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Classic Bride APRIL 2016 £ 3.99

How to pick the perfect wedding venue 10 dream honeymoon destinations

Weddings through time

‘My gift for tragic mums’ - a bride’s poignant story

The Grooms: what do they think?

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n e v a e h s s e r d ing • Discover your ideal gown with the help of luxury boutique owner Angela Robson




Chloe McNab and Vicky Lomax welcome you to the first issue of Classic Bride Magazine.


The Classic Bride team would like to wish you a very warm welcome to our brand new magazine, which is the only title dedicated to the forty-plus bride. We’ve had a fantastic few weeks working hard to bring you the latest in the wedding world from venues with a difference, to etiquette to entertainment. Chloe: Vicky and I are especially proud to show you the results of our exclusive photoshoot with Iconic Bride boutique and Diaz Events models taken by Victoria and Callum. It was a wonderful experience, and I hope you’ll all enjoy Angela’s tips on finding the perfect dress. I also spoke to three brave brides, who took the plunge and married abroad to bring you their advice on planning

destination weddings. Vicky: As a bride-to-be myself, I was very excited to be part of Classic Bride and to create this unique wedding magazine. Whilst planning this lovely spring issue, we had the opportunity to attend the Wedding Event with a Difference, where I was on the lookout for some fun entertainment ideas to make your day extra special. I also spoke to a professional hairdresser to find out what you should consider when choosing that all important hairstyle. From your wedding to honeymoons, we have everything you could need to start planning your big day. So whether you’re getting married for the first or second time, we hope you enjoy this luxury magazine.

5-7 WEDDING DRESS HEAVEN Boutique owner Angela shows us the latest trends

18-20 GETTING MARRIED ABROAD Three brides share their secrets

8-9 A CHERISHED GIFT The first real life story in the Heroic Bride series

21 FIVE WAYS TO KEEP YOUR WEDDING GUESTS ENTERTAINED A look at some unique entertainment ideas for your big day

11 TURNING BACK TIME Taking a look at past wedding trends over the years. 13 HOW TO CHOOSE THE HAIR Find out the top tips for choosing your style from a professional hairdresser

22-23 I DO, TAKE 2 The dos and don’ts of second weddings and how to make them run smoothly

14-15 WONDERFULLY WEIRD VENUES Top 10 unusual wedding venues

24-25 TOP 10 HONEYMOON DESTINATIONS Classic Bride uncovers 10 stunning honeymoon destinations to indulge in with your new partner

17 PICKING THE PERFECT VENUE We seek some advice on what to consider when searching for your venue

26 THE GROOM’S Q&A We speak to a man getting married for the second time to find out his thoughts



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Editor Chloe McNab Features Editor Vicky Lomax Contributing Writers Jodie Armstrong George Ellis Leo Forfar Caitlin Kelly Charlotte McIntyre Emma Turner Stewart Thorpe Printed by NottinghamTrentUniversity Cover photograph Jane Elizabeth Davis, taken by Callum Baigrie Feature photography Callum Baigrie VictoriaColquhoun-Postill Published by Centre for Broadcasting and Journalism, Nottingham Trent University

Diaz Events’ models, Caz, Jane and Sherry at Iconic Bride Boutique

Photographed by Callum Baigrie



Wedding dress heaven Finding ‘the one’ perfect wedding dress for your figure can be a huge challenge. Chloe McNab meets luxury boutique owner Angela Robson at Iconic Bride, where she helps bridal beauties discover their ideal gown


here are often two types of brides; the bride who knows exactly what she wants in a dress, and the bride who has no idea,” says Angela Robson. “Both can be just as good to work with, whether they’ve researched exactly what they want or are a blank canvas and open to ideas.” Angela, who runs bridal boutique Iconic Bride in Edwinstowe, Nottinghamshire, is passionate that every bride should be remembered for the right reasons, and be an ‘iconic bride’ among their friends and family. With so many choices of dress style available, dress shopping can be an overwhelming experience. Angela’s aim is to help brides-to-be narrow down their options and find ‘the one’, achieving a flawlessly elegant look with ease. Before you go to the store and start looking, Angela advises doing research and having a

clear picture of what you like. “Popular styles of the moment include lace,” she says, adding that there has been a change in structure styles, moving away from corsets to more discreet boning in dresses. “Backless effect gowns are now coming in, with mesh panels.” Celebrities and royalty are also sources of inspiration for many brides, who want to feel like a star on their big day, from the Duchess of Cambridge and Lady Diana’s dresses to Katie Price, Angela says. “This has had a direct effect on the dress styles we see now. But dresses are just part of the experience, many bridal stores now cater to every brides need – offering everything from bespoke dresses and accessories to botox”. For our shoot, Angela dressed our models in three distinctive bridal styles: ball gown, fishtail and a short, vintage style dress.

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Princess Ball Gown

A beautiful ball gown is a must have for any princess bride to create a sense of occasion on her big day. Some of the most beautiful brides in the world have walked down the aisle in cascades of lace, satin and tulle. Such show-stopping dresses can be risky, as some verge on being an over-the-top meringue-style but there is no reason at all why that has to be the case. To make sure your ball gown is remembered for the right reasons, Angela advised choosing a dress which graduates into a long train. Our model’s dress from Catherine Parry’s collection creates a bold and beautiful look, without going overboard. Ball gowns are especially good for pear-shaped brides as they draw the eye up the body. The lace up back on our model’s dress is also great for creating a slim waist.

