On the 21st June 2018 Kerry and Lewis had the most magical day together surrounded with friends and family. With a Disney inspired theme, you couldn’t of got any more magical!
We have to start at the beginning and the beginning of this story for these two love birds starts at the top of the Eiffel Tower.
“Lewis had been planning the proposal for around 6 months. He had booked a trip to Paris to propose to me up the top of the Eiffel Tower. I guess everything and it’s so hard to keep secrets from me, so Lewis pretended he had won a trip through work to Paris and had my Mum and Dad involved in it to.
I was told to ring my mum in the December time to ask her to have our little ones Lacey-Mae, 3 at the time and Leo just 2. Little did I know, Lewis had already contacted them and asked them to look after them months in advance. If Lewis told me we were going to Paris, I would have said the kids have to come and would have guessed what he had planned!
When we got there Lewis said he panicked the whole time because he had the ring and the amount of security we went through on the trip was crazy. Lewis proposed on the main top floor of the Eiffel Tower but got someone to pretend they were taking a photo. Little did I know they were videoing the whole thing as Lewis had approached them and asked them to take it. He pretended they didn’t speak good English!
After the proposal he showed me videos that he had created over the 6 months of planning that he ended up using in his speech on the wedding day.”
Ahhhh! We’ve got to say, Lewis is definitly a thoughtful bloke!
So now having that all important ring on her finger, Kerry swung into action and started to plan the wedding of their dreams!
“The first thing we booked was book Gosfield Hall. We got engaged on the 2nd January and visited Gosfield Hall literally the following Sunday! I think it was on an open day… I fell in love with the place and said to Lewis I didn’t need to see anywhere else this is what I wanted. The Bridal suite was so beautiful and I remember thinking this is bigger than the downstairs of our house! We loved every aspect of the house as most stately homes are dark with old school red carpets but Gosfield Hall is so light in all weathers.
I googled white buildings whilst we were still in France. I really wanted a white wedding venue and Gosfield Hall popped up. We went back the following week and booked!
I straight away in the first week also got a scrapbook together of everything I wanted, I had basically planned my wedding before I was proposed to!”
I think we can speak on behalf of most of the women in the world when we say that most of us have mentally or physically planned our wedding before we even have a man in our lives!
Before planning anything though, we all have to be realistic and have to have that chat about a budget. What are we going to spend? Kerry and Lewis had this sorted too.
“My parents supplied a lump sum and paid for my dress but we basically looked at what we wanted and went from there, we luckily know a few people that do wedding bits so got our; videographer, cake, flowers, make up artist and hair all at friends prices. We worked out the main cost and knew we would never be able to save for it with kids but didn’t want to regret not having things. We worked out the cost and got a loan to pay the rest off.”
With the venue sorted so early on in the wedding journey, it was on to thinking about what they ‘must have’ at the wedding. Everyone is different but this is the point where you start to put your own personality in to it…
“The main thing was the venue, I had in my head about the white building and then the dress of course. I think because I was very set on what I wanted I made it easier for suppliers. The theme I always had was shabby chic with slight Disney in it. I used Disney love quotes for the table names! Myself and Lewis are also ex-entertainers, I now teach dancing and Lewis sings, so we knew everyone would expect us to put on a show. Entertainment was extremely important to us, to please everyone and keep the night going. We ended up booking a Micheal Jackson tribute and a saxophone player for the daytime. We also had a photo booth for the evening which everyone loved.”
It was safe to say they were both extremely organised and knew exactly what they wanted!
So, with plans firmly in place, suppliers on board, and all the bits in between done, it was time to sit and wait for the day to arrive!
Kerry and the girls, Sammy, Jacki, Tara and Leanne arrived the night before along with Kerry’s little one Lacey Mae and checked in to the Lady’s Chambers Cottage, ordered a takeaway and enjoyed the hot tub. The excitement was beginning to build, when Kerry would wake in the morning, she would no longer be Kerry Swallow…
The day was here! The sun was shinning and it was set from the start to be a magical day!
The girls started out early with their preparations. Hair and makeup was in full swing down in the cottage!
With the girls now at a good point to move, it was on to the Bridal Suite, to start the finishing touches and put on those all important dresses!
The house was starting to have those personal touches made to it also…
The girls were safely in the Rococco Suite and getting into the full swing of getting ready!
