Happy Ever After: Claudia and Rob Hunt (nee King)
17 Feb 2012
Happy Ever After: Claudia and Rob Hunt (nee King)
Claudia had always dreamed of being a fairytale bride, and her magical wedding to Rob fulfilled all of her expectations
When Dad delivered his father-of-the-bride speech illustrated with photographs from my childhood, he said, “Claudia has been getting ready for this day... all her life,” and there, up on the big screen, was a picture of me, aged three, wearing hair rollers and applying make-up.
Dad was also absolutely right about Rob and me always being destined to meet, for we had both (virtually since birth) spent holidays by the sea at Abersoch, in Wales. And meet we did – and fell in love – amid the beautiful coastal and mountain scenery.
I had always dreamed of having a white fairytale wedding, so when Rob went down on one knee, proposed and slipped the beautiful square princess-cut diamond ring on my finger during a concert in London, my wish came true.
Because we both had elderly grandparents, we decided to name the day as soon as possible, with the service at the 14th-century St Luke’s church in our village, Holmes Chapel, and the reception at the Alderley Edge Hotel, where my brother celebrated his wedding four years earlier. And incredibly, both church and hotel had our preferred day available.
Mum thought I was bidding for a world record by having nine bridesmaids: cousins, school friends and three baby nieces. And Rob couldn’t choose between his brother Chris and best mate Gary – so why not two best men? My dress was an easy decision. I knew Hollywood Dreams would provide the perfect fitted jewelled bodice and flowing romantic skirt, and contrary to current fashion trends, white. Maggie at The Wedding Shop found me the ideal gown complete with beautiful jewelled tiara and full-length veil.
But fairytales sometimes have nightmarish moments. It wasn’t the elderly grandparents whose health gave us cause for concern, but Tony, Rob’s dad, who underwent an emergency appendectomy then suffered complications, and my baby niece Isabelle fell dangerously ill with meningitis. But our prayers were answered: Tony recovered and Isabelle came home from hospital to greet Santa.
The crises left just six months to complete the wedding plans. Thank goodness for the Tatton Park Wedding Fayre, where we booked virtually everything – the cars, the morning suits, the rings, and Richard Basger, the videographer. Alison Burgess in Stockport provided dresses for the six grown-up bridesmaids; the little ones wore white dresses with petal layered skirts, modelled on Disney fairies, complete with wings, and wands with my picture on. Diva Cakes supplied a white and pink ruffle four-tier chocolate masterpiece studded with diamante stems; each tier a different flavour. Local florist Spreadborough’s suggested the whitest flowers possible for my bouquet – which I raffled on the day for Christie Hospital – phileanopsis orchids, and white, pink and cerise gerberas for the bridesmaids.
The big day dawned with sunshine after weeks of terrible weather. Loved in Bramhall did my make-up, and Keeley, from Flawless and Fabulous, arrived to painstakingly curl my hair and help me with the tiara and veil. The house had a wonderfully chaotic atmosphere while Richard shot his video and our friend John Cox took photographs.
The Rev Paul Mason conducted a delightful ceremony and his humorous touch made everyone feel relaxed. It was wonderful to see both families and guests in church then gathered outside for pictures in the summer sun – warm enough for us to travel to the reception with the hood down on our vintage wedding car. There a wonderful surprise awaited us: Mum had arranged for my horse, Apollo, to be brought to have a photograph with us. The hotel had cordoned off part of the car park to accommodate the horse box – nothing was too much trouble – and Pat and Jayne from the stables had spent hours getting our very welcome ‘gatecrasher’ ready.
The day was utterly perfect from start to finish, with local singers Jacks of Swing singing our favourite songs over drinks in the sunlit hotel garden, then later running the disco. The room looked breathtaking and the meal was wonderful. When our evening guests arrived, we had our first dance to Cascadia’s Everytime We Touch. Rob and I never did get round to rehearsing it, but Rob, being six feet four, just gathered me up in his arms and twirled me around with my dress floating behind me. There wasn’t a dry eye in the house!
Everyone danced into the early hours – Rob by then in a white suit – and all made breakfast. My tiara and jeans made the perfect combination, as they did when we flew off on our honeymoon to Singapore and Ko Samui, arranged by Travel by Design of Alderley Edge, which runs a great wedding voucher scheme.
Rob and I had a truly magical day, thanks to both sets of parents, family, friends, and all our suppliers who worked so hard to ensure we had our ‘fairytale wedding’.
Make sure the budget covers the cost of a wedding video. Ours included a complete record of the ceremony and the reception speeches and, best of all, a brilliantly edited movie featuring their meeting place and all the highlights of the day set to their favourite music. We can relive our special day whenever we choose. And we do – every couple of weeks!
Claudia: When Rob jumped the gun during the service and said “I will” much too early. The vicar said, “Not yet, lad” and the whole congregation, including Rob, roared with laughter. “I just couldn’t wait,” he explained.
Rob: When I turned and saw Claudia coming down the aisle, she looked absolutely beautiful.
VENUE & catering: Alderley Edge Hotel
01625 583033, alderleyedgehotel.com
VIDEO: Richer Productions
0161 280 1118, richerproductions.co.uk
RINGS: Stefan’s Jewellers
0161 969 7625, stefansjewellers.co.uk
SUITS: Swarbricks of Middleton
0161 643 4040, swarbricks.co.uk
CARS: Century Limousines
01744 738180 centurylimousines.co.uk
DRESS: The Wedding Shop
01625 584674, the-wedding-shop.co.uk
BRIDESMAIDS: Alison Curtis Couture
0161 355 7530
CAKE: Diva Cakes
01457 831460, divacakes.co.uk
0161 485 1168, spreadboroughs.co.uk