When I was little I dreamed of being a Princess when I grew up. Things probably haven’t changed to be honest – the images of the beautiful Princess Maxima of the Netherlands from the recent Dutch inauguration made my eyes light up. The stunning Valentino gown worn by Princess Madeleine of Sweden for her wedding day made me swoon with envy. And today’s images of Bride Anna are equally as gorgeous. She looks like what I dreamt a Bride should look like. Anna looks like a Princess. And if there is any day of your life when you deserve to look and feel like a Princess – your wedding day is most definitely it.
Today’s fairytale affair took place in the glorious Essex sunshine and was captured forever by the fabulous M&J Photography.
A Breathtaking Driveway
Going up the driveway to Braxted Park really took our breath away; so we knew straight away we’d love to get married there. Laura, who showed us round was so lovely and really filled us with confidence. All the staff there made the whole process so easy and they were always really quick to reply to our many e-mails!
Beehives And Black Eyeliner
I went for a 60’s inspired look for myself and my bridesmaids with beehives and black eyeliner. I was inspired by the Louis Vuitton SS13 catwalk! My make-up artist, Katie Gulley was amazing and really enthusiastic about creating our looks. I was advised to buy a new perfume for the wedding so that the scent would always remind me of the day. I chose Jo Malone’s Lime Basil and Mandarin (and I bought travel candles in the same scent as little presents for the bridesmaids). My mum and I went for a manicure the day before the wedding, which was a nice treat and a good way to unwind.
Heart Set On Kelly
My dress was Kelly by Stephanie Allin. I’d actually seen it a few years ago when my sister-in-law was looking at wedding dresses at The Bride in St. Alban’s and was hoping it would still be available when I got engaged. It was so unusual and flattering – I loved it and didn’t want to take it off!
Jackie Kennedy Gloves
I always wear a pearl necklace so I wouldn’t have felt like myself without one. I matched it with some pearl earrings from Thomas Sabo and a pearl tiara. I also wore an old sapphire ring that belonged to a great-grandmother as my something old, borrowed and blue! My yellow shoes were from L K Bennett and were the first thing I bought for the wedding. The bridesmaids and I wore “Jackie Kennedy” ivory gloves from as they seemed to match our dresses and hair.
The bridesmaid’s dresses were from Alfred Sung at Dessy and we bought them at Les Trois Soeurs in Canary Wharf. The bright yellow really suited Shazia and Liz. Their accessories were ivory: shoes from Rainbow Club; pearl jewellery from Ayedo; and headbands which were £5 from Boots! Dan and the ushers and fathers had ties to match the bridesmaid’s dresses from Dessy and traditional morning suits, which were rented from Moss Bros. Dan also bought them all silver tie pins as gifts.
Our mums looked beautiful in bright turquoise (mine) and black and white (Dan’s). Our gorgeous 2 year old twin nephews were page boys in yellow converse and yellow tank tops knitted by their grandmother, Mary. Our gift list was donations to a fund for one of the twins, George, who has Spinal Muscular Atrophy Type 2 and our guests were so generous.
Rose Petals And Tulips
Our colour scheme was yellow and ivory, which looked lovely in the photos on such a sunny day. We had yellow and cream dried rose petal confetti from shropshirepetals.com. I filled a yellow basket with yellow toiletries and put it in the ladies’ toilet, which was really useful for preening during the disco!
Getting married in the Spring meant we could have tulips – my favourite flower. My lovely florist Jo put them with freesia and ranunculus flowers for our bouquets, pew ends and table flowers, which were all yellow and white. The mothers had yellow orchids as corsages.
Not A Cloud In The Sky
We were so jammy with the weather on the day (given the heavy rain the week before) – there wasn’t a cloud in the sky! This meant we could have the outdoor ceremony we’d hoped for, which was really unusual and special.
Our readings were ‘Love is Friendship Caught Fire’ by Laura Hendricks and ‘A Lovely Love Story’ by Edward Monkton (which worked really well being read by a couple). I walked up the aisle to the wedding march from the ballet, Sleeping Beauty. I also managed to talk Dan into letting me have a piano version of Justin Bieber’s ‘Baby’ playing whilst we signed the register!
We had a small mini golf course from urbancrazy.com for the drinks reception, which the guests enjoyed. We could personalise the obstacles and the best thing about it was that it was yellow! We also had a caricaturist, which went down really well with the guests as they could take their pictures home.
We had a band called The Motorways for our evening reception, who I’d seen at a friend’s wedding and were great! They really read the crowd well and took requests (including Britney for the bride) and the dance floor was full all night.
Our first dance was to ‘One and Only’ by Adele. I love dancing and was keen to do a choreographed dance but Dan had torn his Achilles a few months before the wedding and was still recovering until the week before. We had an ’emergency dance lesson’ with Wedding Day Dance UK and managed to put something together for the day. With some painkillers, Dan even managed a few lifts!
Delicious Seasonal Menu
The lamb was in season for Spring and delicious and the amazing desert went down very well with our chocoholic guests! We also had some canapes for the drinks reception and a cheese and cold meat buffet in the evening. Our caterers were Le Talbooth.
Going to the tasting at their beautiful restaurant was definitely one of my favourite bits of wedmin! Our wedding cupcakes were by Gill at Amelia George Cakes. She seemed really excited about my ideas for them and they looked exactly as I’d imagined – and tasted even better!
Happily Ever After
Our invitations were called Daisy and by the very talented Dottie Creations. They also did us a table plan, table names, place names, menus, a guestbook and favours. As we’d put ‘Happily Ever After’ on our invitations, our table names were different fairytales (all with happy endings). We continued this theme with our favours, which were runner bean seed packets but we called them ‘A Handful of Magic Beans’ so our guests to grow their own beanstalks! The children had fairytale books.
Daily Dose Of RMW
The best bit of advice I can give future brides is to check RMW regularly. I checked it nearly every day I was engaged (and have even checked it since the wedding) – and so did/has my mum, who was also vital in helping us plan our perfect day. I wanted to lose a bit of weight for the wedding to feel better about myself and managed to lose 10kg, which was mainly thanks to a personal trainer, Steve who I highly recommend. Although the nervous energy in the lead up to the day probably helped too!
I thought I would hate walking up the aisle with everyone watching me but it was actually one of my favourite moments, so make sure you take your time and enjoy it. Another highlight was getting back to the bridal cottage after the disco and opening all our cards together. It was so nice to spend some time alone with Dan as the day had rushed by so quickly I felt I’d hardly seen him. Choosing our photographers was easy. Jonny is an old school friend and he and Morgane take such beautiful photographs. We couldn’t be happier with how they portrayed the day.
Venue – Braxted Park
Brides outfit – Stephanie Allin
Hair and Make up – Katie Gulley
Bridesmaids – Alfred Sung at Dessy
Groom – Moss Bros
Florist – JW Floristry
Catering – Talbooth Catering
Cake – Amelia George
Band – The Motorways
Photography – M&J Photography
I think it’s safe to say Anna met her Prince Charming too – Dan strapping up his ankle so he could spin her around on the dance floor is very noble. As is allowing her to walk down the aisle to Justin Bieber!
I love the Sixties hair and make-up too, the girls all look gorgeous. And how cute are the little nephews!!
Every Princess deserves her happy ending. What a lovely way to start the week.
Lots of love,