It may be cold outside (snow in February, really?!) but this wedding is sure to warm the soul. Gemma & Colin wed at their family Church St Michaels, the same place Gemma’s parents married 40 years earlier and followed their special ceremony with an intimate rustic wedding reception at the idyllic Little Channels in Essex. Captured beautifully by Bloomwood Photography this blush pink wedding draped in summer sun has us looking forward to spring!
Colin and I had been together nearly 4 years when he proposed to me on 29th December 2014, when I was 4 months pregnant with our daughter (who is now 2 ½).
We had gone to London for the day and little did I know Colin had the ring stashed in his coat and was looking for somewhere to “pop the question”. We walked up to Marble Arch, which Colin thought would be all lit up, which it wasn’t. After he was pacing around for 10 minutes, he finally asked, I was soooo pleased!!!
Our wedding was on 9th September 2017, and was the fastest day of our lives! It was simple, with nothing too over the top. I wanted a rustic feel to everything and was so pleased how it all came together.
I got ready at my parents’ house, which was something I always wanted to do. My parents had redone my old bedroom, and turned it into a bridal suite, with big mirrors and extra seats. We had plenty of room to get ready – although not plenty of time. The morning ran away from us, and there was a last-minute rush, getting me into my dress. Our daughter, Olivia, was a flower girl, along with our Niece Jessica, and I had my sister-in-law, Michelle as my maid of honour. Off the girls went, with my mum to the church, as I got ready to do my “first look” to my dad. We both cried.
Olivia and Jessica walked so beautifully down the aisle, with a little prompting from Michelle. When Olivia saw her Daddy, she walked over and hugged his leg, it was so beautiful. Whilst we were saying prayers, Olivia and Jessica were giving everyone in the church a little show, as they were dancing and playing on the steps of the altar, and they behaved so beautifully. Our nephew and pageboy, Lewis, was almost 1 at the time and wasn’t walking. But still looked so gorgeous in his little suit, whilst sitting nicely with his dad, my big brother Wayne!
On the morning of the wedding, Colin had his best man, George, and then 3 ushers, Dean, Alan and Gavin all at our house, along with his Dad and Grandad (both also called Colin). They all looked so handsome and scrubbed up so well. They made sure he was on time – which in Colin’s world, doesn’t happen – he is well-known for his “lateness”!
Colin’s best man picked up their buttonholes, on the way to the pub – but none of them knew how to put them on. So they asked a woman they passed in the village to help them. She was so kind and helped them all out.
Sadly, Colin’s sister, Cheryl, wasn’t able to come to our wedding. She had accepted a job offer to work in the states and wasn’t able to fly back for it. But we arranged for her to be included, by video calls during the ceremony, and during the speeches. It’s amazing how modern technology has made things possible.
The day went so smoothly, and only a few hiccups were noticed by me – no one else. Everyone raved about the food, the venue and the whole day. It was magical!
Our first dance was an unusual choice of song, but it’s one we both love and meant Colin would actually dance to it – we had Wonderwall, by Oasis. A real classic, which got everyone involved and singing along.
My dance with my dad was to UB40 – Red Wine. This is a song we always dance to when we go to parties, so it is OUR song. My dad was so pleased that we had this as our dance.
It was an amazing day!!
Ceremony & Reception
We got married at St Michael’s Church, Aveley, which is where I grew up, and the same place my parents got married 40 years ago, and my brother and sister-in-law 4 years earlier. My grandparents were also frequent visitors when they were around, so it made it feel they were there with me.
Everywhere we viewed for our reception venue were all too big, and we felt we would be inviting people to just fill the space. We wanted a small venue, with a barn feel. We come across Little Channels, Chelmsford, and loved the intimate feel of the place, and Danielle, Jason and all the team couldn’t do more for us. After Colin and I fell in love with Little Channels, we went back with my parents a week later and showed them around – armed with more questions for the team there. Safe to say, we were so happy with the venue we booked it!
I created our table plan, and name cards myself, with the help of my creative cousins, auntie, and my mum. After many trips to Hobbycraft, a shop I hope to never need to use again, I got the materials I needed and we managed to get it all done in the day. My cousin has a little girl who was 11 months at the time, and we were all thinking we were going to have to tag team in to keep her and my daughter occupied. How wrong were we – both girls slept for 2 hours, whilst we got the majority of the name cards done. Not only did we get loads done, we had a lovely time catching up and laughing all afternoon. I couldn’t have done it without them – they are my amazing team!!
Hair & makeup
I had an old friend do our hair and makeup. I worked with Faye around 13 years ago, and Chelle did too, around 10 years ago. So we had a little something else to talk about on the day. Faye was absolutely brilliant, and I am not a makeup wearer at all, so she made sure my makeup matched my dress beautifully and was just enough to stand out. Both my little flower girls actually sat still for Faye to curl their hair, and she added the little slides I had got them from Monsoon.
My wedding dress was by Mori Lee and was absolutely amazing! I went to a shop called Bellissima in South Woodham Ferrers, with my mum and my sister-in-law. I tried on about 15 dresses, all a little different – with Amelia, who worked there, finding something I liked each time. My mum was thinking there was no way we would find THE dress today, and wondering where we will go next. Then, Amelie bought out THE dress, and when I tried it on, I cried. It felt comfortable, and it was just perfect!
My mum and I went back on many occasions to try my dress on, and to have alterations on it. We added an amazing veil to it as well.