When it comes to this part of the morning, this is when the photographer gets their artistic flare going…
“This is the one job I let Lewis do! Lewis knows more about this kind of thing than me and this is the second thing we actually booked. In the first month of being engaged, we had a venue and photographer booked. Lewis searched on google for photographers and Sally Rawlins popped up along with a few others. We loved her work and got a really nice feel from her blogs. “
“My four bridesmaids wore fitted pink sparkly dresses from quiz. This was the one thing I wasn’t sure on what to get. I knew they needed to be pink but because we got the men’s shirts so early on it was a case of matching them and the flower girls. I found these dresses that were actually end of line stock and they were lovely, fitted and flattering dresses for all my bridesmaids. They loved them! They bought their own shoes and bags and discussed together on a group chat what to get.”
“Lewis did a video of all photos of us together from when we got together in Majorca in 2010 when we both worked for Thomson holidays right up until now! It also included when we extended our family by getting two dogs, (husky: Miya and Chihuahua: Belle). Then Lacey-Mae being born in 2014 and Leo in 2015, finished with the proposal in 2017 in Paris and our engagement shoot in December 2017 with Sally.”
Downstairs, Lewis and the boys were starting to get ready themselves.
“Lewis and his groomsmen all wore a light grey fitted three piece suits. I chose this colour as it went with the colours we had got going on through the house (minty green and baby pink). The suits had to be light grey. We chose baby pink shirts and bow ties to match the colours. My partner loves pink so wasn’t fussed and was happy with the choices. We managed to get the matching suits for the page boys and mini best man too! All the suits were from Next, as I work there.”
“The 8 Groomsmen, including parents, all matched Lewis except my dad. His dad and best man had a three piece, the rest bought their own to help us out, so we said they only needed to buy the jacket and trousers.”
“The page boys (my two nephews) and Leo our son (mini best man) wore the same suit as the men, just a waist coat and trousers and their pink shirts were short sleeves.”
With the boys pretty much ready, it was on to the last finishing touches and off to meet and greet the guests that were starting to arrive downstairs.
Unknown to Lewis and the guests downstairs, Kerry was having her own finishing touches… The dress was going on and the last of the pictures were being taken…
“When I went to try on dresses, I knew exactly what I wanted, but I tried all the styles on to rule them out. I knew I wanted an A-line shape and lace sleeves. I happened to find an A-line strapless dress that I loved, they then adjusted it for me and added the sleeves. I’ve been planning my wedding since I can remember, obviously my ideas have changed a little now from when I was about 5, but I’ve always wanted to have that fairy tale Cinderella style wedding, with the staircase and dress. When I put the dress on I didn’t want to take it off. I think I should have been born in the Victorian era… I’m all about big dresses.”
“For my wedding I got a free veil and head piece from Heart Brides due to my mum paying upfront for the dress. I chose a veil with a lace trim to go with the lace part of my dress, then I had a side head band that was decorated with pearls, crystals and beads. My shoes were ivory open toe from a brand in Debenhams that had a beautiful crystal butterfly on the back of them. I wore large diamond earrings and a matching bracelet to all my bridesmaids that was an infinity one. I also had on my bouquet a broach that my Nanna wore.”
“I used to work with the lady that did my flowers for me, always helps to know someone!”
With the girls ready to go, it was time for guests to take their seats and Lewis and the boys to eagerly await Kerry’s arrival at the top of the aisle.
The moment had arrived, Lewis stood waiting for his Bride.
“My dad walked me down the aisle and my friend sung the song “kissing you”, from Romeo and Juliet. We didn’t have any readings and used each of our mum’s for the witnesses. With the song being long we waited for around 1 minute before we even walked down the aisle and then gradually all walked down to certain parts of the song. During the service and signing, the music we used was all piano versions of songs, as we felt this was much nicer to listen to.”
That was it, the hard part was over! Say hello to the very new Mr and Mrs Henson!
After the ceremony, it was downstairs to the drinks reception and canapes, where Kerry and Lewis had chance to have a quick chat with friends and family, before being whisked off around the house for their photographs.
Drinks and Canapes Reception
Bucks Fizz, Bellini, Mojitos
Basil crostini with Feta and Tomato Pearls (V)
Buckwheat Blinis with Smoked Salmon and Sour Cream
Rare roast Beef served on Rye bread with a Horseradish cream mousse
Mini Banoffee Pie
Mini Chocolate Brownies
Chocolate Dipped Strawberries
With friends and family all having had the chance to say hello to the newlyweds, it was off round the grounds to have some pictures alone together.
