A NYC theme, pink colour scheme and pregnancy surprise while planning made this wedding one to remember
How did you meet?
We’ve now been together for 11 years. We met at work originally in 2003, but didn’t start dating until 2006.
Tell us about the proposal.
It was in Bryant Park, NYC. This was our second visit to New York and we always said we would go for New Year. I had arranged everything as usual: meals out, NYE party and attractions to visit, so the proposal was less than expected. I had booked us an all-inclusive table at Bryant Park Grill (one block from Times Square) to celebrate New Year, which included open bar, champagne for midnight, and a view of the Empire State Building. It was fantastic; we were already having a brilliant night as we rang in New Year, and then around 00.20, Jon came and sat next to me and told me how much he loved me. I assumed the alcohol was taking hold as it usually did with us and then he produced the most beautiful cherry red walnut box from his pocket. In it was the most gorgeous 1ct diamond ring, which he had designed and made by jewellers in Birmingham (the jewellers then designed and made our wedding rings also).
He went on to tell me how he wanted to spend the rest of his life with me and would I marry him. By this point, I was in floods of tears, and had the ring on my finger for a full five minutes before Jon reminded me that I’d not even answered him. Of course it was a yes.
What was the theme for the day, and did you have a colour scheme?
We’d decided on a rustic (because of the country venue) but sophisticated theme. Everything would have an elegant touch to it but with ode to the country life. For instance, Jon’s waistcoat was completely different to the groomsmen and his tie had stags on it.
We carried on the New York theme through our invites and stationery with all tables being named after NYC attractions that we’d been to using our own photography from the trips as illustrations.
It’s a running joke that Jon loves pink, any kind of pink. So we chose to go with pink for the colour theme; all pinks, from blush, to pale pink right up to fuchsia for the bridesmaids' dresses.
When did you know when you’d found ‘the’ dress?
My dress was from Cheshire Bridal in Altrincham, Cheshire. It was only the second shop my mum and I went too. I knew the style of dress I wanted, and to my surprise the dress I ended up choosing (Ronald Joyce’s ‘Robyn’) was similar to the style I hadn't thought of. I was against a white dress, so my dress was ivory over champagne. And the details on it made it timeless. I had ordered my dress by March 2016, with more than 13 months still to go to the wedding.
Our bridesmaids' dresses also came from Cheshire Bridal, as I was able to see straight away the dress that I wanted to complemented my dress perfectly.
Where did you find your suits?
We had looked in several of the mainstream hire shops, but Jon wasn’t impressed with the general fit of the suits. As he is tall, he wanted a tailored look, and he didn’t want tails either. We were going for normal morning suits. That was until I happened across Whitfield & Ward at Bride: The Wedding Show at Tatton Park. I knew as soon as I saw their waistcoats that Jon would love them, so I made us an appointment within the week. Craig at Whitfield & Ward knows his stuff. We spent the morning there and by that time Jon had chosen his suits with waistcoats and colours, and even decided on tails as they were perfectly fitted.
Tell us about your floral arrangements.
We had two different florists; one of which came with the package we had with the venue for table dressing and the other was one of my oldest school friends who designed the bouquets, wrist corsages and buttonholes. And the two coordinated very well. I’d always said I would have peonies in my bouquet, but as we getting married in April, I didn’t think they would be in full season, so we decided on pale pink and hot pink David Austin roses to mimic the peony look. We also chose Ivory O’Hara roses with a touch of gypsophila and the greenery was eucalyptus. I didn’t particularly want a structured bouquet, more of a 'just picked' look.
Often the aspect that makes a wedding original to the couple is the detail – tell us about the details of the day.
We designed everything to do with the day; from designing the wedding breakfast table centrepieces and the kid’s activity boxes, to the individual wooden name place settings and the heart charms on all the wine glasses. We even spent two evenings putting together jars of sweets for the favours. And then a whole weekend carefully boxing up each table’s decorations to ensure there were no errors on the day.