FASHION: WEDDING DRESSES They can also be designed so that the skirt separates from the bodice, giving more flexibility without undermining the overall beauty of the gown.

Sixties Queen

The majestic dress from Nicola Anne’s collection creates an elegant hour glass figure Perfect for a curvy frame, a structured dress is a new, understated alternative to the outdated, obvious corset look. Handmade from luxurious fabrics, the couture collection has featured on both GMTV’s First Bride of the Year and BBC 3’s Don’t Tell the Bride and takes pride of place in Iconic Bride. The scooped neckline opens up your face and displays your décolletage, without showing too much cleavage. Angela says: “I would recommend ladies with larger busts avoid sweetheart necklines as this can show too much, it is however a matter of taste”. Our model, Jane Elizabeth was hesitant about this style and shorter

Angela Robson, Iconic Brides owner

Elegant lace is here to stay

length making her petite frame broader, but once the dress was on, she never wanted to take it off! The shorter length is fun and flirty and the boning creates a tiny waist, emphasised by the full skirt. The strapless gown is complemented by the collection’s lace Christina shawl, ideal for the upcoming summer wedding season. Angela completed Jane’s simple, yet elegant look with lace and diamanté Benjamin Adam shoes and a delicate pearl necklace.

Mermaid style

Elegant lace is here to stay, following Princess Kate’s infamous Royal Wedding style which can make a bride feel like a true princess. This fabulous fishtail from Catherine Parry (1614) incorporates fashionable scalloped lace with a classic shaped skirt. Ideal for balancing out the body, fishtails create a slimming effect. The large fishtail skirt,

contrasting with the fitted, figurehugging body of the dress makes the upper body look slimmer. The dress also enhances the figure by concealing common problem areas with a short sleeve and featuring a diamanté waist belt, to make the waist line appear slimmer. The off-the-shoulder straps and diamante detail add to the drama of the fitted fishtail shape, keeping all eyes on the bride! Loose curls, styled to one side are perfect to complement fishtail dresses, our hairdresser and stylist agree. Our model also has a unique half up do with bow detail at the back, which looks quirky and shows her fun personality.


Choosing the ideal gown

Jane fiinding the perfect dress at Iconic Bride boutique

Victoria Faith Photography

Beautiful ball gowns create a sense of occasion

Discretly boned dresses are the new alternative to corsets

The Fishtail Sherry Armitage wears Catherine Parry Callum Baigrie

“Backless effect gowns are coming in”

Victoria Faith Photography

Jane Elizabeth Davies models Nicola Anne’s Magestic Dress April 2016 I Classic Bride I 6

Caz Bright wears a Catherine Parry gown Callum Baigrie

Lucy models an Iconic Bride dress at Save the Date Chloe McNab Photograph credits Models: Sherry Armitage, Jane Elizabeth Davies and Caz Bright. Models sponsored by Diaz Events Photographers: Callum Baigrie, Victoria Faith Photography and Chloe McNab 7 I Classic Bride I April 2016



A Cherished Gift

for the various sizes and it was actually in some ways cathartic for me too. I could pick up a gown for the gestation period of one of the babies I lost and for the first time visualise how it would have looked in terms of real size. This was a bittersweet moment that actually helped me process and manage some of my own thoughts and feelings. It was harrowing to see such beautiful little gowns and then realise that tragically they would be needed sometime soon. I was so glad that I had donated my dress.” In addition to the satisfaction of helping a good cause, Lisa received an additional reward.

For our first Heroic Bride, Leo spoke to a woman who turned the best day of her life into an opportunity to help others face their worst.


any wedding dresses are used only once and then stashed away for years, coming out only for nostalgic reasons. Scottish bride Lisa Callander-Bone, 43, donated her dress to Cherished Gowns for Angel Babies, a charitable organisation based in Dover which turns wedding dresses into funeral gowns for stillborn children. Lisa discovered the organisation through a friend, who is a volunteer dressmaker for them. “I noticed an appeal on her Facebook page for brides to donate. When I thought of the pain these parents must be experiencing I felt grateful that I could do something to help them.” Like many brides who generously donate, the cause is close to Lisa’s heart. She knows firsthand why the service Cherished Gowns provides is so important.

“I sadly found that miscarriage is still a taboo subject.”

