The Bride & Groom
Sarah & Bradley Mewett, 15th October 2011, The Spa Hotel, Tunbridge Wells.
We went to my parent’s holiday home in France for a long weekend and Brad took me completely by surprise as we walked along the beach one crisp October morning.
He got down on one knee in the sand and proposed with a ‘pretend’ ring from M&S which was in the box of my Mum’s engagement ring. He later told me of how he’d been to my parents to ask my Dad for my hand in marriage and how my Dad had ‘cried like a baby’. I on the other hand was so surprised that I just couldn’t stop laughing!
It took me a while to say yes only when Brad said his knee was getting wet. We quickly decided we’d get married exactly a year later on 15th October 2011.
The hen & stag nights
The hen night was in London with closest friends. We went to a Vintage Tea Party with Angel Adoree. So special and memorable! We were dressed in 1920's flapper dresses, drank earl grey tea and gin cocktails, had afternoon tea and learned to dance the Charleston.
Followed by karaoke and a night at a burlesque club where I ended up on stage being whipped!...don't ask!
The stag do was a surf weekend in Newquay. Lots of beers and fancy dress! What goes on tour stays on tour!
Planning the day
I’m an organised person by nature so I loved the wedding planning. I quickly had spreadsheets, lists and mood boards together.
I’d definitely recommend mood boards (lots of pictures from magazines etc) all together so you can start to see how you might want your day to look.
Spreadsheets and lists are great too, helping you keep track of everything you or others need to do.
I read/flicked through various wedding magazines and talked to friends about how they’d planned their weddings.
I only attended one wedding fair but know you can get lots of inspiration and contacts for suppliers if you don’t know where to start for them.
I had 4 bridesmaids, my longest friend, 2 of my best friends and my cousin. It is so hard to choose but I thought they’d be the perfect support for me in the run up to and on the big day itself - and they were!
I can genuinely say our wedding day was the best of my life!
The planning really did pay off as I woke (well sort of...I’d had no sleep from excitement!) on the day of the wedding and enjoyed every minute without having to worry what was happening or not happening.
The day flew by without any problems. Brad and I just smiled and enjoyed.
We chose to get married in the church in the town where we both grew up.
We looked at a few reception venues but as we knew of the Spa Hotel in Tunbridge Wells already and it has a great reputation for weddings locally we decided to book there pretty quickly.
I got my dress from Perfection Bridal in Maidstone. My Mum cried and I felt like I could float around the room with a big grin on my face!
I had a full length veil for its elegance, a headpiece of crystals and pearls as it picked out some of the detail on my dress and I hated tiaras, pearl bracelet and necklace as they look simple and I love pearls.
A friend of the family kindly drove us in his amazing car – a Thornycroft.
Wedding theme/colour scheme
We decided on a navy colour scheme as I knew it would suit all my bridesmaids, was a colour I love and it would look smart too.
Favourite wedding purchase
My shoes – I got them at the Shoe Galleries in Selfridges – they didn’t exactly match my dress but I figured most people wouldn’t see them and I could enjoy them.
They were Kurt Geiger - a salmon pink with diamonds and pearls in a rosette on the peep toe with a medium heel.
The flowers and table decorations
My Mum – Susan Thompson Flowers did the flowers. We had wicker love hearts and ribbons for church pew ends as an alternative to flowers.
I made my own table plan – bought a decorative old style frame online and used lots of bits and pieces from Hobbycraft to create it.
We had the traditional sit down 3 course meal.
Our cake was a 3 tier sponge, fruit and chocolate cake made by a friend. It followed the navy theme and had pearl like beads on as well as a mix of navy and cream hearts.
It was surrounded by heart cookies that were decorated like the heart on our wedding invitation.
The first dance
Our first dance was Finley Quaye – Your Love Gets Sweeter just because we both love it and we wanted a cheerful, upbeat first dance.
We struggled to choose one song as we have lots of songs we both enjoy!
A friend of my brothers played his guitar at the church while we signed the register and also during the arrival drinks and canapés at the reception venue. We had a DJ in the evening.
The memorable moments
If I had to pick one thing it would be seeing everyone in the church, everyone you love and care for in one place, as Dad walked me down the aisle and glimpsing Brad for the first time (I was advised to walk very slowly and take it all in and I did and it was great!)
We honeymooned in Bali for 11 nights and Hong Kong for 4. It was the perfect balance of relaxation and buzz.
We got married on a Saturday and stayed at the venue, Sunday after breakfast with guests we travelled to Heathrow and stayed in an airport hotel and then flew early Monday.
I recommend this approach if you can because you are so exhausted the day after the wedding you don't really want to be travelling.
My advice is plan and keep on top of your to do list in the months running up to your wedding (I had lots of lists and spreadsheets) and make a timing plan for getting ready for bride and the bridesmaids on the day, then you can sit back, relax and take in the big day itself as everything happens!
I gave a 'handover' to our venue so they knew exactly what we wanted to happen. It goes so fast you don't want to be worrying about what should be happening! Let someone else do that for you.
Venue - The Spa Hotel, Tunbridge Wells
Florist – Susan Thompson Flowers (bride’s mother)
Cake Maker - Aaron Field (friend of bride & groom)
Entertainment – Neil from Odysseyhttp://www.odysseyweddingdisco.co.uk
Stationery - designed invites myself and a friend professionally laid out then got printers to produce, made our own place names and table plan.