Wedding of the Week: Ruby Clay and Stephen Shaw

15 Jan 2018

From the groom's arrival alongside The Stig to a Krispy Kreme doughnut tower and Ibiza-inspired entertainment, this Cheshire wedding offered memorable moments galore

How did you meet? 

We met on the 28th November 2009 in a Manchester nightclub. We were both out with friends when Stephen came over for a chat and bought me a drink. We swapped numbers and went on our first date a week later and have been inseparable since.

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Tell us about the proposal.

We were on holiday with my mum, dad, brother and his girlfriend in Las Vegas. We had been for a lovely meal and then once back at our room he got down on one knee and popped the question. We were staying in the beautiful Wynn Encore and our room was overlooking the Vegas strip so it was really special. I was so glad that it wasn't a public proposal, as it felt like such a private moment and was very emotional. The ring was perfect and I ran to my mum and dad's room to show it off. They had been waiting for me as Stephen had asked my father for my hand that evening. The following day we had a champagne breakfast and then spent the day exploring LA, from Santa Monica Pier to the famous Hollywood Sign. It was amazing. 

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What was the theme for the day, and did you have a colour scheme?

There was no strict colour scheme or theme. The venue is so luxurious and elegant; I wanted to continue with this but add my touch. I went for a neutral colour palette with hints of blush. I then added bits of sparkle and rose gold. I wanted the day to be glam with lots of fresh flowers and personal touches.

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What venue did you choose and why did you choose it?

We chose Delamere Manor in Cuddington, Cheshire, because it isn't your typical 'stately home'. It has a modern, luxurious feel and this is something we loved. The idea of having the ceremony outdoors on the beautiful terrace overlooking the amazing grounds really sold it to us. We only looked at one more venue but knew we had found the one when we visited Delamere. It was also really important to me that I could help set up  and with the six stunning bedrooms, it gave us the perfect opportunity for myself, parents and bridesmaids to set up the day before and then spend the night at the manor. By the end of the weekend it felt like our own house.

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When did you know when you’d found ‘the’ dress?

I tried on around 15-20 dresses. Beforehand, I was totally open to any style, colour and shape. After my first trip I hadn't found the one but decided on a fishtail style, satin, minimal detail and white. However when me and my entourage of eight visited 7th Heaven Bridal in Congleton, my mum picked out a dress called Jade by Ronald Joyce. It was the total opposite to what I was afterl a lace and tulle ball gown style in blush. She persuaded me to try it on and I guess it's correct when they say mums know best... it was the one. I paired it with some strappy blush Carvela heels covered in crystals, a single tier floor-length veil and an Ellie K headpiece. Tragically,  Stephen's mother passed away unexpectedly a month before the wedding. She came to one of my fittings and helped me choose my veil, so it made us both so happy to know that she saw me in my dress and made it even more special when Stephen finally saw me.

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What did the bridesmaids wear?

These were one of my favourite wedding picks. I had five bridemaids: my two sisters and three childhood best friends. The dresses were off ASOS and were by Jarlo and cost £120 each. My bridemaids provided their own shoes and I bought them jewellery and a personalised clutch bag with their names on. I also had four flower girls and three page boys.

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Where did you find your suits?

With the style of the wedding, it had to be tuxedos for the men. Stephen had five ushers and his best man. We rented the tuxes from a fantastic shop called Groom in Warrington. Stephen wanted to stand out from the others so opted for a low cut velvet waistcoat and bowtie as apposed to the more traditional look which the rest of the men had. He looked amazing.

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Tell us about your floral arrangements.

Flowers were very important to me so I liased alot with my florist, Springbank, to get exactly what I wanted. I wanted a large hand-tied bouquet made up of nude, blush and ivory flowers including peonies and roses. For my bridesmaids, I opted for a pale pink rose bouquet with bits of gypsophila; they also had little gyps in their hair which looked lovely. The men wore large rose corsages. When it came to dressing the room I went for large floral arrangements for my table centres but with different heights. Candles and rose petals covered the tables. I had a round top table in the centre of the room and above this was a suspended floral 5ft hoop. This was covered in eucalyptus and foliage and studded with blush and cream flowers. Dangling from this were tea light holders and rose gold fairy lights. The floral hoop stayed all day and looked amazing over our twinkly dancefloor in the evening. Another beautiful creation from Springbank was my table plan, which was a huge floor to ceiling mirror with full flower edging. I saw this on a picture on Pinterest and asked if they could replicate it, they did a fantastic job.

