When the time came to propose, Richard chose the city of love as the perfect setting. “It was a couple of weeks after my 30th birthday,” remembers Steffi. “I didn’t know we were going to Paris until we arrived at the Eurostar. On our first night there he got down on one knee outside the Louvre and asked me to marry him.” She said ‘yes’, of course, and they went to a romantic bistro to celebrate afterwards. “We sat next to a father and son who were running a champagne stall at the market the following day. They called us over to try some and we ended up ordering the fizz for our wedding from their vineyard,” adds Steffi.
They set the date for 21st September, 2019 and chose a familiar place for their big day. "After we met Steffi told me about her job at Brasted's at Langley Abbey, how amazing the venue was and the incredible team there," explains Richard. So after a trip home to see her mum, it was decided that a wedding there was the way to go. "It's such a spectacular setting, you can picture how everything will look as you move from room to room," reveals Steffi. "The theme and colour scheme fell into place as we progressed with the planning. We went for grey, lavender tones with wooden, natural elements and wildflowers to create a relaxed feel."
Steffi had her dress made and designed at Camilla Brides in Norwich. "Paula at the boutique helped me work out what suited my shape and we created the design over several appointments to make it perfect. I'd tried on other dresses at another bridal shop which made me realise I wanted something that was just for me as there was always something I didn't like about them." She had a detachable train to allow her to dance the night away and her wedding shoes were customised white Converse High Tops with the wedding date on the side. "I wore a necklace that I was given when I was a bridesmaid, blue socks in my shoes and borrowed a handkerchief. I didn't have a veil as it felt too formal for me."
To reflect his family background, Richard and most of the groomsmen wore their own kilts along with matching grey jackets and socks. The bridesmaids complemented the wedding colours in lilac multiway dresses that they could style to suit them.
Family friends Janet Sayer and Angie Twaite created the wonderful floral displays and bouquets, inspired by the renowned florist Constance Spry in keeping with her design philosophy to 'leave room for the butterflies'. "When Janet told me this I just loved it," recalls Steffi. "I wanted my bouquet to have that just-picked-from-the-meadow look and it was exactly what I asked for." In a nod to Richard's Scottish roots the flowers and buttonholes were all tied with Black Watch tartan ribbon.
The venue provided the ideal setting for the romantic ceremony. "We had dried petals lining the aisle, my mum made the chair decorations and our celebrant helped us to personalise our vows," says Steffi. Afterwards they toasted their new married status with drinks and canapés, including a special plate all of their own. As everyone mixed and mingled, artist Jo Want created a buzz doing guests' portraits. "She was a big hit and we wish we'd booked her for longer as lots of people wanted to have theirs done. Everyone loved her pictures and they were a nice memento for them to take home," adds Steffi.
Decorative details included fairylights adorning the venue with uplighters in the main hall to highlight the stunning brickwork. They had a simple noticeboard-style table plan to complement the wedding stationery. The tables were scattered with dried wildflower petals and the centrepieces were flower-filled white enamel jugs tied with tartan ribbon on rustic wood slices.
Richard's brother David made their cake including two layers of lemon sponge topped with a rainbow-coloured vanilla tier, decorated with wildflowers to match the centrepieces and bouquets. "We bought a bamboo cake stand engraved with our names and wedding date to display it on," adds Steffi. "We also hired decorations including the lanterns for the aisle which we reused around the venue and outside in the evening."
The three-course wedding breakfast provided a delicious array of dishes with a selection of tasty starters, followed by loin of lamb or grilled sea bass with a vegan option too for the main course and a choice of tempting desserts.
At the end of the night everyone kicked up their heels and danced to celdih band Stumpy Oak. "They did two sets which were incredible and they also provided the DJ for the remainder of the evening," says Steffi. "Everyone present on the day had a part to play in making it extra special and we can't thank them enough!"
Fairylights and uplighters
Groom and groomsmen's jackets