Magical & Sophisticated Orangery Wedding

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Today’s glamorous couple Emma and Adam tied the knot on the 10th August 2018 at Kew Gardens in London and it really was a magical day. From the amazing setting to Emma’s sleek and stunning Pronovias gown, everything about this wedding screams glamour.

Their wedding is also a wonderful example of not settling and following your instincts when it comes to committing to venues and suppliers. After booking a different venue, Emma and Adam both didn’t feel like it was right for them after all and ended up booking Kew Gardens. They had originally ruled it out as being too pricey but postponed their nuptials slightly to give themselves longer to save. I think you’ll agree that the venue change paid off in spades.

As Emma says, a venue like Kew Gardens doesn’t need much décor and our pair kept everything simple with beautiful floral centrepieces and a glorious cake. A heartfelt day so special to Emma and Adam, as well as their nearest and dearest.

WWW fave Marianne Chua was on hand to capture the smiles, laughs and tears, thank you so much for sharing these wonderful images with us Marianne.

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The Proposal

First and foremost, I had no idea! I was SO pleased as I was completely shocked and it really was the best surprise! Adam kept asking when I was free for a weekend away in Europe but I was so busy at university that I never really gave him an answer. To make things easier he said he’d booked us a nice weekend in London. He booked the theatre and later said he’d booked a hotel too. He lived in East London at the time in a house share so I wasn’t suspicious of anything at all.

As the weekend approached he emailed me a menu for a fancy Italian in Marylebone: Locanda Locetelli. We are both massive foodies; we love cooking and trying new restaurants so again, didn’t suspect a thing! We had an amazing meal and headed over to our hotel near the Thames. Adam had booked a penthouse suite which was just incredible! We arrived at the room and after having a big meal, I just needed to get out of my dress and into my comfies. I put on the hotel’s fluffy dressing gown (how romantic) and headed out to the balcony to have a glass of champagne where Adam popped the question!

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The Vision

I imagined a venue that was crisp and full of elegance and sophistication. As much as I loved rustic barns with stunning beams and beautiful fairy lights, it just wasn’t me. We also decided quite early on that a church wedding wasn’t for us either. I wanted everyone in the same place all day.

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The Planning Process

Like most women, I created a Pinterest board and the first thing I started hunting for was THE dress. I started saving dresses, centre pieces and guestbook ideas even before looking for a venue. For Adam, the top of his list was food and music so I was quite happy to leave this to him.

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Budget

I don’t know any couple who have managed to stay within their budget! We spent a lot more than initially anticipated but it did just creep up as our plans developed. I still don’t know the exact total!

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The Venue

There was nowhere that I initially had in mind so was open to lots of ideas. Adam suggested a stunning country manor house in Essex. We went along to their open day and it was just as beautiful as it looked online. The grounds were magnificent and the bridal suite was just… dreamy. After a couple of glasses of bubbly we decided to go for it and we booked it for Easter Sunday in April 2017. It was the first venue we’d looked it so was quite an impulsive move for us! We didn’t do much for a while after then as it felt like such a long time away. A few months later we went to a wedding show with our fiends who were also engaged. As we were walking around and getting lots of different ideas I realised the venue wasn’t right for us. I plucked up the courage to tell Adam and luckily he agreed. Back to the drawing board!

Adam had been to a wedding at Kew Gardens a few years previous and always said it was the best wedding he’d ever been to. It was definitely out of our budget so we tried to put it to the back of our mind but it still found its way in conversation when anyone mentioned the wedding. We booked an appointment and knew it was the one. We cancelled the manor house and booked Kew for 10th August 2018. That gave us a little bit more time to save and it was definitely meant to be as our daughter arrived on the 6th May 2017. I definitely didn’t fancy being nine months pregnant on my wedding day!

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Your Outfits & Accessories

I always knew I wanted a Pronovias dress. They are just so elegant and not too fussy! I imagined something simple and sophisticated. I found my dress online and located a stockist in Colchester. I tried roughly 14 dresses on in total and fell in love with the dress i’d seen online. My daughter was only 4 months old at the time so I knew I still had some baby weight to lose but I was ready to accept the challenge! I did have a LOT of alterations made to the dress but the ladies in The Wedding Shop (Colchester) were absolutely amazing and so unbelievably patient.

