Helen and Alex

An Autumn Wedding | 20th Oct 2018

On the 20th October 2018 Helen and Alex held a beautiful wedding at Addington Palace. Follow their journey and see how it all began.

How it all began…

Alex and I are both from South East London – I am from Bromley and Alex is from Orpington. My sister was friends with Alex when they were younger, but we didn’t meet properly until 3.5 years ago.  I was living in Boston, Massachusetts, teaching 3rd grade and my sister came to visit. Our mutual love of country music took us on holiday to Nashville, Tennessee. Whilst there, a friend suggested that my sister got in touch with Alex as he was now working for Vanderbilt University in Nashville. We arranged to meet for a drink on the last night of our holiday and the rest is history! We dated between Boston and Nashville for a year before I moved to Nashville. We got engaged in the Smoky Mountains in East Tennessee over Thanksgiving 2017.

Choosing Addington Palace as your venue

It was important that our wedding ceremony would be at St Giles the Abbot Church in Farnborough as it holds special significance for the Lubbock family. We wanted to find a reception venue within about half an hour of the church, so our guests wouldn’t have to travel too far. I had been to a beautiful winter wedding at Addington Palace around 9 years ago, so it was high on our list of potential venues. When we looked around, we were really pleased with the layout of the space and the overall look of the palace. We particularly liked the number of smaller rooms which would allow guests to escape the music later in the evening if they wished. It was a bonus to find out about the accommodation on site. We hired Benson and Sumner Cottages so that my bridesmaids and I could get ready there before the wedding and we wouldn’t have to travel far afterwards!

The Dress

My bridesmaid dress was Aries by Eddy K. I bought it from a small bridal store about 45 minutes outside of Nashville and had it fitted by Karen Hendricks Couture in Nashville. British Airways were excellent in helping me bring it over to London!

The Day

The overall theme for our day was autumnal woodland, with lots of autumn colours and foliage. Madeline from Wisteria Green really understood this and her bouquets, buttonholes and table centrepieces were stunning! Our wedding ceremony was at St Giles the About church in Farnborough, conducted by Reverend Matthew Hughes. We were very lucky to have glorious October sunshine so we could enjoy the church grounds. Our guests were taken from the church to Addington Palace on an old Routemaster bus, supplied by Traditional Travel. Our guests from America really loved this! It was important for us to hire a toastmaster who could be in charge of timings and the smooth running of the day. Graham Beacom did this brilliantly! During our drinks reception, Olivia Jageurs played her harp whilst Tapenade served a selection of canapes and prosecco. Alex and I got through our formal photos as quickly as we could so that we could spend time with our guests. Tapenade had done a fantastic job in setting up the Great Hall exactly as we envisioned. Our tables were all named after American cities which we have enjoyed visiting, our top table was the Smoky Mountains for where we got engaged. Our table favours were feather pin badges from Cancer Research UK. This was in tribute to Alex’s wonderful mum who sadly died from breast cancer in August. It was so important to us to include her in as much of the day as possible.
After the Wedding Breakfast, the speeches from the father of the bride, the groom and the best men went down brilliantly and then guests retired to the Library for tea and coffee. The Great Hall was reset for the evening, with Phil Webster as our DJ. As added entertainment to bring a little bit of Nashville to the wedding, we also hired a rodeo bull which was set up in the Music Room. Our guests loved this! After our first dance, to Tennessee Whiskey by Chris Stapleton, we danced the night away.

The Wedding Breakfast

Our guests enjoyed a wonderful meal from tapenade of a hot smoked salmon starter and chicken main course. In acknowledgement of our American links, our dessert was a trio of American favourites: New York cheesecake, chocolate brownie and Boston Cream Pie. We were so pleased that Tapenade were totally up for trying something new to meet our American vision! Later in the evening they also server toasted cheese sandwiches along with our wedding cake.

The Most Memorable Thing About The Day

Our favourite part of the day was having so many of our family and friends in the same place to celebrate with us. Living in America, we don’t get to spend nearly enough time with the people we love most, so to have them all together was wonderful. We were particularly touched that so many people had travelled great distances to be there – we had guests from Chicago, Oklahoma and Dallas. Our day was always going to be bittersweet without Alex’s mum there with us. We know that she would have been very pleased to see us so happy.

Suppliers used on the day:

Dress: Eddy K from Lena Peony Bridal
Shoes and veil: Rainbow Club
Groomsmen suits: Moss Bros Hire
Caterers: Tapenade
Makeup: Makeup by Anneka (Anneka Tydeman)
Transport: bus supplied by Traditional Travel
Photographer: Robert Hooper Photography
Florist: Wisteria Green
Harpist: Olivia Jageurs
Toastmaster: Graham Beacom
Cake: Waitrose Entertaining
DJ: Phil Webster from Choice DJ
Rodeo bull: Funday Entertainment Ltd.