Helene and Pete were married in November 2010 and their theme for their vintage wedding was inspired by Pete’s nickname for his Bride – his English Rose . Their ceremony was held at Castle Rushen Registry Office, with an intimate reception just around the corner at The Garrison.
Our Wedding Story…
Bride, Helene tells us all about her & Pete’s romantic and beautiful day….
Tell us about the proposal!
Pete went to Australia for 4 weeks for his best friend’s wedding and when he got back he was unpacking and giving me presents when he told me to close my eyes – when I opened them he was holding a ring and asked me to marry him. He bought the ring in Melbourne and had carried it round for the whole trip. He had wanted to ask my parents permission, but couldn’t wait any longer. It wasn’t totally unexpected, as I was going to Liverpool with my mum whilst he was away and he told me to look at wedding dresses.
How did you choose your venues?
Pete grew up in Castletown and has strong ties there and at the time we lived there, so it made sense to get married close to home. Plus, who doesn’t want to get married in a castle?! The Garrison was chosen as it was so close to the castle and it was our favourite restaurant. With it being close, it meant that our guests didn’t need to worry about transport between the two venues.
What about the details? The flowers?
Our beautiful flowers were created by the very talented Heidi, at The Flower Studio. I went in with a selection of pictures of bouquets which had an old English feel and left it in her capable hands. For the bridesmaids and mums, we had corsages, so that they could wear them all day.
We had a three tier cake. In my family it is tradition that my Gran makes the fruit cake part of wedding cakes. However, as she lives in Derbyshire, she wasn’t able to. My Mum stepped up and following the secret family recipe made what I’m told was a very alcoholic cake (I don’t like fruit cake – black sheep of the family). The other two tiers were Victoria sponge and chocolate. These two tiers and the decorating of the cake was by The Cake Lady. It really was the most beautiful cake.
The table decorations and favours?
The wedding favours we had were Cadbury Wispas. On our first date, Pete gave me a Wispa and said that if nothing else came out of the date, at least I got some chocolate. So of course there was nothing else we could give our family and friends. The table decorations were wooden roses and crystals, simple and elegant.
What details did you love the best?
I loved everything, but especially loved our wedding car, an old Austin 8 called Herbert. He lived around the corner from us and Pete’s uncle asked his owner if he would be willing to be the car for our wedding. Luckily it was a yes and we had the best car. Paul, the owner, even held my bouquet when we were having pictures done.
What DIY aspects were there to your day?
Most of our wedding was DIY. My Mum worked her socks off both before and on the day of the wedding. She made all the table decorations, the bows on the chairs, the bottom tier of the wedding cake and decorating the favours. Then on the day, she went to The Garrison to decorate it with some of Petes family and then came home to do everyone’s hair (she’s a hairdresser). Then after the meal, it was all hands on deck to change the layout of The Garrison to get it ready for the night do.
Did you have any entertainment for your guests?
The DJ that we had booked had a family crisis in the UK a couple of weeks before our wedding, so said that it would be better for us to find a new one as he didn’t know if he would be back in time. This was a blessing in disguise, as a friend of my mums did DJ-ing in his spare time and he has wooden prop guitars and a saxophone. Our guests absolutely loved these and were probably the highlight of the night. I have since found out that Pete had tried to get Michael Buble to sing at our wedding, obviously that didn’t happen, but I love that he tried.
What made your day personal and unique?
We decided not to have a seating plan for our reception so that our guests could sit with whomever they wanted. Pete and I sat on a sweetheart table, so we could spend time talking about our day and watching everyone have a good time. Also my brother James is a keen photographer, so he and his girlfriend Rachel took the photographs for us. We felt that this would make the whole day more informal and friendly. The shots he got, were amazing. I think that this added to the relaxed and informal vibe of our wedding.
Ok, on to Wedding Fashion….. Who made your dress and how did you know it was ‘The One’?
My dress was Jenny Packham’s Alice dress, from The Bridal House, Ramsey. I didn’t want to try it on, as I had a budget and this dress was totally over, but my mum insisted that I try it on and that was it, I didn’t want to take it off. Luckily, my mum said that her and my dad wanted to pay for the dress.
What about your shoes and accessories?
When I was trying on the dress, the Bridal House were doing an offer on free shoes with any dress but only until the end of the month. Which is why I bought the dress before Pete proposed. In my hair I wore a jeweled headband also from the Bridal House. The jewellery I wore were family heirlooms or sentimental to Pete and I and our rings were from Tiffany’s.
What did the Bridesmaids wear?
For the bridemaids’ outfits, I just wanted them to wear little black dresses. You could not believe how hard it is to find little black dresses in summer! My mum eventually found the dresses on Very.co.uk and the bridesmaids loved them.
What did the Groom wear?
Pete wore a suit from Jonathan Daniels. as he hadn’t seen my dress, I showed the salesman a picture, so that he could make sure Pete’s outfit complimented mine.
What was most emotional part of the day?
The moment I walked into the Castle…
What was the most romantic part of the day?
All of it! I can’t pick one particular moment.
What was the funniest part of the day?
There are so many! Before the ceremony started, literally just as I was walking in, a friend who had help decorate The Garrison came running up the stairs shouting for me to stop, she was running late and didn’t want to miss anything. The speeches were amazing, everyone was laughing. The other highlight was our guests using the DJ’s guitars to play air guitar.
What was the most stressful part of the day?
It was totally stress free from our point of view, but my mum would probably say something different!
What was the most memorable part of the day?
The whole day was memorable, we loved every second, but when Pete and I said our “I do’s” has to be the most memorable.
If you could do it all again, would you change anything?
The only thing I would change would be to get a photograph of me and my mum. We didn’t want forced / posed photos and it wasn’t until we went through the photos, we realised there wasn’t one of me and mum.
What was your best money saving idea?
eBay! We got so much from there from our invitations, to our table runners, to the wooden roses, to napkins. If you know what you want, don’t be afraid to look there.
What is the best piece of advice you would give someone planning their wedding?
Just have fun! I loved every minute of the planning, because I knew that whatever happened in the planning, I was going to marry and spend the rest of my life with Pete.
And finally, where did you go on your honeymoon?
A few days after our wedding we had a “mini-moon” in Cornwall and the following January we had a three week holiday where we visited San Francisco, a tour of New Zealand’s South Island, Sydney and Hong Kong. This was only possible thanks to the generosity of our family and friends, as instead of a wedding gift list, we had an account with Trailfinders, so people could make contributions to help pay for our honeymoon.
See below for some of the suppliers that Helene & Pete used for their beautiful wedding and also the full gallery of their wedding photographs…
Cake: Bride’s Mum and The Cake Lady
Ceremony: Castletown Registry Office
DJ: DJ Rock
Dress (Bride): The Bridal House
Dress: (Bridesmaids): Very.co.uk
Flowers: The Flower Studio
Groom’s Suit: Jonathan Daniels
Honeymoon Account: Trailfinders
Photographer: Bride’s brother and sister in law
Shoes and Accessories: The Bridal House
Venue: The Garrison