Home is where the heart is

Alexandra and Piers' gorgeous marquee wedding was bursting with love and personal details. There's something so romantic about a couple who met at school, like Alexandra and Piers did. After being by each other's side for many years, Piers started thinking about popping the question. "We had a weekend away at The Norfolk Mead Hotel," Alexandra tells us. "After a lovely long lunch at a nearby pub, we watched England beat Ireland in the Six Nations Rugby. Piers was so excited that he got down on one knee when we were back at the hotel!"

The pair got planning their perfect day for 5th October, 2019, with a church ceremony at St Mary the Virgin church in High Easter, followed by a marquee reception at Alexandra's parents' home. We chatted to Alexandra to get all the details…

Home is where the heart is: Image 1 There was only one place in the couple's minds where they wanted to celebrate. "My parents' home is very special to me," Alexandra says. "It's also the most beautiful setting." The name of the room at the hotel where they got engaged was Crabapple. "It was this and the time of year that inspired our autumnal theme," the bride says.

Home is where the heart is: Image 2 "My mum is the most talented florist and she runs Tangle & Thyme Floral Design. She incorporated lots of seasonal produce into the design – all accented with pale pink roses, deep mulberry cosmosand grey eucalyptus." The mother-of-the-bride created incredible archways, centrepieces, and urns brimming with natural elements. As dusk came, there were pale pink candles to give the marquee an enchanting glow.

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The bride also enlisted the help of her friend Elis to design a motif to run throughout the day. "The crabapple and sprig logo was used on our stationery and created a lovely theme – she's very talented!" Alexandra says. On the tables, guests were treated to Hedgepig gin favours while the place settings were designed with a sprig of eucalyptus for the girls, and a pheasant feather for the boys.

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Piers' dad, who's very handy, made a pallet wall from which they hung the table plan, with each table named after autumn produce. To create wow factor above the top table, they hung a pretty ladder above it. "It was adorned with pale pink roses, foliage, little lanterns and hanging candles," the bride says.

Home is where the heart is: Image 4 Catering was provided by The Felsted Black Labrador Catering – a family friend. On the back of the menus were the lyrics to Say A Little Prayer. "I got up and sang it as a surprise after my dad's speech – with a little help from my bridesmaids and then the whole marquee!" Alexandra explains. Guests were kept fuelled by a gin bar, with cocktails named after the newlyweds, and a cake by The Hazlebury Kitchen. "It was incredible," the bride tells us. "A delicious mix of white chocolate and raspberry with summer berries. It was made by the lovely Poppy, who is super-talented and great to work with."

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Alexandra had her heart set on the Anna Campbell dress Sorrento as soon as they got engaged. "I was given a brilliant piece ofadvice from one of my bridesmaids," she says.

"She told me to find the designer I liked first, then choose boutiques that stock them to book appointments with."

After trying on Sorrento at Blackburn Bridal, she knew it was the one. "With the help of the team there, I completely redesigned the back of the dress to create a lower backand to replace the bow it usually has," Alexandra explains.

The bride expertly finished her look with a small cluster of pearls in her hairand a pretty veil.

Home is where the heart is: Image 6 The men looked dapper in traditional tails and pink waistcoats,with Piers rocking a slightly paler waistcoat to stand out. "My best girls wore the same dress in three different colours to fit our palette," Alexandra says. "The sequins mirrored the top of my dress – they looked absolutely stunning."

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The couple had the most amazing weather. "We got to have our drinks reception outside in the sunshine," the bride says. "Watching everyone take photos, drink champagne and smile all day was wonderful." In the evening, the crowd partied to an incredible band called Electric Ocean.

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"We cannot recommend them highly enough," Alexandra says. "I'll always remember the ushers lifting Piers and I above their heads so we had a bird's eye view of everyone dancing the night away."

Home is where the heart is: Image 8 When it was time for the newly married couple to leave, their loved ones had a surprise in store. "Everyone formed a massive archway and we left to Ho Hey by The Lumineers," Alexandra says. "When we got to the end, our sisters had decorated a quadbike with bunting for us to drive off on. Leaving was the part I was dreading, but doing it in such style was amazing."

Home is where the heart is: Image 9 Alexandra and Piers had the best day of their lives, but they couldn't have done it without the help of some wonderful suppliers and family members. "My mum making my bouquet was so special," the bride says. "Our amazing photographer and videographer have captured so many lasting memories, our band created a brilliant atmosphere, and everyone's speeches were amazing; my mum's surprise toast was so heartwarming and the only part of the day when I cried!"

Alexandra and Piers' contact book

Band

Electric Ocean Band
www.electricoceanband.com

Bride and mother-of-the-bride's hair and make-up

Gail Gardner
www.gailgardner.co.uk

Bride's dress

Blackburn Bridal
www.blackburnbridal.co.uk

Bridesmaids' hair

Noir Tanning
www.noirtanning.co.uk

Cake

The Hazlebury Kitchen
www.thehazleburykitchen.com

Catering

The Felsted Black Labrador Catering
Tel: 01371 821 327

Catering equipment

Geneen's Catering
www.geneenscatering.co.uk

Flowers

Tangle & Thyme
www.tangleandthyme.co.uk

Marquee

Men's waistcoats

Menswear

Slater Menswear
www.slaters.co.uk

Mother-of-the-bride's hat

Mary-Anne Morrison
www.mamorrison.co.uk

Photographer

Sally Forder for
www.binkynixon.com

Stationery

Videography

Joseph Young Film
www.josephyoungfilm.com