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Posted by Sarah Reeve on 4 June 2020
Charlotte and Luke got to know each other online before arranging to meet for lunch one afternoon. "We'd been speaking for a few weeks and were confident from our lengthy conversations that we liked each other and had a lot in common," explains Charlotte. "I was attracted to many of Luke's traits including his work ethic; he's very family orientated, kind and headstrong too, which I loved." The pair hit it off immediately. "We both seemed to want the same things and clicked as soon as we met. We shared a similar sense of humour and for us laughter was and still is a key factor in our relationship," Charlotte adds.
Three years later, Luke whisked Charlotte away to the Greek islands for her 25th birthday. The trip coincided with the date they first started going out together and on the actual day of their anniversary he arranged a surprise dinner in a romantic restaurant in Santorini overlooking the sea. They had the best table in the house, with a prime position to take in the stunning sunset.
"As we toasted with champagne and gazed out over the beautiful view, Luke said he was going to get a waiter to take some photos ofus. Little did I know this moment was about to become one I'd never forget," Charlotte recalls.
When Luke returned with the waiter, just as the photo was about to be taken, she realised what was going on. "Out of the corner of my eye I saw Luke stand up and reach in his pocket, my heart just stopped, I knew what was coming! He got down on one knee and proposed with the most gorgeous pear-shaped ring and the waiter managed to photograph the whole thing. It was so special, we were both in tears!"
After a seven-course meal and champagne to celebrate, they returned to their villa where Charlotte was greeted with a dozen roses and petals scattered over the bed. "I never knew how romantic Luke could be!" she laughs. Luke had already asked for her parents' blessing and on their advice had gone to London's famous diamond district Hatton Garden to have Charlotte's ring designed.
They both wanted a wedding venue in Suffolk with plenty of character and a church on site for the ceremony. Hengrave Hall was the third they visited and as soon as they arrived down the long drive they knew it was perfect. "All we could say was 'wow', which was the exact reaction we wanted our guests to have on our big day," explains Charlotte.
The food was another deciding factor. "We wanted to spoil our family and friends with a wonderful meal and as Milsoms do the catering at Hengrave Hall, this also persuaded us," adds Charlotte." After having a tasting we knew what to expect on the day and we weren't disappointed, the three-course wedding breakfast was delicious," she enthuses
Charlotte found her dream dress on the first shopping trip with her mum and four bridesmaids. "As soon as I tried on my Alfred Angelo from The Diamond Collection gown I knew it was the one," she explains. "I was surrounded by mirrors in the dressing room and while the assistant was doing the buttons up at the back I couldn't wipe the smile off my face! As clichéd as it may sound I felt like a princess and I will never forget my dad's face when he saw me in it for the first time on the wedding morning, it was a very special moment for both of us."
Luke, his groomsmen and both dads wore three-piece navy tweed suits with a faint brown check and ties to match the bridesmaids dusky pink dresses. Luke stood out with a different light brown waistcoat.
The church provided a beautiful intimate setting for their traditional ceremony. Organist Patrick Friend played as Charlotte walked down the aisle, during the signing of the register and as they left as newlyweds. "I had a hand-written letter from Luke beforehand, which is something I will always cherish. I was surprisingly calm with my dad by my side which made me feel confident and relaxed. I was also aware that it was a very special moment, not just for me but for himas well. Everything just felt right! "
A mix of pink roses and gypsophila were used to decorate the church, as well as for the bouquets, buttonholes, centrepieces and top-table arrangement.
For the wedding breakfast, the table numbers included photos of Charlotte and Luke growing up; a great conversation starter. "Some of the photos people had never seen before so it was lovely to see their reactions," says Charlotte.
The favours were heart-shaped gingerbread cookies individually iced with 'Mr and Mrs Boggis' and a pianist played throughout to create the perfect atmosphere.
Their cake, included Victoria sponge with vanilla and raspberry cream, chocolate and salted caramel and traditional fruitcake layers with a false tier on top. It was decorated with edible flowers and their own personal monogram which Charlotte and Luke designed.
Extra touches included a help-yourself sweet table which they put together themselves, along with toiletry baskets and flip flops to party the night away.
Suffolk-based singer Samantha Harvey, performed live for their first dance and sang three songs afterwards to get the party started. "After this, we had a DJ who took requests from our guests. We also had aphoto booth which was fun for everyone and we have loads of snaps to look back on and make us giggle," adds Charlotte.
"Our photographers were lovely and made us feel really special. They seemed to genuinely care about our day on a personal level and wanted to get the best results."