Your Loseley  Park Wedding Photographer

This is a big story. When I met Gemma and Mike we clicked. It happens, but this was really something else. Completely at ease and firing on all cylinders at the same time.

We met 2 years before their wedding – a brief chat at the Loseley Park Wedding Fair, which is remarkable to me because it’s the last Wedding Fair at Loseley that I exhibited at. If you’ve ever been to a wedding fair you’ll understand how awkward they can sometimes feel – I’m not too comfortable with trying to sell my photography at the best of times, and a wedding fair can feel a bit like a cattle market, however, the Loseley fair was always the best one and in this case Gemma and Mike really brought it alive for me. In fact I think it was Gemma’s sister who started talking to me first and we pretty much got it sorted and planned there and then.

We met again shortly afterwards in a coffee shop, and this is where things started to fall into place.

Their wedding was already going to be an emotional ride – I’d committed to the date, which happened to be my own wedding anniversary. That was a big one for me, but sometimes you just can’t ignore the right couple – and they were (and will always be) the right couple.

Gemma’s family story is a powerful one. Her mum had sadly passed away and I didn’t know what to expect, but the wedding was going to be incredibly powerful and proved to be wave after wave of emotional surges. In the end it was one of the most life affirming events I think I’ve ever been lucky enough to be a part of, and in the middle of it all a small group of people, incredibly supportive and full of joy and celebration and life.

And horses. They had horses.

It’s amazing to me what stories are at the core of every wedding. It amazes me what people live through and with and what defines them. Gemma and Mike took it in their hands and they took it in their stride, and I don’t know if they’ll ever know how they’ve inspired me in my own life, and I can’t thank them enough for that. This really was the wedding that made me look again at what’s important in life.

Anyway, I can’t get enough of their story so I asked them what they thought about it all…

 

 

Surrey based Loseley Park Wedding Photographer Jason Leaman Photography

What’s the Story, then?

On their second year anniversary Michael hoped Gemma had forgotten that, whilst walking home after a night out a few months into dating, he’d told her he was going to propose to her on that special day…..as if! Luckily she said yes and 11 years after they first met Michael and Gemma tied the knot. Full of bespoke details and breaking as many wedding traditions as they could, their wedding was a stunning tribute to the English countryside, drowned in sunshine, bubbles, laughter and love. A rollercoaster of emotions from day one and showing no signs of stopping ❤  hopefully not too cliché…I only cringed a little bit as I wrote the first few lines! If there’s a less cringey way of saying ‘tied the knot’ please let me know.

How did you meet?

Gemma: We met at a Halloween party – Mike was dressed as a Reservoir Dogs mobster and I was some sort of winged devil! From then on, our friendship grew and we’d spend a lot of time together – going out with friends, talking on the phone, we each ended up being the first person the other wanted to talk to or see… until one day, Mike asked me if I’d like to go on a date with him. At first I was hesitant to say yes – what if something went wrong and I lost my best friend? But it turned out that that was exactly why it was such a great idea.

Tell Us about the Engagement?

Michael: It was our 2nd anniversary and I’d planned a surprise trip to St Paul’s Cathedral. I’d had the ring for 4 months by this time – an oval cut Tanzanite, with diamond shoulders, set in white gold. After walking around the central hall, we went up to the Whispering Gallery. I’d had this elaborate fantasy about proposing through the ‘talking holes’ and it would be like a romantic scene from a movie… however, when we got there the amount of tourists made that an impossible feat. I decided I would have to propose in the more conventional down-on-one-knee method. So there I was, on one knee, trying to get the ring box out of my rucksack without Gemma noticing, and she would not stop staring at me – along with almost 100 tourists! So in a nervous panic I re-tied my shoelaces and went to look over the gallery railings. After a few moments of composing myself, I bit the bullet, got down on one knee and asked “Gemma Rebecca Stevens, will you marry me?” Thankfully she said yes!

Tell Us About The Engagement

Michael: It was our 2nd anniversary and I’d planned a surprise trip to St Paul’s Cathedral. I’d had the ring for 4 months by this time – an oval cut Tanzanite, with diamond shoulders, set in white gold. After walking around the central hall, we went up to the Whispering Gallery. I’d had this elaborate fantasy about proposing through the ‘talking holes’ and it would be like a romantic scene from a movie… however, when we got there the amount of tourists made that an impossible feat. I decided I would have to propose in the more conventional down-on-one-knee method. So there I was, on one knee, trying to get the ring box out of my rucksack without Gemma noticing, and she would not stop staring at me – along with almost 100 tourists! So in a nervous panic I re-tied my shoelaces and went to look over the gallery railings. After a few moments of composing myself, I bit the bullet, got down on one knee and asked “Gemma Rebecca Stevens, will you marry me?” Thankfully she said yes!

Tell Us about your Wedding Planing Journey

Gemma: Michael and I were engaged for 5 years before we started planning our wedding properly. I went off to university shortly after our engagement and we knew we wanted to wait until I had finished to get married. One Sunday in June 2015 we had the dilemma of picking somewhere to go for a walk. We decided on Loseley Park and when we arrived I realized that it was the venue I had downloaded the wedding brochure for many years ago, but had forgotten about. We both knew instantly that this was where we would have our wedding and it was the only venue we looked at. My sister and I attended the Loseley wedding fair and whilst I was talking to the florist, my sister had found my photographer! I went over to join the conversation and to my surprise she and Jason already had it all sorted. Coincidentally my wedding date fell on his wedding anniversary and he said that despite this (and possibly a telling off from his wife!) he felt compelled to shoot our photographs. Michael and I booked in to have a pre-wedding ‘together shoot’ the following year and I can’t begin to say how much of a difference it made to how comfortable we became in front of the camera – Jason was fantastic, he just got ‘us’, and he was genuinely interested about our story.

