How did you meet?
During a gym session someone caught my eye. I could see Alex in the weights section with his friends. I remember thinking that he was very handsome and had a really friendly face. After seeing Alex for the first time, I continued to look out for him at the gym. I recall being at the gym with my friend and pointing Alex out, telling my friend that I couldn’t help but feel like I was supposed to meet him and that one day we would get married! We both laughed after the comment as of course it seemed a silly thing to say. I often caught eyes with Alex at the gym and I would hope each time that he would come and speak to me.
One evening, I was on twitter and to my surprise, I saw a photo of Alex. At this point, I didn’t even know his name so it was good to finally know. Bravely I followed him on twitter and from there we began talking. Funnily enough, Alex didn’t ever wear his glasses to the gym, so all those times I thought he had ‘exchanged looks’ with me, was just him looking into a blur of gym equipment and people! After speaking for a little while, Alex took me on our first date to the George pub in Newnham. When I got home, I told my parents and they were both so shocked as unbeknown to Alex and myself, my parents had their first date at The George and sat at the exact same table! I would definitely call that fate.
Tell us about the proposal!
After excitingly booking a holiday to Iceland with my partner Alex, best friend Sophie, sister Ellie and their partners Alex and Jack, we started planning the places we would visit whilst there. Of course, we were so hoping to see the Northern lights and on our first night, that is exactly what we saw! The aurora lights were beautiful and the perfect proposal setting; all apart from the darkness, which did not allow for the perfect proposal photo. My sister and Alex agreed that despite the beautiful scenery, a photo was most definitely needed to capture ‘the moment’ and the darkness didn’t make this a great photo opportunity.
Given this, they booked a Golden circle tour for the next day. After a very rough night’s sleep, Alex woke up knowing today would be the day. After seeing the naturally occurring wonders of Iceland, we finished our tour at the amazing Gullfoss waterfall. The waterfall was accompanied by a bright blue sky complete with the biggest rainbow we had ever seen. After posing for a photo, I turned to Alex and he said he had something to tell me. Confused, I asked if he was okay and then he proceeded to get down on one knee and with my full name, ask for my hand in marriage. It was a very heartfelt and undeniable YES! The trip was just perfect and it was made even more memorable as my best friend was also proposed to on the same trip, making it a holiday to remember.
How did you choose where to shop for your wedding dress?
Several people had recommended Isabella Grace to me and it was the first shop I booked once we were engaged. I just had a feeling that this was where my perfect wedding dress was going to be (if you haven’t gathered by now, I tend to be right about my feelings!) I had looked Isabella Grace up on google and I couldn’t stop looking at how beautiful and dreamy the store appeared in the photos.
Tell us about your wedding dress experience, and why did you choose your wedding dress.
When I arrived at Isabella Grace, it was everything I had hoped for and more. The décor was so beautiful and I got to go into the Audrey Hepburn suite making it even more special!
After trying on 3 dresses in the shop, I had one more to try on which was a fishtail style dress, complete with a diamante belt. My first reaction was that it was so beautiful but would it suit me. I had always imagined myself in something fitted but not with such a defined fishtail finish. After trying on the dress and looking in the mirror I just could not believe it! I had found the dress. It was definitely a best till last scenario. It was such a lovely experience and one I will never forget. I am so grateful to Isabella Grace for finding my dream wedding dress and making me feel like a princess for the day. They really do know what dress will suit and I was over the moon when they helped me find mine!
Describe your wedding day. Where, when, how…
When planning our wedding, we wanted something traditional but unique. Given this, we decided that our ceremony should be in a church. The church we decided to go with was Alex’s family parish church and the place where he had been a page boy at his auntie and uncle’s wedding several years ago.
