Your Herts and Beds Wedding - February/March 2023 (Issue 96)

REAL WEDDINGS 29 Mikey and Erica shared mutual friends while growing up but became closer during their teens. As life got in the way, the pair drifted apart before rekindling their friendship a year or two later and started dating after realising they shared something more than a friendship. Mikey popped the questions in 2020 after setting up a marquee at Erica's family home. He added romantic touches with fairylights, photos of them both, candles and Erica's favourite music. She says, “We pulled up to the drive, and I saw a line of candles leading into the garden – I started shaking with excitement. He asked me to be his wife to a recording my friend made of England by The National and I was shocked! We had been speaking about this moment for ten years and had even picked out my engagement ring back in 2014 when I was at university in London.” SETTING THE SCENE The couple worked as a team to create their dream day surrounded by loved ones. The bride had always wanted to get married in her local church, and luckily Mikey supported this. She says, “We aren’t particularly religious people, but the church represents more than that; it’s a place where the community comes together in good and bad times. Plus, most guests didn't have to travel too far.” When looking for a venue for their reception, the couple fell in love with The Gardens at Polehanger. Erica comments, “We loved the ability to create our dream day with help and support from suggested vendors – the team at White Button Weddings were brilliant. We loved how the venue had different pockets of space, but overall was small enough to still feel intimate.” When searching for favours, the gifts needed to be personal and meaningful. So, the pair decided that a donation to their local hospice (St Johns in Moggerhanger) on behalf of guests was perfect. Erica says, “My dad died when I was eight, and we spent some time at that hospice. It wasn’t just a personal touch but was a way of bringing the memory of my dad to the day.” The lovebirds hired an incredible yurt from Funky Monkey Tents and the structure was enough to wow. They also had a little table in a stretch tent, which was a last-minute hire due to the heat, with some photos of grandparents and the bride’s dad. The flowers on the day were from the incredible Flowers at 58. Owner Becky asked the couple about their theme and brought their vision to life. The florist put together small jars for the church pew ends and a huge milk churn full of colour. Despite the scorching 36-degree heat, the blooms still looked amazing. The couple decided they didn’t want a big cake and opted for some beautiful vegan sunflower cupcakes instead. “We felt our guests were more likely to eat these than a big slice of cake – and this turned out to be a big success", says the bride. Along with colour being a huge part of the wedding, the couple also had to incorporate Mikey’s love of Liverpool FC! The bride says, “We had the Champions League theme tune played before the service began, and then I walked down the aisle to You’ll Never Walk Alone.” The pair also designed their order of services with a football twist and called it a match of the day programme. The pair had 14 tables for the wedding breakfast, and Mikey picked out his favourite Liverpool players for the table names. Every guest had a little personal note written by the couple; this could have been an inside joke, a thank you or just a sentence summing up how important they are to the lovebirds. A coach transported guests to the wedding while the bride travelled to the venue in Mikey’s first car for a fun and quirky touch. The pair spent many hours driving around and chatting in the car when they were first friends – it's now the first car they got in together as a newly