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Every engaged couple has the perfect wedding in their mind. Fleur and Aubrey wanted their day to be stress-free, fuss-free and a lot of fun – so they went to the Graceland Chapel in Vegas…
How did you and your husband meet?
I had just moved to Tunbridge Wells and was trying online dating for the first time to meet new local people. I knew no-one in the town at that time. Aubrey and I met on the site and had our first date on a Saturday morning at CafÃ© Nero. Aubrey was undergoing cancer treatment at the time and so it was more of a friendship at first. It took us a while to realise we were in love and we moved in together in August 2013.
Tell us about the proposal
We always go away for our birthdays and last year I booked a long weekend to New York for Aubrey’s. We had one of those rare perfect days whilst we were there that you never forget. We woke up to snowfall, which was a fantastic start. Following a late breakfast, we went to the Top of the Rock for the amazing views of Manhattan. We took a romantic walk through Central Park before sheltering from the snow and drinking wine at the Tavern on the Green whilst watching the world turn white outside. That evening I had booked a table at the River CafÃ©, tucked under the Brooklyn Bridge looking back at Manhattan – a stunning restaurant with a view to match. It was in the bar after dinner that Aubrey disappeared, coming back after a few minutes only to drop to one knee and propose! I immediately said yes and cried a lot. As I said – the perfect day.
Where did you get married and how did you choose the venue?
We got married at the Graceland Chapel in Las Vegas. Elvis was present, as you’d expect! It was fantastic. So stress-free, simple and fun. I can’t recommend it enough. It was exactly what we wanted without all the fuss and expense. We combined it with a honeymoon in California, which was brilliant.
Tell us about your big day and some of its key highlights
We had an early start with a helicopter trip to the Grand Canyon. We landed in the canyon for a champagne breakfast and were back at our hotel by late morning for a couple of hours poolside. I had my hair and make-up done in our room and the limo that came as part of the wedding package collected us promptly at 4pm. Ten minutes later we had pulled up to the chapel. At 4.15pm, Elvis walked me down the aisle to Love Me Tender and Aubrey and I exchanged our vows. We left the chapel to Viva Las Vegas and, after photographs, we jumped back in the limo to the hotel. In full wedding attire, we decided to have some early evening drinks at our favourite bar close to the hotel. It’s quite common in Vegas to see the bride and groom just strolling down the street or having a meal. The day ended with a fantastic dinner at Twist in the Mandarin Oriental overlooking the Strip
How did you start your married life together? Did you go on a honeymoon?
We spent our honeymoon in California visiting LA, San Fransciso and the wine region around Sonoma. Once home, we had an intimate family celebration at Thackerays and a big party with our friends at Camden Quarter, where my brother-in-law’s band, Barnstorm, entertained us.
Which suppliers would you recommend for future brides?
I am a big fan of keeping things local as much as possible. My Eliza Jane Howell dress came from Isabella Grace, with alterations handled by Miss Kay seamstress across the road. Aubrey came with me to choose it, which was great fun. As we didn’t need the usual wedding gifts, we talked to The Secret Cellar who put together a gift list of wine that has just been delivered! As I mentioned, we held celebrations at Thackerays and Camden Quarter, both in Tunbridge Wells. My flowers came from the amazing Darling & Wild on Camden Road and we used local photographer Steven Dunton for our wedding shoot, which took place at various spots around Tunbridge Wells.
THE MOST IMPORTANT THINGS
1. Keep it simple!
2. It is your day and no-one else’s. Listen to what other people think but don’t feel pressured to move away from what you want to keep other people happy.
3. Enjoy every second of it. The planning can be lots of fun!
4. Try on more than one dress.
5. Let the groom have his way (some of the time).