A classic and simplistic Essex wedding

13 Jun 2019

Following their engagement in Miami, Danielle Galea and Oliver Torrance tied the knot in Essex surrounded by family and friends

How did you meet?

I used to work part-time at a local pub when studying at university. Ollie would often come in at weekends with his friends and we would always have a little chat while I was working. After around six months or so, Ollie asked if I wanted to go on a date. I took my time in deciding whether to go or not, but I eventually agreed and I’ve never looked back.

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Tell us about the proposal.

The proposal was just perfect! Ollie and I were on holiday in Miami and on a gorgeous Sunday morning, he took me for a stroll along Miami Beach. The time of day meant that the beach was quiet, and we climbed to the top of a lifeguard viewing tower to check out the stunning views. I was distracted by taking photos, and before I knew it Ollie was waiting on one knee. It felt so intimate with it just being the two of us around, and it’s a moment I’ll never forget. One day we’d like to go back to that very same spot in Miami.

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What was the theme for the day, and did you have a colour scheme?

We opted for a classic and simplistic theme for our wedding, with gorgeous white hydrangeas for our bouquets, and the groomsmen wearing black tuxedos. We also had white blossom trees and crisp white floral arrangements for our table centrepieces.

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What venue did you choose and why did you choose it?

We chose Hutton Hall in Essex for our wedding reception. It is a newly renovated Georgian house and is family run, which I loved being a family girl myself. Hutton Hall is fortunate to have a beautiful church just a stone’s throw away, and so this helped in making our decision an easy one.

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When did you know when you’d found ‘the’ dress? 

I wore a Mikado fabric mermaid gown by Pronovias, with a bardot neckline. If I’m honest, I never got that feeling of finding ‘the’ dress. It wasn’t what I expected to choose, and so it did take me a while to decide. My mum and I visited the same store four times! I also wore a beautiful cathedral length veil, handmade by Britten Weddings.

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What did the bridesmaids wear?

I had five bridesmaids, which included my two sisters Keeley and Samantha, and three close friends: Grace, Hannah and Alice. Their dresses were the first thing ticked off my wedding list, and we opted for powder blue slim-fitting dresses with a small train by Jarlo London. It was the only dress they tried on. I also had my two darling nieces, Ava and Sadie, as flowergirls, and my handsome nephew Lewis as pageboy who also wore a black tux.

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What did the mother of the bride wear?

My mum wore a cornflower blue dress by Roland Mouret, which tied in beautifully with the bridesmaids' dresses.

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Where did you find your suits?

Ollie wore a black three-piece tuxedo by Charles Tyrwhitt and his groomsmen wore black tuxedos from Marks and Spencer.

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Tell us about your floral arrangements.

White hydrangeas are my favourite flower so our bouquets and table centrepieces were made from them alone. I also had ivory blossom trees as centrepieces too. Our top table consisted of around 20 small vases filled with a selection of white flowers including white hydrangea, white peony, white bouvardia, ivory roses, and white eustoma.

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Often the aspect that makes a wedding original to the couple is the detail – tell us about the details of the day.

  • We decided not to have wedding favours and instead donated the money we would have spent to Havens Hospice (my sister was running the London Marathon in aid of this charity a couple of days after the wedding).
  • We had a singer for our reception drinks after the church, who helped to create a chilled atmosphere perfect for Pimm's and champagne in the afternoon sunshine.
  • For our evening food, our caterers supplied pie, mash and liquor which is my favourite food ever. This went down a treat withour guests and was a different idea to buffet food.
  • We also had a doughnut wall in the evening too which our guests enjoyed.

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How did you feel as you walked down the aisle?

Emotional and just so so happy.

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How did you make the ceremony personal to you?

The service was made extra special by my eight-year-old niece, Ava, reading for us. My friend Katie also did a beautiful reading and this really added a personal touch.

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What was your most memorable moment?

My favourite part of the day was the ceremony at the church. Walking down the aisle was a moment I’ll cherish forever. As soon as I saw Ollie I couldn’t help but feel overwhelmed with emotion. It was truly magical, and the best moment of my life.

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What was the most challenging aspect of planning this wedding?

The guest list. We were limited on numbers due to space and budget constraints so we had to be quite strict when sending out our invitations.

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What was the most important investment for you? 

The most important investment to us was the photographer and videographer. The day goes so fast and it was so important to us to have gorgeous photos and a video to treasure forever.

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What song did you choose for your first dance, and why?

Our first dance was to Al Green, ‘Stay Together’. Ollie and I wanted something with sentimental lyrics that was a little more up-tempo. We also had an amazing saxophonist which made our first dance extra special.

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Did you have any evening entertainment?

We had Paul Hardcastle on sax, who really got the party started. He was incredible and played along with our DJ. Paul got involved with the party too and danced with us till dawn.

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Tell us about your wedding cake.

Our wedding cake was made of three tiers – a vanilla sponge with raspberry compote and white chocolate centre, a lemon sponge and the top tier was red velvet. The cake decoration complemented our classic and simplistic theme, and it had our initials on the middle tier.

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If you could go back and change anything, what would it be?

Worry less!

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Where did you go on honeymoon?

We were lucky enough to have a three-week honeymoon spent in Fiji, Hawaii and LA. We flew a week after our wedding which gave us time to get ourselves organised and reminisce about the wedding. It was incredible and we made some amazing memories.

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Do you have any advice for couples in the planning stages?

Leading up to the wedding, I was checking the weather forecast virtually every hour. I really wanted our guests to enjoy reception drinks outside in the grounds at Hutton Hall. It was forecast for rain and thunderstorms, and I was driving my husband (and myself) mad! Well, the weather man got the forecast wrong that day, as it turned out to be warm with lots of sunshine. Future brides – please don’t stress about the weather as it is one of the very few things that is completely out of your control. Regardless of the weather, you will have the most magical day, and it will only affect your day if you allow it to.

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Get the look:

Reception venue: Hutton Hall
Photography: Neil Bailey 
Videography: Treasured Moments
Toastmaster: Andrew Morgan
Cake: Enjoy Cakes 
Floristry: Katherine Cribb
Catering: Relish Catering 
Hair: Carly Williams 
Make-up: Laura Farr
Wedding stationery: Alice Stannard of Printsta
DJ and sax: Paul Hardcastle Junior Events
LED dance floor: KMS Hire 
Doughnut wall, blossom trees and table plan: Little Big Things Essex

For more Essex wedding inspiration, browse the latest edition of Essex Bride magazine

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