Shoes! I love shoes! They had to be spectacular. I chose Sophia Webster’s Evangeline heel in white and gold. Adam surprised me with them on Christmas day last year! Sophia Webster also make shoes for children so I ordered my daughter the matching minis!

On the day I wore my sister’s earrings, a diamond tiffany bracelet Adam bought me once for Christmas and a diamond necklace Adam bought me on the day of the wedding. All the bling!

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Bridesmaids

I originally bought my bridesmaids their dresses from ASOS – they do a great bridesmaid collection! I bought the dresses back in July 2017. They were really simple and sophisticated. They were floor length dresses with a low embellished back in a lavender/grey colour. As the wedding crept closer, we look them to a local seamstress to have them altered to fit the girls perfectly. We needed cups sewn in due to the low back but this wasn’t possible as the material was too fine. The seamstress advised that you would be able to see the stitching through the dress so this was a no no for me! I began searching again around four weeks before the wedding. Talk about wedding stress! Ted Baker had the most beautiful baby pink floor length bridesmaid dresses and I had to have them! The girls loved them and they fit perfectly! Hardly any alterations were needed which was also a bonus so close to the wedding. The girls admitted they felt more comfortable in them than the old dresses and liked them more! Happy Bride!

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Groomsmen

It’s funny how the groom is not allowed to know about the bride’s dress but the bride is all over the groom’s suit! There was no way I was leaving the men to their own devises. Adam and I (and our daughter, Matilda) had a trip to Moss Bros and picked out a lovely blue Ted Baker three piece suit. Adam sent all the details to his groomsmen and they each went to get measured and suited and booted! Pardon the pun! The groomsmen wore a silver tie from M&S and a white pocket square from Charles Tyrwhitt. Adam and his best men had a grey/silvery waistcoat from a shop called Anthony’s in Billericay, Essex. Adam wore some classic black brogues from Russell and Bromley.

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Beauty 

I booked Botias to do my hair and Charlie was amazing. I had two trials with her to make sure we got it right and again, she was so patient! I wanted something different and not typically bridal. We tried so many different styles and it was only on the day that I decided for definite!

I love makeup and spent so long searching Instagram for the perfect MUA. I am a HUGE Real housewives of Cheshire fan and Tanya Bardsley frequently tags her makeup artist, Vanessa Thornton-Yates, in her pictures. I messaged Vanessa not expecting a reply as she must be SO busy but she got back to me straight away! I booked her immediately and was so excited for her to do our makeup on the day. I travelled to Cheshire for a makeup trial and absolutely loved it. I would say a trial is absolutely necessary!

On the lead up to the wedding I booked in all my beauty treatments and my daughter came along to all of them. She was 15 months old at the time and those of you who are mums will appreciate how hard this was! She sat through lashes, nails, brows, tanning, waxing! You name it, we did it! She was such a little trooper!

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The Readings & Music 

We had our ceremony in the Nash Conservatory at Kew and knew that anything acoustic would sound beautiful in there. Adam booked a string quartet called Niche for the ceremony and drinks reception. We chose specific songs for Bride’s entrance, signing the register and Bride and Groom exit. For everything in-between we requested modern music. They played everything from Ed Sheeran to Beyonce! They also offer a juke box where guests can request a song for them to play which I thought was a really nice idea!

We had a reading from Adam’s best man and brother during the ceremony. It was a poem which Adam had written himself. It certainly was a tear jerker!

We hired an amazing band called Totem Tribe for our reception. We had previously seen them at a friend’s wedding and they were absolutely incredible! They had everyone up dancing immediately and even interacted with the guests during the dinner. I really cannot recommend them enough! I just wish we had another big event planned so I could hire them again.

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Your Photographer 

Adam took the lead with this one and arranged a meeting with Marianne Chua who adopts a documentary/journalistic style which is what we were looking for. After meeting with Marianne, Adam went ahead and secured our booking. Marianne was utterly fabulous! She worked her socks off on our wedding day and would do anything to get the perfect shot. She was SO patient and had such a calming aura which was so comforting while we were getting ready. Nothing was too much for Marianne. She’s modern, quirky and has a real eye for detail. Our wedding photos are truly stunning! I would recommend Marianne over and over again! We can’t thank her enough!

