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Real Wedding | Rebecca & Elliott | 12 Jul 2014

Photographer: A&E Photography Florist: Lily Floral Art Cake: Family Member Band/DJ: The Story

First things first, can you tell us about the proposal?

Beki's perspective...

After swearing blindly he would never propose to me on a holiday, when we booked a weekend trip to Paris the thought of Elliott popping the question didn't enter my mind. It wasn't until we ventured to the top of the Eiffel Tower with a glass of champagne in hand that he pulled out a little black box and asked me to be his wife!

Elliott's Perspective...

After Beki suggested we visit the Paris Christmas market in 2013, and following on from a successful curve-ball regarding holiday proposals, the master plan was set in motion..! Step1 - Find the perfect ring.  Fortunately this was simple, go to the Tiffany store (the T word may have been mentioned once or twice!). Step 2 - Go on a covert mission to the Manchester store.  Fortunately again, there is a snow dome in Manchester so this provided the perfect cover (obviously a 2 hour session in the snow dome was required prior to the purchase).  Step 3 - Plan the proposal.. if only Paris had the perfect location.. oh wait!  Lift tickets for day two of our trip booked. Now to wait for departure on the 1st... Step 4 - Keep the ring a secret while travelling... airport security check could be an issue...? Easy, place ring in jacket pocket and send through to x-ray! Step 5 - Keep ring safe until the trip to the top of the tower on the second day... tick.  Step 6 - Appease Beki with her desire to visit the Paris Tiffany store and hope there aren't any tears when we leave empty handed... and also don't tell her that it's in your pocket! (At this stage there was a pleasant and unexpected twist - Beki negotiates for an engagement proposal with the offer of an expensive watch in return - the 'Master Plan' just became a win-win-win!!) Step 7 - Get to the top of tower, what could possibly go wrong now... Fortunately, given Beki's minor fear of heading to the top, her transfixion with the forthcoming lift distracted her from witnessing the ring being discovered by security behind! During the next 10 seconds there was silence but a series of awkward head and eye movements managed to perfectly portray my plan to the guard - I was through...! Phew.  Step 8 -  The Finale. Hit the champagne bar, find a spot and pop the question... SUCCESS!

What made you choose Redhouse Barn for your wedding day?

It just summed up Elliott and I as a couple and reflected our style , house, clothes etc. It was a blank canvas, traditional rustic barn, but with all the modern touches you could ask for - even being able to hear the speeches from the toilet, the projector screen for speeches, coloured LED lighting to match your theme.  The Award winning catering was another big factor, and the fact that we could design our menu from scratch - we designed a French menu with Chef Anthony.  We were looked after like King and Queen on our special day; we didn't have to lift a finger all day.  We also attended a food tasting and two wine tasting events to select what we wanted on the day. Jane gave us a list of recommended suppliers for florists, cakes, music, photography and transport; needless to say we used this list as our bible!

Was it love at first sight when dress shopping or did you have try a few on before finding the perfect one? And not forgetting the suits for the boys, how did they get on?

I thought I would have a fishtail dress in champagne, I even put a deposit down on a Mori Lee dress in this style, however I couldn't decide if I preferred the champagne or ivory, so I took my Dad along to get his opinion.  He had set a very strict budget, I tried on an Ivory A line dress to show him what the colour would look like and he fell in love with it - it was over budget, but I'm so glad he made that decision because I had the most gorgeous train and it fitted perfectly on the day, I felt like a true bride. Tiara from Ivory and Co. (I tried at least 5 tiaras before finding the perfect one to match the detail on my dress - they have a champagne fridge at their showroom, so myself and my Mum had no problems with return visits!)  Shoes - Jimmy Choo!

Elliott wore a 3 piece light blue suit from River Island with a double breasted waistcoat which looked amazing - everyone commented on how good he looked.  He wanted something different and fashionable and his suit definitely filled that criteria. Groomsmen had navy slim fit suits from Primark with silver waistcoat, cravat and pocket hankie from mytuxedo.com

So, Venue booked, how was the rest of the planning process?

Thanks to Jane's recommendations, we had an enjoyable planning process, the most difficult task being making decisions and hoping they were the right ones.

Fast forwarding through all the planning to the actual ceremony, how were the emotions for both of you during the ceremony?

