Real weddings: Charlene and Mike at the Archbishops Palace

April 6, 2009  |  Weddings
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Wow!  When I asked Charlene and Mike what they thought of their pictures I wasn’t expecting a response like this!

we cancelled the other meetings we had set up with photographers as we knew we did not have to look any further
It was definitely worth us stretching our budget as the quality in the photos speaks for itself.

You can read all about Mike and Charlene’s real wedding below.  Who supplied the dress, how they met and yes, what they really thought of MyWeddingStory weddings  Real weddings: Charlene and Mike at the Archbishops Palace  The comments are completely unedited – I’ve just added links to some suppliers you may find useful.

weddings  Real weddings: Charlene and Mike at the Archbishops Palace

How did you meet?

We meet at a friend’s party when we were 15, were “high school sweethearts” for around a year.  We briefly separated ways but then at 17 reunited and never looked back since.

Who proposed, and when and where did the proposal take place?

Mike proposed on the 13th November 2002.  It was at a fireworks display in Essex.  Although we had briefly talked about getting engaged, it was a completely surprise and he had picked out an amazing ring for me as well.

Where did the bride find her wedding dress (the name and address of the boutique/ website, or who she borrowed/inherited it from)?

The dress was from Bride and Groom in Gravesend.  After trying on what felt like 100 dresses in 6 different shops and liking most of them but not being 100% sure.  I was beginning to worry I was not going to get “this is the one feeling.”  It was the first one I tried on in this shop and I promptly burst into tears.

Describe the material and style of her dress.

The dress was made by Provina’s and was Silk Taffeta.  It had a large train was very plain on the skirt, but had very detailed crystals and beads across the corseted bodice.

What accessories did the bride wear on the day (tiara, veil, jewellery, shoes, etc and where she found them)?

The tiara was bought for me by my father after he volunteered to come to a Wedding Show with me in London.  It was by Ivory and Co.  I fell in love with it on sight.

I wore a Cathedral Veil with Crystals dotted across the length.

Mike bought the Jewellery for me plain diamond earrings and a diamond necklace.

Shoes were a bargain from BHS.

Where did the groom buy/hire his outfit from and what style and colour was it?

The groom hired his suit from Moss Bros.  It was black suit.  He wore an Ivory waistcoat to match my dress and a ruby cravet to match the bridesmaids.

Who created your floral arrangements and which flowers were used in your bouquets, buttonholes and decorations?

The flowers were created by Girl Flower in Maidstone.  We used Grand Prix roses for my bouquets and the buttonholes.   For the centre pieces at the reception we had tall vases with Grand Prix Roses in them.

The bridesmaids had Ivory roses in their bouquets structured around a silver wire heart.

What car/transport did you use and who was the supplier?

We used Karen’s Cars and our car was a White 1930’s Style Beauford.   The driver was absolutely fantastic and was extremely helpful and would recommend them to anyone.

Tell us about your ceremony; what was special, etc?

I always knew I wanted an intimate ceremony with only close friends and family.  So a small venue was a must as I did not want the room to feel empty.  Mike and I used to go on a number of Bike rides in Maidstone by the river and from the first moment I saw Archbishops Palace, I knew from looking at it from the outside that it was the perfect place.

The Undercroft was the perfect room, just the right size and made the ceremony feel really intimate and we could see all our friends and family around us.

The location being just by the river was also ideal as we were able to get some fantastic pictures.

Where was the venue for your wedding reception?

Our Reception was held at the St Georges Hotel in Chatham.  We chose this hotel due to it’s location we wanted somewhere that was central to where the majority of our family lived  so that  everyone could get home easy and inexpensively at the end of the evening if they did not want to stay in the venue.

It was also great to have a wedding coordinator at the venue that could set up all the tables for us as it was one thing less for us to worry about on the day.

At your reception did you choose particular decorations, table centres, etc?

Ever since I was a little girl, for some reason I had also been fixated on having roses and the colour red incorporated on my day.  So the bridesmaids wore red and roses featured on the tables.

