Featuring meaningful favours and a ceremony with personal choices, Rebecca Rees and Daniel Bolton had the perfect wedding day
Tell us about the proposal
We were sitting in our apartment having a quiet night in. Dan had already booked a big meal with our families there to propose to me but couldn’t wait and got nervous. So he went and got the ring and proposed to me while I was in my dressing gown on the sofa. We are both quite chilled, private people so it was actually perfect for us as a couple to do it this way.
What did you choose for the wedding colour scheme and theme?
The colour scheme was muted tonal colours. We had browns, taupes and blues. The theme was a mix of classic with a few modern twists thrown in and substituted. The venue is so iconic with its own theme and period features that we didn’t feel the need to have an overpowering theme for the day.
Tell us more about the venue
We chose Gosfield Hall as I had seen it online and fell in love with it. Although it wasn’t the closest to us (just over an hour drive away) as soon as we viewed it we loved it. The bridal suite, where I got ready, was one of my favourite parts of the venue as well as the stunning ballroom for our breakfast. It was also very important to us to have the exclusivity of the venue for our wedding party and for our guests to feel free to roam the whole house and grounds.
When did you know you'd found the dress?
I actually had two dresses for the day, one for the ceremony and one for the evening reception that was much lighter and easier to move in. My ceremony dress was a beautiful full princess dress by Justin Alexander and my stunning evening gown was by Enzoani.
I always knew I wanted a princess gown for my actual wedding dress and when I tried my dress on I just knew it was the perfect dress. I loved the beading and the fit but my favourite part was the skirt with the sequins sewn into a layer of tulle underneath. It sparkled like fresh snow when it moved. I tried on a few other styles just to make sure but nothing compared to the one I ended up with. I saw my evening dress in the window of another shop and loved it immediately.
Who were the bridesmaids and what did they wear?
I had three bridesmaids: my two sisters-in-law and a friend. They all wore dresses by Dessy and each girl wore a di fferent colour/print but all in the same style. I wanted it to look slightly different to the normal ‘matchy’ style of bridesmaids' dresses and am so happy with how it all came out.
What did the mother of the bride wear?
My mother was dressed top to toe in a gorgeous teal outfit by Michael Bailey Bedford.
Where did you find the suits?
The men’s suits were all from Next and their bowties were from Dessy. We put Dan in a waistcoat just to make him stand out a bit more as the groom, while the others just had jackets and trousers.
Tell us about your floral arrangements
We used Poppie’s Floral Designs for our flower arrangements and they were beautiful. They decorated the grand staircase, the ceremony room and provided florals for the bridal party. I wanted plenty of roses as they are my favourite flower. We had muted colours such as lavender roses to match the bridesmaids' dresses. The bridesmaids had wrist corsages instead of traditional posies and the men had wreaths made from foliage for their buttonholes. My bouquet was a shower style with lots of foliage and finished off the look perfectly.
Tell us about the details of the day
We had lots of little touches for our day that made it feel special. As well as our professional photographer, we placed disposable cameras around the ballroom for guests to take their own candid pictures during the meal. We also had an instant camera guestbook for our guests to sign during the evening. This way we had plenty of pictures from funny, unposed moments as well as our professional photos.
Instead of traditional wedding favours we donated money to Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge who cared for my sister before she passed away.
We had bell wands instead of confetti. I made them in the weeks leading up to the wedding. It was funny to see some bells flying off their sticks with the guests waving them so fanatically and it just added to the moment. The sound of almost 200 sleigh bells ringing in our new marriage was a magical sound.
How did you feel as you walked down the aisle?
I was so nervous as I walked down the aisle. I had just cried from my dad seeing my for the first time in my dress and then when I heard my song start I was so close to crying again. I almost couldn’t look at Dan as I walked down as I didn’t want to start crying all over again. However, as I walked down the aisle and saw friends and family I hadn’t seen in a long time it made me feel excited and calmed my nerves.
How did you make your ceremony personal to you?
We had a reading called ‘A Parent’s Tribute’ read by my dad. It is a beautiful poem about a father’s feelings on his daughter’s wedding day and it fit perfectly into the ceremony. Dan loves The Piano Men so we had their cover versions of popular chart songs as our guests came into the room and while we signed the register. I entered the room to When the Right One Comes Along from the TV show Nashville.
What was the highlight of your day?
The feeling of being announced by the registrar as a married couple and feeling like all the
nervous energy I had just melting away. We had done the hard part and now we could just
enjoy it all.
What was the most challenging aspect of planning this wedding?
Sometimes suppliers will take a while to get back to you or will tell you last minute that they cannot do what you actually need them to do. I had to find different suppliers twice in the end because they simply could not provide what they originally said they could.
What was your most important investment?
We really wanted to make sure the guests enjoyed the food at our wedding so we put extra money in our evening buffet and had a massive hog roast. We thought it was something you wouldn’t normally get to enjoy that often so why not?! Out of all the things at the wedding, the hog roast in the thing we got most complimented on.
What did you choose for your first dance song?
Our first dance song was I Get to Love You by Ruelle. We hadn’t decided on a song up until quite near the day and I was sat watching a TV show and this song came on. I loved the lyrics and sent it to Dan who agreed it was perfect. We didn’t want to choose a song thousands of people had already had and a lot of people didn’t even seem to know this one, so it was ideal.
What did you choose for your evening entertainment?
We had the Gosfield Hall DJ who was amazing. He made us the perfect playlist based on some questions he sent us and he had the dancefloor filled the entire night.
Tell us about your wedding cake
Our wedding cake was from Egg & Moo’s in Essex. Abbie was amazing from the tasting to the final product. She managed to perfectly match the fresh florals with the sugar flowers on our cake and even made us some extra cake pops, which went down well with the children. It was simple and elegant and the perfect centrepiece to our evening food.
Was there anything you wished you'd known before?
I would try and relax more. Although I feel like I took it all in I also feel like I was worrying about everything being so perfect that I didn’t fully relax and enjoy it all. I should have trusted the amazing staff at Gosfield because nothing at all went wrong and I needn’t have worried.
Did anything go wrong on the day?
Nothing went wrong on the day, although we had sparklers for the evening and they took
quite a while to light as the lighters weren’t working correctly. So by the time the bottom of the line had started the top was halfway burnt but we still got some amazing pictures out of it.
Did you have a wedding hashtag?
Yes, we had #THENEWBOLTON for our wedding hashtag.
Did you go on honeymoon?
We didn't go on honeymoon after the wedding. We had just bought a house (we moved in
the week before the wedding) and so our honeymoon money went into making the new house
our new home.
What advice would you give to couples in the planning stages?
Make sure to read all supplier's contract fine print, terms and conditions and when people want something returned to them. Make a spreadsheet, not just for payments but for deadlines for paperwork to be returned. A couple of times we were late with supplying information etc because we lost track of deadlines. Luckily it was fine for us but just be aware of it. And remember the day is about you two. Have the wedding you dream of, whether it is traditional or not.
Steal their style:
Photography: Mavric Photography
Venue: Gosfield Hall
Cake: Egg & Moo's
Hair and make-up: Brides by Rose
Flowers: Poppie's Floral Designs
Bridesmaids' dress, flowergirl dresses and bowties: Dessy, supplied by The Dress House
Wedding dresses: Justin Alexander (ceremony dress) and Lavender by Enzoani (evening dress), supplied by The White Wardrobe
For more Essex wedding inspiration, browse the latest edition of Essex Bride magazine.