We both enjoyed the relaxed atmosphere at the Barn and all our guests commented on how enjoyable it was for them too. Beki arrived at the Barns at 9 am for a champagne breakfast with her parents, so by the time it came to walking down the aisle it was all smiles, a touch of nerves for Elliott after waiting for an extra 15 minutes for the Bride!  It was such a special day we will always treasure.

Did you have a theme or colour scheme running through the day? Tell us a little bit about your flowers and any other personal touches.

We went with a Parisian theme (following on from our engagement) which fitted in with my love for pastel colours and vintage styling.  Peonies were the only requirement I had for my bouquet - I trusted Allison 100% with our floral arrangements after several meetings discussing our theme, my dress and bridesmaids dresses.  Favours - Rasberry bon-bons in white boxes with assorted peach ribbons to match the centre pieces. Table Decor - Candelabras with flowers in the centre, birds as place cards which rested on each of the guests glasses.  Table plan was a collection of frames, each having a different tablename inside, named after landmarks we visited in Paris.  For the cards, we had a vintage leather suitcase with handmade bunting reading 'Carte' by the entrance.

How would you describe the food and service throughout the day?

Menu

Hors d'oeuvres

Baked Camembert, Crostini; Caramalised Red Onion Tart with micro Rocket; Goujons of Lemon Sole, Remoulade Sauce; Smoked Chicken and Mushroom Vol au Vent

Pre order required

Tasting of Herefordshire Beef "Bourguignon", Mini pie, herb crusted Sirloin, Caramalised Button Onions; Smoked Bacon Lardons, Wild Mushrooms, rich Red Wine and Shallot sauce

Tasting of Free Range Chicken with white wine and parsley, Panache of crisp vegetables and broccoli, Dauphinoise potatoes.

Ladies - Tart au Citron (glazed lemon tart with clotted cream & raspberries in cointreau)

Men - Beignets au Chocolat (dark chocolate doughnuts, vanilla ice cream)

Brides Dad - Summer pudding - Surprise!

Coffee, Tea and Petit fours

For the evening food we had cones of Fish and Chips, which circulated the room rather than queuing up for a buffet and we also had a selection of cheese, celery, grapes, crackers and grape and apple chutney for guests to nibble on.

The food was sensational - our guests still comment today it was the best wedding food they have ever experienced. The service we received was outstanding, we were treated like royalty from the day we booked the barn to the following day when we collected our gifts.  Jane and Jeremy attend to your every need, from ordering taxi's for your guests to packing our overnight bag!

 

What kind of cake did you go for? Was it traditional/ modern/ flavoured/ cupcakes/ naked?

We had a 3 tier sponge with a buttercream and jam centre, the top tier featured a Birdcage. To create a display we had cupcakes placed in vintage teacups on top of a french wine crate.

How did your first dance go?

We had private dance lessons and based it on Harry Judd's first dance with his wife! It was around 6 weeks before the wedding when we began to consider the first dance in more detail and realised we didn't want the awkward moment (for everyone!) of a 3 minute rotating foot suhffle so we booked up.. maybe if we had ever watched an episode of Strictly the idea may have materialised sooner, but the lessons were thoroughly enjoyable and it was highly rewarding to perform such a routine for our first dance (and make our Mums cry with emotion as we managed to keep it a secret from everyone).

What do your guests mention most about your wedding day?

The food - from the wedding breakfast to how amazing the fish and chips were on the evening!

Is there anything you would change if you were to do it all again?

Two wedding dresses of course!

We would also have hired a videographer to film the wedding breakfast speeches so we could relive the moment again.  Fortunately we do have the wedding ceremony on video and our first dance.

Do you have any hints or tips for couples looking to get married?

Keep and Excel spreadsheet of all your costings.  Keep a list of who has given you a gift and what it was for when writing your thank you cards.  Plan well ahead, clear as many tasks as possible with just one month to go - this way you will be more relaxed in the run up to the wedding and enjoy the anticipation.

Finally, where did you go on your honeymoon?

We went to Mexico, Riveria Cancun and stoppped at Secrets Maroma - it was amzing.  We had previously been to Mexico and done the tourist activities, swimming with dolphins etc. so this time we just chilled out and enjoyed each other's company, the sunshine, the relaxation, the cocktails and fantastic food. The only activity we did was to visit the spa and have a couples massage - we walked out feeling as if we were on air.

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