Anna and Ed met years ago, and kept crossing each other’s paths, finally they got it together and celebrated a beautiful wedding last August.
Hi Anna! I know it wasn’t straightforward, how did you guys eventually get together? We first met at uni in York – I was an undergrad and Ed was a postgrad – undergrads don’t mix with postgrads – they’re old! So I didn’t even contemplate fancying him until we met again on a choir tour a few years later. We had a summer romance but went our separate ways – me back to York, Ed to Portsmouth. We became proper friends when we moved to London a year later, we spent the summer going to Proms at the Albert Hall – we got together walking home on the 26th August. He proposed on August 26th two years later and we got married on August 26th a year after that!
And where did you get married? We had the ceremony in Hexham Abbey and reception at the Winter Gardens (in a conservatory joined onto an old hydro-hotel)
Did you use a wedding planner? No! I enjoyed doing everything myself and am glad I did it but wouldn’t do it again! It was exhausting and sometimes rather stressful and it did mean that I had the odd thought about the caterers etc on the day.
Did you have a theme or main idea for your wedding? how did you incorporate it? I had lots of ideas, I knew I wanted butterflies, lots of fairy lights and lots of ivy, and we used all three to decorate the Winter Gardens. I wanted reds, we had beautiful red bridesmaid dresses and the main butterfly in my hair was red (as well as white). We’re both musicians so we had lots of music everywhere – throughout the ceremony, then various friends playing/singing for short time as guests arrived at Winter Gardens, we had a pianist playing during the meal, and danced to a Ceilidh all night. We made our own invites with 7″ singles and the table names were all records too.
Where did your dress come from? It was an Alan Hannah dress called Martinique. I can’t remember how much, £1400-1700? Mum paid!! It was her present to us. I tore a picture of it out of a magazine when I was flicking through with my sister looking for ideas for HER wedding -before Ed and I were engaged. I loved it immediately from the picture. I tried on hundreds of dresses and flicked through hundreds of magazines but didn’t see one that compared. Amazingly I still loved and wanted it when I tried it on -I still love it now! I also had a long veil.
What did your bridesmaids wear? My two sisters and school friend wore long, strapless claret dresses with a sweetheart neckline and material ruched up on one side (my dress had a similar cut at top and ruched material in places too). Our flowergirls had J by Jasper Conran ivory dresses from Debenhams and our pageboy was in pin stripe trousers, white shirt, ivory waistcoat and ivory ruched tie.
What music did you have at your ceremony?
I entered to the Stanley Trumpet Voluntary played by a friend on trumpet, we walked out to Bach: the Sinfonia from Cantata no 49. Our choir of friends blew us away: the sound was incredible. The choir sang music including Messiaen, Schubert, Howells, Tallis and a piece specially written as a wedding gift to us from Kerry Andrew.
What were your favours? We had fans for the ladies, traditional bonbonniere for men (with the 5 almonds for health, wealth, happiness, fertility and long life -or something!). Smarties and a balloon for each of the little children.
Were there any Wedding Mis-haps? The biggest stress was possibly the sandalwood fans which we ordered over internet. In the pictures they had tiny ribbon bows on, in reality they were hideous chunky things. So I pulled the ribbon off all of them, scraped off the glue and stuck delicate butterflies on instead. It worked, but most people’s butterflies had fallen off by the end of the night! The smell of sandalwood was also rather overpowering…
What was your favourite part of the day? The ceremony, in such a grand building, with such amazing music throughout was more special than we’d ever imagined. Sitting down at our table and looking around to see all our favourite people gathered there for us also felt great!
Did you have a first dance? We actually had a mid-dance (after a group ceilidh dance or two everyone stopped and we started a slow one)
Best Wedding Tip? Consciously take your time and walk slowly out of the church/venue after your service -savour the moment and spot all your close friends and family. If you’re walking out to some fantastic music you get to hear more of it too! My sister-in-law gave me that advice and she was absolutely right!
So, What now? We just spent a relaxed first anniversary in Brighton which was lovely. Now we’re getting the flat ready for our baby, which is due in February.
Congratulations, that’s amazing! Thank you for talking to me, that’s our best wedding tip yet!