Real Destination Wedding: Saying ‘I Do’ in Iceland – Helen & Danny

When I first met Helen she told me all about her wedding and the incredible location she had chosen. I had a picture in my mind of what she had envisioned for her special day with Danny. It turns out that what I had pictured couldn’t come close to the real thing. Helen’s wedding photographs by Bragi are really beautiful. From her beautiful bouquet, to the stunning backdrop of waterfalls and a sunset, everything came together perfectly and Helen and Danny got their dream wedding.

For anyone considering getting married in Iceland Helen tells us all about how she went about organising her special day from another country.

Plus Size Brides Helen

When did you get engaged and did you always want to get married in such an incredible location?

We got engaged on a trip to Iceland in 2013. We had been there once before for Danny’s (my husband’s – still feels weird to say that) 21st birthday. We totally fell in love with the place – the scenery, the people, the food, the night skies… and when Danny proposed it was a total surprise.

We had initially planned to get married here in the UK and had picked out a traditional British manor house as our venue. We were very close to putting our first payment down when we realised that planning the wedding was feeling like a chore and we were not 100% excited about the idea. We both felt a lot of pressure and stress about planning it, we didn’t know where to start and on the whole were just putting it off. After Skyping Danny’s sister in Australia, she asked us what would make it exciting. We joked about getting married in Iceland and she said “well why not”. The idea stuck with us from there and in the end, we realised that it was totally what we wanted. It was a big decision to make, mostly because we realised that it would be a big ask of our family and friends if they were to join us, but it just felt right and a lot more “us”.

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How did you organise your wedding? Did you have help and would you recommend hiring a wedding planner.

There is no way that we could have had the wedding adventure that we did without the help of a wedding planner. We realised this pretty early on into the planning process so a big part of our early planning was to find the right planner. We settled on an amazing company called ‘Pink Iceland’. They are a gay and lesbian specialist that also do straight weddings too. When we first Skyped our wedding planner, who was called Sigga, we knew that it was 100% the right thing to do because she had so many amazing suggestions, ideas and contacts that made the process so much easier for us. She set up one big shared document where we would discuss all of our ideas back and forth, so it fit perfectly into our daily schedules. We’re both professionals who work full time, so it meant that we could sit down together when we had time and write down our ideas or paste in some images that had inspired us for Sigga to look over. We planned a 4 day adventure, which included our wedding day, to give our guests a real taste of Iceland. Sigga guided us through the whole process and worked with us to give everyone the best experience of Iceland – we couldn’t have done it without her.

We went over to Iceland in October 2016 to meet with Sigga and view the venue that we had picked from the portfolio of venues that she had sent over. It was a converted three storey farmhouse in the Icelandic countryside where all of our guests could stay for a couple of nights, including the wedding night. It had an external barn, where our evening wedding reception could be held and a huge hot tub for relaxing in. After viewing the venue, and totally falling in love with it, we went to meet Sigga in the Pink Iceland office in central Reykjavik. It was great to go through everything with her face to face. One thing we knew we were really keen to do is to not have the “traditional” wedding and feel pressure to do all of the traditions that it entails. It just wasn’t really us and we wanted to do things our way so we picked the traditions that we liked – white dress, cake, speeches and ignored the ones that we didn’t. Sigga helped us to realise this and then to bring it to life.

I would absolutely recommend a wedding planner to any future brides – whether they are getting married abroad or not. At the end of the day, they are the professionals and have done this a number of times. You may not have planned anything like it before so why not get the help, advice and expertise of someone who has? It will take some of the pressure off you so that you can sit back and enjoy the process. It also gives you piece of mind that, thinking worst case scenario…if something does go terribly wrong on the day, it is not your job to fix it, it is theirs! I was so lucky – everything on the day went amazingly and this really was down to the level of detail that we had planned with Sigga.

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What was your favourite part of the wedding?

This is a really hard question to answer! Like I said, we had planned a little adventure that was built around our wedding day – almost like a sampler of Iceland – and I absolutely loved every second of it.

We had some exploring time and then a meal in our favourite restaurant in Iceland. Danny and I had created a map that highlighted all of the fun places in Reykjavik that we thought people would like to visit (within walking distance). We all had our own time to explore before being picked up by our private coach at the Pink Iceland offices. We had arranged our own tour guide to stay with us for two days. We went for a trip to the Blue Lagoon before heading to our wedding venue for a welcome meal and some down time. We stayed together on the night before our wedding (none of that old tradition of sleeping separately!) and it was so nice to wake up next to each other and say “we’re getting married today!” We got ready separately and then when I was ready we met in our bedroom before heading downstairs to see everybody together. Our ceremony was outside (in -7 degree weather!) by an arch and was so relaxed, intimate and personal. We shared fun stories about our relationship and our family members read quotes from Sex and the City and Game of Thrones. Afterwards, we had arranged for our guests to go out with the tour guide on the coach for some sight seeing while Danny and I travelled to a couple of different locations for our photoshoot. This was great because it meant that they weren’t just sat around waiting for our photos to be done (something we’d experienced before at other weddings). We then all came together for some speeches and then our evening meal. After the meal, we had some casual drinks and just relaxed. The northern lights even came out at this part of the evening so we all put our comfy clothes on and watched the night sky dance. We then retired to the hot tub to “chill” and then ended the night by playing some board games, which was a nerdy addition to the day and the perfect way to finish it off. The day was a mix of “wedding” and “us”.

