Amey Hodson and Chris Dawe met as students while working part-time for Argos during their holidays. “We were friends for about a year before realising there was something more between us. We both have a similar sense of humour and like being silly; we also bonded over our mutual love of curry,” laughs Amey. They were together for seven years before getting engaged. “We had a long-distance relationship while I was at university in Exeter. Once I graduated we moved in together but didn't feel any immediate rush to get married,” she adds.
Chris popped the question while they were on holiday with friends in Sri Lanka, after climbing to the top of Sigiriya Rock, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. “It was pouring with rain and we couldn't see a thing. We were all absolutely soaked but Chris took me to one side and the next thing I knew he was down on one knee with a beautiful diamond ring in his hand. It was very romantic and some of the other tourists started clapping and cheering. It was a complete surprise, he hadn't even told our friends, so there was lots of screaming and crying once I showed them the ring!”
They were married at Hampshire's Sopley Mill on 25th June, 2016 and chose a pastel palette of nude, blush pink and pale green tones for a romantic, timeless look.
Read on for Amey's account of their big day...
We fell in love with Sopley Mill as soon as we saw it. We knew it was the one because the setting was beautiful and it offered us exclusive use providing the privacy we wanted.
My mum made floral fabric cushions and throws for the hay-bale seating and bunting for the bridge outside.
I accessorised with a two-tier chapel-length veil with a lace and pearl scalloped trim and a Swarovski crystal and freshwater pearl headband.
My bridesmaids wore strapless Dessy dresses in different colours to tie in with the pastel palette. It was a bit of a risk but it totally paid off and added an extra dimension to the photos.
I absolutely love flowers and wanted them to be a real focal point of the day. We used peonies, sweet avalanche roses, bombastic spray roses, matricaria daisies and hydrangeas with eucalyptus foliage.
We created our own curry paste for the favours and, as we were going on safari for our honeymoon, we decorated the lids with model animals and sprayed them gold. They doubled up as place names and we provided instructions on how to cook the dish with a hashtag for our guests to upload their curry photos after the wedding.
Beautiful displays of pale pink hydrangeas in milk churns decorated the ceremony space.
As we got engaged in Sri Lanka, the tables were named after all the places we visited on our amazing trip.
Large mason jar arrangements tied to the aisle chairs were reused for the centrepieces, surrounded by smaller bud vases and tea lights on chunky log slices.
Our caterers Beales Gourmet were fantastic and we loved the canapés they provided for the drinks reception.
We had a map of Sri Lanka next to the table plan and the place names also included a photo of each location.
Our talented friend Emma Cook made our three-tier wedding cake with layers of chocolate ganache, white chocolate and a Madeira sponge filled with jam and buttercream.
The Tim Eyles Jazz Quartet played 1920's New Orleans numbers and looked brilliant in their pinstriped suits and boater hats.
We already knew the evening entertainment was amazing as Chris plays trumpet in the band. He performed a couple of numbers on the night and also sang two songs.
The bespoke evening buffet included chicken tikka masala, chicken madras and a spicy vegetable curry all served with naan bread, chutneys and mini poppadums. It's safe to say our guests loved it.
Sottero and Midgley
All Aspects Wedding Services
Jennifer Poynter Flowers
Groom and groomsmen's suits
Hair and make-up
Fiona Lucy Clark
Hay bale seating and 'LOVE' lighting
Ice Cream Van
Big Chief Ices
Nick Rutter Photography
Tim Eyles Jazz
Swing Unlimited Big Band