STAYING TRUE TO THEMSELVES, STACEY AND TOM MURRAY'S ELEGANT NOVEMBER WEDDING WAS INFUSED WITH THEIR STORY AND PERSONALITY.
IF YOU COULD PICK ONE, WHAT IS YOUR ABSOLUTE FAVOURITE MEMORY OF YOUR WEDDING DAY?
There are so many! If I had to choose just one it would be the minute the doors opened and I looked down the aisle saw Tom and him smile - at the same moment my Grandad (who gave me away) squeezed my hand and started to cry. All of our guests were there - it was the last few moments of being a Miss and the excitement of becoming a Mrs - the day ahead was overwhelming.
WHAT WAS YOUR STYLE INSPIRATION FOR YOUR WEDDING DRESS?
This is going to sound very unglamorous now, but when it came to style inspiration - the only thing I wanted was to be comfy. I had heard so many stories of brides that couldn't wear underwear, that couldn't sit down as it was too tight, that couldn't dance because it was tight, too long or too heavy and all I wanted was a dress that I could feel comfortable in, could eat in without sucking my tummy in and could dance in until the early hours !
DO YOU HAVE ANY ADVICE FOR A BRIDE WHEN SELECTING HER WEDDING DRESS?
Make sure when you try any dresses on, you sit down in them. Many look and feel amazing when your stood up but not when sitting down. If you find what you think is 'The One', go back and try it on again on your own. It's a girls dream to walk out of the changing room and your chosen few who are patiently awaiting immediately burst into tears and declare "that is the one!". This being very flattering and overwhelming, but your dress needs to be right for you. Return to the shop and try it on alone - this will give you the chance not only to see it again but to be at one with your thoughts about how you look and feel about yourself.
WHAT STYLE OF BRIDESMAIDs DRESSES DID YOU HAVE?
I only had one bridesmaid (less stress, expense and female competition/hormones to battle with). It was a red in a grecian style with a side split.
DO YOU HAVE ANY ADVICE FOR A BRIDE WHEN SELECTING HER BRIDESMAIDS DRESSES?
Let them chose their own. This way they feel comfortable, valued and confident. I just asked for it to be red and the rest was down to the bridesmaid.
The Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed & Something Blue.
WHAT WAS YOUR SOMETHING OLD AND WHY WAS IT SPECIAL TO YOU?
I wore my Nanna's watch which my Grandad bought for her when they were married. I wear the watch for all special occasions and I wouldn't have gotten married with out it. I didn't care that it wasn't in with the theme or coordinated with everything else - it was the one thing that meant my late Nanna was with me on my big day.
WHAT WAS YOUR SOMETHING NEW AND WHY WAS IT SPECIAL TO YOU?
I had my shoes as my something new - I wanted something that I could wear again. I had sparkly heels and have worn them may times since - each time I get them out of the box it brings back great memories.
WHAT WAS YOUR SOMETHING BORROWED AND WHY WAS IT SPECIAL TO YOU?
I borrowed my bridesmaids' perfume. Leading up to the day there wasn't anything I could think of that I wanted to borrow from anyone - so whilst getting ready in the morning together we came up with the idea of borrowing her perfume.
WHAT WAS YOUR SOMETHING BLUE AND WHY WAS IT SPECIAL TO YOU?
I had blue gems on the bottom of my shows saying 'I do', and also a blue bow on my bridal underwear. I wanted to wear something blue as navy is one of my favourite colours.
The Hair & Makeup.
HOW DID YOU GO ABOUT FINDING THE RIGHT HAIR STYLIST & MAKEUP ARTIST FOR YOU?
I spent a long time looking at bridal makeup and hair styles online and in magazines. There seems to be so much pressure around this when your getting married. I'm not a big fan of makeup and wear very little - so this was the only thing I found stressful leading up the wedding. I was recommended a stylist (Lisa) who lived nearby so I booked in for a trial. During the trial Lisa was very enthusiastic but relaxed and this made me feel at ease. Lisa asked my about my usual make up and hair styles and about what I had been researching. Lisa reassured me that the natural look was very much on trend and that I didn't have to (and wouldn't regret) not having big hair and a plastering of make up. I really enjoyed both the trial and the on the day experience of having my hair and make up done and felt very confident and comfortable with a natural look.
WHAT WAS YOUR STYLE INSPIRATION FOR YOUR HAIR & MAKEUP?
Natural look all the way.
How did you wear your hair and why?
I had my hair down and curly - this is natural for me and I was very determined that I didn't want to look back and not look like me.
WHAT WOULD YOUR GO-TO BEAUTY SECRET BE? DO YOU HAVE ANY TIPS ON HOW TO PREPARE YOUR SKIN FOR YOUR BIG DAY, OR DID YOU USE ANY PRODUCTS THAT YOU RELIED ON ON THE DAY?
I would just say do what you usually do and stay hydrated (water not wine). If your skin is generally good don't go risking new products/treatments before or on the day of your wedding - just stick with what you know works.
WHAT STYLE OF SHOES DID YOU WEAR?
DO YOU HAVE ANY SECRETS TO BEING ABLE TO STAY ON YOUR FEET ALL DAY LONG?