“After the birth of my son I lost three babies through miscarriage at various stages of pregnancy. Many see an unborn baby as ‘a fetus’ or ‘products of pregnancy’ as the medical professionals call it. To me, these were my children and I grieved for the people they would have become. I also sadly found that miscarriage was a taboo subject and that there was a lack of understanding on the issue.” Lisa hopes her actions will encourage others to speak out and destigmatise stillbirth. Unfortunately, many women still blame themselves for complications conceiving. “There was also a sense of failure that my body couldn’t sustain lives like others around me. I also have friends who have experienced this themselves.” Parting with such an important

garment can be difficult, but Lisa never hesitated. “When I thought of the immeasurable pain these parents must be experiencing I felt so grateful that I could do something to help them, in a small way. I didn’t realise I could have my dress made into funeral gowns until after my wedding. I don’t have a daughter to pass my dress down to and was wondering what to do with it.” Lisa was thrilled by the level of care, support and attention to detail the charity provided, staying faithful to the unique theme of her own wedding. Her groom, Colin, is English, and she wanted to be able to symbolically welcome him to the clan in addition to becoming his wife. Too young to be a best man and too grown up to be a page boy, her seven year-old son Finn was the

LISA’S ADVICE FOR BRIDES-TO-BE n My top tip would be to be honest with your photographer if you have any body insecurities and tell them the details. My photographer Emma and I had a good laugh about my concerns beforehand and she was fabulous on the day ensuring none of my worries were realised.

n Weddings don’t go perfectly, but the imperfections make you laugh for years after. My nose starting running on the way up the castle tower I was marrying in. No one had a hanky. My dad’s advice at the top of the stairs was “Can you not just wipe your nose on your veil?”. His voice echoed through that tower, and got the wedding coordinator giggling.

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n Try to relax and enjoy the experience. There is no list of rules or things you must do. Think about the things that matter to you and work around them, ignore the things that don’t. I found that the second time round it was more about the marriage and less about the wedding day.

“This was a bittersweet moment, but one that helped me cope.”

plaid bearer. He carried her family tartan during the ceremony and her dad pinned it on Colin’s shoulder to welcome him to the clan. They felt this was a fitting symbolism of the joining of them all as a family. All of this was observed by Cherished Gowns when altering her dress. “I was blown away by this personal touch. I thought I would just hand over the dress and that would be it. Donna, the talented seamstress who turned my dress into the gowns, treated my dress respectfully and kept its unique style. My dress had vintage style beading on the bodice and our

Above: Lisa poses with new husband Colin. The two were married in Comlongton Castle

family tartan is the McFarlane clan tartan. She hand stitched beading onto the robes and even tartan trim to some.” Many at Cherished Gowns are mothers and understand some of the difficulties involved. Their help extended beyond dressmaking. “Donna prepared me for seeing the gowns and was very understanding about how seeing them may be upsetting. When I saw them all made up, so perfect and delicate and how many of them there were from one dress it was an emotional moment. I looked at the gestation period guidelines

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“Donna then revealed that she had made me a little keepsake from my dress and presented me with a beautiful zipped purse. She had reserved the piece of beading that went over the heart on my bodice and attached it to the bag. A real gift from the heart! The bag is beautiful and an unexpected treat. I’m too scared to use it though as it is such a special and symbolic keepsake.” For more information on Cherished Gowns for Angel Babies, and to find out how you too can donate to them, visit


Turning back time

Wedding trends may have changed over the years but does that mean brides have? Charlotte McIntyre takes a look at two weddings to find out how similar brides throughout the years really are. 1987 Brenda and Sam McClean

Photo Credit: Sean Rourke

Brenda may not have been a fan of Diana’s wedding dress but the maid of honor, Peggy McIntyre, certainly was. She says: “The Princess Diana look was in fashion at the time and my bridesmaid dress was inspired by this. “Everyone wanted Diana’s dress and at the time it was so fashionable to go over the top and look like a princess. “I decided I wanted a dress with big puffy sleeves, we found a pattern and gave it to a dress maker that Brenda knew.” The wedding often dubbed ‘the wedding of the century’ not only influenced dress styles but also inspired a generation of brides to adopt large white, cascading bouquets. Peggy adds: “Brenda had a silk flower bouquet which looked a bit like Diana’s and a tiered cake with silk flowers on top to match the bouquet.”

2007 Karen and Gary Howarth

The noughties were a decade where wedding dresses and bridal fashion was focused on the bride’s personal style rather than adhering strictly to any overall trends. As people moved away from churches the need for the bride to cover her shoulders and adopt a demure look was no longer required, which led to the rise in popularity of strapless gowns. Karen Howarth married her partner Garry in 2007 when she was 41and opted for a less traditional wedding dress style. Karen says: “I didn’t actually wear a traditional wedding dress and instead opted for a jade green strapless dress from Coast.” Exotic and tropical flowers such as ‘Bird of Paradise’ became popular over the

course of these ten years but contrary to this Karen decided to carry a bouquet of her favourite flowers - red roses. Couples increasingly chose to have their weddings abroad in the noughties, and although Karen and Garry’s wedding took place in their home city of Liverpool Karen initially had a different idea in mind. She says: “I would have loved to eloped to Greece and have got married there but Gary wanted our parents to come so we decided to have a simple registry wedding. “It was held at a registry office with a grand big room but it was a really quiet and simple occasion – we only had our children and parents as guests!”

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Photo Credit: Chance Howarth


The 1980s was dominated by big hair, bright colours and bold fashion; and weddings during this era were no exception. Princess Diana’s wedding to Prince Charles in 1981 led to women all over the country dreaming of a fantasy wedding with a princess dress to rival Diana’s 24-feet-long train. Brenda McClean married her partner Sam when she was 49 in 1987, and both her wedding outfit and the maid of honor’s dress were custom made. Brenda, who lives in London, says: “There was a trend to have dresses fussy and lacy but that wasn’t for me. “But I did copy Princess Diana, I took a picture of her at The Royal Ascot, where she wore a two-piece skirt and jacket, and showed it to a friend of mine who made it for me. “I wore a fitted jacket with big shoulders - I looked a bit like an upside down triangle!”


