CHRISTMAS OFFER Subscribe to Surrey Life today CLICK HERE

Surrey weddings: newly weds top tips

PUBLISHED: 11:23 23 April 2011 | UPDATED: 19:14 20 February 2013

Surrey weddings: newly weds top tips

Surrey weddings: newly weds top tips

When it comes to planning your wedding, there's nothing like hearing from other couples about their experiences. We asked three Surrey brides who have got married in the last year to tell us about their big day, and what advice they'd give

Couple No.3


Bride: Laura Evans-Jones, 24, is a teacher
Groom: Jim Evans-Jones, 30, is a geology consultant
Hometown: Egham








Where did you get married?
We got married at St Johns Church in Egham, which is where we met when I was mixing sound whilst Jim drummed in the worship band. Weve both been going there regularly since our student days, so there was never any question that wed get married anywhere else.


And the reception?
We had our (rather large!) reception at St Georges College in Weybridge. Out of the list of places large enough to accommodate all our guests, I chose it because it was beautiful and everyone else involved agreed because it was so affordable! The staff were brilliant and the (many) photos taken around the site were stunning. We also had some photos at Royal Holloway in Egham as well (see right) as we both went there for university.


How many guests did you have?
We had 154 people at the reception including one large bump, three babies and 23 other children. Cost was sadly the limiting factor (although if you ask my father, perhaps not limiting enough!) given that our original guest list was 200+ people long. That really was the only limitation since St Georges was so accommodating. Even the Atlantic Ocean didnt limit our guest list one of my closest friends flew in from California for the wedding!


What did you wear?
I told everyone that my Giselle gown was from a shop just off Oxford Street which, strictly speaking, was the truth. The fact that the shop was BHS is beside the point I think! In all seriousness, there was absolutely no way that people would have known that it was a budget dress it was stunning. My veil was borrowed from one of my bridesmaids who was married the previous year.


What did the groom wear?
We hired all the boys suits from Debenhams Formal Hire. I was so organised that Jim had chosen his suit before the samples were even in the shops, but once we finally got our hands on one, we booked 11 (!) chocolate brown Prince Edwards suits. The ushers wore cream waistcoats and our dads and Jim and his best man wore Jeff Banks Coffee Salerno waistcoats.


How many bridesmaids did you have?
I had five bridesmaids (the common theme in our wedding was lots of people!) and they wore Anna dresses also from BHS. For 75, they were an absolute bargain, and suited all of them beautifully (quite a feat given that they ranged in height from 4ft9 to 5ft9). They wore matching jewellery and pashminas from Accessorize.


Who was the photographer?
We used MacMac Photography (www.macmacphotography.com) and he was beyond brilliant. He may have been my best friends boyfriend, but his photography skills are second to none, which is shown in his portfolio. He was another part of the wedding over which there was no doubt. He did an engagement shoot with us about six weeks before the wedding, and provided us with all our images from the day (yes, all 2,454 of them) on a CD along with a slideshow of the best ones set to the music of our first dance.


What about the flowers?
On the recommendation of every other bride I knew who had been married at St Johns Church, I used Ascot Flowers (www.ascotflorists.co.uk) who were fabulous, happily delivering both the boys buttonholes and the girls bouquets to separate locations.


I carried a hand-tied bouquet of pale pink, lilac and ivory roses, and my bridesmaids had mixed ivory bouquets. The boys wore the same ivory roses as I had in my bouquet, and one mum wore the pink roses and the other the lilac ones in their corsages.


Was there anything you did to make your wedding different?
We wanted it to be very us so did a lot of crazy things like naming the tables after sound desks and steakhouses and drumkits, and having drumsticks as centrepieces for all the tables.


What was the best thing of all about the day?
Apart from the obvious answer of marrying my best friend, it would have to be just being surrounded by all of our friends and family. Everyone rallied around to make our day perfect, from acting as chauffeur to folding orders of service to putting together wedding favours; we were surrounded by amazing people all day.


Is there anything that youd change?
I would probably try and wake up a bit later than I did... 5.30am made it a very long day! And although I am speaking for him, I am fairly sure Jim would try and go to bed earlier the previous night having written his speech well in advance (!).


What would be your top tip for couples getting married locally?
Apart from Ascot Flowers and Macmac Photography you mean? Look around before settling for a venue there are so many hidden gems in this area that I didnt even know about, let alone ones that I would never have known to have done weddings. We had to discount many of them because of our huge guest list, but even for bigger wedding parties, there is still tons of choice. Surrey is a beautiful county, which led to some stunning photos so remember to take full advantage of all the wonderful views!


Couple No.2


Bride: Wendy Ager, 35, is a small business and start-up coach, and runs her own business, Get Better Coaching
Groom: Laurence Ager, 36, is a marketing manager
Hometown: Coulsdon






Where did you get married?
Kingswood Golf & Country Club, because it could hold enough for the civil ceremony as well as reception. It was local, had a good space outside for photographs and the main room and bar were adjoining so people could wander in and out without being cut-off from each other. It had a late license and no restrictions on the music volume for later. It had a lovely bright room for the reception and it was also recommended by a friend. See www.kingswood-golf.co.uk


How many guests did you have?
We had to have 100 guests for the civil partnership and not that many venues have a licence for that number. It also suited our budget.