If I had to sum it up, I’d say that experiencing our favourite place in the world with all of our favourite people and to have them there for the biggest day of our lives so far was my favourite. This is not likely to happen again and I treasure every moment of the experience with them all.

My personal top moments from our day were – the first look, ceremony, hot tub and boardgames.

Plus Size Brides Helen

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Any advice for nervous brides to be?

I’ve said it a few times above, but make sure that the day is you. Don’t feel the pressure to do things that you don’t want to do. At the end of the day, it is about celebrating your relationship and nobody else can tell you how this is done.

I was very worried about everybody else and their experience of our wedding but in reality I learned that they ultimately want you to be happy. People surprise you! If you’re worried about what they will think if you don’t do certain things, just explain to them what you do want to do and why and they will totally understand. If they don’t, then maybe they don’t know you as well as you thought they did.

You definitely learn a lot about the people around you when you are planning your wedding and your support system will be tested. You just need to be honest with yourself and everyone around you and keep bringing it back to “what do we want?” or “how can we make this more ‘us’?”. You will have no regrets about your day if you look back and think that you did everything the way that you wanted to.

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Wedding Dress & Veil from Edith & Winston Bridalwear – Designer Callista Bride

Alterations and bespoke straps by Boutique Alterations

Wedding planner – https://www.pinkiceland.is/

Venue – http://www.mengi-kjarnholt.com/

Photographer – Bragi Þór –  https://www.icelandweddingphoto.com/index

Videographer – Eirikur Hafdal – http://www.hafdal.is/

 

Please click on the images below to see more from Helen and Danny’s day.

Real Wedding: Part Two – Jo & Patrick’s Wedding Day.

For those of you who have been following the wonderful Real Weddings and Engagement Shoots here on Something New. You may remember Jo and Patrick’s beautiful outdoor engagement shoot a few months back. Jo was so kind in also sharing with us her incredible wedding phototgraphs by Ash Davenport for Miki Photography. I hope that you enjoyed seeing a couple from engagement to marriage.

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Where did you get married and how did you find your venue?

Patrick’s Dad is a retired vicar so we wanted him to marry us and it’s wasn’t difficult to persuade him to come out of retirement to do that so we wanted to find a local church that would allow that. All Saints Church at Ashover is local to where we live in Derbyshire and the Rector there was happy for Canon Reverend Richard Wheeler to step in so it was perfect. It is also a beautiful church in a pretty village so that helped!

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How did you choose your wedding dress? How did you know it was the one for you?

Wedding dress shopping was not something I was looking forward to. I lost my Mum to cancer three years before we were planning the wedding. I missed her through every aspect of planning the wedding but especially wedding dress shopping. Expecting it would be emotional and not much fun, I planned to go on my own but my bridesmaid Bernadette was having none of it. Even though she has a full time job and two kids to juggle and lives a 4 hour round trip away, she made last minute plans to be there and persuaded me to also invite my Mum’s best friend Liz.

We went to a lovely shop in Borrowash in Derbyshire called Beau Belles where my sister-in-law got her wedding dress years previously. I wanted to go there as I remembered they had samples in lots of sizes. Lots of other local shops only have samples in small sizes and I didn’t want to spend the appointment being shoe-horned into a tiny dress and feeling bad about my size. We picked out about 6 or 7 dresses that try but when I put the 4th one on, I knew it was the one from Bernadette and Liz’s faces before I even looked in the mirror. It was just the old Hollywood glamour look I was going for and I loved the creamy colour and the beautiful beading. I didn’t even try on the others. One appointment; four dresses. I’m pretty decisive.

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What was your favourite part of the wedding?

I loved all of it so it’s really hard to choose. I think it would have to be the speeches. I spoke first (the idea being that I thought the others would make me cry so I’d get mine out of the way). My Dad was next and his speech was brilliant. I have been a bridesmaid 9 times and he realised they were all there so he got me to have a toast with all of them. Then my lovely groom Patrick, my two bridesmaids Bernadette and Rachael wrote a hilarious poem and best man James (Patrick’s younger brother) finished with a really lovely best man speech.

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If you could give one piece of advice for a bride on her wedding day, what would it be?