How to choose the perfect hairstyle for your big day


Pictures by Susan Brown

Along with choosing your dream dress, deciding on the right hairstyle that suits you can be overwhelming, Vicky Lomax enlists the help of wedding hairdresser Susan Brown to find out her top tips Book your consultation

Suit your face shape

Think about the kind of wedding theme you’re going for, whether it’s modern, vintage or glamorous, and let your stylist know. Susan says: “Your hair trial needs to be booked at least 3 months in advance and you should have several trials to achieve your desired look. You need to consider what style dress you’ll be wearing as this will help you choose a hairstyle. Also, it’s best to prep your hair by washing it the night before so it’s easier to style.”

Talk to your stylist as this will determine what hairstyles will suit you. Susan says: “If you have an oval face this will suit up-dos, down and side swept styles. If your face is more rounded add volume to the top and go for a middle parting to narrow the shape. Square faces should go for waves or curls to soften the features and have a side fringe as opposed to full. Long faces also suit wavy hair and shoulder length styles as it frames the face.” Short up-do

Sleek half-up half-down

Match with your dress Your hairstyle should go with your dress neckline, shape and fabric. If the dress has a detailed design then it would be best to keep your hair simple. Susan says: “If your dress is traditional go for a classic hairstyle with a bun or bouffant to show it off, or if you want a glamorous Marilyn Monroe look have vintage Hollywood curls or waves. If you have a dress with a sweetheart neckline go for a half-up half-down style to flatter it.”

Make sure you use the right products for your hair so it stays in place all day. Susan says: “For fine hair use thickening products such as mousse or styling spray to create volume or curls as this will add body and make your hair look fuller. For thick or coarse hair use a serum or frizz control spray to smooth and tame it.”

Half-up half-down

Consider what time of year you will be tying the knot as this will give you a good indicator as to what hairstyle to go for. Susan says: “In spring or summer go for an up-do or side swept hair in a plait to avoid getting too warm on the day. In autumn or winter think about having a half-up half-down style wavy hair or glamorous curls.”

Glamorous curls

Choose your accessories

Glamorous waves

Find out your hair type

When you’re getting married

Half-up half-down

Short voluminous hair

Choose some accessories that will complement your hairstyle. Susan says: “Headbands, tiara or a rose would add extra bridal glamour to your look. If you have short hair go for a small hair slide with pearls or for a side swept or half-up half-down style dress with flowers or jewelled hair pins. Long glamorous styles look nice with a tiara or flowery headband.” Side swept style with jewelled hair pins

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Wonderfully weird wedding venues FEATURE Top 10


Finding a unique location isn’t always easy. In order to help make your big day one to remember, Emma Turner discovers the top 10 most unusual destinations to say “I do”.


very bride wants their wedding to be memorable for all the right reasons, and an unusual wedding venue can help your ceremony stand out from the typical beige blur. If you’re after something a little different that brings excitement to your big day, or simply want to wow your guests, then help is at hand. Here, you can find a colourful collection of the most individual wedding venues. From ice hotels and haunted castles to shark tanks - we’ve got it covered.




The ICEHOTEL provides a unique take on a white wedding. The ceremony is held in the hand carved ice church, which is remade every year after it melts in spring. This winter wonderland style venue has walls, ceilings, and benches that are crafted from snow and ice, and can accommodate around 35-40 guests. This unusual venue is a memorably cool wedding location that will get your guests tongues wagging (and teeth chattering.)


Tutbury Castle Burton-on-Trent

If your big day isn’t already giving you goose bumps, Tutbury Castle offers medieval handfast ceremonies that take place at midnight in the historic grounds. Supposedly haunted by the Mary Queen of Scots among many other ghouls, you may need to prepare for a few unexpected guests!


Grand Canyon Point Imperial USA


New York New York Casino Roller Coaster – Vegas Adrenaline junkies will love this venue. This Vegas rollercoaster wedding gives couples a speedy ceremony, travelling at 67 miles per hour on a ride that rises to over 203 feet. If you’re an amusement park lover who likes to live life in the fast lane, this is an ideal unusual venue to get hitched.

Castle – 5Dracula’s Transylvania

Bran Castle, Romania, was constructed in the early 14th century and is well known as the ‘home’ of Count Dracula. Well-preserved, the castle is open to the public and sits high among the Romanian landscape, surrounded by greenery and scenic views. If you’re looking for a venue with as much mythology as beauty, this is the place to be.

Searching for a heavenly venue? You’ll struggle to get much closer than Point Imperial - the highest viewpoint point of the Grand Canyon. Accommodating up to 10 people at 8,800 feet, this unique location is not for the faint hearted.


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Singapore Zoo – Air Balloon 6Hot Wedding – Mexico 7Singapore Weddings can be stressful, and this venue offers a unique way to blow off some steam. Rainbow Ryders in Mexico provides couples with the opportunity to exchange vows with their heads in the clouds. This hot air balloon ceremony can take place over Phoenix – Scottsdale or Albuquerque, and can accommodate up to 75 guests.

