Lena and Stacey turned to Disney to make their dreams come true. Stacey captures their special moments. Pictures by JPRShah Photography.
We met online through a dating website called Plenty of Fish. We had been dating for six months when I asked Lena to ‘officially’ be my girlfriend. I took her out on a picnic to the zoo, then when we came back to her flat I had rose petal candles and little notes leading to her bedroom. In the candle-lit room there were roses, music playing, and a giant Millie’s cookie on the bed with ‘Will you be my girlfriend?’ written on it.
We’d been dating for about two years when I decided to ask Lena to marry me. First, I went and asked her parents’ permission. Then I took Lena to a log cabin just outside York. As we went out for a meal, the people who owned the cabin arranged fairy lights, rose petals, champagne, music and a giant Millie’s cookie on the bed – and this time it had written on it ‘Will you marry me?’ I blindfolded Lena, took her into the cabin, faced her towards the bed where the cookie was, and then went on one knee behind her.
Deciding on the style of our wedding day was very easy as we are both massive Disney fans and felt we had found our fairy-tale partners! So our theme was classic Disney, with fairy-tale inspiration.
We chose a beautiful place called Middleton Hall, just past Alnwick. Its design is similar to an old-fashioned Scottish manor, with a beautiful interior and original features – the perfect place to get married. We stayed there for the full weekend, including the night before the wedding, when both our families met for the first time. Everything was held at our amazing venue, including the reception.
The ceremony started with my bridesmaids, then Lena’s bridesmaids, walking down the aisle followed by our nieces. Then I went with my dad and Lena followed with hers. We both wore Alfred Angelo Disney princess dresses – mine inspired by Belle and Lena’s inspired by Jasmine. Everyone complimented us on how beautiful we looked, and how we were a lovely couple and well suited to each other.
We wrote our own vows as we thought it more personal. We walked down the aisle to You Raise Me Up by Westlife – Lena’s favourite band – and signed the register to Beautiful in White by Shane Filan and Perfect by Ed Sheeran. Once Upon a Dream, a cover by Holly Henry, played as we were walking out. All of our songs were special to us because they remind us of each other.
Both of our families celebrated with us and there was special involvement – and lots of help – from both sides of our family. We each had our nieces as bridesmaids, together with my best friend and my sister and Lena’s two best friends. My brother-in-law filmed the whole day for us.
The grounds around the hall were stunning. There was a woodland area, lakeside view and much more to discover, as we found during the shoot with our photographers John and Caitlin from JPR Shah, who were absolutely amazing. They helped us so much on the day, from holding up our dresses to grabbing coats and even helping us touch up hair and make-up! They also kept family and friends entertained and both of us calm throughout the day.
We had many features dotted throughout the ceremony around our Disney theme. Each of our table centrepieces represented a different fairy-tale – one of our favourites being the Moana table, where we used a fishbowl with sand as the base, a coconut in the centre, the stone necklace from the film and a small version of the Maui fishhook draped across it.