August 8th, 2017 | Laura McDonagh
Today’s featured wedding took place more than a decade after the proposal but it was absolutely worth the wait. Bride Zorina, a florist who works in the wedding industry, had a head-start in her planning, knowing what she wanted – orchids, a saxophonist and a Kim and Kanye-style white hydrangea wall – and what she didn’t – a dress that would drown her petite frame. Luckily, a determined wedding dress boutique assistant had her way and Zorina ended up rocking a Stella York beauty.
Their wedding was an intimate family-orientated celebration and these photographs just scream happiness. The bride and her girls holding hands and leaping into the air is the very definition of joyful, and the silhouetted group shots against a stunning night sky are simply glorious. Tears, laughter and sunflare – what more do you need for an utterly gorgeous set of wedding pictures?
With photography by HBA Photography.
zorina says: We got in engaged in the leap year in 2004. I wanted to ask Mark but he beat me to it! We were at Mark’s house in Leamington Spa. He’d just come home from work and was behaving very oddly. Then he went down on one knee with a red rose and asked me to marry him. Of course, I said yes!
We were married on 26th May 2017. May is normally a warm month and having a Friday wedding with the Bank Holiday Monday to follow appealed to us both.
Our venue was Goosedale in Papplewick, near Nottingham. Being a wedding florist, I’ve seen many venues and none of them was exactly what I/we wanted for whatever reason. But Mark was Googling wedding venues one night and came across Goosedale. It looked perfect. We booked an appointment, went over and I fell in love instantly. Mark didn’t take much persuading, either.
We wanted an intimate wedding with just close friends and family and the venue ticked all the boxes. It’s also absolutely beautiful and the surroundings are so picturesque.
I didn’t want to stick to a theme, I just wanted to do what I wanted and not think “oh I can’t do that, it doesn’t fit the theme…” I knew I wanted a romantic feel using pastel colours but also wanted a glam look too, so incorporated that using rose gold and Phalaenopsis orchids.
Our colours were peach, pink blush, white and rose gold. I’d chosen rose gold as a colour and knew I wanted orchids before we even set a date!
Being a 4ft 11 bride, I struggled to find a dress that had the correct proportions. Out of all the aspects of planning a wedding, the dress was the most worrying for me. I must have tried on more than 30 dresses and nothing wowed me or fit me properly.
RS Bridal in Melton Mowbray, was going to be my last bridal shop before I went to a dressmaker and Siobhan was utterly lovely. I tried a few on and I liked two but wasn’t completely sure. Siobhan then asked me to try a lace dress on with a horrible skin colour mesh top. I said “nope”. She said “what do you have to lose?”. So, unwillingly, I tried it on, walked to the mirror and nearly cried. I loved it. Siobhan said “that’s the one”. I made my mum and best friend cry and just knew it was right.
The dress in question was an Essence gown by Stella York. It had a blush pink/peach underlay and a lace overlay with a skin colour mesh top (so it looked strapless) and beautiful lace applique on the back. It had crystals over the dress, a pearl button-up back and a three-tier scalloped bottom. I also wore a photo locket with pictures of my nana and grandad and Mark’s grandma.
Before the wedding though, my dress needed to be taken in due to me losing a bit of weight, and so I went to The Fitting Room at Aylestone. They’re lovely people to be around and nothing is too much trouble. I would recommend them for any wedding dress alterations – they’re a very talented team.
Melancholy Magpie Couture Bridal Accessories in Southampton, made me a stunning hairpiece and it was personalised to my colours and size.
Alison Jenner,based in Nottingham, did my hair on the morning of the wedding. She has a lovely personality, is super-helpful and so reassuring.
Mark wore an electric blue three-piece suit from Paul Smith, a white Paul Smith shirt and brown Paul Smith shoes – he was dressed head to toe by Mr Smith! And some Avengers cufflinks; as a family we love The Avengers and we had some Lego figures dotted around the venue, too.
It took me a while to persuade Mark to have a brightly coloured suit; it was very much out of his comfort zone and a colour neither of us had seen before. He looked amazing on the day.
My bridesmaid dresses were by Amanda Wyatt and bought from Alice Rose Atelier in Ashby de la Zouch. They were a pink blush/peach colour with gathered chiffon straps and a brooch detail on the shoulder. My daughter’s was definitely a princess dress: a pink blush/peach bodice and a white full skirt.
