It’s Friday! This week it is my absolute delight to share with you Bernadette’s heartwarming account of her beautiful wedding day to Aaron. This lovely couple opted for a rustic themed wedding day with elegant florals and a stunning wedding venue. I hope you enjoy reading all about their very special day.
Questions answered by Bernadette.
How long have you been together?
Aaron and I have been together for 4 years but have known each other for thirteen years. We once dated when we were sixteen but being teenagers it didn’t work out and we went our separate ways until four years ago when we rekindled.
How did you meet?
We both went to Bicester Community College (The Bicester School now) and had both chosen GCSE French. Both at the age of 14 we couldn’t have been more different if we tried. Aaron would often do very little in French (sleep mostly) and I wanted to do well. So our French teacher decided to move us next to each other and put us right at the front in the hope that I would motivate Aaron and our friendship blossomed from there.
When & how did you get engaged?
Christmas 2017 Aaron bought me a trip to go to New York for New Year. I busily made an itinerary for our time there because I didn’t want to miss a thing. On 27th December 2017, Aaron tells me that we have to be in Central Park by 4pm because he’s arranged something (this totally ruined my itinerary and dinner reservations).
At this time, New York were experiencing their coldest festive period in 50 years and so we’d spent most of our trip in snow boots and thermals. On this day, Aaron told me to dress nice – so I did; heels, nice coat (not the warmest) and a dress. We get to Central Park and he had arranged a horse and carriage ride around the park. I was absolutely frozen when the carriage stops and the driver tells me to go and look at the bridge. I was not convinced, I was cold and wanted to stay under the blanket so Aaron tried convincing me. Still not convinced, the manager of the company came over and told me I had to get off as the driver needed a break.
Adamant I wasn’t going to walk far as I couldn’t feel my toes, I complained the whole way standing on Bow Bridge, Aaron got down on one knee and asked me to marry him. I obviously said yes, but in our engagement photos you can see our red noses from the cold. My ring is a diamond white gold band with a diamond set in the middle.
Which date did you chose for your wedding day?
We knew we wanted to get married in August as I am a teacher and this meant we could go on our honeymoon straight after. The venue we chose booked up fast and the 2nd August 2019 was one of the only dates they had left so we knew we had to have it.
Where did you hold your ceremony & reception?
We had our ceremony and reception at Stratton Court Barn. We fell in the love with this venue the moment we saw it and despite looking at others, they were no match for this one.
Karin at Stratton Court Barn sold it for us; her attention for detail was impeccable and she went above and beyond. She made us feel like we were the only wedding happening there and that she was genuinely excited about what we had planned.
Who was involved in planning your wedding?
Aaron and I did most of the planning. A few friends helped start me off as I didn’t have a clue where to start. Karin was a brilliant help in the planning; she met with us regularly to ensure that we had everything needed for a wedding. Our families both helped with small jobs and gave us ideas. Pinterest was a great source for our planning!
Did you both have Hen/Stag Do’s?
I went to Portsmouth for my Hen Do. I just wanted a weekend of fun activities and that’s what I got. We went go karting, indoor soft play, escape room, bowling and a night out.
One of the funniest things from my Hen Do was that my sister was racing another Hen around the soft play and managed to split her trousers right on the bum and had to borrow someone’s jumper to tie round her waist for the night.
Aaron went to Prague on the very hot weekend in June to a hotel that had no Air-Con. He had a brilliant time and was even made to dress up as Wonder Woman – make up and all.
Stag Don’t – Don’t leave your phone in the hotel room, get lost in Prague and then have no money or no phone to get back to your hotel!
How many people did you invite to share your special day?
We invited 74 people to our ceremony and wedding breakfast, and then a further 50 to our reception.
Who were your Bridesmaids?
My sister, Alice, was my Maid of Honour and then I had my two cousins, Carla and Laura, as Bridesmaids. My two bridesmaids were from Scotland and America.
I guess it was difficult because I missed out on the dress trying on experience with them all but I they were brilliant and were happy to wear whatever I put them in. I bought the multi way strap dresses and my friend, Amy, altered them two days before the wedding to fit them all. She even taught them how to tie them.
Who were your Best Man/Men & Usher?
Aaron’s two best men were Adam, who he had known from school and Steve C, who he knew from college and work. Aaron had many Ushers including: David G, David C, Ashley, James, Steve C. This was a nightmare trying to find a suit, that suited everybody. They were much harder than the women.
What did you wear?
I wore a Stella York Dress (6500) in cafe with an ivory lace over it. It was a high neck, backless dress in a trumpet silhouette. I bought my dress from Bicester Bridal where they listened to exactly what I wanted. I absolutely adored my dress and I felt the most beautiful I’ve ever felt. I teamed it with a finger length veil in Ivory with floral lace trim.
