Ryan proposed on Christmas Day 2018. We had initially agreed to spend the day separately with our families, but he had hatched a secret plan with my mum to surprise me on Christmas morning. After a heavy Christmas Eve celebrating the engagement with his own family – before I had actually said yes, or even knew about the proposal I might add – Ryan drove from Essex to Leamington Spa first thing in the morning, clearly feeling very confident. He turned up on my mums doorstep, much to my surprise and got down on one knee at which I immediately burst into tears and without any hesitation said yes.
Our wedding was at the beautiful Merriscourt Gallery in the Cotswolds and it was just the perfect venue for us. I wanted a typically English wedding but very elegant and classic at the same time and this venue hit the mark exactly. I actually spotted the venue in a bridal magazine and booked in a visit immediately. As soon as I saw it, I knew it was the one. The bonus for us was that it came with on site accommodation which were quaint cottages in their own gardens next door to the venue, meaning we could have our whole bridal party with us for the full three days, making it even more memorable.
My dress shopping experience was a bit of a rollercoaster. I started off thinking that maybe I just didn’t like bridal styles and that perhaps wedding dresses just weren’t for me as I just couldn’t find anything which felt right. After finally getting into my flow, I started finding lots that I liked but nothing gave me the ‘feeling’. Then I arrived at The Bridal Boutique and Madi was just everything I needed. She was straight talking, the ultimate stylist and gave real feedback telling me what worked, what didn’t and what could be changed. With her help, I found my dream dress that is just so perfectly me and I loved everything about it.
The dress I went for in the end was by Jesus Peiro and was actually picked out by my mum which made it all the more special. It was the back of the dress that I was initially sold by; I just adored the halter neck, exposed back, cummerbund waist and the intricate buttons. It was absolute perfection. But what really sold it was its simplicity and that I felt so effortlessly myself and comfortable in it. It is so timeless and has such a simple elegance to it, and completely matched the style of wedding that I was hoping for. Madi then worked her magic and expertly dressed it up with a statement veil and sealed the deal.
I left our venue styling largely in the capable hands of our wonderful florist Rachel, at The March Hare – who I would recommend to any Cotswolds brides. Planning through covid was a little tricky, but she understood my vision perfectly and I trusted her implicitly – she went above and beyond my expectations on the day and created the most stunning designs which I fell in love with. In addition to the floral chandeliers suspended from the ceiling, the giant urns full to the brim with David Austen roses and the bouquet of dreams to name just a few features, she styled the venue beautifully with tea-lights, candles and lanterns. It was simply stunning.
My advice to brides would be just enjoy every moment of the planning, don’t get caught up in the details and try not to sweat the small stuff. It will all come together perfectly and even if things do go wrong, you are the only one who will even notice. Try to take a few moments just you and your other half on the big day – it truly does fly before your eyes. But it’s the absolute best and worth waiting for.
Suppliers details below:
Photographer: Andrew Brannan
Videographer: Amazing Dayz
Florist: The March Hare
Cake by Rachel
String quartet: Vyne StringQuartet
Shoes: Manolo Blahnik
Dress and Veil: Jesus Peiro
Venue: Merriscourt Gallery