One of the things I love about my job, is meeting the couples and hearing about their journeys together. I’m a bit of a romantic at heart & can’t get enough of stories of love conquering all. Perhaps it’s due to a diet of 80s heroic TV and films in my younger years, but that idea of fated meetings and true love resonates deep within me and lightens my soul. I learned some of Adam & Daniel’s journey when we met, & then more during the speeches on the actual wedding day, so it was lovely to read even more about them in the answers they sent me for this blog. I’m sure you’ll enjoy reading their story too.
I was amazed at how detail orientated Adam was during our meeting. He provided me with lots of information about their plans from our first meeting and even more going forward. As most people are getting married for the first time, they don’t know the fine details of what or when things will happen, and I’m always happy to guide them and fill in the blanks. But for Adam & Daniel, it was clear that they had given lots of thought to every aspect of the day, what would happen when, and how it would all flow. This was a very organised couple.
One thing that they warned me about at this point was that their wedding was being filmed for TV. So, in addition to a team of 3 wedding videographers, there would be a TV crew of 5 people on the day. Thankfully everyone was lovely to work with, and although Adam and Daniel may have felt a little dizzy at times being whisked off to give comments to camera, interviews, or general footage, they handled it all brilliantly. I suspect this was due to Adam’s experience as a TV presenter and Daniel’s as a model.
Adam and Daniel are two very cool guys who are obviously extremely happy together. It was a real pleasure being their wedding photographer & I felt so pleased and honoured by their comments about my photography of their day.
Now here is more about the couple & their amazing wedding in their words:
How did you meet, & how did you become engaged?
“We met under exceptionally unlikely circumstances. Perhaps the most striking thing is the way we so nearly didn’t meet. There were so many reasons we might not have met. Daniel was here in London for 2 years on his student visa but it was in his last few months where we met at a house party. We both messaged each other afterwards saying we had a strange feeling that we didn’t usually have. We wanted to meet again, and when we did I instantly knew this feeling inside was something much more serious and overwhelming than I could have imagined. Due to our circumstances we didn’t really pursue the feeling. Daniel said he was afraid to believe it could be real, especially when he only had 3 months left so it could result in hurt. Our contact drifted apart slightly, and then a few weeks later I collapsed at work and went to hospital. I was told I might have a brain tumour, and it made me self reflect a great deal. Oddly, my greatest thought was Daniel, and knowing I was in the wrong place in my life. When I was told it was actually just a brain infection and I could recover, I made a vow to myself I would get myself better and go on a date with Daniel. I felt Daniel had perhaps moved on and it was a terrifying feeling, but I got home and I listened to some uplifting music and in my heart I knew I had to have faith I would see him again.
As soon as I was better, we arranged to go to a horror scare park on October 13th. We count this as our first official “date”. We went with Daniel’s two closest friends, and had the most hilarious time. It was where our first photo was taken which is in our bedroom. After this, the night carried on as we walked through Hampstead Park. Daniel told me we had to be realistic, he had to leave in a couple of months. I told him I wanted us to just follow our hearts and see where it went. It was after this we continued to date. We booked a spontaneous trip to Dover a few days later and it was here we both felt it was very real. The dating carried on and a couple of weeks later I asked Daniel in Spanish to be my boyfriend, and he said yes.
It was only a few days after this I convinced Daniel to move in with me, and after having a moment of worry where he changed his mind, I convinced him to take the leap and to his credit and bravery he moved in with me. To our amazement, seeing as we hardly knew each other and had only been official 10 days, it was PERFECT. We lived harmoniously, and I think this is the happiest I had ever felt in my life. We always knew the time of January was approaching when he would have to leave, but I didn’t care. Daniel was the one and I would fight to do whatever it took to be together again.
