Natalie & Mark’s Wonderful Winter Wedding!
Tell us about the proposal – how and where did it happen?
“On the 3rd August 2019 – Mark got down on one knee in front of both our families at our annual BBQ.”
What was your first step in planning your wedding?
“Our wedding venue and the dress!”
Inspiration: Did you use blogs or magazines for ideas?
“Pinterest was very useful for flower ideas.”
What were your wedding “must have’s”?
“As we had such a range of ages (children to the age of 91!) it was important for us that our venue had different spaces – quiet relaxing spaces to a full-on party area!”
Wedding budget: how did you organise your wedding budget?
“We started with a budget then decided we will only do this once and spent a little more – it was worth it!”
Wedding venue: how did you search for a wedding venue?
“We looked in our local area and completed lots of tours – some venues more than once.”
What made you choose your wedding venue?
“It was Mark’s favourite – he fell in love with Leez Priory. We never dreamed we would be lucky enough to have a venue like it – grand and stunning!”
Styling your wedding: how did you personalise your big day?
“We kept the ceremony room as ivory and lace so that we had an area that did not look like it was Christmas, just very simple with little touches such as candles and ivory petals down the aisle. Gold was the key colour to match the time of year and Leez Priory’s fabulous Christmas tree and decorations. Our cake was 4 tiers with gold glitter and mini versions of ourselves. Favours were all personalised heart Christmas decorations with gold ribbon. A wood burner was used to put each guests name on. We named each table after each year we had been together. The tables were simple – candlelight and sparkles. Our venue was so special and beautiful that we didn’t feel we needed to add lots of extras – it spoke for itself!”
Wedding photographer: how did you choose your photographer?
“We looked at lots of different photographers. We enjoyed the romance element and found our photographer easy to work with which was key for the big day.”
Wedding suppliers: how did you choose your suppliers?
“Many of our suppliers were recommended by Leez Priory during our visit and time with our wedding planner. We are glad we used them as each company knew the venue well which made it all run smoothly along with our fantastic wedding planner.”
Describe your wedding attire?
“I always dreamed of and wanted the BIG princess dress, but it turned out I went for the complete opposite. I was worried I would not have the ‘moment’ when trying to find a dress but as soon as I put my dress on the ‘tears’ came and I knew it was the one. I felt beautiful. The dress had straps which was important to me. It had a low back and lovely long train with lace detail. A two tired veil with sparkles flowed down the back. As it was December, I had a beautiful feather jacket.”
What accessories did you wear on the day?
“I had two pairs of shoes – low heel white lace for the day and then high rose gold sparkly heels for the evening. My hair pieces were beautiful silver vines. My jewellery was bought using vouchers from my class as I am a teacher and so my earrings and bracelet were very special to me. In my hair my niece put one of her blue hair clips as something blue and borrowed.”
What did your partner wear?
“Mark wore a navy-blue suite with a white check pattern. He wore a matching waist coat and a gold tie. He chose his own suit. He looked so handsome when I saw him. In our pictures you can see the tears in my eyes as I walk towards him.”
Tell us about your Bridesmaids, Groomsmen and their outfits
“Mark asked his best man at our engagement BBQ to be his best man. The best man and father of the bride both wore the same suits as the Groom. I asked my sister to be my maid of honour with a personalised gift. She wore a full-length gold sequin dress. We had two page boys who both wore navy blue checked suits and the young bridesmaid wore a navy blue and gold sequin dress.”
What was your biggest wedding splurge?
“The Dress and Venue.”
What was your ceremony like?
“We had a saxophonist playing Jazz music as guests were seated. The page boys had mini briefcases that said ‘Ring security’ which added some humour. Our bridesmaid had a banner saying, ‘Uncle Mark here comes your bride.’ I walked down the aisle with my Dad to the saxophonist playing Ed Sheeran’s ‘Perfect’. We had two readings during the service by the brothers of the bride. The saxophonist played Re-Write the Stars and Stand by me during the signing of the register and then played us out after the service to Marry you.”
Tell us about your drinks reception and wedding breakfast?
“We had three different choices of drinks during the drink reception including mulled wine for a Christmas feel. The saxophonist continued to play until the wedding breakfast began – we made special requests for our parents own weddings songs to be played. We had a formal greeting line. Speeches were done before the meal so that those talking could then relax and enjoy their meal. The father of the bride speech received lots of laughs and was very entertaining; linking to lots of current media topics with jokes. The Best Man gave what everyone wanted – lots of great stories about the groom including stories behind nicknames!”
Did you have a band or DJ for your evening reception?
“We had a DJ and requests for lots of songs from when we grew up in the 90’s and 00’s.”
Tell us about your first dance – what song did you chose and why?
“We danced to Greenday’s – ‘Time of your life.’ This was a song I had dreamed of having since I was young. We literally had a quick spin to the song in the kitchen the night before the wedding – people thought we had learnt a routine! As we danced the grand doors opened behind our guests and we walked out to a firework display straight after.”
Based on your own experience, give us some top tips?
“Enjoy each part of it from the of engagement to the day after the wedding. Have the service early to give you plenty of time between that and the wedding breakfast to speak to people and have photographs – especially in the winter!”
“If we could do it all again…. we’d have the day all over again!”
Did you go on a honeymoon or mini-moon?
“We were due to go to Canada but due to Covid-19 we have just got back from a mini-moon in Cornwall – it was beautiful. We will make it to Canada one day!”
Purchase & Hire – Tell us who your suppliers were:
Wedding attire: Birds Bridal Chelmsford
Bridesmaid’s dresses: Monsoon
Other outfits: Slaters
Wedding cake: BuBakes
Cars: Vintage Dreams
Photographer: The Edge Photography
Band/disco/DJ: Leez resident DJ. Saxophonist: Paula Borrell
Make-up: AS Bridal
Hair: Yaxley Hair and Beauty
Fireworks: Dynamic Fireworks