Matt & Jennie's Wedding in Chester, UK
Getting married to her personal trainer, Matt, and shifting from the UK to Dubai was not something Jennie had imagined, but it turned out to be one hell of a love story!
How we met (bride’s version):
Matt and I met in the UK at our local gym in 2009, where he worked as a personal trainer and where I was a member. I had joined the gym after breaking up with an ex-boyfriend, so I wanted to get a revenge body (like many heartbroken girls), and this was also the best way to occupy my time and make me feel better about myself overall. I never thought I would end up meeting my future husband there and moving all the way to Dubai!
As we were going to get married in the UK, the wedding planning process had to be done from here in Dubai and because we had around a year and a half to plan, I figured it would be fairly easy to sort everything out in that time (how wrong was I, though). I obviously didn’t take into account my indecisiveness at that point with regards to my wedding dress, bridesmaids’ dresses and the color theme and, in hindsight, it may have been easier to plan it in a couple of months so that I could have made decisions and stuck to them. I’m quite a creative person and a bit of a perfectionist, so I was always checking different color combinations for my four bridesmaids and details for the décor.
Since we got engaged in Paris, we decided on a Parisian themed wedding with pastel colors. We wanted a romantic, chic and elegant wedding and we took lots of help from our family and my bridesmaids, who sourced the decorations for the day. I looked through wedding magazines and attended a few wedding shows both back home in the UK and here in Dubai. I also made a wedding scrapbook with various color schemes, possible venues and decoration inspiration which helped me gauge how everything would look together.
Feelings on the Big Day:
I had always imagined being super nervous and getting cold feet (as we say in the UK) on the day, but I woke up in the morning and couldn’t have been more certain that I wanted to marry Matt. I was so excited to be a bride and marry my man.
I stayed at the venue the night before and I remember looking at my dress hanging on the door and thinking how crazy it will be that the next day I’ll be leaving my ‘single’ status behind and becoming a wife.
I was the most emotional when my entrance music started playing – ‘Thousand Years’ by Christina Perry – when I started to walk down the aisle with my dad. I think I got really overwhelmed at that time, as it’s the moment you picture as a little girl. Seeing all our guests and Matt standing at the end of the aisle set me off with happy tears. I think I managed to get myself together only after the thought of smudged mascara and black-eyed photos striked me.
We planned and sourced the decoration for the wedding ourselves as we wanted to add our personal touch to it. We bought a few items from here in Dubai as well as from back in the UK. Dragon Mart here was like a dream come true and had exactly what we had in mind. Each table for the reception had a different Parisian inspired centrepiece, such as a little Eiffel tower, flower-filled Chanel perfume bottles, a birdcage and more. I also sourced around 5 meters of a damask print fabric from a fabric store in the UK to make table runners for the reception tables. Thanks to the convenience of online shopping on Amazon, my parents house was turned into a wedding warehouse as we ordered hurricane vases, candles, a garden arch (for a floral arch), photo frames, bunting, cute wooden signs, petals for the aisle, etc.
Schedule of events and outfits worn on each function:
UK weddings are usually one day events, which begin with a ceremony and lead onto a dinner reception. We held an event in the evening as well with a DJ and a dance floor that lights up. The theme of the wedding was Parisian chic with pastel colors – mint, blush pink, grey and gold glitter – to add a sparkly touch.
After trying several different styles of dresses on, I finally chose a Mori Lee gown from a beautiful boutique close to home in the UK called Bellissima Brides. As a Disney princess fanatic, I had always imagined myself in a ballgown styled dress with a sparkly tiara, but after working my butt off in the gym, I was proud of my body and wanted to show it off in a figure hugging gown. I added a blush pink crystal belt and wore champagne gold glitter Kate Spade shoes with a detailed bow to complete the look.
We found it difficult to choose a venue for the wedding as we were here in Dubai, so I had to fly back home to the UK for a week to check out the different venues. We wanted a venue that would suit the theme of the wedding and fit with the guest list of 60 people. It was actually one of my bridesmaids who mentioned the Doubletree in Chester, UK, a venue I immediately fell in love with as soon as I visited it. The ceremony room was a converted brick barn with high ceilings, wooden beams and beautiful chandeliers which lent a church feel to it.
We hired a photobooth for the evening reception, which was great fun for everyone and we also hired an LED light up dance floor, which turned out to be amazing to dance the night away on.
Few words on the photographer, videographer, hair/make-up artist, bartenders and DJ:
The photographer & videographers were amazing, what with their attention to detail while capturing the most important moments. The hair and makeup artists were also amazing and had the patience to sit with me and make sure I was 100% happy with the final look. I’d also like to mention my florist who helped us choose the most suitable flowers for my bouquet and for the venue decorations. She also saved up her Chanel perfume bottles so we could use them as one of the centrepieces, which looked so beautiful.
Advice for to-be-weds (one or two sentences):
My advice for to-be-weds would be to enjoy every minute of the wedding planning process and create a wedding that reflects you both as a couple. I’d also recommend hiring a videographer as the day goes by far too quickly and, although photos are a great reminder, having a video really helps you remember the feel of the day and seeing friends and family members is so lovely to look back on, too.
Photography/Videography: Keyhole Studios
Make-up Artist: Michelle Roberts
Hair Stylist: Revival at LK Hair
DJ: Big Entertainments
Florist: Amelia Jane Flowers
Cake: Laura’s Cakes & Cupcakes
Venues: Hilton DoubleTree (Chester, UK)