The ceremony was all we could have wished for and more. Alex was waiting in the church, nervous when it was announced that we had arrived. This was one moment that I had been dreaming of more than any other. My father had previously been in ill health and told that he would likely not see us get married. We had come to terms with that, however after a miracle; he was there, with me on his arm, about to walk me down the aisle. When the bridesmaids had gone into the church, I turned to him and said “we made it”. We both very proudly walked into the church and I could not control my happiness! I was about to marry the most wonderful person and seeing Alex at the end of the aisle is a moment I will cherish forever. The ceremony was beautiful and we had a harpist as well as the church choir and an organist. During the ceremony, we had three reading from members of the bridal party and each were so heartfelt. One of the readings was from Captain Corelli’s Mandolin and the other two were from Carinthia’s, a bible extract, and a poem which has been adapted to incorporate stories of us both.
When hunting for reception venues, we both wanted somewhere a little bit different but also somewhere that could offer fun and excitement to our guests as well as being meaningful for us. When we were looking we were not sure what that little bit different was until we visited Port Lympne.
We visited the venue on a cold winter’s night and it was raining and dark. Despite the weather, we just fell in love with the venue and everything it represented. Some of Alex’s fondest memories with his grandad, Sidney, consisted of loving family zoo visits. Given the zoo element to the venue and the fact it is part of The Aspinall Foundation, we just loved the venue even more. The venue also had a lot to offer with the main mansion house, orangery style reception room and the chance for our day guests to go on a safari around the zoo after the wedding breakfast!
On the wedding day, we arrived at our reception and all the guests were outside on the terrace space overlooking the Romney marshes. Whilst they had canapés and arrival drinks, there was a pianist playing outside and it was such a loving and happy atmosphere. During the arrival drinks, we went off with our photographers to various locations around the grounds of Port Lympne. The photos consisted of shots of the large pond area, the tree walkway and by the steps that lead up to the lion’s den!
Our photographers were fantastic at gathering our friends and family for the group shots. One of the photos even captured a groomsman accidently setting off the confetti cannon before it was time and this just all added to the laughter of the day. Our wedding decor was kept elegant and simplistic with white ceiling drapes, chandeliers and large glass vases that had floral centerpieces, beautifully placed in each one.
We made our own place cards and went to Costco to buy our macaroon wedding favors. On our wedding invites we had a wax stamp made that said A&A, so we carried this theme throughout the wedding, having A&A light-up letters outside on the grass areas and A&A personalised rose gold stickers on the wedding favors.
On our guestbook table we had wedding photos of both sets of parents and grandparents, as all still remain married, which is something we are very proud of. We had four speeches and they were everything you could hope for; funny, emotional and definitely ones to remember. We had the groom’s speech where Alex thanked family members, giving out flowers as well as the best man and father of the bride speeches. To break tradition, my maid of honour also gave a speech and it was emotional and hilarious, even taking the mickey out of Alex, which his friends seemed to very much enjoy! The guests all went on a safari after the wedding breakfast, which was really exciting.
Favourite part of your wedding day?
The whole wedding was so special and to pick one moment is very difficult! If I had to choose one, it would be walking down the aisle, with my dad on my arm, whilst I was smiling away at the man I was about to marry. I doubt I will feel that emotion again!
Anything you would change if you could do it all again?
If we were to do the wedding day again, I wouldn’t change a thing! It was the most perfect day. The only difference would be the items I packed in my overnight bag. I have included them in the top tips!
Your top tip for future brides?
Make sure to take some hair curlers to your venue. I did not have any and felt my hair could have done with being touched up half way through the night due to dancing too much. Pack some face powder in your clutch bag as well as lip gloss and perfume so you can top up throughout the day. The day goes so quickly so don’t forget to dance, have a drink and just enjoy. My biggest tip of all is bring spare shoes! My shoes were so painful and I was very grateful I had a spare pair of white heels to put on part way through the day.
Which suppliers did you use for the following:
Wedding Venue – St. John the Baptist Church in Tunstall followed by Port Lympne Mansion and Gardens
Wedding Photographer – Louisa Dettmer photography
Florist – J’s Perfections in Sittingbourne
Cake – Fairy Dust Bakery in Canterbury
Bridal Hair and Make Up – Carla Allsopp from Belle Envie beauty
Bridesmaid Hair – Kimberley Dale from She Said Yes Bridal Hair
Bridesmaid Make up – Lauren Mclay
Mother of the Bride and Groom Hair and Make up – Chelsea Bennet from Beautifulyou_clb