A family affair

Claire and Brad celebrated their loved ones past and present on their big day

Mutual friends set Claire and Brad up on a date and they hit it off straight away. “We instantly felt comfortable with each other; we shared a similar sense of humour and the same interests,” says Claire. Love blossomed and Brad popped the question on 18th November, 2015 during a trip to New York. “He checked it was ok with my mum before we left and got down on one knee at the top of the red steps in Times Square,” remembers Claire. “It was a complete surprise and he secretly arranged a helicopter ride for me the next day too. It truly was the perfect trip.”

Read on for Claire's account of their big day...

A family affair: Image 1

Parley Manor was the first venue we looked at and as soon as we saw it, we knew it was the one.

A family affair: Image 1b

I had a vintage-style car for my wedding transport and Brad had a Ford Mustang.

A family affair: Image 2

I felt like a million dollars in my Private Label by G ivory lace dress.

A family affair: Image 2b

I had my late grandad's initials sewn into my dress as my something blue, so I could feel like a part of him was with me as I walked down the aisle.

A family affair: Image 3 The string quartet played as our guests arrived, during the ceremony and afterwards while we had drinks and canapés on the lawn.

A family affair: Image 4

The men looked smart in matching three-piece navy suits. Brad's waistcoat was pale blue to stand out from the others.

A family affair: Image 4b

Our bridesmaids wore multiway dresses to match our blush pink colour scheme.

A family affair: Image 5 The table plan was mounted on an ivory framed mirror and matched our blush pink stationery.

A family affair: Image 6

The Martini glass centrepieces were filled with flowers including two of our favourites; hydrangeas and roses.

A family affair: Image 6b

After his speech, Brad surprised me with a Manchester United T-shirt, just in case I was likely to forget about his love of football.

A family affair: Image 7

The table names were places we visited in New York when we got engaged.

A family affair: Image 7b

The back of our four-tier cake was decorated with the national flags of countries that are special to us, including America where Brad proposed, and we had blush pink roses on the front.

A family affair: Image 8 We had giant love letters next to the pond and festoon lights strung through the garden.

A family affair: Image 9 We bought balloons for everyone to release in memory of our grandads. Because of the air show we weren't sure if we'd be able to do it, but the venue and Merlins Cateringwent over and beyond to make sure it happened, which meant the world to us and our family.

Claire and Brad's contact book

Bride's dress

Isobel's Bridal & Groom

Bridesmaids' dresses


Hayley Elizabeth Cake Design


Merlins Catering


LR Disco Entertainment


Simply Flower

Groom and groomsmen's suits

Isobel's Bridal & Groom

Hair and make-up

Kate Carroll Makeup Artist


Liza Edgington Photography


Graceful Lace Stationery

String quartet

The Minster String Quartet


Christchurch Wedding Cars



Final Cut Film

Wedding night stay

Christchurch Harbour Hotel & Spa

Wedding rings

Charles Nobel