Fairytale Destination Wedding at Eastnor Castle Herefordshire | Guy Collier

It sounds a little cliché, but I knew from our first date that I wanted to marry Leah.

Meet the gorgeous Leah with British-South Carolina, and handsome African-American Baron Jon, who are both currently living in heavenly Honolulu! 

Baron Jon and Leah wanted a fairytale British wedding to mark their union

Baron Jon is certainly raising the standard for romance,  not only did he whisk Leah away on a surprise trip to NYC for the proposal, but also arranged dress shopping with close family for whilst they were there!

It’s no surprise therefore that this pair spared no attention to detail, from the gorgeous gown to fabulous floristry with the help of their talented wedding planner Louise Perry Weddings.

Louise says:

Baron Jon and Leah contacted me about planning their wedding, as Leah wanted to come back to the UK, where she was born to get married.

Theirs is a lovely long distance love story, as they both worked in New York at the time they met and she went back to Hawaii. They weren’t actually dating at this time just friends. He decided he loved her, left his job in New York and followed her to Hawaii in the hope they could be more than friends.

Leah took part in ’Say Yes To The Dress’ in New York and it was when she found her princess dress that she said to her mum, I want to go home and get married in a castle.

They chose to travel to the beautiful historic Eastnor Castle in Herefordshire for their wedding in June 2016, and included many cultural aspects from both families.

Surrounded by their closest friends and family, this gorgeously happy couple were captured by photographer Guy Collier.

Over to Leah and Baron Jon for the low-down!

The Proposal

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It sounds a little cliché, but I knew from our first date that I wanted to marry Leah. So honestly, I begun thinking about how I would eventually propose to her from the very beginning. I didn’t let her know that of course as that would have probably sounded a little crazy. I wanted the proposal to be something she would never forget and I admit that I was stumped for a while on how to accomplish that. I tossed a bunch ideas back and forth before I finally landed on the one that I felt was right.

After watching what seemed to me like 1000 episodes of Say Yes to the Dress, I realised that I had to find a way to incorporate the experience of buying a dress with the proposal itself. Unfortunately, the popularity of the show meant that it was almost impossible to get an appointment. I finally got the appointment and started planning the details of the proposals several months ahead. When the day arrived, I let Leah know that I had planned a trip for us to get away over the weekend. To keep it fun, I explained that I wouldn’t reveal the complete details of where we were going until after we were well on our way. To make it fun for her, I did give her little clues such as a new coat to wear (it’s always warm in Hawaii but was cold in New York City where we were going) and other small things for her to thinking about. Leah is incredibly smart.

So I knew that if I said we were going to New York, she would probably realise that I was trying to propose. I wanted to delay that realisation as long as possible. So when we got to the airport, I picked up the tickets from the self-serve desk while asking her to wait off to the side. As we approached the security check in, I was afraid that the TSA officer would say something like “Have fun in NYC!” and that the gig would be up. So what did we do? I told the TSA officer that this was a surprise trip and asked her politely not to tell Leah where the final destination would be. This obviously set off red flags with the TSA officer who then proceeded to ask Leah if she was ok and if she was under any kind of distress. Luckily, Leah was happy and smiley enough to convince the TSA officer that she was happy to be whisked away.

Sitting in the terminal, there were three planes leaving at similar times and so Leah wasn’t able to piece together which plane we would be boarding. When we finally got on to the plane, Leah was so excited to be going to NYC. I told her that we were just going to visit our good friends who also lived there. When we arrived in NYC, I explained that we had a dinner reservation near Upper West Side and that we had to get going right away. As we walked by Lincoln Center, Leah saw the famous water fountains for the first time and commented on how beautiful they were. I suggested we stop and take a quick picture in front of them. I asked one of the many people standing in the area if they could take a picture of me. To Leah, it seemed like a random person. But actually, it was a good friend of mine who I had asked ahead of time to meet us at the fountain so that he could record the proposal for us. So finally, the moment was here. I couldn’t believe how nervous I was. As Leah got ready to pose for the picture, I knelt down in front of the fountain and begun to tell Leah how much I wanted to spend the rest of my life with her. The look on her face as she took the moment in is one of the happiest moments I’ve ever had. She seemed speechless, blissful and I had to remind her that she hadn’t actually said yes yet. When she finally said yes, I welcomed my friend over and he congratulated us and shared the video of the memory he had just recorded. As one final surprise, I explained to Leah that we had managed to get an appointment at Kleinfeld Bridal and that she would be able to pick out her dream dress from the place of her favourite TV show.

