Chic Weddings/Fashion

Totally Chic English Wedding With A Sweet Boat Ride

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A perfect bridge between gothic architecture, old English charm, and stylish modern fashions. Today’s real wedding in Bath, England, included a sweet old-timey boat ride and modern bespoke styles, and it’s the perfect match.

Taking advantage of the special occasion, James had a tailor-made suit crafted for their wedding day. Hannah managed to one-up her man, by asking her mother – a former haute couture creator herself – to create her dream wedding dress. Paired with a champagne and sparkling sash, and romantic lace veil, Hannah’s look is endlessly chic.

The two were spoiled with a picturesque boat ride to and from the church, such a sweet photo op and memorable trip for newlyweds. Beyond scrolling all the stylish pretties, we must persuade you to read the sweet proposal story which this time is written by the man who did it himself! (We love groom stories!)

Our Love Story

When I asked Hannah’s Father for his blessing, standing in the rain, in our swimming shorts, I already made arrangements for a ring to made by Isabella Briatico, a close family friend of Hannah’s family in Toronto. We had planned a trip to Canada and America for the summer of 2016, so I would pick up the ring then.

Within a couple of days of being in Toronto, and making my excuses to leave the apartment for half an hour, I met Isabella and arranged for the ring to be dropped off at our apartment for me to pick up the next day. Whilst this bit proved more complicated than I had expected, I managed to pick up the ring from the concierge and from that point on had it hidden on me at all times.

I hadn’t originally planned to propose in Canada, but after being told of the problems I might have smuggling a diamond ring into America, I quickly realized it was to be a Canadian proposal. This meant I had two available days left, one of which we were at a wedding anyway…things were looking tight.

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The wedding we had been to was in Niagara and the morning after I woke up with a plan. I did some research into the most beautiful wineries in Niagara and decided that this would be the perfect spot to get down on one knee, and arranged to take Hannah for afternoon tea at The Prince of Wales in Niagara-On-The-Lake to celebrate what I hoped would be a yes to my question.

After a morning of baseball, we drove to Chateau des Charmes for a wine tasting and tour of the winery. I had thought the vineyard itself would be the ideal setting but it turns out they aren’t as romantic as I had thought, and after dragging Hannah through the dust and broken old fences for 45 minutes, I could see why they asked us not to go into the vines.

When we sat on the beautiful fountain in front of the charming chateau I decided the conditions were right to finally hand custody of the ring over to Hannah. I asked Hannah to pass me the flash for my camera (inside the case of which I had hidden the ring), took the ring out and got down on one knee. Before I even said anything Hannah was shouting “YES YES YES”, which was a relief and gave me the confidence to actually ask the question.

The ring was on Hannah’s finger and the good people at Chateau des Charmes gave us complimentary glasses of champagne to celebrate (one unexpected perk of proposing in a winery, in case anyone is thinking about it). We then drove to The Prince of Wales Hotel which had just closed. However to avoid falling at the last hurdle, Hannah did a great job of going full diva and flashing the ring, so they kindly stayed open especially for us. And so ended a most memorable and magical day!

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The Wedding Style

For our wedding, we wanted something unique and memorable but also elegant and classic. In order to achieve this, we decided to use several high-end traditional vendors and mix that with unique creative elements that were provided by family and friends as well as handmade by ourselves.

Our outfits were arranged very early on. James always wanted a made to measure Saville Row suit and this opportunity to have one made and Hannah had always intended for her mother (who used to make couture bridal clothing) to make her dress. This made outfit decisions very straightforward.

The church was where James grew up and where his parents were married and it also happens to be on the canal, which lead us to arranging the leisure boat, Lady Lena.

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Special Moments

To us, the most special part of the day (other than actually getting married) was the boat ride to and from the church. It was unique and memorable and offered a window of peace in the whirlwind of the day.

We equally loved how many close friends and family contributed to our day both on the day and in preparation, this made the day truly unique. We were also very grateful to have a large proportion of the guests traveling from all over the world including James’ family from Sweden and Hannah’s family from across North America.

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The Photography & Videography

Both Toby and Dom from Oak and Blossom are close friends to us as we have known them for years from our church. We have seen their photography and videography develop and ‘blossom’ over the years and we knew that they would be the dream team.

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Advice to Other Couples

As many people say ‘soak it all in, as it goes so quick’. We spent quite a few purposeful moments of the day together silently embracing all our senses to help us remember the day as much as we could.

James bought me a beautiful Smythsons honeymoon recollections book which I wrote in for the entirety of the plane ride to Mauritius to help us remember the day as clearly as we could, we look forward to reading it back in years to come.

Bonus budget tip: ask your florist to re-use church flowers and bouquets as table displays in the reception venue.

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The Honeymoon

Our honeymoon was a dream. We stayed at The Royal Crescent Hotel in Bath the night of the wedding and enjoyed a spa day the following day. We then spent the remaining part of the day packing for the honeymoon.

We left the following morning for Mauritius (although James left that a surprise for me until arriving in Dubai!) We were warmly greeted by the staff at our Beachcomber Hotel – Victoria in the northern part of Mauritius. We spent 10 days there, 5 of which were lying by the sea, sailing, paddle boarding, snorkelling and water skiing (all-inclusive part of our package) and the other 5 exploring the island including a rum tour, parasailing, visiting the coloured earth, large Hindu temples, the island’s dormant volcano, waterfalls, hiking, hiring a car and exploring the capital, Port Lois.

I would definitely recommend this as a honeymoon location, the people are so friendly, the weather is beautiful despite it being their winter and there is a lot to see and do. We highly recommend a couple of days to relax after the wedding, we really valued having time to pack and not feeling rushed straight after the wedding.

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