"Everything happens for a reason," said bride Natalie as she described the fateful but beautiful challenges they faced during the wedding preparations. Despite everything, the event went perfectly, the planners created a special tent and made incredible floral decorations. Read more about the secrets of Natalie and Greg's gorgeous wedding, coordinated by our wonderful friends from Studio White.
Tell us a little about yourselves. How did you meet? What do you do for a living? What are your hobbies?
We met at university, I was in my last year in Bristol and Greg was studying in Oxford. We were both going to the same party and ended up meeting through a mutual friend. I was originally moving to Montreal after university, but my plans quickly changed once I met Greg! We ended up living in London together and we both went on to get our Masters Degree's in Marketing at Westminster University. After this, I went on to work in public relations, focusing on luxury travel. In 2020 Greg and I moved to the Cayman Islands and I have moved into real estate and Greg has been working in corporate sales for the past three years. We both absolutely love to travel when we can, cooking and eating are both very high on the hobbies list too!! We like to stay active and enjoy going to the gym daily. We make the most of living near the beach, we love taking our dog, Romeo, for beach walks — he is our little pride and joy.
Can you share your engagement story?
For our five year anniversary, Greg planned a weekend away for us at our beach house. We try to go there most weekends so it wasn’t particularly out of the ordinary, but I did have my suspicions that something was going to happen as Greg had planned a private chef for us that evening. We had an amazing meal, it was a five course dinner for the five years we had been together. Shortly after dinner, Greg took me down to the dock where he got on one knee. Greg had put so much thought into the details, he had a ring that my father gave to my mothers reset into a new engagement ring. The jeweller who made the engagement ring, Peter Davey, was also the jeweller that my father commissioned the first piece of jewellery he gifted to my mother years ago. With my father passing away not long before the proposal, these details were so special to me as it made me feel like he was involved in the whole thing.
Where was your wedding? Why did you choose this venue?
It wasn’t exactly a smooth process with our wedding venue… We actually ended up having to change our wedding venue a couple months before the wedding! They say everything happens for a reason, and I truly believe this with our wedding venue change! We honestly couldn’t have been happier with Keythorpe Hall. The grounds were simply stunning, you could see miles and miles of rolling green fields filled with cows. Barbara and Giles, the owners of Keythorpe hall, were so accommodating, they made you feel so at home from the second you stepped foot on the property. They really went above and beyond making our stay so special. The food was incredible too with a strong focus on sustainability. Everything we ate was either grown on the estate itself or from one of the neighbouring properties, which meant the quality of everything was exceptional. The house itself was filled with beautiful flowers that had been grown on the grounds, every room had an amazing flower arrangement in it, as well as their homemade rhubarb gin. I can’t fault the venue, we already cannot wait to go back one day in the near future.
What was the concept behind your wedding and how did you find your inspiration?
I always wanted a quintessential English countryside wedding and oh my goodness, was it even more magical than I could ever have imagined! We wanted green fields, long summer nights, flowers, flowers everywhere. I had envisioned an outdoor living room for the reception and the welcome drinks with sofas, arm chairs and ottomans outside on the lawn. Studio White really brought this alive for us! We had a huge beautiful earn with cascading flowers that was placed on the bar, this might be one of my favourite features we had. A champagne tower, which actually collapsed when we poured the champagne into the glasses, but this all made for a good story and series of photos. We followed a colour scheme of white and green throughout the whole wedding, from invitations, to flowers, to bridesmaid dresses. We wanted the whole weekend to feel timeless and elegant so that when we looked back at the photos we wouldn’t regret anything. So far, I feel it's been mission accomplished.
How long did it take to plan your wedding? Did you encounter any challenges during the planning process?
I would say about 10 months. The planners and ourselves faced many challenges with our original venue but once this issue was resoled by finding a new venue, it was smooth sailing. We were really in the best hands and it certainly helps that our planners are so well organised and well connected. They have excellent relationships with their suppliers, so when we ended up having to move venues, it was all achievable, thankfully!
How many guests did you have? And what was the seating arrangement at the wedding like?
We ended up with around 120 guests. We had four long rectangular tables in a row, seating the bride, groom, bridesmaids, groomsmen, and family one one table.
Tell us about your outfits. How many different styles have you tried?
