I know what happens when people come to the gallery – they politely pretend to look at my pictures but really they are wondering “wow, where did she get that dress” and “I must steal that idea”. So here you go…all the details from a recent wedding. Including what they thought of their photographer!
We were a bit nervous about seeing the pictures, it meant a lot to us to have some great shots of the day. We were very pleased with the ‘Best bits’ montage Jonathan showed us, it brought our day to life literally.
Everything you want to know about Tania and Phil’s real wedding at Wellington House Register Office and on the beach at the Old Brewery in Whitstable. And remember, these are their unedited comments. It would be embarrassing for me to make up such nice remarks
How did you meet?
I was working at Odeon cinema during my second year of university to earn some extra cash and Phil was working there as a team leader in marketing. Our eyes met across the popcorn counter and I I just had to have him! We got together after a staff party and have never looked back.
Who proposed, and when and where did the proposal take place?
Perhaps not the most exciting story but it wasn’t a proposal as such. I had taken Phil to Fifteen (Jamie Oliver’s restaurant) for his 30th birthday. The topic got on to marriage (I dare say I started that one!) and Phil said “Let’s do it, next year, why not?! or something to that effect. I had to wait a while for Phil to be ready-only 6 and a half years!- but it was worth it. We couldn’t stop smiling after that and just knew it was the right time.
Where did the bride find her wedding dress (the name and address of the boutique/ website, or who she borrowed/inherited it from)?
My gown was made by White Rose (The Marylin) but I got it through the Perfection bridal shops (or Pronuptia as it was known at the beginning of my search). I had never believed what the say about just knowing when you find “the one”….but guess what, it happened! I had seen another girl trying on the dress as I walked in the shop and thought it looked a worthy candidate. But as soon as I tried it on, it was my dress. Regardless of the huge price tag (compared to my strict budget anyway!), it was quite simply the one..
Describe the material and style of her dress.
It’s a strapless fishtail gown made of silk in pearl colour with embroidered lace and beading all over the bodice and tail. It’s funny that I had said from the start i didn’t want any lace on my dress, but this gown looked more vintage than cheap doily! The dress was finished off with a silk band under the bust with an ornate silver brooch in the middle. I was adament I would sell the dress after the big day but to be honest, I just don’t think I can part with it!
What accessories did the bride wear on the day (tiara, veil, jewelery, shoes, etc and where she found them)?
I got my earrings, bracelet and hair pins from a bespoke shop on ebay; all with freshwater pearls and Swarovski crystals. My shoes were silver peeptoes from Faith with crystals on the front, very pretty and wearable again, if not a little high in hindsight! But this was no a problem with some trusty white leather flats from new Look for the evening’s dancing.
Where did the groom buy/hire his outfit from and what style and colour was it?
The suit was from Marks and Spencer; deep blue with a pale blue shirt and ivory tie. Phil looks good in these colours and we decided against tails and waistcoats because it just didn’t suit our relaxed wedding, not to mention are more expensive! This way Phil gets to wear his suit again.
Who created your floral arrangements and which flowers were used in your bouquets, buttonholes and decorations?
We had a personal recommendation through a colleague for Vanessa Fairbrass, a florist based at home in Ware. She was just brilliant and spent over an hour with me at our first meeting, discussing ideas and looking through pictures.. I didn’t have a vivid picture of what i wanted, but knew I wanted something quite simple and natural looking, not too bright. She listened intently and came up with some great ideas. The final bouquets and button holes were perfect. My bouquet was a posy of white calla lillies and roses, pale pink roses and lots of fresh lime green foliage. All the flowers went amazingly well with the outfits, and car.
What car/transport did you use and who was the supplier?
We chose a less traditional option of an original cream 1970’s VW Beetle convertible, booking through Dubs and Bugs in Sittingbourne. We thought it would fit perfectly with our relaxed seaside themed wedding and it was just ‘more us’ than any Bently or Mercedes could have been…..and the photos tell us we were right!
Tell us about your ceremony; what was special, etc?
The ceremony was at Wellington House registry office in Canterbury. We only had about 30 close family and friends which suited me fine, I never did want a huge wedding – far too scary! This way felt more intimate. We were able to choose music that we liked too: we had M79 by Vampire Weekend as I walked into the room, The Universal by Blur as guests were milling around, It must be love by Madness as we signed the register and even Starlight by Muse (my personal fave) as we left the room. This helped to make it a really personal but less formal affair.
Where was the venue for your wedding reception?
The reception, for us, was the most important part. It was the time to celebrate with all the people we care about, and above all relax and have fun! I grew up around Whitstable and have always loved it’s quaint charm so we decided upon The East Quay restaurant, literally right on the pebbled beach. Not only was this a beautiful location with a stunning (and free!) backdrop but the restaurant itself had lots of character and good space to holdan awesome wedding party. Not only that but it gave us the perfect theme for our wedding: the SEASIDE!
