Dom & Clare’s Beechwood Park School Wedding.
Here’s Dom & Clare’s Beechwood Park School Wedding, first of all, a little history about the couple before we read all about their special day.
Both very talented professional musicians, Clare and Dom first met when they worked on the same music course. Dom asked Clare out but as she felt he was too young for her she turned him down.
She relented eventually and texted him a few months later to invite him out for a drink and a curry. The evening went so well she reconsidered and their first formal date involved a Japanese meal and a trip to the theatre to see Wicked.
They had a long-distance relationship for a year and a half as Dom lived in Germany, but they moved in together on his return and on their third anniversary, Dom proposed to Clare during a romantic weekend away in Stratford-upon-Avon. He took her for a picnic lunch with champagne and gifted her a custom made ring designed in Hatton Garden after popping the question.
Our venues and why we chose them.
Our Lady of Lourdes Church in Harpenden was where Clare was christened aged just two weeks old. It meant a lot to get married there with her Mam’s local parish priest Father Michael.
Music was a very important part of their day and Clare walked down the aisle with her father to the theme from Band of Brothers. An incredibly moving part of the day and made even more special as it was played by 22 of their musical friends and conducted by their friend Steve Moss.
Daisy Maywood and Louis Maskell later sang ‘One Hand, One Heart’ from the musical ‘West Side Story’. Dom’s father’s choir sang ‘Love Divine’, which was written by Chris Tamberling for Dom’s parents 25th Wedding Anniversary, and “This Marriage” by Eric Whitacre.
Beechwood Park School was where they held their reception, Dom attended school there and both his parents have worked there. It’s a beautiful Elizabethan building set in the local countryside. Also, Dom’s name is in gold writing on the scholarship board in the Main Hall where they had the meal. It was the only venue they visited and it felt like the right place for them instantly.
Clare is the only musician in the family, but her dad wanted to surprise her with his musical talent. He bravely performed Twinkle Twinkle Little Star on a penny whistle to a room full of musicians and had everyone in stitches!
Our wedding theme.
“The style of our wedding was traditional and quite vintage with added sparkle! Our venues seemed to tie in with a vintage theme, with the car and bus fitting in well to the scene on the day! Once we decided on the first few things, everything else was easy to choose. We tried to keep it as intimate and sincere as we could to suit us!
It’s always hard if there are loved ones who cannot attend a wedding for whatever reason, particularly family members who were close to us and no longer with us. Therefore we wanted to mark this in some way. We had all family members wedding photos printed off and framed – people who were at the wedding and also the people who were not. We loved the grandparents’ ones in particular, which seemed so vintage and elegant.
We also had charity wedding favours in memory of my uncle and also donating to a great cause – the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation. We had a collection as part of our Wedding presents where guest could give to Sir Bobby’s foundation or to the Alzheimer’s Society – we raised over £900.00 in total!
Close family and friends often offer help – and we were grateful to those who did. Dom’s Auntie Sue made our Wedding cake, which was not only beautiful and exactly what we wanted but meant so much more coming from a family member.
We loved the table centres Clare’s mum spent weeks designing and putting together – Martini vases full of sparkle with a candle in the middle. Clare’s lovely school friend Jane who is a graphic designer did some amazing Wedding Signs for us, which we framed and have hung up on the wall at home.
Clare probably most enjoyed getting surprise presents for the bridal party. The bridesmaids all had a glitter champagne flute, a bracelet with their initial on it, earrings, and a personalised poem in a frame.
The little bridesmaids (Clare’s nieces) had a sticker book about Weddings, a bracelet (all with personalised gift bags).
The page boys had a book about a naughty pageboy and a personalised VW camper van toy with their name on!
Our mums’ got an engraved sparkly photo frame, and our dads’ a personalised tankard and Dom got Clare an engraved locket (which now has our wedding photo in) along with some roses and champagne!
Clare also organised for Dom to be picked up in a VW camper van as a surprise, and also wrote him a poem to read before he left for the church!”
“Ian was so amazing on the day, he got on extremely well with all the bridesmaids and parents at Clare’s parents’ and was flexible to fit in the boys’ prep at our house and be there for timings of surprise presents for the bride and of a surprise VW camper van coming to pick up the Groom.
He was so subtle in taking the photos, he was never in the way at any moment! We saw a huge amount of photography websites and adverts, but Ian’s non-posed shots were emotive and genuine, which appealed to us. We think his photos document our wedding so well, it’s like you are back in the moment when you re-visit them!”
Other suppliers we used.
“Our car came from a local man Bob at Heritage Classic Cars – he was absolutely lovely to everyone who travelled in his car and really added an extra excitement on the way to the church!
The 1950’s single decker vintage bus took our Wedding Party and guest to the reception – it was in mint condition and came from Timebus.
The bridesmaids’ dresses, we had made for them as it’s so tricky to find a style that will suit everyone in the colour you want – Anne Castle, a local dressmaker, worked her magic and also made cravats & waistcoats for the groomsmen and Fathers to match!
Brenthouse provided the musical entertainment in the evening. Clare went to college with the saxophonist and manager so she already knew how good they were. The first dance was L-O-V-E by Nat King Cole.”
The newlyweds followed their classic wedding with an exciting honeymoon. A visit to Africa and Madagascar – where they went on safari and stayed in a lodge by the rainforest – the most amazing way to spend their first married holiday!
Any tips for couples in the stages of planning their own weddings?
- “Do whatever you want to make the day your own – there are no rules or set ideas. Everything we chose we were so happy with on the day as each little thing meant something to us for one reason or another.”
- “Also, when things go wrong, try not to panic – it all gets sorted in the end! Clare nearly didn’t have a Wedding Dress, Wedding Ring, and Dom’s suit got lost for a while with a courier, but it all got sorted in the nick of time!”
- “For couples who aren’t musical – look at different choices to the standard wedding music, and try and pick music that you love or really means something to you both!”
- “And lastly, enjoy and savour every moment of your Wedding Day – it truly is the best day!”
Car: Heritage Classic Cars
Dress: Maggie Sottero
Shoes: Rainbow Club
Suits: Harris and Zei
Flowers: Flowers by Margaret
Hair: Gibson & Powell
Make up: Hannah Keech
Band: Brenthouse Band (through Shindig Music).