For the welcome party, I got my dress from Annies Ibiza. It was a "Garden of Eden” tapestry mini dress which felt very fitting for our garden cocktail party. It was a fairly smooth process picking my wedding dress, considering I am usually so indecisive when it comes to clothing. I always knew I wanted two dresses, one for the ceremony and one for the after party. I wanted something very simple and elegant for my ceremony dress and something bold and sparkly for my after party dress. Because we live on a tiny island in the Caribbean, we don’t have the luxury of shopping here so I flew to New York to choose my dress. I had three appointments and Vivienne Westwood was my last appointment. After trying on about 6 dresses prior, I put on the “Grace" dress at Vivienne Westwood I knew it was the one. My mother also got her dress from Vivienne Westwood which was very special as she walked me down the aisle. For my after party dress I booked an appointment at Kyha after seeing their gorgeous glittery numbers on their Instagram and I ended up going with the Amaya dress. It was a beautiful, hand beaded, gold maxi dress, it was everything I had envisioned for my after party dress!
What was your first dance song? Did you choreograph or improvise?
Our first dance song was 'Lets stay together' by Al Green. Greg and I have both always loved that song and we decided to make it our wedding song when it played one evening whilst we were cooking dinner and we both started dancing. We did actually choreograph a wedding dance! We spent two hours doing a dance lesson in Fulham learning/ choreographing a dance to then end up improvising on the night of the wedding. We enjoyed the process anyways.
Did you have any special performances or entertainment?
We did have quite a few performances over the wedding weekend. My us, music is so important as it really sets the whole tone of the party. For our welcome evening on the Friday we went with a roaming band called the Gypsy Queens. They were so interactive, all of our guests loved them. For the wedding day, we had Okiem, a pianist playing during the ceremony. Afterwards for the reception in the garden, we had The Legends, a Cuban band. Last but not least, we had Twiggy DJ’ing after dinner.
What was the most memorable moment from your wedding day?
I think its impossible to choose one! Perhaps I can list a few:
— Greg crying when he saw me walk down the aisle, I didn’t think I’d see the day he would shed a tear!
— Saying our vows in front of all of our friends and family and seeing everyone so emotional. It was one of the most special moments.
— After the ceremony, walking down the aisle together hand in hand and looking back to see all of our favourite people in the world in one place. It really made us appreciate all of the effort that everyone put in to be there, some flying half way across the world to be there that day.
Did you have any special or unique elements (such as a signature cocktail or a fragrance) at your wedding?
For me, smell is one of the strongest senses. Different smells or fragrances always bring me straight back to a time. So having a wedding scent was super important. We juggled around with the idea of having a scent for the whole wedding, but when your wedding is outdoors, this can be tricky and sometimes just a waste of money. So I headed to my all time favourite perfumery, Diptyque, and picked out a new scent for the wedding. I also got our initials and wedding date engraved straight onto the bottle, "N&G, 8th of July 2023”.
Are there any vendors that you would like to tell us a little more about?
Firstly our florist, All For Love, was incredible. I have never seen such beautiful flower arrangements in my life! Ruth understood the assignment to a T and went above and beyond! Secondly, our videographer, Juno Wedding Films. It can be daunting having cameras everywhere, but Ben really made everyone feel at ease while he filmed out special day. He captured the whole weekend so perfectly. We still cry every time we watch our wedding video. Lastly, our photographer, Tali Photography. We still look at our wedding photos daily and will continue to do so!!
What advice would you give to couples who are currently planning their wedding?
Just remember that it is all worth it in the end!!!! Planning a wedding can have you second guessing if its all really worth it. And let me tell you, it really is! All the love and emotions felt over that weekend and to just have everyone you love in one place is simply unbeatable. Another piece of advice I would give is, if you are debating on whether or not to say your vows in-front of your guests, I would definitely go for it. This is one thing we couldn't decide on in the lead up to the wedding. In the end we decided to do it and it was one of the most special parts of the whole weekend for us and our friends and family. The first thing I said to Greg after walking down the aisle together after the ceremony was “I am so glad we decided to do that”.
What helped you cope with the anxiety before the wedding?
When the wedding planning got stressful we really relied on a good routine, the gym, adequate sleep and a healthy diet. Its actually a really good excuse to remove yourself from the social scene for a while, we always wish we could go back to that stage now for some peace and quiet!! It also helps to remind yourself why you are doing it. It will most likely be the most special weekend of your life, brining all your loved ones together. All the stress it worth it in the end, just try and enjoy the process.
Cuban band: @thelegendsalr