What did Aaron wear?
Aaron wore a navy blue check 3 piece suit from Next. His Ushers and him all bought their suits. Aaron had a pink tie with subtle paisley design and the rest had a plain pink tie. They all wore similar tan shoes.
What did your Mum wear?
My mum wore a Monsoon navy dress tea-length dress, which had a tulle over-lay emblazoned with lemons and green foliage. We had to convince my mum to go dress shopping, as she hates trying things on.
What theme/colour scheme did you chose?
I chose the rustic theme as I’d spent months on Pinterest and that was the theme I was always drawn too. It totally fitted with our venue too. I picked dusty rose as a colour, as it went well with the theme and the tones complimented the ivory that I had.
How did you feel on the morning of your wedding?
I was a mixture of emotions. I felt very emotional from the get go – the littlest thing had me in tears, mostly happy. I was so excited and I couldn’t wait to see Aaron but I was also nervous because I wanted everything to go right and I wanted to make sure everything was right at the venue.
Did you have any special flowers you wanted to include or did you rely on recommendations?
I totally relied on Emma and I am so glad I did. I was a complete novice has to which flowers would go well. I knew I wanted simple and nothing too over the top. I was so lucky that Emma knew both myself and my family so well, so I completely trusted her opinion and knew she’d create greatness.
How did you feel when Emma handed you your bouquet on the big day?
When Emma came it made me feel so relieved. I knew then that Emma would be sorting all of the groom’s side out and I was so overwhelmed with how beautiful my bouquet was. I couldn’t believe how perfect it was for me.
What did you choose to eat?
We chose to eat BBQ food served in a family style way. We wanted our wedding to be so relaxed and I’d read somewhere that people remember food from your wedding. I felt you couldn’t go wrong with a BBQ and we didn’t have any vegetarians so it seemed like the perfect option. We chose our venue round our food choice.
Who made speeches?
My dad made a speech and spoke lots about me and my sandals and bobble hat that I would wear at the same time. Aaron’s best men both made a speech and it was so lovely to see them get emotional with their love for Aaron and I. Aaron made an amazing speech. He knows I love Disney and so he even sang his own version on ‘You’re Welcome’ from Moana. Which was a total surprise. For me he just got the speech right. It was perfect. Everything a good speech needed and more.
Which song did you choose for your ‘First Dance’?
We thought it over for ages and listened to song after song, and then we decided to just pick a song that we just liked to listen to anyway. We picked ‘Take on the World’ by You Me at Six. The lyrics just meant so much. “Just say the word and we’ll take on the world.” It felt like me and Aaron were the only people in the room during that song. We just sang it to each other like we would at home.
What was your favourite part of the day?
I loved our wedding reception. I loved dancing and just enjoying myself with everyone from our wedding party. I just loved dancing to the cheesy music. I also enjoyed just sitting and watching at dinner. Just admiring everyone we’d brought together and how the day had gone so far.
What was your one Wedding Day ‘Must Have’?
For me it was the wedding photographer. I just wanted to be able to look back and remember it so vividly because it just went by in a blur. Also, a must have was my family. I wanted everyone I loved to be there by my side and I certainly got it. They made it happen no matter how far the journey!
Would you change anything or do you have any advice for currently engaged couples?
I would have stressed less in the lead up to the wedding – especially over silly little things. My advice is just remember it is your wedding and it should be what you enjoy. Don’t invite people for the sake of it. My golden rule was if I wasn’t prepared to eat people with these people normally then I wasn’t going to invite them.
Always look at your venue first before you book anything else and just don’t rush because it’s over so fast!
Where are you going on your honeymoon?
So we went on our honeymoon the week after our wedding. We flew to San Francisco where we got to see Alcatraz, the Golden Gate Bridge and dolphins. Then on to San Luis for a night as we drove the scenic Route 1 which was beautiful.
Then we made our way to LA. We did all the tourist things such as: Hollywood sign, Hollywood Boulevard, universal studios and so much more. We then drove down to San Diego where we spent our days by the water and in the gas lamp district.
Then, it was on to Anaheim because you can’t come to California without visiting the first ever Disneyland. After this, it was back to LA to catch our flight to Jamaica for a relax for 10 days. We were so lucky that on our way back we were allowed to fly first class back to England.
Would you like to mention any particular wedding suppliers who assisted with your day?
So many… Signature Flowers; Debbie MAC hair and makeup; Bicester Bridal; Adam Abbott Photography; S & J cuisine and Stratton Court Barn.
Wishing you a fabulous weekend!