Wedding of the Week: Amee Holland and Paul Tomkins

10 Dec 2018

Marrying on their eldest dog's birthday, Amee Holland and Paul Tomkins' white wedding paid tribute to all of their beloved pets

How did you meet?

Through a mutual friend.

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Tell us about the proposal. 

Paul proposed to me on the morning of my birthday. He gave me a birthday card which said 'fiancé' on the front and he had drawn a question mark on the end of it. He then got on his knee and pulled a ring box from his pocket. In that ring box was his mum’s engagement ring; it’s a very special ring as Paul’s mum has passed away.

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

We had a slight Harry Potter theme and the colour was Tiffany blue.

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Tell us about your venue.

The church was chosen as Paul's mum and dad are laid to rest in the churchyard, so it felt like they would be joining us on the day. We viewed a few venues, but the Holiday Inn East at Newport Pagnell was the one we felt most comfortable in and could see being our venue. 

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How did you know you'd found 'the dress'?

I tried about 10 dresses on before I found my dress. I tried others after finding my dress, but I went back to it as I couldn't forget it. As soon as I put it on I was grinning and just felt amazing. That’s how I knew it was my dress. It was from About A Bride's plus-size wedding dress collection in Fenny Stratford, Milton Keynes.

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What did your bridesmaids wear?

The bridesmaids had Tiffany blue long tulle dresses with straps and a ribbon around their waists. I also asked them to wear sparkly silver shoes. Everyone loved their dresses and looked so beautiful.

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Where did you find your suits?

Paul's suit was from Moss Bros. 

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Tell us about your floral arrangements. 

The flowers were made by Paul’s sister who is a florist by hobby. They were bouquets of teal roses with some extra bits. I also got charms depicting the Harry Potter & The Deathly Hallows symbol and they were scattered throughout the bouquets.

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Tell us about the details of the day. 

  • We had a magic selfie mirror which everyone loved.
  • We also had a reggae singer called Shaun.e.b; he was brilliant and had everyone up and dancing.
  • I also made sweet bags full of sweets from the Harry Potter sweet shop (chocolate frogs, rainbow wands, jelly frogs, Bertie Botts jelly beans and jelly snakes).
  • We also had a balloon burst over us for the first dance.
  • The table plan was of our dogs and cats as the tables were named after them and we also had their pictures on the tables.
  • Finally, we served our dogs a ‘doggy wedding breakfast’ of Nature's Menu on the day as they all attended the wedding. We included them all in the official photographs in white ‘I do’ bandanas and matching leads.

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How did you feel as you walked down the aisle?

When I walked down the aisle I couldn’t stop smiling, I was so happy to be there. We have been through a lot and I can honestly say it was the happiest day of my life. Paul teared up when I got to him, it just showed how much the day meant to us.

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How did you make the ceremony personal to you?

The vicar mentioned Paul’s parents in his readings. We had our own music playing with songs that mean something to us:

  • Ed Sheeran - Perfect (I walked into the church to this)
  • Snow Patrol - Chasing Cars
  • James Arthur - Let Me Love The Lonely
  • Olly Murs - Years and Years
  • Clean Bandit - Symphony (we walked out of the church to this)
  • Sia - Helium

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What was your most memorable moment?

Amee: My most memorable moment was when my dogs turned up. I was on such a high from a beautiful day so to have them there just completed it for me. There is a picture of when I see them; Paul is holding my dress out of the snow and you can see how happy I am for them to turn up. The dogs mean so much to us, which is why we wanted to incorporate them into the wedding. We had previously had problems with one of our dogs having severe food allergies, however after switching her to a natural diet with Nature's Menu these were all resolved. We wouldn’t have been able to have her there at our big day without this diet change to Nature's Menu. 

Paul: When Amee walked down the aisle.

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What was the most challenging aspect of planning this wedding? 

Although the day was about us, I wanted our guests to enjoy it. I had a few stresses over menu choices and seating plans, but it all worked out well.

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What was the most important investment for you?

Our most important investment was the church, as we wanted to be married in the place where Paul's mum and dad could 'join' us.

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What song did you choose for your first dance?

We chose Say You Won’t Let Go by James Arthur as our first dance song; we both love it and the lyrics have a lot of meaning behind them that we can relate to.

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Tell us about your wedding cake.

The wedding cake was made by a good friend of mine who owns the company, Keyne on cake in Milton Keynes. When looking at cakes I knew I didn’t want the typical white cake with flower decor. I wanted something which was for us, so I chose a 'stag and doe’ cake; it was beautiful. We also had models of us and the dogs made from icing. Paul even had little glasses on his model. We had white chocolate and champagne filling with some vanilla slab cake for the children.

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Did anything go wrong on the day? 

The only thing that went wrong on the day is that the videographer didn’t turn up, even though we had paid in full and had received a contract but I didn’t let it ruin the day. In the days before the wedding it snowed heavily, so the company supplying the cars couldn’t use the ones we had booked but they offered us two white Range Rovers to get us through the snow instead. 

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Where did you go on honeymoon?

We took the dogs to the Isle of Wight for a week after the wedding for a mini-moon. We stocked our bags with tonnes of Nature's Menu food for the dogs and had the best time all together as a family. However, we went on a bigger honeymoon to Floriday six months later. A lot of our guests gifted us money and we bought our Disney and Universal Park tickets with it. We also received dollars too, which I thought was so thoughtful. 

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What advice would you give to a couple in the wedding planning stages?

My advice would be to make sure you spend every moment you can with your husband/wife on the day. You will never get that day again and it’s all about the bride and groom.

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Steal their style:

Photography: Roxanne Bergman, www.roxpixphotography.com
Venue: Holiday Inn East, Newport Pagnell 
Make-up artist: Sarah Evans, www.sarahevansmakeup.co.uk
Entertainment: Shaun.e.b, solo male reggae artist, www.shauneb.co.uk
Cake: Katrina Squires, www.facebook.com/Keyneoncake
Dress: About A Bride, www.aboutabrideplussize.co.uk
Venue dressing: Fantasy Balloons and Venue Dressers, www.fantasyballoons.co.uk
Photo booth: Booth Factor, www.boothfactor.co.uk
Dog’s food: Nature's Menu, www.naturesmenu.co.uk
Dog pamper: Divine Dog Groomers
Dog bandanas: Baxters - https://www.baxtersboutique.co.uk/

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