13th Nov 2012

Emma and Dave's Big Day

Emma and Dave both grew up in the South of England and met in 2003, when Emma did work experience at a music company that Dave worked for.
They were friends for a year before they had their first date and since then, have hardly been apart for more than a few days. They both have a deep passion for music as well as a similar outlook on life and so it was a match made in heaven really.  

Dave proposed to me on my 25th birthday. I had no idea but he had booked a room in a Brighton hotel called Sea Spray called the Venetian room. As we both love Venice and I collect Venetian masks it was perfect. Champagne was waiting for us in the room and Dave had brought a CD of songs we love for the stereo they had. We had ordered a taxi to take us to a restaurant that Dave had booked and as he helped me on with my coat before we left the room he brought a ring box in front of me. He then got down on one knee and proposed. It was a complete surprise and we went to dinner feeling so happy and planning the date already!

Dave chose my engagement ring which a lot of people seem surprised about, but he knows me so well I had no doubt he'd make the perfect choice. I love Art Deco and the 1920s, vintage style; It reflects that perfectly. It is white gold and has a large diamond in the centre with 14 smaller diamonds on either side along the band, which is also the date of my birthday. The ring was bought from Southern Goldsmiths in Haywards Heath.

Dave and I had the same idea of how we wanted our wedding to be; small, intimate and elegant which is exactly what it was. I imagined lots of candles and lights to create a magical atmosphere and we definitely achieved that.

I always knew I wasn't the typical wedding dress kind of girl. Being only 5 foot a large meringue was never going to be my style. Over the course of the year before the wedding I bought so many wedding magazines and cut out so many pictures of dresses I liked, all of which seemed to be a similar style - fitted and glamorous. I love Art Deco and knew I wanted something with lots of embellishment, which I could potentially wear again.

White Mischief was the first appointment I made to look for my wedding dress. I knew that they stocked Jenny Packham and Anoushka G, both of which I loved the style of, so thought it would be a great place to start. I was quite decisive when choosing which dresses to try and my wedding dress was the second dress I tried on. As soon as I saw it I knew I had to try it on and when I did it was absolutely perfect. It was everything I was looking for - unique, embellished, stylish and elegant. I had made another appointment on the same day at another wedding dress shop and was considering canceling it as I thought I had already found 'the one!' I did however, attend the other appointment and found there was not one dress in the other shop I wanted to try on, as after the Anoushka G dress nothing compared. I made another appointment at White Mischief to try the dress on again and that was it, I was in love!

I knew I wanted something different - not your typical ivory wedding shoes, so I opted for red. To me it exudes glamour and went perfectly with the style and look I wanted to create. My shoes were a steal on eBay for just £12.99!
As my dress was embellished I wanted to be subtle with my jewellery. I chose a pair of vintage earrings at £6.99 from a shop in Hassocks called My Vintage.
Rather than a veil I chose a stunning crystal side headpiece from www.euphoriashop.co.uk at around £45.

I wanted to create a very elegant, glamorous look and so chose a Rita Hayworth-like hairstyle to tie in with my dress and the theme for the day. A family friend who has been my hairdresser since I was four did my hair and it was exactly what I had envisioned. With regards to make up I wanted to go for a natural look that accentuated my eyes. I cut out several make up styles from magazine to add to a wedding scrap book I put together in the run up to the wedding, and took these along to my make up trial. Clare Parker from Mavellous Make Up did my make up on the day and was absolutely fabulous. She listened to my ideas and was very patient in helping me find the perfect colouring to suit me and create the look I wanted.

The colour scheme for our wedding was black and white and so I wanted a simple, elegant dress for my bridesmaid. We chose a dress from a supplier in Horsham called Xclusiv, which was around £100.
My husband wore an elegant black suit from Moss Bros in Horsham. We chose black, again to tie in with our colour scheme, and Dave wore a red cravat to match my shoes. All the men's suits were hired from here at around £94 each.

We wanted the flowers to be elegant and simple and chose white hydrangeas and gypsophila. Gypsophila was one of my late Grandmother's favourite flowers and combined with the hydrangeas was beautiful. Our supplier was De Novo Flowers in Haywards Heath who were absolutely fantastic and a pleasure to work with from start to finish.

We created our own save the date card and invitations. We found a lovely silhouette image of a bride and groom on shutterstock and added text using InDesign. We then printed these and mounted them on black card bought from Hobbycraft. I also bought a 'Wedding' stamp from HobbyCraft, which we used in gold ink and printed on the seal of each of our envelopes. These were then addressed to our guests in gold pen.
We wanted a small affair and so only invited our closest family and friends who knew us best.

