Laura and Serelle soon knew that their relationship was destined to turn long term, as Laura tells us. Pics by David Christie at Crystal Memories Photography.
‘Getting married was the best day of my life and if I could do it all over again I would. I could not recommend getting married more – it was the most fun, emotional day.’
We met when we were 15 and 16 years old through a mutual friend who went to school with me and who lived in Serelle’s village. I was dating a boy at the time, who happened to go to her school – I suppose I didn’t really understand my feelings for girls. The first communication with Serelle was through MSN instant messenger – that’s how long ago it was! We met in person about a week later and then became girlfriends. Three months later she dumped me by text message!
Serelle heard from a mutual friend that I was with the guy from her school, who she thought was a complete wally. So she decided that she would ‘steal’ me away and date me, which she did! After a few weeks she could tell that I was looking for a ‘proper’ relationship and she wasn’t. That’s why she ended it.
A couple of relationships and years later, we reconnected after meeting at Girls and Boys nightclub in Canterbury. Serelle was in a relationship at the time – which would end several months later. We started hanging out again, as friends this time, but we both knew there was still a connection there. I was convinced that I wasn’t going to date her again after the previous experience, but after much persistence on her part we ended up together again!
The proposal was actually a massive surprise. Serelle planned a weekend away at Chilston Manor, which I thought was a weekend away for her birthday. She didn’t want me to have any idea about the proposal so did it around her birthday to have an excuse to stay at a nice hotel and go to a fancy restaurant. She says her proposal was ‘a bit crap’ but I don’t think so! She didn’t get down on one knee but asked me while we were in the hotel room and presented me with a ring. She knew if she did it in public I’d have died of embarrassment.
We both wanted something traditional and elegant for our wedding. We are quite private people, with a small group of friends and family. We wanted something that would be low key and really personal.
The theme was quite simple and pretty – we didn’t want anything too wild or over the top. We had white and sage green as our colours, starting with the invitations. My bouquet was made of white calla lilies, which we also had as our centrepieces. Our favours were the most colourful part of the wedding as we had a sweetie table that we organised ourselves, by buying a variety of vases and lots of multi-coloured sweets.
We didn’t write our own vows, but discussed then chose the ones we felt were most important and relevant to us from the given selection. The ceremony music was by The London Duo – two girls on a violin and cello, playing songs by the likes of Michael Jackson and Coldplay. We asked one of Serelle’s young cousins to read a poem for us, Magic of Love by Helen Steiner Rice. It was beautiful.
I wore a Ronald Joyce wedding gown from Signature Brides in Hythe. I kept my dress a surprise from Serelle before the day. I didn’t have a veil as I didn’t really like the idea of one, but chose a pretty headband with Swarovski crystals and pearls.
Serelle had her suit made by Butch Clothing Company. It cost quite a lot of money, but when she’d tried to contact other tailors, most companies either asked ‘him’ to come in for a fitting or were very confused and uninterested on the phone. Designing her suit – an all-black three-piece with satin lapels – was a fun process. It looked amazing! Her dad and her cousin, who was a page boy, wore similar suits. I had four bridesmaids – both of our sisters and two of Serelle’s cousins.
I was expecting to walk down the aisle on my own; then on the day my dad decided that he wanted to walk down with me, which was really lovely. We were expecting my mum to do a speech along with Serelle’s mum, but my dad gave a speech instead which was such a nice surprise.
After the wedding breakfast, we had a reception at the same venue, Howfield Manor. This was quite traditional, involving a DJ and lots of alcohol! Everyone kept saying how happy they were. The whole atmosphere was joyful and friendly, and it felt so personal throughout. We got a lot of compliments about the venue and how pretty it all was.
Standing in front of all of our friends and family and showing everyone that we are together was such an amazing feeling. The whole day was a high, but I was so proud when I looked at the whole floor filled with people dancing. I hate the dreaded ‘dancing circle’ at a wedding and I was very pleased that everyone felt comfortable enough to just let loose! There had been points along the way where I wasn’t sure if some of my family members would come to our wedding, but being able to look around and see those people there, supporting us and celebrating our day, was just out of this world.
Remember as you’re planning that it’s your day – so do it how you want to do it. The day goes by so quickly! Make sure you have a minute by yourselves to take it all in. Also, spend the money on the things that matter to you. We spent less on favours to make sure we had money in the budget to spend on the exact photographer we wanted. Also, consider a videographer. We didn’t, and as lovely as the photos are, it would have been nice to relive some of the memories with video.
In the run-up to the big day you may be faced with all kinds of issues – guests no longer attending, suppliers cancelling, or just family dramas! Don’t let these little things bother you. Honestly, your day will be magical because what’s important is that you’re marrying your best friend.
Find out more in the new edition of Pink Weddings Magazine