Emma & Chris started the next chapter of their lives together in the beautiful setting of Crete.
Unknown to Emma, this journey was just about to start!
“We were on a family holiday in Crete where I (Emma) have been going to since I was 13/14. One morning before going around to the pool, Chris told me that he had a surprise for me. He handed me a piece of paper, it was a booking confirmation for a night stay at a hotel in Santorini! I was so excited it’s somewhere I have always wanted to visit and getting there from Crete is very easy via the ferry, so it was something we had discussed incorporating into our holiday one year.
I went out and told my family… Chris says his favourite part of the holiday was watching from our room me telling our family while dancing around singing “We’re going to Santorini, we’re going to Santorini!”
The following morning we got up really early as we were getting the first sea jet out of the port, I was so excited! When we arrived at the hotel it was beautiful! The views were amazing our hotel was built into the cliffs, our room had its own hot tub which was on our balcony with clear views out to sea. Chris said he had booked dinner to come to our balcony and we would be able to watch the sunset. After finishing dessert and watching the sunset Chris got down on one knee and asked me to marry him!!!! I was so surprised and happy I didn’t even answer at first, I just hugged him and started to cry, of course I then said YES!!!!
We then called all of our family and friends to tell them the amazing news, of course, the family we traveled to Crete with already knew what Chris was planning. When we returned to Crete the next evening we were greeted by our family and all of the family at the hotel who had thrown us an engagement party, they decorated the tables with flowers and balloons and then we had fireworks and danced the night away.”
What a truly romantic proposal, well done Chris!
After lots of celebrating with family and friends, it was time to start to look at a budget, what kind of vision they had, where it would be, who would be there… So much to consider.
“We already had some savings that we had agreed once getting engaged that we would use to put towards the wedding and would then continue to put money into an account every month which would cover all costs. Luckily for me, the wedding budget did not include my dress as my mum had already said she wanted to buy that for me. We decided that we wouldn’t speak to our parents about cost as we were paying for the day, so it was up to us what we spent on everything. As with most weddings, I’m sure we went over budget but seeing how everything turned out on the day it was definitely worth it.”
With a rough guideline for a budget, it was time to go shopping… Shopping for a venue!
“The first thing we booked was the venue!!! We had only visited one other venue in central London which couldn’t accommodate our dream wedding before we visited Gosfield Hall.
Instantly I was in love with the pictures so sent the link straight to Chris to see what he thought. Visiting certainly didn’t disappoint, it confirmed that this had to be the venue, any other options were completely thrown out. We loved how grand it looks inside and out. Also how pretty it was without any decorations so knew it would be even better once the finishing touches were made. Every room and the grounds were perfect for any pictures you just couldn’t ask for anything more! The lady showing us around was also very helpful and knowledgeable which put us at ease with knowing that everything would be done correctly to ensure that our day was perfect.
I didn’t have a scrapbook or Pinterest board, I had been planning this day for years in my head so I knew a lot of what I wanted and Chris also shared that he wanted to be heavily involved too. We are both very much ‘we like what we like and that’s that’. No one would be able to change our minds.”
With all the planning completed, the suppliers booked and finalised, it was time to wait for the big day. It would certainly arrive quickly!
Saturday 26th May arrived as quickly as they thought and what a glorious start to the morning they had!
Emma had arrived the night before with the girls and settled into the Lady’s Chambers Cottage, relaxed in the hot tub and chatted the night away!
The wedding day was upon them and it was all systems go! The girls started getting ready and then moved up stairs to the Rococco Suite to finish off getting their hair and makeup done.
“I wanted to keep my accessories quite simple as I wanted my dress to be the stand out piece. I wore pearl stud earrings that were a gift to my mum from my great nan (something borrowed), a simple Tiffany bracelet that I had bought with money my nan had left me after she passed away, this made me feel as if she was part of my special day. As I was having my hair down and had a long veil I wanted something quite simple in my hair so I wore a silver hair comb that had pearls on them which was only £20 in Debenhams! My shoes were my other stand out piece, they were sparkly and high which was exactly what I wanted, I brought these from Jimmy Choo some may say I was mad spending what I did on the shoes but I will definitely wear them again so definitely worth it!”
