Lizzie & Greg's Story | Chartrdge Lodge - Bedfordshire & Milton Keynes Wedding Photographer | Momentous Photography
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Real Wedding Questions: | As featured on Confetti

 1. Bride and Groom’s names: Lizzie Quinn and Greg Baldock 

2. Wedding date: 27/09/2014 

3. How/where did you meet (e.g. online, at a party, worked together)? We were both actors and met shooting a short film together – we had to play a couple and we just got on. When the filming had finished we got the train back to London and travelled right to the end of the line, missing both our stops because we couldn’t stop chatting. I had just started seeing someone else and so wasn’t looking for a romantic relationship so we stayed in touch as friends. That relationship fizzled out and when I told Greg it had ended he offered to take me out to take my mind off things and I suddenly realised I’d been hoping he would. The rest, as they say, is history. It was obvious straight away that this was something that was going to last, we moved in together after only five months! 

4. Your proposal - who popped the question and how? Being actors Greg and I were often looking for part time work and ended working as tour guides for The Secret Chamber Tour company taking Jack the Ripper Tours in the East End. It was a great job for us as we both love history, especially anything to do with the Victorians. We had to travel to York to attend the Jack the Ripper Conference in 2012 which finished the day before our two year anniversary and had booked to travel on from there to Whitby for a few days. Greg proposed on our final day in York at 7.30 in the morning!! He’d assumed I’d be up early through excitement because it was our anniversary but we’d been up until 2am the night before celebrating the end of the conference so I was not impressed at being woken up. I soon perked up when I realised what was going on – Greg had ordered champagne and chocolates to be delivered and I saw him slip the ring into the glass of champagne. He got down on one knee and said ‘Now I wanted make sure you’d have a drink inside you before you answer the following question’. All our friends at the conference knew his plans and were waiting for us at breakfast downstairs. Although 7.30am was early it was actually lovely as we had the whole day to enjoy it, sharing the news with our family and friends as we travelled to Whitby and then celebrating with fish and chips and champagne at the Magpie Cafe. It was a beautiful day.

5. When did you know he/she was “the one”? I can’t think of a specific time, I think I subconsciously knew from that train journey back to London but it was a little while before I would admit it to myself.

6. Length of engagement? We were engaged for 2 years and together for 2 years before that.

7. Where was your wedding ceremony? We had the whole wedding - ceremony and reception at Chartridge Lodge in Chesham Buckinghamshire.

8. Describe your ceremony (e.g. how many guests attended, most memorable moments, what type was it – religious, civil etc?) We had around 90 guests for the ceremony which was about the full amount we could. I remember walking along the corridor with my father and my bridesmaids and having to wait outside the room just out of site. I didn’t exactly feel nervous but very excited. Before the big day Greg and I had made a £20.00 bet on who would be the most emotional but I actually felt very calm throughout the whole thing (and therefore won the bet!). It wasn’t until Greg and I were on the train back up to London the next day the full realisation hit me and I embarrassingly (and very publically) sobbed for the whole journey. We didn’t want a religious ceremony but we did pick a couple of readings ‘I Love You’ by Roy Croft and ‘A Lovely Love Story’ by Edward Monkton which were read out by my best friend Nicole and my Mother in Law Patsi and they really made the ceremony special.

9. Where did you hold your wedding reception? Our whole wedding was at Chartridge Lodge – we wanted ease and no stress on the day and liked having the whole thing under one roof. The garden at Chartridge is beautiful and we were blessed with a lovely sunny day which added to the relaxed atmosphere. 10. How did you choose your reception venue (e.g. price, location, recommendation, etc)? We initially struggled finding a venue – I was very focused on the reception and the party, I wanted things to be relaxed and easy so had been thinking a registry office followed by a party at a pub or restaurant, whereas Greg focused more on the ceremony and wanted something grander and more traditional. Chartridge Lodge was the first place we both walked into and could see ourselves getting married. It’s a gorgeous Edwardian House set in beautiful grounds but has a very relaxed atmosphere and didn’t feel too daunting. Co-incidentally the venue was only five minutes away from my parents and the house I grew up in. We had been looking in London but found venues there very expensive. The cost of the wedding was shared between my parents, Greg’s parents and us and we did have a strict budget but found Chartridge really affordable and very spacious, allowing for people to dance with the band or sit at the bar or outside if they wanted to be away from the music. On the day the wedding coordinator wouldn’t let me worry about a thing and the venue handled everything – even when the speeches overran by an hour! The food the venue provided was beautiful (the food and drink was very important to us as ... well eating and drinking are very important to us).