Singapore Zoo is one of the largest in the world, meaning that animal lovers can make their day one to remember by inviting a few hairy friends. If you’re worried about the animals stealing the show, no need! Arrive in style by riding in on a horse and carriage, or if that’s a little too ordinary, choose the elephant option to ensure that all eyes will most definitely be on you.

9Shark Tank – New York

Some couples love to completely dive in when it comes totheir big day - literally. If you want a wedding with a bit more bite, why not follow in the footsteps of April and Michael Curry, a couple who took the plunge and got married underwater with the sharks at New York’s Atlantis Marine World in 2010. Sure to impress, this unique twist on an aquarium wedding is ideal for diving enthusiasts.

Space Centre 8National – Leicester

If you’re after a wedding that’s out of this world, then the National Space Centre offers just that. With a collection of unique space exhibits as a backdrop, this venue invites your guests on a voyage to celebrate your wedding ceremony. You can even pay for extra entertainment, such as a visit from some Stormtrooper’s, to celebrate your big day in true intergalactic style.

Caverns, The 10Carnglaze Underground Lake – Cornwall

Having hosted weddings for the last 13 years, the underground lake is a wedding venue with a difference. The 60 step descent to the candlelit underground cathedral chamber, which is home to a dazzling crystal blue lake, will create a magical scene for your ceremony.

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5 ways to keep your wedding guests entertained More brides are now going that extra mile for their guests, from prosecco bars to caravans, Vicky Lomax looks at creative ideas for your special day.

1Get snap happy

Vintage Booth provide their own unique booth with fancy props. “It’s behind closed curtains so people just let rip and don’t feel awkward having to pose,” says Victoria Matthews of the company. They love it, it’s a little extra thing to keep them entertained as it can be quite a long day.” Packages start from £495

2Strike a pose The Wedding Pod creations

Go for an open-air booth like Wedding Pods and have the camera and jollity on display for all to see. It comes with a customised background and props. Owner Mish Schumskij says: “When it’s at a venue there’s a really nice atmosphere and people of all ages love it, everyone gets involved.” Price is £495

Vintage Booth.Me

3Soulful singers

Enhance your reception with some live music. Rob Earlam, a member of The Burgundys - a professional wedding band, says: “We play a wide variety of songs from the sixties to now so it appeals to everyone, we have children as young as two on the dancefloor, grandmas, grandads and everyone else.” Packages start from £200.

The Burgundys

4Open the bubbly

Celebrate in style by hiring your very own pop-up bar. Falcon Food & Spirits’s Prosecco Bar serves wine, champagne and cocktails. Lisa Ali says: “It’s becoming more popular now. It’s not just about going to a hotel or venue and having everything there, they want something more personalised.” Price is from £470

Little Creative Caravan

5Vintage tea party

For a nostalgic feel hire a Sixties caravan for guests to enjoy some cream teas. Esme Farthridge of Little Creative Caravan says: “It’s for all ages and genders, if you have a theme you can decorate it how you want. It’s something different and a good feature for outdoor weddings.” Prices from £250

Falcon Food & Spirits Prosecco Bar

Luxury drinks

Pictures by Chloe McNab and George Ellis

16 I Classic Bride Magazine I April 2016 It’s prosecco time!

Have a ride!

Venue: Expert Advice

Picking the perfect place

One of Sandra Hart’s top wedding venues, Rowton Castle. Image: Sarah Louise Jackson.

On a sunny beach in hotter climates, a grand house, church hall or a local pub? Stewart Thorpe consults the help of wedding planner Sandra Hart


aving worked with fashion designers Paul Smith and Karen Millan, you would forgive Sandra Hart for letting luxury transcend all else when it comes to planning a wedding. However, the owner of I Do Weddings For You takes an honest approach to a couples’ big day. “With everything I do in life I say follow your heart and keep it true to yourself,” says Sandra, who started her planning business in 2014. “If you do, you can’t go wrong.” And she has the same attitude for picking wedding venues. “I don’t pick the venue for a client, I can suggest, but they must pick it themselves. They must feel comfortable and not give in to peer pressure. You don’t want people to have any regrets. I’m not saying it’s got to be perfection but it’s got to be their wish.” But with some venues getting booked two years in advance, Sandra recommends

Sandra, owner of I Do Weddings For You. Image: Sandra Hart.

starting early to get your dream venue. Last year Hello! magazine reported that the average cost of a wedding had risen to £24,000 and Sandra says couples should not spend what they cannot afford. “You don’t have to spend a fortune to get married. You can spend anything from a few hundred pounds right up to thousands. I don’t think anyone should loan money to get married. “I’m doing a wedding for a couple in their 70s and that’s at their local pub. They don’t want to waste their money but they want a beautiful day full of meaning.”

