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If you and your partner are planning the big day of your dreams, it’s always helpful to hear the stories of couples who have tied the knot already. To help you on your way to bringing that ideal wedding to life, Rosina and Richard Hall reflect on their most magical memories at Salomons Estate
TELL US HOW YOU FIRST MET
Rosina: We met at work; he had been there for a couple of years and I had just started as a trainee. I was put into his team and there was an instant connection. Our first date was a cold Saturday in December 2012 when we visited London. It was the day of ‘Santa Com’, with thousands of people dressed as Santas. It was a festive and wonderful day.
WHAT WAS THE PROPOSAL LIKE?
Rosina: I’m a massive Harry Potter fan, so I was taken on a weekend away (Rich loves to plan weekends away) to a lovely place near the border of Wales. On the Saturday we visited the Forest of Dean (which plays an important part in Harry Potter). We walked by the river and stopped to admire the beauty of the place, and then he got down on one knee…
WHERE DID YOU GET MARRIED AND HOW DID YOU CHOOSE THE VENUE?
Rosina: We got married at St Paul’s Church, Rusthall. It was one of the most beautiful old churches we’d ever seen, and we live in the area, so it was an easy choice. Our reception was at Salomons Estate, Southborough. It’s stunning and the first place we looked at. We knew instantly this was the place for us, and once we sampled the food our minds were set.
ANY KEY HIGHLIGHTS FROM YOUR BIG DAY?
Richard: We got married at 2pm on Saturday February 27. The late ceremony gave us a lovely long morning to be with our bridesmaids/groomsmen and families. The ceremony finished around 3pm and we headed off to Salomons in a beautiful Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud, which was more comfy than most sofas! We had photos taken, followed by welcome drinks. After that, we enjoyed the speeches and wedding breakfast. The cutting of the cake and the first dance broke us into the evening celebrations.
Rosina: It was my great-grandfather’s 90th birthday the day before our wedding, so Richard asked everyone to sing Happy Birthday to him while a personalised cake was brought in. There were no Harry Potter themes, but Rich did allow me to have a hint of Beauty and the Beast – my second favourite thing from childhood. We had candelabras (Lumiére), clocks (Cogsworth) and even a Mrs Potts, which my mother made!
HOW DID YOU START YOUR MARRIED LIFE TOGETHER?
Rosina: On the Monday we flew to New York. The hotel was on the Upper West Side and was absolutely gorgeous. We even got snow, and were therefore able to experience Central Park in the snow and sun. We spent a week and a half falling in love with New York City.
We then flew down to Orlando, Florida, as we had three-day tickets for Universal Studios. They have several different parks, so we went from choosing our wands (or having our wands choose us) in Olivander’s, Diagon Alley, to drinking a duff beer in Moe’s Tavern. It was the best holiday we’ve been on, and we’re now planning our next trip to New York.
TELL US HOW YOUR KEY SUPPLIERS HELPED MAKE THE DAY SPECIAL
Rosina: Nick Labrum took the most beautiful photographs for us to enjoy for years to come, and Hollie O’Callaghan of Hollie’s Little Cakery made a stunning cake which featured replica icing flowers of the ones my parents had when they got married.
The hair and make-up ladies were amazing – Nicola and Nicki of Nicola-Jane Bridal Beauty, and Miss Kay Seamstress and Anne Fontenoy were flawless. My dress was from Isabella Grace – the best bridal shop I visited.
DESCRIBE YOUR PARTNER IN FIVE WORDS
Rosina: Kind, patient, funny, romantic, loving
Richard: Fun, quirky, beautiful, loyal, loving
TOP TIPS TO TREASURE
Rosina offers five handy hints for future brides and grooms
1. Set a budget plan from the word go
Richard and I created a ‘wedding budget’ on an Excel spreadsheet and made sure we’d thought of every little thing that we’d have to pay out for, and budgeted accordingly. It really helped with how much we needed to save each month to afford our dream wedding.
2. Send your invitations out early
We didn’t do ‘save the date’ cards because we were engaged for eight to nine months. We felt they would be more appropriate if we were having a longer engagement, and therefore sent our invitations out earlier than most people usually would. This enabled us to get early RSVPs and meant we didn’t pay for anyone who couldn’t attend.
3. If possible, set aside extra money for any last-minute purchases or disasters
The week before the wedding we were receiving at least two packages a day of things I’d forgotten to buy. They were all little things like tealight candle holders or little bubbles for the tables, but they were things that made it perfect for me, and we wouldn’t have been able to afford it all without the extra money.
4. Include your bridesmaids
Bridesmaids want to feel part of the process and not as though they’re only ornamental. You choose them based on their friendship, loyalty and relationship to you, so it’s important to give them jobs, from planning something and finding a particular item for you, to making things with you for the day, or doing something on the day.
5. Relax and enjoy!
The day will fly by faster than a normal day because you’ve been looking forward to it and planning it for so long. You might not have a chance to have a full conversation with every guest, but that’s okay – you both deserve to have this time to enjoy yourselves.