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Often the aspect that makes a wedding original to the couple is the detail – tell us about the details of the day.

  • We asked friends and collegues to save any glass bottles (sauces, jam jars etc) and then sprayed them ourselves with nude, blush, glitter and metallic shades. In total we had more than 100 and these were used all around the manor and were filled with candles or fresh flowers. It was such a cheap way to add lots of decoration and looked really effective.
  • Using a piece of ribbon, I tied my late grandma's and Stephens mother's rings to my wedding bouquet. I also had a picture of my late grandad on the fireplace in the manor along with pictures of our parents on their wedding days.
  • Stephen arrived in a Nissan GTR with the Stig driving and his best man and usher as passengers. It was a fantastic service; he got to choose a full playlist in advance and the Stig didn't talk for the full 45-minute journey, instead the car spoke.

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  • Our favours were mini rose gold champagne for the ladies with matching straw and ribbon. For the gents, we had a miniature whiskey, vodka, gin etc and mini mixer can. These were in a white box with a rose gold ribbon.
  • We also had individual menus on each place setting with the guest's name on the top and a nice message to thank them for coming.
  • For food, we had a goats cheese salad for women and chicken caesar salad for men to start. We then had a choice of roast beef dinner or seabass with stilton sauce. For dessert we had a fruit trio for ladies and a chocolate/toffee trio for gents. The idea being that couples could swap and share which is exactly what happened.

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  • Our evening food was an American street food tray service with mac'n'cheese, southern fried chicken and mini sliders.
  • We weren't keen on having a photobooth so instead supplied a Polaroid camera and props. We got some great signs off eBay and put this near our guestbook.

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  • In the kitchen area where guests mingled we had childhood photos along with photo montages and books of our hen and stag parties. These were a great talking point among guests.
  • We had four of the huge balloons which we kept moving to various locations around the venue. They were a great way to add decoration.
  • Pamper boxes for each toilet - my mum made these and they literally had everything in. Always a winner.
  • My mum also arranged a selection of pashminas and wraps for guests to wear if chilly during my outdoor ceremony. Luckily the weather was great.

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  • Each child got a personalised drink jar which the venue kept topped up with juice all day. I also did a box for each child which included a disposable camera and "I Spy" card. This kept them entertained.
  • Pimp Your Prosecco cart for the reception drinks. Complete with mini mix it yourself cocktail menu.
  • My bridesmaid made the most beautiful confetti in a clear bag with glitter ribbon and "Let it rain confetti" on the front.
  • Stephen had bought me a huge magnum of the Bottega rose gold champagne for Christmas. We put this in a huge crystal ice bucket borrowed from my mum and used this as our top table centrepiece. Simple, but looked amazing.

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  • And,  of course, we had a bucket full of flip-flops for the ladies at the end of the evening. They were the biggest hit.
  • We also organised a shuttle bus service which dropped all guests off at their hotels at the end of the evening.

How did you feel as you walked down the aisle?

It is such a strange feeling with a mixture of nerves and excitement. I think I may have been walking a little fast and my dad had to tell me to slow down. Everyone is looking at you but all I could see was Stephen. I chose to walk down the aisle to Beauty and the Beast - Tale as Old as Time, played on piano by the fantastic Liz Hendry. I felt like the ultimate princess.

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What was your most memorable moment?

Seeing Stephen's face when he saw me at the top of the aisle. The speeches were emotional, but also during the wedding breakfast I looked around the room and at everyone who was there; my closest family and friends enjoying themselves - drinks flowing, laughing, smiling and then I looked at my new husband. It was the most amazing feeling I have ever had. All the hard work was worth it.

