There will always be a special place in our hearts for military weddings; everything seems so much more magical with a groom in uniform, just like all the fairytales, and it's truly lovely to read that our gorgeous couple met in the army. Bride Georgie looks every bit the princess in an absolutely breathtaking Naama & Anat bridal gown. The intricate beading and back drape detail is truly exquisite. I also love the cold should design on the bridesmaids ASOS dresses. Such a stunning bridal squad. The dreaminess continues in the blush and rose gold marquee reception with sequin table cloths, pastel blooms and pretty blackboard signs. And portraying this relaxed family wedding to perfection is the lovely Natalie J Photography.
WeddingGeorgie The Bride: The Wedding ceremony was held within our local church – St Johns Church, Bourne End. It’s a small intimate church, just perfect for what we wanted and even better that it was only a short walk to our reception venue which was a marquee at home. The service was taken by Reverend Canon Dick Clarkson and the organ was played by Helen Knight. My dad, Mark and my sister, Samantha did beautiful readings. We had the traditional bible passage, Corinthians 13 and a slightly unusual cinematic poem, ‘There’s always more to see’. We opted for traditional military hymns so we had Jerusalem, Vow to thee my country and Give me Joy. We also choose to have an incredibly talented harpist and vocalist Lisa Canny who played during the ceremony. I walked in to 5 Secrets by Beethoven, we had How Glad I am, Nancy Wilson and I can’t help falling in love, Elvis playing during the signing of the register and then we played Crazy Little thing called love by Queen as we left the Church.
VenueThe wedding reception was held in my parent’s garden within a marquee. It was only a short 5 minute stroll across a field from the Church so it was great to have everything in one place. It had always been a dream of mine to be able to celebrate our wedding at home in a place that meant something to me rather than a big venue. My dad, Mark did an amazing job making the garden look so beautiful, especially the walled garden where he had filled numerous flower beds with the most stunning array of flowers. The marquee company, MHC Events were absolutely brilliant throughout. I also purchased a few additional items from a local company Elite Hire to add decoration such as low wall to partition the eating area from the party area and an easel for the seating plan.
Colour Scheme & DécorI opted for Rose Gold and Blush for my colour scheme and I felt they best matched the relaxed summer theme I was going for, whilst also adding a bit of glitz to match my dress and my husband’s uniform. I totally under estimated how hard the decorating would be when creating the venue in a marquee at home. There were so many things to think about from the table decorations, menus, seating and more. I was so nervous that the marquee might look bare and this vision in my mind wouldn’t come together as I was picturing it. Luckily I had a lot of help from family and friends and I couldn’t have been happier on the day. A lot of the décor was DIY but I did purchase a few of the items, my favourites being the beautiful welcome sign, hand made by Bespoke Chick and a directional sign for the walk from the Church to the marquee. I also ordered some gorgeous name place signs from VM Bespoke and rose gold table runners from a wholesalers in China.
The DressFinding the perfect wedding dress was a real struggle for me. Of course I wanted to look beautiful on my big day but for me the most important thing was comfort. The task of finding my dream dress that also felt amazing wasn’t easy. I think I must have tried on over a 100 dresses! It wasn’t until four months before the big day that I finally said yes to the dress. I fell in love with a beautiful made to measure gown from the Israeli designers Naam and Anat. It was way over our agreed budget but my mum very generously footed the bill. I was in love with the dress and nothing else would do. Not only was it stunning with incredible detail but it was also extremely comfortable.
VeilMy mum had always wanted me to wear the veil she wore when she got married but unfortunately the shade didn’t match the dress. Instead, she purchased some fabric matching the dress and made the veil herself! It was absolutely gorgeous and I will treasure it forever.
ShoesIn keeping with a comfortable dress, I now needed comfortable shoes. I opted for a beautiful yet simple pair of satin heels from BHS. The memory foam soles were ideal and I managed to last all day and night without taking off my shoes.
JewelleryThe final touch to my outfit was the most perfect necklace that my now husband had brought me as a surprise to open to morning of our wedding. It was a pearl diamond necklace from Tiffany which I had seen months before but had refused to buy as it was way out of my price range.
Make UpMake up was another area I really struggled with. I don’t normally wear much make up and I have really sensitive eyes so after 4 unsuccessful trials I was ready to give up. A month before the big day a friend recommended a local make up artist Heena Nunkoo – I had a trial and loved her work. I am so glad I choose her to do my make up, I was so impressed with how well it lasted and how amazing I felt.
Grooms FashionLuckily this was one decision we were able to make very early on. As both my husband and I are serving in the Armed Forces we felt it would only be right for Peter, the Groom to wear his uniform. It also meant we got to cut the cake with his ceremonial sword!
Bridesmaids FashionIn keeping with our colour scheme I decided to opt for soft pink bridesmaid dresses. After weeks of searching I came across a gorgeous dress on ASOS that had little pearls over the shoulders matching the back of my dress which I knew would be perfect for all the beautiful bridesmaids.
Groomsmen FashionThe groomsmen all wore Cameron Ross suits from the Wedding Gallery in St Albans. We opted for a blush pink from ASOS to match the Bridesmaids.
Guard of HonourWe choose to have a traditional guard of honour who all wore military uniform. This was something really important to us and we are so grateful to our friends for wearing the hot heavy uniform on such a warm day!
