Saturday, 27th May 2017.
A day I will never forget. The most special day of our lives. And it really was perfect.
From wearing my beautiful wedding dresses, to marrying my husband in such an incredible building and celebrating with all our loved ones, I couldn’t have wished for anything more.
We have just received our wedding pictures back from our photographer Jay Rowden. Jay is an award winning photographer based in London. When we first started looking for wedding photographers I really had no idea where to start. With St Paul’s having such strict rules on their photography it felt very important to us to have someone who had photographed here before and knew the area well.
The day went by so fast, it does feel like a blur but we enjoyed the entire weekend thoroughly! I want to do it all again!!!
We had an early 7:30am start where Nala & Knot arrived at my amazing suite at Hotel Cafe Royal to make myself and my bridesmaids look beautiful.
Across town, the boys were getting ready at the Grange St Paul’s Hotel. We were so lucky with the weather. The past two days had been a heatwave however it rained on the morning of our wedding, which was a blessing in disguise to cool the air, followed by glorious sunshine throughout the day.
I would say I was a fairly relaxed bride the morning of our wedding, however as the time got closer to me getting in my dress I really could feel the butterflies creeping in! I had a mixture of nerves and excitement. The day had been such a long build up I was just so excited to get to the Cathedral and see Scott, and of course wear my beautiful bespoke Dando London wedding dress. The help we had from our wedding planner Helen and Jennifer on the day and for the run up to the big day really helped me stay calm as I felt like the pressure of dealing with things on the day was taken off me.
I had bought my bridesmaids little gifts for the day and my dad a keyring that made us all tear up. Scott wrote me a lovely card from him and our doggies followed by my stunning wedding present. The girls dressing gowns were from Boohoo and mine was off Not on the High Street.
The day was made even more special when Christine told me she would be there on the day of my wedding to ensure that my dress was perfect and to help me get ready in the morning. Having her there was so truly special. She had designed me the most stunning wedding dress that I had visioned wearing and made me a beautiful wedding present sketch of my dress, now called, St Paul’s.
As we left Hotel Cafe Royal, my journey to becoming a married woman was actually happening. When I am nervous I barely speak, and so my dad was used to this in the car ride after having taken me to so many music exams and recitals! We had a beautiful Rolls Royce from SPM Hire that drove us the 25 minute journey to St Paul’s Cathedral.
It was an absolutely glorious day with the sun shinning down on us. The grounds were packed with tourists who became intrigued at a wedding car arriving! I felt like a bit of a celebrity!
And so this was it… the day had finally arrived where I was about to become a wife. Mrs Bell. Scott’s forever and always…!
The moment that I had got into my dress to arriving at the Cathedral was just a blur of happiness. I can remember standing with my dad asking him what time it was (and I was only 1 minute late!) and getting ready to hear the beautiful music we had chosen. I could hear my bridesmaids behind me wishing my luck and preparing to walk me down the aisle.
And then I heard the music, the choir. Our song was ‘I Was Glad’ by Hubert Parry. When we listened to this song, I had goosebumps. I just knew it was the one for us. The choir sounded incredible.
Our photographer was only allowed to take photographs during the first hymn and during the signing of the register. There is a strict policy on photographs at St Paul’s which is understandable due to the grandeur of the building.
The ceremony was absolutely beautiful. If I am honest, I don’t remember much of it because I was just so overwhelmed with being there and stood next to Scott, it was all a blur. But I do remember thinking that all the hymns we chose and all the readings just blended perfectly.
One of our best friends, Julia read a biblical reading, “A Love Poem Between Two Lovers”
My beloved speaks and says to me: ‘Arise, my love, my fair one, and come away; for now the winter is past, the rain is over and gone.
The flowers appear on the earth; the time of singing has come, and the voice of the turtle-dove is heard in our land. The fig tree puts forth its figs, and the vines are in blossom; they give forth fragrance.
Arise, my love, my fair one, and come away.’
Set me as a seal upon your heart, as a seal upon your arm; for love is strong as death, passion fierce as the grave.
Its flashes are flashes of fire, a raging flame. Many waters cannot quench love; neither can floods drown it. If one offered for love all the wealth of one’s house, it would be utterly scorned.
And my maid of honour, Rebecca, read a beautiful poem I had found, “Sooner or Later”
“Sooner or later we begin to understand that love is more than verses on valentines, and romance in the movies. We begin to know that love is here and now, real and true, the most important thing in our lives.”
The ceremony only lasted 45 minutes, which was a perfect amount of time. Our witnesses Amy and Louise signed the registers and it was official. I was now Mrs Bell.
Walking out of the cathedral and husband and wife felt so surreal! The Cathedral grounds, as you can image on a Saturday, was fully of visitors and tourists. Which I didn’t mind at all as many people were clapping and shouting congratulations!
We allowed around 45 minutes for our photographs at St Paul’s and Scott had organised a vintage route master to take a guests from the Cathedral back to Hotel Cafe Royal, with a apparently very funny bus tour by our Usher Tom!
Once our wedding guests left to return to Hotel Cafe Royal, it was nice for myself and Scott to have some quality alone time with our photographer and capture some shots around the Cathedral. I am so pleased with the shots Jay captured as there are just so many beautiful ones.
Our wedding reception was held at Hotel Cafe Royal. The drinks reception was in the Studio room where our talented friend and wedding singer Jessica Avison played acoustic songs for us which was followed by our wedding breakfast in the Pompadour Ballroom where Arthur Geldard delighted us with some jazz during dinner. He was that good we were all up dancing during our dessert!
Our wedding breakfast started with the father of the bride speech, followed by dinner, groom’s speech and best mans speech. All of which may I say were brilliant.
8:30pm soon came round when it was time for us to cut the cake and show off our first dance skills! I literally could not believe how fast the day had gone but I was ready to party the night away.
For our evening reception we had booked a band called The Hot Shots, and they were fantastic!! Great choice of songs which meant nearly everyone was up on the dance floor throwing some shapes!
As a surprise, I wanted to do a father-daughter dance later on in the evening. It meant such lot to me for my dad to walk me down the aisle and I thought doing a dance together would end the day perfectly. My favourite song is ‘The Way You Look Tonight’ ever since watching My Best Friend’s Wedding as a child, I always wanted that song at my wedding. We both went to dance classes and learnt a special dance that Arthur kindly agreed to sing live for us towards the end of the night.
Of course with such a special moment, it meant that I should have a dress change! And so, for the last part of my evening I wore a Stella McCartney wedding dress that my seamstress Emily had customised for me by adding in a side split. The dress was perfect for dancing the night away as it was such a hot summers evening!
Our wedding day was the most special day of our lives. It’s a day we’ll both never forget and it really is one amazing day spent with the people you love the most.
There isn’t anything I’d change about the day, except for just making time go that little bit slower!
I want to thank everyone who contributed to our wedding day and to all our friends and family who travelled far and wide to make our day perfect. It was so nice to catch up with everyone at one time and celebrate becoming a married couple.
Even though the wedding is over, I’m still living my dreams through my future brides at Kimberley Anne Bridal Boutique! I feel like I am an expert is wedding planning and inspiration now and I give my all into helping brides have their perfect day.
I’m lucky to work in such an amazing industry and my business, as well as my husband and three dogs, is now my life and soul. I have a few more blogs to write on here for inspiration and tips so stay tuned. If you want to read more about what I’m doing and other inspiring bridal posts then follow my business blog http://www.kimberleyannebridalboutique.com/blog/.
To all my followers, family and friends, speak soon.
Lots of love, Mrs Bell!