A Surprise Engagement on board a Cruise Ship lead to a Fairy tale Wedding….
Tell us about the proposal – how and where did it happen?
“Scott proposed on the front of a cruise ship whilst visiting Las Vegas, Los Angeles and Mexico! It was a formal night so we were dressed up in our best attire. He was so nervous I wondered what was going on! He then got down on his knee and pulled out the ring and asked me to marry him – of course I said yes!”
What was your first step in planning your wedding?
“Our first step in planning the wedding was looking for a wedding venue between Bristol and Minehead. We found an amazing offer at St Audries Park and thought it was the perfect venue for us! The venue was beautiful! Location was great also, so we booked this straight away.”
Inspiration: Did you use blogs or magazines for ideas?
“I’m more of an online kind of girl so I used online searches and some blogs from St Audries Park which I came across after we booked the venue.”
What were your wedding “must have’s”?
“I always wanted a fairy tale wedding in a large fancy manor house with a big white dress! The venue was perfect for this. We also needed accommodation for our families who were travelling so far. There were so many options for rooms to choose from and they were so grand we just had to include them.”
Wedding budget: how did you organise your wedding budget?
“Our circumstances at the time were perfect for us as we were paying no rent! All of our income went into paying for the wedding which meant we could book last minute. I did use Bridebook online where I input our budget and costs which kept me on track each month. I also had a wedding planner book which was with me at all times. Surprisingly we kept in budget as the venue had everything we needed within the price; this helped a lot in keeping to our budget.”
Wedding venue: how did you search for a wedding venue?
“To begin with we were looking at getting married abroad as we witnessed a wedding and it was so beautiful! But we wanted all of our family to be there so we chose to stay local. When we started looking, we always knew it would be either De Vere Tortworth Court in Bristol or St Audries Park. De Vere Tortworth Court was huge and was so beautiful, very similar to St Audries Park. But we decided it would be too big for the number of guests we had. Many family members had been to weddings at St Audries Park and they said how beautiful it was and that it was good value! We booked St Audries Park straight away.”
What made you choose your wedding venue?
“For many years of visiting Minehead from Bristol, we always drove past and thought what a lovely place to get married. When it came to viewing the venue, when we drove down the long drive and came to the house, wow, we knew we wanted this venue. Inside was surprisingly spacious with loads of seating for guests. The banquet hall had loads of natural light which was lovely and was such a large room guests wouldn’t be cramped. The disco room was amazing! We loved the mirrored walls and the starlit floor, we knew our guests would love this (ONE of the reasons we went for the venue). The Orangery where we wanted to get married was perfect for us. It wasn’t too large so we knew it wouldn’t look empty and it was just stunning in every way possible; the glass roof, natural light, the greenery all around, it was just beautiful.”
Styling your wedding: how did you personalise your big day?
“There was no particular theme to our day, we decided to keep decorations basic. We had a flower ring (that matched our bridesmaid’s flowers) with a hurricane vase filled with champagne colours gems and a pillar candle. I decorated some mini table easels for our table numbers with a nice peach bow on the front. The favour were mini chocolates with our names and wedding date on with a thank you message on the back. We felt less was more and did not want to over decorate such a beautiful venue. We did hire a flower wall that had the same flowers as our bridesmaid flowers and we added some props for a bit of fun for the guests – I didn’t even get chance to use this!!”
“Our cake was simple, an ivory colour with some peach stripes and icing flowers incorporated. There was more than enough cake left over and we originally wanted a bigger cake! The cake was made by Maria at Dreams and Wishes Cake Company and she did a brilliant job!”
Wedding photographer: how did you choose your photographer?
“Michelle Wheat – Black Rose Photography was our photographer. She actually photographed my sister’s wedding and she was amazing. She is good value for money and we knew she took amazing photos! We didn’t want loads of formal shots, we wanted the more natural shots which was her speciality! We wanted our true reactions captured and Michelle had done just that.”
Wedding suppliers: how did you choose your suppliers?
“My Mum thought it would be a good idea to hire the flower wall for a bit of fun. I found a company (Events Hire South West) that hires pretty much everything and made a flower arch and flower wall that matched our flowers!”
