Wow! What a day - and it still hasn't really sunk in that I'm now married! After a year of planning and excitement, it disappeared overnight, but what a night it was…
My family backyard that I'd spent so much time in as a child was transformed into an urban cool venue. The garages became the bar and the patio was a chill out area, whilst the car parking area became a dining room!
All this was only possible because of a team that worked their hands to the bone the day before the wedding. Louise from B.loved had the vision and we enlisted help from the Little Lending Company to make it a reality. Penny drove the four hours from Norfolk with a van of goodies which gave the space so much character! We also hired meters and meters of festoon lighting from Bella Beau and Bow and the wonderful Abigail from Pumpkin events sorted all the linen, charger plates, vases and glasses to create the finishing touches.
My overall aim was for the wedding to be very laid back; I love traditional weddings but, being at home and because I'm in the wedding industry, I wanted a relaxed feel. The dress code was casual and although people struggled with the concept, we got there in the end! I had 13 bridesmaids, so allowed them to design their own Maids to Measure dresses from the neutral colours I'd shortlisted. My Matrons of Honour wore patterned dresses and my sister picked a Mulberry colour with a flower crown by Lila, which then echoed all the other colours the girls were wearing. I allowed the girls to accessorise their dresses as they saw fit and the ushers were equally relaxed in white shirts and navy chinos!
My dress was from the wonderful Emma Tindley. I now can't believe that I only saw it the Monday before the wedding! But when you have so much confidence in someone, this wasn't an issue for me. The gown had a sparkly sequin and pearl 'V' neck top with a soft tulle skirt and a low back with lace trim; it really was everything I'd dreamt of. My veil from Exquisite Bride was beautiful but I listened to my Mum who said to put it on outside the church so it didn't get creased, which meant it wasn't secured properly so I nearly lost it half way down the aisle! But I felt like such a princess with shoes and accessories from Freya Rose, Emmy and Lila.
We were primped and preened by my bridesmaid Sarah Duffy, whilst Camilla Tew and the fabulous Sapphire Pink tanned, manicured and lashed the girls! Hair was perfected by the team at Hardy's in Southsea, who put on a pre-wedding party for us at their salon.
The service itself was magical and, for me, my favourite part. Berin Made had designed the Orders of Service, tied in pink neon ribbon (trust me it looked nice!) with matching bubble bottles (confetti wasn't allowed) and embroidered hankies.
The London Essentials were waiting for us as we left the church and we then ran next door to the Duke of Buckingham pub, where we found a spread that was brilliantly British with delicious homemade scotch eggs, pork pies and sausages. The Oyster Meister was also on hand!
Back at home, thank goodness we'd thought ahead and put together a basket of blankets! Being on the seafront the weather wasn't kind. Although it could have been worse, wind and rain was the order of the day! This was helped by hot Bloody Marys served whilst the speeches were given; we put the vodka bottles on the table together with all the spices so our guests could make them as strong as they wished, then with hot pie and mash, guests soon started to warm.
Our caterers Solutions & Hospitality were immense; not only was the food they did at the pub and house second to none, they could not have been more useful in the lead up and always went the extra mile. I mentioned the day before the wedding that it would be fun to have fishbowl cocktails with long straws, and on the day out they came complete was glow sticks and sparklers! We didn't even get round to cutting the cake, which was from the amazing Cakes by Robin, which I'm secretly pleased about as was too pretty to ruin and a perfect replica of the house, which made it very personal to us.
If it hadn't been for my amazing on-the-day coordinator, we would have also forgotten to have a first dance! Anna from Bride and Glory was there in the run up as well as on the big day itself and was hands on with everyone who needed it. DJ Matt Maurice read the crowd beautifully and his tunes went down well with the rugby boys!
I'm chomping at the bit to get the photos back from the wonderful Claire Graham and Lucy Davenport together with a video from the wonderful Martin at Camera Chaps. I really can't wait to share them with you so stay tuned!