10 Who was your wedding photographer? Why did you pick them? What were they like to work with? Our wedding photographer was Debbie Simister, I found her by trawling the internet for local wedding photographers but finding affordable ones was difficult. When I found Debbie’s website I loved her pictures and contacted her – she offered to come round and meet us face to face and show us her pictures and what she offered. To be honest I decided to hire her as soon as I opened the front door. She’s a great character as well as being a fantastic photographer – throughout the whole process Greg and I were looking for people we wanted to work with as well as great suppliers (this meant that we enjoyed the process of organising this wedding so much more). Debbie was and is fantastic and I love the moments she captured on the day, she is such a positive force, just the kind of person you want to have around you on your wedding day when everything is so frenetic. One of my favourite pictures is of my father and I reflected in a mirror as we are walking to the ceremony room – one of those moments you’d just miss if it wasn’t caught in a photograph. She took some really beautiful pictures of Greg and I, but also captured our silly side and those are the pictures I really cherish – they’re just us!

11. What were your wedding theme/ colours? Our main colour was plum purple with peach, pink and ivory thrown in for good measure.

12. How did help in your big day (e.g., shop products, articles, etc)? Confetti was great for looking for inspiration and ideas for the big day - I became addicted to reading the real couples section.

13. How many bridesmaids did you have? Can you describe the dress they wore? Why you picked the colours and the style? We made the decision to keep the bridal party small, and focus on family for the bridal party, so I had my two young cousins as bridesmaids and my gorgeous goddaughter as a flowergirl. My best friend was very much on hand to help but got to choose her own dress! Both the bridesmaids had full length plum gowns from David’s Bridal Bridemaids range. We were able to get them shipped over from the USA.

14. How many groomsmen did you have, and who were they?( Can you also describe the outfits they wore and why they chose that style) We just had Greg and his brother Kristian as best man. Greg, Kristian and both our fathers wore charcoal grey morning suits hired from Moss Bros. We had tried on lots of suits but the morning suits suited our vintage feel.

