Today we are lucky enough to be sharing WWW readers Emma and Uche’s classic romantic wedding day, which took place at Stoke Place in Berkshire on 22nd July 2017. Being an event manager herself, Emma was very organised with the planning and it sounds like it was a fairly smooth process! Our couple didn’t forget the romance though and I think you’re going to love the pink and red colour scheme, the elegant florals and the beautiful traditional setting.
Our pair also wanted to bring in elements of their Nigerian heritage, as well as keeping things simple and focusing on the important things, feeding and watering! What a beautiful and sophisticated day it turned out to be.
Uche is an incredibly dapper groom in his Hugo Boss tuxedo, don’t you just love a tux wedding? Emma’s gorgeous gown is La Sposa and our stunning bride has some great dress shopping advice for all you brides to be.
Emma and Uche chose Hannah McClune to photograph their amazing day. Thank you so much for sharing this beautiful set of images with us today Hannah.
Uche actually proposed to me at our reception venue, Stoke Place. We went there for afternoon tea for my birthday when our little boy was just three weeks old. Uche suggested we take a walk around the lake before we sat down which I reluctantly agreed to as I just wanted to get on with eating sandwiches and cake! As we were walking back, he asked what I would say if he proposed. I jokingly said ‘nah’ and carried on walking. I turned around and he was on one knee! Needless to say I was very taken aback but couldn’t stop grinning. We then had the best afternoon tea ever – I couldn’t stop looking at my ring, which was/is perfect. It was a work day and Uche had brought his work bag into the hotel with him. I was going to tell him off but luckily thought twice as it was a special occasion. Turns out he was hiding the ring in there!
Uche’s family is catholic and my family are Baptist so we knew we were going to have a church wedding – something Uche had dreamed about since he was little.
Uche’s parents and my Dad are Nigerian so we incorporated traditional cultural elements throughout the day too.
I was really keen for the reception to be really elegant and sophisticated. Our main concern was making sure everyone was well fed and watered, as we knew this would keep the guests happy and they’d have a great time.
The Planning Process
We got engaged almost two years before our wedding so we had lots of time to find suppliers and research different ideas.
I had a master spreadsheet which contained all the planning elements of the day (can you tell I work in events?!).
I also found a checklist online which included a rough timeline of when things should be confirmed so we adapted that and tried to stick to the deadlines as best we could.
We were married in St Joseph’s Catholic Church in Chalfont St Peter, where our little boy was christened the year before.
The reception took place in a gorgeous country hotel, Stoke Place.
The Dress & Accessories
My dress was a La Sposa fit and flare. It is sheer across the chest and back with embroidered flowers and three layers of lace. I wore a floor length veil (after claiming I’d never wear one!), Sam Edelman gold heels and spangly earrings from Aldo. My something borrowed was a bracelet from my sister and my something blue (& borrowed) was my step-mum’s garter from when she married my Dad 30 years ago.
Finding The Dress
I ended up buying a dress I tried on in the second shop I went to. It seemed perfect because the sheer parts were an exact match to my skin tone. Once I started trying on dresses I realised I didn’t really like most sleeves/straps. My dress was a compromise as it is sleeveless with a sheer material across the chest with embroidery going up to the shoulders, giving the illusion that it’s strapless but with all the support of a sleeveless dress.
In total I ended up going to four different shops (!) but I couldn’t get the sheer dress out of my head so I eventually went back and ordered it.
Uche wore a Hugo Boss tuxedo with patent black shoes from Magnanni.
The Readings & Music
We consulted with Father Michael, the priest at St Joseph’s and chose our favourite hymns and readings, including Give Me Joy and Lord The Light of your Love is Shining (Shine Jesus Shine).
Uche had his heart set on a simple white cake. I did a fair amount of research into local cake suppliers but I found the idea of parting with £500 for a cake slightly ridiculous. In the end I ordered a three-tier cake from Humingbird Bakery in London for £130 and our florist decorated it with red and pink flowers. We went for red velvet, my fave. The only issue was that we had to pick it up from Spitalfields in East London the day before the wedding as Humingbird don’t deliver wedding cakes – like we didn’t have enough to do!
We also had a bonus cake kindly baked for us by Uche’s sister’s good friend, Maria.
I was initially planning on silky floor length numbers from Ghost but one of my bridesmaids fell pregnant so I had to choose something that nipped in just below the bust and fell straight down as she was 7 months by the time we married.
I ordered and sent back a couple of dresses online and in the end snapped up a couple of nude pink strapless gowns from ASOS for £45 each in the sale!
Hannah McClune – I was drawn to Hannah because of her candid style of photography. She didn’t disappoint. She spent a lot of time understanding what type of day we were planning and what type of photographs we wanted. We had an engagement shoot as part of our package so we got to meet Hannah before the wedding, which was great. Despite the awful weather on the day, Hannah took some amazing photos and we were thrilled with the results.
As soon as we got engaged I started a Pinterest board and decided early on that I wanted pink and red flowers – I just think the combination is so romantic.
I got three quotes and ended up going with a local supplier in Beaconsfield called Forever Green.
They did an amazing job. Rather than have large bouquets on each table, I thought it would be more romantic to have small jars of flowers with lots of tea lights and gold candlesticks. The dining room at Stoke Place has three large circular chandeliers and the florists dressed them with draping foliage – an idea I borrowed/stole from Pinterest.
The Details & Décor
I was really proud of our wedding invitations. We found ones with red and pink flowers, perfectly matching our theme, from Dimitria Jordan. They were incredibly elegant and hopefully set the tone of the day for our guests.
We spent a reasonable amount of the budget on the lighting to create a romantic environment, which included a fairy light wall behind the DJ and in the dining room. We also had fairy lights in the ceiling of the dining room. We had lots of candles everywhere and low lighting.
I bought an antique looking £40 mirror from Dunelm and some chalk pens and wrote our seating plan on it (another Pinterest idea).
I found some gorgeous handmade marshmallows online, from La Maison Guimauve, to use as wedding favours – however they didn’t end up getting put out and I didn’t notice when I did my walk around. A huge shame as they definitely passed the taste test!
We spent five days in Lake Como, Italy. It was really peaceful and beautiful – just what we needed to unwind.
The band performed the first dance, which was beautiful.
Walking down the aisle – my dad started to cry and set me off!
Watching my friends being the last on the dance floor having the time of their lives dancing to 90’s garage.
My dad’s speech – set me off again!
Advice For Other Couples
Don’t rush buying your dress. The high street has loads of lovely options and if your heart is set on a having a dress from a wedding dress designer, you can always buy off the rack. Seamstresses are geniuses when it comes to alterations.
Spend the budget on what you care about.
A classic – but enjoy the day (and the lead up), it will pass by so quickly.
Credit Where Credit Is Due
Red Cat Lighting
Canapes and Evening Buffet
La Maison Guimauve
What a gorgeous romantic day you planned! Thank you Emma and Uche for sharing all the lovely details with us. Rachel x