Dominique the Bride: This is slightly embarrassing to say now, but I really was that little girl who was obsessed with Disney, magic, true love and fairy tales. Fast forward 25 years, I am now a grown-up, living in London, working in the real world and although I am a little bit more of a realist, I still believe in magic and I have kept that small dream that one day I would meet my Prince Charming, marry him in a big white dress and ride off into the sunset on a majestic white horse. Well…it turns out that I am allergic to horses, so that part was never going to happen! However, when Barney proposed in December 2014 after three years together, I knew I had found my Prince Charming! The wedding planning commenced almost immediately – actually if I am being truthful, it started a little before that and luckily I had a trusty secret Pinterest board with over 100 pins already…a girls gotta be prepared!
When I found the Hayley Paige ‘Londyn’ ballgown at Les Trois Souers on a sunny June afternoon, I knew it was ‘the one’. I knew I already loved Hayley Paige’s romantic dramatic style but I hadn’t wanted anything too fussy or embellished, just something simple and elegant but still with the WOW factor. The Hayley Paige Londyn gown ticked all the boxes and didn’t require anything more than a delicate encrusted belt for a little evening sparkle. However, as the dress was so simple, I wanted to really go to town on the shoes and chose a beautiful pair of blush pink Badgley Mischka encrusted peep-toes. They were perfect!
Here is a little secret…I had actually found Silchester House in our first year of dating! We fell in love with the idea of escaping London for the weekend and taking our family and friends away to a big house in the country where we could celebrate for the entire weekend. It also meant that our wedding party could stay on the night of the wedding and then relax the next day with a bbq, tennis and swimming. We were very lucky that Sunday was the hottest day in June, right before the rain kicked in!
I have always loved sparkly things…so gold sequins, foil and glitter became a big focus for the colour scheme, along with romantic soft blush tones and white. This informed the design of the invites, the wedding party outfits and the décor around the venue. We even had a rose gold sequin tablecloth on our registry table and I handmade the gold glittery table numbers. Every guest ended up covered in glitter and I have been finding gold sparkles around my house for weeks!! My sister, Gaby has her own calligraphy business, so she did all the beautiful handwritten signage on blush paper, framed in white. This was such a special touch, as we designed them together and she then spent a whole month writing out the handwritten name tags, signs and table plan.
We wanted the décor to be as soft and romantic as possible. This meant hundreds of candles, soft blush rose petals, peonies and fairy lights wherever possible. We chose eucalyptus leaves and olive branches to complement our blooms, as the grey-blue colour was much softer than the brighter greens of the season. Our biggest extravagance was the real flower arch made especially for our ceremony, however, we just fell in love with it and we used it throughout the entire day – for the ceremony, the confetti line and then placed it in front of the pergola outside. Sonning Flowers worked with us to create all the floral elements and we couldn’t have done it without them!
The Wedding Party Fashion
As we had five young, gorgeous bridesmaids we wanted dresses that looked classy and elegant but also felt young and playful. We had a bit of a challenge at first, as we had bridesmaids ranging in height from 5”3 to 5”7, so we were very lucky that ASOS started a wedding range just as we began our dress search. We bought the same dress in petite, regular and tall and they fitted perfectly. The blush tone complimented the colour scheme and the girls looked beautiful, if not a little bit sexy! Barney and I wanted both him and the Groomsmen to be relaxed but still, look classically smart so we decided on navy lounge suits from Charles Tyrwhitt, pale blush ties and rosewood Oxfords – very handsome!
We both absolutely love jazz so we had a fabulous pianist play live jazz throughout the reception and wedding breakfast, it added to the soft romantic feel of the day. At dinner, we put a white selfie stick on every table featuring a tag with our wedding hashtag #collinslovestory2016. This was hilarious and meant we had so many fabulous pictures captured by all our guests. We also know our family and friends love a glass of sparkly so we set up a Bellini Bar in the gardens for guest to add fresh fruit and puree to their prosecco and then for the evening we had a cocktail bar with signature bride and groom gin cocktails – this went down a storm!!
Photographer and Videographer
Our photographer and videographer were so incredibly wonderful, we could not have asked for more. Both the video and photographs were stunning and despite a slightly stressful morning getting ready, both Holly from Belle and Beau and Tim from Spatz Films were discreet, calm and patient, capturing everything in the most beautiful and serene way. Some of the shots captured still surprise me today, as I have no idea how they achieved the shots they did without us noticing!