Alex and I met whilst studying at Durham University. Our love for volleyball brought our paths together as we both joined the university volleyball team. After countless training sessions, long coach trips for away games and socials, (and a lot of nudging from our team mates) we went on our first date. Once the summer term was over, Alex came home with me to Cyprus to meet my family. We have been together for 11 years, and look forward to what the future years bring.
I was really excited for my first appointment at Y.A.P! I had done lots of research prior to the appointment, and had planned the trip to Newcastle with my work colleagues far in advance. It was one of my colleagues who had recommended the bridal shop as she got her wedding dress from there a few years ago so I knew I wouldn’t be disappointed! My only reservation was that I couldn’t have my bridesmaids and my mum there with me for my first appointment as they all live so far but it meant I got to visit the studio more than once!
Whilst I had done plenty of research on the different styles of wedding gowns, I had no idea what would suit me so I went with an open mind. I always knew I wanted a gown with a nice back detail to it as I was going to wear it in Cyprus, but that was about it. I wanted something simple and elegant yet glamorous at the same time. As soon as I tried on a few different styles I knew the style that I wanted.
The girls at Y.A.P made the whole experience so relaxing. From the moment I made contact, to the first and last appointments, to picking up my accessories, they were so welcoming and I felt really comfortable with them! Despite the initial postponement, every time I spoke to them they were still so enthusiastic and tentative to me. I visited the girls more than once, as I took my bridesmaids first and my mum for a final approval, which took some coordinating as she lives in Cyprus, so timing appointments proved tricky but everyone at Y.A.P made sure I could have that special experience with her when she was over. Everyone was so kind, friendly and experts at what they do. You can tell they love their jobs as they do such an amazing job with such ease.
I cried when I first tried it on! Happy tears of course! Heather (my Stylist) actually picked the gown out for me after my consultation and it was the first dress I had tried on! It ended up being a 'Wow' dress, which wasn’t what i had planned, but as soon as I walked out of the dressing room in it and heard the gasps and the reaction from my guests, I knew it was the one! I did try on other dresses but always compared them all to this one so knew I had to book back in with my mum so that she could see it for herself too!
I felt like a princess! My dress was so stunning it made me feel so beautiful wearing it! The reaction from my bridesmaids and my dad when we did the big reveal said it all! And then when I was walking down the aisle I could see Alex getting all teary! I received so many beautiful comments from everyone so knew I had chosen well! I am just so lucky that I got to wear it twice - in England and in Cyprus!
Special, Precious, Personal
Gown – Maggie Sottero ‘Kelsey’
My gown was detailed with so many fine beads and pearls on the bodice that I went with simple accessories. I wore a silver crystal and pearl tiara in England to match the pearls on the gown and a similar hair piece in Cyprus for a slightly different, less formal look. I chose a plain fingertip veil from Y.A.P to show off the gown’s back details and wore white and silver embellished crystal shoes to match the tiara. I really did feel like a princess!
We had two wedding receptions! One was at the wonderful Ellingham Hall in Northumberland and the second one was at the Elias Beach Hotel in Cyprus.
We chose Ellingham Hall as we wanted a venue that was exclusively ours for two nights. Most of our guests were coming from far away so wanted somewhere with ample room for everyone to stay the night before for an informal bbq. The venue is so elegant with some amazing features and so well decorated already we didn’t need to style it too much more. We did want to add our personal touch to it though so we did style the grand piano with our family photographs, and chose summer flowers of peony roses, spray roses, hydrangeas for example to suit the venue and make the place smell so fresh. Our colour palette was pale pinks, creams and burgundy to match the bridesmaids and the groomsmen. The place really felt like home and we were like Lord and Lady of the Hall for those two nights when we were handed the key to the front door. We absolutely love the venue!
Because my family live in Cyprus, we always knew we would be planning for a second reception soon after the first one at Ellingham. We wanted a more casual, beach vibe for this one and chose the Elias Beach Hotel due to it ticking all the boxes. It was actually the same venue as the one my parents had for their wedding reception 34 years ago so that was a nice touch! We went for a romantic look and styled the outdoor venue with lanterns and candles which suited the white pier and venue and made for a romantic sunset.
We chose Fyzal as our photographer (www.fyzal.com) and he captured every single detail and emotion so beautifully.
We chose C and C floral design (www.candcfloraldesign.co.uk) and the flowers were everything we had asked for and lasted so well despite the heatwave!
Our cake was made by the talented For Goodness Cake North East (www.forgoodnesscakenortheast.com) and it really was a showstopper! We used Artlocke designs (www.artlockedesigns.co.uk) for our personalised keepsake caketopper which looked identical to us on the day-it was rather difficult keeping the design a secret from Alex as I didn’t want him to see the dress on the cake topper before the big day.
Special Mentions –
Every single supplier was exceptional at their job! Despite postponing by a year, they all went above and beyond to make sure we had the most amazing day.
Despite not knowing what the restrictions meant for our evening reception, we chose Ian Conway (www.icon-entertainments.co.uk as our DJ and he did a brilliant job of keeping everyone dancing until the very end- we were on the dancefloor most of the evening!
We also used Party-pics photobooths (www.partypicsphotobooths.co.uk) for lights and a magic mirror which was great fun for everyone!
Cheryl (Bridal Hair North East) and Carly (Carly Michelle make up and hair) had the important jobs of making 6 of us look so beautiful on the day!
For Cyprus the suppliers were absolutely amazing and again went above and beyond to make our day so special despite postponing and not meeting them until we arrived there a week before the wedding reception…
Johnny Symeou Photography
Blue garden Flowers
Hair at Hennessy’s
Vilma Permanent make up
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?
I would say enjoy every minute of the journey, make it fun and take time at each milestone of wedding planning as it can get overwhelming! The whole wedding planning journey is so special so do it together with your partner as it does bring you closer and it becomes less stressful when there’s two of you! It really is the best day of your lives so take it all in and capture all the moments!
We absolutely adored looking after you throughout your totally unique and personal bridal journey Stephanie! Both your days look utterly beautiful, thank you for reliving them with us. We wish you and Alex a lifetime of love and happiness!