Couples should negotiate on price too, if it means getting extra items as part of a package, “if you don’t ask you won’t know.” Based in Forest Fields, Nottingham, the wedding planner says it is not all about

“You don’t have to spend a fortune” country houses and hotel suites, having married at a registry office before renewing her vows in Mexico. “Things have changed over the past few years. When I was younger you couldn’t get married at the likes of Chatsworth House. It is lovely that people have this enormous choice but there are still lots of local pubs that have nice rooms. It’s taking a blank

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canvas – sometimes they’re better – and putting white linen on, chair covers over those metallic stools, soft fairy lights in and changing the lighting from harsh to romantic.” An important consideration is to bring your own personality to the venue, she adds. “I’m doing a wedding in October where the couple are getting married in a pig sty at Donnington Park Farmhouse. The place has lots of character and the views across the valley are beautiful.” It might be a quirky venue with troughs running along the floor but it reflects the quirky personality of the couple, she adds. Finally, be sure the venue can all the guests you want to attend, so you are not forced to leave some out. “There’s an awful lot to consider,” she concludes. “But it will be wonderful if you’re true to yourself, that’s my strapline.



Married in Paradise Ever dreamed of planning the perfect destination wedding? Three brides share their secrets to bridal bliss with Classic Bride’s Chloe McNab.


o you imagine trailing across the sand in your wedding dress, on a sunny beach with the warm breeze blowing your veil? Chloe McNab meets three brave beach brides who made their vision a reality, marrying in exotic locations; Morocco, Zante and Thailand.

All of the couples married in their own unique way, at stunning settings; a private beach, a balcony and a court yard at a Moroccan Villa. Every ceremony went off without a hitch, thanks to the

Mr and Mrs Poole married in a romantic courtyard beside a swimming pool

“Our wedding was more magical than I could ever have imagined “

help of their wedding and travel planners. Each wedding had its own theme and brought the bridal parties personalities to the location; from a deliberately casual feel, a party vibe to a more glamourous affair with a horse and carriage.


aomi Poole, 31 married husband Daniel in a private courtyard, at a villa in Marrakech, next to an outdoor swimming pool. The theme was luxurious Arabian nights and incorporated bold, bright colours. Naomi, a midwife, says; “I wanted an adventure, something different

Naomi and Daniel Poole married in Marrakech, Morocco

and unconventional – not what everyone else has. Getting married abroad is the perfect excuse for a holiday, maximising special time with friends and family and making unforgettable memories.” The day was organised by the venue, called The Villa’s English owner, who acted as a wedding planner. However, Naomi organised the key details which were important to her – particularly music, the menus and wedding favours, to make sure she wasn’t left out of the process. The couple had a second ceremony in England a week later, to legalized the marriage which enabled family members who couldn’t travel to Morocco to see them tie the knot. They then

Lisa McNab became Mrs Giles on a beautiful beach in Thailand

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Lisa and Mark Giles at Rocky’s Resort in Ko Samui, Thailand

continued their celebration with a party, at a local pub with 80 guests. “The entire wedding cost £12,000, including paying half the costs of guest’s accommodation. We did our research and were able to get much better value for our money abroad. My advice to anyone considering an exotic wedding, is just do it .” “The day was more perfect than I could ever have imagined, a magical experience. I’m so glad we married abroad and wouldn’t want it any other way.”

“The most L amazing day of my life was made even more T perfect by being a destination wedding.”

isa and Mark Giles had a real life dream wedding, marrying on the sand of a private beach exclusively reserved as their own for the day.

he couple, who have been together eight years married two years ago in Thailand. The ceremony was intimate, with only close friends and family. They planned the wedding from Australia, where they were living at the time, and had

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always wanted a beach wedding. The couple did their research, visiting Australian venues and discovered they could marry in a similar setting in Thailand, at a five star venue for a fraction of the price. The new location was also situated in between their loved ones in the UK and their Australian home. “The most amazing day of my life was made even more perfect by being a destination wedding. Perfect location, perfect setting, perfect bride, and topped off with our amazing guests” says Mark. Lisa says: “The whole day was so relaxed, exactly how we wanted it to be! I didn’t have a care in the world and was able to fully enjoy our special day, as well as the entire wedding experience”. Mark and Lisa came to Thailand a week before the ceremony, and enjoyed quality time with friends and family before and after the ceremony. “This gave our guests a few days to get to know each other before the wedding, so there were no awkward moments. We continued the party and shared a special holiday together” Lisa says. Lisa recommends using a wedding planner to minimise stress, while you relax hundreds of miles away. She says: “Our wedding planner was based at the venue and she was brilliant, I trusted her completely. We emailed each other regularly and skyped too, so she knew exactly what we wanted”. The happily married couple are now enjoying their new lives together in London, having returned to the UK, as an account director and divisional director. They are expecting their first child this year.

Exotic weddings Janet and Geoffrey in Tsilivís, Zante

“I felt like a film star” The Hamptons’ luxurious wedding package included this magnificent horse and carriage

J R “

anet, 53, was taken aback when her partner, Geoffrey, 56, a postman, popped the question wearing his kilt in Zante.

etail assistant, Janet Hampton was so thrilled, that when they married in August, she asked him to wear his kilt again. Geoffrey looked fantastic in the max hunters tartan, brought over from the Isle of Man. He completely surprised me, proposing at my sister’s holiday home -I didn’t have a clue!” says Janet. Two years later, the Hampton’s returned to their favorite Greek Island, Tsilivís in Zante for their wedding day. Tsilivi, also known as Planos and is three miles down the road from the cities capital. They booked a package wedding with a travel agent a year beforehand. Their luxury package wedding included everything the couple’s hearts desired from a wedding arch to a horse and carriage. Geoffrey said: “The highlight of our day was riding through the town in the carriage after the ceremony. Everyone waved and I felt like a film star! And ofcourse, marrying my perfect bride.” Picture credits: Lisa and Mark Giles by Khun Tao. Naomi and Daniel Poole by Sally T Photography. Janet and Geoffrey Hampton by Nikos Kalimeros.