After the pictures were complete downstairs, the happy couple made their way upstairs to see the ballroom for the first time and admire the hard work that had gone into preparing the decorations they had thoughtfully put together.
“Myself and Lewis made the table plan… Lewis cut a large plank of wood and painted it and I bought 9 frames of different shabby chic styles and hung them on there with the minty green and baby pink inserts. We added flowers and fairy lights around this as well to fit with our theme.”
“I knew I wanted shabby chic with a hint of Disney, so I bought bird cages and decorated them myself, with pale pink flowers around the top and placed in the candle areas. Then I threaded hundreds of beads, that were minty green, around the cages to use both our colours on the table. I then added fairy lights to brighten them up and butterfly’s. I did 8 of these which took hours of arranging and deciding what I was going to do but they were well worth it. I bought frames and had inserts made with different Disney love quotes in the colours of minty green and baby pink.”
It was then time for their guests to start making their way up to our stunning Ballroom to tuck into the hand picked menu Kerry and Lewis had put together for them.
Ham Hock Terrine with Piccalilli
Confited Ham Hocks garnished with Salad Leaves and served with Homemade Piccalilli
Mozzarella and Rocket Salad with Tomato and Chilli Salsa (V)
Toasted garlic bruschetta, topped with rocket salad and slices of creamy mozzarella, garnished with tomato, red onion and chilli salsa
Traditional Roast Topside of Beef with Yorkshire Pudding
Served on a bed of Horseradish Mash with a Red Wine Jus
Roasted Vegetable Wellington (V)
Seasonal vegetables, blended and encrusted in puff pastry, finished with red wine and cranberry reduction
Chocolate and Salted Caramel Brownie
With dark chocolate sauce and vanilla ice cream
With everyone fed and watered and full of smiles and laughter, it was time for speeches!
“The speeches were done by my dad, best man and then Lewis finished it. We did it this way as Lewis used a projector for his speech. Lewis’s speech was definitely memorable as he videoed the whole of the proposal from the lead up to it happening and showed everyone on the big screen.”
After speeches, Kerry and Lewis headed downstairs and ceremonially cut their cake.
And straight from there, it was onto the first dance…
“Our first dance song was ‘all my life’ by Cassie and Jojo, Lewis actually chose this and I choreographed a routine that we could both do. With me being a dancer, I couldn’t not.”
“We had a Michael Jackson tribute for two sets and the Gosfield Hall DJ to start and finish the disco. He was fantastic.”
They then partied into the night and truly celebrated what was an amazing day!
Based on your own experience, give us some top tips:
“Top tips I would say is knowing what you want before you go somewhere. We never had this problem but people like florists etc will try and up sell you stuff if you’re unsure. ‘Lewis said don’t let the bride get too ahead of herself sometimes you have to say no’… I did want everything.”
If we could do it all again, we’d… “do nothing differently… or maybe win the lottery so it can all be paid for in advance!”
After the wedding, Mr and Mrs Henson and their two adorable children, went on their honeymoon. Kerry surprised the family with a special little trip a few months before the wedding at Christmas…
“We went to Disneyland Paris! I’ve been a few times a while back but Lewis hasn’t and we really wanted the kids to experience it too. Lacey-Mae and Leo are obsessed with Princess’s and Mickey and his friends. I didn’t want to go away without them so I booked this and surprised them all at Christmas. We went three days after our wedding.”
What a magical way to celebrate their fabulous love story and an amazing way to start the next chapter in their lives.
From all of us here at Gosfield Hall, we wish you all the happiness in the world and we are so glad to have been part of your special day!
Congratulations Mr and Mrs Henson.
Wedding Dress: Heart Brides
Flower Girls Dresses: Boutique on Etsy
Bridesmaid Dresses: Quiz
Wedding rings: H Samuel
Wedding cake: Claire’s cakes (Claire Dance in Braintree)
Invitations: I used eBay for save the dates and Lou Bear and Tops on Facebook for invites.
Photographer: Sally Rawlins photography
Videographer: McjEditing Videography & Photography
Wedding favours: eBay and I added sweets etc.
Other: table centre pieces all bought from B&M, beads eBay. The inserts were all made by my invitation people.
Make up: Lauren Marie Andrews (Braintree)
Photo booth: Essex Photo Booth