Unbeknownst to Emma, Chris had arrived himself and was getting ready with the boys.
“Chris wears a suit every day for work, so he said he wanted something a bit more special otherwise it would feel like a uniform. He decided that he wanted to wear a black tuxedo, he went to Saville Row and had his suit custom made. He chose everything from the fabric, the colour of the silk on the back of his waistcoat and the number of buttons he wanted! His shoes were high gloss patent from Dior and cufflinks from Vivien Westwood. He wore a plain white dress shirt from Thomas Pink and a black bow tie. This all tied in perfectly with our classy theme.”
“Chris choose his best friend Scott to be best man and my two cousins to be ushers as they are like brothers to me. We didn’t do anything special to ask them to be part of the day it just kind of happened once we got engaged and naturally you start telling people your plans.”
While the boys (and the girls) were busy upstairs, the house was being turned into what they had been dreaming out, their perfect wedding.
With Chris and the boys ready, they then made their way downstairs to greet any arriving guests, before then heading over to St Catherine’s Church.
The girls were finishing off getting ready and helping Emma into that all-important wedding dress, before then heading off to the church themselves.
“I knew I wanted my dress to have a lot of lace and be fitted and it was exactly that. I felt amazing when I put on my dress, people asked me if I was changing in the evening. My response was no way! I love my dress and have no intention of taking it off.”
“My maid of honour was my best friend Lauren who I have been friends with since I was 3 years old. My other three bridesmaids were my two other best friends and my cousin’s wife. Their dresses were from Two Birds.”
With Emma’s walk down the aisle imminent, Chris stood nervously at the end awaiting her arrival.
“We wanted our wedding to be very traditional as it’s what we both liked and had discussed. We had some traditional readings and had three hymns which we chose together.
1. Jerusalem 2. Give me Joy 3. Hallelujah.
We had a choir at the church which was beautiful it really added to the service and sounds amazing on our wedding video! My dad walked me down the aisle, I remember when we got out of the car all he kept saying to me was ‘We Will Walk At Your Pace’ he was so nervous!”
And that, was that, as they say! Congratulations to the newly wed Mr & Mrs Hall!
After the ceremony, it was back into their beautiful car for their short trip back to Gosfield Hall for their welcome drink recepetion and canapes.
“We had the drinks reception in the inner courtyard and it was a beautiful sunny day, we tried to speak to all of our guests and also get some pictures taken.”
Basil crostini with Feta and Tomato Pearls (V)
Buckwheat Blinis with Smoked Salmon and Sour Cream
Butternut Squash and Crispy Pancetta en croute
Tempura King Prawn
Free-range bang bang Chicken
Free-range honey chilli Chicken skewers
Having greeted their guests together as now husband and wife, it was off around the grounds for some pictures together and some alone time.
“We found our photographer at the Wedding Fair at the ExCel. We spoke to many on the day and looked at all of their work but what we liked most about our choice as they offered both Photography and Videography which was something we both agreed we wanted. Looking through their previous work we liked the way the pictures were captured and then presented in the stunning wedding albums.”
It was now time to head back indoors and up to the Ballroom for their wedding breakfast.
“When we walked into the wedding breakfast I just remember thinking wow, my dream and vision has come true. It just looked magical I couldn’t have been any happier. The food was lovely, all of our guests commented on how good it was, we also received brilliant comments from a guest who is vegan and guests who have children with allergies. They were very impressed that the children still felt they had the same meal as everyone else because at previous weddings it was made obvious they have had to have something different.”
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
Avocado and Humous Salad and Toasted Pitta Bread – Vegan
Ripe avocado, blended with chickpea tahini and garlic, served with pine nut and rocket salad
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
Baked New York Style Cheesecake
Finished with summer berries- just like in the Big Apple!
Caramelised Apple and Date Pastries with Fruit Compôte – Vegan
Caramelised apple and dates encrusted in soya pastry and garnished with fresh fruit compôte
“We wanted the main decoration to be the flowers, on each dinner table we had candelabras with beautiful pink and white flowers to complement the colour scheme. Our wedding favours for the adults were miniature bottles of prosecco which were gold, we curled a cream ribbon and added a personal message on each. The wedding stationery also was very elegant, we had gone for a damask embossed card with a cream bow and a pearl for the order of the day, table plan, table names etc.”
