Venue: Hever Castle Astor Wing
Dress: BHS Antoinette, with additions added by Jacqueline Smith, dressmaker
Groomsmen's suits: Moss Bros
Hair and Make Up: Natasha Quinton
Bridesmaid dresses: J Crew
Flowers: me! Wholesale stems from Flowers for Florists
Cakes: Hummingbird, Choccywoccydoodah, Waitrose, M&S
Part 1: Background
Ant and I got together back in late November 2010, when we had our first date on a very very cold day in very very grey London. He had offered to show me the sights, as I had only been in the UK for a couple months and hadn't had a chance to do any touristy sightseeing, unless you count weekly trips to the British Museum for masters course work and studying. We met at Big Ben and walked across Westminster Bridge to the south bank and along the Thames, talking and commenting on the strange people along the river, until we reached Tower Bridge. We continued walking along, stopping for coffee and then walking some more to St. Paul's , along the Strand and across to Covent Garden, where we stopped for drinks, then dinner, then drinks again. Finally, we ended up walking down the Mall and parting ways in front of Buckingham Palace after walking, talking, drinking, and eating for about 8 hours. We never ran our of things to talk about.
We spent a lot of time over the next couple months in pubs, at each others' flats, travelling, etc, and we got very serious very quickly, but it all felt so natural, unlike every other relationship I'd been in, in which I would always be at least somewhat on guard.
I had never planned to meet anyone in England, as I had grand plans of finishing my masters degree, then either moving back to Toronto to work at the ROM or to some other exotic foreign location. As it was, I moved in with Ant when my classes finished and he proposed on Christmas day 2011, about a week after I got the results from my masters.. So I was staying in England after all
Part 2: Wedding Planning
We planned our wedding over the course of about 18 months, which I felt was entirely too long, and I really could have gotten it all together in 1/3 the time, but Ant didn't think it would give people enough notice. Boo. Oh alright, he was probably right, and we probably wouldn't have gotten our amazing venue, or have had Wispa, or my dress, etc, etc.
We only looked at 3 venues: Penshurst Place, Hever Castle, and Chartwell. For various reasons, Hever won out by a landslide over the others, and we booked it within weeks of our engagement.
I had never been one to dream about my wedding and all the details, and I didn't really know what to look for in a wedding dress. And so I turned to the internet. It was actually the dress search that first brought me to hitched. I looked up various dresses and sent photos to my closest friend back in Canada, and very quickly we came across this dress:
..and both of us fell in love.
But then… I found out it was over £8k, hahahaha. Not possible. And so the dress saga began. First I looked into having it made from scratch, but got very very worried. But then I bought that BHS dress on which to base my lovely creation. Then I found that amazing lace! Well, you'll see what came of it later. Enough dress talk for now!
Anyways, I had basically planned the entire wedding by the time we still had a year to go, so I needed something to distract myself with, and so….
We got Wispa, our adorable adorable adorable labradoodle. But more about her later
When there was only a few months left to go until the wedding I really got back into the swing of things with the planning, and it all started to come together. I had the dress in the works, my collection of cakes plates and teacups was growing, and the wedding was FAST approaching. It all kicked off on Friday, just over a week before the wedding...