Wedding Daze: Lucy and Tony - The reality of a dream wedding

It must be almost every little girls' dream to get married in a Castle or a Palace and what more of an incredible place to get married than the Tower of London, which is exactly what Lucy and Tony were able to do! 
I was able to speak to Lucy in retrospect of the big day, to find out how everything came together, right from the very first step!

Firstly, and probably most importantly, how did Tony pop the question?

It was Boxing Day 2012 and we'd just got home after spending Christmas Day with our families. We were swapping presents and at the bottom of the pile was one last gift, a tiny box wrapped up with a disproportionately large bow, and inside was the most beautiful ring. Little did I know Tony had designed the ring himself back in July but had been waiting to ask my dad first.

Prior to getting engaged did you always have a plan for what you wanted your wedding day to be like?
Obviously everyone goes into wedding planning with a few ideas but I promise I hadn't thought about it THAT much. We knew the Tower of London would be an option, and that our parents probably wouldn't have forgiven us if we'd picked another church. I knew I wanted things to be simple and fun for all the guests but beyond that I was open to pretty much anything.

Who helped you most with the overall planning of your wedding and how long did it all take to come together?

Although there was nine months between getting engaged and getting married, Tony was actually deployed a couple of days after popping the question and was away for three months so we really only had six months to plan it all. While he was away I tried to do everything I could on my own, which came to a halt after picking a dress and reading a LOT of wedding magazines. He was able to get in touch with the vicar while he was overseas so by the time we came back we had a couple of dates to play with and a long list of venues to visit. Both our families were amazing throughout, as were the other members of the wedding party such as the ushers and bridesmaids, Tony was hopping between the UK and Cyprus so we needed a bit of a support group to get us through it and step in where needed. 

Did getting married in the City give you concerns about outside entertaining space?
We knew we wanted somewhere guests could get to easily from the Tower so distance and budget were a bigger concern for us to be honest. The outside garden at Skinners Hall was a huge bonus and sold the venue for us. We were worried about the October weather so prayed that the rain would hold off and we were so happy that it did. It was warm enough for our guests to enjoy their canapés outside on the terrace and they all loved it.


How incredible was it to get married in the Tower of London?
Just amazing. We'd been lucky enough to attend a few weddings there as guests but actually getting to do it ourselves was unreal, and it was only on the day that we realised just how special it was. I had to drive through the gate next to the river and at that point I started to get a bit overwhelmed as there were so many tourists taking pictures. By the time I got out of the car I was a wreck, but the vicar, Roger Hall, was amazing. He was able to calm me down and from that point it was just brilliant. After the service we were taken into the chapel's crypt while we waited for our guests to go outside. Very few people get to go inside so that was pretty incredible to look back on. Another nice thing about getting married in the City was that we were only about a mile from where we had met as students 10 years ago. We both went to Queen Mary, University of London, so that part of London was one we knew well and which had many special memories for both of us.

What made you fall in love with Skinners Hall?
Skinner's Hall was one of the last venues we visited and by that time we were starting to get a bit worried that we'd have to do some date changes as the only other venues we'd really liked hadn't been available. We loved the gardens, the entrance gate, the hall, and it felt like a venue which would hold its own after treating our guests to the Tower! There was enough space so we wouldn't need to move our guests from their tables while the dance floor was set up (which was a massive consideration), and we knew we wouldn't need to do too much to make it look amazing as the beautiful woodwork, silverware and tapestries did all the hard work for us! 

And when I saw that the default dessert option for wedding menus was chocolate cake my interest was piqued! Serving cake as pudding was something we were really keen on as we'd been to so many weddings where the cake gets cut, then sits in a corner uneaten so we wanted to make sure our guests enjoyed it. 

How did you choose your menu for the reception?
Now this was tricky! There were so many options that it was almost an impossible task to even narrow it down. We're both foodies and so food was something that was really important to us. We wanted something that most of our guests would like, but at the same time wanted something a bit special. When we finally narrowed down our menu to the point where we were able to taste it we were blown away by the quality of the food. And it was just as good when prepared for 100 people as it was for two. A lot of our guests told us it was the best wedding meal they'd ever had.

What song did yourself and Tony choose for your first dance and why?
We picked Bright Eyes First Day Of My Life which is a really sweet song that holds a lot of resonance for us. In hindsight though the tempo made it really difficult to dance to and this may have been the one thing we'd change about the day.

Do you have any advice for the brides-to-be who are planning their weddings?
Don't over think things. It's so easy to get bogged down in the whole 'industry' aspect of weddings and think your day will be ruined if you don't have hand-made favours, hundreds of decorations painstakingly collected over months and months, and everything matching. Putting pressure on yourself to have the perfect wedding will drive you mad, and hit your pocket hard. I do think it's really important to spend money on hiring a good photographer, as along with the memories and the marriage certificate the pictures will be the only tangible memento of the day - and they can't be re-done!

Things will go wrong, and though they may seem devastating at the time, the only thing that really matters is that the two of you get to pledge your lives to one another in the company of all the people you like the most in the world. The week before the wedding I was pulling apart orders of service after a printing error, and none of the pages quite matched up as they had done. It didn't matter. I'd been adamant that I didn't want my bridesmaids wearing blue, the only dresses we liked only came in blue. It didn't matter. I'd say to brides-to-be you have to go with the flow, flowers might not get delivered on time, people will drop out last minute and something WILL go wrong on the day but they won't be the things you remember.

And one last bit...
I just wanted to say a huge thank you to the team at Party Ingredients and Skinners. They couldn't have done enough for us and were a real help both in the run-up to the wedding and on the day itself. Olly was brilliant at helping us organise and putting our minds at ease, and Chris and Mirna were amazing on the day - even coming to the aid of one guest with a hair dryer after a mishap with a glass of wine.

Lucy and Tony's photographer was Niki Marusich, who is available for UK weddings from July to October 2014, more information and contact details can be found on Niki's Website.
For more information on Skinners Hall, head here and to view wedding packages and menus click here.
To be married in the Tower of London is an exclusive privilege to only a select few, but to find out more about hiring the venue head here