I don’t think I can think of a more perfect wedding for a Friday. This pretty big day is set in a fairytale castle, with a fuchsia pink and Cadbury purple colour scheme, lots of pretty card butterfly details and is literally brimming with smiley, happy people.

I promise, it will put a smile on your face.

Emma and Kevin held their wedding at the magnificent Berkeley Castle, parts of which date from the 12th Century. Just imagine all of past hearts that have been won in such a place!! The castle just looks so atmospheric and grand in the images from Joseph Hall.

I suppose if you get married in a castle – then a Princess dress is definitely called for…Emma’s choice of Chardonnay by Maggie Soterro is perfect and looks absolutely beautiful on her.

So, if you’re sitting comfortably, then we’ll begin. Once upon a time there was a girl named Emma…

Emma the Bride:I’ve always wanted to get married in a church but with a castle reception. Berkeley Castle was the perfect combination. We had visited other castles but Berkeley was the only one which had everything on the same grounds. We didn’t want to burden our guests with having to drive to another location for the reception. The budget was everything so we had to manage this carefully. Luckily for us, we managed to utilise our family in making the Bridesmaid dresses and our wedding cake. eBay also played a big part of the wedding as it offered accessories and decorations at a fraction of the price compared with the high-street!

I had chosen my dress on the first visit to the bridal shop. It was the third dress I had tried on and I instantly knew it was the one. I later on realised it was the only dress I had liked online – Maggie Soterro Chardonnay. It was perfect because it was traditional but had a vintage kick to it, plus it was the perfect dress for a castle theme! I didn’t want to spend too much on the accessories so I bought my shoes, bracelet, necklace and earrings from eBay. My hair was done by a friend and my makeup was done by my Aunt who is also the make-up artist for Kelly Rowland.

My husband on the other hand did not want to go traditional. He instead wanted to buy a suit that complemented the colour scheme and one he could wear again and again. The navy blue suits together with a pale pink shirt were the height of fashion at the time. This was the look he went for. Luck was on our side as he found his suit on sale at Reiss for half the price and was perfect. His pink shirt was from Boss, belt was from Hugo Boss and the shoes were from Jeffery West.

I wanted two bold bright colours for my colour scheme – fuchsia pink and Cadbury purple. The bold colours represented my personality as I love wearing colours, plus it was a summer wedding where bold colours would stand out beautifully. I had four Bridesmaids and two Maids of Honours. My Aunty offered to make the Bridesmaid dresses which I thought was great because it made it personal to me, as well as to the Bridesmaids as they all had there dresses made individually to the shape and style they wanted.

I bought all of the Bridesmaids’ accessories and shoes from eBay. We bought navy blue suits for the Father of the Bride and the two Best Men to follow the groom’s suit as well as the theme. We bought their suits from Next. Their suits were our gifts for being part of the wedding. The flower girls dress was from TK Maxx and matched my wedding dress detail. The flower boy’s suit also matched the Grooms outfit.

I loved butterflies and because the castle had a butterfly garden I knew this had to be a big part of my wedding theme. I searched the internet for butterfly templates that I could use as table name cards. I bought bold pink and purple cards from Hobbycraft and used the template cut out butterflies to hang on every glass. I bought gold butterfly table decorations and butterfly love quiz games to put on the tables to break the ice and I had bought and decorated two bird cages with fake garlands and wired pink and purple butterflies all from eBay to decorate the top table.

I had also bought large butterflies from Hobby Craft to decorate the remainder of the castle. The flowers were arranged by Becci Hobbs. To make the table seating plan I bought a gold mounted mirror from TK Max and cardboard and decorative sticky butterflies from Hobby Craft. I used template ideas from eBay to make the plan. The easel was borrowed from my Mother.

I walked up the aisle to ‘Over The Rainbow’ because it was a special song that I and my husband liked from my favourite film – 50 First Dates. I left the ceremony to Take That ‘Greatest Day’ as it was the greatest moment of our lives. I had my niece and grandmother read two readings from the bible during the church ceremony which was very personal to me – I John 4:7-12 and 1 Cor 13:1-13. Our first danced was to ‘Everything I Have Is Yours – By Billie Holiday. During the evening my Husband played with his band – Brother Ray and they dedicated a song to me – ‘Just The Way You Are’ – By Bruno Mars at the end of the evening which was magical.

During the day after the drink reception when we went for a drive with the photographer the castle put on a castle tour which allowed guests to learn about the history of the castle. We had also bought hula hoops and space hoppers for the kids to keep them entertained however the adults couldn’t resist having a go.

The food was done by Napier Catering. We had asked them to do two dishes. One English dish and one Jamaican dish as it represented our heritage. The cake was baked my Sister and both of my Grandmothers. I had four tiers – two Jamaican rum fruit cakes (one each made by a grandmother), a chocolate cake and a traditional sponge cake. The cake was decorated by my Sister who used the wired pink and purple butterflies to decorate the cake. It was lovely having the family involved with making the cake as it made it even more personal.

We chose Joseph because his photos portrayed the feeling of the day and also shared a story. This was exactly what we wanted and his style was different from other photographers. He was very friendly, calm and professional which made him feel like he was part of the day. Joseph provided a slideshow for our wedding which really touched us as it brought us right back to those special moments of our wedding day.

My Uncle videoed our wedding. It was his first wedding he had videoed which made us feel special. It was also a nice gift and could be shared amongst other family members.

Weddings are expensive but if you’re smart enough you can have all the luxury without the high price tag. My use of eBay, family and friends really helped me save money throughout the process which ultimately still allowed me to have my dream fairy tale wedding.

Photography by Joseph Hall

Bride Maggie Sottero Chardonnay | Veil Richard Designs | Florist Bijoux Wedding & Event Flowers | Venue Berkeley Castle | Catering Napier Catering | Groom Reiss, Hugo Boss and Jeffery West | Groomsmen & Father of the Bride Next | Stationery eBay & Hobby Craft

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