A 'vintage glamour' wedding in Suffolk

27 Jan 2022

Katie Peake and Alex Hodgekins became Mr and Mrs Hodgekins-Peake in October 2021 with 75 guests present

How did you meet? 

We met at a Halloween party. 

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Tell us about the proposal.

Alex proposed to me in The Shard, London This is the place we had our first date and became a special place for us to celebrate our relationship over the years. Alex booked a room at the Shangri-La in the Shard and decorated the room with fairy lights and photos of us throughout our relationship. Alex proposed with a custom engagement ring made by Rachel Boston Jewellery.

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How was your wedding affected by Covid-19?

We had to delay our wedding by one year. We had planned to have a long engagement as we didn’t want to rush into planning a wedding in a short period of time… ironically, Covid made this process much longer, but we were very lucky. All of our suppliers were still free and we moved our wedding exactly one year forward.

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

The theme was autumn, using lots of golds, warm colours and deep reds with a sprinkle of vintage glamour.

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

We chose Hengrave Hall in Bury St Edmunds as it simply had it all. We loved the idea that guests could sleep at the venue and we could also use the church without having a religious ceremony. We opted for a civil service in the main hall and then a wedding blessing by Tina Hayward inside the church.

How did you know you’d found ‘the’ dress?

I chose a Sassi Holford gown. I tried on about 20 dresses but finally booked myself in to see Sassi in Chelsea and try on her dresses. I chose Sassi as the dresses are incredibly well made and chic; I wanted something timeless and went with the 'Millie' dress, which included a chiffon bow at the base of the neck. I also had a custom veil made by Sash + Veil. Heather created a waterfall cathedral-length veil scattered in pearls and hand-stitched our initials.

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What did the mother of the bride wear?

My Mum made an appointment with John Lewis' personal shopping service, where she found her outfit.

Who were the bridesmaids and what did they wear?

I had two maids of honour: Ellie Peake (my sister) and Joey Andreopolous (my best friend); and two bridesmaids, Claire Bennett and Rebecca McDonald. The maids of honour wore Ghost Bridal.

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What did you choose for the suits?

The groomsmen wore suits from ASOS. My husband had a custom-made suit that he designed, made by Roy Kane in Epping, Essex.

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Did you hire a wedding planner? How did they help?

I hired Liz Robinson from Wild About You Weddings, who helped to bring our vision to life by sourcing and briefing suppliers before the wedding. On the day she styled all spaces as agreed, co-ordinated suppliers and oversaw the running of the day.

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Tell us about the details of your day.

Our flowers were by Georgina Chapman. The bouquets were loose, naturally styled and smelt beautiful. I chose blown Norma Jean roses, blush pink quicksand roses and burgundy chocolate cosmos gold fern, finished with tails of hand-died, silk blush ribbon.

The flowers for the civil ceremony were kept simple with flower arrangements on the aisle chairs. The main feature was a stunning suspended balloon ceiling from Bubblegum Balloons and a personalised neon light from This Will Be Forever, alongside candles and fairy lights from Dreamwaves. The church for the blessing was adorned with candles on every surface.

The tablescape comprised a runner of bracken, gold fern and mini pumpkins sprayed gold with small glass vases featuring pampas and our chosen florals, which stretched the entire length of the tables. Each guest was given a name-engraved gold Cockapoo place card in honour of our beloved dog, Winnie.

In the evening a surprise photo booth was provided from The Photobooth Guys and a glitter bar from Face N Glitz.

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How did you feel as you walked down the aisle?

I was really excited. I had such a fun morning getting ready and listening to music, and I felt amazing. I walked down the aisle to Titanium by David Guetta, which I chose to add an element of energy to the ceremony. However, Alex was very nervous.

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How did you make the blessing personal to you?

For our church blessing, Tina Hayward read a bespoke love story based on mine and Alex’s relationship. A lot of guests don't know who we were before we met as a couple or the journey we had been on, or even how we had met, so it was amazing to share that with all of our guests. We also had a surprise reading from Alex's best man and our best friend, Joe Thompson, who wrote a poem dedicated to our dog, who couldn't come to the big day.

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What was your most memorable moment?

I was having my hair and make-up done and Joe came into the bridal suite with a present from Alex. It came with three step-by-step letters, which I read out loud to the group and led to opening the gift. The present was a 1920s first edition Agatha Christie book, The Secret of Chimneys, as I’m a collector of her work. It was in pristine condition with a blue binding, so acted as my 'something blue'.

What was the most important investment for you?

Food and drink. We wanted everyone to be truly spoiled on the day, so made sure the bar was stocked and there were plenty of cocktails for everyone. The food was top tier, provided by Milsoms Catering.

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

You Got the Love by Pete Tong with The Heritage Orchestra. We chose this song as we saw Pete Tong live and realised this would be an amazing first dance. It's upbeat and modern but the lyrics are spot on. We had a neon light made to hang above the aisle and party room with ‘You Got the Love’ written on it, which we kept as a memento of our wedding day.

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Tell us about your wedding cake.

We worked with a local Essex cake maker, Choccolotties, who made us a three-tiered chocolate orange cake completely wrapped in gold. We added some flowers on the side from the florist and my wedding planner lent me the same sequin tablecloth she used at her wedding. It was delicious and me and Alex ate an entire tier on our mini-moon in Yorkshire.

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Where did you go on honeymoon?

We rescheduled our honeymoon four times because of Covid restrictions, but flew to the Maldives on January 4, 2022. We had always said for our honeymoon we wanted a hut in the sea in the Maldives - so we did it. We stayed at Dusit Thani for two weeks in an Ocean View Villa, and it was absolutely amazing.

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

Hire a wedding planner to at least co-ordinate your day so you can truly relax and enjoy every minute.

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Steal their style: 

Photography: Mark Tattersall Photography
Design and planning: Wild About You Weddings 
Venue: Hengrave Hall 
Catering: Milsom Weddings
Dress: Sassi Holford 
Hair and make-up: Elegant Hair and Beauty 
Flowers: Georgina Chapman Flowers
Balloons: Bubblegum Balloons
Cake: Choccolotties
Lighting and DJ: Dreamwave Group 
Pianist: Sam Burkey
Neon sign: This Will Be Forever
Glitter bar: Face N Glitz 
Photo booth: The Photobooth Guys

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