The Bride & Groom Beth and Sam Gregory, 30th August 2008, Chapel Down Vineyard, Tenterden.
Beth explains ‘Sam had booked a surprise trip to Seville in Spain. He organised my time off work and turned up at the office in a taxi to go straight to the airport. He had all our bags packed (including my straighteners and make up!) and most importantly the Haribo ring which he proposed with!’
Planning the day
‘We decided on the venue quite early on and booked the date we wanted. We left many other things till quite late which we advise against!’
The hen and stag nights
Beth - 'Sam and his friends went to Bristol for an action packed weekend that consisted of go-karting and paintballing. Two of my bridesmaids organised a surprise weekend to Madrid for a great weekend with the girls.
Beth - ‘It felt like waking up on a summers Christmas morning! I was so excited I woke up and jumped out of bed, which is a rarity! It was a beautiful morning with an amazing blue sky and I just knew it would be a perfect day.’
‘We both love Italy and did contemplate going abroad to get married in a vineyard. However, we wanted to get married in this country surrounded by our friends and family. We looked at Chapel Down Vineyard in Tenterden, the one and only venue we viewed and decided it was perfect for us. We wanted an outdoor ceremony with a laid back atmosphere so our guests could enjoy the food and drink and the herb garden was perfect for this.’
‘We decided not to hire wedding cars as we were spending the whole day at the same venue. Instead we opted for a very unique option and booked an old London double decker bus to pick up and drop off the guests at the end of the day so that everybody could have a drink and relax.’
Beth – ‘I chose an ivory silk dupion Spanish designed dress that had a halter neck with a long train. The bridesmaids wore bright green dresses from Coast and the flower girl wore an ivory dress with a pearl detail.'
The flowers and table decorations
Beth – ‘My bouquet had white and green roses with lots of foliage. The bridesmaids had lilies of the valley. On the wedding breakfast tables we had lime green hydrangeas and there were big vases of lilies on the top table.’
'It was a square, three tiered cake, decorated with lilies of the valley sugar flowers and white ribbon. The bottom tier was fruit cake and the top two were madeira cake.'
The first dance
Beth – ‘We both took a couple of salsa lessons before the big day and surprised everybody by doing a salsa dance! This was followed by ‘Hello’ by Lionel Ritchie, one of my favourites.’
The memorable moments
‘There are too many memorable moments throughout the day. The whole day was just amazing, it was so much better than we ever imagined it would be! We love looking through the photos and watching the video, it just brings the whole day back to life again!’
‘A samba band played on the lawn whilst our guests had canapés and a DJ played some dance floor classics into the evening.'
‘As a present from one of our guests, we spent our first evening at the Ritz Hotel in London. The following day we flew to the Maldives for a two week break staying at the Spa Resort.’
Their advice for you
‘Enjoy planning your big day and try not to get stressed! Don’t leave things to the last minute and involve family and friends to help you with ideas and organising! Sit back and try to take in the day as it goes so fast. Make sure you hire a great photographer and possibly videographer, as apart from your memories of the day, this is all that you will really have to keep. Take a relaxing honeymoon afterwards!’
Venue – Chapel Down Winery, Tenterden
Brides dress – Fripperies, Headcorn
Grooms suit – Simmonds, Tunbridge Wells
Photography – Helen England Photography
Flowers – Pat Tomlin, family friend
Entertainment – Samba Band – Bloko Fogo
Transport – Redroute Buses