Debbie and Steve booked me literally three weeks before they got married. It was a match made in heaven, and these two have a really special place in my heart. They celebrated their day with a small, intimate wedding that was emotional, heartfelt and every kind of gorgeous… Their wedding is a lesson in the importance of what really matters; Debbie looked a million dollars in her ASOS Bridal dress, proving that you needn’t spend thousands to look incredible… It’s also a lesson in the value or wedding insurance. Debbie took the time to reflect on their day when she filled out some bits for my blog leaving very little for me to explain…
BRIDE WEARS ASOS BRIDAL
How did you meet?
We met back in 2007 at Staffordshire University, only a couple of months into our first year. Steve actually had a girlfriend at the time at the same university – he loves being in a relationship – haha. This story reared it’s ugly head during his groom speech at the wedding…but over ten years later, it was obviously meant to be!
Tell me your proposal story:
I (Debbie) had always wanted to go to NYC with Steve, so Christmas morning 2015, I received a 2016 NYC-themed wall calendar with the week marked inside to go to the States in September.
We were staying in downtown Manhattan and went for a few beers in a bar by our hotel. We sat outside by the harbour which looks over to New Jersey and the Statue of Liberty, and I mentioned that I thought this spot was my favourite place in NYC. As we got up to get food (or so I thought), Steve suggested we go for a walk down to the harbour front, so the Freedom Tower was behind us. I was in the middle of taking a panoramic picture when as I turned around, Steve was on one knee. I cried. He cried. The best part is that he filmed it all on a Go Pro and every time I need a little pick-me-up, I just watch that footage back and my heart swells.
Why did you choose the venues you chose for your wedding day?
It was a difficult one for us but think it’s worth speaking about because this really could happen to anyone.
We got married at St Paul’s Catholic Church in Thrapston which was always the plan. Following my (Debbie’s) dad’s unexpected death in September 2017, we cancelled the large wedding we had been planning for a year and decided to keep it as low-key as possible.
It was important to me to keep the original date of Saturday 6th January 2018 as this was the date that my dad knew and we had our wedding reception at The Courthouse in Thrapston, which was my dad’s local. It was wonderful to have all of his friends come down in the evening and have a drink with Steve and I – something I am sure they all wanted to do for my dad.
What was it you loved about your outfits and accessories that made you choose them?
Due to the stripped back nature of our wedding, I bought the dress I wore from ASOS Bridal for less than 7% of what my original dress cost. (The original was far too grand to be worn on the day and is still hanging up in my spare room at home, waiting for me to get around to selling it).
It was really difficult for both Steve and I to get into the suit-buying stage, as it was just a cruel coincidence that this was what we were doing in Cambridge on the day that my dad died. So it was a struggle to get us both back out there again. However, Steve found his suit straight away and we both loved it. I borrowed my sisters earrings and my mum bought me a lovely bracelet. My hair piece was from ASOS and my shoes were Dune.
I realised the night before that I had no jacket and my dress was sleeveless, so the white blazer I ended up wearing is something I have had for over 7 years… and actually, looked really cool with the dress!
[I’m not sure if I told you this on the morning, but] my brother Jordan wore the tie that my dad wore when he married my mum 30 years ago. So my dad was with us all, every step of the way.
Tell me about the vision you had for your wedding including your theme/colour scheme/styling/flowers:
Again, due to the circumstances, we didn’t really have a ‘theme’ as such. I had roped in my very talented auntie, Gill, who did an unbelievable job with the tables at the pub. She handmade all of the wooden candle holders and picked the foliage herself from the local gravel pits.
For my flowers, I knew from the start that I just wanted white and green – so gypsophila and foliage. The florist did the same for Steve (can’t remember the white flower she used in his and mine).
As there were only 27 people at our wedding, we didn’t have the traditional wedding party with bridesmaids and ushers. So there was no co-ordination as such.
What was your first dance and why did you choose it?
We didn’t have a first dance at the venue, but it we did in our kitchen, in our pjs on the Sunday night before we were flying out to NYC for our honeymoon the next day. Our song would have been ‘Destiny’ by Zero 7. It’s one of those songs that no one has ever heard of when you say the title, however everyone is all ‘Oh yeaahhh’ when you start to play it! It’s Sia’s old band and she sings about being away from her other half etc, which is poignant because of Steve’s job in Formula 1 and being away for a good five months of the year.
What were the most wonderful parts of the day for you?
Walking down the aisle with a huge smile on my face. I felt anxious in the morning, however this completely went by the time I was in my dress with my hair and make up done. I knew I had smiled alot as everyone kept telling me, however it wasn’t until I looked at the pictures, that I could see it.
(Funny story: I started Invisalign treatment for my teeth at the start of last year, all because of wedding vanity. But it was truly the best money I have EVER spent after seeing how much I smiled during the day).
Steve’s speech after dinner was also lovely. I was a little worried about how I would react (alongside my mum, sister and brother) as it was inevitable that my dad would be mentioned. However, Steve absolutely nailed it. His speech spoke about the funny times he had had with my dad in the ten years he had known him and also about how my dad asked ‘Are you sure?’ when Steve called him from New York to ask if he could ask me to marry him later that night.
My dad’s reply to Steve saying yes… “Well, in that case, I couldn’t wish for a better son-in-law…”
Why did you choose Hannah Hall Photography as your photographer, and what was your experience of your photography on the day?
Steve and I both felt that we didn’t need a photographer for such a small day and had done away with all our suppliers when we cancelled the big wedding. However, lots of people were finding this quite shocking and explaining that we would have massive regret if we didn’t professionally capture our day.
I was meant to find Hannah on that rainy day in December, sat at work. As soon as Steve and I had the Skype call with Han, we both just knew it was a match made in wedding photography heaven! Steve and I are quite laid back people and having been together for over a decade, really didn’t want the posey pictures. But Hannah’s pictures could not have been more ‘us’. She was only with us for four hours but straight away, I was super relaxed – think I had called her Han within ten minutes. I love a shortened name! The three of us had a great laugh walking down Thrapston high street in the middle of a Saturday afternoon, even if it was freezing and we had to call the best man to come and pick us all up as we couldn’t face the walk back!
What would be your best bit of advice to other couples planning their wedding?
Don’t invest so much time in what you think other people will want on the day.
Even though our story is slightly sad for a wedding day, it’s a good reminder that anything can happen, yet you can still have the best day. The people we invited were key for this. We only invited those who really meant a lot to us and because the pub had a maximum capacity of 30 people, it meant that even my uncles couldn’t come – only aunties from my side.
And wedding insurance. Always have wedding insurance. We got our whole old wedding back, all our deposits, everything.
And pick a good photographer. Ideally someone by the name of Hannah Hall…