Gel support. But I cheated too - I changed into flat ballet shoes after the first dance. I wasn't risking not being able to dance the night away or having scabby feet on my honeymoon!
HOW DID YOU GO ABOUT choosing YOUR PERFECT VENUE?
We wanted somewhere local and somewhere that we could return back to for anniversaries etc. We searched online, looked at reviews and then went and visited.
WHAT MADE YOU CHOOSE your wedding venue?
The setting, the staff and the food.
WHAT TIPS WOULD YOU GIVE TO A BRIDE WHEN CHOOSING HER WEDDING VENUE?
I was given this as a tip when I got engaged and now highly recommend it to others. If you see a venue, go and visit with no appointment - go to the bar or restaurant and get a feel for the venue and the staff. Pre booked wedding viewings can be a bit false and you might not get a real feel of the atmosphere and service.
Did you choose a particular style of food and why?
We chose food that we love! As with everything we wanted it to represent us.
What would your advice be for a Bride when choosing your food?
Choose things that you like to eat - don't over think it or worry about each one of your guests. You can't please everyone and it's your day.
WHAT FLORAL ELEMENTS DID YOU HAVE?
Simple yet elegant. We had bouquets, button holes, a registry table centrepiece, petals down the aisle and I had a flower in my hair.
The Photography & Videography.
HOW DID YOU FIND YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER/VIDEOGRAPHER?
We were recommended a photographer by our venue.
What did you like about their work?
We had seen one of his albums in the venue and decided to go along to an upcoming wedding fair that he was attending. We loved how approachable he was, that it was a local family run business and that he was happy to do more natural photos rather than posed traditional photos.
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO A BRIDE WHEN SELECTING A PHOTOGRAPHER/VIDEOGRAPHER?
Make sure you take the time to talk to them about your expectations and make a list of must have photos - on the day everything goes so quickly and you don't have time to think on your feet about what and who you want on the photographs. Also just relax and forget the photographer is there - some of our favourite photographs turned out to be the ones we had no idea he had taken.
The Table Plan.
HOW DID YOU GO ABOUT ASSIGNING YOUR SEATING ARRANGEMENTS?
We sat down together with a bottle of bubbles - drew circles on a piece of paper - added 8 names to each - and hoped for the best!
Did you face any particular challenges and how did you overcome them?
We only have a tiny family so the majority of our guests where friends - I think this made it easier. The only thing we really thought about was which couples where the least likely to get drunk early or swear and these made up the table that had children on!
DID YOU HAVE A PARTICULAR THEME FOR YOUR TABLE NAMES?
No we didn't we just went with numbers.
WHAT TIPS WOULD YOU GIVE TO A BRIDE-TO-BE WHEN CREATING THEIR TABLE PLAN?
Keep it simple and don't over think it.
The Favours & Gifts.
IF YOU GAVE FAVOURS WHAT WERE THEY AND WHY?
We didn't have individual favours - we had table games instead. We decided to do this as we thought that the games would be good ice breakers and that the favours would just get left behind. The money that we would have spent on favours we donated to charity.
WHAT GIFTS DID YOU GIVE TO YOUR BRIDESMAIDS, USHERS, MOTHER-OF-THE-BRIDE ETC.?
Flowers for the ladies and alcohol for the boys. We wrote individual cards too.
DID YOU HAVE A DJ OR A BAND?
We had a DJ.
HOW DID YOU GO ABOUT RESEARCHING & SELECTING YOUR BAND?
DID YOU CHOOSE A PARTICULAR GENRE OR STYLE OF MUSIC?
Both myself and my husband like very different styles of music - so we wrote a list of must haves and then gave him the challenge of mixing Pop/RnB with Indie and it worked really well.
DID YOU HAVE ANY OTHER GUEST ENTERTAINMENT?
We had a dressing up table which included items from our hen and stag dos.
WHAT SONG DID YOU CHOOSE FOR YOUR PROCESSIONAL MUSIC AND WHY?
We had a harpist who played Canon in D. I chose this with my Grandad - not only is it a beautiful piece of music but it's easy to walk to. All you need is love was our choice for the recessional piece.
WHAT SONG DID YOU CHOOSE FOR YOUR FIRST DANCE AND WHY?
We had Joshua Radin - Lovely Tonight for our first song - it's slow and sloppy I know, but neither of us can dance gracefully and the words are perfect. For our last dance we had Etta James - At Last.
WHERE DID YOU GO ON YOUR HONEYMOON AND WHY?
We went to Cape Verde as it was a recommended destination for November. It's a small island with nothing much to do - so perfect for some time away to recover from all of the excitement.
IF YOU COULD GIVE ONE PIECE OF ADVICE TO A BRIDE LOOKING BACK WHAT WOULD IT BE?
Plan in a 20 minute slot just for the two of you. After the meal and before the party we sneakily hid away. It was the perfect time to exchange gifts and to have time alone to take in what had just happened and to just be together. The day goes so quickly - everyone wants to talk to you, take photos of you and move you onto the next agenda item - but that 20 minutes together we still talk about now - it really made our day.