At your reception did you choose particular decorations, table centres, etc?
The tables at the restaurant were long bench style tables, after all it was a fish restaurant! We went with the theme and used aquamarine organza tablerunners with scattered shells, tealights and seaside rock favours
What menu/type of wedding breakfast did you serve to your guests?
Fish and chips of course! We found an amazing caterer with his own mobile chip van and fish and chips to die for. We made a feature of it by getting tables to take it in turns to collect the chips from the van which went down well. We also served a traditional cream tea to guests arriving straight from the ceremony to keep them going until dinner.
Tell us about your cake and who made it.
The cake was a bit of a nightmare. Having changed my mind several times about making my own cupcake tower, in the end, with the help of my bridesmaid Laura and my sister we managed to pull it off-just! We made half lemon and half vanilla cakes, with seaside decorations of marzipan starfish and blue sugar dolphins.. It wasn’t easy making 60 odd cakes the day before the wedding, not to mention icing them until midnight the night before then transporting them safely to the venue. A few were a little worse for wear but in the end it looked pretty good, and I am told they tasted great too! We never got to have one as we were just too busy it seems!
Describe your favours (if you had them).
We decided to go embrace the theme and go with seaside Rock. Unfortunately the personalised rock was too expensive but in the end we got a good deal on ebay for ‘just married’ strawberries and cream rock. We were a bit shocked when it arrived, it was much bigger than we had bargained for….they looked like sticks of dynamite! Phil designed some personalised labels and in the end they did the job.
What music and entertainment did you have, and what was your first dance?
A disco and karaoke was supplied by Whites Discos of Kent. We also set off 10 Chinese lanterns over the sea when it got dark, each with personal messages written by each table during dinner. We also had a chocolate fountain to keep the guests (and me!) happy and last but by no means least things finally kicked off with our unique first dance. Phil composed a medley of music and we choreographed a dance off between each other. We kept this a secret and totally shocked our unknowing guests, and from the sound of their cheers I think they quite liked it!
Was there a theme for your day, what inspired it?
We chose a seaside theme mainly because of our venue choice. It certainly made things easier to design having such a fun theme.
Do you have any top tips/advice for other brides-to-be?
I know it’s a cliche but try not to get too stressed out in the build up to the day. I was so nervous, even 4 or 5 days before! What helped me on the day was being so busy that morning getting the venue ready, not having time to think and worry about the day ahead. Oh and keep smiling….you never know when Jonathan is papping you!!
Does the groom have a top tip?
My top tip for any groom is to explain to your future Mrs very early on in the process ,that although you want the day to be very special and you wish to be involved, you don’t have to be involved with everything! You will be bombarded with many puzzling questions such as “what do you think about this coloured napkin?” and “should we have lilies or roses?”. These are all rhetorical questions and need to be approached with caution, knowing that she has already made her mind up and you are only being asked to confirm what she thinks! The second tip is choose a best man you know will be practical and help get thing organised. Finally do not relinquish all control of the stag to the best man or you’ll end up wearing a pink jumpsuit in the middle of the lake district for the whole weekend!
What was the bride’s beauty/hair product must-have on the big day; which she would recommend to other brides-to-be?
Half a can of hairspray. It withstood the seabreeze!
Did you have any special touches or moments that you’d like to share with us?
The first dance is definitely the thing that got everyone talking and certainly made our wedding stand out form the crowd. We are so glad we got drunk enough to do it!
If we could do it all again, we’d… (What would you do differently?)
Spend more time at the chocolate fountain! This was something I had wanted from the start as a bit of a splurge and they were gone before I knew it. I only had one try We’d also spend more time together, at times it felt like we hardly saw each other, too busy with all our guests!
Where you spend your wedding night?
We hired a cottage in Whitstable but by the time we got back (it may have been 3am…!) we literally crashed for the night before we had to get back to Watford and pick up our luggage for the Honeymoon
Where did you go for your honeymoon?
We went to Kenya for two weeks. We spent the first 8 days touring the national parks on safari and the last 5 days we spent relaxing on the coast of Mombasa. It was great fun and was such a thrill observing the animals in the wild. We took lots of great pictures and have so many great memories.
Why did you choose MyWeddingStory?
We took a long time searching for and meeting photographers, both in Kent and also locally in Hertfordshire. We found Jonathan’s site and immediatly fell in love with his style and pictures, and particularly liked some of his personal work shot on Kentish beaches. After a few meetings we had a good idea of the quality and standard that was available so when we finally met Jonathan at his studio we knew he would be our photgrapher, no contest!
How would you describe the pictures of your wedding?
We were a bit nervous about seeing the pictures, it meant a lot to us to have some great shots of the day. We were very pleased with the ‘Best bits’ montage Jonathan showed us, it brought our day to life literally. We’ve since spent hours working with all the photos and making slideshows for family and friends – they all love them!