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19th Dec 2012

Sarah and Steve's Big Day

Sarah grew up in Cornwall and Steve in London. They met purely by chance, two days after New Years Day 2011 at a mutual friend's pub.  Sarah was living in Los Angeles and was home for Christmas, visiting her friend in Sussex for a few days on her way back to LA.  Three months later she was caught in the Japan earthquake; which was a terrible and life changing experience.  Sarah came home to the UK for a brief visit to reassure her family that she was ok. Being sure not to take life for granted and to grab any opportunity life gave to her after her terrifying ordeal, Sarah also said yes to her first date with Steve.
After two more trips back and forth to LA, they were engaged on Easter Monday 2011 and married 11.11.11.  A whirlwind romance!

Our life as a couple has been wonderful - lots of readjustments with me moving back to the UK after 13 years living in Los Angeles plus inheriting a ready made family (Steve has daughters)!  We laugh a lot, work hard and revel in the fact we found each other.

The day Steve proposed, we were sitting outside having a drink on Easter Monday 2011, talking about wanting to be together, even though we had actually only known each other a short while.  He then asked me to marry him and of course I said yes!
The ring is based on a De Beers design - duo-shank platinum band that entwines up to a four-prong-set round brilliant solitaire and paved with round brilliant diamonds.  We bought it at Number Ten jewellers in Brighton.

I always wanted an elegant, stylish, small and wintry-style wedding but had no idea about what style gown I would wear!
I had already bought a Vera Wang dress in Los Angeles.  When we started planning the wedding and landed on getting married in Chelsea I decided the dress was wrong.  I visited White Mischief in Henfield to buy my bridesmaids dresses and saw a couple of wedding dresses.  I tried them both on and the second one was perfect and had the wow factor.  That was it, I was sold!  The staff at ‘White Mischief’ were so lovely to work with for, both my dress and my bridesmaids - we all felt so special.
For my shoes I needed something comfortable - I bought them at White Mischief too - they matched the dress perfectly.

For my accessories, I had a diamante headpiece which I bought at White Mischief.  My husband bought me diamond stud earrings and a diamond bracelet as wedding presents to wear on the day.  That was all I needed!
I had a little organza bag to keep my lipstick and lip-gloss in, a blue garter and my sister in law leant me her mother's engagement ring.
My cousin did my makeup.  She is a professional make up artist, based in Horsham.  I had my hair done by Adrina from John Carne in Knightsbridge.  They both came to the hotel to get my bridesmaids and myself ready.  Luckily I had a big room as it got quite hot and crowded that morning with hair, make up, bridesmaids, and both sisters in law!

White Mischief supplied the bridesmaid dresses.  They were a beautiful shade of dusky pink.
Steve wore a grey morning suit with cream waistcoat and cravat.  He got his and his best man's suits from Moss Bros.
Amanda Austin flowers in Chelsea supplied my flowers.  They were a combination of mostly roses and eucalyptus.  
We had 24 invitees - very close family and friends only.  We both have a lot of friends and extended family and if we had not kept it so small it would have gone the other way and become gigantic, especially with so many friends based in the USA.

On the morning of the wedding, I woke up early to my bridesmaids knocking on my door wanting to have breakfast!  Then the hair and make up girls arrived and it all got frantic.  I had a glass of champagne to celebrate.  Before I knew it, it was time to go downstairs and leave for the Registry Office
My husband had arranged for vintage London taxis to take us to the Registry Office.
We got married at Chelsea Registry Office and had our reception at The Bluebird (on Kings Road). There were masses of flowers and candles and glass.  It was very intimate and beautiful.
It was beautifully done considering it was a Registry Office.  The registrar was lovely and made it very personal.  I was very nervous of course but before I knew it we had said our vows and were officially married.
After all the photos inside and outside, we sat down to eat.  The food was fantastic and the wine was flowing.  Everyone was very relaxed and it felt a bit like a family dinner.
Our first dance was ‘At Last’ by Etta James.

Purita Hyam made the cake; who is based in the village next to where I live. It was chocolate cake covered with hard white chocolate and decorated with bouquets of flowers. For the favours, my sister in law did little bottles of bubbles and seeds to plant for the spring.  
Helen Jones did our photography.  We bonded with her; she was fun and was experienced in doing London weddings, especially around Chelsea.

I felt so happy and in love and delighted to have such special people there to share this wonderful occasion.
I wish I could do it all over again.

The advice I would give to any bride would be; relax and try to remember every day.  You will glow no matter what!

Ring: www.numbertenjewellers.com
Hair: John Carne in Knightsbridge
Flowers: www.amandaustinflowers.co.uk
Cake: Purita Hyam

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Photographer: Helen Jones
Dress: Ali by Augusta Jones
Location: Chelsea Registry Office, London
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