How did you meet?
We met on the dance floor at our office Christmas party – so cliché! We worked in a big office and didn’t know each other but had seen the other around and friends pushed us together to dance and the rest is history!
Tell us about the proposal!
We were on a road trip across California and was certain he wasn’t going to propose that trip as he wasn’t sneaking around hiding anything. We drove up to the highest point of Yosemite National Park to watch the sunrise at 7am, I turned around and he was kneeling, I thought he was taking a photo of me at a horrible angle and told him to stop! Then realised…. It was a ring box he was holding! It took a minute of pure shock to respond and he then pulled out a bottle of champagne from his backpack. It was romantic, low-key and truly special!
How did you choose where to shop for your wedding dress?
I live in New York and knew I wanted to get my dress in the UK with my Mum and Sister. I knew a few friends had got their dresses from Isabella Grace and had incredible things to say. I always rely on google reviews, Instagram, blogs and word of mouth to make my decision and so glad I did and found Isabella Grace as picking the right shop can be overwhelming.
Tell us about your wedding dress experience, and why did you choose your wedding dress.
I was nervous for my dress shopping experience – knowing it’s such an important decision was a bit overwhelming and also having to look at yourself in the mirror so much, not the most comfortable thing! I was always on limited time trying a dress on as I was only back in the UK for a week at a time, so that pressure didn’t help! I knew what style I wanted – classic, something that wouldn’t date, elegant – so having this in mind really helped Nikki to find the right dresses for me to try on. The one thing I really liked the most with Nikki was absolutely no judgement and total honesty, if she could see it wasn’t right for me she would say (nicely of course!!) but it helped us work out what was right. My dress was brand new into the shop and it was the last one I tried on and I felt like I hadn’t found ‘the’ dress… then I put it on! It just ticked every single box, then I stood out front in the natural light, on the box – even then, it still felt like a huge decision. Was it the right one for me? Is it too big for me? But something just clicked and I knew it was the dress, I just couldn’t stop smiling!
Describe your wedding day. Where, when, how…
We got married on Friday 20th Sept, a beautiful sunny day in the Surrey countryside at Botleys Mansion. We chose this venue as it’s just so beautiful and also a location that suited all family and friends including overseas guests flying into Heathrow. The ceremony and reception took place in the same venue but different rooms, which was important for us to have a change of scenery. The whole theme for the wedding was simple and elegant – white flowers with a silver/grey theme – we wanted the venue to make an impact and not dress it up too much. We put a big emphasis on food, drink and music – the biggest things we felt were important to us. We also wanted really personal touches – we love gin! So our table plan was gin themed and our favour was a gin cocktail we created, named after our dog. Our dog couldn’t be there but we had pictures of him and dog biscuits for fur friends to take away – the small things really did make up the wedding day and it was worth the extra effort!
Everyone used to say to us – ‘it will go so fast’, ‘it will be the best day ever’, ‘absorb every moment’. We thought it was a bit of a hype… but it’s absolutely true, all of it! It was also so surreal sitting at the head table seeing everyone there and especially important for us as we live abroad and then seeing them let loose with us on the dancefloor!
Favourite part of your wedding day?
It’s so difficult to pick the favourite part. I really remember one moment walking down the stairs down to the dancefloor during the evening and seeing about 90% of our guests dancing to the band, all different people mingling. Just everyone we love and adore in one place, celebrating us and having an incredible time and it felt so special.
Anything you would change if you could do it all again?
I would have the ceremony slightly earlier to allow more time for us to mingle with guests during the drinks reception. When you’re being pulled in every direction for photos and hugs, it’s difficult to get around to everyone and it’s hard work to host 100 people! That one hour would have made a big difference. Also looking at the photos there are a few gaps – totally my fault – if I could go back I would make a long list of the photos I wanted and not just the essentials!
Your top tip for future brides?
- Always trust your instinct – if you think the dress is right, go for it. Think the invites look a bit rubbish? Change them!
- Make it personal to you – the small touches really made the difference and are remembered
- Build a relationship with your suppliers. This was really important to me and it paid off, our florist truly went above and beyond
- Every detail you plan won’t go 100% right, chances are it will only be you that notices… you can’t change that, it’s okay, drink champagne and keep going!
- We planned our wedding slowly over two years, so it felt like we were on top of things, making the right decisions and it really helped us to enjoy it.
Which suppliers did you use for the following:
Wedding Venue: Botleys Mansion
Wedding Photographer: Murray Clark Wedding Photography
Florist: Augusta Florals
Cake: Creative Cakes by Jenny
Hair and Make up: CLJ Make Up