15. How and why did you choose your dress, and what was it (e.g. who was the designer, how many dresses did you try on before you found it, was it the same as the dress you first wanted/saw in a magazine, who went shopping with you, did your mum cry when she saw you wearing it)? The process of choosing my wedding dress was more difficult than I initially thought it would be. I’m not someone who has been dreaming of their wedding day since they were little - meeting Mr Right and getting married had never been my priority but it had just happened. I had never really imagined what kind of wedding I wanted or what kind of dress and, initially, I didn’t want to look like a bride at all but thought about just wearing a nice non-traditional dress. I hated the idea of being the centre of attention and looking like ‘a bride’. I have had a lot of confidence issues in the past and I think this was just a process I had to go through but luckily I had my friend Nicole, my mum and lots of other friends gently persuading me that it would be OK to look like ‘the bride’ on my wedding day. Nicole and I tried some dresses on at ‘The National Wedding Show’ in London and I started to think more about what I wanted. I was pretty set on A-line, lace and something that showed off my back – one thing I was certain of, no fishtails or anything that fitted – I didn’t have the figure for it. We had tried looking in one or two shops but my mum suggested that we take a look at David’s Bridal in Stratford and after trying on a few dresses I ended up trying some fitted styles and really liked them – I had always thought that only skinny models could wear that shape but actually it’s designed to show off curves. I tried a trumpet style dress by Melissa Sweet dress with capped sleeves and a lace back and when I looked in the mirror I felt six feet tall. It was the polar opposite of what I’d decided I wanted but it’s true what they say, you do get a feeling. I came back to David’s bridal three times and tried on every dress in the shop it felt like, but I kept coming back to that one so that was that. The staff at David’s bridal were just lovely and so helpful, I think it’s a great place to go and get an idea of what you want – especially if, like me, you are a bit nervous about the whole ‘dress’ thing. 16. What was the style you were going for? (e.g fairytale, vintage etc) We were looking at a vintage book theme, something between Turn of the Century/ Downton Abbey to fit in with the venue. Whilst we achieved this it also became a bit of a mish mash and looking back at my wedding now, my favourite thing is that the day just expressed our personalities. The vintage, Victorian look, James Bond, circus performers we had a bit of everything but it all came together. 17. Can you describe the accessories you wore? Who the designer was? Why you picked them? I wore a bracelet that Greg had bought me around the time we got engaged. It was a pearl and gold bracelet from a shop called Silverado which is one of my favourite jewellery shops. I am not superstitious, I didn’t do the whole ‘something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue’ thing but I knew he’d recognise the bracelet and it would make him happy that I was wearing it. I bought a beautiful gold and pearl comb from Ivory and Co to match and, apart from earrings that was all the jewellery I wore. I didn’t want a veil or anything fussy – I knew that I’d just get annoyed and would worry about it all the time. 18. Who did your hair and makeup? What was the look you wanted to achieve? My hair and makeup was done by Pam Lamb in Chesham. She gives brides the option of having HD makeup which I opted for, partly because it was fun , and partly because it gives fantastic coverage and doesn’t have to be reapplied. She also made little crystal combs for the bridesmaids. Because of the style of the dress I wanted my hair to be up (also because I would worry about it less) and wanted the style to go with the vintage wedding theme. When it came to my makeup, I wanted to feel comfortable so opted for colours that I would normally wear (although much more expertly applied!) and a berry lip colour. I was really happy with how it all came together. 19. What was your favourite part of the wedding? This is almost an impossible question there are so many. The ceremony - seeing Greg as I came into the ceremony room and actually saying the vows. Another favourite moment was ‘the surprise’ – I knew Greg had booked a surprise for me after the ceremony. Sure enough I was whisked off, Kir Royale in hand, and discovered a vintage Aston Martin DB5 waiting outside the venue, driven by none other than Pierce Brosnan’s stunt double in the James Bond films. I am a huge bond fan and getting to go for a drive in this car was incredible and we got some fantastic photos – I will never forget the sound of the engine as long as I live. There are so many other moments – the speeches, dancing the night away to our fantastic band El Pollo Diablo. Greg and I really wanted a live band but were struggling to afford one. We came across El Pollo Diablo who were priced very competitively. Once again – we lucked out, they were awesome! They created such a fun, fantastic mood everyone was dancing right from the word go. Towards the end of the night Greg and I had some photos taken in the grounds with sparklers. About an hour later I looked down at my dress and saw the most enormous spider trapped under the top layer of tulle just sitting there – it must have crawled into the dress during the photographs. I am a massive arachnophobic so I think it was a testament to how happy I was feeling that I didn’t freak out but calmly asked Greg to perform his first husbandly duty and get it the hell off me. Someone has since told me that a spider on your wedding dress is meant to be good luck! 20. What made your wedding unique and special? I think the fact that it was just mine and Greg’s personalities in a nutshell, and there was so much laughter. We had a bit of luck as we came across Single Soldier Circus Company whilst working on a theatre project and found out that they performed at weddings. We approached them with regards to ours and the results were better than we could have expected – they did a fantastic aerial show for the guests after the ceremony when everyone was enjoying a glass of something sparkling outside. Then later they performed a floor show and a fantastic fire routine – something really different but amazing, our guests are still talking about it! Every supplier we used was fantastic and a lovely person, on the day there was no drama, no stress, it was so relaxed and everyone had a good time.

21. Did anything funny or unusual happen at your wedding? One thing was that half way through our first dance the power and the lights cut out. I thought ‘ we weren’t that bad were we!’ but the power came straight back on and the band started again so it was the longest first dance – excruciating but also very special.

