Although Jessica and Martin’s initial attraction was purely physical when they met on a Saturday night in Hastings, a deeper relationship soon blossomed once they began dating. Jessica worked for TUI and it wasn’t long before she needed to work abroad for six months. However, absence certainly made their hearts grow fonder, and they haven’t been apart since.
Martin popped the question while the pair were enjoying their first holiday together in Corfu. Jessica remembers, “We were perched at the top of the steps on the stunning Sunset Beach, overlooking the ocean, and he just came out with the question.” It later materialised that Jessica had unwittingly been carrying the ring around all day, in their essentials bag.
Join us as we get the lowdown on the big day from the bride…
"We spent ages looking for a venue," Jessica says. "We couldn't find what we wanted, and the worst thing was, we didn't actually know what we wanted," she continues. But perseverance paid off, and they found Swallows Oast, which they knew was the one for them on first viewing. The bride explains, "It was simple yet beautiful and the views were breathtaking."
Given the already stunning location, the couple had a plan to keep their decoration simple, complementing the venue's existing beauty. They crafted the place names, table numbers, table plan and additional signage themselves, and enjoyed the projects immensely.
Plus, the groom was lucky enough to have a great friend who helped with the centrepieces: "They were artificial trees, which added a touch of class to the day," Jessica says. Then, at the last minute they decided to decorate further with some festoon lighting for an evening party atmosphere.
The venue's in-house caterer, Capers, was in charge of the day's dining. "It was stunning. Every single one of our guests commented on how great the food was," Jessica says. A selection of canapes was served for the starter, and guests had a chance to enjoy these while the couple were off having their photos taken. "My bridesmaids were good enough to feed me every so often," the bride remembers.
Main course was a classic carvery, since the couple are all about good-quality, tasty British food. The meal was completed with a French lemon tart. A further sweet treat came in the shape of their delicious wedding cake. They'd decided to keep the peanut butter flavour top tier for themselves, leaving their guests to enjoy the remaining two chocolate and lemon tiers.
Jessica looked stunning in her Mori Lee gown. "I chose this dress because it made be feel like the bride. It showed off my figure, and I knew Martin would love it." she explains. She accessorised with a cathedral-length veil subtly adorned with diamantes, and kept jewellery understated.
The groom wore a navy three-piece suit with dark tan shoes. This was paired with a paisley dusky rose tie and pocket square. The groomsmen were dressed in the same style suits in grey, with finishing touches to match Martin's. "The bridesmaids looked fabulous in fulllength multiway dresses in dusky rose," Jessica tells us.
A DJ filled the dancefloor during the evening revelries, with a varied set featuring musical genres to please everyone. Guests were also treated to a photo booth, which we're told went down a storm. "They absolutely loved it, as they got to take away a photo, and it was a chance to be silly and have fun," Jessica explains. A magician also wowed the crowds with some close up magic. The bride recalls: "He was a fantastic character, and made you believe in magic. He even did tricks with bits you could take away and keep."
"Everyone says it goes so fast and I didn't believe them, but it did, and we had to take a few moments here and there to take it all in. The highlight for both of us was seeing each other for the first time on the day. It was such a magical moment and a feeling we'll never forget.
"We're both part of a fabulous running group, and two of our fellow members who are registrars, were there to marry us. Having our close friends share that moment with us, making us husband and wife is going to be something we'll never forget. It was so personal and sentimental."