It was fourth time lucky for Becky and Max when they eventually tied the knot at Hintlesham Hall in Suffolk. After having to cancel three previous wedding dates due to Coronavirus, their big day finally came on 17th June this year – and what a day it was! Despite restrictions and disappointments along the way, including having to slash the guest list by almost half, they married in style and celebrated with a cool cocktail of soft pastel colours mixed with a dash of boho and Mediterranean vibes and a good measure of gin!
The early days
The pair met three-and-a-half years ago when Max turned up on Becky’s doorstep as a prospective lodger. “I was looking to rent out my spare room and my friend knew someone who wanted to move back to the area, so I got his number,” explains Becky. Max arrived for his interview on the Tuesday night, stayed chatting for three hours and moved into his room that Friday evening. “He took me out to dinner the following Monday and we’ve been together ever since!”
Popping the question
Max proposed at Becky's favourite place, Heacham beach in North Norfolk, with his son Harry and her daughter Solara-Mai in on the act. They'd just arrived at the beach-front holiday home and were paddling in the sea with the children as the sun was setting. "I turned around and Max was down on one knee and the kids were holding a sign asking if I would marry him, I obviously said 'yes'! I literally had no idea it was going to happen but apparently he had the ring for months," reveals Becky.
The perfect place
Choosing where to wed was easy as Hintlesham Hall in Suffolk was always the front runner. "We had one of our first dates there," recalls Becky. "I say date loosely as Max was a restaurant manager at the time and he was going for a wine tasting so I went with him. I got a bit tipsy and he found it all very amusing. We had a really relaxing time and loved it so much that when we went back for a meeting about our big day, that was it, we booked it straight away. We loved everything about it and our wedding planner Tracy was amazing throughout."
Becky bucked tradition when it came to finding her dream dress and went for a sentimental floaty, blush pink number she'd worn before for a couple's photo shoot which they won in a competition. She explains, "The photographer Helen styled us for the session and I wore a beautiful dress which Max loved. Afterwards he said it was his favourite ever dress, so I got in touch with Helen and ended up finding it online and bought it just in case Max ever proposed! The worst thing was trying to fit into the same dress for a year after my final fitting in lockdown! I tried it on every month in 2020 and then every week in 2021!"
She added sparkly straps and bling in the middle for extra bridal glam and wore a pale pink cathedral-length veil for the ceremony and a matching short one for the rest of the day which she embellished with a sparkly trim. "Max bought me some beautiful sparkly peep toe heels as a gift and I wore a glittery rose gold clip in my hair and Swarovski rose gold Bella earrings. I wanted a simple, elegant look that was floaty, natural and vintage."
Max opted for a relaxed Mediterranean-style look with Ralph Lauren plum colour chinos, a white Hugo Boss shirt with the sleeves rolled up, a plum silk bow tie, tan braces and brogues. His son Harry looked dapper in a matching outfit and the groomsmen completed the line up in matching smart casualwear. "Our dog Rudi looked very handsome too in his tan collar and plum silk neckerchief. We had this made form the same fabric as the groomsmen's face masks and I had the sparkly bling trim from my veil sewn on to it for him. He stole the show!" adds Becky.
The bridemaids wore mink dresses to suit their personal style and Solara-Mai complemented her mum in a pale pink floaty Monsoon dress and rose gold ballet pumps.
"The ceremony was my favourite part of the day. We were both really nervous and very emotional as we had been waiting for what felt like forever to get to this point and there was a lot of tears from everyone," remembers Becky. "Seeing Max looking so handsome at the end of the aisle and walking in to our song Feels Like This by Maisie Peters was really moving. We couldn't stop crying then laughing then crying – it was hilarious.
"Solara-Mai wrote and read us a wedding poem which was beautiful, our celebrant Lisa was fabulous and my sister also read a piece from my favourite play Les Misérables. Afterwards, we made sure we had some 'us' time with the children for a photo shoot with coloured smoke bombs, races, confetti and the dog!"
Picking the theme for their celebration was a no-brainer. Becky explains, "The first time we got tipsy together we were drinking gin, I used to make Max gin cocktails after work and we had a lot of dates at our local gin bar. We then progressed to collecting special bottles and joining the Craft Gin Club.
In lockdown we even made a rainbow display of all our coloured gin bottles on the windowsills downstairs, so it was a given that we would have a gin-themed wedding." The table plan was made of gin bottles, so were the centrepieces, there were flower-filled bottles dotted everywhere and the tables were named after different brands of their favourite tipple.
The flowers were another important feature of the day. "My mother-in-law took charge of the main bridal party flowers as she runs Lavenham Flower Shed. We wanted a wild, boho, natural vibe and selected carnations in pastel shades of peach, lemon and pink. We also had vintage roses, pale blush peonies and dark green leafy stems mixed with gypsophila."
Other special details included candles as wedding favours for the ladies, mini Alfred Sung aftershaves for the men and everyone was given a little bottle of candyfloss shimmer gin. Their elegant single-tier cake was finished in classic blush pink with 'Finally!' etched in rose gold on the side. They made rose gold napkin holders for the tables and had glass jars filled with pastel-coloured sweets.
"Max and I and the kids also spent hours baking cherry blossom petals from the tree outside our house to make our own confetti," adds .Becky
Everyone enjoyed canapés and prosecco after the ceremony, followed by a delicious three-course wedding breakfast and an evening buffet of fish and chips, mini sliders, mini hotdogs and fries.
"We were limited for the entertainment as we only had 26 guests due to Covid. We had a piano player Matt Carter who was great. I added some special songs to his playlist including the one my sister walked down the aisle to and some of our loved ones' favourites," adds Becky.
"We sacrificed many things to have our wedding and even though it was all very stressful and not what we had planned, we had an amazing, happy day and we get to celebrate again as we're having an evening reception later on in the year at Hintlesham Hall for all the guests who couldn't come."
When Becky and Max's first wedding on 22nd May 2021 was cancelled just six weeks beforehand due to Covid, they held their own private promise ceremony on the day by the river in Wivenhoe during lockdown. Becky explains, "We arranged a whole non wedding day. We wrote our own vows and it was all captured in County Wedding Magazines' vlog. As a surprise I arranged with Tracy at Hintlesham Hall for us to visit. We all got in the car and drove to our venue for a champagne and cake picnic and we had the whole grounds to ourselves. It was sunny and perfect."
Hair and make-up