Alex and I met in 2014 when I was working as a hostess in Mahiki. He was a promotor and I thought he looked like trouble, but he kept messaging me and two months later we were inseparable. I was only 22 at the time, but I’d have never been with someone seriously if I didn’t see marriage in our future. We got engaged in September 2019 on a trip to Venice. Alex booked an evening gondolier ride for the two of us and kept talking about this one bridge – the Rialto Bridge. When we got there, I gave my phone to the gondolier to take a photo of us and when I turned back round, Alex was on one knee asking me to marry him. There were lots of tears, but we went for a lovely dinner and spent the next few days in Venice on cloud nine.
We’d been on holiday to South Africa in January 2019 and, while we were there, we visited a jeweller to gauge the style of ring I might like. Little did I know Alex then had the ring designed back at home. The diamonds were bought, and the ring made, by Phelans Jewellers in Milton Keynes, which we know through friends. It was perfect.
The Planning Process
We were happy to have a long engagement, so we planned to get married in 2021, which was fortunate given everything that happened in 2020. In the end, we only had to move the wedding back a month to August to allow for a few more guests. We initially looked at Italy, but it seemed like it was going to be very hard work to put together. Amid the chaos of Covid, we were happy we didn’t go with that option. We opted instead to get married at my parent’s home in Chew Magna, Somerset. We also hired a wedding planner – Alice from Alastair Curry Events – and she was something else. If it wasn’t for her, I don’t think any of it would have come together like it did.
The Dress, Hair & Make-Up
I’d only been for one dress appointment right after lockdown ended in 2021, but it wasn’t the greatest experience. I could only go with one other person, and we had to wear masks. In the end, I left it quite late: a few weeks before the wedding I saw a dress from Elizabeth Filmore Bridal online that I fell in love with and ordered from New York, along with the veil. I’m not into princess dresses, and this one felt much more like me. I got it altered in the UK and, although it was quite down to the wire, it all worked out in the end. I then bought a second dress for the evening so I could dance from 16Arlington via Harrods. My shoes came from Jimmy Choo. Corinne Gibson did the bridesmaids’ make-up, but I did my own. I also had The Hair Bros do my hair. Alex wore a linen Canali suit he’d found on Pinterest.
The Bridal Party
I had six bridesmaids and Alex had six ushers. I’m not a big fan of classic bridesmaid dresses, but in the end I realised how difficult it was to find styles that would suit different heights and body shapes. I went with Rewritten dresses which were absolutely stunning in real life and in pictures. Everyone felt comfortable and confident, which was all that mattered. The usher suits came from French Connection.
Alice found Flowers By Theo for us. I had another florist originally, but we couldn’t make it work once we realised we would have to move the wedding date. In the end, they did a brilliant job – all I wanted was something rustic and chic. Sweetly, my dad spent most of 2020 making the garden fuller by planting as many flowers and plants as he could – many of which came from Blackmore & Langdon. It was really wonderful of him to do that for us. He’d even planted trees when I was a little girl down the path we eventually used as the aisle, with the intention they’d be used in that way one day.
We’re not religious, so we hired a celebrant to conduct a ceremony for us at home. It gave us the power to make it a bit more personal, which was great. It was thrashing down with rain the morning of, but thankfully the sun came out just in time for me and my dad to walk down the aisle. My sister also did a reading. Immediately after the reception we left to have a moment to ourselves and take some photographs.
The Photographer & Videographer
We used Amelia Allen who had worked with some of our friends before. Her style is quite arty and editorial, and she was unbelievable on the day – so good at mingling with guests and capturing those moments of natural interaction. We also had a videographer from Lawson Films which came highly recommended. I swear we didn’t see them all night, so when the footage came back it was the best surprise. They’d captured everything without letting us know they were there, which was amazing.
Food & Drink
We had a drinks reception straight after the ceremony with canapés. Our caterer was called Emma and came to us through Alice. We went for big sharing plates of mezze, alongside delicious breads and dips, with fish, vegetarian and meat options to suit all tastes. It was more interactive than a formal three-course dinner. For dessert, we had three mini puddings choose from. Our cake came from Cutter & Squidge. Later in the evening we had a fire pit for people to roast marshmallows around, as well as fish and chips and an espresso martini car from Kuka Coffee. During the day, we had a gin bar supplied by the local distillery, and they had a wholesale contact that supplied all the wine and champagne.
Supatight were our band – they’re an eight-piece and they did everything from the ceremony to the party afterwards. So brilliant – they got everyone up dancing.
The Day Before & After
The evening before the wedding, my bridesmaids, sister and mum had dinner together. The day after we also did a barbecue for everyone at my parent’s home again. The benefit of being at home means there isn’t any limit on when people had to leave, but the wedding had wound down by midnight anyway so there hopefully weren’t too many sore heads!
Advice For Other Couples
Don’t let other people pull you in a million different directions. It’s so easy to let other people’s thoughts and opinions influence you. There’s no rush when it comes to planning; there’s no point putting yourself under the extra stress – you’re going to have your whole lives together. I’m also really glad we took a minute for ourselves right after the ceremony. It was so special to have that time together. Finally – don’t stress about the dress or what you look like on the day. Every bride ends up looking great, and so will you.
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