Sara and Daniel found out about Gaynes Park online. As soon as they started looking through pictures, the happy couple knew they had to get married there.
I felt goose bumps as I imagined walking down the aisle and spending the most amazing day of my life there. The beauty of the rooms, the elegance of the place… it had the perfect layout and look. We booked a year in advance. It wasn’t the date we originally looked at but it was the only one they had available so we had to snap it up!
Sara had six bridesmaids. The adult bridesmaids included her maid of honour, little sister, sister-in-law and two of her closest friends, and the younger bridesmaids were Sara’s cousins.
Of course my bridesmaids would have helped me but as I absolutely love planning and especially weddings, I wouldn’t let them… some may say ‘control freak’. Weddings are something I’m very passionate about so I loved every second.
The adult bridesmaids wore silk champagne coloured strapless dresses from Coast, which were fitted at the top and cascaded down to the floor.
They were £180 each and the girls each wore head pieces, which I made myself as I love crafts. I also bought them all Swarovski necklaces to wear on the day.
The younger bridesmaids wore lace ivory dresses from John Lewis with shoes to match. They each wore a headband with a bow covered in beads that matched the older bridesmaids.
I wanted a timeless summer theme, but with elegance and the dresses fitted in perfectly with my imagination.
Daniel wore a grey suit with tails and a cream embossed waistcoat with a champagne cravat.
He chose it himself, even though he wanted me to come along. I couldn’t believe how smart he scrubs up! I felt like the luckiest lady in the world.
The best man was Daniel’s brother who we knew was going to be the best man from the start and he really was the best man for the job! The ushers were close friends Jason and Patrick and Cousin Dwayne. They all wore the same suits as Daniel but with different coloured cravats.
The ushers were great… they helped by making sure all the food was eaten at the end of the night! And by helping people find their seats. Jason also helped make dovecote centre pieces, which we really appreciated.
Your Dress, Accessories and Flowers
Sara’s dress was an amazing find. It was by Sottero and Midgley from a wedding dress shop called Brides of Berkhamstead. It was heavily laced and beaded, which is exactly what Sara wanted. It was corseted with a ribbon back and with the addition of a hoop underneath the dress; it flowed out at the bottom creating a lovely shape.
It was originally £1200 but I got it for £400 as it was in a size 12, I then spent £380 getting it altered to a size 8. They did an amazing job at Pure Couture. At first when I tried it on, even though it was big on me, I was amazed and just knew. Once it was altered it was like a completely different dress, I didn’t think it could get any better.
Sara accompanied her dress with a handmade tiara adorned with pearls and small crystals.
My jewelry was my Nan’s pearl necklace and her engagement ring (sadly she passed away and was a huge part of my life). My shoes were a pair of gold glittered heels from Dune for the day and a pair of Vivienne Westwood’s for the evening. My underwear was from Debenhams. My something old was my Nans necklace, my something borrowed was her ring that I borrowed from my mum, my something blue was on my garter and my something new was my dress.
Sara and Daniel hired two Dodge Charger limos; a red one for the men and a black one for the ladies.
I ordered a black Bentley cc, but that’s not what came and the company didn’t tell the driver of the time change either. However we opted for a different company, 1st Event Limousines and they were incredible. They are definately one I would use again!
The Decorative Touches
Sara and Daniel’s decorations included fairly lights, giant balloons, ribbon, petals, hanging tea lights and jars, dovecotes, sunflowers in vases, a handmade fabric flower garland and a driftwood heart.
I bought most of it at craft markets and then made it myself. We also had two duck ponds, which we made and put plastic inside to hole the water. I then bought 100 novelty ducks and put a screw in the back of them, wrote the table number underneath and made some rods out of bamboo. Our guests then had to hook their duck to find out what table number they would be sitting at. The giant balloons idea stemmed from a dream I had, with ribbons cascading from them… they looked amazing in our pictures!
Sara is quite the baker and makes her own cakes, so it was only fitting that she would make her own wedding cake!
Our cake had 5 tiers; three were fruit and the bottom two were polystyrene. They were covered in ivory icing and were decorated with thousands of tiny white daisies and had a yellow pearl in the center (it took around 2 months to make them all) I then wrapped ribbon around the bottom of each tier and added four giant white chocolate letters covered in gold glitter. They spiraled down the cake spelling out the word ‘Love’. On top sat a handmade castle made out of white chocolate – this was a surprise for my husband as he loves castles so I thought I had to include one!
Wedding Planning Tip
- For brides – Don’t let yourself get stressed, I didn’t get stressed once and enjoyed every second. It goes too quick for you to be worried or get angry at something, it’s your day don’t you forget that. Take your husband’s hand and don’t let it go, make sure you spend time together by yourselves throughout the day!
- For grooms – Be thoughtful, plan something on the day she doesn’t know about that you know she will love, keep nodding your head at all her ideas that way there won’t be any arguments!
- For keeping to a budget – Don’t be afraid to get your hands dirty, making your own items saves so much money and can look amazing. It will also feel more special to you.
Best Part of The Day
At the evening reception the most memorable moment was all our friends on the dance floor doing the Macarena.
Sara and Daniel had a mini-moon and a honeymoon! For their honeymoon they went to exotic Thailand and Borneo.
We wanted a gap between the wedding and the honeymoon to make sure we could go somewhere amazing and to long it out a bit! But straight after the wedding my parents booked for us to go to a beautiful tree house lodge in Devon which was lovely!