Sambuca bottles, a transatlantic proposal and the world’s cutest flower girl

This Shabby Chic Bride is getting all misty eyed over this beautiful wedding – and the story of how it all began…

It all started when Tom met Poppy. “We met back in 2003 standing in a queue for the incredibly trendy and romantic (not) Camden club – the Underworld,” says Poppy. She asked him to take a photo of her with her friends and there was a spark – they went inside and danced all night (helped along by a generous amount of Sambuca). “As Tom lived and was studying in Ireland we had a summer fling and we went our separate ways.”

But the romance didn’t end there for Tom. Poppy explains: “Two years later I was living in New York and Tom flew from Ireland to declare he had not stopped thinking about me for two years. Within six months we were living together in London!”

The proposal…

Tom whisked Poppy off to Florence for 10 days. It took him until eight days into the trip to find the right moment.

“We were at a beautiful monastery in the Tuscan hills having just had a gorgeous meal. We were grabbing shelter before running to the car, as the heavens had opened. Suddenly I turned around to find Tom on his knee, ring in hand. We got the restaurant to re-open their doors so we could drink a toast.”

The couple got married on the 25th of June 2011 at St Mary’s Church, Cricklade. “Closest friends and family stayed near or at our reception venue, the Rectory Hotel, which we had exclusive use of. Everyone was impressed with how the venue combined a trendy boutique feel with real Cotswold charm and a home away from home feeling.”

Poppy created a heart-shaped “poppies & shamrocks” design to celebrate her name and Tom’s Irish heritage and incorporated it into the invitations (designed by bridesmaid Rachel Brunning) and into the order of service and menus, which Poppy made. The wedding cake continued the theme with fuchsia pink poppies and shamrocks on turquoise blue icing.

Turquoise, fuchsia pink and green made up the colour theme and this was reflected in the flowers, which were blue hydrangeas, fuchsia pink peonies and green alchemilla.

“Our florist (Scentiments in Tetbury) did a fab job of incorporating these flowers in the bouquets, buttonholes and the reception flowers which were arranged in blue vases I bought to tie in with the theme, the centrepieces were specifically supposed to look natural, just picked, which I loved. I was so chuffed that the local ladies of the church, for a nominal fee, decorated the church with these same flowers which certainly saved some money and was lovely.”

“During the signing of the register we had a soloist sing Panis Angelicus and at the end of the service as we reached the top of the aisle we turned back to our congregation as the choir sang ‘How Sweet it is’ and we all had a sing song.”

The day was made extra special by Poppy and Tom’s 16 month old daughter. “She was so delightful as our flower girl in her pretty little lace and organza dress. She welcomed everybody with daddy at the church and then came down the aisle with her godmother Rachel.”

Two white Austin Sheerlines called ‘Olive & Rose’ took the wedding party and from the church in style (supplied by AlexCars).

Poppy’s attention-to-detail really shone through during the reception. “To celebrate our first ever meeting I made little bottles of Sambuca with special ‘Tom and Poppy’s Sambuca’ labels which sat at each person’s place tied with the same blue ribbon I had used throughout. During my short speech I explained the relevance and asked everybody to join us for a shot from their bottle which raised a laugh. Also on the table we had matching blue ribbons tied around napkins, place cards I made at home, glass tea lights dotted around in our colours and the table names which all represented places that meant something to us such as Florence (engagement), Morocco (our first holiday) and so on.”

Tom and Poppy joined the growing number of brides and grooms opting for something a little bit different to entertain their guests. “We have a brilliant guest book that we will always look back at and have laughs at as thanks to the fancy dress box and Polaroid pictures we provided there are some great guest pics and comments.”

“My absolute personal favourite bit was the speeches, my mum, Tom and Paul – the best man, moved me to tears with their humour and loving comments.”

“A seriously funny part of the wedding was my gift to my new husband. Just before our first dance I surprised him with four little Irish dancers from a local school. Their dancing was amazing and the extreme curly wigs and make up was very entertaining.”

“Another definite favourite bit was that our phenomenal friend Machiel Van Der Aar ‘SaxSymbol’ really got the dance floor rocking with his brilliant saxophone playing in the evening.”

“A major part of our big day was the super calm and creative photography of Graham Young Photography who manoeuvred skilfully from one shot to the next unobtrusively and, having listened to our preferences, really captured natural and beautiful shots we will treasure forever.”

My dress was a soft organza gown by Ella Bridals. The food was provided by our fabulous venue, which has won many accolades for its superb food.

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