Michelle & Chris…

Wedding Date: August 2014.

Where did you meet?

At Chris’s place where he was renting. His cousin Hannah passed his number over to me after Chris hinted he liked me from a Facebook photo he saw of me and her. I turned up on his doorstep one lunch break (as he only lived round the corner from where I worked) to ‘check him out’ before then securing a date and the rest was history…!

How long was your engagement?

About 18 months – got engaged, 02.03.13 and married on 22.08.14. Chris proposed at Edinburgh castle and the following day we were heading up to Aberdeen to see my family and during the 3 hour journey up there we had already compiled version 1 of our guest list and who the bridal party was going to be!

Where did you get married and why?

Great Hallingbury Manor – fantastic venue and had everything we required. When looking at all the different venues we had a checklist of what we wanted and GHM met that! We preferred the bar to be located where the dance floor was as it was important to us to have guests close together rather than spread out (we noticed that majority of venues had the bar at a separate location to the dance floor which meant guests were spread out and not near enough to the dance floor). This worked a treat as expected as the dance floor was occupied by all guests all evening and they had a brilliant time! We also wanted as much accommodation as possible for guests who were travelling miles for the wedding and also for guests who wanted to let their hair down and didn’t have to worry about driving/taxi home (a lot of venues had roughly 12 rooms, which wasn’t enough).

Food – everyone loves food so we wanted a great tasty wedding breakfast which people would rave about – and GHM did so and provided outstanding food! Our guests had a choice of a 3 course meal. GHM is very modern, well-kept and cute, the grounds are immaculate – we could tell it would be great for a variety of photos – and that is was! The Bridal Suite was the most gorgeous relaxing room I had seen out of all bridal suites viewed and on booking I could imagine myself getting ready in there with my bridesmaids and as I thought it ended up being the most perfect morning with my girls and mum. Our last main point was that we wanted to get married somewhere un-predictive that no-one had been to before, so it was a new experience for all!

What was your wedding Cake like?

We had a sponge cake fire engine with the fire engine ladder connected to the 3 tier wedding cake which had “live”, “laugh”,“love” on each tier (that’s our motto for life). The Groom was climbing the ladder up to the bride at the top of the cake!

What was the main highlight of your big day?

How do you answer that? Hard one….For myself it was the morning (getting ready with the girls and mum) and the evening for both of us it had to be the surprise dance, also with Chris being a firefighter, having the fire engine that he drives at work on site for photo purposes went down a storm with the guests!

Did you have a colour scheme or theme to your wedding?

Yes burgundy red and ivory was our colour scheme. We had a logo that we used for our wedding on everything (place-names, favours, table names, table plan, sweet bags etc) which were entwined hearts, we also had butterflies dotted around on all these things (this had a meaning to us and were a symbol of absent ones) and also the Fire Engine was a huge hit (both real fire engine on site and fire engine cake)

What music did you have for your 1st dance?

Entrance song into wedding breakfast was: Chris Brown, Forever – the words meant a lot and it’s our type of song (up-beat and happy) First Dance was a Surprise Dance – none of the guests knew. We started off by slow dancing to West Life – Unbreakable, then Chris sang a snippet of Michael Buble, Feeling Good (which I acted like I didn’t know what was happening – BUT DID) and then the bridal party joined in on our choreographed routine x2 best men, x2 ushers and x4 bridesmaids (again I started off pretending I didn’t know what was happening, but when the routine kicked in for the girls to begin, I joined in)! A surprise dance is just something we would do (it’s our personality to make people laugh and smile) and it completely started the party for the evening.

What flowers did you choose and why?

Cala Lilly’s – Because you could get them in burgundy red and ivory and they looked stunning and was also something different compared to the standard roses you see.

What are you looking forward to as a married couple?

Staying happily married forever for one and also one day we hope to have a family together to complete us.

Is there any other information you would like to add?

We could not have faulted anything on our big day from beginning to end the day was PERFECT. The staff members were all very efficient, helpful and friendly. The guests smiled all day long and
happiness could be seen everywhere. It was a bonus the sun shone for the photos and set beautifully in the evening for more photos!  Tips – after all the preparation, the bride and groom should sit back and enjoy their whole day and just watch everyone else having fun at YOUR wedding!!! It’s a brilliant feeling. Myself and Chris took ourselves away from the wedding for 5 minutes just to sit together without the videographer / photographer and just watched all our
guests having fun. We were so so so glad we secured a duo-photographer (one to take the arranged shots and one to take action shots (so we got a variety of photos; two different emphasis on the day) and videographer. On seeing our wedding DVD it just makes it all complete.

All Photography by David Islip