When true love happens its always special but when its the wedding of a friend its all the more beautiful so today I am thrilled to share the intimate wedding of Elise and Peter.
Sometimes you wait half your life for that someone who is meant for you, but then you find that it was definetely a love worth waiting for.
Elise shares the lovely images from her Big Day and shares her love story,
How did you meet?
“We met at at work in 2005.”
When and how did you get engaged?
“Peter booked a surprise weekend away to Bishops Castle in Shropshire the 10-12 August 2012.”
“He took me walking on the Saturday, when we got to the top of a hill he got down on one knee and popped the question.”
“That evening he had booked a very nice meal for us which we ended up interrupted to watch Mo Farah win his second Gold in the Olympics.”
Tell me about your Planning journey.
“The first decision was when, followed by where and how big, then what did we want it to be like.”
“We talked through what we wanted to get out of the day (other than being man and wife at the end of it). How did we want the day to be whilst we were living it, and when we look back on it.”
“We decided that we didn’t want a big or formal wedding, this was quite a decision as although we have both been married before, I’ve not had the ‘big white wedding’ but Peter had.”
“We had to be absolutely sure that we did it exactly how we wanted – Peter didn’t want me to feel as though I had missed out on any aspect of it.”
“We decided on a date, but when we started to talk to people, we quickly realised that the main people we wanted there were unlikely to be there, so we had to go back to the drawing board and re – think the date.”
“Then there was the venue – we’d already decided on the maximum number of people we wanted, so finding a venue to cater for such a small number proved challenging, but knowing the atmosphere we were aiming for helped to narrow down our searching.”
“Choosing the rings seemed to be almost as difficult as finding the right venue as we wanted something that was unique to us.”
“We had some ideas as to the design, but where to get them made was also proving difficult. It took about 3 months of designing, redesigning before a final design was agreed and we had them made and delivered.”
“All big descisions were made jointly like the venue, the rings, seating plan, food and the service itself, but things like themes, colours, favors, even the gifts for those involved I arranged.”
“The only things that we did independantly were our outfits – as I was making mine, I planned and bought everything without him seeing it, and got up early every day to work on it so that it was all put away when he got up – so no chance of him seeing it before the day.”
“We opted for 2 themes that people could chose between, that was the 1950’s or the American Civil War.”
“The themes were chosen because Peter likes the music and films from the 40‘s and 50’s, and I really like the clothes from the 50’s – I think they are the most feminine clothes that have ever been introduced as ‘fashion’, and because of my fascination with the American Civil War era (1860’s).”
“But other than suggesting the themes, we really left it up to the guests as to whether they decided to follow them or not, and if they did, how far they decided to go and how they wanted to interpret the theme.”
“My dress followed the 1950’s theme, where as Peter went more down the American Civil War route (though not entirely). Either way it was designed to be a bit of fun.”
“We got married as late in the afternoon as possible as this had many benefits – we knew people would have to travel to get to the venue, so it meant that people could travel that day should they wish/need to.
“It also meant that they only needed to be fed once which kept our costs down, and it minimised the duration of the festivities, so people wouldn’t have to spend a fortune on drinks, and as we didn’t have a disco, it meant that conversation didn’t go stale because it wasn’t an all day event and people weren’t starting to get weary mid evening.
When was your Wedding Date?
“We were married on 1st November 2012 at the Bull Hotel in Long Melford.”
“The Bull Hotel is a fine timbered house, situated near the village green, which was built for a wealthy wool merchant in 1450 and by 1580 it had become The Bull Hotel.”
“The hotel’s history is evident everywhere, from the massive moulded oak beams dominating reception to the wooden rafters, carvings, open fireplaces and period furniture throughout. Long Melford was a very busy village in Tudor times.”
What was the best bit of your day?
“The look on Peter’s face when he saw me, the relaxed atmosphere of the day and the enjoyment on the guests face throughout it all, and the pride my dad has for me for all I have done and the way I never give in that he shared with everyone in his speech – something he NEVER says or does in private never mind in public!”
Elm Studios, Folkestone for the wedding photo’s
Flower Scenta in Long Meford for all the flowers
My hairdressers friend for the wedding cake
Weddingrings-direct.com for the all important rings
I did my own invitations, seating plan, order of service, menu’s, favours and outfit.
Groom wore casual earth coloured shirt, waistcoat and trousers and black shoes. He had a single orange mini lily and red berries button hole.
I had a cream and lace 1950’s style dress with a Grace Kelly style neckline, 1950’s green and black baby doll shoes, silk single layer veil and autumnal circular bouquet that was actually 3 smaller bouquets and a single lily all wrapped together at the stem with ribbon.
At the start of the ceremony the bouquet was taken apart and a bouquet was given to the groom and bride’s mother and the single lily was handed to the grooms aunt.
