At Zankyou we’re always interested in hearing about the love stories of our brides. From their romantic (and sometimes funny) engagement stories, to the best or most challenging parts of their day, we want all the details! So, to give some advice to future brides-and-husbands-to-be, we’ve interviewed one of our lovely brides, Stacey, who’s told us all about her special day.
Stacey and Phil married in Marylebone, London, at Asia House in front of around 100 guests…
First of all congratulations! How does it feel to be a married woman?
It feels just that little bit more special! It’s really lovely to know that I’m his wife (after years and years of waiting for him to ask…!) and I love talking about him as “my Husband” to other people. Although, I will say, changing your surname after almost 35 years of your family name is very strange! All be it, I’m very proud to be Mrs Allen!
Of course! I imagine it’ll take a little while to get used to. But let’s take it back to where it all started. How did you and your husband meet?
Phil and I used to work together. At first I didn’t really speak to anyone, but then one night we went out for someone’s leaving drinks and I told a very inappropriate joke… He was the only one who laughed, so I knew we shared the same warped sense of humour; the rest is history!
They do say that you have to find someone that makes you laugh! How long had you been together before you got engaged and how did it happen?
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We’d been together for 6 years before we booked the trip of a lifetime. We flew into LA, visited San Diego and drove up the west coast of the US, before arriving in San Francisco where Phil proposed at night by the beautiful San Francisco Bay Bridge. I screamed and cried so much that a man thought that Phil was attacking me and came to my rescue!
We celebrated hard that night; I woke up the next morning with a hangover and had forgotten all about the proposal. When I realised my finger felt a bit heavy, I looked down and cried all over again!
Aw! So when you got home I’m sure you wanted to get right on with the wedding planning. How did you go about that?
Yes! Once I had said yes, we excel spreadsheet-ed the hell out of it. Fortunately we were on the same page about most things, and Phil and I are quite the event planners anyway. We LOVE parties and have both worked in events. We are also quite a pair of control freaks, so there was only going to be two people organising our day; Us!
Phil had already seen a venue for the reception before he proposed. As soon as we got back from holiday, we went to visit it, had a few too many drinks and booked it there and then. We didn’t see anywhere else – we didn’t need to, it was perfect!
Oh, brilliant. That sounds completely stress-free… How did everything else go?
Honestly, it was completely stress-free. When we woke up the next morning, we realised that we wanted to get married only 10 minutes away from the reception venue, so we had a look on the web, booked it and job done! It took us about 24 hours… I have never spent that amount of money in 24 hours, but it was completely the right decision.
Your photographs are beautiful. Who did you hire as your photographer and how did you go about finding them?
Phil knew a very good photographer already. We knew we didn’t want to stand posing for hours, or for anyone to come along and take us away from spending time with our guests just to have our photos taken – that was not an option for us. We wanted to capture the story of our day in pictures, with all the fun, emotions and laughter that came along with it. We wanted a ninja photographer and we got exactly that!
Amazing. Now onto the part that I get most excited about… The dress. Tell. Us. Everything.
Yes, my dress was my DREAM. I’d already seen it about 3 years before (every girl looks… And any girl who says they don’t is lying!). Pronovias Irune was the one. At first I didn’t think our budget would allow it, but then I found her in a shop just 2 hours drive from my house, and at a reduced price as it was a sample one… It was fate!
It’s beautiful – you were so lucky! But, we know that along with the perfect dress, you need the perfect makeup look to compliment it. Did you hire a professional?
I wanted to make sure I chose someone who knew me and my bridal party personally. Thinking forward to the morning of the wedding, I wanted a relaxed atmosphere with familiar faces. So, for me, hiring someone I’d never met was not an option. A friend of mine had got married recently and used the same hair and makeup suppliers, so it was a no-brainer. I booked them straight away and they were phenomenal. We all received so many compliments!
Lovely! Can you tell us a more about the big day?
Yes, of course. Time absolutely flew by. I had never got out of bed so quickly! 6am start – myself, 3 bridesmaids, a lot of hair and makeup to get through. The car is a blur to me…all of a sudden I got this horrendous wave of nerves. I’d spent all morning chatting away to the girls and the hair/make up experts, spent a lot of time making sure my Dad was OK, chatting to my Mum, and then all of a sudden, I was on my way to the wedding. I couldn’t wait to see Phil and to be his wife, but at the same time I was so worried!
I also don’t remember walking down the aisle. You can’t even begin to prepare yourself for when those doors open and everyone is looking at you. I’m sure that a lot of people would tell you that I’m not shy at all, but my goodness when everyone turns to look at you, it’s a serious amount of pressure. But my smile was huge!
The ceremony was so relaxed; we laughed and cried, laughed some more until everyone hopped onto 2 red London buses which we’d hired to take us to the reception venue, after we’d enjoyed a drive around our picturesque capital city. Everything was better than we had hoped for, and actually, that’s wholly testament to the people we surrounded ourselves with. The speeches were fantastic, the crowd were a delight, my face hurt from laughing and smiling non stop!
For the evening affair people often like to switch up tradition. What did you opt for?
We deliberated a lot over the music. It’s a huge part of my life, and in my opinion, music is what feelings sound like, so I knew it was important to get it right. The live band that I chose, [Motown Gold], were beyond incredible and so was the DJ; I spent so much time and effort searching for them and my goodness they were perfect. I did go slightly overboard and slightly over budget (don’t worry, Phil won’t read this far down), but, in my mind, they were priceless! My feet were burning for 4 days after my wedding – that’s how good they were. I never ever wanted it to end, but it was an amazing day and now I can enjoy my marriage!
Stacey’s 3 tips for your wedding day:
- Do something the day before your wedding. It’s really exciting to have a lunch or something with the bridal party so that you can break the ice for those who may not know each other that well.
- Make rules for the guest list. If there’s anyone you haven’t seen or spoken to in the last 6 months, they don’t make the cut! It will make it MUCH easier, and make for a much better atmosphere!
- Relax – the main thing that will affect your special day is your own mindset! My dress completely ripped open at the bum whilst it was still light outside and I had to spend an hour in the disabled toilet having it fixed whilst I sat in nothing but a cardigan drinking gin on the toilet. I didn’t get upset at all! In fact, it was hilarious!