There were times during the planning that was difficult. I don’t know what I would have done without Michael, my sister Katie and my best friends Megan and Mirena, but I missed my mum massively. It helped that I’d had such a close relationship with her though and I felt her influence in many of the decisions I made.

There were a few long nights (fueled by chocolate and alcohol!!) cutting, sticking and hand stitching details onto stationery. There were also a few worrying moments where the blue dye from the trial cakes covered anyone who dared to eat a piece and made it look like a smurf massacring, or when the hotel that we were all staying in the weekend of the wedding went bust 3 months before! But there were also some amazing moments, like when my dad gave me my mum’s engagement ring to have sewn into my wedding dress as my ‘something old’, or when one of my mum’s friends (who had planned to come to an advance wedding dress appointment with me and my mum, had my mum been well enough), took me to have my final dress fitting. Oh and I managed to create the perfect consistency for the cake dye’s – not one blue or yellow smudge made it onto my dress!

 

Loseley Park groomsmen

What was the best part of the day?

Gemma and Michael: Everything. From getting ready, to travelling in the amazing carriage and vintage car, the ceremony, the photographs, the wedding breakfast and finally the reception… We were high on the magic that rippled throughout the day. It’s so hard to describe the euphoria that felt as though it would surely burst from our chests at any moment, but I can honestly say that it was the most emotional day we’ve ever experienced.

Gemma: The first dances were quite something though. Our first dance was to Barry White’s “Just the way you are”, which was a song that Michael used to sing down the phone to me when we first got together. It remained ‘our song’ for the next 9 years until we finally got to share the sentiment of it with our nearest and dearest. My dance with my dad caused a bit of a stir too. My mum passed away 5 years ago and although she influenced many details throughout the wedding, I thought what better way to include her than to dance with my dad to their song – “Waiting for a star to fall” by Boy Meets Girl. Well…I was in bits before the song had even started! By the end of the dance my brother and sister had been pulled into the emotional wreckage and there wasn’t a dry eye in the room!

Were there any Surprises on the Day?

Michael: Not really…

Gemma: …because I planned it so well! ;) there was the best man’s speech that was SIX A4 PAGES long, but my dad putting his buttonhole in his mouth just before our dance and throwing his hat and glasses across the room was brilliant.

 

Loseley Park Confetti Loseley Park Wedding Photographer Horse and Carriage Loseley Park Wedding Photographer with Wisteria Loseley Park Wedding Photographer Loseley Park Wedding Photographer

Tell us about the Speeches…

Gemma and Michael: We broke tradition as we didn’t have a top table. We felt it was more important for our guests to spend that time sitting with friends and enjoying themselves, so we all had round tables which worked perfectly. We also went against tradition with the speeches too and both did one, as well as Gemma’s dad, the maid of honor and the best man. They were all spot on…except for the best man’s, which seemed as though it would last until the end of time!

What advice would you give to other couples getting married?

Gemma: Don’t be afraid to do a bit of DIY – I absolutely loved designing and planning the intricacies of our wedding, making all the stationary and making our wedding cake. People thought I was crazy and made that scrunched up, concerned face when they found out how much I was taking on but I knew that I was capable of pulling it off and we wouldn’t have had it any other way – it was perfect and we had so many compliments from our guests.

Don’t be bullied into inviting people that others say you should invite. You’re not obligated to invite your entire extended family just because you share a family tree! We stood our ground with our guest list and only invited the people who were important to us.

Michael: Check the length of your best man’s speech!! If it’s more than a page long (or a few cue cards), it’s got to go back to the drawing board…

Loseley Park Wedding Photographer Jason Leaman Loseley Park Wedding Photographer Jason Leaman Photography Loseley Park Wedding Photographer Loseley Park Wedding Photographer

 

Suppliers List

Dress

Designer –

Retailer –

 

Mori Lee – http://www.morilee.co.uk/

Bromley Brides – http://www.bromley-brides.co.uk/

Bridesmaid Gowns

Designer –

Retailer –

 

Ebony Rose – http://www.ebonyrosedesigns.co.uk/

Bromley Brides – http://www.bromley-brides.co.uk/

Suit Hire Moss Bros – https://www.moss.co.uk/
Cake Maker Me!
Florist Eden Blooms – http://www.edenblooms.co.uk/
Photographer Jason Leaman – http://jlphotography.co.uk
Videographer
Band/Entertainment

Ceremony –

Reception –

 

Nicola Veal, Harpist – https://nicolaveal.co.uk/

Stevens Boys, First Dance DJ – http://www.firstdancedj.co.uk/weddingdj-home.html

Rings Flawless Jewellery – https://www.flawless-jewellery.co.uk/
Stylist/Wedding Planner Me!
Stationery Me! (and my minions)
Make up/Hair stylist

Bride –

Bridesmaids –

 

Hanna Wildman – https://www.hannawildman.com/

Jo Spary and Elisa Drummond (through Hanna)

Venue

Ceremony and Reception –

 

Loseley Park – http://www.loseleypark.co.uk/

Lighting Oakwood Events – http://www.oakwoodevents.co.uk/
Transport

Bride –

Groom –

 

Madgwick Carriages – http://www.madgwickcarriagemasters.co.uk/

Classic and Vintage Cars – https://www.classicandvintage.co.uk/

 

If you’re getting married at Loseley Park then please do get in touch. I’ll send you through to our VIP Area where you will find all of the prices and more. Please fill out the form below.

 

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