Spend the day with your spouse and take the time to look around the room together and really take it in. We had loads of guests and if we’d spent the evening saying a quick hello to each of them that’s all we’d have done. We went round each table during the wedding breakfast so we’d seen everyone and could just relax and enjoy ourselves.

Also don’t be frightened to throw in a few risks and surprises. I made and iced my own wedding cake. I’d always wanted to have a go and figured if it looked rubbish it didn’t matter – it would be funny. I also sang a song with my bridesmaids in the evening as a surprise for Patrick. I rewrote the words to ‘Son of a Preacher Man,’ since he is and it made everyone laugh. I was in two minds whether to do it but I’m really glad we did because he loved it. Do what you want to do, it’s your day.

Lots of people who are getting married have lost a loved one that will be missed that day and it can make it difficult. My advice would be to remember them in the ways that make you happy but try not run dwell on it because the day is about you and your new spouse. I had a bespoke bracelet made as a gift from my Dad so that I could wear a locket of Mum’s on my wrist and put her picture in it. Our wedding favours were Mum’s favourite sweets – midget gems. I took my bouquet the next day to where her ashes are scattered. She would have loved everything about the day except not getting to be there.

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Thank you so much Jo and Patrick for sharing your incredible wedding day with us all.

For more beautiful photographs please click on the images below.

Wedding: All Saints Church, Ashover
Reception: Shottle Hall, Derbyshire
Car: Wedding cars of Derby
Flowers: Nadia di Tullio Flowers
Photography: Ash Davenport for Miki Photography
Dress: Justin Alexander from Beau Belles, Borrowash
Veil: Diane Speak
Bracelet: Joe Coyle
Music: Lizzie Spear (cellist), Debbie Hinsley (pianist) and Andy Kosicki (DJ)
Cake and favours: home made
Hair: David Sebastian, Derby
Make up: Natalie Clarke, Studio 4.6

Real Wedding: One Fine Day & A Fabulously Floral Dress – Beccie & Leigh.

If you could picture your dream wedding dress what would it be?

For many brides-to-be they long for something just a little bit different, yet still incredibly elegant and timeless. Last year we got our first glimpse of ‘the dress’ that everyone was dreaming about. Her name was Carmel and she was Callista Brides first floral print design. Beccie knew instantly that this was the one for her and I am so pleased  to share with you her stunning wedding photographs. If you love floral prints, you are going to LOVE these pictures.

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Tell us about how you got engaged?

We got engaged on a holiday in Moroccoo. We went on a visit to their only waterfall and went on a boat to the bottom of it. He proposed there.

You chose such an incredible dress. How did you find it?

I saw Edith & Winston Bridalwear’s post on Instagram with the lovely model Georgina wearing Carmel and knew it was the one. I had a day planned of visitng four stores. This boutique was the last one and Carmel was the one I fell in love with instantly. I knew I would. It’s perfect for me. I loved the store and the staff, they are my friends forever now!

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Please can you tell us about your day?

We got married at Castlefield Rooms, Manchester. Our theme was floral! To match my dress. My bridesmaids were in baby pink dresses. The best bit for me? I loved my dad’s speech, had us all crying and he finished a bottle of whiskey during it! I also wrote a live song and I sang that with a guitar as a surprise for him. He also dropped the ring during the ceremony which was funny!

Don’t focus too much on decor for the ceremony! I cannot even remember if the bunting was up or not! And try to spend as much time with your new husband as you can. You get so caught up saying hi to everyone the two of you don’t get time together. I loved getting home that night and snuggling my new husband.

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Wedding Dress: By Callista from Edith & Winston Bridalwear.

Leigh’s suit: Groom Warrington

Bridesmaid Dresses: Chi Chi London

Beccie’s friend Joanne made all the wedding bouquets.

Photography: Paul Baybut Wedding Photography.

Real Wedding: Love Me Do, A Wedding In Liverpool – Faye & Ryan.

Well Something New is now one year old! What a wonderful year it’s been. Featuring brides from all over the world, plus so many beautiful engagement shoots! I want to kick off our second year with a stunning wedding shot by award-winning photographer Mick Cookson.

Faye has kindly shared her day with you all. And doesn’t she look incredible in her Ronald Joyce gown from Edith & Winston Bridalwear. Liverpool was the setting to this beautiful wedding and I absolutely love how Mick captured the Liver Building behing the newly married couple. What a brilliant way to kick off Something New’s second year! Enjoy!

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Faye, can you tell us a little bit about you and Ryan and how you got engaged?

We met in 2008 when Ryan came to fix my computer in work…..fast forward 7 years and Ryan proposed at ‘our beach’ in Anglesey, Wales. He said he had it all planned out, I would take a picture of the sea (like I always do!) and when I tuned around he would be on one knee and ask the question. But not that day…..I sat down and tucked into the picnic we had brought with us. He eventually got down on one knee as I was tucking into my tuna wrap 🙂 I think he panicked!! haha

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What would you say was your favourite part of your big day?