FlowersThe flowers were really essential to us as we had a large space to fill in the marque. We used Nicky from Forever Green who did an amazing job. We had two large urns full with beautiful flowers which were used outside the church and also in the divide in the marquee. The church was decorated with some small simple pews ends, roses with gip, two small displays for the front and back of the Church and a number of small jars with roses in for the window sills. These flowers were then reused in the marquee after the Groomsmen very kindly carried them across the field. Within the marquee had very creative centre pieces on all the tables and small flower arrangements across the top table. Nicky also created my gorgeous bridal bouquet and the bouquets for the bridesmaids and pinholes groomsmen. The theme throughout was various light pink and peach roses with gyp.
Food & DrinkI have to say one of the best parts of planning this wedding was definitely the food tasting! We tried a few different caterers which were all fab but in the end we choose to go with Anthony from Mango Gourmet Catering after winning us over with his incredible desserts. We started off with a range of canapés. We wanted them to be substantial because we didn’t want any of our guests feeling hungry at any point. We opted for mini lamb burgers, mini beef Yorkshires, a Mediterranean stick and salmon blini. We then had a traditional sit down meals, but in true fashion my husband wanted something a little bit different so added a sorbet course. We wanted our meal to be light and summery so we opted for champagne sorbet cleanser, a melon and parma ham starter, a chicken main and a trio of desserts – a chocolate pot, eton mess and tiramisu! We also put on a BBQ in the evening to feed our evening guests and those that had room for more. Unfortunately I was having too much fun on the dance floor and missed this completely but I hear from the guests the steak and burgers were delicious! Our cake was a traditional three layer cake by Jessica Lauren Cakes designed to match our colour scheme. My husband was adamant that he got the choose the toppers and after not letting him decide much else, I ended up with a Mr & Mrs Storm Troppers! And most importantly the drink…We were adamant from the start of our planning that we were going to offer a free bar and supply all of the booze. We had a lot guest’s travelling a long way and having to pay for hotels that we didn’t want them forking out even more to have a good drink. Being a military wedding we knew we needed a lot and we knew running out wasn’t an option so the bargain hunting was on. We offered Fizz and Pimms during the drinks reception which went down rather quick, wine and beer was on offer during the meal with a champagne toast and we put on our own small bar for the evening. Walking around Marks and Spencer with 30 bottles of champagne is our trolley was defiantly one of the planning highlights!
EntertainmentWe hired a fab magician Steve Rowen Magic to entertain our guests during the drinks reception. I was blown away by some of his tricks. In the evening we had an awesome band called the Cool Beans. They were absolutely fantastic! So many of our guests have asked for their details and complimented on how good they were. Our dance floor was continuously full and it was amazing to see so many people having a great time.
PhotographyWow, well what can I say, Natalie our photographer was simply incredible. She is so talented. Photography was one of the biggest decisions for me. I hate having my photo taken and I was so nervous of not liking any of the photographs. I am so glad we choose to have Natalie on our big day and cannot thank her enough for the amazing memories she captured so well.
VideographyAt first we decided that we didn’t want to have a videographer as we didn’t want to be conscious of being filmed all day. However as the day drew closer I kept thinking that it would be nice to have the ceremony and speeches on film to watch back in years to come. Our family friend, Stephen Peel has previously filmed family weddings and had a real talent for capturing the special moments so we asked him if he wouldn’t mind capturing parts of the day for us. We are so grateful that he did, it’s been so wonderful to watch back the day and it’s something we will be able to show our children in the future.
DIY ProjectsI was adamant from the start that I would try and do as much DIY as possible to save on costs. We designed and printed all of our stationery including save the dates, invites, menu cards, table names, the order of service and various decorative signs for the marquee. We also made our own favours – We had little boxes with chocolates and love hearts in and shot glasses. I’m sure my mum will never forgetting the hours we spent gluing the little boxes together and I certainly won’t forget sticking ‘We tied the knot, take a shot’ to 100 little glasses! In order to save costs we created our own sweetie table – stopping my husband eating all the sweets before the big day was a challenge! We also created our own photobooth. We purchased an iPad stand, a backdrop and a printer from ebay, downloaded a photobooth app, added a back light and lots of props and we were good to go! The guests absolutely loved it! Not only could we print the pictures but they're all saved on my iPad so I now have over 300 crazy shots of our guests! Highly recommended!
SurpriseIt was four weeks to go until the big day and I couldn’t help but feel like something was missing. I had pretty much planned the whole day without letting my husband have any input, well apart from the storm trooper cake toppers and I was starting to feel guilty. From the day we got engaged he had gone on about wanting a mariachi band but I was adamant this was not happening and had just laughed it off. To his surprise, after the speeches I announced a special surprise and out came our mariachi band – his face was priceless!
AdviceSo just a final bit of advice… Do not sweat the small stuff, I took weeks stressing over things like what music to play and what font to use on the invite, it really doesn’t matter! If you are creating the venue yourself, set up early, give yourself lots of time and get lots of helpers. I was so tired and stressed the night before I wasn’t able to enjoy the time with my bridesmaids. Top tip, make sure you read all the supplier terms and conditions and that everything you agree goes into writing, I got a little caught up in the whole planning I wasn’t as careful as I should have been… but on a less serious note, enjoy every second, it goes so fast and take time to just be with your husband and take it all in!
Dress Designer: Naama and Anat Bridal | Bridesmaid Dresses: ASOS | Groomsmen Suit: Cameroon Ross at Wedding Galler | Church: St Johns Bourne End | Marquee: MHC Events | Marquee Accessories: Elite Hire | Florist: Forever Green | Catering: Mango Gourmet Catering | Cake: Jessica Lauren Cakes | Harpist: Lisa Canny | Band: Cool Beans | Magician: Steve Rowen Magic | Mariachi Band: Mariachi El Mexicano