We are delighted to share the beautiful wedding of Georgie on 1 June 2019. The Ceremony/Drinks Reception was held at Scaplens Court with Wedding Breakfast/Reception at Harbour Heights Hotel. Photos by Andrew Millard.

Tell us about finding the dress

My family and I have lots of memories of travelling up to Winchester as a young family, and one of the main memories I have is peeking through the window of Brides of Winchester when I was a little girl and dreaming of the day I would get to try on my own wedding dress, and so, when I got engaged in 2016, BOW was the obvious choice for me! Laura and the girls were so lovely right from the start, and I chose around 10 different dresses to try. Everyone always said ‘you’ll know when you find the one’ and to be honest, I didn’t really believe them, but I ended up buying the first dress I tried on! It was a beautifully simple a-line silk dress by British designer Charlie Brear.  I later learned that my Mother and Grandmother also bought the first dresses they tried on, and so it seemed like it was meant to be. I later bought a belt from a different wedding shop to be sewn onto the dress to add a bit of sparkle, and my cousin who is a wedding seamstress made me a beautiful lace bolero to be worn during the ceremony, which buttoned up from the back. It really was the perfect choice for me and our relaxed day in the sun (..and most importantly I could dance the night away in it!). 

How did you choose your venue

We always wanted to keep the wedding as intimate and as close to home as possible. Both James and I grew up and met in Poole, and shortly after we moved into our first house together we learned that the historic building next door that we both used to vitit on school trips doubled up as a wedding venue and so it seemed the perfect choice! It’s old wooden beams and beautiful botanical garden were the perfect setting for our relaxed ceremony/drinks reception. However, we wanted to choose somewhere a little bigger for the evening so that everyone could have a dance and a bit more space. Because of this, our wedding breakfast and evening reception were at The Harbour Heights Hotel in Sandbanks, which has the most beautiful terrace overlooking Poole Harbour, Brownsea Island and miles of the Dorset coastline. Both venues were very different but complimented each other perfectly, and I couldn’t have imaged our wedding anywhere else than our hometown!  

How did you choose your photographer

I found Andrew Millard online whilst searching for a wedding photographer. Both James and I were quite picky in the sense that we wanted someone that took a mixture of both natural candid shots and also more professional/posed pictures that we could keep for future generations. We quickly booked an appointment in with Andrew, and he asked us to go through his pictures and pick out what we didn’t like.. needless to say we couldn’t find anything of his we didn’t like, and so he seemed the perfect choice! We later saw him at countless wedding fayre’s, and he seemed very popular with others too! He was so calm and professional on the day, and it was obvious he had done this plenty of times before as he knew where everyone should be and when, when we needed to leave and who everyone was! He even did a little bit of video-ing for us which was an added bonus! We actually got the pictures back today and are absolutely in love with them 🙂 

What was your theme?

I’ve never been the biggest fan of wedding themes, and as we had two naturally beautiful venues anyway, we let them speak for themselves in terms of theme. At Scaplen’s Court, we wanted an ‘English Country Garden’ style vibe and due to the time of year, this meant that lots of flowers were blossoming too. We served Pimm’s and canapes in the courtyard, had acoustic songs playing in the garden and bunting draped through the trees and walkways, and what with the sun shining it meant the venue looked absolutely beautiful. Again, Harbour Heights speaks for itself in terms of setting as the view from the terrace is stunning and the hotel itself has a modern/beach themed style. We kept everything very classic, clean and white, with blue, green and white flowers on the tables and voile draping from the ceiling. We also had a poloroid wedding guest book which kept people entertained and a bbq on the terrace later on in the evening to keep it a relaxed evening! I wanted to keep the wedding focused on family and friends too and so made some photo cubes that had pictures of our parent’s/grandparents on their wedding days which was a great talking point for everyone. By keeping everything simple, it meant the colours from the flowers and everyone’s outfits brought a pop of colour to the room and what with the room overlooking Sandbanks and Brownsea Island, it meant the room was beautifully bright and airy with a natural beachy feel. It also meant that we were able to focus our planning around what was important and not to get too swept up with wedding fever and go over budget! 

