How did you meet?
Tom and I met in 2012 at a mutual friend’s house party in Manchester. I was a fresher at Nottingham University at the time and he was in his final year at Manchester University. The second thing he ever said to me, as a patriotic northerner was “I don’t like southerners”, charming. In spite of this, by the end of the night I’d agreed to go on a date with him the next day, and by the time I went back to Nottingham three days later, we’d been out together twice.
Fast forward to 2014 and we moved in together, both starting our first jobs in London.
Tell us about the proposal!
It was a Tuesday night in October 2018 and we were going on holiday to Mexico the next day. We went to a boxing class together after work and then headed home to finish packing. I had a few parcels to return so popped out still in my gym kit and when I returned Tom answered the door and asked me to close my eyes and he’d guide me. I was totally confused and did not suspect what was about to happen. When I opened my eyes, I was in the lounge, he’d lit loads of candles and then started saying lovely things about our relationship and the future. On the side were our boarding passes, he then moved them to reveal a box, quite a big one to be honest. My first thought was “why has he lit candles to give me some earrings?!”
It turned out to be a beautiful rose gold engagement ring. He asked me to marry him and the rest is history as they say.
How did you choose where to shop for your wedding dress?
First, I started looking at different designers, I quickly realised I liked a lot of Justin Alexander dresses. Someone I followed on Instagram had just bought her wedding dress from Isabella Grace so I did some research and booked the Luxury Appointment, eager to get shopping!
Tell us about your wedding dress experience, and why did you choose your wedding dress.
I came to Isabella Grace in January 2019 with my Ma, Maid of Honour Sophie, and sister-in-law and bridesmaid, Claire. We were so excited and were met by the lovely Carrie. I’d actually booked two appointments for the day, and within an hour, we’d cancelled the second appointment. The shop is so beautiful and Carrie took a lot of time to understand what I thought I wanted, what I wasn’t keen on, the theme of our wedding and time of year. I tried on about 12-15 dresses and finally narrowed it down to two. Both of which were very different from my original idea of a dress, which was long sleeve and quite tight fitting. Carrie never rushed us eventually I settled on my Justin Alexander Gown and I’d pick it again in a heartbeat.
Describe your wedding day. Where, when, how…
Tom and I got married on 9th November 2019 in London. We live in Lambeth and we got married at St George’s Cathedral at Southwark where I go to church. It’s a beautiful building and I feel so lucky to have got married there.
A lot of our family travelled for the wedding, it became a whole weekend in London. A lot of us stayed in a hotel in Whitechapel which gave even more buzz to the weekend. Spending the morning of our wedding day getting ready with my best friends was one of my favourite parts of the day.
Our reception was at a venue called The Tab in Shoreditch. It’s church and community centre that does a lot of work in the local community and can be hired as a venue. We loved that us hiring the venue would help toward their programmes. The main hall is white with a domed ceiling. It has a gallery balcony which we used for our drinks reception and for turning around the room before the evening reception.
We stuck to a less is more approach, we had a botanical, navy, dusty pink and rose gold theme. The Bridesmaids wore navy and the Ushers a lighter blue. We had empty gin bottles (that my colleagues had willingly consumed) filled will flowers that we’d bought from New Covent Garden Flower Market. These were arranged by our Mum’s friends the day before. We decorated a pallet with our order or the day, put extra fairy lights up and added as many personal DIY touches as possible. My father-in-law made a gorgeous wooden frame that stood on the stage decorated with flowers by a lovely friend Ali. Another family friend, Claire, gifted us our cake which sat within the frame. We had an incredible sharing menu from Humdingers Catering and, in the evening, danced the night away and enjoyed a beautiful bar from Siobhan at The Occasion Bar.
Favourite part of your wedding day?
There’s two I can’t pick between:
- Immediately after our wedding ceremony, Tom and I jumped into our wedding taxi with our wonderful photographer Haj and zipped around London in the rain having photos. We sat in The Hoxton at Southwark having a glass of bubbly and chatting taking in the amazing commitment we’d just made. And then on our way to the venue, jumped out the cab on London Bridge to have photos with Tower Bridge in the background.
- The speeches! My Pops, the Best Men Danny & Pat, Tom and myself all made speeches. Hearing other people talk about us, our relationship and talking about it ourselves and was so special.
Anything you would change if you could do it all again?
Not at all, it rained, as you expect in November in England but if anything, it added to the fun of the day.
Your top tip for future brides?
Don’t put too much pressure on yourself, DIY is great but you can only do what you can reasonably manage. Ask for help, family and friends will love being able to contribute to your special day. And, take time to enjoy the day just the two of you, even if it’s five minutes.
Which suppliers did you use for the following:
Wedding Venue The Tab, Shoreditch
Wedding Photographer Haj from Hajley Photography
Florist Hannah at Zwan & B Floral Design
Cake, Family Friend Claire
Hair & Make up Lucianne Beauty, who is amazing, my sister-in-law’s friend
Caterer Humdingers Catering
Bar The Occasion Bar