Gareth and Alexis were married in April at the lovely Hogarths Hotel, Dorridge, Nr Solihull in an outdoor ceremony. They wanted their wedding to include those most important to them without over the top detailing.
Nevertheless they styled it to perfection, with a classic, pink, white and green colour scheme. They kept their day elegant, romantic and informal.
Thanks so much to the brilliant HBA Photography for sharing their gorgeous imagery with us today.
Names… Gareth and Alexis
Wedding Date…. 6th April 2012
The Proposal…. 18th June 2011 at home on our sofa! After we picked an engagement ring together at the jewellery quarter in Birmingham – it wasn’t planned to do it the same day!! Gareth hid upstairs for a while when we came home from buying the ring, apparently he was planning what to say but had forgotten it all by the time he had come back downstairs so just asked if I would marry him, he got down on both knees which I thought was quite original!
The Vision for the day…. Relaxed, informal, vintage, outdoor, romantic. The most important thing for us was that we could share the day with the people close to us and not about having a big fancy wedding or over the top detailing.
The Planning process…. We did the planning together with 9 months from proposal to the big day as we happened to get a date that was perfect for us. Family and friends helped out with lots of little jobs that really made it easier for us.
Budget…. We were very fortunate not to be on a tight budget but had to make it stretch as far as possible and controlled the budget from the start.
The Venue… Hogarths Hotel, Dorridge, Nr Solihull. They offer an amazing outdoor ceremony location which was perfect for us. The day went without a hitch and the food was just fantastic.
The Dress + Accessories….. Dress was blue by enzoani, Benjamin roberts which my dad kindly bought. Shoes were jimmy choo a fabulous early wedding present from Gareth!, earrings were my something borrowed from my mum, tiara, necklace and bangle from glitzysecrets.com
Finding the dress…. I walked into the white dress boutique knowing I wanted a lace dress however I walked straight past mine! It was actually picked out for me by the lady who worked there as she said it would suit my figure. I never thought I would like a very fitted dress but I just fell in love with it and it made me happy to have hips and a bum for once!
Groom’s attire… Ryan and Aaron at Clements and Church in Leamington Spa were so helpful and gave me lots of great advice. The result was a lovely three piece suit that drew so many compliments on the day. I’d recommend them to anyone. Ties for the groom, ushers and fathers were from M&S – sadly discontinued.
The Readings + Music…. We searched high and low for a reading and were so pleased when one of the suggestions in the pack from the Register office l our good friend Julie read this for us and it was perfect. Alexis walked down the aisle to songbird by Eva Cassidy then we had the piano music for Adele’s make you feel my love whilst signing the register, we walked back up the aisle to take that a million love songs! Out first dance was James Morrison you give me something
Beautiful bridesmaids….. My two best friends Laura and Fran and my sister Natalie. Their dresses were from coast, shoes from marks and spencer and necklaces from notonthehighstreet.com. They were fantastic bridesmaids and gave me a great hen do! Unfortunately Laura had a slight accident with a canapé on the wedding day which ended up down her dress but luckily the photos had already been taken and her mum had a colour co-ordinated shawl handy, she must have known!
The Flowers… We found Julia because she lives locally to us and was just lovely. She understood just what we wanted and what we got was perfect for us.
The Cake… A friend of the grooms mum from WI looked lovely tasted even better and a bargain!! Traditional wedding cake on the bottom chocolate cake in the middle and traditional on the top. We have saved the top tier but keep eyeing it up every day so not sure how long it will last!
Your Photographer…. Ben and Hannah at HBA were recommended to us and exceeded our expectations. They were just fantastic and really added to the relaxed atmosphere on the day, which was so important to us. We didn’t want our guests to be standing around waiting for photos and HBA’s pre planning questionnaire was great it meant they knew what we wanted so it was relaxed and slick on the day – perfect. Everyone has complimented us on the photos!
The Details + Decor…. Julia our florist and Hogarths brought it together for us on the day but Alexis made the choices and I picked up the parcels…. The tea light holders were a bargain from Dunelm, we did invest in long burning tea light holders that lasted for 8 hours, well into the night time celebrations, and our mini egg favours fitted in great as we got married on Good Friday! We included luggage tags to the favours which doubled up as our place settings and wrote our table plan on a chalkboard! Again, we wanted to keep it as simple as we could
The Honeymoon…. We were privileged to spend a week on Meeru in the Maldives it was just paradise – we still miss it every day. Spent a night in London on the way there and ate at fifteen, which was brilliant.
Memorable moments… All of it, but the hour spent walking around the grounds at Hogarths talking and taking pictures while our guests enjoyed the bar and each other’s company was lovely. It was really important for us to spend some time together alone and soak it all in!. Also Alexis’ dad is a singer and sang a few numbers for us in the evening which had everyone up dancing!
Advice for other couples… We planned the things we could control in detail but let the rest take care of itself. We agreed on a budget and stuck to it. We just went with the flow on the day and the venue did a great job of keeping everything on track for us. A tip we found to be very useful was to be flexible and open to ideas from those who know. We didn’t really have a colour scheme in mind until we met our florist After describing how we wanted our day to be she came up with ideas and designs which we agreed with and are so glad we let her lead this as she really captured the relaxed but elegant look we were after. We are still over the moon with our photographers as well as they portrayed our day just as we remembered it and that made it really beautiful. A tip for brides to be would be to think about having your hair and makeup done professionally as it’s a really enjoyable way to start off your wedding day! I used rachaelclaire who was great and I cannot praise my hairdressers enough for trials, advice and fantastic styles they gave me and the bridesmaids, the hair room in Sutton Coldfield. Taking the best man and bridesmaids to the venue before the wedding so they were familiar with it really helped on the day. So the flowers didn’t go to waste we encouraged our guests to take them home with them after the wedding along with the tea light holders that were on the tables as a keepsake of our day.
Credit where credit is due…
And my favourite element of their day, the cake and the mini eggs, pastel-perfection :-) And as Alexis says, don’t be afraid to treat yourself to a hair and make up artist on the day. You deserve a pamper after all that planning.
Thanks so much for sharing you two :-) XOXO Lou
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