I wanted to keep the room looking as simple as possible so the centre pieces were the vocal point.  We hired chair covers and sashes to carry on the red theme (the chairs in the venue were blue so this was a must).

What menu/type of wedding breakfast did you serve to your guests?

We opted for a late afternoon wedding and had a BBQ Buffet.  With Burgers, Sausages, Salad, Onion Rings.  We picked this as all of our families love BBQs and we throw BBQ parties on a regular basis.

Tell us about your cake and who made it.

The cake was a 3 tier stack ivory Cake with red roses cascading down one side.   It was made by a family friend who done a fantastic job as I showed her a picture from a magazine and asked her to “Create something like that” and she got it down to a T!

Describe your favours (if you had them).

My mum was in charge of arranging the favours.  Her sister lives in Turkey and she arranged for  them to be be made in Turkey which my aunt then bought down.  They were the traditional almonds but with a shell and starfish attached to them.

What music and entertainment did you have, and what was your first dance?

We used Apollo Entertainment for our DJ.  We asked him to take requests from everyone and just play whatever people wanted to hear.  He played a mix of music which kept people up dancing all night.  Our first dance was K-C and Jo Jo – All my life.
Given that  Garage Music was huge when we first dated we asked the DJ to allocate a slot for an hour at the end of evening where all our favourite garage tunes were played it was a trip down memory lane which resulted in some hysterical dancing by me a drunk groom and all of our friends!

Do you have any top tips/advice for other brides-to-be?

Make sure you delegate as much as you can to the bridesmaids on the day, to try and keep calm.  Mine were a complete god-send they dealt with any small mishaps that occurred on the day to the extent that I did not even know that they happened.

Also have a group of people around you when you are getting ready, we all had such a laugh whilst we were preparing that I did not stress at all about anything.

At the reception make sure you take the time out to go around to all the tables and speak to everyone in turn.  This was one of the tips that was passed to me and looking back now I am so glad that I did this as I have so many happy memories from all my family being there.

What was the bride’s beauty/hair product must-have on the big day; which she would recommend to other brides-to-be?

A make-up artist and a hairdresser!  It was complete bliss that their was someone there to concentrate on my make-up and hair who knew exactly how long it would take and was a professional who could take their time.  I know if I had been left to my own devices that this would have been a complete rush job.

Did you have any special touches or moments that you’d like to share with us?

Mike and I had promised each other that we would not speak to each other from the evening before right around to the ceremony which felt like an eternity.  After the ceremony and having pictures taken it was just the 2 of us in the car going to the reception and it we had a long chat about the morning, ceremony and it was great to have those 20mins of alone time.

If we could do it all again, we’d… (What would you do differently?)

I know this sounds corny but it was the greatest day and we would not have changed anything about it.

Where you spend your wedding night?

At the hotel in the bridal suite

Where did you go for your honeymoon?

To Costa Rica, we went on a 7 day tour around the country and the eventually settled on a beach hotel on the Pacific Coast.

Why did you choose MyWeddingStory?

To me, the wedding photography was one of the most important elements of the day.  It is the lasting memory and something that you need to be proud enough of to show all your friends and family.

Also finding the right Wedding Photographer was equally as important as to me if someone took amazing pictures but I did not feel comfortable around them then this would impact on my day.

I trawled the internet for hours on end and analysed every page, as soon as I found MyWeddingStory I loved the type of photography, which looked to be the exact laid back and informal, reportage style photography we wanted.

As soon as we met Jonathan and saw his work I knew that Jonathan could provide the results and capture our wedding in the way we wanted.   He also made me feel completely at ease.

As soon as we left from meeting Jonathan, Mike and I both at the same time said the same thing “amazing, we have got to book him” and we cancelled the other meetings we had set up with photographers as we knew we did not have to look any further

How would you describe the pictures of your wedding?

Jonathan did not disappoint and provided us with a set of pictures and an album that exceeded all of our expectations.  I can state officially that I am addicted to looking at our album and it has been out of it’s box practically every day since we picked it up.

It was definitely worth us stretching our budget as the quality in the photos speaks for itself.

You can see more of their wedding here.


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