The Orangerie at Wrenbury during the day was a huge light-filled room that looked so romantic with all the pinks of the decorations. However, at night we changed it to create a party atmosphere, decorating the dancefloor with draped black sparkly fabric.
We wanted the wedding to be a big party and to celebrate it with all our family and friends, we were getting married because we love each other so we didn’t think it was appropriate to have a wedding gift list or ask for money.
We wanted everyone to have the nicest food, with the best wines and champagne, and just have a damn good time.
How did you feel as you walked down the aisle?
I was so nervous. My brother walked me down the aisle as my dad died when we were younger, and I really don’t think I’d have made it the 20 metres down the aisle without him. I was shaking like a leaf, my stomach was in my mouth and to make me more apprehensive, Jon didn’t even turn around. It’s not something we discussed, it never really entered my thoughts, but he said later that he always thought it proper that the groom didn’t turn to see his bride walk the aisle, and to wait until I was next to him.
What was your most memorable moment?
I loved it all, but I especially loved the speeches, moreover Jon’s speech. Jon was so nervous about having to make a speech. He’s the complete opposite of me; he’s not necessarily a shy person, but he is a fairly quiet person and doesn’t particularly like being centre of attention. Nevertheless, he absolutely nailed his speech. I’d not heard any of it or had any inkling what was coming, but he did bring me to tears at a couple of points. He was just amazing.
What was the most challenging aspect of planning this wedding?
So, we’d got engaged and booked the venue and the honeymoon, bought the dress and the suits, and were in the throes of meticulously planning everything, and then, I found out was I pregnant. That wasn’t in the plan; we weren’t trying (I'd never really been maternal so wasn’t fussed on having babies) and it was August... nine months until the wedding in April 2017. For a short period of time, it felt like my world had fallen apart. Yet when we went for the scan, more surprises came when they said I was 16 weeks gone, and actually due at the end of January 2017. All of a sudden everything fell into place; we were having a baby and getting married within three months of each other. As we had been so organised at the front end of the planning, we had the opportunity to relax a bit, wait until the baby arrived (which happened on 26th January) and then carry on the planning.
The ladies at Cheshire Bridal were amazing; they held off my fittings for as long as possible after Ralph arrived, and my final fitting was four days before the wedding. Everything else fell into place within weeks of the wedding. Unfortunately the honeymoon was the sacrifice; this has been postponed until October this year (we are going to Mauritius), which means Ralph can come with us too.
What was the most important investment for you?
As I mentioned earlier, we wanted the wedding to be a big party and to celebrate it with all our family and friends. The food was sublime. We still receive comments on how good the food was, even now three months down the line. Wrenbury certainly know how to cater.
What song did you choose for your first dance, and why?
We don’t have a ‘song’ as such, so it was fitting with the NYC theme to choose Alicia Keys - Empire State of Mind Part 2.
Tell us about your wedding cake.
It was three tiers of lusciousness. Chocolate orange, lemon drizzle and carrot cake, complete with sugar figures of our new family including Roxy, the dog.
If you could go back and change anything, what would it be?
Not a thing, it was a dream day for the pair of us.
Do you have any advice for couples in the planning stages?
Once you have your theme, start planning straight away. Being organised is the best way.
Get the look:
Dresses: Cheshire Bridal Wear, Altrincham, www.cheshirebridalwear.co.uk
Suits: Whitfield & Ward, Wilmslow, www.whitfieldandward.co.uk
Hair & make-up: Clare Ardern at Harry Jon Hair & MakeUp, www.harryjon.com
Venue & catering: Wrenbury Hall, www.wrenburyhall.co.uk
Photography: Gemma Leese Photography, www.gemmaleesephotography.co.uk
Florists: Poppy Clouds (bouquets) 07845486806, Flower Divas (venue and tables), www.theflowerdivas.co.uk
Cake: Crème De la Crème, www.stunningcakes.com
DJ, draping & lighting: Hipswing, www.hipswing.co.uk
Rings: David Doyle, Jewellery Brokers Ltd (wedding and engagement rings made by David)
Photobooth: Boothtube, www.boothtube.co.uk
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