For our wedding transport, the girls and I hired a limo from a great place in Nottingham called Moonlight Limos and they were superb. The limo was amazing with air conditioning, music and prosecco inside. The driver was so lovely, too. Mark and our ten-year-old son meanwhile, rolled up in Mark’s little baby: a blue Estoril Z3 Roadster, finished with a white ribbon.
Our photographers were HBA Photography and oh my goodness we would definitely recommend them – they were wonderful. Ben and Hannah are such a lovely couple who work very well together – completely reassuring on the day (Ben pretty much stopped me from having a meltdown!) and absolutely professional. To be honest, we didn’t know they were there. And they captured such beautiful shots!
For my flowers, I carried a silk white Phalaenopsis orchid bouquet, finished with pearls. I designed and created my bouquet. I didn’t want anyone else doing my flowers: I knew what I wanted and, to be honest, I think I would have become a bridezilla if anyone else got their hands on my flowers!
The compromise was that I had to do everything in silk flowers so they could be set up in advance. I provided the flowers and created the rose gold candelabras with an arrangement of white Phalaenopsis orchid, ivory hydrangea and white candles, plus draped pearl and crystal beads from the arms of the candelabras. I also had two blossom trees sitting on two white columns at the back of the ceremony. My fabulous mum and sister helped me set up the day before the wedding.
Nuptia Wedding Decor in Nottingham, supplied the rose gold sequin table cloths, lanterns, hydrangea backdrop, chiavari chairs and ‘love’ light up letters.
Save the Date Event Stylist in Ollerton, supplied our glass charger plates, while The Old Potting Shed in Derbyshire, supplied a drop top guest book, made out of wood and personalised hearts, which was a beautiful keepsake. Their customer service was 5-star.
We chose Adele from April Delights in Nottingham, to make our cake: her work is fabulous. We chose a three-tier cake: red velvet, lemon sponge and chocolate. The first tier was decorated with sequins, the second tier in lace and the third tier in a champagne colour with edible crystals. It was finished with a gold glitter ‘Always and Forever’ cake topper. I had a wooden stand designed and made by my friend which the cake sat on, and I arranged orchids and hydrangeas flowing from the base of the cake.
For the wedding breakfast, we tried to choose foods that everyone would like, so we had brie and mango parcels to start, a chicken dinner for main and then a light and dark chocolate mousse for dessert. We had a buffet in the evening and served red and white wine with the meal.
When it came to the entertainment, Paul Martyn was always going to be at our wedding. I met Paul six years ago at a wedding fair that both of us were exhibiting at and his voice and saxophone playing just hypnotized me. I knew from that day that I would have him at our wedding; he’s amazing not just at singing, sax-playing and disco, but also as a person.
We had Paul singing and playing sax at the ceremony and throughout dinner, and then he did the disco in the evening.
We had dance lessons for our first dance through Wedding Day Dance UK, who are based in Wiltshire. Emma came every Wednesday for six weeks to teach us our dance. We had a brill time!
Following our wedding, we would definitely recommend Goosdale: the scenery is beautiful, so there are lots of photo opportunities, they cater for small and large weddings and it’s a modern, light and airy venue with stunning chandeliers, beams and big windows. The staff are so polite, helpful and nothing is too much trouble. Our food was very tasty and extremely well presented – what more could you want?!
On the day itself, everything went to plan and everyone looked so beautiful. But for me, the standout moment was walking down the aisle and the ceremony. I was so excited; nothing could take the smile off my face that day! Seeing Mark have a little tear (or two) was a highlight too as he said he wouldn’t cry – and seeing my son in his suit was wonderful, too; he looked so handsome and grown up. I can’t choose!
We’re very family-orientated, so for our honeymoon we went down South for a week with the children and the dog. We enjoyed the hot tub, the weather and lots of family time.
My top tip for other Brides Up North would be, have a mid-morning wedding. The day goes so quickly that having an afternoon wedding simply isn’t long enough. I’d also say get a videographer – it’s one of our big regrets that we didn’t. Ensure your photographer will be there from getting ready to the disco. And finally, enjoy every minute and don’t worry too much about the little things.
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Laura is a true Northophile: she married Adam in Durham in 2011 accompanied by 200 Northumbrian lamb shanks and a Mackem 1950s tribute band who did a rockabilly cover version of Celine Dion's My Heart Will Go On. They honeymooned in Northumberland in a 1972 MG convertible, went surfing in Alnmouth and made it to the Edinburgh Fringe (let's ignore the fact that it rained all week). Her big mantra is 'no regrets'...but if she could travel back in time and wear a wedding dress with a Peter Pan collar and pockets, she'd pretty much die happy.
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