A pink and white wedding in Hertfordshire
17 Apr 2019
Courtney Perlmutter married Mark Johnson at Brocket Hall in Hertfordshire
After a bus stop proposal where they first met from school, their traditional with a modern twist wedding was magical despite the looming weather.
How did you meet?
At the bus stop - our school busses stopped at the same place, except we went to different schools. We would see each other in the mornings before school and sometimes after school. We first spoke to each other properly over MySpace.
Tell us about the proposal.
The proposal took place at the bus stop where we met. Mark pulled up and we got out of the car - I thought we were going to look at a house as we were trying to buy one at the time. He led me towards the bus stop and as we got closer, I began to realise what was happening. There was a huge bouquet of flowers waiting on the bench, and as we approached, he got down on one knee. I can’t remember a word he said as I was too busy looking at the ring. That night we flew off to Dubai – a perfect start to our engagement.
What was the theme and did you have a colour scheme?
The theme was organic and natural. Some things we kept traditional and some things we tried to modernise. The colour scheme was mainly pinks, beiges and silver.
What venue did you choose and why?
We chose Brocket Hall because we wanted something different. Lots of our friends had London weddings, and we wanted somewhere new. Brocket Hall had beautiful grounds, and The Oak Room showcased the surrounding golf course beautifully. It was also local to home, and as we were getting married on a Thursday, we knew this would also be favourable for our guests.
When did you know when you’d found ‘the’ dress?
I knew I found the dress very quickly. I always knew I wanted an Ian Stuart gown as I love the extravagant style. I went to a local bridal shop and picked out about five of his dresses. I saved a dress called ‘Wanderlust’ until last, as it was my favourite. When I put it on, I looked down (there wasn’t a mirror in the dressing room), and thought, ‘hang on – I think this is it’. I went out and showed my mum, who instantly started crying. I knew from this moment I found my dress.
We went up to Ian Stuart at the Blewcoat Store, where I met him, and tried on a number of other dresses. I kept comparing them to that one dress, and I knew that nothing would compare. He fitted me in the dress, taking my measurements, and we made some tweaks together, changing some parts, taking away bits and adding bits to it, as well as customising the veil.
What did the bridesmaids wear?
My four bridesmaids wore beautiful pink lace dresses from Lipsy. I had my three sisters and my sister in law.
What did the mother of the bride wear?
My mum wore a grey dress with nude beading round the bust.
Where did you find your suits?
Their suits were from Marks and Spencer.
Did you hire a wedding planner?
We used the wedding co-ordinator at the venue – she was excellent but she went on maternity leave just before the big day.
Tell us about your floral arrangements.
The flowers were incredible. Laura Kuy of Kuy and Co knew exactly what type of thing I was looking for - she knew me better then I knew me. On the tables I had a mixture of high and low designs. I had a mixture of dahlias, which were called Café Au Lait, roses, Columbian hydrangeas and orchids, all intertwined with my favourite eucalyptus. The orchids were a beautiful surprise I didn’t think they were part of the plan. Laura also included some beautiful peachy coloured David Austin roses in my bouquet. I happened to mention that I liked those roses, and without telling me, she had ordered them for my bouquet. Luckily, I loved them instantly and I loved the fact that my bouquet had something different.
A couple of months before the wedding, I met with Laura and she had designed me a centre piece to show me what it would look like and to see if I was happy with it. I loved this idea as she dressed the table too with beautiful rose petals and it gave me a small glimpse in to what the day might look like. Laura also designed the chuppah and it was more beautiful than I ever could have imagined. There were hanging crystals which caught the sunlight and orchids dripping down the corners. For me, this was so beautiful and utterly perfect. It took my breath away as I stepped outside to walk down the aisle for the second time as it was the first time I had got to see the chuppah.
Often the aspect that makes a wedding original to the couple is the detail – tell us about the details of the day.
We had a snapchat filter made which was really cool and had a little cartoon sausage dog on as we wanted to incorporate our dog as much as we could. Our favours were a gift from a family friend, and were grey macarons in Perspex boxes, which matched the chuppah. We didn’t know that in between the starter and the main course the band were going to pull us on to podiums where we had to do karaoke – they chose ‘Gangstas Paradise’ and ‘I Want It That Way’. It was quite embarrassing but also really funny. All our guests were made to stand on their chairs - it was a good laugh. My garter was also a surprise for my husband, I support spurs and he is an arsenal fan, so I wore a spurs garter… he wasn’t impressed. After the first dance, I also changed out of my Ted Baker wedding shoes and in to a pair of trainers - it was the best decision.