I would say the highlight of the day was seeing Ryan at the alter. I remember standing at the back of the church with my dad and feeling like my heart was going to burst out of my chest. I looked down the aisle to the alter, saw Ryan and immediately felt relief. Being the centre of attention is daunting but seeing him grounded me and my nerves were replaced with happiness and excitment.

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Everyone told me to enjoy every minute of the day and I now know why, it flies by and before you know it you are waking up the next morning a Mrs! I remember the band getting me and Ryan to dance in the middle of the dance floor and our family and friends circled around us. I looked around the circle and felt surrounded by love! Everyone was there to celebrate with us and the feeling was indescribable but I will remember it forever.

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Do you have any advice for any nervous brides reading this?

My advice to nervous brides is on the day no one will care if your veil is a little creased, the curls in your hair will probably fall out and everything might not go to plan but the moment you stand at the back of the church and look to the altar, your eyes will meet you won’t care!

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Faye we want to say a massive thank you for sharing your special day with us all! We wish you a wonderful and happy marriage. For more pictures click below.

Faye choose an amazing set of suppliers including quite a few award winners! Here are the links:

Make Up – Sonara Parker

Hair – Wedlocks

Flowers – Heather at Flower Fashions

Photographer – Mick Cookson

Wedding Dress & Veil – Edith & Winston Bridalwear

Room dressing – Vikki at Sapphire Bespoke Events

Cake – Cake Shop Liverpool

Band – The Flynn and Tonics

Venue day – St Margaret Mary’s Church

Venue afternoon/evening – Malmaison Liverpool

Real Wedding: Oh, I Do Like To Be Beside the Seaside – Katie & Jason

Weddings bring together all the people that you love and care about, but what about places that mean the most? Katie and Jason took everyone who was special to them to the beach — a special location for this happy couple! And we love, love, love all the extra special touches that Katie put together for her big day. Wearing a beautiful Callista wedding dress, this Scottish wedding is the perfect wedding inspiration for those wanting a summer wedding. We asked Katie to tell us about her wedding day.

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Tell us about the theme you chose and how you added those extra special touches.

The theme I chose was the seaside, Jason and I both love being by the sea and it’s our dream to retire on a boat. We chose Scotland because that’s our special place and they have some amazing beaches. I knew I wanted a photo of me in my dress on a beach, no matter the weather! I collected shells and trinkets from beachside shops for 18 months, and chose navy and coral for the colours. The decorations were all very cheap and cheerful!

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What was your wedding dress shopping experience like?

My wedding dress shopping experience was scary at first. The first shop I went to only usually carried size 10-14 sample dresses. I did tell them I was plus size, but they told me not to worry about that. I undressed and the sales assistant brought the first dress to me and just held it up in front of me. I was so embarrassed and could not wait to leave!

Then I discovered Edith and Winston Bridalwear, and I had the most incredible time. I could have happily tried on every dress in the shop. Becca and Janet were so lovely and knew exactly which dresses would suit me. I found ‘the one’ and it was so emotional, I felt absolutely incredible in my dress, it was just perfect!

How did you know your dress was the one? And how did you adapt it to make it your own?

I knew it was ‘the one’ when my mum and bridesmaids gave me that look, they loved it just as much as I did! I’ll never forget that feeling! I had more lace added to the back as it showed a lot of skin and as it was a corset. It was simple for the dress maker to do, and Becca ordered in the lace for me and recommended where to have it done.

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What was the highlight of your wedding day?

The highlight of my day was at the very end, the DJ played “500 Miles” by The Proclaimers. All the guests that were left were just so happy and he jumped along to the song in a big circle, I was so happy!

Any advice for nervous brides to be who are beginning to plan their big day & dress shopping?

My advice for nervous brides is this: Plan your day how you want it, don’t be pressured, and remember your guests are there for you, don’t worry so much about keeping them happy. And enjoy every single minute because it goes so fast! My advice for dress shopping is: Don’t be too stubborn about the style you want and try on as much as you can, and of course go to Edith and Winston Bridalwear!

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Wedding Dress – Edith and Winston; Alterations – Boutique Alterations

Photographer – Clickclickbang Photography; Bouquets and Flowers – BettyBluebell Florist

Location – The Gailes Hotel, Aryshire; Suits – Platts in Crewe

Bridesmaids Dresses – ChiChi London

Flowergirl Dresses – Handmade on Etsy; Jewellery – Handmade on Etsy

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We absolutely love sharing Katie’s wedding day and we hope that you all enjoyed the images. Especially the stunning beach portraits!

For more images, please click on the photographs below.