Top Tips: Bride’s secret weapons to make marrying abroad easy as can be nResearch: Begin wedding planning with a crystal clear vision of exactly what you and your partner want for the day. Look online and seek advice from experts such as a travel agent or a wedding planner. nEmploy a wedding planner: Finding an excellent wedding planner will dramatically reduce the stress of organising the big day. It is crucial to find a planner who is experienced, well recommended and ideally, located close by to the ceremony. You need to be able to trust them implicitly while you are hundreds of miles away. The venue may offer to plan the ceremony for you, which is often the easiest option. The easiest ways to keep in touch with them may be skype or email.

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nCheck-outhelegalprocess:Thelegalprocess will difffer from country to country. Some countries such as Thailand will require you to visit the British Embassy 10 days before the wedding ceremony, to legalize your marriage, which is effective immediately. Whereas in the case of Muslim countries such as Morroco, the ceremony may need to be legalized when you return to the UK. nDon’tgetstressedaboutthefinerdetails: “You won’t care about them on the day” says our bride, Naomi, who was married in Morocco.




I DO, TAKE TWO Exes, stepchildren and that white dress...getting wed can be even more complicated second time round but JODIE ARMSTRONG finds out how to make your big day stress-free with these etiquette dos and don’ts Great news! You’ve found love once more and now it’s time to plan that big day all over again. The bad news is, just because you’ve done it before doesn’t mean it’s going to be any easier. Traditional weddings often focus on certain etiquettes, such as those for invitations, guest lists and seating plans, but with second weddings some of these traditions just don’t fit. So why has getting wed for a second time become the norm? Wedding planner, Natalie Hewitt, says: “Times have changed and the boundaries of traditional weddings have relaxed so getting wed again has become more acceptable. “But some brides feel they are

not entitled to another wedding and that’s daft; they should do whatever makes them happy.” Hewitt says that those brides and grooms getting married in their 50s and 60s still like to uphold those typical wedding traditions but they’re now tailor-making them to fit into the modern lifestyle. For example, traditionally, the bride’s parents would invite guests to attend the wedding of their daughter but that’s not going to happen second time round and it’ll be the bride and groom who invite the guests. “But they might want to keep that traditional wording as much as possible.” And although your first wedding might have had a ‘no children’ policy you’ve now got your own two kids and three stepchildren to consider. Hewitt says: “It’s always going to be hard when children are involved and your soon-to-be

stepchildren might not feel entirely comfortable so you just have to make exceptions and sit them somewhere where they are happy.” And what about the allimportant dress: are you allowed to

“You should never be put off by tradition, age or what people think” wear white? Hewitt says: “As women get older, I don’t think they don’t want so much of a fuss and might not even want to look like a bride, especially if they’ve already been there and done that, so I see a lot of older brides opting for a smart suit or a fitted evening gown in a pale

pink or a champagne colour. “But if they feel confident enough to wear a traditional white dress then why not?” Hewitt also thinks budgets and priorities are different when it comes to the more mature bride and groom: “Considerably older couples might be thinking about retirement and just don’t have the money to spend on a big wedding. “And for them, it’s more about becoming man and wife.” Regardless, Hewitt thinks everyone is entitled to have what he or she wants. She adds: “Nobody should be put off by tradition, age or expectations and it’s important that your wedding represents you as a couple. “You’re allowed to enjoy your special day no matter whether it’s your second, third or even fourth time. “So spoil yourself and let yourself be the centre of attention.”

REAL LIFE BRIDE Angela Kettle, married her third husband, Nigel, on New Year’s Eve, 2011... “I first got married in 1978 when I was 20 years old and we had a very traditional, church wedding. “The second time round, I was pregnant with my daughter and we had a low-key registry office ceremony. “This time though, in 2011, we had a big, black-tie wedding at New Year in the gardens of Dalston Hall in the Lake District. “Sadly my parents are no longer with us so my brother gave me away, my son was Nigel’s best man and my daughter and niece were bridesmaids. “My first wedding was planned with my parents and my mother came with me to get my dress but this time I did it mostly by myself and I went to get my dress alone. “I pondered over whether to wear a white dress but then I just fell in love with one. It had a train and jewels on the bodice, and while it wasn’t over the top it was definitely a wedding dress. “At my second wedding, my ex’s mother and father-in-law came as I had stayed friendly with them; they would have come to my third wedding if they were still alive. “And had it been more recent, my second husband, who unfortunately died in July last year, definitely would have been invited because we became friendly again a couple of years ago. “But when my first husband got married again I dropped my son off at the church as he was a guest and I unfortunately ended up being the first person to appear in their wedding video! “So I would say having your uninvited ex partner delivering your children to your wedding is a definite don’t!”

