Former Brides lifestyle editor Polly Atkinson, 32, married Rhys Smith, 30, at The Royal Hospital Chapel, followed by a reception at the Hempel Hotel, London, in September 2012. She says:

Polly Alexandre

"Our theme was modern glamour. I wanted the overall effect to be polished and elegant because it was a city do. We combined blush pink with grey and white accents, so it was pretty but not too girly.

As Rhys used to be in the army, we liked the idea of getting wed in a military chapel. The royal hospital was a lovely setting for the canapé reception.

I didn't want the flowers to get lost in such a large space, so I asked for everything to be oversized. At the reception, we used David Austin roses and stocks for their wonderful fragrance.

My Valentino shoes were my biggest extravagance. They were hidden by my dress during the day, but it gave me great pleasure to know I was wearing them. I changed into a knee-length dress for the evening so they were fully on show.

I was very particular that the serving dishes and the crockery suited the decor, but the caterers had lots of options so I could create the look I wanted. We served champagne in vintage-style saucers as the guests left the chapel.

We requested white light fittings and a white DJ booth and speakers, as the marquee and party space were white. If black units are used they really jar.

My top tip: Try on your whole look before the day and practice moving. Walking in a big dress with a train, wearing a veil and holding a bouquet all felt very alien, and it took a few hours before I really relaxed."

Photography by Polly Alexandre; www.alexandreweddings.com