What did you wear?
Because my sister-in-law had already had my favourite colour (turquoise blue) for her bridesmaids a couple of years before, I decided I wanted to wear a blue gown myself. Few wedding dresses come in colours so I started looking at other options. The dress I chose was actually a prom dress from America. I tried it on in pink in the UK and it was much cheaper to order it from America even with the import duty and other taxes. I then had my dressmaker, Susan Beech from Coulsdon, to make bridesmaid dresses in white with blue sashes and take up my dress. Susans dresses are now available in Fionas shop in Coulsdon: www.sunflower-cottage.com. I also got accessories and gift boxes from IWoman in Coulsdon: iwoman.bttradespace.com


What did the groom wear?
Laurence wore a Prince Edward jacket/suit (and I made sure his waistcoat and cravat matched my dress!) from Richard Mark in Wallington.


How many bridesmaids did you have?
I had my sister, best friend and eldest niece (who was five at the time) in white with blue sashes that matched my dress. Our daughter, 15 months, and my sisters youngest, two years, were flower girls.


Who was the photographer?
Jane Alexander from Banstead. I met her at the Wedding Fair at the Fairfield Halls. Due to my husbands large family, we wanted to get quite a few set family shots and many photographers seem to only want to do reportage these days. We wanted someone with a good camera and able to handle the people effectively to get them arranged so the photos were taken quickly and we could relax and enjoy being with our guests. We thought her persona and style was great for our needs, and it was. We would highly recommend her: www.ja-photos.com


What about the flowers?
I chose white flowers from a local designer Lucy Holdsworth in Coulsdon, with a modern twist of wires over the bridesmaids bouquets, in blue to match the dresses as it wasnt possible to match my dress colour in flowers! We had fish-bowls on mirrors on the table with large floating hydrangea-heads, which matched the blue colour of the room.


Was there anything you did to make your wedding different?
Because we got married at the Golf Club and had the reception there too, we went off in the beautiful car we hired, a vintage Rolls Royce from Banstead (www.rollsroycecyprus.com). This meant we could spend some time alone together before the reception. We stopped at Elmore Pond in Chipstead for photos. Whilst we were away, the guests had their reception drinks and a friend played classical music on their grand piano.


We also had an ice-cream cart instead of canaps, which we were very grateful to Kingswood Golf Club for allowing us to do. It was brilliant as it was a very hot sunny day.


I had confidence coaching, too, to get over my fear as I really wanted to do a speech myself, and I did it! I hadnt told anyone my plans and wasnt even sure I would on the day but Im so glad I did. You rarely get the chance to thank all those who make life so special for being there for you and it was worth the effort it took and its helped me no-end in my career as a small business coach since, too.


What was the best thing of all about the day?
Everything!


Is there anything that youd change?
We had our little girl there, which was lovely. I think wed have had someone look after her for the meal so everyone could have relaxed and then had her dropped back to enjoy some of the disco with her cousins in the evening.


What would be your top tip for couples getting married locally?
Use local suppliers so that you get the personal touch and be particular if you want to be. At the end of the day, its your day! However, on the day, just relax as its not about all those things; its just about you marrying your true-love and best-friend.


I love the fact that we got married near where we live. We are looking forward to celebrating anniversaries by going back to the Kingswood Golf & Country Club, as we hear they have an excellent Sunday carvery.


Originally published in Surrey Life magazine April 2011


When it comes to planning your wedding, theres nothing like hearing from other couples about their experiences. We asked three Surrey brides who have got married in the last year to tell us about their big day, and what advice theyd give

Couple No.1


Bride: Abi Howson, 26, is a picture and video editor
Groom: Sam Howson, 31, is a sound recordist
Hometown: Redhill








Where did you get married?
We chose St Katharines Church in Merstham because its local to where I grew up and beautiful. We actually attend All Saints Church in Merstham but we had our vicar James lead the service at St Katharines so had the best of both. We held the reception at Nutfield Priory in Nutfield; it was our first and only choice. We had been there for meals in the past and the views, rooms and food are all perfect.


How many guests did you have?
We had 60 guests for the meal and 100 for the evening celebrations. Our numbers were based on the rooms that we had chosen at Nutfield Priory and how many they could hold comfortably.


What did you wear?
A handmade, vintage style fish-tailed dress in ivory with taupe satin shoes and a handmade peacock feather fascinator. My hair was vintage style too; quiffs and curlers courtesy of Beckie Packham. I wore a Vivienne Westwood bracelet and necklace, and also a bracelet that I had made, which was a simple strip of metal stamped with our names tied around my wrist with navy ribbon.


What did the groom wear?
A morning suit in dark grey with caramel waistcoat and navy tie. He wore pewter cufflinks of hares and a peacock feather and taupe buttonhole.


How many bridesmaids did you have?
I had five bridesmaids who all wore handmade, long navy, satin dresses, again in a vintage evening dress style. They had dark red satin shoes and a dark red flower fascinator.


