Bride: Amy Harding, 30 Groom: Charles Morton, 27 Home: Watford Venue: Brocket Hall Date: September 11th, 2010
Queenofherts... They say that most people meet their partners at work, and there was certainly an attraction when Amy met Charlie, but they remained just good friends until a card dropped through Amy’s letterbox…
No one quite like Charlie
Charlie made an impact on me from the moment we met. It was early 2005 and I was working as a beauty therapist in a spa in Leamington Spa and Charlie was working as a sports massage therapist/personnel trainer so our paths crossed. He was such an inspiration – determined, ambitious and he really made me laugh. I have to admit I did think ‘wow!’ but at first we were purely friends. There may have been a bit of banter, but romance didn’t really come into it. When Charlie left Leamington just three months later to start his own business I kept in touch. That was a real indicator to me that there was something between us.
More than just good friends…
I can’t pinpoint the moment that things changed between Charlie and I, but we eventually told each other how we felt in the cheesiest of ways – he sent me a soppy card and I sent one back to him. We are both very romantic people and it was a relief to be able to finally tell each other how we felt, even if it was in the form of a letter. Following our declaration, things moved very quickly. We went on our first holiday as a couple and I moved to into his home to be with him - all in the space of a year. I had no hesitation about uprooting my life. It all felt so right. I felt fulfilled with Charlie and our dog Major who we rescued in 2007 – we were a little family. In 2008 Charlie’s career changed and we moved to Watford.
A highland fling…
By November 2009 I was working at Luton Hoo spa and Charlie asked me if I would like to go away for a
weekend. That’s one thing I loved about him – his spontaneity. Of course I said yes and that evening after work we headed to Luton airport. I had no idea where we were going and when Charlie led me to the Glasgow check in I was confused but excited. It was late when we arrived in Scotland – but my journey wasn’t over yet. We jumped in a taxi and took a half hour drive to Loch Lomond where we checked into the beautiful Cameron House. The next morning I was able to take in the view, the mountains and the lake were just gorgeous. Charlie and I spent the morning sat in a Jacuzzi on the roof of the hotel spa just taking in the beauty and the stillness. Before dinner that evening we went for a walk. Suddenly the heavens opened and the rain poured down. ‘Come on Charlie’ I said, grabbing his arm, but Charlie just said ‘No, let’s look at the view’. I thought he was mad – I was getting soaked! To make matters worse he decided to bend down to tie his shoelaces and ended up on one knee in the mud. One knee? Oh! Suddenly the penny dropped. The rain stopped and he proposed, handing me a gorgeous diamond ring on a platinum band. I was blown away. Charlie had actually designed the ring
floor and pink feathers. They also booked a band and the wedding car – Charlie’s choice – a white Rolls Royce Phantom. For my dress I was incredibly lucky to meet the designer Ritva Westenius at the Designer Wedding Show. One of her designs – ‘Baras’ – really took my eye. With its soft, flowing lines and Romantic influence I was hooked. My mum Denise was up from Cornwall that day and she just looked at me and said ‘That’s the dress for you Amy’. What an amazing experience to have a designer tailor a dress just for me – I felt very blessed. For my bridesmaids - my two friends from college Karen and Deborah and my school friends Andrea and Natalie - I chose empire line soft pink gowns from Kelsey Rose. Charlie and his best man Matthew; and his ushers, brothers Andrew, Robert and Edward plus my brother Michael, chose top hat and tails from Waterers in St Albans.
himself. It was a lovely touch and despite the weather, a really special and very romantic moment.
designed by my florist Yvonne; I opted for soft make-up and my hair in an off centre bun studded with tiny pears, while the girls had their hair half up and half down and softly curled.
Nice day for a white wedding…
Though Charlie and I had spoken about marriage in the past I had no idea of what sort of ceremony I wanted. Charlie, on the other hand, knew exactly what he wanted – a huge white wedding – and I was happy to go along with him. We booked the religious ceremony at St Paul’s Church in Langlebury for September 11th 2010 and then began looking for a venue for the reception. Brocket Hall was not the closest but it took our breath away. With a rustic country house feel it wasn’t intimidating, but the dining room in particular was still spectacular enough to give us the ‘Wow!’ factor and we booked it on the spot.