Wedding planner, Natalie Hewitt

Credit: Natalie Hewitt

Natalie says: “The oldest bride I have worked with was in her late 60s and we planned a very beautiful, intimate affair. It was relaxed and informal but certainly had elements of a traditional wedding.” Just married: Liz and Robert in February 2016 Credit: Natalie Hewitt

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Angela and Nigel at their 2001 wedding Credit: Kettle family

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10 dream honeymoon destinations With so many beautiful locations around the globe, honeymooners might be spoilt for choice. Caitlin Kelly compiles some of the most relaxing and luxurious spots at home and abroad

Paris, France – filled with stunning architecture and luxurious shops, Paris is the ultimate lover’s paradise. From the Louvre to the Eiffel Tower, the city has a number of stunning sights to visit and relax with your new spouse.

Tuscany, Italy –

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made up of idyllic beaches and rolling hills, fascinating vineyards and the sweet smell of romance, this destination is particularly suited to foodie couples after a delicious taste of fresh Italian produce.

Rhodes, Greece –

located southeast of Athens, Rhodes boasts some of the most wonderful restaurants and picturesque villages in Greece. Couples can walk through its romantic old town or bask on its idyllic beaches before indulging in fresh seafood and local delicacies.

Bali, Indonesia

– the ultimate luxury honeymoon destination, Bali is dotted with smooth sandy beaches and overflowing with acid orange sunsets. Newlyweds can enjoy waterfront dinners and relaxing spa treatments.

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Cape Town, South Africa –

For a more adventurous honeymoon, couples can visit what is considered to be one of South Africa’s most beautiful cities. Activities include Table Top mountain tours and a visit to the world famous Kirstenbosch botanical gardens. Stroll along winding paths or take a golf cart to experience unique botanical species.

Sonoma, California

– A historic city located in Northern California drenched in vineyards and art galleries, couples can enjoy a slice of America in the beaming hot sun. The area has a folksy, chilled out feel, ideal for couples after a relaxing escape from bustling city life.

Antigua, Caribbean –

Couples can relax on silky-soft white sands and sip sweet cocktails on this beautiful Caribbean island. After, lovers can take a soothing boat ride to a beachfront dinner for two.

Bath, England –

founded above hot natural springs and composed of ornate Georgian architecture, the city of Bath is a historic gem perfect for a romantic honeymoon. Couples can visit the fascinating Roman Baths and stunning Royal crescent before exploring the city’s beautiful surrounding countryside.

Edinburgh, Scotland –

overflowing with some of the oldest and most distinctive landmarks in the UK, Edinburgh’s enchanting winding streets allow lovers to get lost in its magic. Visit its iconic castle for stunning views over the city.

Orkney, Scotland –

a coastal landscape makes for a stunning backdrop to a fairytale honeymoon. Orkney is composed of green-topped islands surrounded by red sandstone cliffs. Honeymooners can visit Skara Brae – Europe’s most complete Neolithic village or walk the beautiful Scottish cliffs.

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The Grooms: What Do They Think?

John McGee, 54, is getting married again. George Ellis asks what he’ll do differently when he says ‘I do’ the second time around What part of the wedding are you most looking forward to? The party after the wedding celebration, that’s definitely what I feel most excited about. At 54, are you more or less nervous about getting married than at your first wedding? The first time I did it very quietly and so this time we’ve decided to have a bigger celebration. I suppose we just think that now we’re a bit older, having a quiet ceremony doesn’t really matter and we can just have a big party. Was it a difficult decision to get married again? It is quite a big decision to do it again. When you’ve already been married and it doesn’t work out, you wonder what does it really mean. It was quite a big decision. Have you had much involvement in the planning? Yes we’ve been talking about it together and we’ve agreed a venue. At the moment we have yet to set a date but it will be in September. What will be different this time? There will be more people at the actual service ths time and it will be in this lively setting in New Lanark on the banks of the River Clyde in Scotland. Last time it was at a register office.

Photo provided by John McGFee

“No, I won’t be losing any weight for the wedding”

What have you got planned for the stag do? Well I’ve got quite a number of friends who are women, so I don’t think I will be having a stag party, more of a stag and hen party. My

best friends who are women would never forgive me if I didn’t invite them! There are plans to go away with a couple of my closest pals for a mountain trip, which I can see ending up being a bit of a stag weekend as well. Are you intending to get fitter or lose any weight for the wedding? Oh my no! What are you most looking forward to about being a husband? The main thing is that we’re moving in together. Obviously, you can do that without being married, but for us it feels like a nice way to commit to each other. Will you be sporting a kilt for the big day? It’s been put to me that it would look good, so I probably will! I didn’t last time so I guess I should this time around.

New Lanark, Scotland: photo by DABgp

Gifts For Grooms: Lauren Vickers Bow Ties & Pocket Squares n Lauren Vickers specialises in the making of men’s accessories and grooming products, ranging from lavish beard oils and combs to bespoke and beautiful bow ties, especially made for the big day. As an aficionado of fashion for men on their wedding day, Lauren was more than happy to offer her advice for grooms “My advice to grooms for their wedding, I would say, is don’t be afraid to bring a little bit Photo by George Ellis of your own personality to the day as it is about For more on Lauren’s wide range of products you as well, just have a little bit of fun with it.” visit her website at:

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Classic Bride  

Magazine for the mature bride by students on the Magazine Journalism course, Nottingham Trent University