With fizz and frolics, a barbecue feast and a carnival carousel, we challenge you to look back at Abi and Dave’s wedding and not think ‘wow’. The ceremony and reception took place at the fabulous Preston Court in Kent, and here, the couple share their wedding day story with Bride
Photography by Tony Hart Photo
How did you meet?
Abi: Pitch International (we both worked there at the time). Dave cleverly made his move on my leaving do.
Tell us about the proposal.
Dave: I’d asked Abi’s dad. There was no backing out. I had five days to do it in New York. I wanted to do it on the ferris wheel in Coney Island. We went. It had closed for winter the day before – turned out to be an odd day trip to an empty fairground. I thought about Central Park. Too cheesy. Maybe Halloween dressed as the twins from The Shining? Perhaps not the best lasting memory. So I did it on the final day overlooking the Statue of Liberty in the coldest, wettest, most miserable conditions imaginable under a corporate umbrella. But I did take my Holly Golightly to Tiffany’s.
Abi: It was the morning after the night before and we were both feeling fragile following the New York Halloween parade. Despite my suggestion we catch a ‘hair of the dog’ in a dive bar, Dave insisted we make the most of our last day in the Big Apple. We took a walk down to Battery Park, my umbrella becoming increasingly useless as the wind swept more and more rain into our faces. And then it happened. is wasn’t one of his fake proposals by the toilet roll in Sainsbury’s, he was genuinely asking me to marry him. And I could finally say yes.
What was the theme for the day, and did you have a colour scheme?
Abi: Bright and fun like an old school carnival.
When did you know when you’d found ‘the’ dress?
Abi: It was the first one I tried on and fell in love!
Tell us about your floral arrangements.
Abi: We used Wild Daisy florists, they were fab.
Often the aspect that makes a wedding original to the couple is the detail – tell us about the details of the day.
Abi: We had an old Victorian carousel, a human juke box, a fancy dress box and a very unique and beautiful venue.
What was your most memorable moment?
Both: When they announced us husband and wife.
What was the most challenging aspect of planning this wedding?
Abi: Hiring the tent in case it rained (there were a lot of emails back and forth).
What was the most important investment for you? Food, drink, honeymoon?
Abi: The cinematographer and photographer were key for us. Though Dave says the drink!
What song did you choose for your first dance, and why?
Abi: At Last, by Etta James. We both love soul and Dave once painted me an amazing picture of Etta James for my birthday with the lyrics glued on as a collage.
Tell us about your wedding cake.
Abi: We had it commissioned by a friend who runs her own company, Miss B’s Bakery, and wanted it to represent both of us. We chose to have The Shining twins on top for when we dressed up as them once for Halloween (this was our best joint fancy dress outfit) and also have a snake and pike fish to represent each of us (Dave is nicknamed snake and the pike was a nod to my former surname, Pike).
If you could go back and change anything, what would it be?
Abi: To have applied for a late license so we could have kept the night going even longer.
Was there anything you wish you’d known before?
Abi: Luckily we had my friend Aisha help us plan so she informed us of all the hidden costs and things to look out for.
Where did you go on honeymoon?
Both: We haven’t gone yet, we are going to the Deep South of the US in the summer for a month.
Do you have any advice for couples in the planning stages?
Abi: Where possible lean on bridesmaids, groomsmen, family and friends to pitch in and help with final bits of admin, otherwise it can get very stressful multitasking so much. We set up an Excel spreadsheet which tracked everything we needed and used that a lot when checking costings, vendor's details, the progress of bookings etc.
Steal their style:
Photography: Tony Hart Photo, www.tonyhartphoto.co.uk
Cinematographer: Two byTwo
Venue: Preston Court, Kent, www.prestoncourt.co.uk
Wedding dress: Aurora Bride, www.aurora-bride.com
Groom’s outfit: Suit, Suit Supply; shoes, Joseph Cheaney & Sons, www.cheaney.co.uk
Groom’s and groomsmen’s ties: Drakes, www.drakes.com/ties
Florist: Wild Daisy, www.wilddaisyflorist.com
Wedding cake: Miss B’s Bakery
Caterering: Tayberry Foods, www.tayberryfoods.com
DJ: Elliott from Freight Train, www.sternbergclarke.co.uk/acts/freight-train
Marquee: LPM Bohemia, www.lpmbohemia.com
Human juke box: Pip Taylor
To see more wonderful Kent weddings order your copy of Kent Bride on Buyamag here.