We staged a fabulous wedding down on the family farm

    Amelie Hawkins

    When university student Amelie Hawkins took a holiday job as a barmaid, she never suspected that offering a customer a lift home would lead to marital bliss with Rory Snell. Fast-forward to a beautifully stylish springtime wedding with plenty of personal touches…

    Describe your husband in five words: Funny, kind, handsome, generous and loyal

    How did you and your husband meet?
    During my university holidays I was a barmaid in our local pub, The Woodcock in Iden Green. Rory came in on a Thursday night when the bar was quiet with a group of friends. They had a little too much to drink to drive, so I drove them all home. It wasn’t too long after that night that we started seeing each other.

    Tell us about the proposal…
    Rory took me out to our favourite restaurant for a date night. As far as I knew, it was just a normal Saturday evening out. We had an absolutely delicious meal before heading home. Once we had returned, he put some music on, went down on one knee and produced a ring! He had champagne ready on ice and we spent the weekend celebrating with family and friends. It really was perfect.

    Where did you get married and how did you choose the venue?
    We got married at Sandhurst Church, where I was christened as a child, so it holds a very special place in my heart.

    It is also in my parents’ village. For the reception, my parents very kindly let us use their absolutely beautiful garden, which has plenty of space. A huge tepee was set up and we were able to decorate it exactly to our taste.

    Amelie Hawkins 2

    Tell us about your big day and some of its key highlights
    The whole day, from start to finish, was just amazing – there aren’t enough words to describe it! The morning was spent being pampered with my close friends and family while hair and make-up was done. There was also plenty of champagne, of course. I was incredibly nervous before the ceremony and was clinging to my father, but I instantly relaxed when I caught sight of Rory. The reception was terrific, and both our families did such a great job of putting it all together. It was just fantastic fun – the food, the music, the speeches, the dancing…

    Amelie Hawkins 4

    How did you start your married life together? And if you went on a honeymoon, where did you go?
    We went away on ‘minimoon’ to a place called Jalon, near Valencia in Spain. It was a lovely boutique hotel and the ideal place to relax after the wedding.

    The next stop is Tanzania for two weeks for our honeymoon. Between the trips to Spain and Africa, we have bought a house and started renovations, so it has been a very busy start to married life.

    Amelie Hawkins 3

    Which wedding suppliers would you recommend?
    The flowers were provided by Astilbe and Sorrel in Saint Ronan’s. Our florist was so helpful and did a marvellous job – I can’t recommend them enough.

    Holmstead Events provided our teepee for the reception. It was exactly what we wanted and they were incredibly helpful.

    Our photographer was Gavin Rimmer from Freshpix. He was nothing but professional and the pictures are stunning. They are the perfect memory of a perfect day.

    My wedding dress was from Isabella Grace and I love it so much that I want to wear it all the time.

    The groom’s suit was from Gresham Blake in Brighton and was beautifully made. He looked so handsome!

    The wedding cake was Marks & Spencer’s. I would highly recommend both them and the cake!

    We had a great pizza van come down from London called Pizza Pickup – very delicious!

    The hair and make-up were done by Bliss Beauty Studios in Sandhurst. They were lovely and so calm amongst all the madness. With such attention to detail, everything was done beautifully.

    The band were Shine On, also from Brighton, and they were brilliant!

    1. Shop around for the big items, such as marquees, florists and cakes. Just because a supplier is pricey, it doesn’t make them the best
    2. Create a budget early on and decide what your priorities are for the big day. There will be times when you have to make choices and sacrifices
    3. Take your time over choosing a photographer and make sure you pick a great one. Once the big day is over, the photos are the most precious memories
    4. Enjoy the planning. It may be stressful sometimes, but you’ll miss it when it’s all over and you have a lot of spare time!
    5. If you can, book a live band. They got everyone up dancing immediately – young and old