A helping hand…
Brocket hall were amazing and helped us to source people in. We had some help from an agency to help things run smoothly. Sharper Solutions were brilliant. They organised turning one of the rooms at Brocket Hall into a ‘romantic nightclub’ with a twinkling white dance
Simple but effective…
For my flowers I wanted to keep it simple so I chose Sweet Avalanche roses (soft pink) for mine and for my bridesmaids ivory avalanche rose bouquets, beautifully
Before I knew it the wedding was upon us. The night before we had a family dinner with both the sides of the family and wedding party – Charlie’s parents – the bridesmaids, ushers and my mum and stepdad Tony. Because my dad Roderick had sadly passed away, I asked my Uncle, Mark to give me away. Tony my step dad was very understanding and Mark of course was thrilled. So it was a lovely family gathering that night with lots of laughter. After the meal I went home and Charlie went to his brother’s house. We were both very excited and I don’t think either of us slept much.
The big day dawns…
The wedding ceremony was booked for 1pm but that didn’t stop me being up with the lark at 7.30am! It was such fun! All my bridesmaid were with me, Tony cooked everyone breakfast – and served lots of champagne! By
8.30am my videographer Ben arrived who captured all the wonderful moments as we laughed and talked and got ready. I was really calm, unlike Uncle Mark, he was incredibly nervous and emotional and so honoured to be giving me away – I was so proud of him. By 12.30 it was time to leave for the church. As we arrived to the strains of the Wedding March we walked down the aisle. It was such an amazing feeling to see all my friends and family sat there. I wasn’t tearful – just overwhelmed with happiness. Charlie too just couldn’t stop smiling.
A touch of the Caribbean…
The ceremony passed without a hitch and Charlie and I were finally man and wife. As we headed back to Brockett Hall we had a surprise for our guests. Because we had many friends in Barbados – who couldn’t come to the wedding– we had decided to honour them with a steel band. They started to play as we stepped out of the Rolls and Charlie and I did a spontaneous dance down the driveway. Later we all sat down for the wedding breakfast which was delicious. We’d had the speeches before the food so everyone could relax and eat their fill, but there was still space for a slice of scrummy wedding cake with three layers of banana, chocolate and red velvet sponge. With a surprise Morton coat of arms engraved on the cake for Charlie. It was delicious!
Nothing’s gonna stop us now…
For our second surprise of the wedding, Charlie and I took to the floor for our first dance to Starship’s ‘Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now’. We’d taken secret dance lessons and perfected a routine. Everybody cheered us as we got through the track foot perfect. Then the dancefloor began to fill and stayed that way till midnight – my feel were killing me! After the DJ ended no one wanted to go to sleep so the boys went to play snooker while the girls chilled out in the morning room. The beauty of Brockett Hall was that most of our guests opted to stay over, so we had friends and family from all over the world who were able to join us the next morning to relive the wonderful day and share breakfast with us.
The time of our lives…
Our wedding really was the most incredible day and Charlie and I couldn’t stop talking about it throughout our honeymoon in Mykonos. We both were, and still are, so happy. The great thing is, as well as pictures and a video we also have video messages left from our guest in a special booth that Ben the videographer had set up at Brockett Hall, what a great keepsake – Charlie and I often look back at those message and laugh. Some of them are hilarious. Better still, we are expecting our first baby in June so he or she will be able to look back at mummy and daddy’s crazy family and friends!’
Recreate Amy and Charlie’s Wedding Venue & Catering
Kissing Gate Video
Chris Hanley Photography
Kelsey Rose, Kennilworth
Car, band and room décor
Waterers in St Albans
Groom and ushers suits www.waterers-menswear.co.uk
Niki Make Up www.nikimakeup.com
Steel band Cake
Cakes by Cynthia www.cakesbycynthia.co.uk