When Kevin & Elica told me their plans for their Worcestershire wedding at Stanbrook Abbey, I couldn’t stop myself from becoming just a little excited by the prospect of photographing such an amazing event. Wedding Photography at Stanbrook Abbey is always a special. With the magnificent building, long cloisters and the always stunning, Callow Great Hall. You really cannot fail to capture amazing reportage wedding photography in a wedding venue so glorious as this. However this wedding raised the bar one or two notches and I loved every minute of it!
On the day I had the great pleasure of working alongside Chloe from Belle La Vie Event Management. Chloe, who once organised weddings while working for Stanbrook Abbey, recently took the very brave jump into being a full time, self employed wedding planner. I have to say, going by how smoothly the day went and how well put together the wedding was overall, I would say Chloe has a big future in the Wedding Planning business. Well done!!
I also wanted to give a special mention to Rachel at Event Dressing. The reception room was impeccably dressed to an extremely high standard. It was a picture of elegance and was simply beautiful!
1) Please tell me how you first met?
Elica – We met at work. Kev recalls me walking past his desk on my induction tour…I noticed him a few days later.
Kevin – I noticed Elica indeed walk past my desk, as I knew there would be a new solicitor starting in the team and I remember thinking that I wouldn’t mind if it was her. Apparently Elica noticed me up on the 9th floor of our building looking sharp waiting to go into a meeting…2) When was it you knew they were the one?
Elica – Kev chased me for 2 years until he finding ground me down. He finally made his move in January 2014 when he’d just moved out of his parents and into his own flat. At my birthday drinks he gave me a card and inside was a voucher for dinner at ‘Chez O’Shea’… I finally cashed the voucher in a few months later and the rest is history!
Kevin – We will all hear a different version of this story during my speech…3) Could you give us the story of the proposal?
Elica – At Kev’s 30th birthday party in front of all our family and friends. He used to be known for his MC skills and went by the name of K Star or Thunda K back in the day so he’s partial to getting up on the mic and spitting a few rhymes. However, this time it wasn’t to MC and instead he proposed. Complete shock, I can’t even remember it!
Kevin – I always wanted the proposal to be a complete surprise, and given the amount of hints that Elica had dropped, a country break or trip to Paris just wasn’t going to do it for me! This way I managed to completely blindside her as only my brother and Elica’s Dad knew anything about it. Safe to say the 30th birthday party went to a whole new level after that!4) If you don’t mind sharing, can you tell me something quirky, funny or silly about your partner?
Elica – Kev’s a clown, it’s one of the reasons why I’m marrying him. As much as he drives me insane with his nail biting and leaving cupboard doors open he never fails to make me laugh!
Kevin – Elica loves it when I get things wrong, even tiny things like mispronouncing a word or if I trip on a step. She finds it absolutely hilarious and pulls faces at me, basically because she thinks I am a smart-arse so loves it when she is able to pull me back down to earth.5) What is your perfect day together?
Elica – Sat on the sofa, watching a box set, eating junk food and finding something to always laugh about.
Kevin – For me, taking Elica out to a top restaurant (we have a list that we are slowly ticking off), over-ordering, over-eating and then chuckling full to the brim on the way home on the tube6) Apart from the obvious, what are you most looking forward to on your wedding day?
Elica – Being able to call myself Mrs O’Shea!!! And seeing all our family and friends in one place.
Kevin – Just having a gathering of all of our closest friends and family in 1 place, having great food and plenty of drinks, and then a seriously good boogie!7) What was it that inspired you to go for the theme or the decor you chose for your wedding?
Elica – It’s classy, elegant and timeless… Like to think it reflects my style 😉
Kevin – I had absolutely zero influence on any of it and my suggestions were struck down with Stalin-esque force.8) Please tell me one thing you wish you had known at the beginning of your wedding planning process, that you could pass on to future bride’s reading this blog?
Elica – Everyone always says don’t stress but it’s hard not to. The whole process has been extremely time consuming and stressful. I’d say don’t take too much on.
Kevin – I think you have to be prepared for plans to change and not panic when they do. We had some very last minute additions from overseas which added to the stress levels (admittedly Elica’s far more than mine), but you get through it one stage at a time. Be prepared to accept that everything takes at least 2-3 times longer than you think it ever could.9) When searching, what were you were looking for in a wedding venue?
Elica – As close to London as possible and somewhere where we could have the venue for both the Friday and Saturday night. Numbers as well – our invite list started out as 200 and whittled down to 152.
Kevin – The ability to have everyone in one place for both Friday and Saturday night was the absolute clincher for us, as well as having a beautiful chapel on site. With so many people commuting from London and given the numbers involved it would have been hellish to arrange coach travel to and from anywhere to getting wed and then back again and Stanbrook Abbey solves this issue.10) Could you tell me the process you went through when you were looking for a wedding photographer?
Elica – We Googled a lot of wedding photographers nationwide. We emailed/phoned quite a lot of them and you could get a sense of their personalities just from talking to them. We also reviewed portfolios to check the styles we liked. We chose Duncan Cox Photography because a) we loved his style of photography, b) he was recommended by Stanbrook Abbey, c) familiar with the venue and d) he seemed to get us and we get a good vibe from him.
Kevin – Familiarity with the venue was very important for us as time is precious on the day especially in that key photo window after the ceremony and before the wedding breakfast (which only after we got engaged did I find out meant dinner). We did not want someone scrambling around trying to figure out where would be good, we needed to know they knew it would be good. Also, the venue has fantastic natural light and the albums we saw of shots at the wedding captured this really well so more of the same on our day please!!
UPDATE: Enjoy the wedding trailer for Kevin & Elica’s wedding, courtesy of my beautiful wife, at Polka Dot Productions.
Photography | Duncan Cox Photography
Ceremony Location | Great Callow Hall at Stanbrook Abbey in Worcestershire
Reception Location | St Anne’s Lawn Garden at Stanbrook Abbey in Worcestershire
Video | Polka Dot Productions
Florist | Cheshire Flowers
Wedding Planner | Belle La Vie Event Management
Wedding DJ | James Newman
Dress Designer | Pronovias
Wedding Dress Retailer | Pronovias
Other Details/Vendors |