17 Mar 2014
Sam Taylor tried on 50 gowns before she found the one that made her dreams come true
Matt Crooks and Sam Taylor
Where: Ceremony at St Stephen’s Church followed by reception at The Abode Hotel, Canterbury
Photography: David Mullaney
We chose The Abode for our wedding reception because it was everything we wanted – a character-filled room complete with stunning giant chandelier, experienced staff to guide us through the planning process, and a fantastic package which included all the beautiful bespoke stationery. We had great help from our families, as well as my friend James’s mum who made our cake, consisting of three tiers – chocolate, vanilla and fruit.
I tried on more than 50 dresses while searching for my dream gown, finally finding it at the Crystal Fairy Company in Birchington-on-Sea. On the day I felt like a princess in my dress, ‘Eresma’ by San Patrick. I wore a chapel veil, a pearl and crystal tiara and ivory heels and carried a posy of pink roses and gypsophila. My four bridesmaids looked gorgeous in pale blue, full-length dresses.
The morning of the wedding was quite stressful. I woke up to pouring rain, meaning we couldn’t take the pre-ceremony shots I had planned on a balcony overlooking Canterbury Cathedral. We also temporarily lost a bridesmaid’s bouquet. However, as soon as we began travelling to the church the sun came out and the stresses were forgotten.
Arriving at the church I felt very emotional. I couldn’t believe that after all the planning our day was finally here. Walking down the aisle with my dad towards Matt, surrounded by all our family and friends was a very special moment I’ll treasure forever.
After the ceremony we had pictures taken both outside the church and in the Franciscan Gardens in town. We then drove down Canterbury High Street in a Rolls-Royce, arriving outside the hotel to find our guests waiting. It was a wonderful moment.
The theme for the reception was vintage tea party. I handmade 30 metres of bunting, made candles by putting tealights into jam jars covered with lace and used a birdcage as a post box for gifts. For favours, we made a donation to the MS Society, a charity close to my family’s heart, giving everybody a charity pin badge, plus a box of sweets. With table decorations of tall vases of roses, the room looked fantastic.
The evening do started with our first dance, followed by my sister and bridesmaid, Sophie, who sang a beautiful rendition of Make You Feel My Love, by Adele, which had everybody in tears.
We hired a photo booth for the reception in which guests could pose for funny pictures, sticking them in our guest book. Although it was a bit of a splurge, it was definitely worth it as everybody loved it.
WHO DID WHAT
Photographer: David Mullaney, 07955 099448, www.davidmullaney.co.uk
Venue: Abode Hotel, Canterbury, 01227 766266, www.abodehotels.co.uk/canterbury
Dress & accessories: The Crystal Fairy Company, Birchington-on-Sea, 01843 844880, www.thecrystalfairycompany.co.uk
Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Bury Bridal Rooms, Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, 01284 221123, www.burybridalrooms.co.uk
Groom’s outfit: Moss, Canterbury, 01227 450201, www.moss.co.uk
Make-up: Lucy Jayne Make-Up, 07969 619934, www.lucyjaynemakeup.co.uk
Hair: Antonious, Canterbury, 01227 456956, www.ahbgroup.co.uk
Stationery: Inkipinki, www.inkipinkicards.co.uk
Flowers: Wild Daisy, Herne Bay, 01227 740067, www.wilddaisyflorist.co.uk
Transport: Aarion Cars, Rochester, 01634 848540, www.aarionweddingcars.co.uk
Entertainment: DJ from Audio Fusion, 07723 398427, www.audio-fusion.co.uk; Photobooth, Party Hire, Essex, 0844 357 8926, www.party-photobooth-hire.co.uk