Andrew and I met at work, on a gold mine in the middle of remote Western Australia, where we were both geologist! We got chatting to one another and it went from there. Not long into us dating, Andrew embarked on an around the world trip for 12 months, which he had already planned before we met. We didn’t know if we’d remain a couple, but upon his return to Australia we picked up where we left off and got engaged two and a half years later in April 2013. We got married in the UK on 9th August, 2014…
My mum organised the first appointment for me at The White Room. With me living in Australia, and her in Sheffield, it was much easier this way. My first appointment was great with Chloe, I was so excited knowing I was going to be able to try on Jenny Packham dresses and hopefully find “the one”. The shop was immaculate, clean, tidy, well organised with not too many gowns crammed on to racks as I experienced in other places. Everyone looked great, professional without being fussy, all the staff looked smart and well dressed, which I think is a must for a bridal room and something that not many other people seem to do, so you stood out. Being well dressed and having a tidy, well thought out room, makes the customer feel like they will receive top notch service – this is what you did best. You were very friendly and helpful, not pushy and didn’t tell me which gown to choose when I was down to two. I think this is important, to leave it to the bride to decide which you did. When I fell in love with Eden but wasn’t sure on the platinum colour, you showed it to me in ivory and I fell in love with it.
My family and I have spent most weekends in the Peak District, hiking/camping, so it has a special place in my heart. It’s such a beautiful part of the UK and with Andrew and I both being geologist, having the wedding in a National Park surrounded by rocks and countryside was perfect. Also, we wanted somewhere memorable for our many Australian guests, the Peak District and the venues we chose ticked all the right boxes. We chose Losehill House because it is in a stunning location (in a valley, surrounded by hills, fields, sleep and to get to it, you wind down a small country lane), could accommodate our gest numbers and was the style of venue we were looking for. We wanted somewhere that was quite contemporary yet still had old charm and had a neutral canvas.
We didn’t want a set theme, so what we decided the wedding was going to be a representation of “us and love”. We just wanted things that we liked, things that showcased our personalities and showed that we were in love and liked to have fun. Some elements of the wedding were 1920’s /art deco inspired. We both love this era because it’s so classy, fun and edgy. I knew I wanted an engagement ring with a difference and hadn’t seen anything I liked over the years of looking! But one day, a ring caught my eye. It was a one off design that is very art deco and contains mixed metals, which I’ve always liked (white and rose gold). I told Andrew I’d seen it and unbeknown to be, he reserved it and proposed months later with it! I also knew I wanted a Jenny Packham gown and loved Eden. I first saw Eden years ago when a friend wore it, she looked absolutely amazing. It was the first wedding dress I’d seen on someone that I thought had the ultimate wow factor. I asked her who the designer was and from that day on, I knew that when I got married, it would be in a Jenny Packham. Eden is very 1920’s/art deco style, which is why I think I like it so much. Andrew and I also knew we wanted to incorporate the Australian/English theme into the wedding, so everyone felt at home. We knew we could have a lot of fun with this theme; we love fun and being a bit silly, so this worked well for us.
We are both Christian, so there was never any question as to whether we had a church wedding or not. The church service was the most important part of the day for us, as it’s so symbolic. Jude, the reverend at St Michael’s gave us the most wonderful wedding ceremony; it really was perfect and will be a lifelong memory. So many guests afterwards remarked on how good a service it was. Sam our photographer captured it so well in his shots!
|The church ceremony, as explained earlier plus, walking down the aisle seeing Andrew and also seeing friends that we’d not seen for years and friends that had travelled from the other side of the world to witness us getting married. It was breath taking and so emotional. We really felt the love in church, it was electric.After church, Andrew and I went for photos at Stanage Edge, a stunning spot high up in the Peak District, just behind the church. It has 360 degree views all over the Hope Valley, Sheffield and beyond. We were blessed with such a wonderful sunny day (the day before and after consisted of torrential downpours of rain due to the tail end of an ex hurricane from America) and we knew we wanted some amazing shots and knew if anyone would get them, Sam would! We hot footed it up to Stanage Edge to get some out of this world shots. Sam did a cracking job getting these. It was great being amongst the hikers, climbers and paragliders in our wedding attire! We’ve got some good shots with them too.
We chose two, we wanted up-beat, fun ones, nothing soppy! Andrew picked one and so did I and we made guests guess who chose which one. They both have a special meaning to us. I chose “I Bet That You Look Good On The Dance Floor” by the Arctic Monkeys. Chose this because they are a Sheffield band, I love them and what better song could you ask for with a title like that?!!
Andrew chose “Power of Love” by Huey Lewis and The News because this is the feature song in the film Back to the Future, which is his all-time favourite movie. So much so, that he has 88 tattooed on his forearm (as in 88MPH, the speed at which they time travel!!!!)
Anything you would change? It’s never a good thing is it, hindsight?! The day was wonderful and we enjoyed it so much. If anything, we would have out sourced more of the set up work to the hotel. i.e. putting up the decorations, making sure tea lights were lit at night, that sort of thing. Nothing too major though.
Have a good think about what you want the day to be about, how it can best reflect you and your partner and then just go for it with the planning. Plan, plan, plan, don’t underestimate looking at other people’s read weddings, as they have some really good ideas that you might wish to incorporate into your own.
I’d say don’t ask too many people for advice, as it just gets messy from what I’ve seen with friends. Just ask a few key people that know you and your style well.
I’d say don’t show anyone what dress you have chosen, other than the person who is with you when you choose it. You need that to be a surprise; it’s so much fun as a surprise.
Work out your budget and then work out what you want to spend money on and what you can save money on by going cheap or making yourself. Once you know what is important to you, get these things booked in as early as you can because people get booked up far in advance.
All the jobs that you think are “little jobs” that you can do in the last few weeks, take so much longer than you would imagine, so don’t leave anything until last minute. If you are a bride arranging a wedding from overseas, it’s really quite easy to do, so don’t stress. It’s great if you can have someone in the country you are getting married in, to go check things out for you though, so I’d recommend this.
Be organised, things are so much easier when you are organised.
Have fun with the planning. Remember the reason you are planning is because you want the wedding day to be about you two and your love for one another. Don’t get that stressed out in the build up to the wedding that you become a stress head and annoying – there is nothing worse.
Thank you for giving us the opportunity to provide feedback. Too few wedding suppliers offer this service, which we’ve been really surprise at. We both work in an industry which is continuously being monitored, reviewed and improved upon. It’s surprising given the amount of money in the wedding industry, that more suppliers don’t do the same. It’s good to see that The White Room is doing this and shows that you are committed to providing a great service and committed to understanding where you can do better, so that you remain a top bridal company. Bravo White Room.
Images by Sam Docker – Holly says:
Dress – Eden (ivory) by Jenny Packham from The White Room, Sheffield http://www.whiteroombridal.co.uk 0114 2722336