From La Plagne to Chidham Church

The second instalment of my ‘Meet the Bride’ posts comes from Tessa and Robin who became happily wed in June 2017!

Where did you both meet?

On our ski season in La Plagne, a resort in France. We were both working in a hotel kitchen, so were working and skiing together most days and got to know each other really well

How long were you engaged for before the big day?

Only five and a half months! It was quite a fast turnaround by most people’s standards, but it all worked out really well in the end, and I’m so glad we went for June in the middle of a little heatwave. It was a little bit stressful at times to get everything set so quickly though.

Tell us about the proposal

We were down in Devon for a New Year’s Eve party, and went to the beach beforehand. I thought we were going for a sunset surf, but Robin wanted to go for a walk along the coast, which I thought was a bit strange.

There was a beautiful sunset, and we walked down into a little cove and were watching the waves, when he got down on one knee and asked me to marry him. I couldn’t have been more surprised, and forgot to say yes – I just kissed him instead

What made you choose the wedding location?

I wanted a church ceremony as I’ve grown up going to church, and ideally, I’d have liked to have it in my family church but it was too far from where we wanted to have the reception.

Robin’s family have a connection to Chidham church [Chichester] and he was baptised there, so we met the vicar there instead. It’s a very cute little building and it was a beautiful ceremony.

Where was your reception held?

Cut Mill – Robin’s grandparent’s house. It used to be a working mill hundreds of years ago, so there’s a lot of water around, and enough space for a lovely marquee.

Tel everyone a little about the venue decorations

Hours of bunting making! I have to give my mum a huge amount of credit here! We bought rolls of wallpaper, cut them into triangles and stuck them together, before threading them onto ribbon. We bought paper chains and wound them round the poles in the marquee to hide them a little bit.

I didn’t have a huge budget for flowers, so we bought maiden hair ferns for the centre-pieces and borrowed white pots from everyone we knew. I also had some leftover flowers from my florist, so I did a tiny arrangement for each table, and some larger ones for the desert/cake table. The table names were hand-written on slates that I bought from a charity shop.

Your wedding breakfast looks amazing what went in to this?

Again, huge amounts of effort! We did picnic baskets, and nearly everything in them was home-made. Between our families and friends, there were handmade quiches, pates, pickles and salads, with sliced ham from local butchers and bread roles. The puddings were amazing –  lots of lovely people did baking for us, including my mum who coordinated them all.

The cake – you had two!?

I did! One cheese tower from West Country Cheese (highly recommend them) and one naked cake which one of my best friends made for me. She did a wonderful job – I think she was pretty stressed about it but it was perfect.

I think part of what made the day so brilliant was all of the effort that went into it from so many people

Where did you get your dress from?

I found it in a little shop in Brighton, but ended up buying it in London from London Bride because I was in a bit of a rush to get it sorted… Again I was on a bit of a budget for the dress, so it took a lot of hunting to find the right thing. It was a sample and needed a lot of alteration, but I really enjoyed wearing it.

Tell us about the wedding bands

We both went for platinum bands to match my engagement ring. Robin’s is size Z, and still feels a bit small for him!

Any glitches in the run up to the wedding?

I can’t think of any particular glitches. My dad did spill bucks fizz on my wedding dress when we were about to leave for the church though… That inspired some momentary panic, but it came out with some dabbing (I think)

How did you choose your photographer?

Lucky for me, I happen to work with an amazing photographer, so it couldn’t have been easier! I did speak to a few others as well, but there was no contest!

Amanda did a brilliant job and completely understood what I was looking to achieve. We didn’t want to spend the entire day posing, so most of the pictures are quite natural, but she got excellent posed shots as well, despite keeping that part to a minimum. Couldn’t have been better!

Any advice for future brides?

I think we should give ourselves a break, and not worry too much about every detail being total perfection as it causes too much stress! If your guests are having a great time then it will be a wonderful day, so make sure that you are considering what they will enjoy and factoring that into your budget, whether it’s splashing out on a band, or a bit more wine for example.

For me, the atmosphere was more important than the appearance of the wedding – and I had so much fun.

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