Gemma and David tie the knot
30 Nov 2011
Gemma and David tie the knot
PICTURES BY JEFF NORMAN PHOTOGRAPHY
We’ve been together for eight years. During this period I went away to study at the University of Lincoln for my BSc (Hons) in Animal Behaviour Science. David joined the Army after we had been together for 18 months. Therefore in these eight years there has been a lot of long distance contact, long periods of not seeing one another and occasionally having no contact at all. David has now come out of the Army and set up his own carpentry and building services business which he was doing prior to going into the Forces. I currently work at a veterinary Surgery practicing as a pet behaviourist and dog trainer.
How we met:
One of my best friends’ boyfriends introduced me to David (a friend of his) at Radio 1s One Big Sunday in Chantry Park, Ipswich in July 2002. We spent most of the day talking, messing around and generally getting to know one another a bit better. At the end of the day we exchanged telephone numbers and then things progressed from there.
When David came home from a six month tour in Afghanistan we went on holiday to Egypt. Towards the end of the holiday we were on a walk around the complex in the evening and we went to sit down next to the swimming pool. It was very romantic and the pool was lit up beautifully in the dark, David turned to me got down on one knee and pulled out the most stunning solitaire diamond ring and asked me to marry him, I very quickly said ‘yes of course’ grabbed the ring and we hugged and kissed one another. It was very emotional and I was hoping for it to happen (we had been together for nearly seven years at that point).
After visiting wedding fayres in Newmarket, Stowmarket and Culford it was all very exciting and our house was not selling, so we decided to set a wedding date for 2010 and take our house off the market to focus on the wedding instead. The first appointment was with the Reverend of our village church (St Mary’s Church, Bacton, Stowmarket, Suffolk) in November 2009 to arrange the date for the wedding, this was decided as Saturday 21st August 2010 at 11am. We then started to make lists, lots and lots of lists about what we needed to buy and book.
The second priority for me was to book a horse and carriage. It had always been a childhood dream of mine to have a horse and carriage at my wedding and this took a lot of time and research finding the right horse, then after a lot of calls and emails were given the number of someone very local to us that does occasional weddings, we went to see the horse, the carriage and the owner and were very impressed. We decided that to keep costs down we would try and do as much ourselves as we were able to. I made all the wedding stationery including the save the date cards, wedding invites, place names, table plan and table numbers. Everything seemed to be coming together very smoothly but it is amazing how time consuming planning a wedding can become. There was the wedding ceremony to think about, the wedding breakfast and then our evening function aswell. The colour theme was straight forward for us to decide as both of our favourite colour is purple, we decided on the dark Cadbury’s style purple and ivory.
I had visited three wedding dress shops and there was one dress in each that I quite liked. You know how everyone says you will know the dress is ‘the one’ when you put it on, well I wasn’t feeling that yet and was concerned that I wasn’t going to be able to find it where I had that definite feeling. My mum found the number of a wedding dress shop in Exning near Newmarket called Bride-All and made an appointment for a couple of days later. The staff were lovely and extremely helpful, I had tried on about six dresses and again there was 1 that I thought I really liked. It must have been the seventh dress I put on in this shop, it felt and looked really good. I stepped out of the curtain onto the little box in front of the mirrors, my mum and a couple of staff members. I remember looking at my mum and tears started to well in my eyes - this was it, that was the feeling that I was after that I had been told about, it was ‘the one’. I managed to get myself, my mum and the staff in the store all crying. It was one of those perfect moments that will stay with me forever. The dress was a Benjamin Roberts Tia collection and cost just over £700, a boned corset top, with a layered skirt and train, it had diamonte stone detail under the bust along with a bow on one side. Absolutely perfect for me.
The groom’s outfit:
David hired his suit from Gerald Boughton in Bury St Edmunds and incorporated a black long tail coat, grey pinstripe trouser, a silver swirled waistcoat and dark purple cravat.
