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For The Bride, May/June 2002

For The Bride, May/June 2002, Dream Day

Dream Day

Andrea Hatton and Terry McArthur, 22nd September 2001

Terry proposed to Andrea in Paris, the city of love, in March 2001, and having decided they didn’t want a long engagement, the couple set a date for their wedding in September of the same year. Andrea is Canadian, so didn’t have a network of family members that could help her plan her big day, so she started her planning by enlisting the help of a wedding co-ordinator. This gave the couple access to expertise and local knowledge that they wouldn’t have otherwise had. However Andrea didn’t need the assistance of the co-ordinator for her dress, she knew exactly what she wanted and what style would suit her, and set about finding it. Unable to find an off the peg dress to suit, Andrea found a shop that was able to create the dress of her dreams from a sketch. Regular fittings and a talented seamstress gave Andrea her perfect dress, a princess line gown in ivory duchess satin with a scoop neck and off the shoulder cap sleeves. Andrea chose a veil with satin edging, a handmade tiara with amethyst and clear Swarovski crystals and some beautiful ivory strappy shoes to complete her outfit.

Andrea decided on a colour theme of purples, blues and silver for her special day, and wanted her flowers to reflect the theme, as well as including her favourite flower, the calla lily. Her bouquet was a beautiful shower arrangement of white and purple flowers, calla lilies and ivy. Although not surrounded by her family, Andrea had plenty of friends on hand to help her with the planning of her wedding, four of which acted as chief bridesmaid and bridesmaids. Chief bridesmaid Rene MacDermid grew up with Andrea in British Columbia, Canada, and the girls have known each other since the age of 12. Rene decided to move to London after a holiday with Andrea in 2000, and she was a great help throughout the planning of the wedding, allowing Andrea to fully enjoy the experience. Friends Virginia Heguy, Samina Qadir and Cassie Carvell acted as bridesmaids, and all four girls wore princess line, ankle length dresses in purple satin, and carried bouquets of white and purple flowers similar to the bride’s. The purple theme was continued through to the men’s outfits; Terry wore a purple cravat with his morning suit and grey embroidered waistcoat. Terry’s friend Richard Gibson acted as best man, and other friends Francis Murphy, Stephen Palmer and Chris Orr were ushers. All the men wore small calla lily buttonholes to tie in with Andrea’s bouquet.

Terry and Andrea viewed a number of possible ceremony locations, before deciding on the Lansdowne Club in Mayfair, London. It is a beautiful place with many different rooms for different purposes, including an area with comfortable sofas for the guests, a courtyard and a magnificent ballroom perfect for the reception and the party that followed.

Andrea says that she is not a morning person, so didn’t want to have to rush to get ready for an early wedding ceremony. Instead she chose for the formalities of the day to begin at 4pm to give her plenty of time to prepare. With all this time on her hands, the bride was able to leave plenty of time to get from her home to the wedding location, a journey she made in a black London taxi decorated with ribbons and flowers. However, the traffic was a great deal lighter than Andrea had calculated, meaning that she got to the ceremony half an hour early. To make the most of the time, the bride and her attendants had photographs taken and were able to calm their nerves before the ceremony began.

The couple decided that they wanted their formalities to be very short and to the point, so they had a simple ceremony where they just exchanged vows and signed the register, while a string trio entertained their guests with one of their favourite pieces of music, Pachelbel’s Canon in D. The bride was given away by her brother Romel, and the couple exchanged rings that had been made especially for them. Both are platinum bands, and Andrea’s has a curve to allow it is sit comfortably with her marquise cut diamond engagement ring.

The 70 guests then took advantage of the beautiful atmosphere in the courtyard for a drinks reception while the newlyweds had their photographs taken, then the toastmaster called the guests through to the ballroom to be seated for the wedding breakfast. He formally introduced the bride and groom, and Andrea and Terry made a grand entrance, walking through the guests to the top table, making a lovely start to the celebrations. The guests and the wedding party sat at tables decorated with glass bowls holding floating candles and circles of flowers similar to those featured in the bride’s bouquet. The white tablecloths had a silver organza overlay which was scattered with rose petals, and each guest had a Champagne flute at their place, engraved with the names of the bride and groom and the date of the wedding. The glasses had silver wrapped chocolates in them at the start of the reception, and they were used later for the toasts. The wedding breakfast started with fresh bread and lobster bisque, then continued in a buffet style with a selection of dishes for the guests to choose from. There was also a choice of desserts, either Baked Alaska or Grand Marnier Brûlée

The wedding cake also formed part of the meal. The couple knew that neither they nor most of their guests, liked fruit cake, so they chose a three tiered, stacked design made of chocolate fudge cake. It was decorated with white icing, purple flowers and calla lilies, mirroring the bride’s bouquet.

The string trio that had been playing throughout the reception then made way for the speeches. Andrea’s brother Romel was the first to speak, and he had his sister and many of the guests in tears. Chief Bridesmaid Rene had been found on the morning of the wedding still frantically trying to write her speech, so her words were more improvised than the other speakers’! Andrea says that best man Richard had his work cut out trying to find embarrassing moments in the groom’s reasonably spotless past, but nevertheless he made a very entertaining speech that made some revelations that the bride was blissfully unaware of.

After the speeches, music was once more the focus of the celebrations for Andrea and Terry’s first dance to Dream A Little Dream by The Mamas and The Papas. The guests then joined them on the dance floor and the party kicked off. In fact the couple had such a good time that they left their reception far later than planned and missed the taxi that they had booked. Instead they walked the short distance to their first night hotel through the streets of London, gathering the good wishes of passers-by as they went.

Andrea and Terry’s official honeymoon was some months after their wedding, as the week immediately after the wedding was spent with members of Andrea’s family who had travelled to London to share in the celebrations. A few months later the newlyweds spent Christmas with Andrea’s family in Canada, then spent a relaxing ten days in Hawaii, spending a total of four weeks away.


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Helen Hitchcock
Milestone Weddings
Pogles Lodge, Royal Oak Country Park
Henfield West Sussex BN5 9AY England
work +44 7973 224220