All the tea in China

A modern city-centre celebration accented with traditional Chinese influences was the order of the day for Cheryl and Alan

The summit of Cape Town's imperious Signal Hill was the romantic spot Alan Allkins, 31, chose to pop the question to Cheryl Cheah, 28. “We were holidaying in South Africa for the FIFA World Cup in 2010 and Alan found a beautiful place to propose – our view stretched across the Atlantic Ocean,” reveals Cheryl.

The couple enjoyed being engaged for a while before embarking on the wedding planning. “We knew we wanted a contemporary celebration and gave ourselves around seven months to plan everything,” she adds. They tied the knot on 1st September, 2012 at the Royal Institute of British Architects in Portland Place. Here, Cheryl tells us all about it

All the tea in China: Image 1
We wanted a venue that was modern and elegant but still had a classy feel. We were instantly taken by RIBA's Art Deco design, its high ceilings and the intimate roof terrace.


All the tea in China: Image 2
Carla Ramsey styled my hair and applied my make-up. I was really pleased with the look – my skin glowed.


All the tea in China: Image 3
We chose our photographer, Cristina Rossi, as her portfolio was great and we both got on well with her as a person too – something I think is really important.


All the tea in China: Image 4aAs I'm quite petite, I wanted a sleek gown and, as soon as I spotted this Martina Liana design, I knew it was right for me.

All the tea in China: Image 4 I loved the sparkly hair combs that held my up do in place.


All the tea in China: Image 5aI love lilies so I carried a calla lily bouquet.

All the tea in China: Image 5 Alan wore a grey three-piece suit from Reiss with purple accessories to match our colour scheme.


All the tea in China: Image 6
We had a traditional Chinese tea ceremony as part of our humanist ceremony. It's customary for Chinese weddings and a way for the bride and groom to show their respect to both sets of parents.


All the tea in China: Image 7
Each of our tables was named after a different type of tea.


All the tea in China: Image 8
On the tables, we had large floral arrangements filled with purple and pink roses and hydrangea, and lots of lush green foliage, which alternated in height. Our florist, Rebel Rebel, did a fantastic job.


All the tea in China: Image 9
As a nod to my Chinese heritage, our favours were red silk pouches filled with flowering tea balls.


All the tea in China: Image 10
After the ceremony we had drinks and canapés on the terrace while the Skara String Quartet played some lovely tunes.


All the tea in China: Image 11aMy only bridesmaid was my best friend Ei Mei Soo – she wore a purple floor-length dress and carried a calla lily bouquet to match mine.

All the tea in China: Image 11 We chose an elegant, floral cake design to fit in with our overall theme. Both Alan and I loved the tasting session – the chocolate cake was divine!


All the tea in China: Image 12
Everyone loved our band, The bb Collective, which played everything from '60s soul and funk to present day hits.


All the tea in China: Image 13
Alan's best man was Brian Peers, a friend of 17 years. My brothers, Eric and Eugene Cheah, were his ushers.


All the tea in China: Image 14
For our honeymoon, we travelled to Zambia and Malawi for a combined safari and beach holiday – it was absolutely fantastic.


Cheryl and Alan's contact book

The bb Collective

Bride's dress
Angelica Bridal

Bride's hair and make-up
Carla Ramsey


Rebel Rebel

Groom's suit

Cristina Rossi Photography

Hirsh London

Hello! Lucky

String quartet
Skara String Quartet

Royal Institute of British Architects


Our on-line advertisers

When it's time for you look for local businesses to help you with your wedding, take a look at our advertisements below. Most will have links to their own websites. These advertisements are updated regularly so please revisit often and mention County Wedding Magazines when making any enquiries.

The Conservatory at the Luton Hoo Walled Garden
East Sussex National Golf Club
Kings Lynn Town Hall
Eastwood Park Training & Conference Centre