Darren and I met in a bar in Newcastle, he kept looking at me although he says I kept looking at him. So we have to agree to disagree on that one. My friends who I was out with did their best 'wingmen' duties and gave him my phone number and theirs in case he lost it (which he did). I didn't think I was going to hear from him, but I did after he had tried to find me on facebook but he was spelling my name wrong (I can forgive that) so he eventually gave in and text my friend for my number and the rest is history.
I felt like I wasn't feeling like I should've been, and like most brides to be. I thought I should be feeling really excited when in fact I was the opposite. I was really really nervous, scared I wouldn't like or suit any of the dresses and felt like I wouldn't fit into anything. I actually had a feeling of dread about the whole experience and really worried myself about the sizing and whether the staff would be nice or not. Obviously I've watched far too many TV shows and films because it was the opposite.
Yes, I was firmly set on a long sleeved fitted dress. The more it covered the better in my eyes. The dress I was getting in my head was Rebecca Ingram - Bethany.
Thankfully everything I felt before I went to my appointment was actually the complete opposite when I arrived. From the moment I walked in Ruth really put me at ease and I knew everything I had been worried about would be more than OK. I was still nervous but she was absolutely gorgeous and so so lovely along with Danni and Brogan. They are all so uplifting, reassuring, they really build your confidence and make you feel so special. In fact, they were all so lovely I wanted to move in! Ruth really listened to what I wanted, or should I say what I thought I wanted, I was really open to trying on her ideas too - good job as she picked 'The One'! Nothing was too much for them and they were so good at keeping in touch and keeping me updated. You can really tell they all LOVE their job and they are really invested in every brides journey, it really just oozes out of them.
Emotional! I remember staring at myself in the mirror before Ruth opened the curtains and I knew I loved the dress but didn't know it was 'The one' at that point (little did I know Ruth said she had a feeling this was going to be it to my mum and Danni when she had left me behind the curtains). It was the point where she asked me if I wanted to try a veil with it and it all came together - I cried, I never thought in a million years that would have been my reaction, but that's how I knew it was 'The One'.
I felt amazing, really special and comfortable (this was one of my main stipulations).
Personal, magical, unforgettable
Talk to us about the location and how you styled your day …
Darren and I married at Horton Grange Country House, we married in their conservatory room, which has so much light and they have a flower wall which we loved from the moment we viewed the venue, so I really wanted to tie everything in with that, we chose pink chair drops, lanterns with flowers in and petals for down the aisle. The lanterns were perfect to use as our table centrepieces after the wedding. Sharon (The little flower house) and Miriam (The artisan wedding house) worked amazingly together to make it perfect.
Tell us about your chosen suppliers and how they made your day perfect …
Our suppliers were absolutely fantastic!!! Due to the pandemic we had to reschedule our date, thankfully only by 2 months but luckily all of our original suppliers were still able to accommodate us. I chose all of our suppliers in the height of the pandemic whilst Darren was working away, almost everything was done over facetime or emails. So our wedding day was the first time we had met most of them.
I chose my amazing friend Zak Coldicutt (@zakcoldicutt) for hair and makeup for myself, my bridesmaid, my mum and 2 flower girls. I have known him for years and he used to be my hairdresser before he relocated to Liverpool and I trust him implicitly, he always knows what I want despite me saying 'just whatever Zak'.
Paul Flannigan (@paul_flannigan_photography) was our fantastic photographer, he really captured our day and most of the time I wasn't aware he was snapping away. He made sure to keep in touch and we spoke of facetime about what we wanted, he had great ideas for our guestbook and a champagne shot which we love. Paul made sure to keep in touch and sent really informative emails every time Boris made an announcement, he really did make sure to keep up to date with the new rules and regulations which we really appreciated.
We used The Artisan Wedding House (@theartisanweddinghouse) to decorate the venue, Miriam is so good at what she does, all of our communication was over email and it all turned out so perfect. Miriam recommended The Little Flower House (_thelittleflowerhouse) to us. Sharon is the most amazing florist and the only supplier we met face to face prior to our wedding, when she asked us what we wanted my response was anything as long as it's pink (I have no clue about flowers) and she really pulled it out of the bag!
Our delicious cake was made by Quinn's Cakes and Chocolates (@lindseyquinn). We chose a 3 tier cake with 3 different sponge's (Lemon, white chocolate and raspberry and raspberry and coconut which is our favourite). Lindsey was so accommodating, especially when I had an idea at the last minute. Her cakes really do taste as good as they look.
Not forgetting Y.A.P who I booked to come and dress me on the day, Danni really relaxed me and I'm so pleased I decided to let the professionals dress me. Not only did she dress me, but she dressed my bridesmaid and flower girls. She tidied, diverted a mini crisis when one of the flower girls nearly had an accident, and really just did everything. An angel in disguise.
Tell us about your perfect accessories …
I had an amazing full length veil from Y.A.P which tied in so well with my dress. One of my best friends bought me a delicate silver bracelet with a blue stone from Joma Jewellery as my something blue, I also had a lovely simple silver necklace from Joma Jewellery's bridal collection. My favourite accessory had to be my
shoes, I really wanted something with a chunky heel and sparkly was a must. I bought the Libby Crystal Embellished Evening Shoe in Nude by Badgley Mischka, everyone loved them and I will definitely be wearing them again.
If you could give one piece of advice for future Y.A.P brides about to embark on their bridal journey, what would it be?
Go dress shopping with an open mind and be prepared to come out with a dress that you never thought you wanted, my dress was everything I didn't want in my head when I walked in but when I tried it on it was perfect. I was warned by other people that it happens a lot and I thought 'not to me', how wrong was I!?
Don't stress about any of it and definitely don't get wrapped up in the 'wedding politics' that come with planning a wedding, always remember what it's all about - marrying your best friend! The day goes over so quickly, take time out to sit back and watch what is going on. We made the decision to have a sweetheart top table with just the two of us on, so we took that time during the wedding breakfast to sit back and watch everyone and have some time together.
Love, Anneka xoxo