Wedding of the Week: Louise Swaries and Philip Pristernik
17 Dec 2018
A personal reflection of the happy couple, Louise Swaries and Philip Pristernik's wedding weekend was all about them
How did you meet?
We were introduced through friends on a night out in our local town. It still took us two years to eventually get together though.
Tell us about the proposal.
We had the most amazing day in London on New Year's Eve 2015. Phil had arranged everything perfectly. The day started with a glass of champagne up the Shard and we then watched The Lion King. The proposal took place in front of the Christmas tree at Somerset House (with more champagne) and we then celebrated with a stunning meal at Clos Maggiore. We then stayed overnight at St Ermin’s hotel in a beautiful suite (with more champagne)... Phil did tell me not to get too used to days like that.
What was the theme for the day, and did you have a colour scheme?
There wasn’t a theme or colour scheme as such, we just wanted to make the day very personal to us and the things we love to do.
What venue did you choose and why did you choose it?
We absolutely loved Fowey Hall in Cornwall from the minute we walked through the door. The service was excellent and we just loved the relaxed but luxurious atmosphere. Plus the fact we could have the venue exclusively for the full weekend and host a proper party – they supported every quirky request we threw their way.
When did you know when you’d found ‘the’ dress?
I initially found my dress online and loved it. I went shopping with my mum and we visited one shop where they made me try on EVERY style of dress. I tried on about seven dresses but I still went for the original dress; we just loved it straight away as it was so ‘me’. It was a Maggie Sottero dress with stunning beaded detail to the top and back and a simple floaty skirt.
What did the bridesmaids wear?
Full-length navy dresses from Monsoon.
Where did you find your suits?
Philip bought and wore a blue Hugo Boss suit. The best man and ushers all wore navy blue Ted Baker suits hired from Moss Bros.
Tell us about your floral arrangements.
Our flowers were even more beautiful than we could have imagined. They were done by a friend, Helen Brock from Braunton in Devon.
Often the aspect that makes a wedding original to the couple is the detail – tell us about the details of the day.
We wanted the day to be a big party from start to finish and represent all the things we enjoy doing that make us 'us'. Obviously all song choices for the ceremony and first dance were all personalised to us. After the ceremony, the guests all went out onto the lawn for aperitifs, champagne and kite flying. We decorated the whole venue with things we love: paddle boards, waterskis, bikes, our campervan. The bar was multi-themed with saddle and bike stools, a hammer and nail game and a hint of après with snowboards and skis. Our photo booth allowed guests to step into winter with skiing props and snow.
How did you feel as you walked down the aisle?
Incredibly nervous and hot. My legs were shaking when I eventually got to Phil.
What was your most memorable moment?
All of it.
What was the most challenging aspect of planning this wedding?
Getting all our props we had built to Fowey. The campervan didn’t have a spare inch of space left as we set off from Staffordshire.
What was the most important investment for you?
The venue and the honeymoon. The venue really needed to represent us and the gorgeous surroundings and formal yet relaxed feel that Fowey Hall offered was perfect. The staff made guests and ourselves feel thoroughly looked after and were such a pleasure, we couldn’t have wished for anywhere better.
We had a mini-moon in Padstow immediately afterwards, but our honeymoon was a month long trip to New Zealand - a true trip of a lifetime. We wanted to have a real adventure trip before starting a family.
What song did you choose for your first dance, and why?
Everlong by the Foo Fighters – we just love it.
Did you have any evening entertainment?
Yes, a really quirky band called Plastic Pantomime. They are so much fun, we actually found them after reading about a wedding in South West Bride magazine. We still keep in touch with them now.
Tell us about your wedding cake.
It was made by a local lady and made the long journey from Staffordshire to Cornwall. It consisted of three VW campervans, each a different style and a different flavour.
If you could go back and change anything, what would it be?
Absolutely nothing at all, we loved every moment.
Did anything go wrong on the day?
Yes… my hairdresser (and good friend/wedding guest) was poorly and couldn’t do my hair. Luckily, I had another friend/guest doing the bridesmaids' hair and she stepped in last minute and did all of us – thank you Kate Earl.
Do you have any advice for couples in the planning stages?
Don’t get stressed – just enjoy the process.
Steal their style:
Photography: Ross Talling, www.rosstalling.co.uk
Band: Plastic Pantomime, www.plasticpantomime.com
Venue and catering: Fowey Hall, www.foweyhallhotel.co.uk
Cake: Rebecca’s Cake Company in Stoke-on-Trent, www.rebeccascakecompany.co.uk
Flowers: Helen Brock
Make-up: Ella Butler, www.makeupbyella.com
For more Cornwall wedding inspiration, pick up the latest edition of South West Bride magazine.