Our marriage and reception took place at Jeremy's Restaurant at Borde Hill Gardens in Haywards Heath. We are local to the venue and had been there for lunch a year or so before our engagement. That day we both said when we get married let's do it here. It was our first choice and actually the only venue we saw. The restaurant has beautiful beams and feels very light and intimate. There is a wonderful terrace looking out onto the beautiful garden which features a tunnel of vines and wisteria which really was the stand out feature.

We chose to use a local events company called Ashdown Events in Haywards Heath for some of our decoration. We met with them to discuss our ideas and knew we wanted to keep it simple and make use of lots of lights. They used the beams in the restaurant to suspend ivory draping within which, was enclosed white lights. Behind the registrar table was an ivory screen, which also included beautiful lights. Fairy lights were wound around the parasols on the terrace, which looked wonderful in the dark. We had decided we didn't want any chair covers as this looked too 'weddingy' and is overdone, so a few days before the wedding my Mum and I sat and, using ivory ribbon, created bows to be stuck the side of the chairs which lined the aisle. My husband and I had bought hurricane lamps from Sainsbury's and filled these with sand and large pillar candles, which we then used to line the aisle on either side. Small tealights were placed on the registrar table in between two beautiful mirrored vases that contained our flowers. We had also bought mirrored plates to be placed under the vases on each of our tables on the terrace and these were perfect in reflecting the lights from the candles as well.

On the morning of the wedding I woke at my parents' house feeling nervous. I'd been unable to sleep well but when I woke up felt I was running on adrenaline, I couldn't believe the day we'd been talking about, planning, organising for so long was finally here! After that time seemed to go so quickly, it wasn't long before my hairdresser, bridesmaid and make up artist arrived and then it was time to get into my dress. As the car arrived and neighbours waved us off I felt like I was in a dream.
I hired a black Chrysler to take my Dad and I to the venue from MW Executive Cars in Haywards Heath. From our first meeting Mike, the owner of the company was kind and thoughtful and made sure we made it to the venue in plenty of time.

The service was a bit of a blur. I think I was so nervous it's hard to remember it clearly looking back. I remember before entering hearing the music we had chosen instantly made me feel very emotional, and as I entered I almost didn't see anything or anyone by Dave. Once I reached him and could hold his hand I felt okay, and it was a beautiful service.
After the ceremony I think we both breathed a sigh of relief almost and couldn't quite believe we were actually married! Seeing all our friends and family together in one place just for us was a wonderful feeling.
After seeing the film ‘An Education’ we both loved the song ‘I've Got You Wrapped Around My Little Finger’ by Beth Rowley. It is elegant and beautiful with lots of brass, and has a timeless feel to it.

Our reception was very relaxed and as it was a beautiful, sunny day we were lucky to have our drinks in the garden. For our food we had a barbeque, which was absolutely delicious. With cupcakes for dessert with strawberries and everyone seemed to enjoy themselves, we couldn't have asked for more.
We chose to have cupcakes and a top cake rather than a traditional wedding cake. Each cupcake was white and topped with hydrangea petals made from sugar-paste to match our flowers and were in a black case. Half had elderflower icing and the other half champagne. Our top cake was a fruitcake, again topped with hydrangea petals and surrounded by a diamante ribbon trim. A wonderful lady made our cake, from Cake Occasions in Burgess Hill, called Catriona Arnold. From our very first meeting she understood our taste and made some wonderful suggestions. She put so much thought into every details and we can't thank her enough.

We chose to make our own favors, which was done by my husband. He made heart shaped shortbread biscuits, which we put into clear bags and tied with an ivory, heart patterned ribbon, which he sourced from. We bought white tags from W H Smiths and wrote a thank you note on each one with gold pen.

Our photographer was Nick Dawson from Smile Photography. Dave knew Nick through work and when we met and saw some of his previous wedding photography we were so impressed we knew he was the right person for us. Nick's enthusiasm really relaxed our guests and he took some beautiful shots that we are so pleased with.

Our wedding day was everything we had hoped for and more. Every supplier we used exceeded our expectations and it was wonderful to see all our hard work come together as well. It was wonderful to have all our friends and family together and share the most special day of our lives with us.

I would advise brides-to-be to trust their instincts and not be influenced by other people. It is ultimately you and your fiancés day and no matter what other people's opinions may be do what's right for you. I would also say don't get too stressed, remember you are marrying the man you love and who you want to spend the rest of your life with, everything else will fall into place.

Headpiece: www.euphoriashop.co.uk
Groom: www.moss.co.uk
Flowers: www.denovoflowers.co.uk
Invitations: www.hobbycraft.co.uk
Venue: www.jeremysrestaurant.co.uk
Events company: www.ashdownevents.co.uk
Cake: www.sussexcakeoccasions.co.uk
Ribbon: www.confetti.co.uk













Photographer: Smile Photography
Dress: Chantel: Anouschka G
Location: Jeremy's Restaurant at Borde Hill Gardens in Haywards Heath
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