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Surrey weddings: newly weds top tips II

PUBLISHED: 14:33 18 October 2011 | UPDATED: 20:08 20 February 2013

Surrey weddings: newly weds top tips II

Surrey weddings: newly weds top tips II

If you're planning on getting married locally, then read on...! Here, we speak to three recent Surrey brides to find out what they did for their big day – and what advice they'd give to other couples who are looking to get married in our county

Couple No.2


Bride: Debbie Watson (ne Field), 29, corporate responsibility executive
Groom: Phil Watson, 30, producer at the BBC
Hometown: Guildford








Where did you get married?
I grew up around Guildford and, despite moving to London for a few years, I always knew I would want to move back and settle down in the area. Phil is from Middlesbrough so its a long way from home for him but, fortunately, he fell in love with Surrey during weekends spent back with my parents, and was happy to move to Guildford a few months before the wedding. Our service was held in Christ Church, Shamley Green, just a few hundred yards down the road from my parents house, and our reception venue was Gate Street Barn in Bramley, which really fitted with the picture I had in my head of a relaxed, countryside wedding.


How many guests did you have?
We had around 70 guests as we wanted to keep it small and personal and only invite people we knew would recognise us if they saw us walking down the street which ruled out some distant family friends and relations! We both come from reasonably small families anyway so it wasnt too difficult to keep the numbers down and made for a lovely intimate atmosphere.


What did you wear?
I wore a Suzanne Neville Aster dress, with a corseted top, lace-up back and full A-line skirt. It was beautiful and made me feel like a princess although the full skirt made bopping on the dance floor tricky so by the end of the night I had changed into my jeans. My shoes were from Else and were round-toe with a slight platform and high heel; they were surprisingly comfortable.


What did the groom wear?
Phil wore a grey morning suit, the Lingfield, which was hired from Moss Bros. He had a silver waistcoat and a cravat the same colour as the bridesmaid dresses. The grooms party all wore the same suits but with a silver cravat.


How many bridesmaids did you have?
I had two bridesmaids, the grooms cousin and my best friend. They both wore tea-length, halter-neck, chiffon dresses in a dark purple colour. They were empire line with a silver band under the bust. Their shoes were from Rainbow Club and we dyed them silver to match their pashminas and the rest of the colour scheme.


Who was the photographer?
We chose Capture It as the photographers. They are a husband and wife team, and looking through their past albums and meeting with them convinced us they were the photographers for us. They were both so nice and made us feel like they really cared about capturing our personalities in the photos and telling the story of the day. The pictures came out beautifully.


What about the flowers?
Our flowers were done by Gill Pike who is based near Billingshurt in West Sussex. I cant recommend her highly enough; she was lovely and really good at putting together a variety of options so we could work within our budget. We thought the flowers ended up being excellent value and have since passed on her name to a number of the guests who are getting married themselves this year. The bouquets were simple hand-tied posies made up of purple lisianthus and cream roses, with a few sprigs of snowberries. We chose tall silver candelabras as the table decorations with lisianthus and ivy wound round them and votive candles scattered round the base.


Was there anything you did to make your wedding different?
Our wedding was right at the end of November so we had a wintry theme but I couldnt resist having a few Christmassy touches as its my absolute favourite time of year. We had a Christmas tree with table plans hung off the branches and little mini Christmas baubles as place card holders that the guests could take away with them. We also made a photo tree out of twigs with pictures of our families and close friends tied to it. For those who were already married, we tried to get hold of a picture of their wedding to go on it; the guests seemed to love it.


What was the best thing of all?
Every second of it was wonderful, but I think the best moment for me was probably the service and saying our vows to each other. I felt like it was a very happy, celebratory and informal day and I loved that everyone always seemed to be smiling, particularly me I couldnt wipe the grin off my face!


Is there anything youd change?
It might have been nice to be just a few degrees warmer it was one of the coldest days of the year and it felt a little chilly being outside for photos in a strapless dress at -5C. We had also planned on having a dance lesson before the day but never quite got round to it and it might have helped save us from the very cringeful swaying that was our first dance!


What would be your top tip for couples getting married in Surrey?
I would say enjoy all the planning! It might get a little stressful at times, but focus on the day and the fact that really its all about celebrating your marriage to each other; not the cake or the favours or the stationery. As for choosing suppliers, go with your gut instinct and people that you feel you will get on with; you might end up speaking to them quite a lot!


Couple No.3


Bride: Fiona Salvage, 33, editor
Groom: Steve Musson, 34, university lecturer
Hometown: Redhill








Where did you get married?
We had both our ceremony and the reception at Nutfield Priory in Nutfield. We loved the look of the building as we approached it from the drive. We first saw it in December when the Christmas trees and fairy lights were up, which gave it a magical feel. The architecture is beautiful and the room sizes were exactly what we needed. We wanted to hold the ceremony and the reception in the same venue, which Nutfield Priory offered, and as we were booking close to the event, we were able to take advantage of a special offer they had!


