Alex and Tom’s magical Winter wedding
We have been super looking forward to sharing Alex and Tom’s wedding and now they are back from their honeymoon we have all the details and recommendations of the local suppliers that made their day as fantastic as possible! So, from the beginning, after meeting at a Great Gatsby social two and a half years ago, Alex shares their story …
Tom had arranged a secret holiday for me! He gave me a few clues… some red herrings and some genuine. The culmination of which was a holiday in Chateaux Frontnac in Quebec. We had an incredible room on 17th floor of the Chateaux, but as each day went past, no proposal. We went to the Ice Hotel, a stunning bridge surrounded by snow, a waterfall, a dreamy horse and carriage ride around Quebec City, but still no proposal. I was beginning to think this might just have been a surprise holiday and not an engagement holiday!
We took a trip to Montreal and Tom was super insistent to go to the Olympic tower. It was a concrete jungle…not romantic at all. We were up in the top of the tower and he kept approaching me and I kept running away as I thought there is no way this 1976 colossus was the right place! Later he told me he had no intention of asking me there but the cat and mouse chase that ensued was amusing nonetheless! Finally on the last night after a perfect supper, he asked me on the 17th floor overlooking the semi frozen St Lawrence river. It was perfect.
The Wedding Planning
It took us maybe 6 months to plan, but really only the last 3 months was serious planning! We got married on Saturday 7th January 2017 at St Bridget’s Church, Bride, Isle of Man, and we held our reception at Milntown, Glen Auldyn.
I found the planning quite tricky at times as I wanted it to be elegant, stylish but also a little quirky, which would reflect our characters. Equally my parents were the hosts so I wanted to respect them and also the family members who were attending. I think without the help of the vendors, especially Louise from Milntown, and Matt Fletcher, I would not have been able to organise something so magical.
I put my trust in people and was overwhelmed by the brilliant service and input they provided. I think one can get quite single minded about what ones wants….but take advice from the pros that do it all the time. They know what works!
Your Wedding Inspiration
Glen Auldyn itself and the winter really inspired me. My family have lived in the glen for over 70 years, and the magical aspect of the glen is what really steered the essence of the decoration and of the day.
Your Wedding Attire
My dress was a Mori Lee from Belles and Bows. I cannot thank Rachel and Karen the seamstress enough. They were incredible and the dress was stunning. Intricate lace with pearls and crystals – it felt magical on. My veil was exquisite – it is a cathedral length Elie Saab with silk tulle flowers embroidered onto it and one of my favourite things!
I had a lovely pearl tiara from Belles and Bows and when my veil came off after the wedding breakfast I had a freshwater pearl Pronovias hair comb. The weather was surprisingly mild…I had an assortment of fur shrugs which I only had some photos taken in, as I didn’t need to wear them.
The Groom and Groomsmen were in morning attire from Peter Luis and the usher (my brother in law) wore his own McGregor Tartan. The Morning dress was classic pin striped trousers with either grey or dark grey tails. We had a mix of single and double breasted grey waistcoats and whatever ties people wanted to wear. The groom and Best Man had lovely houndstooth Thomas Pink ties.
My Maid of Honour (my sister) and my 2 bridesmaids wore very pale pink Jenny Packham waterfall dresses with grey fur shrug and a satin shawl in the evening. Tom had given them their ‘thank you’ presents early so they all had matching silver and rose gold Links bracelets. They wore their own necklaces.
I didn’t have a theme as such but my colours were silver, ivory/white with some very pale pink aspects. I wanted the colours to compliment the very beautiful conservatory room in Milntown so keep it all very simple with white chair covers and white sashes. Matt Fletcher created the most perfect tableau for Louise (Milntown) and Glynis (Sarah’s Flowers Ramsey) to adorn.
We had silver place mats, lovely white linen and stunning white, pink and ivory flowers trailing along the middle of the tables. Our tables were named after train stations that were special to us. They were made by a lady in U.K with photos and a little story to go on each table.
The Wedding Favours
For our wedding favours we had 5 sugared almonds (silver and white) in an organza bag and a little personalised tea light (silver and pink) that said Tom and Alex 7 January 2017 on. Those two items then went into a larger silver organza bag. For the evening guests I had little bags of 5 almonds.
Gosh we had so many fabulous flowers! I showed Glynis from Sarah’s Flowers in Ramsey some photos of the bouquet I liked and she got in the most perfect array of flowers and foliage. Some of the flowers were : ivory Sweet and pink Avalanche Roses, pink and white Lisianthus, Veronica, pink Spray Roses, pink Hypericum berries, eucalyptus, and waxflowers. The groomsman had Avalanche rose buttonholes, and one of my favourites was my mother’s corsage which complimented her outfit perfectly! My bouquet was exquisite and was a highlight for me!
For the champagne reception straight after the church ceremony (at Milntown) and also during the Wedding breakfast we had 4Tissimo the string quartet. They were awesome. They started off with a classical selection and as the night progressed, they jazzed it up with some more invigorating tunes! The theme to Game of Thrones got a particularly special applause as I am a devotee! For the evening Matt Fletcher DJ kept everyone on the dance floor.
The invitations were very simple white card with silver thermography and a bevelled edge which I ordered from UK. But all other pieces of stationary were done by Cannell print in Douglas. The menus and Order of Service were silver with white card inserts. We also had personalised silver ribbon (from Bruce at Cannell Print) with Alexandra and Thomas 7/1/17 which my mother tied around the final invitation bundle and were also tied onto the Order of Service. My Mother wrote all the invitations by hand in silver calligraphy and also the place name cards.
The wedding cake was spectacular – 5 tiers white with silver ribbon around and cascading delicate sugar roses with little silver leaves! I sent Elaine from Taylor Made Cakes some photos of what I had in mind and she created the most exquisite, classic cake which also tasted incredible! We had vanilla, chocolate and fruit tiers.