The flower girl/ring bearer had a cream and organza dress with a burnt orange bow. Myself, flower girl and witnesses had the same flowers on a single comb for their hair.
Elise shares her Wedding Advice for other Brides and Grooms
First and foremost whatever type of wedding day you decide to have – ensure the whole experience – from the moment you get up to the moment you flop into bed at the end of the night is enjoyable. It may seem silly to say that, but the day should be about love and laughter, not stress!
Make sure you have some pain killers by the bedside and some water for when you wake in the morning – if you’re like me, you’re unlikely to drink huge amounts of alcohol during the day, or eat much due to nerves – even after the ceremony, but because you’re running on adrenaline all day, the following morning you’ll feel as if you’ve been on an all night bender and have the most awful headache.
Aside from knowing your budget, preparation and understanding what sort of day you want before you start is key.
Do you want it to be terribly formal or relaxed?
Do you want it to be unique to your individual personalities, fun, traditional, or a mixture?
How big do you want it to be – large where you invite everyone you’ve ever met even if you don’t speak to them from one year to the next, small and intimate where you only invite a select few who are the most closest to you, or something in between?
What do you want in the evening? Do you want the traditional disco or do you want something less traditional and more suited to your (and your guests) likes and dislikes?
Do you want it to be a long day or ‘just long enough?
Thinking about the people you invite. How they are likely to interact with each other and who will get on with who. Consider your seating plan at the same time – this may sound like a lot of hard work, but it really pays off for getting the right balance of people as that goes a long way to ensuring the mood and feel of the whole day is what you want it to be.
Take a lot of time to think about the venue as this also aides in setting the mood for the whole day, research as much as possible on the internet before going to view places – this could save a vast amount of time and expense if you’re not planning on getting married in the area you are living in.
Only go to see the realistic short list, and only decide on the place if it fits all your requirements. Eat at the venue whilst you’re viewing it so you can get a measure of the style and quality of the food, then book to see the wedding organiser at the venue – make sure you can discuss every level of detail with him/her and if you don’t 100% feel comfortable and confident in their capabilities, then look elsewhere.
Accommodation is also important – is there sufficient space either at the venue, or very close by for your guests to stay over should they need to? Is it affordable for your guests? If the venue is a hotel, or attached to a hotel, do they do discounts for your guests?
Then you can start to think about outfits, themes, colours.
When sending out invites make sure you include as much information as possible – With regards to the hotel accommodation – double check the prices online to make sure you are getting the best deal for your guests – we were given a discount for guests at our hotel, and when I went online to check the prices against those on laterooms.com for the same date, it worked out cheaper for single occupancy to book it through the hotel but for double occupancy it was cheaper to book through laterooms. Also there were alternative hotels / B&B’s within walking distance that were also cheaper than the discounted rates.
I included all accommodation information, along with driving instructions from main motorways from all directions, as well as information about nearest train stations and distances from the station to the venue. I also included an RSVP and envelope so all they needed to do was stick a stamp on it and pop it in the post – so many people just send out a wedding invite and then you have to hunt around for what you think they might like in return to say yes or no.
It’s a good idea to seriously consider the wedding list – these days most people live together before they get married, so most of the stuff that would normally go on a wedding list you’ve probably already got. Many people now opt for requesting donations to contribute to a honeymoon.
We decided that we would request people to donate to a charity instead – we thought very hard about which charity or charities to donate to. In the end we opted for 2 charities, and in with the invites we gave details of which charities we had chosen and instructions on what to do, and placed an envelope in with a tick box for people to choose which charity they would like their donation was to go to.
The envelope was not marked so the donations were anonymous (unless they opted to put a cheque in rather than the cash) so people wouldn’t feel embarrassed about how much they donated.
Make lists – I had a spreadsheet where I put all the information: timescales, budgets, guest list that showed who had been sent an invite, who was and wasn’t coming to the ceremony and evening do, to do list, suppliers list, even the seating plan. I also put together a word document that had ideas in – venue options, ring design, outfit ideas, colour schemes, bouquet designs, hair styles, who I wanted to help do what, photo’s I wanted taken.
Later on in the process I finally got a wedding planner book that I transferred everything into as this allowed me to add samples of material, examples of the invites, menu’s favours etc all in one place as something I could refer back to in years to come – a nice keepsake of the journey.
Plan the day itself – that may sound silly, but make sure you run through in your own mind how long things are going to take and make sure you have other people to do most of it for you so that you can relax and enjoy the day. It’s a very emotional day and you will be exhausted at the end of it, so the more you can get others to take on some of the tasks and leave you to only concentrate on getting ready, the better.
Thanks to Elise and Peter for sharing their beautiful intimate wedding day, and also for sharing some fabulous personal tips to help make your Big Day run more smoothly.
Photography Credit: Elm Studios