London and lobsters; Alex and Lizzie Martin's Wiltshire wedding

23 May 2016

Featuring details that characterise them as a couple, Alex and Lizzie Martin's Wiltshire wedding was an elegant affair

How did you meet?

We met at a school reunion in 2013, although we hadn't actually been at school at the same time due to our age gap, Alex and I got to know each other over a few glasses of wine and we quickly realised that we were meant for one another.

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Tell us about the proposal.

Alex - It was the first day of our holiday in Croatia, I had decided that I wanted to propose at the start of the holiday so that we had time together to celebrate and enjoy the first feelings of being engaged. I didn't know exactly how I was going to propose to Lizzie but we planned to go for a walk and a picnic; I decided it was the perfect opportunity. With the ring safely tucked away in my rucksack, we set off and eventually found a secluded cove overlooking the sea. Most of the Croatian coast is rocky and so once Lizzie was settled with a glass of wine in hand, I jumped into the rockpool below and popped the question.

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

We didn't really overthink the theme for the day, we just wanted it to be fun, relaxed and a reflection of us. Colour scheme wise we wanted classic elegant colours, so navy, dove greys and soft pinks featured.

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For the bride - when did you know that you had found the dress?

I had never grown up dreaming about days of wedding dress shopping, so once we were engaged I thought carefully about the style of dress that I wanted. I knew that I wanted to wear a dress that made me feel most like myself, as that is who Alex fell in love with. It therefore made sense to have a bespoke dress, as I never wanted to feel as though I was wearing a costume; strapless and corseted designs are not my thing! I took a lot of inspiration from Reem Acra and Elie Saab designs and alongside the wonderful Susie Stone, created a gorgeous silk and lace soft silvery grey dress with divine sea pearls hand beaded on the bodice. On the day, I felt absolutely wonderful and completely and utterly the best version of myself.

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For the groom - where did you find your suit?

I knew that I didn't want to wear anything as traditional as tails because that is not my style, however, I knew that I absolutely wanted something bespoke that I could wear again. I decided to have a three-piece hand stitched navy suit made by Cad and the Dandy. What I enjoyed about this was being able to hand select the fabrics and see the design grow from paper based to the finished article.

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Tell us about your floral arrangements.

The bride's bouquet was a hand tied mixture of white roses, white lisianthers with eucalyptus and ivy. The bridesmaids had similar bouquets but with blush pink roses. In the church we had large candelabras either side of the altar with stunning roses and eucalyptus. For the banqueting hall we had smaller arrangements, in a white and pink colour palette, spread down the whole length of two long banqueting tables. The buttonholes for the groom and ushers were roses, lisianthers and eucalyptus leaves.

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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.

Involving friends and family in the details of the day was really important to us, as we wanted the day to be as relaxed and personal as possible. As well as having a friend of ours sing in the church during the ceremony, we were honoured to have our friend, Sam, as our photographer for the day. The cake was made by Lizzie's mum and iced by a friend. Our seating plan was a large frame with amusing polaroid pictures of all of our guests crafted by Lizzie's dad and made for a good talking point.

As we met and live in London, we wanted to have a subtle nod to the capital. Both of our outfits were handmade in London using British fabrics, we also left the venue at the end of the night in a black cab.

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How did you feel as you walked down the aisle?

Excited and emotional.

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What was your most memorable moment?

Lizzie - Saying our vows

Alex - The speeches

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What was the most challenging aspect of planning this wedding?

Lizzie - most of the planning of the wedding was straightforward because Alex and I have similar tastes and opinions. However, sometimes overthinking some of the small details that I never really thought I had an opinion on was stressful. In depth discussions about the font of the name cards for example....

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What was the most important investment for you?

Lizzie - The photographer, photos last forever.

Alex - The venue. It really showcased how beautiful Wiltshire is and had a massive 'wow' factor for our guests.

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

INXS - 'Never Tear Us Apart'.

We love how dramatic the song is and the lyrics really resonated with us.  We asked our band, Live Lounge, to learn the song for us and they performed it beautifully.

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Tell us about your wedding cake.

We had a three tier rich fruit cake made by Lizzie's mum and decorated by a friend, with two cute lobsters on the top representing the bride and groom. We loved it because it was traditional but with loads of character.

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

Lizzie - being able to have a hot shower on the morning of the wedding; by the time the bridesmaids had all showered they had used all the hot water, so I hade to make do with a cold bath.

Alex - the taxi driver at the end of the night doing his research; he took the same wrong turn twice, resulting in two lots of an eight mile detour. It only added 40 minutes to a half hour journey!

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Where did you go on honeymoon?

We went to Borneo, via Singapore, for three weeks. Three nights of unwinding in luxury at the Marina Bay Sands Hotel in Singapore, before two and a half weeks taking in the breathtaking reefs, beaches and rainforest of Malaysian Borneo including Lankayan Island and the Danum Valley.

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Do you have any advice for couples at the planning stage?

Don't waste your time overthinking the tiniest details. Decide on the big things and then put your energy into absolutely nailing those.

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Steal their style:

Photography: Samantha Pells Photography, www.samanthapellsphotography.com
Venue: Rockley Manor, www.rockleymanor.com
Band: Live Lounge, through www.gigzmanagement.com
Florist: Chrissie Wiltshire, www.chrissiewiltshireflowers.com
Make-Up: Karen Matthews, www.leematthewshair.co.uk
Bride's dress: Susie Stone, www.susiestone.com
Groom's suit: Cad & The Dandy, www.cadandthedandy.com
Honeymoon: ImagineAsia, www.imaginetravel.com
Favours: Personalised M&Ms, www.mymms.co.uk

To see more Wiltshire weddings, get your copy of Dorset, Wiltshire & Hampshire Bride or read the latest version here.

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