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What was the most challenging aspect of planning this wedding?

I think I thought too much about pleasing everybody. I worried about seating plans, timings, where people would stay in the evening etc.

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What was the most important investment for you? 

Venue, flowers and entertainment.

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What song did you choose for your first dance, and why?

We had This is The One by The Stone Roses. We both love the band and have seen them live a few times, the song is just special to us. Stephen is also a huge Man United fan and as I have two brothers who are also reds, we have been going for years (this is the song the team walk out to at Old Trafford).

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Did you have any evening entertainment?

Myself and Stephen share a huge passion for Ibiza, so the evening entertainment meant alot to us. It was essential we created an Ibiza club atmosphere, so at around 9.30pm we handed out persolnalised wristbands to each guest and told them we were going to Ibiza. This caused great excitement and with that we walked everyone through to Delamere's secrect nightclub where we had the amazing TomdaLips on Saxophone, Kami C on percussion and DJ Will Maden, all from Six15 events. Guests of all ages were up on there feet all night. We also had signature his and hers cockatils, an Ibiza selfie wall covered in club posters and props (fans, visors etc.) The party went on all night and finished off the best day of our lives.

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Tell us about your wedding cake.

We were going to go for a traditional cake but decided against it last minute and went for a Krispy Kreme doughnut tower and also had a beautiful white chocolate and raspberry filled cake to cut.

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If you could go back and change anything, what would it be?

There isn't a thing we would change, it was the best day of our lives.

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Did anything go wrong on the day?

I had a slight issue with my make-up artist. Unbelievably she forgot her make-up brushes. She managed to get another girl to come with hers and help out. I managed to stay calm and luckily it didn't put us too far behind.

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Was there anything you wish you’d known before?

Everybody says that the day goes too quick and it really does. I wish I would have spent more time taking everything in.

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Where did you go on honeymoon?

We left Delamere and travelled straight to the airport. We flew to Athens and stayed for the night then travelled by ferry to the beautiful island of Sifnos. Known for its amazing food, the island does not have an airport meaning it is quieter than the other Greek islands. We hired a quad and explored the full island. After five days we got the ferry to Santorini where we enjoyed a two-night stay in a beautiful honeymoon suite with views of the caldera from our private hot tub.

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Do you have any advice for couples in the planning stages?

Don't rush into booking things. I did this with a couple of decorative items/suppliers and then realised down the line that actually we didn't need them and lost the deposits. It's so overwhelming when the planning starts but I think if you stick to a clear idea of what you need and try not to go off the rails.

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Steal their style:

Photography: Will Fisher Photo, http://www.wfphoto.co.uk/
Venue: Delamere Manor Events, http://delameremanor.co.uk/
Catering: Cheeky Chilli Caterers, http://www.cheekychillievents.co.uk/
Entertainment: Six15 Events, http://www.six15events.co.uk/
Event production: Luminate, https://www.luminate-events.co.uk/
Floristry: Springbank, http://www.springbankflowers.co.uk/
Balloons: Prop me Pretty, https://www.facebook.com/Prop-Me-Pretty-1567561146828995/
Bridal gown: 7th Heaven Bridal, http://www.7thheavenbridal.co.uk/
Groomswear: Groom, http://www.groomhire.co.uk/warrington/
Rings: Stefans Jewellers, http://www.stefansjewellers.co.uk/
Meringues: Loulou Meringues, https://www.loulousmeringues.com/
Doughnut tower: Krispy Kreme, https://www.krispykreme.co.uk/occasions
Transport: Stig A Like, http://www.beavermusic.com/www.stig-a-like.com/
Personalised clutch bag: We are the Daughters, https://www.instagram.com/wearethedaughters/
Pianist: Liz Hendry Pianist, http://lizhendry.co.uk/
Hair: Envy Hairdressing, www.envyhairdressing.co.uk
Crockery: Whitehouse Event Crockery, www.eventcrockeryhire.co.uk

For more real wedding inspiration, pick up the latest edition of Bride magazine.

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