Wedding of the Week: Charlotte Harris and Phillip-Lloyd Fawcett

09 Jan 2017

Penshurst Place in Kent offered a stunning setting for Charlotte and Phillip's big day, which featured a regal theme and reminders of the big proposal

How did you meet?

Plenty of Fish website; we even emailed the creator of the website to invite him to the wedding, but he didn’t reply. Our first date was at Madisons, One New Change in 2014.

Tell us about the proposal.

Phill moved out to Dubai in March to begin a new job role and I came out to visit during May. It was the most perfect week and then towards the end of the holiday, Phill told me to wear my best outfit and meet him at the Burj Khalifa (world’s tallest building); we had a divine four-course meal and right at the end Phill ordered a bottle of champagne, and said: "I have something to ask you Charlotte… I have brought you to the tallest building in the world, not just because of my admiration for buildings, but I see it as a representation of us as a truly stand-out couple. I love you and will always love you and I am ready to now ask you (gets down on one knee) will you marry me and be my wife?". Immediately tears followed so Phill wasn’t entirely sure of the answer until it was confirmed and made clear at his request after a couple of minutes. At that time it was truly the best evening of our lives... until the wedding! We celebrated the following day by going swimming with dolphins at Atlantis, the Palm Hotel.

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

We went for a regal theme with navy blue, silver and off-white as the colour scheme

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

I went to Isabella Grace, in Tunbridge Wells, which already had very special memories, as I had gone there with my best friend and bridesmaid, Sarah, when she was planning her wedding. I gave all the requirements to the bridal shop assistant of what I thought I wanted - a fitted fishtail gown. She noted it all down and then asked me if I minded if she gave me a wildcard choice which she thought would suit me. I tried the wildcard on first and it was absolutely stunning. When she pulled back the curtain, both my mum and Sarah were in floods of tears, as well as the shop assistant. The dress made me feel like a true princess and I absolutley adored it, as well as my mum and Sarah’s reactions confirming it was ‘the one’. No other dress came close to how it made me feel.

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Where did you find your suits?

We went to Moss Bros in London just out of interest, it was the first suit Phill tried on and it got immediate mother-in-law approval, so we knew it was perfect. The men had grey suits with navy pocket squares and cravates; the groomsmen had a grey waistcoat and Phill had a jazzy blue waistcoat to stand out.

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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.

Our favours were the mastermind of the groom. Phill found a company who could create an ice sculpture in the shape of the Burj Khalifa, which was a vodka luge. Obviously it is a very special place for us. He then designed a logo of the Burj Khalifa and our names on shot glasses, so the guests could have a shot at the wedding and keep the glasses after. Our friends often send us pictures when they use their shot glasses, which we love. We also wanted the links between Dubai and London to be clear, hence why the table names were special places that have had some form of impact on our relationship. As Phill is a civil engineer, he has a huge passion for buildings, so we wanted that to be evident throughout the day.

How did you feel as you walked down the aisle?

I was incredibly emotional; it meant so much to me that so many of our wonderful friends and family made the effort of coming to be with us on the day, especially those that had travelled all the way from Dubai. I was overwhelmed with it. I was also so happy to marry the most perfect man.

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What was your most memorable moment?

Charlotte: for me, it was saying the vows and realising the significance of what they meant. I loved promising that I would be with Phill for the rest of our lives in front of all our loved ones. It was a fairytale come true.

Phill: Laying eyes on Charlotte for the first time; we had discussed if I would turn around. We watched the royal wedding of Kate and William for inspiration and as William didn’t turn around, I decided not to either. It was a magical moment when I saw my future wife for the first time. I felt like the luckiest guy in the world.  

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What was the most challenging aspect of planning this wedding?

Probably the fact that we were planning it from 3,500 miles away in Dubai. We had to rely very heavily on my parents and the bridesmaids to run lots of errands for us, which they did brilliantly. They were an invaluable support to us throughout the planning process.

What was the most important investment for you? 

The most important investment was our venue, Penshurst Place. Having visited the house and gardens many times over the years, we knew it had the right feel for what we wanted and it was the perfect setting for our wedding day.

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

We chose Ed Sheeran, Thinking Out Loud. The song came out when we first met and we both agreed the lyrics summed up exactly how we felt about each other. We also wanted to include all the first dance songs of our married friends/family throughout the wedding evening. This was the first dance song of my cousin, Dawn, who was one of my bridesmaids, so that made it even more special.

Tell us about your wedding cake.

Phill’s mum has a real talent for baking, so we asked her to do it. She worked tirelessly to make sure we had the cake of our dreams for the special occasion.  

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Was there anything you wish you’d known before?

Everyone told us how fast the day would go, but it really flew by. We wanted to cherish every moment, which we did.

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Where did you go on honeymoon?

Due to work restrictions we haven’t gone yet. We are heading to Bali this summer, which is something to plan and look forward to.

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

Be absolutely clear with what you want with each other and all the suppliers/vendors you are using. Don’t be afraid to tell them if they haven’t quite got your vision.

Steal their style:

Venue: Penshurst Place & Gardens, www.penshurstplace.com
Photography: Darryl Curcher, www.darrylcurcher.com/
Dress: Isabella Grace, www.isabellagracebridal.com/
Dress alterer: Martine
Make-up: Emma Heath
Hair: Pin Ups Salon, www.pinupshair.com
Decorators: Creative Venue, www.thecreativevenue.info
Vodka luge: Temptation Towers, www.temptationtowers.co.uk/
Band: Pure Orange, www.pure-orange.com 
String quartet: Titanium, www.titaniumstrings.com
Stationery: Katie Blake
Bridesmaids' dresses: ASOS, www.asos.com
Suits: Moss Bros, www.moss.co.uk
Rings: Cara, www.carajewellers.com

To see more Kent weddings, pick up your copy of Kent Bride magazine - available in print or online.

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