She was unbelievably happy. Which is all I really wanted from this experience. But to top it all off, I let her know that it wouldn’t feel right to have her pick her dress by herself. To solve that, I told her that I had flew her mom in and also invited her best friends to meet her at Kleinfeld to help select the dress that she would wear as we became husband and wife.

 

Coming Together

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Our Photographer Guy Collier was absolutely fantastic. The first time we spoke to him, we saw that he had this way of putting us completely at ease. He really tried to get to know us and to understand what we were looking for in our wedding photography. He walked us through the plan that he had in his mind and made sure we felt great about every detail of it. He was funny, thoughtful, and completely professional. On the day of the actual wedding, Guy was full of great ideas to capture our moments. He focused on capturing natural shots and made the entire day seamless. One of the best things about Guy was that he had this way of being invisible. You often didn’t know he was there, but from the moments he caught on film, you know that he didn’t miss anything.

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I could probably spend hours talking about how good our wedding planner Louise and her team were. At first, we weren’t sure if we could really afford to spend money on a wedding planner. But honestly, I now realize that we couldn’t have afforded not to. From our first phone call with Louise, she was the ultimate planner. We more than just a number to her. You could tell that she really cared about making our day one that we would never forget. Louise and Natalie weren’t just great at answering the questions we had, they were also amazing at answering the questions that we never even thought to ask. They say planning your wedding can be one of the most stressful things that you’ll go through as a couple. The best thing I can say about Louise is that she took that process and made it one that we look now back on with the most fondness of memories. We seriously could not have asked for a better team to help lead us through our day.

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From beginning to end we wanted our wedding to be simple yet unforgettable. We were surrounded by our closest friends and family from around the world.  We chose England for the beautiful historic Eastnor Castle and included many cultural aspects from both families. This we did not find difficult.

The Dress: 

My wedding dress is from Kleinfield in New York City. It was a beautiful princess- like gown adorned with lace and crystals in the bodice. Delicate crystal buttons flowed down the mid length train. The dress carried 8 overlays of a beautiful shade of champagne/ivory chiffon. The matching veil completed the dress.  This dress was the first I tried on and fell in love with the color and style.  The castle was the perfect venue.

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The Ceremony

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Our wedding Ceremony was everything we could have dreamed of and more. The Castle, the dress, the friends and family were all there. But the thing that made it perfect was none of that. It was that we had finally found each other and were making our promise to never let each other go.

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Our Favourite Moments:

Leah – When I walked the aisle and saw his big cheeseball of a smile. It was amazing! When Baron Jon’s mom gave a speech. It was such a warm welcoming that I could feel our two families come together.

Baron Jon This is easy. Seeing her walking down the aisle. Hearing her say I do. Also, one of my passions is learning languages. As a surprise, Leah had learn how to say I love you in one of the languages I studied. It was the perfect way to end her vows.

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The Reception

I love the soft romantic look and I thought the peonies were a great way to capture that.

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Our Funniest Moments:

Leah – Seeing our parents dancing with their old school dance moves

Baron Jon – After the wedding, Leah’s uncle Dennis gave me what had to be the funniest advice I’ve heard about marriage. I still tell the story to this day.

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Our first dance was, in one word, magical. Ok, a few more words. We danced to All of Me by John Legend.

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Top Tip

The planning of the wedding should be one that you enjoy. If you can find a way to afford it, definitely do it.

 

The Talent

Planner: Louise Perry Weddings // www.louiseperryweddings.com/

Photographer: Guy Collier // guycollierphotography.pixieset.com

Venue: Eastnor Castle // www.eastnorcastle.com

Bride’s Fashion:  Dress / outfit:  Danielle Caprese from Kleinfield Manhattan // www.kleinfieldbridal.com

Accessories / Jewellery: Nordstrom //www. Nordstrom.com

Shoes:  Caparrose from Macy’s // www.macys.com

Makeup: Tori Harris // www.toriharrismakeup.co.uk

 Hair: Torri Harris // www.toriharrismakeup.co.uk

Groom’s Fashion: Suit & Shoes: H&M

The Girls

Flower Girls outfit: Macy’s www.macys.com

The Guys Groomsmen Suits: H&M //www.hm.com/hk/en

Personal Touches: Cake: Jelly Cakes // www.jellycake.co.uk

Flowers and Décor:  Paula Rooney Florist // www.paularooney.co.uk

Food:  Eastnor Caslte’s award winning chef.

Favours: Honolulu Cookie Company // www.honolulucookie.com

Stationery: We decided to go green and used email interactive invites with Greenvelopes.com.  We also used Etsy for menus and table cards

The Entertainment: MLC Disco Sound & Light. Sean was fantastic! //www.facebook.com/MlcDisco/

 

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