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Your Filmmaker

Film was another thing we left until the last minute. Our budget was bursting and we didn’t think we could stretch to film as well. Our friends hired Inverve to photograph and film their wedding back in July 2017. On asking my friend for their details, she sent me the link to their wedding film. My god! It was insanely good! There’s something about watching it back which keeps those memories so fresh and full of love. We went ahead and confirmed our date with Inverve and they were a pleasure to work with! They were really calm, worked so hard all day and late into the evening and hopefully captured some great shots! We are still eagerly waiting on the video.

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The Details & Décor

We kept this really simple and stuck with just our flowers! Kew Gardens is so beautiful that we felt like less is more when it came to the decor.

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The Flowers

Megan from The Willows Flowers in Chelmsford made our beautiful bouquets and incredible centre pieces. We met with Megan twice before the wedding to discus our ideas and final arrangements. It is really hard to visualise how they are look when you are choosing certain flowers to match your colour scheme. The bouquets arrived at the hotel and they were so perfect they didn’t look real! The centrepieces blew me away! They were truly stunning. I can’t thank Megan enough. She did a wonderful job!

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The Cake

The cake is something I left until the last minute. I didn’t realise how hard it was going to be to find someone to bake a yummy masterpiece! After lots searching on Instagram, I came across Jen’s Cakery and I emailed her straight away. She did have a wedding booked for the same day but assured me that she would be able to manage both. Jen sent us lots of cake samples in the post and it was probably one of the best parcels i’ve ever received in the post! They were all delicious but we went with a classic Victoria sponge and chocolate orange. We had a four tier white iced cake with an “E&A” iced monogram. Megan supplied the flowers and arranged them onto the cake on the day. The cake was so beautiful! Adam and I saved the top tier and that’s all I ate in the days following the wedding.

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The Honeymoon

Adam, I and Matilda jetted off to Jamaica a couple of weeks after our wedding. At first I didn’t really understand why couples would go on their honeymoon straight away. I thought you’d need time to soak up that wedding love and look forward to a honeymoon a little while later. The truth is, you are the only ones in your wedding bubble. Life goes on and before you know it, everyone is back at work! I couldn’t wait to get away after the wedding! Adam was back at work on the Monday following the wedding and it felt like the holiday was so far away!

We stayed at Tui Sensatori and it was beautiful. The food, drink, hotel and beach was stunning! It was very different taking a 15 month old on honeymoon but we had the best time. I think Adam and I will look to go on our baby free honeymoon next year! It’s got to be the Maldives!

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Memorable Moments

Getting ready with my girls was amazing! I really soaked up this and had the best time relaxing and getting pampered.

Seeing our baby girl walk down the aisle was so special. She looked so beautiful and there wasn’t a dry eye in the house!

The wedding speeches! Everyone has such high expectations when it comes to speeches and the men didn’t let me down. I can’t wait to see them when they come back on film!

Walking down the aisle and seeing everyone you love in one room. Our first dance!

Adam losing his wedding ring in the hotel on the night of our wedding!

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Advice For Other Couples

Think of your top three important things when it comes to your wedding and make sure they’re a priority in your budget. Ours was food, music and venue and we were not disappointed.

Photographs and film are so important! Don’t try and do this on the cheap! You get what you pay for.

Try to relax and enjoy the week leading up to the wedding. It really is the best day and everything will be fine! Relax and enjoy it.

Try to spend a little bit of time with one another! The day flies by!

Credit Where Credit Is Due

Photographer
Marianne Chua
Wedding Directory member – Wedding Photographers

Venue
Kew Gardens

Catering
Lodge Catering – The catering manager, Jana, was incredible! She took so much wedding stress away and was so helpful. Nothing was trouble! The food was amazing and the service was impeccable. We were so pleased!

Favours
My friend’s mum, Louise Hunter, made our beautiful wedding favours. This is something she enjoys as a hobby and did the most amazing job!

Such a gorgeous day. Thank you so much Emma and Adam for sharing your magical Kew Gardens wedding with us. Rachel x

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