Susan and Chris met at a dance studio in Leicester where they took part in Ceroc dancing which is a modern jive style dance for couples. Susan says, "He was with a bunch of women from Coventry and I was on my own that night as my friend Denise was on holiday. We danced together several times and I liked his smile and the way he sang along with the music." The couple met up the following day for a lunch where they spent five hours chatting and getting to know each other. Moving forward the couple mentioned getting married multiple times, Chris had never been married and Susan was a widow for a very long time. In May 2018 Chris popped the question and Susan recalls this moment, "He had wanted to propose in the restaurant where we were having a romantic meal but there was a big birthday party and they started singing Happy Birthday. We decided to walk home and that's when he proposed."
Here Susan tells us details about the special day...
We decided to keep this celebrant-led ceremony as personal and intimate as possible, we had about 50 guests in the end.
I trawled local antique shops in Leicester and Market Harborough forkey Outlander-themed and 'garden party' items which we used in the dining room and around the garden.
We wanted to hold it in my mum's garden as she had lived in the house for more than 50 years and the whole family had enjoyed many happy times there. We wanted to celebrate my 60th birthday at the same time so called it a Wedding Party!
The bridal flowers and confetti were gorgeous! I had a bouquet tied with tartan ribbon which included pale pink peonies, mauve clematis, cream rosebuds, white thistle, white stocks and foliage. The matrons' bouquets mirrored mine and the buttonholes had cream rosebuds, white thistle, purple clematis and foliage.
We did some necessary work in the garden and decided to turn the run-down garage into a bar! We kept the feel of a garage and decorated it with old items that had been in there for years.
We wanted to make our day special and went with an Outlander theme as Chris is a Stuart with family roots in Northern Ireland and I love the TV programme.
The relaxed vibe of the day was reflected in thefact that there were no table plan, top table orplace cards. We did however have pretty pink decorated serviettes and a whole array of vintagetea sets and pots bought from local antique andcharity shops for the occasion.
The tables had hessian or lace panels with green and clear glass vases, jarsand quirky milk bottles filled full of pretty country flowers.
With our lovely dog as the ring bearer it was complete!
Our celebrant Evelyn was perfect on the day. As a celebrant myself, I had mether before, and I knew she was the one for us. She created a ceremony that worked for us and our two families, with a hand-fasting and key ceremony.
The favours were tiny succulents dotted around the garden and were sodecorative. We worked so hard to get the right purple velveteen paper to match the 'Outlander' theme. The guests really loved them!
The wedding breakfast was an afternoon tea with a range of sandwiches and other savoury dishes made in-house by the family. The cakes were all baked by professional cake makers that the bride knew and wanted to share their amazing creations with family and friends.
The wedding cake was magnificent as it reflected our outfits inthe two tiers. One tier was cream and covered in tiny pearlslike the bodice of the wedding dress and the other tier wasdark blue and appeared to be a soft velvet-like material likethe kilt. It was most impressive and it tasted great too!
The shoes I bought from Irregular Choice were pink and theyhad just the right heel shape to match the theme! I also had alovely blue garter from Extra Special Touches to wear.
I wore a bridal gown from Bridal Reloved in Leicester as it has a marvellous choice of dresses. The dress reflected the18th-century Outlander theme with abeautiful lace veil that I bought there too which completed the look.
The bridesmaids wore their own style of dress for the day so they felt comfortable and relaxed if it included pink,lilac, purple and/or dark blue shades.
The groom wore his kilt suit as did the best man,his brother-in-law wore the Black Watch tartan.The groom's sister wore a tartan corset dress,especially tailored in Edinburgh. All three of them certainly looked the part!
We had a big basket full of hats and other fancy-dress items which family wore and took photos with aninstant mini camera which they all enjoyed.
Guests posed in front of the beautiful flower wall and then we had an album in which they could place their photos!
We were both ecstatic on the day! As I had planned the whole day myself with Chris, it was a super big worry but thanks to the wonderful support and help before, on and after the day from local suppliers, it all went really well!
Enjoy the day – it really does fly by. You can't get to speak to everyone as much as you would like, but make sure you spend time with your new partner too!