After everyone has finished their dinner and was enjoying a coffee, the speeches began!
“The speeches were definitely a highlight, my dad, Chris and his best man were all fantastic. My dad was particularly nervous, but he did me proud, he spoke about all the amazing memories we have and how he couldn’t wish for a better husband for me than Chris.”
“Chris’s speech was quite comical and definitely had guests laughing out loud!! He did make reference to guests mistaking Chris and me for our flower girl and page boy as we both aren’t very tall. After the speeches were complete Chris decided to make an announcement to the guests to “Get the party started!” which is exactly what we did.”
After everyone had finished laughing at the speeches and the toasting wine was gone, it was on to the evening reception where Chris and Emma greeted their evening guests, cut their cake, threw the bouquet and had their first dance.
“Chris is extremely artistic and said that he would draw the cake and then send it over to Amelia’s Kitchen (our cake maker). The cake was 4 tiers, the top and third tier had a cream and gold damask design. The second was gold with our initials in a sort of crest and the bottom was quilted, all decorated with handmade pale pink roses it looked beautiful and very elegant.”
“Our first dance was ‘When you tell me that you love me’ by Dianna Ross, we had discussed songs that we liked, and we thought we had decided. But one evening I was at Chris’s parent’s house singing the Dianna Ross song which Chris heard me doing and started to join in. I ran into the other room and said, ‘That’s it that’s our song!’”
“We had Gosfield’s DJ for the evening who was brilliant! We contacted him before the wedding with our first dance and sent through a mini playlist of songs we wanted to be played and then asked that requests could be made on the night as we wanted everyone to enjoy it as much as us.”
They partied the night away with the ones that meant the most to them, before heading off to bed.
We asked Emma and & Chris…
Wedding suppliers: how did you choose your suppliers?
“As we don’t live locally to Gosfield Hall we relied heavily on Gosfield’s website and the Facebook page, which I have to say is a brilliant thing to use when planning your wedding!! I did attend wedding fairs and asked friends for some of the smaller information but without a doubt using some of Gosfield’s recommended suppliers was definitely key. For example, our florist Megan (the Willows) is always dressing Gosfield Hall so was able to listen to our ideas but then also give her input as she knows the venue so well which also helped to reassure us on an the actual day.”
What was your biggest wedding splurge?
“Our attire was defiantly our biggest splurge, Chris having his suit made at Saville Row and then having Dior shoes. My dress was also expensive and my shoes were more than some wedding dresses!”
What was your biggest wedding saving?
“Our rings, Chris had my engagement ring made by the same lady that then made our wedding rings. She works independently in Hatton Garden so it cuts out the middle man when it comes to price and you can have any design you want.”
Based on your own experience, give us some top tips:
“I would say keep to a budget but I haven’t met a couple yet who has and we defiantly didn’t but it was well worth it. I would say never settle for second best if you want it, go for it and have it. Enjoy every minute and plan the wedding around what you both want not what you think your guests want, it’s your day!”
“If we could do it all again, we’d…
“Change absolutely nothing!!! The day was perfect and everything I could have dreamed of.”
After the wedding, they jetted off to Cyprus for a week on a mini-moon and enjoyed some time alone together. They are currently planning a Caribbean cruise for this year for their honeymoon.
From all of here at Gosfield Hall, we hope you have a long, wonderful life together.
Wedding dress: Margaret Moreland Bridal
Grooms suit: 40 Saville Row
Bridesmaid’s dresses: Two Birds
Flowergirl Dress: Monsoon
Pageboy Suit: John Lewis
Groomsmen suits: Hawes and Curtis
Wedding rings: Rachel – an independent jeweller
Wedding cake: Amelia’s Kitchen
Cars: Lords Cars
Invitations: Diane O’Hara
Photographer: Valo Studio
Wedding favours: Drinksupermarket.com
MUA: Victoria Taylor
Hair: Lauren Praag