Many couples wish to plan their big day, but as the months start to tick away the seemingly endless stream of emails, calls and paperwork that planning a wedding entails suddenly becomes too much, especially if, like most couples this is all being juggled with a full-time job.
With only three months before their big day at the stunning Old Royal Naval College in Greenwich London, this couple knew that they needed an extra pair of hands to assist with the ever-growing list of tasks that needed to be completed. The groom contacted Weddings By Mary and after our initial consultation, we divided up the job list. The couple still very much wanted to be involved in the planning of their big day but needed guidance and advice to move the plans in the right direction and knowing that the stresses and strains on them had been lessened made for a more enjoyable time. The bride was very creative and wanted to do the ‘pretty things’ like hand making all the shortbread favours, which were then beautifully wrapped and labelled to create not only a favour but also each guests name place card.
I attended viewings and meetings at the venue, created a time plan for the big day, assisted with the search for additional suppliers and became the main point of contact for all those already involved. There were a few issues that needed to be ironed out so with a fresh pair of eyes these were quickly resolved, which made a huge impact on the plans moving forward.
The couple and their families were staying at a hotel close to the venue so the day prior they hosted a family lunch in one of the hotel’s private dining rooms. I arrived late afternoon enabling us to have one last final meeting to run through the arrangements for the following day. The evening was then spent meeting other guests and family members in a secluded area of the hotel, which was the perfect opportunity for me to get to know the family and bridal party before the big day.
The wedding day dawned and what a beautiful, surprisingly warm December day greeted us. The ceremony was not due to take place until 4pm, as this was a condition of the venue, so unlike most wedding days, quite a relaxed morning was spent. I ensured that a hearty breakfast was had before meeting up with the bride in her room as the hairdresser and makeup artist arrived to start the preparations.
I fielded calls and was on hand at the hotel before heading to the venue to assist with the set up. As previously mentioned the ceremony was not taking place until later, as the venue was still open to the public until 3pm, however myself, caterers and venue staff alike, having done this on many occasions, swiftly transformed the space ready for everyone’s arrival.
As the bride made her entrance on the arm of her extremely proud father, whilst I ensured that the music, which we had timed to perfection, played at the appropriate moments and the ceremony was conducted by the registrar on the steps of the Painted Hall in front of family & friends.
Post ceremony drinks were served along with delicious canapes in the main hall, but as the couple were truly blessed with an unusually warm December afternoon they and their guests braved the outdoors for a few photographs. With another transformation of space required during this time, once again myself and the venue staff prepared the dining area. Huge wooden tables were laid with beautiful flowers, which gave a hint of the bride’s Scottish heritage, alongside grand candelabras.
After dinner the evening celebrations continued in an underground room to the fun and upbeat sound of a ceilidh band. The cultural mix of this wedding made an interesting and memorable celebration for all.
Guests had the opportunity to sign little tags and hang them on a miniature Christmas tree giving good wishes and words of wisdom to the newly married couple.
Should you wish to have a guiding hand over the final few months of your wedding please contact Weddings By Mary.
Nothing beats a blank canvas to create a wedding from scratch. Weddings By Mary loves nothing better than to be asked to fully plan any couple’s wedding and on this occasion it took place in the grounds of the happy couple’s home, in the heart of the beautiful Essex countryside.
The wedding ceremony was taking place at the local church surrounded by 100 or so of their closest family and friends. With only five months to plan the big day we got straight in and started by chatting through their ideas and researching the suppliers that they were hoping to bring on board. The caterer was already in place; they had worked with the couple on previous occasions, and kindly recommended me. It’s always great to use trusted and recommended suppliers, but remember it’s your wedding so explore every avenue, what’s right for one may not be right for another.
Weddings By Mary’s full planning service took away all the stress and strain from the couple, leaving them to concentrate not only on their full-time jobs but to enjoy their engagement. I organised and attended florist meetings, cake tastings, makeup and hair trials as well as planning meetings with all the suppliers and was the main point of contact for all those involved in the big day. Having an extensive network and knowledge of experienced, professional local suppliers ensured that I was not only totally confident with the chosen suppliers, but also the happy couple, as any final decision was theirs. This included cakes to cars, harpists to bands, flip flops to fireworks, sweet treats to pashminas as well as florists, photographers and videographers to name but a few. My role also included all the administration, which can be a little mind-blowing when planning your own wedding; juggling every supplier’s specific requests and linking them all altogether.
From the very start I kept a detailed budget plan which showed the agreed amount for each supplier, when the deposit payments were made, when any interim payments were due but most importantly when the final balances were due.
A great trust was built in a short space of time between myself and the bride & groom and during the week of the wedding I was able to base myself at their home so that I was on hand for the marquee set-up, taking deliveries as well as fielding calls and emails. This enabled the couple to finish work but most importantly start to welcome family and friends, some of whom were travelling from abroad.
The night prior the wedding the couple organised an intimate meal for the main bridal party …. and included me! It was such an honour to be included in this special pre-wedding celebration, and it gave me the perfect opportunity to get to know the parents, bridesmaids and best man before the big day.
As the big day dawned I headed bright and early to see the bride who was already, by 7am, having her hair styled and a couple of sleepy bridesmaids appeared soon after. Next, I made my way to the house the oversee the final preparations with the arrival of the florist, caterers, cake, and so much more. As the service was taking place at the local church I also ensured that everything was ready & set up there too, but once the beautiful blushing bride entered the church I dashed back to the house to continue with the final arrangements, ready for their return.
The day ran beautifully, and I was literally the last to leave. At the end of the night the happy couple left for a local hotel and the family all went to bed, locking the house behind them. Unfortunately, my belongings were still in the house, but luckily I had a spare key, so was able to quietly slip in and retrieve my bits and pieces. I was then back early the following morning to oversee the the collection of various items and clearing up, which meant to the couple could enjoy their first day as Mr & Mrs with family and friends, with lunch kindly left prepared in the fridge by the caterer.
Why not see how Weddings By Mary could fully plan your special day?