22. Can you describe your wedding cake? Yes I can, and you will be jealous. The cake was from a little chocolate shop in Chesham called Sophie’s. I have been going there ever since I was a little girl and I remembered a cake that used to sit in the window of the shop. It was a cone of cake (we chose two flavours, rum chocolate and lemon) covered in the amazing chocolate truffles that Sophie makes. It was genuinely beautiful – we had to pretend to cut it but we didn’t care. 23. Can you describe the wedding flowers you picked for your bouquet, centrepieces etc? What colour were they and why you picked them? My bouquet was of purple, peach and ivory roses – I chose roses to match with the vintage theme and they were so beautiful. For the table centres we printed out pictures on old book pages that corresponded to our table names (our favourite Victorian books). We sourced vintage bottles and old books and arranged them with a few roses for the table centres. Making the table centres was a lot of work but a lot of fun – they turned out beautifully as I wasn’t really sure how it would all come together. 24. What was your first dance song? ‘As’ by Stevie Wonder 25. What is your advice for other brides (e.g., budget, how to cope, best choice you made)? My first and most important piece of advice is to remember it’s your day. Everyone has their own opinion and everyone will give it to you which is lovely, but can be overwhelming. Everyone has a slightly different idea of what a wedding should be but it’s yours that counts so identify what kind of wedding you want – large, small, at home, abroad, traditional, modern, what budget etc and then stick to your guns. Pick a few things that are really important to you and don’t worry about the rest –it will look lovely, it’s a wedding after all. Greg and I were worried about so many things at first – by the end we agreed that as long as we left the day married it would be a success. Secondly the day is made special by including the people that you love - that’s what creates the memories. Thirdly (and something that we were lucky on) try and choose lovely suppliers. I based a lot of my choices of supplier on a gut instinct after meeting them which meant that we ended up working with a lot of lovely, talented people with no fuss or traumas. It makes a huge difference and I can 100% say I would recommend any one of the suppliers we used without a shadow of a doubt. 26. Where did you go on your honeymoon and would you recommend it? Rather than have a traditional wedding list, Greg and I put together a honeymoon list with which meant we could have a honeymoon we could never have dreamed of affording on our own. Choosing the honeymoon was difficult, Greg and I did a lot of research and had many meetings in our local pub to talk over the final details of what we wanted. We’re not people who are interested in lying on a beach and doing nothing, but equally we knew we would be exhausted once the wedding was over. In the end we opted for one action packed week in South Africa, staying four hectic days in CapeTown followed by three at Pumba Lodge Safari Park, then one week in Mauritius for some relaxation. It was the holiday of a lifetime! The only thing I would say to couples honeymooning is do something relaxing and unwinding first. I was so tense after all the wedding planning that I only really started to relax half way through the second week. Our honeymoon was put together by Martin at SW13 travel. I highly recommend using this company, Martin worked so hard to give us the best we could get for our budget and answered any questions or concerns we had. Suppliers Fill out the below with the names of your suppliers. Add notes below the list if you had anything extra at your wedding, e.g. photo booth, ice cream van, etc. Wedding Dress: David’s Bridal Stratford Wedding Shoes: Wedding Suits: Moss Bross Wedding Bridesmaid Dresses: Davids Bridal (USA) Wedding Flowers: Maples Flowers Wedding Entertainment: Single Soldier Circus Theatre Company Wedding Photographer: Debbie Simister Wedding Videographer: David Morrisby (friend) Wedding Cake: Sophie’s Wedding Make-up: Pam Lamb Wedding Hair: Pam Lamb Wedding Stationery: Orbit Printers / DIY (did some bits ourselves) Wedding Invites: Orbit Printers (designed by me and my mum) Wedding Transport: Driven by James Wedding Venue: Chartridge Lodge Ceremony Venue: Chartridge Lodge Wedding Venue stylist/planner: Wedding Gift list: Wedding Catering: Chartridge Lodge Wedding Band: El Pollo Diablo

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