Iain proposed to Emma in bed… two years to the day after they both returned from Ascension Island, where they met. He commissioned a painting of the both of them on Ascension and put it on the wall in their room. Emma walked past it three times before even noticing it was there and then didn’t realise for a while that it said, “Will you marry me?” on it. “He had his Mum’s wedding ring and a chunk of obsidian rock (from Ascension) waiting for me.”
The very first thing that Emma & Iain purchased (after buying a beautiful engagement ring!) was to book St. Audries Park. It was the only venue they visited and they fell in love with our glorious venue straight away – after only being engaged for a week! As they live in Devon a venue in Somerset was just perfect.
The first time they viewed St. Audries Park was at 8pm on a January evening and it was snowing. Even in the dead of winter, they thought it was the most beautiful space. They totally fell in love with the Orangery; Iain just loved all the space and buildings, that would be exclusively theirs for their wedding day.
“Sophia Webster has always been my favourite accessories designer, so her designs had to be a part of my day! One of Iain’s favourite singers, Dave McPherson, was also our wedding singer.”
Emma’s inspiration came from Mattel’s 1998 Vera Wang Barbie! Her dress was black and white and it developed from there. Their wedding was a classic black and white wedding. Therefore all the flowers were black and white, with Emma’s red bouquet as the only colour. Their cake was a three tier from Choccywoccydoodah, with black and white flowers down the tiers. They didn’t have favours; instead they made a donation to Cancer Research.
Starting out, they had no idea how much things like flowers and photographers should cost. Therefore, the Wedding Industry Awards became Emma’s best friend. Their photographer, Lyndsey Goddard, was the best photographer in the country for 2017. To add to this accolade, they both fell in love with her photographs and how she captures emotions and memories in her shots, so they had to have her.
The Pronovias dress Emma wore is one she had loved for a good few years. When they got engaged she was excited to finally be able to try it on and it was just as perfect as she thought it would be. She said she “felt like an absolute princess in it.”
Again, many of their suppliers came from the Wedding Industry Awards. The stationary came from Foil Invite, which won the best stationary in the country. Their flowers, hair dresser and makeup artist were all regional winners. They had Steve Dibben as their videographer, who is a recommended supplier here at St. Audries Park. Claire Dibble, Harpist, is also a regular at St. Audries Park.
Emma kept her jewellery quite simple for the day, as her dress made such a statement. She wore diamond studs that Iain had bought her for Christmas just before he proposed, as something kind of old! She also sewed a charm from her Nan’s charm bracelet into her petticoat, of an engagement ring, wedding ring and eternity ring. Emma’s shoes and bag (because every bride needs a bag!) came from Sophia Webster, as did her sandals for the evening. Emma’s underwear was from Agent Provocateur, fitting with the black and white theme! She also kept her hair simple and stylish, in a bun, with a satin bow underneath to match the bow on the front of her dress.
Emma explains – “Iain is from the Highlands, so of course had to wear a kilt. It was quite difficult to find a black and white kilt to suit the theme and in the end St. Andrew’s Kilts from Kirkcaldy came to the rescue with a charcoal tweed. He also got a fly plaid, which we both loved. When I first saw him down the aisle, I just felt like the world had fallen silent. Everyone else disappeared and I felt like I had come home. He looked so serene and debonair. And so happy with his fly plaid!”
Iain’s Groomsmen were his brother, friends from the military, and he had his best friend as his Best Man. They wore black suits from Next and were so helpful through the day.
When asked about the bridesmaids, Emma with delight explains; “My three Bridesmaids mean the world to me. I love that they symbolise different stages of my life; one from school, one from university and one from work. I posted them each a card to ask them to be a part of my day, along with a gift individual to each of them. The Bridesmaids wore black Vera Wang gowns and looked like three angels sitting together at the top table. I also had two Flower Girls, who wore white duchess satin dresses with big black bows around the waist, and black glittery shoes.”
Emma & Iain spent the most money on their photographer, Lyndsey Goddard. They said that it was definitely worth it to get such beautiful photos that will last a lifetime.
They had wanted a photo booth for the day and whilst searching for one, Gigglebooth had an offer on for a £1 deposit! It came with extras for the day too, such as key rings. Emma said they were brilliant! The guest book they created for them still has them in stitches!
Claire Dibble, their harpist, played the music for the Ceremony in the Orangery. Emma walked down the aisle to ‘At Last I See the Light’ from Tangled. They then walked out to ‘Annie’s Song’ by John Denver, which is the same as Emma’s Mum and Dad walked out to on their wedding day. Emma’s Dad walked her down the aisle, and Iain’s daughter did a reading – Winnie the Pooh by A.A. Milne.
For the wedding breakfast they had Duck Terrine to start, Chicken or Pork Belly for the main, and Cheesecake or Lemon Meringue Pie for dessert. The vegan menu was also so extensive, the vegetarians and vegans were very impressed!
Emma’s Dad, the Best Man and Iain made speeches and the most memorable bit was when Emma interrupted Iain’s speech. “He said we haven’t stopped talking since we met, although the first night he sat next to me at dinner in the RAF Mess, he ignored me all night!”
Dave McPherson from InMe sang their first dance outside the Orangery. It worked so well dancing outside. “Iain isn’t much of a dancer, so it really took the pressure off him too and he just got to enjoy the music and naturally danced. People said Dave’s first set outside was like having a mini festival. St. Audries Park resident DJ Geoff took to the stage and he was brilliant, and then Dave had his second set at the end of the night so he could sing our last song too”.
Emma said “When we were doing our first dance, Iain said to me, ‘This, right here, is the very best moment of my life.’ I’d done ok with trying not to cry until then!”
Emma and Iain said a big thank you to their Personal Wedding Manager “Claire de la Motte was just amazing. She did everything to make sure our day was perfect, things we didn’t even know about behind the scenes.”
Asked what part of the day was memorable…… “The Orangery took my breath away, it was beautiful. The cornfields at the back were the biggest surprise of the day too. Everyone watching the sunset there is a gorgeous memory and I never thought that my favourite photo from my wedding day would be in a cornfield!”
When asked what advice they would give… “Do exactly what you want to do on your wedding day. You only get that one day, so don’t listen to anyone’s contrary advice of what is “usually expected” on a wedding day. Also, get your groom a second flower button hole! His first will get crushed with all the celebratory hugging and you’ll want a perfect one for your first dance photos.”
“If we could do it all again, we wouldn’t change a thing! It was perfect!”
Straight from the wedding, Emma & Iain stayed at their favourite hotel, The Close in Tetbury, where they opened all of their cards and presents. From there they flew to Japan for two weeks, “We travelled around Japan which was amazing – and then it was on to Santorini for a good relaxation!!”
Emma & Iain’s Suppliers
Photographer – Lyndsey Goddard
Bridal Dress – Emma’s Bridal
Groom’s Attire – St Andrew’s Kilts
Bridesmaid’s Dresses – Vera Wang