It’s all in the details
Emily & Adrian reminisce:
THE THEME: We are both traditional and classic and wanted to reflect that throughout the wedding. The flowers used were very romantic and traditional, roses and peonies, as were the bridesmaids dresses, my dress and the suits – all very classic. Without a strict theme, it meant we could focus on some smaller details, but weren’t tied to keeping them within a theme. I was particularly happy with our table names, which were ‘family weddings’ so each table was named after a family couple who had gotten married, with the date and place of their wedding, including parents, grandparents and great grandparents (back in 1920). I loved that because we went back through old family photos and included them on the table names, which really personalised everything, and was also a nice memento of people who weren’t with us anymore. We also had more quirky things like my shoes were bright Union Jack print.
THE VENUE: The Royal Marine’s museum was our favoured choice way before we were even engaged. We’re both from Portsmouth, and would often walk past the building when we were going for walks. It’s very grand from the outside, and a real Portsmouth landmark, so it represented where we live, and is also steeped in so much magnificent history. We always said, when we get married one day, it’ll be there. Once we were engaged and started looking properly, we fell even more in love with the building. Inside is grand and traditional at the same time. We had welcome drinks on the lawn, fantastic group photo on the outside staircase, and our reception in the stately Mountbatten room (dining under a portrait of queen Victoria) where Churchill and Eisenhower once dined. It was everything we could have wanted in a venue. We did look at some other venues, but nothing came close to the royal marine’s museum.
THE HIGHLIGHT: I remember, just as my Dad and I turned the corner to walk down the aisle at St John’s cathedral, feeling a massive pang of anticipation. Then, as soon as I saw everyone looking at us, it just went away. Walking down the aisle was the best feeling ever, seeing everyone we loved in one place together, and all so happy for us both. I didn’t stop smiling from then on. It was an incredible feeling, and made us realise how lucky we were to have so many great friends and family there to share a special day with us.
THE LOOK: I’m a big fan of the 1950’s, so had always envisaged being in a sleek, sort of Hollywood movie star dress, and tried on a lot of those. My mum told me to try on something completely different just to see, so I went for a dress with a large net skirt, and was completely surprised when I fell in love with it! It was still very traditional with a bodice of lace, and a sash. It also worked well in the church which was quite grand, with a big aisle, so the dress certainly filled that. I ordered it over a year before the wedding, and was worried that by the time the wedding came along, I wouldn’t like it anymore, but I loved it even more when it came in my size. Even now, three years later I wouldn’t choose a different dress. The bridesmaids dresses were the first thing we brought. I wanted something very traditional and pretty, and came across lovely Grecian style dresses in the coast sale. They were a magenta colour, and we really liked it, so carried that colour throughout other elements of the wedding like the invitations, table settings and flowers.
DESCRIBE YOUR WEDDING: Perfect! It really was the most perfect day. Even the weather! The day before had been grey and rainy, but the day of the wedding was lovely and warm and sunny. Even little things like my cousin Lydia, our flower girl, who has difficulty walking and is usually in a wheelchair was able to walk down the long aisle (with a little bit of help); we stopped off at an old fashioned ice cream van on the way to the venue for some pictures and were given free ice creams; my husband managed (with a little bit of help…) to lift me above his head dirty dancing style whilst we danced to Time of my life. Everything was just perfect. the atmosphere Without sounding cliché, it was magical. I’m quite a worrier, and with stress in the build up to the wedding, I was worried I wouldn’t enjoy the day, but when it came to it, everything just ran its course and went exactly to plan which meant we could really take everything in and enjoy it. We made a point of not spending the whole thing going around to everybody talking, and come about 9 o,clock (by which point we had had a chance to chat to everyone and thank them for coming) we really let our hair down, Adrian hanging out with all the boys, and me taking off my heels and dancing. I really can’t think of another time I’ve had so much fun as at my own wedding. Pre-wedding nerves I didn’t have any, which was quite a shock! I think because by the time the wedding came round, we’d been planning it and looking forward to it for over a year, so when it finally came around, I was just so excited. Even getting ready for it was so stress free, I was doing everyone else’s make up. I also had a lot of help in the preparations from family members, so that everything was perfect and ready to go on the day of the wedding, I didn’t need to worry about anything.
INSPIRATION: I spent nearly a year going through wedding magazines, pulling out everything and anything I liked and putting them into a scrap book with my own notes. That really helped me work out what I liked and what I didn’t. And after the wedding, it was a lovely keepsake to look back on as I added in pictures of our actual wedding to each section. Must haves: Great support. The day was mostly stress and worry free because we were so prepared for it, with everything completed in advance, thanks to help from our families. And throughout the day the bridesmaids and ushers were great help and ensured everything ran smoothly. And also, flat shoes! It’s a long day, which is spent mostly on your feet, so you need to be comfortable! I wore heels for most of the day, and for the pictures, but come the evening when I wanted to relax and dance the night away, I switched to flip flops. We also thought about all the other guests in their heels too and put a big basket of flip flops on the dance floor for people to kick off their heels and enjoy the evening.
Venue: Royal Marine’s Museum Bridal & Bridesmaids: Bride: Brides of Portsmouth, Bridesmaids: Coast in Debenhams Groom: Debenhams suit hire florist: Rebecca Hammond @ Wonderosa jewellery: Antique pearls wedding cake: Marks & Spencer Shoes: Irregular Choice Entertainment: It was a DJ