice actress from the game to create something really spectacular. It went viral and has reached over a million views on YouTube. From it, we had both map creators at our wedding (Doug flew in all the way from Chicago from fan donations alone, and Rachel from the Netherlands) and we ended up hanging out with Ellen McLain (the voice actress) for a day.” adds Stephanie.

The bride’s outfit

Stephanie looked like a million dollars in her beautiful Lavinia by gown. It was a flattering, strapless gown in ivory lace with a trumpet silhouette and a chapel train.

“When I first started looking for wedding dresses I fell in love with the quality and look of La Sposa gowns, so I was really happy that I ended up getting one of their dresses. I knew I didn’t want to spend lots of money on something I would only wear once, but I still wanted to wear something that was truly special for my big day. I ended up getting a beautiful ex-sample dress from The Brides Boutique that was in excellent condition and the price was fantastic, too!” beams Stephanie.

The groom’s outfit

Gary’s outfit was bought from Next. “It was a smart three-piece suit that he wore with a green tie from Debenhams, along with a pocket watch that his parents had given him,” explains Stephanie.

The bridesmaids

“I had one bridesmaid – my best friend, Damaris,” smiles Stephanie. “The first thing we actually bought for the wedding was her dress. It was from Vera Wang’s White collection – a V-neck, sleeveless chiffon column dress in moss.”

The ceremony

Was a civil service for 50 people. “We had two readings read by Damaris, they were an extract from the movie Shall We Dance and Union by Robert Fulgum,” says Stephanie. Music included pieces from Final Fantasy and The Lord of The Rings.

The details

Apart from getting married, of course, the most important thing on Stephanie’s list was having an amazing dessert table filled with sweets (definitely a girl after our own hearts!). “I am a massive foodie, especially when it comes to sweet stuff,” says Stephanie.

“My inspiration came from Amy Atlas who inspired me to create a dessert table for the big day. Ceri from The Funky Cake Company then brought my vision to life. The top tier of the cake we left plain so we could cut into it. Inside the top tier was a gradient of pink and each cake pop was pink inside, too. Ceri also made a replica chocolate cake from the video game Portal to reference Gary’s amazing proposal,” she adds.

The favours

“Each guest was given a fortune cookie with a little note I made which read: ‘On July 10th 2006, the night before Stephanie and Gary were to meet for the first time, Gary opened a fortune cookie containing the same message as the cookie in this box.

When Stephanie arrived the following morning, Gary gave her the message and she has kept it with her ever since’. When people opened their fortune cookie, the message said ‘Love is on its way’.”

The honeymoon

Stephanie is still studying, so the couple took a relaxing minimoon to Manchester.