Ryan and I both live in Dubai with our two kids but are originally from London. All our immediate family live in London, so it made perfect sense to start the venue search there. After months of looking online and visiting venues, we still hadn’t found what we were looking for, then I had a brainwave to watch reruns of ‘Don’t Tell the Bride’. I watched an episode where the groom-to-be visited two venues in Liverpool – I liked them both. We don’t have any family or friends in or near Liverpool, but we went to visit them anyway.
We loved the Isla Gladstone on sight, the venue was bright and set in large grounds, it was the perfect blank canvas. I knew the venue would fit my theme perfectly and it did. Sandra the venue’s wedding coordinator was amazing from start to finish, she was always quick to answer any questions or queries and very accommodating as we were only in Liverpool twice a year. Each time we visited we were able to sample the menu to make sure that it was perfect. Sandra had a long list of local recommended suppliers which was a great help, especially as we’re not from the area.
I have always loved bright colours and as both sides of our family are from the Caribbean, we decided to go for a modern tropical theme. Our florist was amazing, we found her whilst looking for inspiration at Covent Garden flower market. She had so many great ideas and suggestions, which was a great help as when planning a wedding you have such a long list of things to do, so this made the task easier. The bright tropical flowers really made the venue look fabulous – we felt as though we were in the Caribbean. The weather was on our side on the day of the wedding! I managed to source two large peacock wicker chairs, which we used as our seats at our sweetheart table.
The tropical theme carried through to our table settings and our wedding cake, where we used fresh tropical flowers. We decided on 3 separate cakes each a different flavour sponge. Our seating plan was based on one of my favourite films ‘Coming to America’. I loved the fact that everything was so personal to us.
I fell in love with the dress the moment I saw it online. I envisioned the whole look from head to toe, the night before going to the appointment. I decided to attend my dress fitting appointment alone, as a personal stylist myself, I didn’t want to be swayed or talked into choosing a dress I didn’t like plus I loved being able to surprise everyone and playing the ‘what do you think my dress will look like?’ game.
I chose the dress due to the simplicity of the style. I’m not a fan of embellishment, full skirts and lace back dresses. I liked the pleated corseted bodice and the fitted mermaid skirt, I really felt like it flattered my figure.
I decided to design my evening outfit and had it made in Dubai. I chose to wear a pair of bright orange Jimmy Choo’s, as I wanted a classic style in a colour that I would definitely wear again. The colour added a bright pop under both my dresses and fit the theme perfectly. Ryan wore a bow tie and pocket square with orange so it all tied in.
Ryan decided to have his three-piece suit tailor-made in Dubai. The process was very straightforward. He enjoyed the process and now has a suit that he has been able to wear after the wedding. We also sourced our wedding bands in Dubai at the Gold and Diamond park, we both opted for a simple band with Diamonds.
I didn’t want a traditional wedding car, so I decided to go for a black taxi, from Liverpool wedding taxis. Our driver Mark was very professional and friendly.
Our photographers were the amazing couple Tom & Zoe from ‘About today photography’. After looking at their website, I was excited because their style of photography was exactly what I wanted. They did not disappoint, in fact, they exceeded our expectations. They are very professional and friendly, and they had all guests at ease for the whole day. The only problem I’ve had is they sent us so many amazing images that it was a hard job trying to choose which ones to print.
Overall it was an amazing day, the team at the Isla Gladstone, ensured that everything went to plan. I nearly cried when I got out of the taxi and saw Sandra as she told me that she would not be working on our wedding day, so I was shocked to see her standing at the entrance. It felt as though she was like a friend as we had spent so much time planning mine and Ryan’s special day together.
Our guests thoroughly enjoyed the trip to Liverpool. It was great seeing the effort that people had made to travel so far, for a few of our guests this was the first time visiting Liverpool, so they were able to do a bit of sightseeing. To this day, our guests still talk to us about our wedding day, and how amazing it was. We really wanted us both and all the guests to enjoy themselves and we can happily say that with the help of the staff at Isla Gladstone that was achieved.
Dress – David’s Bridal – www.davidsbridal.com
Cake – Vanilla Nova – www.vanillanovacakes.com
Photographer – About Today Photography – www.abouttodayphotography.com
Venue – The Isla Gladstone Conservatory – https://theislagladstone.co.uk/