After months of friendship, and secretly fancying Paul, Sophie decided to take the plunge and ask him out. A few year’s later, it was Paul doing all the hard work as he planned the perfect proposal…
Sophie’s 30th birthday was a memorable occasion for more reasons than one. After being surprised by a couple’s photoshoot on the day of her birthday, Paul also took the opportunity to get down on one knee, making the day extra special!
He’d organised everything with the photographer so that he could catch the moment from exactly the right place. It was very memorable!
The Wedding and Reception Venue
When it came to their wedding wishlist, the pair were keen to find a beautiful all-in-one venue that let them tie the knot and celebrate in one place, on their chosen December wedding date. With just eight months to plan their winter wedding, they knew they had to move fast to secure their dream venue.
As soon as we arrived we had a great feeling about Gaynes Park. It’s such a beautiful place. Plus, Guy, the owner, was so welcoming. He made us feel as though we were the only people ever to get married at Gaynes Park.
Sophie asked two of her best friends and her sister-in-law to be bridesmaids. Luckily, the process of finding the perfect dresses was easy and cheaper than expected, as Sophie stumbled across some second-hand Mint Velvet gowns online.
I found the dresses on a friend’s Facebook page, and they were just gorgeous. The girls teamed them with fur stoles, made by my mum, which looked fantastic.
Keen to make sure Paul chose well, Sophie decided to go wedding suit shopping with him. The couple found the perfect fit in Moss Bros, which also offered a hire option too. The final suit was a traditional charcoal three-piece suit, teamed with a golden / ivory cravat.
I got to see Paul all dressed up before walking down the aisle, with some ‘first look’ photos. Paul looked so smart and having some time together before the ceremony helped calm my nerves.
Your Dress, Accessories and Flowers
Sophie found her dream gown at a wedding boutique in Hitchin. The Allure gown was dramatic in style and featured pretty lace applique.
It was just perfect.
Sophie let her dress do all the talking and kept her jewellery to a minimum, wearing just pearl earrings and her grandma’s engagement ring. Her bouquet was equally simple, adding to the elegant feel of the day.
Like her bridesmaids, she also wore a fur stole down the aisle – ideal for the chilly winter weather. Later in the day, Sophie replaced the stole with a delicate lace shawl cover-up, designed by her seamstress.
The Decorative Touches
With a December wedding, the pair knew they had the perfect opportunity to embrace a bit of glitz and glam. They decided to theme their day with creams, silvers and golds, and to add a touch of sparkle!
Candles added a beautiful touch; we put them in tea light holders that were both safe and lovely. We also dotted wicker hearts and lanterns throughout the venue.
The styling of Mill Barn was just as elegant. The couple sought the assistance of Mediterranean Occasions too, who provided coloured candlelight lighting for the space.
We featured simple candelabras on the tables along with tea lights and crystal gems – for that touch of sparkle!
Sophie and Paul were lucky enough to have an expert baker in the family – Paul’s mum. She made the pair’s wedding cake, which featured a Victoria sponge tier, chocolate fudge sponge layer, and a fruitcake. This was topped off with fantastic wedding food – enjoyed by the couple and all their guests.
I may be biassed, but I think it’s the best wedding food I’ve ever had!
Best Part of the Day
It’s hard to pick one moment. I loved getting ready with the girls and my mum, and I enjoyed our ‘first look’ photos. Walking down the aisle and hearing my brother sing was pretty special too.
Sophie and Paul enjoyed a cosy mini-moon in the Cotswolds after their wedding. This was followed by an epic break a few months later to two sun-soaked destinations for a complete break.
We went to Sri Lanka and the Maldives, two very different places. We spent the first few days travelling and all our time in the Maldives relaxing in pure luxury.
Wedding Planning Tips
Enjoy every second of the process and the day – it flies by! Use a spreadsheet to track your costs and always try and negotiate on things to get the best price.