Amy and Gordon’s March Wedding

It is always a pleasure to hear from our wedding couples following their wedding day at Layer Marney Tower.  For this blog, we had a chat with newly-wed couple Amy and Gordon Raines about their wedding planning experiences and the wedding day itself.

I hope you enjoy reading about their special day here in March 2019. (Karen Brand – Wedding Coordinator)

When did the proposal take place and how did it happen?

Gordon proposed on Valentine’s Day 2018.  His parents had also previously got engaged on Valentine’s Day too, so he wanted to keep the tradition going.  As I’m a big softie and romantic and love Valentine’s Day, he wanted it always to be associated with happy memories.

We went to one of our favourite restaurants, Crofters in Witham.  Gordon had a gift bag with him and was going to propose during the meal but unfortunately for him, the evening did not go to plan…  It was raining heavily, we were both tired, I was freezing in my dress – and the moment never quite happened.  Later at home, Gordon presented me with a bag that contained a teddy bear wearing a t-shirt saying “Will you marry me?”.  When I looked up he was on one knee and proposed!

Did you have an ideal venue in mind before you began your search?  How did you research your ideal venue?

I knew that I wanted to get married at St Luke’s Church in Tiptree, due to the family ties.  We first viewed Houchins Wedding Fair; it was beautiful however not in our price range.  So we decided to look around at different venues to see the difference in packages and prices.

We knew of Layer Marney Tower as my best friend and bridesmaid Victoria had held her wedding there 5 years ago.  We were shocked at the prices – we thought there must have been a mistake as they were less than we expected.  We booked a visit when there was heavy snow and on arrival, the only staff at the venue was the owner himself.  He showed us around and we fell in love; we knew it would go perfectly with our church and was the ideal location in between both family homes.  We had previously discussed a March wedding as that is when we had our first date and the price was lower.  Neither of us wanted a wedding in the heat of the summer either, so it was perfect timing.  We were booked for 22nd March of the following year, exactly 3 years from when we first met.  It was fate.

Did you have a theme?

We didn’t have an obvious theme however subconsciously, I guess we did end up having a traditional yet current fairy tale.  I didn’t want anything too modern because we wanted to look back and still love what we had chosen, rather than it just be fashionable at the time.  Our favourite colour is red however we didn’t like the idea of red for a wedding.  After some research, we decided on blush with a hint of red.

I felt that I had waited a long time to finally get my happy ending, (after kissing a few frogs as my Dad put in his speech!) and wanted to look like a princess.  I chose an A-line dress with a heart shaped neckline, with long delicate lace sleeves as that is how a typical princess looked when I was little.

(Wedding dress supplied by Amara Bridal.)

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How did you choose which suppliers you used?

We feel it is very important to use local suppliers and help local businesses grow, so that was key.  Also this meant that there was always someone we knew who had used them previously and had been recommended.  We had a vision but also a budget.

Have you enlisted help from family and friends with the planning, or was it mainly the bride and groom that made the arrangements?

Mainly the bride and groom? You mean BRIDE!  Only joking, Gordon was involved with every decision however I had a very clear vision of our day and although it did change slightly, Gordon knew he could trust my instincts.

I couldn’t have planned our amazing day without our amazing friends and family; my Mum was my rock and she put in as much work as me and understood how every little detail was important.  My Dad would always be there when I was crying over something pathetic and helped bring home 6 pallets for me to choose the one that we decorated as a welcome sign!  My bride tribe and friends were a great support, as was Gordon’s brother Jamie.  We couldn’t have got through the hard bits without them all.

What were the highlights of your day or particularly memorable moments?

For myself (Amy), there were several: the moment we were pronounced man and wife was the best feeling and there is a lovely photo capturing that moment.  My Dad’s speech was incredible; I will never forget how perfect it was.  Our first dance, which I relive in my mind every day.

For Gordon, it was seeing Amy walking down the aisle.  “My brother tapped me on the shoulder which was the signal to say she is coming.  I turned around and thought “how lucky am I”.”

Do you have any advice for Brides and Grooms just starting their wedding planning?

Enjoy every moment of the planning, (even the stressful times as you will laugh about it later) and the day itself as it really does go so quick.

Do what is right for YOU!  It is your day and the only thing that matters is what you think and feel.  If people don’t agree, follow your gut instinct.  You cannot please everyone; if something is not making you happy, don’t do it.  When you look back, you will forget about any difficult decisions, you’ll just remember how amazing everything was and you don’t want to be thinking I wish I had just gone with what I had wanted.

Shop around as you’ll most certainly find it cheaper!  You can achieve what you want without breaking the bank.

Don’t worry, it just suddenly all comes together, (and in Karen’s hands you really don’t have anything to worry about!)

Photos supplied by Helen from Ivory White Photography – thank you for allowing us to share!