Robyn and Kieran met in the very modern world of online dating, after liking each other's images on Tinder! "Despite living within a very close radius, our paths didn't cross until that all-important 'swipe-right'!" laughs Robyn. "We hit it off instantly and enjoyed our first date three weeks later at a local Turkish restaurant. The rest as they say is history, as we became inseparable from then on in."
Five years later, the couple were enjoying what Robyn thought was a holiday at her second home in Crete. "I'm half-Greek and my dad lives there, so I didn't have any inkling anything was up when we flew out in August 2020," she continues. "Little did I know that Kieran had already asked for my dad's permission to marry me, via a UK/Greek translated Facebook message and video call! On the night he proposed Kieran took me to my favourite restaurant, set inside an old mill, where a private table had been set up with floral displays and rose petals. After dinner we made our way to a bridge over the watermill to have our picture taken – and when I turned around Kieran was down on one knee. I will remember it forever as one of the best days of my life."
The couple set the date of Friday 1st October, 2021, saying ‘I do’ at The Holy Family & All Saints Catholic Church in Witham, before enjoying their reception at Chelmsford’s Hatfield Place. Here, Robyn tells us more about their amazing day…
The couple had always dreamed of a manor-house style wedding, but were put off by the interior of other stately homes. "Hatfield Place, however, took our breath away – stunningly simplistic but equally imposing from the outside, it was the inside that really won us over," says Robyn. "It felt like we were walking onto a Bridgerton or Downton Abbey set, and we loved the fact that the Georgian veranda spanned the full exterior of the property, meaning it would be an ideal place for family and friends to gather. Then there was the modern Orangery extension, nestled at the back of the walled garden. Despite being newly-built, it made for the ideal party spot – with a 200-person capacity, twinkling dancefloor and floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the gardens, we were instantly sold."
With a theme of simplistic autumn-chic, the pair felt whites and greens were the ideal colours to tie their day together. "Gypsophila and white hydrangeas were central to our floral scheme and featured throughout, from the centre-piece displays and buttonholes to church pedestals," the bride continues. "When it came to my bouquet, I wanted a whimsical feel, with more gypsophila and hydrangeas alongside eucalyptus, fern and David Austen roses. The sage green element was incorporated throughout, too, from the bridesmaids' dresses to our invites and their satin bows. As a nod to my engagement ring, I knew I also wanted gold touches, with gold-foiling on the table-plan to gold wax seals and a gold cake topper. We also wanted to inject my heritage into the day, opting for Greek islands as our table names, and with the top table of course being Crete – where we got engaged."
Robyn knew she'd found her dream dress when it gave what she describes as 'Hailey Bieber vibes.' "It wasn't what I'd first envisaged, but the second I tried on the Naroza Enzoani gown I knew it was the one for me," she says. "An off-shoulder, Bardot-style, with floral embroidered and Chantilly lace throughout, it had an illusion corset at the back and was Champagne underlined. My accessories to complement it were simple but stunning – diamond halo studs which my mum bought for me for my 30th birthday, as well as two pearl slides in my hair. I teamed the gown with some ivory lace shoes from Ted Baker, as again I wanted it to be all about the dress."
Kieran also didn't fail to impress on the day, choosing a bespoke tailored tuxedo with added silk lapels and bowtie. "It fitted him like a glove and was very James Bond-esque – needless to say he looked incredible!" says Robyn. "His groomsmen also wore tuxedos but with plain lapels, and our three pageboys wore matching mini five-piece tuxedos complete with waistcoats. They looked beyond cute!"
For the bridesmaids, Robyn again turned to her theme of sage green, with pleated floor-length dresses from Little Mistress, while the flower girls wore ivory silk and organza dresses from Children's Occasion. "They looked adorable with hand-made flower crowns and ballerina buns!"
After feasting on a delicious wedding breakfast of tomato and mozzarella salad, roast chicken with Dauphinoise potatoes and molten chocolate pudding, it was time for the speeches, with hardly a dry eye in the house.
"Kieran's two best friends were joint best men, and my mum did a phenomenal speech on behalf of her and my dad – it's something I'll cherish forever," smiles the bride. "Kieran did himself proud, too, capturing a brilliant balance of emotion, humour and wit. There were lots of tears, plenty of laughs and a few hand-over-face moments, but it was all in pretty good taste!"
It was then time to throw a party to remember. "Entertainment was high up on our priority list, ensuring that the dance floor was never empty," continues Robyn. "We had a DJ, band and saxophonist, creating a tight schedule to ensure there were never gaps. The DJ started around 7pm and played our first dance – Ed Sheeran's Best Part of Me – followed by the cutting of the cake. The band did two one-hour sets; the saxophonist played for a couple of hours; and then the DJ re-joined the party until gone midnight! It was truly amazing – we had the guests up doing Zorba the Greek behind the top table before dessert, and we were launched onto our friends' shoulders in typical Wedding Crashers-style!"
With the shortage of fuel up and down the country happening just a week prior to Robyn and Kieran's big day, the couple were worried that some guests might not even be able to get to their wedding. "Luckily that wasn't the case, and we were able to relax and enjoy ourselves after all the stressful build-up and uncertainty due to Covid," says Robyn. "We made a mental note to savour the day and to not let any small mishaps stress us out – and that's exactly what we did! From start to finish it was the best day of our lives, seeing faces we hadn't seen for months. Being able to make such a special commitment to one another in front of family and friends was quite literally the best feeling in the world."
Choosing the right wedding photographer was also instrumental to the couple's big day, with Robyn and Kieran finding everything they wanted in Anna Marie. "She's phenomenal, specialising in really natural pictures which tell a story. We didn't feel at all staged or posed and were able to reflect on the day while still being present in the moment. The videographer was brilliant, too – capturing so many moments we would otherwise eventually forget over time. One of our favourite songs is Erasure's A Little Respect, and as soon as this played the dancefloor was flooded – it's captured on our wedding video and still gives us goosebumps."