What flowers did you choose?

A year before we were due to get married, one of my best and oldest friends Lauren finished her floristry course and opened up a Florist called The Happy Blossoms in Dorchester. Naturally we wanted her to be our wedding florist, and it was an amazing feeling asking her to create our wedding flowers and we were absolutely delighted with them. My favourite flowers are peonies and luckily these were in season, and so I wanted these to be the prominant flower in the bouquets. Alongside these we had eucalyptus, eryngos, delphiniums, spray roses and cornflowers. I particularly wanted cornflowers to feature as my mum had these in her bouquet back in the 90’s, and so I thought it would be a nice idea to continue the tradition. These also formed my ‘something blue’ and matched my powder blue bridesmaid dresses perfectly. I also had wax flowers and lisianthis in my hair which created the natural boho look I love! For the table decorations, we added white and blue hydrangeas too to give them a fuller look and Lauren couldn’t have done us more proud! 

Tell us about the cake

We ended up choosing a cake from Marks and Spencers in the end as we were running out of budget and just wanted something simple, so we opted for a three tier strawberry buttercream flavour M&S cake decorated with blush pink iced flowers. It looked fab and was delicious so we were more than happy with that! As my birthday was the following day, the top tier also doubled up as a birthday cake which was an added bonus! 

How did you feel on the big day?

I often stress when it comes to big events, and I thought I would be a pile of nerves on the morning, however as I decided to get ready at my parents house it made the whole morning so relaxed with such positive and stress-free energy. I was, naturally, quite nervous, however felt very ready that the day was finally here and it was so lovely having all my family and best friends around me whilst getting ready. Both the hair stylist and makeup artist also commented on how relaxing the morning was, and I put this down to being in a familiar environment (.. and a couple of glasses of Champagne!) 

Walking down the aisle was one of the most surreal moments of my life, looking out into the crowd and seeing every one of your closest friends and family members was magical. When I got to the end of the aisle, I was shaking with nerves and excitement, and could hardly put the rings on I was so nervous! But it went by in a flash and was the best moment knowing that all the planning and stressing was worth it knowing we were finally married!

What was your first dance?

James’ favourite band is R.E.M and there is a secret track of theirs that we both love called ‘Arms of Love’. We chose this as it defines our relationship and is a song about waking up in the arms of the one you love, a message we both love! 

Top tip(s) for other brides

Something my dad said to me.. “Something will go wrong on the day, you have to learn to accept it for what it is and move on” and he was right! Our DJ ended up turning up 3 hours late, and so we nearly didn’t have a first dance or a DJ at all! However, we had a live acoustic act, Chris Payne, who suggested he play along to our song on his ipod and that we actually do the first dance outside on the terrace, what with it being the sunniest day of the year! So we did, and it turned out perfectly! Because we had no DJ for the majority of the evening, Chris ended up doing his set outside too and everyone ate BBQ food whilst dancing to his set and it was the most relaxed, chilled out evening we could have asked for and I think for both of us it was the highlight of our day! 

List of wedding suppliers not mentioned above

Hair – Olga Markuse 

Makeup – Olivia Sharp

Macaron Wedding Favours – Jodey Cheyne @ Princess Macarons (Another one of my best friends) 

Wedding Bolero – Kim Hanrahan

Wedding Venue Stylisy – Rachel @ Love by Design

Bridesmaid Dresses/Wedding Belt – Wed2B

Hand made wedding bands – Jonathan @ Edwards Jewellers 

DJ – Ben Lafayette (DJ-BML)

Cars – Premier Carriage

Thank you so much for sharing 

Why not share your own special day! Send your snaps to mydress@bridesofwinchester.co.uk or tag us #bowbride