How many guests did you have?
We had 80 guests to the ceremony and wedding breakfast, with 20 extra guests in the evening. I have a large, close family and we wanted as many there as possible, which bumped the numbers up considerably! We organised it in 12 weeks, which is short notice for most weddings these days, so we sent e-mails out before booking the venue to ensure most people could make it. That gave us a good idea on what numbers wed realistically get so we could make a sensible choice on the venue. We were in the larger room and if wed had a lot of unexpected cancellations, we could have moved to the smaller function room.


What did you wear?
A silk, bias-cut, full-length dress in a 1930s style, with a black silk sash tied around the waist from the Vintage Wedding Dress Company in London.


What did the groom wear?
Traditional morning dress from Moss Bros.


How many bridesmaids did you have?
I had one matron of honour my best friend Julia and Julias daughter Lana was our flower girl. Julia wore a teal, halter-neck, knee-length dress by Dessy, from La Vida in Horsham. Lana wore a cream dress from Debenhams, and carried a beautiful wand with a rose made by our florist. She almost stole the show!


Who was the photographer?
Jane Alexander who we met at a wedding fayre at Purley Aerodrome Hotel. Loved her portfolio, she put us on to Nutfield Priory, and we really hit it off with her. Thought she was bossy, but polite, and fun the perfect qualities for a wedding photographer.


What about the flowers?
We chose Flowers 77 in Redhill. They were recommended by the hotel, and we were really happy with them. I had hand-tied white avalanche roses with diamant for my bouquet and Steve had a single rose with a single diamant for his buttonhole. For the tables, we had large martini glasses with white avalanche roses and white lilies with steel grass coming out the centre with palm leaves.


Was there anything you did to make your wedding different?
We organised it in 12 weeks through choice! I walked down the aisle to Clair de Lune by Claude Debussy, and we walked back down the aisle together to Love Cats by The Cure. Neither of which weve ever heard at a wedding before! It also helped create a fun and relaxed atmosphere as the reception started, which carried on throughout the day.


What was the best thing of all?
Its hard to pick one thing, but the most important thing for us was that we were happy and relaxed and enjoying the day and that all the guests were happy and relaxed. We wanted it to be a fun and not too formal get-together; everyone chatting and enjoying the day.


Is there anything that youd change?
Looking back, we didnt need a receiving line for the wedding breakfast. The weather was beautiful so wed had plenty of time to see all our guests at the reception when the photos were being taken, so it was a little unnecessary and took ages!


What would be your top tip for couples getting married locally?
There are lots of lovely venues in Surrey, but they do vary a lot in the number of guests that they can accommodate. Have a good idea before you start driving round of how many quests youll invite/expect to save yourself some unnecessary journeys.

Originally published in Surrey Life magazine September 2011


If youre planning on getting married locally, then read on...! Here, we speak to three recent Surrey brides to find out what they did for their big day and what advice theyd give to other couples who are looking to get married in our county

Couple No.1


Bride: Nicola Peet (ne Rider), 26, web editor
Groom: Neil Peet, 32, group finance and insurance manager
Hometown: Reigate








Where did you get married?
At St Bartholemews Church in Leigh, near Reigate; and then we had the reception at Coverwood Lakes in Peaslake. The church is at the bottom of the road where I grew up and the lakes are just too beautiful not to get married by!


How many guests did you have?
For the day, we had 65 guests and then a further 35 for the evening. Cost was a factor as well as the size of the church being 15th century it is fairly intimate! But mainly we wanted to make sure we had all of our favourite people there and would be able to see everyone and spend time with them all.


What did you wear?
A dress by Ian Stuart from Amante in Reigate.


What did the groom wear?
A Lingfield suit with tails.


How many bridesmaids did you have?
We had two bridesmaids (my sister Fiona Rider and the grooms sister Louise Teasdale). They wore Ronald Joyce in Vintage Leaf from Yasemins in Horley.


Who was the photographer?
Catherine from Lily and Frank (shes based in London, but she has done weddings right across Surrey and even as far afield as Mexico!). She did the photos for our close friends wedding in 2009, at The Barn at Bury Court, and they were beautiful!


What about the flowers?
We chose Gemma Louise Flowers in Newdigate. The flowers were white avalanche roses, white calla lilies and lots of grasses and ivy. We also had waterlilies as the table centres to reflect the lilies in the lake next to the marquee.


Was there anything you did to make your wedding different?
We made sure there were lots of personal bits throughout the day, including a picture of us from when we were travelling on our order of service; the flags for the countries we went travelling in as the table names; the menu was made up of all of our favourite foods; and the lead singer of our band was the brother of a friend. We also had a wedding tree in the marquee with pictures of our grandparents and parents weddings. But I think the most personal part of the day was our first dance my sister recorded a special version of At Last by Eta James. It was really personal and very emotional!


What was the best thing of all?
Spending time with all of our friends and family. Neils family are from Cumbria and Wigan, and we have lots of friends from different areas of our lives so to have all of these important people in one place was fantastic!


Is there anything youd change?
No. Well, maybe the rain in the days leading up to the day, which meant it was a bit wet underfoot. It would have been nice to have had lots of sunshine instead!


What would be your top tip for couples getting married in Surrey?
Use local! Surrey is full of fantastic suppliers who know the area, the best produce and the best places you have to trust them!


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