Hayley and James met while working in their local department store as teenagers. Hayley would go to the restaurant for lunch where James worked and he'd give her a meal for free in the hopes she'd keep coming back! "To me, Hayley was the most beautiful woman in the store. I was instantly drawn to what can only be described as the most unique laugh you can imagine! Paired with her beauty, kindness and smile, I was head over heels." He finally gathered the courage to ask her out while giving away more free food, in this case a ring doughnut, which has since become a symbol of their relationship!
James proposed nine years later, while on holiday in New York. They’d taken a trip to Liberty Island and having carried the ring around in his pocket waiting for the right moment, he knew this was it. “After walking around the Statue of Liberty three times trying to pluck up the courage, I finally sat her down under a blossoming cherry tree, and asked her if she would marry me.” Of course, she accepted, so join us now as James tells us more about their wedding day...
Northover Manor was booked for 11th September, 2021. The couple had been attracted to the gorgeous outdoor ceremony area amongst the venue's landscaped grounds. They also loved the fact that they could have exclusive use of the property, including all of the bedrooms where guests could stay the night. It also meant that Hayley was able to stay with her bridesmaids the night before.
The colour palette for the day featured navy, blush pink and rose gold. This was reflected in the centrepieces – Martini glasses filled with blooms flowing over the edges and two large flower-filled concrete urns placed at each end of the top table. Each table was also decorated with jam jars and wine bottle lights, adding a glow that enhanced the ambience. The couple opted to allocate numbers to their tables, which were displayed on ceramic dishes. “These offered a lovely personal touch as they were unique to us,” James explains. As they found their seats, guests were welcomed by mini pink doughnut favours to represent the very one that brought the newlyweds together, these were joined by personalised M&Ms printed with a picture of them.
The big-day bake boasted three tiers and two were gluten-free to make sure no one was left without. The bottom layer was a classic Victoria sponge, the middle was a carrot cake and the top was flavoured with lemon.
The beautiful bride wore a sleeveless ivory lace dress with fitted bodice and tulle skirt, complete with diamanté detail. It had a corseted back fastening and she accessorised it with rose gold jewellery and a veil.
James was dressed in a three-piece suit – the jacket and trousers were navy and he paired them with a grey tweed waistcoat. He finished the look with a rose gold tie and pocket square.
His groomsmen and best man were dressed to match. The bridesmaids looked gorgeous in their navy maxi dresses with lace bodice detailing to complement the bride's gown. They also wore rose gold heeled sandals to complement the colour palette further.
To keep everyone entertained, the couple hired MJS Entertainment who provided a disco as well as a photo booth and props. "Marcus from MJS is also an amazing singer and he performed for us after our first dance. He put on an amazing disco too from a playlist we created, which our guests loved. The photo booth went down a treat with everyone having a great time with the props on offer," James remembers.
James shares the day's highlights: "We both felt nervous, but that was to be expected with emotions running high. All of that was replaced with happiness though, once Hayley walked down the aisle.
"Our photographer Jon was an absolute legend! We couldn't have asked for a better person to be in charge of the photography, he clicked with everyone and knew exactly what we wanted. He also came up with the brilliant idea of doing a champagne spray while we held umbrellas. Although, some of our nearest and dearest thought it would be a good idea to completely ignore them and spray it directly at us, which made for an experience and story we won't forget for a while!"
It's a familiar story, but due to Covid and it's accompanying restrictions Hayley and James weren't able to go on honeymoon after the wedding. But James told us this might not be such a bad thing after all, as it's given them more time to save up and plan the best trip possible. They've now booked to travel around San Francisco, Los Angeles and Las Vegas in September 2022. "We plan on going for 14 days and spending time in each city exploring the sights. We both absolutely love the U.S. So planning it together has been easy," he explains.