George first caught Madeline's eye in a Top Gun Maverick costume and aviators at an '80s fancy dress party at the Ultimate Frisbee tournament in Sheffield. Fast forward to their first date and though no longer in costume, George still impressed. “He was even more good looking than I remembered and I knew it was going to be a great day as soon as he started talking about his family dogs,” says Madeline. “I was at University in Nottingham so we wandered around the local parks and city, we decided to head to the cinema but didn't make it into a screen as we were talking so much, so we went for pizza.”
In August, 2013, while the couple were on a camping holiday in Corsica, George popped the question to an unsuspecting Madeline. “We decided to go on a long coastal walk to the lighthouse on the next headland across the bay. I stopped to take some photos in the only bit of shade we found and when I turned back George was on one knee presenting me with a gorgeous ring!” she recalls. “It was a total surprise and super sweet that George had travelled to Winchester from Essex to buy me my ring from a shop his gran recommended to him when he was 10 years old. It was perfect – we celebrated that evening with a bottle of red wine and steak cooked on our camping stove.”
Just under two years later, the pair tied the knot with an aqua and purple themed big day.
Here, Madeline shares all the details of their summer nuptials…
Roz at The White Wedding House was great – she was patient and made sensible suggestions. I opted for Delightful from Ritva Westenius's 2012 collection, a chiffon dress, and loved its floaty feel and the flower detail around the waist.
Having a venue with lots of flowers was important to me; I loved the gardens at Marks Hall when we visited in November, 2013, so I knew I would in the summer too. We were originally looking for a cosy barn but the gorgeous red brick and beams inside the Coach House won our hearts.
George, his best man Pete and ushers Andy and Phil wore morning suits from Anthony Formal Wear in Billericay, with the groom wearing a stripy silver tie and his ushers in purple. Anthony's customer service was second to none so they didn't feel the need to look elsewhere.
My university friend Laura was my maid-of-honour, and my school friend Bridie and George's sister Sarah were my bridesmaids. They wore knee-length, halter-neck cocktail dresses in an aqua hue from The Bridal Lounge in Billericay.
My relaxed-style bouquet was a mixture of purple, pink and cream blooms – our florist Karen from The Flower Mill had free rein and I loved the results of all our big-day blooms. I was able to use a daisy chain of flowers taken from my Mum's own wedding dress to tie my bouquet.
I met my hair stylist Tara Cox at a wedding fair. Wearing my Casablanca by Ivory and Co. veil, which had floral details, made me feel like a bride; I loved it so much it didn't come off all day. The make-up trial I had with Emma Gooch was fantastic as she gradually built up my natural, understated look.
The Coach House at Marks Hall is beautiful as it is, so we didn't go overboard with decorations. We hung sparkly lavender heart wreaths and bunting.
My Dad painted an old wooden ladder to use as our table plan.
Our wedding car was a Rolls Royce, Silver Wraith. This wasn't something George and I were keen on originally but we're glad our parents persuaded us to travel in style. I loved having George all to myself.
Our centrepieces were beautiful, wild-looking flowers in purple vases. We wanted to bring the outside in and fill the room with scent.
Michelle from Fran Bea Cake Parlour made our cake. Our design replicated the pleating and band of flowers from my wedding dress. She's so skilled and it tasted delicious.
My mum met our photographer Anesta at a wedding show and said we had to meet her too; when we did we could see why. She is super friendly and put us at ease. She also offered to do our engagement shoot at the zoo so we couldn't say no!
Missy Moo Balloons
Bride's dress, veil and bracelet
The White Wedding House
Satin & Lace Bridal Lounge
Fran Bea Cake Parlour
Catering and ice cream van
Linda Hamilton Catering
St Michael and All Angels Church
Ruth & Edward Montgomery
The Flower Mill
Groom and groomsmen's suits
Anthony Formal Wear
Anesta Broad Photography
The Coach House, Marks Hall Estate
Reynolds & Co, Bluewater
Date Posted: Wednesday, 27 April 2016
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