Nautical navy and a palette of pink: the wedding of Gemma Edwards and Matt Hunt
09 Jun 2016
Showcasing a very personal theme, the wedding of Gemma Edwards and Matt Hunt at Rowton Hall Hotel in Chester was a perfect day
Tell us about the preparation: did you have a specific venue or dress in mind from an early stage? Was there any help from family members with particular talents?
When Matt and I first got engaged, the first thing I did was rush out and buy as many magazines about weddings I could find. With my mother having an amazing talent for flower arranging, I had grown up around the busy world of wedding preparations. Father of the Bride has always been one of my favourite films and with being very close to my mum, we have always secretly been planning and hoping that one day it would be my turn. I knew soon after meeting Matt that he was the one for me and after one particularly long patrol at sea (he is in the Royal Navy), he returned home and popped the question on Christmas morning - my favourite time of year!
I got very hung up on what our theme should be, all the magazines I picked up were very ‘pro’ theme and while I do love everything matching and tying in together, I just couldn’t find anything that fitted us. Just when I was starting to feel that the excitement of wedding planning was draining and I was losing enthusiasm, my mum had an amazing idea, our theme should be… US! It was so simple yet I hadn’t thought of it; I could combine a nautical twist with anchors, roses and sparkles and it would be a mixture of us both.
We also incorporated the rustic theme with our centrepieces being made from wood, with my dad turning them and my mum doing the flowers. The rusticness continued with the place names which Matt lovingly made (although it took him about 18 hours) and the amazing invitations designed by Lucy from Rosie and Red really hit the mark. The end theme was exactly what I had wanted, my dream had come true.
We did a lot of looking around at many different venues, but it was Rowton that had the most to offer us. The beautiful ballroom and conservatory set my heart racing with ideas about decoration and it really did feel like our home for the day. It was just amazing, the staff couldn’t do enough for us. It was commented on by many guests just how superb the venue had been.
Tell us about the day: how you felt on the morning; walking down the aisle and the ceremony:
On the morning of the wedding, I awoke to the sun streaming in through the curtains of the four poster bed; it reflected off my the jewels and gems on my dress and danced on the ceiling. It was a sunny day, the relief washed over me.
The morning went very fast. I could see guests arriving from my bedroom window. Hair and make-up and Amanda (our photographer) arrived, my niece Molly was in charge of entertainment and had a long playlist set up. The time arrived for me to get my dress on and for me this was the beginning of it all; I had waited a lifetime to be able to wear a dress like this.
Everyone said you’ll know the dress when you try it on, but after several sessions in numerous bridal boutiques I saw nothing memorable. There was always something I didn’t quite like about the dresses I was trying on, and realisation was sinking in that I was going to have to ‘make do’. I then visited Bespoke Brides in Mollington and I spotted my dress hanging up straight away. I knew straight away that it would be my last and forever dress. It was a beautiful Ronald Joyce.
I unveiled my look to my bridesmaids with whom I had kept in the dark about my dress. I wanted it to be a surprise for them, as well as my guests. The reaction made everyone well up; there were tears from everyone including me. Amanda captured some lovely images of the moment and I will now remember it forever.
The ceremony went without a hitch. My mum walked down the aisle with my handsome 20-month son who was our page boy and our beautiful flower girl (and soon-to-be step-daughter) scattered flowers whilst walking down the aisle alongside my soon-to-be mother-in-law. I know it was against tradition, but I wanted it to be a full family affair and for everyone to feel involved.
The registrar added a much loved hint of humour to proceedings, which was an emotional time. When Matt first looked at me coming down the aisle the tears in his eyes where there for all to see and I felt so proud of him standing there looking so smart in his uniform. I’m so proud of the job he does and although being apart is difficult, I knew that he was the man I wanted to spend the rest of my life with.
The Jazz band played in the sunshine, entertaining guests as they enjoyed canopies and bubbly. The games table and wedding favour sweet table I had made were both proving firm favourites with guests enjoying a game of boules whilst munching on a variety of sweets.
The day flew and before I knew it it was wedding breakfast time and moving quickly on to the evening reception. The speeches were incredible with my dad’s and Matt's speeches having just the right amount of humour mixed with love and emotion, leaving not a not dry eye in the house and me feeling immensely proud of them both. The day was rounded off with a surprise firework display arranged by my husband for me. It was the perfect end to my perfect day.
Get the look:
Photography: Dantuma Photography
Venue: Rowton Hall Hotel
Dress: Bespoke Brides Ltd Chester
Maid of Honour dress: Monsoon
Bridemaids' dresses: Bespoke Brides Ltd Chester
Flower Girls' dresses: Wedding World, Shrewsbury
Mother of the Bride dress: Cameo Brides
Hair: Natasha Hair
Make-up: Spa at Rowton Hall
Flowers: Bride's mother, Christine Edwards
Stationery: Rosie and Red
Entertainment The Original Panama Jazz Band
Cake: Arty Cakes
Groomsman hire: Moss Bross Cheshire Oaks
See more Cheshire weddings in the latest edition of Bride: Cheshire & Lancashire; click here for details on how to order your copy or read the digital edition online.