An amazing wedding day with Scottish, Filipino and basketball influencesThe groom wore tartan; the bride wore trainers. This was no ordinary wedding. From the start, Christine and Tarryn knew they wanted an amazing wedding day but due to personal circumstances they had just three weeks to plan – just like in our favourite wedding TV programme Don’t Tell the Bride. Christine tells her amazing wedding day tale to Bouquet Catch.
I’m an art teacher and Tarryn was my art muse. He planned a surprise trip to Italy for my birthday and popped the question at Gianicolo, one of the highest points in Rome. He found a beautiful secluded spot (a field of daisies) at the top of a hill and got down on one knee. It was all very romantic. We were engaged for just over eight months before getting married, but chose our date on Christmas Eve and got married just three weeks later, which made it pretty special.
Originally from Hull, with a Scottish mother, Tarryn is one of the UK’s most well known streetballers and regularly gets booked to perform tricks at events. He’s also played professionally when younger, has featured in TV ads and music videos and still plays recreationally and coaches some of London’s top youngsters in the game. He’s in many a You Tube video, and also had a key role in a British basketball movie – Freestyle. A large number of basketball players attended both the wedding and evening reception.
My dress was the first thing I ticked off my wedding list. My sister and I went to just one dress shop where I tried on about eight different styles of dresses. I couldn’t decide between two of them so decided to sleep on it. My Mum convinced me to visit other dress shops before committing to one of the two dresses but after looking around I had already decided what dress I had fallen in love with without having to try on any other dress. I went back to the shop, tried it on again and was 100% positive it was ‘The Dress’. I remember saying “I want a dress that will make Tarryn cry when he sees me walking down the aisle and this is it!” I was right! It was an Anna Solerno dress from WED2B. I matched my earrings and hairclip to the rhinestone detail that featured on the dress.
Our wedding day was a bright and sunny January day, which instantly set the mood. Getting ready was quite calm and relaxing until about half an hour before we were due to leave. It helped having a lot of hands on deck to make sure everything was good to go. We kept the bridal party as family members: my sister was Matron of Honour, while her one-year-old daughter was bridesmaid and my niece and Tarryn’s niece were flower girls, and my cousin’s son was our ring bearer.
We wanted to include elements from both our cultures. Tarryn is Scottish and wore a traditional kilt outfit from Kilts4All.
My background is mixed Irish and Filipina, and so I walked down the aisle to an Irish version of the classic Canon in D and during our ceremony we included traditional Filipino wedding customs which symbolised prosperity, unity of both families, the couple becoming one, and everlasting love and commitment.
Something we weren’t expecting was our vintage wedding car, a 1950s Bentley, to sound and feel like it was going to fall apart en route to our destinations! It was quite funny; definitely an experience to remember.
The venue, the Sir Alfred Hitchcock Hotel, is local to us and we had been there to eat and drink previously – although we chose traditional Filipino cuisine from Kabayan Restaurant for our wedding day. The atmosphere at this hotel is intimate and has a homely feel to it, which we thought would create the perfect atmosphere for us.
Our colour scheme was pale pink, peach and ivory with accents of gold. There were many DIY elements in our wedding which made it easier to achieve our vision: from making the church pew decorations, to setting the tables at the venue, to having personalised favours to making and hanging the organza ceiling drapes which completely transformed the venue. The lighting we chose really set the ambiance: the ceiling drapes were complemented with soft white fairy lights, the room had purple uplighters spotted around the walls, the top table had a starlight backdrop, each table had floating and tealight candles and as a focal point we had 4ft LOVE light up letters that our guests loved.
The party was so much fun! Everyone enjoyed themselves, which made us enjoy ourselves even more. It’s a great feeling knowing that all your guests are having such a good time on your big day. The DJ was on point, playing tune after tune. There were dance-offs, the Electric Slide (“It’s like caaaandy”), a crazy conga line, as well as the Macarena (of course). We put fun photo props on each table so our guests had lots of photo fun before, during and after dinner. We also had a photo booth, which was a huge hit – the queue for that didn’t end. The package included a photo book with messages from our guests that we can look back on with fond memories.
I have plenty of advice for other bride-to-bes!
- Try on dresses that are not your size – I bought a dress that was two sizes smaller than my size and consequently didn’t need anything altered
- Don’t allow anyone to change your vision…whether it be flowers, decor, dress, colour scheme etc…stick with what makes you happy
- Make a formal photograph list for your photographer and suggest any other photo ideas that you might have in mind
- Have someone appointed to fix your dress train
- Have friends/family members around who can help out and are happy to be bossed around without getting offended
- Keep your lipstick/lip balm handy all day
- Change into comfortable shoes for the party – I wore my Reebok Classics and Tarryn wore his Air Jordans!
Although it’s not tradition for the bride to give a speech, I would’ve liked to have said a few thank yous and said a couple of nice things about my new husband. I also wish I’d had a videographer to capture funny and sentimental moments, and the party.
We have so many favourite moments from our special day…from the first moment we saw each other at the church to getting pelted by raw rice/confetti as we left the church, to the first dance, the conga line, the dance-offs and more…we wish the day lasted longer; it all went so fast.
I remember Tarryn and I sitting on the top table looking at the venue and our guests and thinking: everything is just perfect! The venue looked beyond amazing, even better than we had envisaged. All our guests were having a great time and above all, we were now husband and wife. All our hard work and effort over the last three weeks had paid off and we couldn’t have been happier.
All photography by Rafe Abrook Photography and published with permission of the photographer and bride.