This Devon wedding offered talking points galore - from the groom's helicopter arrival to the four-year-old ring bearing security guard
How did you meet?
We met over 20 years ago at our local swimming club, and apparently lived next door to each other when we were babies. We kept in contact over the years and finally got together a couple of years ago.
Tell us about the proposal.
We went to New York for my 30th birthday. Dave was acting a bit weird, so I knew something was up; he finally proposed to me on our last day there, in a snowy Central Park; he got down on one knee near the fountain. A magical moment.
What was the theme for the day, and did you have a colour scheme?
We tried to stay in-keeping with the beautiful grounds, so had a rustic theme with the table names being countries we had visited. The colours were coffees and caramels with a hint of dusky pink. We also had a Maltese flag and English flag flying from the castle to represent Dave’s Maltese heritage.
When did you know when you’d found ‘the’ dress?
I had tried a few on locally with my mum, but went to Northampton to see my matron of honour and give her the experience of wedding dress shopping. Seeing her teary speechless face when I tried the dress on made me realise it was ‘the one'. I felt great in it and didn’t want to change a thing. I got some cool shoes from Irregular Choice to complement the dress.
Where did you find your suits?
We went to Angel Face in Newton Abbot and hired Peter Posh suits. They were so friendly and helpful, the prices were great and they gave the guys beer during fitting which went down a treat. We also bought our bridesmaid dresses here and they amended my wedding dress too.
Our four-year-old ring bearer was actually ‘ring security’ and dressed up like a security guard in a black suit and tie. I made him his own little ‘authorised agent’ badge and he had a safe that had the rings in, topped off with an ear piece and sunglasses.
Tell us about your floral arrangements.
To save money we made jars with hessian, string and lace. We got some custom wooden hearts with names on, and stickers that said ‘let the love grow’, with our names and dates. We had dusky pink and creams, with the main flower being roses. We wanted it to look like we had walked through a field picking wild flowers.
I had a photo frame charm of my nan and grandad on their wedding day on my bouquet, as we lost my grandad earlier in the year and my nan 17 years ago.
Often the aspect that makes a wedding original to the couple is the detail – tell us about the details of the day.
The groom arrived in a helicopter, a jazz band played as I walked down the aisle and during drinks on the lawn, a jester entertained the adults as well as the children. A photobooth was set up in the evening and fireworks topped the day off perfectly.
As for stationery, we made everything from invites to order of the day cards, bunting, place names were wine charms using letter beads, table names were large tags placed around a wine bottle that also had flowers in, favours were personalised M&Ms. The highlights of the day included the wedding postbox we used, where we got all of our guests' wedding pictures from their wedding day to decorate the post box. We also got little box frames and put guests' wedding photos in them, placing them in their room as a gift.
How did you feel as you walked down the aisle?
I remember trying not to burst into tears, as all the planning had led to the one moment that meant the most. I felt overwhelmed and extremely appreciative of all our family and friends being there for us to celebrate our marriage.
What was your most memorable moment?
Stacey: I knew Dave was about to arrive, and everyone except my matron of honour had gone outside to greet him. I heard the helicopter overhead and that’s when it hit me that we were about to get married. It was a special moment for us to share. My dad bursting into tears when he saw me in my dress was also unforgettable.
Dave: Arriving by helicopter and greeted by all our family and friends, and Stacey walking down the aisle towards me looking stunning, to become my wife.
What was the most challenging aspect of planning this wedding?
Deciding who we should give rooms to at the Castle, as they were limited. Also knowing who was going to attend, as family and friends were travelling from all over the country and Dave’s family were travelling from Malta.
What was the most important investment for you?
The venue. We had a package deal which included the venue, food, drinks, flowers, B&B for guests, jazz band, DJ, fireworks, and wedding coordinator. This took away a lot of the stress. It was also perfect as we wanted a civil ceremony and a blessing, and as there is a sixth century chapel on-site we had the ceremony in the castle followed by a blessing in the chapel. We did not leave the location all weekend.
What song did you choose for your first dance, and why?
Bruce Springsteen – If I should Fall Behind. Great lyrics, and we both grew up listening to Bruce because our parents like him.
Tell us about your wedding cake.
We had a dairy cheesecake from Ticklemore Cheese in Totnes. We went and tasted the cheese and guided as to sizes and quantities. The bonus was you only paid for the quantity of cheese so it was a really cheap and unique option. We served the cheese alongside the hog roast in the evening, with fruit, chutneys and biscuits which everyone loved.
If you could go back and change anything, what would it be?
We wish we had met the DJ beforehand. We gave him a playlist, but due to technical fault and no back up, this didn’t get played.
Was there anything you wish you’d known before?
How organised you have to be in relation to wedding dress shopping, I didn’t realise some dresses can take up to a year to be made, shipped and amended.
Where did you go on honeymoon?
Meeru Resort in the Maldives. We upgraded to a water villa with an outdoor hot tub. It was the most relaxing time with sharks and stingrays swimming around our villa. It was paradise.
Do you have any advice for couples in the planning stages?
Think of a theme and colour and stick with it. If you rush out too early to buy things, later on you may have difficulty in putting it all together.
Steal their style:
Venue: Bickleigh Castle, https://bickleighcastle.com/
Elfic the Jester: Rupert Elford, 01803 868053
Jazz band: Charlie Hearnshaw, www.charliesax.co.uk
Catering: Scot Farr, www.scoffcatering.co.uk/
Helicopter: Andrew, firstname.lastname@example.org
Photography: Claude Mattsson, email@example.com
Bridal dress: Serendipity Brides, Northampton, http://serendipitybrides.co.uk/
Groomsmen suits and bridesmaids' dresses: Angel Face, Newton Abbot www.angelfacebride.uk/
Shoes: Irregular Choice, www.irregularchoice.com/
Cake: Ticklemore Cheeses, www.ticklemorecheese.co.uk/Ticklemore_Cheese/Home.html
Make-up: Polished, Torquay www.facebook.com/PolishedAllOver/
Chair covers: Sitting Pretty, www.sittingprettysouthwest.co.uk/
Videography: Lewis Newbould, firstname.lastname@example.org
See more Devon weddings in the latest edition of South West Bride magazine.