Who was the photographer?
Our photographer was a close friend and professional photographer, Laura Ashman. I met Laura through booking her at work and we became good friends. Her photos are amazing and she always catches the best in people.


What about the flowers?
We used a local florist, Flowertime in Merstham, and we chose sunflowers and peacock feathers. Our wedding was in October so we picked autumnal foliage and twigs. We also had fabric butterflies tied onto the twigs. The bouquets were very simple; mine was three sunflowers tied with sisal and the bridesmaids had single sunflowers. I made corsages myself out of navy felt, rhinestone pearls, feathers and floristry doves.


Was there anything you did to make your wedding different?
Many things, but the main twist was that we had a snowy owl as the ring bearer! She was beautiful and we made sure to keep the secret from the guests in advance and we heard a lovely gasp as she flew down the aisle onto the best mans arm with the rings in a small pouch.


The company that provided her also brought a few other birds for after the service when we were having our photos taken so that other guests could hold them and take photos. The birds were provided by hilltopbop.com.


What was the best thing of all about the day?
One of the best parts was the confetti throwing. Confetti was provided for our guests and it was dried red rose petals. Laura (our photographer) had the idea of getting everyone to line the path coming out of the church and we walked through to our car as everyone threw confetti; some of my favourite photos came out of this part.


Is there anything that youd change?
There isnt a single thing we would change. We were very relaxed on the
day and didnt suffer from the nerves that people talk about. We trusted our suppliers and everything went perfectly.


What would be your top tip for couples getting married locally?
We used our local florist rather than a big company. They were so good at sitting with us and going through each detail in advance and really spent time with us. I would definitely recommend not being fooled by websites and online retailers. There is nothing like actually meeting with someone and going through pictures of your ideas.


Also, try to find a church/venue that makes the most of the Surrey countryside; there are some great backdrops and views to be had! There are lots of luxury venues in the countryside so theres plenty of choice. With a wedding set amongst the North Downs, there was nothing like leaving the church in a classic Citron DS and enjoying the autumnal views as a newly married couple.


More from Surrey Life

16:30

She may have recently moved to the seaside, but Surrey still holds a uniquely “precious” place in the heart of legendary children’s author Dame Jacqueline Wilson – not to mention the crucial role the county played in bringing everyone’s favourite and newly-returning feisty foster-kid to life

Read more
11:59

Great things to do in Surrey this weekend (23, 24 and 25 November): art exhibitions, walks, concerts, theatre, places to visit and other events and ideas.

Read more
Thursday, November 15, 2018

Surrey is full of secret hideaways and hidden gems. Slades Farm on the Wintershall Estate is definitely one of them

Read more
Wednesday, November 14, 2018

The new hotel is set to open in spring 2019 and will be located in the heart of the vineyard, offering sweeping views over the North Downs Way.

Read more
Tuesday, November 13, 2018

From Santa’s Grottos, to Victorian Christmas markets and late-night shopping, we’ve covered what’s on in Surrey this season

Read more
Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Whether you're looking for fine dining, pub grub or exotic dishes, eating out in Surrey has something for everyone. Here's our guide to the best local restaurants and pubs

Read more
Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Having bloomed in Brighton’s restaurant scene over the past decade, The Chilli Pickle opened its second site in Guildford this summer

Read more
Monday, November 12, 2018

Historic Royal Palaces and IMG have announced that Kylie Minogue is the first headliner confirmed for Hampton Court Palace Festival 2019. These will be her only London shows of summer 2019. Here’s how you can get tickets

Read more
Monday, November 12, 2018

Enjoy this linear rail to ramble section of the Thames Down Link route taking the short train-ride from Box Hill & Westhumble to Ashtead before walking back

Read more
Tuesday, November 6, 2018

It’s that time of year when our beautiful countryside is alight with the colours of autumn. Here, we pick out some of her favourite spots to enjoy the seasonal splendour – as well as some perfect places for a post-walk refresher

Read more
Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Found on the stretch of the River Thames between Weybridge and East Molesey, Sunbury-on-Thames is blessed with a village feel where it meets the water. From antique hunts to the joys of river life, here are a few of our favourite reasons to visit

Read more
Monday, November 5, 2018

Verity & Violet are Loui and Jess – a singing duo from Surrey who specialise in blending vintage classics with modern favourites. The two have achieved success in the capital, but are now hoping to attract an audience closer to home

Read more
Friday, November 2, 2018

With the Christmas celebrations seemingly starting earlier every year, it all feels a little too ‘soon’ sometimes, but what if you want to look your best for Christmas & New year celebrations and are considering having cosmetic non-surgical procedures? The Bella Vou Pantiles Clinic offers surgical and non-surgical cosmetic procedures and treatments from a purpose-built private clinic in the heart of Royal Tunbridge Wells

Read more
Thursday, November 1, 2018

Living in England’s most densely wooded county, it’s always a pleasure to witness Surrey donning its autumn finery. Here’s some of the best places to do just that - plus a few pub pit stops to enjoy on route!

Read more

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Topics of Interest


Follow us on Twitter


Like us on Facebook

Subscribe or buy a mag today

subscription ad

Local Business Directory

Property Search