These were particularly special to me. My father’s speech was heartfelt and amusing and I was so proud of him. Tom’s speech was amazing – it was kind, funny and genuinely touching. Tears were shed!
I was pretty relaxed on the day actually! I had about 15 friends over from England and Ireland, so the night before we all went out for a meal. We were all staying at the Baie Mooar Guesthouse in Ramsey and it was perfect. We all caught up, chatted and had a few glasses of bubbly! I think that was a very special aspect for me…on the actual day you have so little time to talk to people in depth, as you are chatting to so many, so being surrounded by my closest friends the night before and all having breakfast together on the morning was memorable. It was also an awesome breakfast that put us in good stead for the day!
Tom and I didn’t see each other before the wedding! Tom and his family stayed in the Park Hotel, Ramsey on the Friday night. I saw him at about 2.30pm on the Friday and then not again until I walked down the aisle.
For our vows we had the Church of England vows and I think we participated in most wedding traditions! I had something borrowed (hair pins from my best friend and bridesmaid Lucy which she had worn at her wedding), something blue was my garter which my mother in law hand made for me in lace, it was exquisite. My something old was a Tiffany necklace that Tom had given me the previous Valentine’s day, my something new was my dress and Rachel at Belles and Bows had given me a silver sixpence which I taped to the underside of my shoe!
Your Most Special Moment
My Uncle walked me down the aisle and led me to my Father who was waiting for me by the alter. He took my hand, kissed me on the cheek and passed my hand to Tom – this was incredibly poignant. I was so proud of my Daddy and he looked so dapper in his morning suit, I almost cried but then I saw Tom; I knew I was safe and going to be marrying my soul mate.
Your Best Buys
We didn’t specifically splash out on anything in particular…but we did have some exceptional wine and vintage Port. And also the flowers were amazing and so many of them! I think everything was very good value for money. People can look at things and think I am not spending on that, but it is what you count as a priority to you. We didn’t have photo booths or candy carts or ice sculptures etc which would be perfect for someone else’s wedding but for us, the priority was spending on flowers, a string quartet with a five course wedding breakfast with vintage wines!
The sugared almonds as favours worked out very reasonably and are very traditional. We also used Lady Chauffeurs to go to the Church and to the reception, which worked out very good value.
Your Best Wedding Idea
Wine pairing with the meal and an open bar. Also we had little individual bags of confetti which we stuck onto the back of the Order of Service so everyone had their own little bag to throw! We sorted out transport for guests as well and had hired a taxi for the evening, which meant no one was hanging around too much.
Although there are so many people who made the day (bridesmaids etc.) so special I really have to thank Louise at Milntown and Robyn Ackron our photographer. Louise and her team were excellent. The banquet that they laid out for us was scrumptious. We were no longer in Milntown Cafe, but Milntown Garden Room Spectacular! They were attentive, helpful and such an asset to the wedding breakfast. I had total trust in Louise and she took all the worry out of the organising.
Robyn our photographer was also exceptional. We were unable to have my family photographs outside the church due to ill health, but Robyn adapted as needed, she was quick, professional and so kind. Once these had been done inside we were able to go outside for more photos. Robyn also made us feel so at ease and her comments made me feel beautiful. A very wonderful lady.
The Hen & Stag Parties
My first hen party was in Manchester with three friends and at the end of December, once my sister had come back from Australia, we had a lovely afternoon tea at the Tea Junction and afterwards had some cocktails.
Your Advice to Future Brides & Grooms
There is an abundance of excellent, good value vendors on the island. I tried not to interfere too much but gave them my ideas and just put my trust in them. We were not disappointed, in fact I was overwhelmed with how fantastic everything looked and how smoothly the day ran. You must feel an affinity with the people that are involved in the planning of you wedding though…I didn’t go for the first venue i saw nor the first photographer I met, but I went with the one we felt confident in and who understood what we were looking for.
Suppliers You Choose for Your Big Day
- Decorations & Entertainment – Matt Fletcher Entertainment
- Event Services – Louise at Milntown
- Favours – sugared almonds and personalised tea lights
- Flowers – Glynis from Sarah’s Flowers, Ramsey
- Gifts – Charles Alexander, Links of London Bracelets from Wilkins
- Hair – Kerry and Sarah G from Sarah G Ramsey
- Health and Fitness – Creative Juices – Bev has been so supportive and the juices are delicious!
- Honeymoons and Travel – Mini Moon – London at Renaissance, St Pancras and Paris at L’Hotel. Main Honeymoon is a trip to New York on the Queen Mary II
- Hotels – Baie Mooar Guesthouse, Ramsey and Ramsey Park Hotel
- Jewellery -Tiffany and Charles Alexander
- Makeup and Beauty – Erica Stephenson and Sarah G at Ramsey
- Menswear – Peter Luis
- Photographer – Robyn Ackron – Robyn was fantastic!
- Transport and Car Hire – Lady Chauffeurs, Tours Isle of Man.
- Venues – Bride Church and Milntown
- Videographer – Sean’s Shots
- Wedding accessories – Tiara from Belles and Bows and Les Accessories, Barcelona Hair comb
- Wedding cake – Elaine Taylor from Taylor Made Cakes
- Wedding Dress – Mori Lee from Belles and Bows
- Wedding insurance – John Lewis
- Wedding stationery – brideandgroomdirect.com and Cannell Print
- Womenswear – Jenny Packham and Ann Balon
Congratulations to Alex and Tom! From all of us at Your Big Day we are wishing you a lifetime of happiness together.
Recently married? If you would like to feature your wedding and have a lovely memento to share with friends and family, just get in touch.
Wedding Guest Photos from Alex and Toms’ Big Day: