Tia and Lee found love after swiping right. "Being on Tinder, it was our looks that first attracted us to each other," Tia says. "Our first phone call lasted two hours – we hit it off right from the beginning."
After 18 months, Lee was cooking up a plan to pop the question. "He's very traditional," Tia tells us. "We had an offer accepted on a house, but he wanted us to be engaged before we moved in together." Lee booked a night's stay and dinner for two at Sunborn London Yacht Hotel in Royal Victoria Dock. Tia says, "After a wonderful dinner overlooking the docks, I was called up to the top deck, which was closed off to guests, to find Lee down on one knee!" Who could say no to such a romantic gesture? The pair soon started planning their big day for 7th April, 2018. Tia continues the story…
We continued a family tradition and tied the knot at St Mary Redcliffe church; it's lucky that it's also the most beautiful church Bristol! When it came to the reception venue, Coombe Lodge ticked all our boxes. It's stunning, had accommodation, was exclusive-use and had character while also providing a blank canvas.
Flowers were a big part of our day, and I lovedmy bouquet. It was a large wired shower-style arrangement with David Austin roses, ranunculi,calla lilies, scented stephanotis, lily of the valley, jasmine trails and eucalyptus accents. The bridesmaids had smaller posy-style versions.
Our seating plan was a real show stopper. Wehad a huge mirror frame adorned with flowers and candles. Each table was named after what we believe to be an ingredient for a happy marriage. We treated our guests to handmade cake pops from Angel's Kitchen, which we doubled up as place settings!
We opted for a romantic vibe with a pretty blush palette. I worked hard with our florist, The Wilde Bunch, to create stunning arrangements. The table centrepieces alternated between tall floral displays or candelabra. Everywhere was brimming with beautiful blooms, from roses, peonies and ranunculito sweet-scented pink tube rose and gypsophila, all accented with silver-grey eucalyptus. We created a cosy atmosphere with pretty LED string lights, ivory candles and tea lights.
I worked closely with Kerry from Angel's Kitchen to design the wedding cake of my dreams. It was a seven-tier masterpiece made up of 11 cakes, featuring edible lace, intricate piping, sugar flowers, a monogram, edible glitter and sparkle lustre. There were five delicious flavours: spiced rum fruit cake,coffee and caramel, chocolate truffle, salted caramel and lemon drizzle. Kerry also made vegan and sugar-free bakes.
We had lots of personal touches throughout the day. There were light-up letters spelling "Mr & Mrs Brown", pictures of our loved ones, our story in photos and a personalised puzzle guest book. The bridal party made a real entrance in three ivory vintage Beaufords, while our friends and family travelled from the church to the venue on a double-decker bus.
I wore the amazing Almeria by Pronovias. It had a high lace neck and a tulle ball gown-style silhouette. I accessorised with a custom-made cathedral-length veiland sparkly Swarovski jewellery. My something old was my mum's garter, which had my grandparents' wedding rings sewn into it. They've sadly both passed away, but were madly in love for 50 years. Their marriage is a great inspiration for me.
The men all looked dashing in navy Italian tail coats with blush accessories. Leewore a different waistcoat to the groomsmen to stand out, and he had a personalised pocket watch in memory of his grandad. The bridesmaids wowed incoordinating fishtail-style gowns, and my bridesman rocked a fab slim-fit navy suit with a bow tie.
My best girls and I had hair and make-up trials before the wedding to make sure we had our looks perfected. I wore my hair in a high up do with lots of volume and curls, finished off with a pretty hair vine alongside scattered pearls and crystals.
Our guests loved the gospel choir! They performed as everyone arrived, led hymns and sang during the signing of the register. We then had an R'n'B and soul band at Coombe Lodge to get the crowd going. They were a huge hit and really knew how to work the room! The party continued with a professional radio and club DJ.
Lee was very emotional; I did most of the planning, so the attentionto detail I had put in really hit him. I felt overwhelmed by how wellmy hard work had come together – all of our suppliers had goneabove and beyond to make the day magical. It couldn't have beenmore perfect, and we fell in love with each other all over again.
Lee and my dad had coaching sessions for their speeches, as they were worried that nerves would get the better of them. Both of them did amazingly and putso much effort in. Everyone said my dad's was the best father-of-the-bride speech they'd ever heard, and Lee spoke from the bottom of his heart – what an amazing moment.
Our photographer, Rebecca Faith, spent a lot of time going through everything with us to make sure she caught all those special moments. We had a pre-wedding shoot with her so we could get to know her style and to help us to relax infront of the camera. On the day, we had two photographers and two videographers to ensure everything was captured perfectly. We even recreated some pictures from my parents' wedding album!
Bride's dress and veil