How did you feel as you walked down the aisle?
I felt so nervous. I also felt a little sad as I knew once I had got to the end of the aisle, it was another part of the big day that was done – it was all going so quickly. I also remember thinking ‘I can’t believe this is actually happening now… here I am, walking down the aisle in my wedding dress’.
How did you make the ceremony personal to you?
The ceremony was personal as my husband and I thought carefully about the exact wording that we wanted. The second ceremony was also very personal to me as it was a Jewish blessing, and I asked my mother as well as my father to walk me down the aisle together. The second time we walked down the aisle, it was to the tune of ‘All Of Me’ but it was a Hebrew song about getting married.
What was your most memorable moment?
Looking out the window during the civil ceremony, past my husband to be, thinking I can’t believe it’s raining. After the civil ceremony, the guests were asked to make their way outside for the Jewish blessing and, within about two minutes of that instruction, the sun came out and was so bright. I remember stepping out ready to walk down the aisle, shocked at how bright and sunny it was, after how miserable it had been all day. It was so perfect.
What was the most challenging aspect of planning this wedding?
Trying to work out how to have the two ceremonies was very difficult. We had a few different ideas, but it was difficult to work out how this would pan out on the day and how it would work logistically. It also went very wrong when the garden had sunk from the rain and we had to come up with another plan.
What was the most important investment for you?
The entertainment was very important for us. We had The Function Band who were incredible. We had requested a garage set which they performed and it was a highlight of the night. Our magician, Matthew LeMottee, was also fantastic as he brought families together which was so special for us.
What song did you choose for your first dance, and why?
Mark and I love old school R&B. The lead singer of our band suggested a slowed down version of Jagged Edge, ‘Let’s Get Married’. We loved the original and felt it reflected our personal taste. It was also very different which we liked.
Did you have any evening entertainment?
The Function Band and magician Matthew LeMottee.
Tell us about your wedding cake.
Our wedding cake was designed by Claire Festa, At Your Wish Cakes. The cake was made of four tiers – a chocolate fudge cake, a vanilla sponge with raspberry compote and white chocolate centre, a sticky toffee pudding sponge, and the top tier was a lemon sponge. The outside of the cake matched with my dress and the theme of the wedding, and I also had a sausage dog made from icing on the cake to represent our dog, Wilbour. He would have been at the wedding but I was worried he would have gone to the toilet in the middle of the aisle.
If you could go back and change anything, what would it be?
I don’t think I would have changed a thing. I possibly could have done with a quick hair brush at some point in the evening as it had gotten a bit frizzy from the wind. The fact that the garden had sunk actually worked out far better too, so I’m glad that that happened.
Did anything go wrong on the day?
A few things didn’t go to plan, but it was all out of our control. A table of guests had to wait for the main course as there was a problem in the kitchen. Some draping was yellow and creased and was meant to be white. The starters were also not as big as they were at the menu tasting. The things that didn’t go to plan were really small things that no one else would have noticed luckily.
Did you have a custom hashtag for social media?
We had #markgotcourt and #courtgotfullmarks (I’m a teacher). We also had a special snapchat filter which was designed for us, with a sausage dog on it too.
Was there anything you wish you’d known before?
I wish I’d have known that the weather was going to be ok. I woke up at 3am on the morning of my wedding checking the weather forecast. I had lost a lot of sleep in the couple of weeks leading to the wedding as it had gone from being very sunny to very wet and miserable.
Where did you go on honeymoon?
We booked a honeymoon last minute a few days after the wedding. We went to Split, in Croatia. We wanted to leave it to the last minute as we had never booked a last minute holiday before and wanted to do something spontaneous and random.
Do you have any advice for couples in the planning stages?
Don’t rely on the weather and find a venue that would work whatever the weather. Our venue was great but had it have been raining all day and there wasn’t really a space good enough for photos inside. We were very lucky on the day that we could have them outside, but I don’t know what we would have done otherwise. Have make-up trials with a couple of different makeup artists. Try to enjoy the planning process; I really miss being the bride to be. Include your partner in decisions where you can.
Steal Their Style:
Photographer: Cameo Photography
Flowers: Kuy and Co
Band: The Function Band
Cake: At Your Wish Cakes
Car: Unique Wedding Taxis
Draping and Letters: Dress it Yourself
Toastmaster: Simon Green
Magician: Mathew LeMottee
For more wedding inspiration read the 2019 issue of Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire and Cambridgeshire Bride Magazine.