I went for plain shoes for me and Michelle, my maid of honour. They were from Debenhams and was lovely and comfortable for the day. Michelle gave me her hair slides from her wedding 4 years earlier – these were my something borrowed and looked stunning. When I was a bridesmaid for Michelle, we had little diamanté hairpins in our hair. I had saved these, and we used them for Michelle’s hair on my wedding.
My something new was my dress and my something old was a ring, which my Grandad gave to my mum when she was 13. Unfortunately for her – due to too many netball injuries on her fingers, it no longer fitted her and was handed down to me about 10 years ago. I don’t take it off – unless I am playing netball.
My something blue was my nan’s ring, which my Aunt gave to me a few weeks before the wedding. If I hadn’t got my other “somethings” this would have covered them all but the new. We tied this to the inside of my dress, so she was in my heart the whole day.
Michelle’s dress was by Dessy, and took us ages to find!! I had a colour in my mind or a dusky pink but just couldn’t find the right colour. We finally found this one, after Chelle went off on her own to help me out – and she tried on the dress. We loved it!!! We added the diamante belt to it, just to give it a little something, and the belt from her dress was then made into two little belts for the flower girls, and stars of the show – Olivia and Jessica. I can’t tell you where I got their dresses and shoes from. It’s my secret and I still cannot believe that is where their dresses and shoes are from!
Groom & HIs Men
The Groom and Groomsmen’s suits were from a shop called Couture Pour Homme in Hornchurch. I went with Colin to choose the suits, which I then went on the change a little a few weeks before the wedding (hehehe).
Our wedding car was a Rolls Royce Limousine, which was from 1953 – same year my dad was born. This was supplied by a company called Arrow Vintage Cars.
We had a bit of a drive from the Church to the venue, so we were able to relax a little – and talk. But, as we were driving along, our guests were all following and driving past us beeping their horns and waving, it made us feel like a couple of celebs hahaha!
Our flowers were created by an amazing florist in Chelmsford, Springfield Florist. I don’t do flowers – and don’t actually have any idea what things are named. I made the appointment to go and see them, and literally said my colours and what I thought was pretty, and Jemma came up with the most wonderful creations. If it wasn’t for her, my table centrepieces would have been lots of nothing. Instead, she created Jam Jars with gipp and roses, with ribbons and lace wrapped around them, all set out on tree stump stands. A beautiful table runner for the top table, which matched my bouquet beautifully, I had hurricane glasses with candles for the outside tables, and a beautiful arrangement at the entrance of the venue. She did an amazing job, with so little to go on – and I cannot recommend her enough!
The bouquets for Chelle and I were of roses, gipp, and some green foliage, which looked absolutely stunning, and the girls had little bundles on gipp to hold – which they did so nicely!
The wedding breakfast was a surprise for some, as it’s not something you would normally get…. Beef Wellington!!! This is Colin’s favourite and wasn’t actually on the menu to choose from. Pork Wellington was available, but when the planning team spoke to the Chef, he said he would prefer to do a beef wellington, and that had us sold. Although I didn’t have the beef, I decided to go for Sea Bass for me, which was so yummy! The dessert was an absolutely amazing toffee cheesecake… Just AMAZING!
The cake was amazing and was so delicate. I chose a 3 tier cake, with vanilla sponge, from a local company called Simply Cakes For You. I visited Julie, the owner – and as I wanted simple, this was her suggestion. She is an amazing baker, and I have tasted her cakes several times before. It was so yummy. It didn’t all get eaten, but we still have a load cut up in our freezer.
We went with the recommended company Aurora Pearl for our entertainment, and they came along in the morning to set up, so we didn’t have to rush out of the room after the wedding breakfast. The DJ, Dave, was absolutely brilliant – and kept the dance floor filled all night – with a final Kisstory set at the end.
For the Photography, we chose a company that had already used the venue and were recommended by them – Bloomwood Photography. Emma and Ross are husband and wife, and they are such an amazing team. Whilst Ross kicked the men into gear, and made sure they were on time, Emma calmed my nerves and was brilliant with the littlest members of the bridal team.
We also went for the fun photo’s, where they had a load of props and a backdrop – and we got some brilliant group photo’s using this. Another reason for having this was so they will both be there for the evening, catching the dancing shots and the dirty feet!!
We used a company called Occasions Covered for our chair covers. Michelle used lovely sashes and broaches on all the chairs, and it made them look stunning, Michelle also supplied a sweet cart for the big day, which we got to keep all the sweets left over.
We cannot thank our parents enough for their generosity. My parents for paying for our wedding, and Colin’s parents for our honeymoon (well, familymoon with Olivia).
Bride To Bride
It is your day, and no one else’s. Try to take a minute to take it all in, you will know what I mean when your day is over. Most of all, enjoy it and don’t worry about anything going wrong. You will be the only ones that know about it, and no-one else will know! Also, check with your cake maker about freezing your cakes – don’t waste them!
Ceremony: St Michael’s Church // Reception: Little Channels
Wedding Dress: Mori Lee from Bellissima // Accessories: Debenhams
Hair & Makeup: Faye Muldoon Hair and MUA
Bridesmaid Dress: Dessy from The Bridesmaid Boutique
Flowers: Springfield Florist // Transport: Arrow Vintage Cars
Cake: Simply Cakes For You // Entertainment: Aurora Pearl
Photography: Bloomwood Photography