How did you meet?
We met at school in year 9 – I was 15! Over the last 13 years we navigated 4 years of university and a year of working in different cities where we managed a long distance relationship travelling between Bath & Birmingham, then Liverpool & Birmingham and London & Birmingham before finally London & Leeds!! It was a relief when we could be in the same place at the same time and finally settle in West London.
Tell us about the proposal!
We were on holiday in Ireland – somewhere I’ve always wanted to go. Daniel’s family are originally from a small village called Adrigole in County Cork. He used to visit with his Grandparents every year when he was young and wanted to share all the fond memories with me. The place is stunningly beautiful, rolling green hills looking out over the bay and he took me up to the village on the premise of showing me the house where his Grandfather grew up. In front of the house are the ruins of an old monastery – in the crumbling old Church there he got down on one knee and proposed with that beautiful view in the background. It was very romantic and means that place will always be so special to both of us.
How did you choose where to shop for your wedding dress?
We got engaged in May 2017 and then found out we would be moving to Chicago with my work just after Christmas. We didn’t want to wait until we moved back to the UK or plan our wedding from a distance so we decided to do it quickly! We got married in November the same year. The short time limited my options dress wise because a lot of dresses have at least a 6 month waiting time. I searched around the internet looking for places having sample sales or that could help me find a dress in a short timeframe. I went to a lot of different shops in London but without much luck. Nothing felt quite right and I was starting to panic as the longer it was taking the less time I had. My mum actually found Isabella Grace and suggested it to me – she knew a friend’s daughter had found her dress there and had had an amazing experience. The shop is about an hour and a half from my house so I wouldn’t have gone otherwise but as we were so short of time I took a day off work and got appointment booked in for the next week. I’m SO glad I did. The team were so friendly and helpful – they spent time understanding our circumstances and what I wanted. I was so worried by this point that we weren’t going to find something but Carrie reassured me that we would find a dress that I loved and could be ready in time. It was something I hadn’t experienced in other shops, I’d always felt that my options were limited and that maybe we were being foolish thinking I would find something that met my expectations and the short timeline! Isabella Grace proved me and those other shops wrong…
Tell us about your wedding dress experience, and why did you choose your wedding dress.
I had always thought I wanted sleeves on my wedding dress as I’m self-conscious about my arms and shoulders, but every time I put them on I felt really frumpy and a bit stiff. Carrie suggested we try lots of different styles that I hadn’t thought of before which I wish someone had suggested earlier. When I put my dress on it just felt right – even before I’d looked in the mirror. It was light and comfortable, I felt free to move, dance, twirl around!!! But it was still full enough that I felt the wow factor I wanted and it made the most amazing noise when I walked, which sounds so silly now, but it’s the little things! I wasn’t even thinking about my arms, despite them being on display I was too caught up in how much I loved everything else. It was my Mum’s reaction that sold it though – as soon as she saw it her face lit up and she shed a little tear as I was prancing around the shop in it! We both knew that was it and were so surprised when Carrie revealed that it was actually part of the sample sale and was significantly cheaper than we had expected – we could take it away that day if we wanted. It was such a relief.
I had the dress fitted by Martine at Miss Kay Seamstress across the road from Isabella Grace. In a couple of fittings it was made perfect for me and I couldn’t have found anything better if I’d had 5 years rather than 5 months. I honestly couldn’t speak highly enough of both Isabella Grace & Miss Kay Seamstress.
Describe your wedding day. Where, when, how…
We got married on the 4th November 2017 at the Ash Barton Estate in North Devon. We knew we wanted to spread our celebrations over the whole weekend and to have an informal relaxed feel, while also having a bit of wow to the day itself. The venue has a huge old Farm House which sleeps about 40 people set in the rolling North Devon country side, so we had as many people as possible staying in the house with us and then others hired holiday homes in the area.
Everyone who was staying in the house arrived on the Thursday night & we put on dinner and drinks in return for their help setting up on the Friday – the venue is completely DIY and the ceremony room and reception room are all in the same location. It’s an absolutely blank canvas which meant we could have it exactly how we wanted but we really couldn’t have done it without the help of our friends and family! We also had drinks on the Friday night and brunch on the Sunday so we really made the most of the celebrations – it was an opportunity for us to say bye to people before we moved to the USA too and was doubly emotional for that reason.
The day itself was amazing – our ceremony was atmospheric and gorgeous, help by candle light. My Mum and Dad had decorated the old chapel from scratch and it looked truly amazing. We squeezed our guests in – they just about fit! Having people standing at the back and the edges actually made it feel more intimate and involved. I loved it.
We love Fireworks night – it’s one of our favourite times of year so we had that theme running through. We had sparklers and fireworks in the evening and desert was Smores around firepits in the courtyard and the venue was decorated with thousands of candles and fairy lights. Our food was comforting baked camembert and then Porcetta which our guests shared on long banqueting tables.
We had the best day, with the best people ever. I don’t think we’ve ever felt so loved.
Favourite part of your wedding day?
The ceremony was our favourite part of the day by far. Our ceremony room was really intimate and romantic, lit with hundreds of candles and I was played down the aisle by a solo cellist, an instrument I played as a child and which had lots of nostalgia. It was so special to say our vows in front of all our favourite people and we were surprised by how emotional we found it. Our registrar was amazing and each reading (by my maid of honour, grandfather and my husband’s aunt) was so beautiful – in all honesty it was probably the part of the day we took the most for granted and spent the least on, both in terms of time & money. It’s very easy to get swept up in the ‘party planning’ but I could have ended the day after those 30 minutes and been happy – it reminded us what we were really there for.
Anything you would change if you could do it all again?
I’d ask the weather man to make it a bit warmer! It was bitterly cold on our wedding day, a few more degrees would been nice! Apart from that I just wish I could do it all again, it goes so quickly.
Your top tip for future brides?
Have fun – it’s too easy to get wrapped up in making sure your guests have fun and getting stuck on the little details. Sometimes you forget that it’s about the two of you. I certainly did that at times during the planning and had to catch myself – or my husband had to!
When it came to it though I had the best time on my wedding day – I had a few too many Gin Brambles and ended up on the massive trampoline around the back of the venue. It made for some hilarious pictures and stories, and certainly wasn’t what I had planned for… but I had the best time ever!! I’ve had lots of people say to me ‘we loved your wedding – we had the best time and you both looked like you had so much fun’. We certainly did!!
Which suppliers did you use for the following:
Wedding Venue: Ash Barton Estate, North Devon. http://www.ashbarton.com/
Wedding Photographer: Charlotte Bryer-Ash. http://www.charlottebryer-ash.com/
Florist: Twigs Flowers. https://twigsflowers.co.uk/
Cake: Marks & Spencer. http://www.marksandspencer.com/l/food-to-order/wedding-cakes/wedding-cakes
Hair & Makeup. Iconic Hair & Makeup https://www.iconic-hairandmakeup.co.uk/services