Describe your wedding attire
“I always knew what I wanted, a big fairy tale dress with a long train and a cathedral veil! My dress was strapless with a lace body and corset back (so I could loosen it after food! I’m glad I did!) I didn’t want a strapless dress for the ceremony, so I wore a lace bridal jacket finished with a diamante belt; I took this off for the wedding breakfast. Everyone thought it was a different dress! It was the best decision I made.”
What accessories did you wear on the day?
“I wore my Mother’s pearl bracelet (something borrowed), I used my old engagement ring as I couldn’t find a wedding band to sit next to it neatly, any excuse for a new ring! (Something blue), I had my new engagement ring that I wore for the first time on the wedding day (something new). I also had a sixpence in my shoe (something old). My shoes were high but a thick block, I cannot believe I lasted in them until the end! They were very silver and sparkly and surprisingly quite comfortable.”
What did your partner wear?
“Scott chose his suits, he wanted something comfortable and plain as he isn’t a bold or pattern kind of guy! He kept it simple with grey suit with brown shoes and belt and a peach tie to match the bridesmaids.”
Tell us about your Bridesmaids, Groomsmen and their outfits
“Bridesmaids chose their own dress between them! They all wanted a wrap dress as they were comfortable and we managed to find somewhere that done the dress in maxi and knee length, it was just perfect! They were simple but lovely. The flower girls had sparkly tutu dresses on with sparkly silver shoes and a floral headband.”
What was your biggest wedding splurge?
“The rings were our biggest splurge. I had to buy a new engagement ring so this had to be as special as the first which was quite difficult! Scott also likes his gold and had to have a decent gold wedding band! They cost more than my dress – how is that even possible! Ha!”
What was your biggest wedding saving?
“Decorations I thought would cost us a fortune but I made most of our decorations! We saved so much by doing a bit of DIY.”
What was your ceremony like?
“The ceremony was beautiful. It was lovely with the sun beaming through the glass roof as my father walked me down the aisle. The bridesmaids and my youngest flower girl who did not learn to walk in time walked in first, followed by our two flower girls. We had ‘Better half of me’ by Tom Walker for the aisle song as this song suited our relationship so much. When we first heard the song, we knew it was for us – Scott actually decided on the song himself!”
Tell us about your drinks reception and wedding breakfast
“At the Drinks Reception our guests were served canapes and Prosecco on the lawns. This gave our guests an opportunity to mingle and use that flower wall and props!”
“At the wedding breakfast we had a three course meal which consisted of: Starter was Ham Hock then our Main was Roast Beef followed by Chocolate Brownie for dessert! It would not be my wedding if there were no brownies…. The food was amazing and there was flowing wine for everyone.”
“My father started the speeches where he made many of us cry and laugh. Scott then made his speech which went well – he was worrying over nothing! Finally, the best man Ryan finished off with his speech and a toasting with a glass of Prosecco.”
Did you have a band or DJ for your evening reception?
“We used the DJ supplied by St Audries Park in the Disco Room – he was amazing! He played all the songs we requested which consisted with a some of The Wurzles tracks for the Bristolians! Even the family from Minehead were up dancing to them”
Tell us about your first dance – what song did you chose and why?
“Neither of us are good at slow dancing – especially in such a big dress! First dance was Perfect by Ed Sheeran and Beyoncé. Even before we were engaged, we knew this was ‘our’ song.”
“The father daughter danced to “I loved her first” by Heartland.”
Based on your own experience, give us some top tips:
“Try not to stress! Courtney our wedding planner made the day stress free and I cannot not thank her enough! Everyone at St Audries Park was amazing and made the day perfect. There is nothing to stress about. It went so quickly I did not manage to use the flower wall we purchased or get chance to have a good dance! I completely forgot!”
If we could do it all again, we’d…
“Would not change a thing – maybe extend the finish time to keep the party going for a few more hours!”
Did you go on a honeymoon or mini-moon?
“We are going to Greece with our 1 year old daughter as we wanted our next holiday to be a family one!”
Tell us about your Suppliers!
Photograpaher: Michelle Wheat – Black Rose Photography
Wedding Cake: Dreams and Wishes
Hair & Makeup: Jessica Ware
Flower Wall & Arch: Events Hire South West
Wedding Dress: Boohoo
Wedding Rings: H Samuel
Wedding Attire: Wed2Be