The florist we used was a company called Flowers for All Occasions, they have a market stall in Bury St Edmunds. We got a few different quotes but decided based on the quote and also the helpfulness and contact we had had with them. The bouquets were all green and ivory in colour, with the bride’s shower bouquet a combination of roses and calla lilies, the adult bridesmaids roses, the flower girls had little mini rose wrist corsages. We had two pedestal and one font arrangement of flowers within the church combining a mixture of ivory and purple flowers and greenery. The button holes consisted of a single ivory rose with some green ivy.
We had a traditional church ceremony at St Mary’s Church, Bacton, attended by around 100 of our friends and family. Reverend Liz Varley gave the most amazing service that all of our guests thoroughly enjoyed, incorporating laughter and heartfelt emotion. The organist played Purcell’s Trumpet Tune for my entrance, Pachelbel’s Canon for the signing of the register and then the Wedding March from a Midsummer Night’s Dream for our exit.
I had my wedding ring made in Bury St Edmunds at a shop called Finishing Touch. It was very friendly and affordable service with the ring custom-made to fit my engagement ring. The 18ct white gold wedding band compliments my engagement ring perfectly. Due to David’s line of work he wanted a ring that was very robust so he decided on a titanium ring for durability, this was a combination of brushed and chrome titanium.
With trying to keep costs low we decided on a bit of an unorthodox wedding reception. The wedding breakfast was held at The Bull public house in Bacton, a stunning thatched country pub in our village, attended by a small group of 35 people, close friends and close family. We then had around 150 people attend our evening reception which was held at Wyverstone Village hHll, which we had spent most of the day before decorating ourselves!
The Bull catered for the wedding breakfast with a superb three course meal. For our evening reception at the village hall Anglian Events catered for our guests providing a wide variety of foods for a cold finger style buffet. Due to myself being a vegetarian this was taken into careful consideration by the caterer when providing this, giving a lot of vegetarian choices, which is not always the case.
We decided on a relatively simple design, one that I actually designed myself having looked at various wedding cake designs. Our cake had two tiers (one fruit and one jam sponge) on a silver swirled stand. We used artificial roses and ivy to decorate the cake tops and linked the two tiers together with the artificial ivy wrapped around the stand. This cake was made by a family friend.
David’s uncle provided the evening entertainment as part of our wedding gift. He has been a DJ and providing discos to such events for many years. Our first dance was to Lonestar’s ‘Amazed’, the dance itself we only practised the day before!
Finding a photographer initially proved quite difficult, bearing in mind by the time we started looking to book one it was December and the wedding was booked for the following August, a lot of photographers were already booked for the date of our wedding. After looking for what felt like an eternity I came across Jeff Norman’s website, I sent an enquiry email and within a couple of days an information pack had arrived through our door. We were very happy with the initial meeting where Jeff came round to visit us and showed us his portfolio and discussed potential packages he could provide for our wedding. Due to Jeff’s work, wedding packages and approach towards capturing the wedding as the day unfolds, not to mention how comfortable we felt in his presence, with his friendly yet professional attitude, we knew we had found our photographer!
Most memorable moment
Most definitely walking down the aisle of the church on my father’s arm towards the man I was about to marry. I will never forget the look on his face as he turned to look at me, clearly stunned by the fact that I was wearing a dress, make up and having had my hair done (as everyone that knows me, will know that this was all very novel!). When I got to David he proceeded to say that he must have the wrong church.
We have both visited a lot of different countries, some of them with one another, others separately. There is so much of the world to see and we wanted to therefore choose a destination that appealed to both of us but neither of us had visited, Thailand sounded perfect for us. We stayed in the beach resort of Hua Hin in a stunning traditional Thai hotel where we relaxed, did some sightseeing, elephant riding and enjoyed amazing food. This was all followed by a couple of days in Bangkok before returning home as husband and wife.
Plans for the future
Having been together for quite a few years prior to getting married we are now looking to enjoy married life and then start a family in the not so distant future.