Weirdly we sort of had to agree we wished to marry in June 2018, before a proper proposal, as we needed to agree who would ask who so we didn’t both buy rings, and Daniel said he wish to ask me. I thought he would do something low key. Daniel has never been openly gay in public since he is from Cuba and this was all very new to him. That’s why what Daniel did was even more moving. He picked the middle of Trafalgar Square, a place of huge significance to us from dates, and a VERY public space, to ask me in front of everyone. This was as big as it could have been, with all my best friends. Daniel blew me away and showed me how well he knew me by doing something like this. It meant so much to him to get it right.”
How long did you take to plan your wedding?
“We started wedding planning the day after Daniel arrived from Cuba – we literally went straight into venue viewings! This was the start of February, and we had the wedding planned by about July, so in total it was about 5 months which is why it was such a rush!”
What made you choose your wedding venues and how did you decorate them?
“We visited five different venues and Horsley Towers was the first one of all of them. The first time we got there we just fell in love. We went with open minds because we were meant to visit other places but the first impression we had of Horsley Towers was very positive. It was a dreamy wedding venue with the look of an old mansion/castle that we really loved. We believe it was fate we were meant to find this place as it felt like the perfect fairytale ending to our journey.”
What inspired you to style your day the way you did?
“We were keen from the start to try to combine both our cultures – an elegant British ambiance with subtle hints to Cuba and the Spanish Language. We found that red and blue was a way to combine our two flags, along with a white and gold touch throughout the venue, and we linked this all together with our cake that had two little flags on the top. Everything was colour matched to perfection using Pantone colour bigs and suit samples. Adam spent 3 hours in the office of “The Drop” trying to decide on a blue for his custom suit. We kept a lot of traditional elements where we could, but tried to include a few surprises here or there. Half the ceremony was in Spanish, the menu was in Spanish, we had a cigar table and our first dance was a surprise Salsa dance!
Despite the formal setting, we wanted a warm, inclusive and emotional ambiance that isn’t in the slightest bit stuffy. Everyone always expects something different from us and we wanted to keep that.”
How did you decide on your what you both wore on the day?
“We had our suits made by a company called The Drop, and looked through endless Pinterest boards to try to find ideas for two groom suits. It is really hard to find two suits that are not the same but connect in someway. This is when we had the idea of using a dogtooth waistcoat as a common item to connect two suits. It was very hard to find two exact ties / socks etc in the same navy and Burgundy as the two suits, with the same patterns and designs – but we found them eventually! A great deal of work went into making out suits perfect, and we had a friend do the final tailoring adjustments on the suits at the end to give them the perfect fit.”
How did you decide on the outfits for the groomsmaids?
“We decided to go for white dresses since there was no bride and it’s something a bit different. We wanted them to coordinate with us in some way, so we found matching fabric online and had our seamstress add a sash to each groomsmaid. Their sashes matched the colours of our suits so three of them wore blue navy sashes and the other three burgundy. It was very hard to find a dress that would suit six girls of different body shapes but in the end we got lucky, imported some and had them all adjusted for a very good price.”
Who gave you away / walked you down the aisle? And did you walk down the aisle to a particular song?
“We walked down the aisle with our mothers, again using the fact this was a same-sex wedding to give us a little creative license. We walked to Million Dreams from greatest showman as it reminded us of our hard journey when we were apart. We also liked that it had two equal choruses giving us two entrances, so neither one of us appeared to play the role of the bride.”
Would you like to share anything about your vows? Did you tailor your own?
“We had a lot of our vows in both English and Spanish, with each of us speaking the opposite to our mother tongue as a gesture to our partner. We had the whole ceremony translated into Spanish to go on the chair of Daniel’s parents so they could follow too. We wrote our vows in secret, and had the celebrant check they were along the right lines. We decided to ignore the fact there would be other people there, not try to write something that sounded fancy, but instead speak from the heart and make promises we truly wanted to make.”
Did you have any readings? If so, what were they and why did you choose them?
“We wanted something a little bit funny, and something moving and poetic. One of our groomsmaids read a comedy poem that implied marriage was at times tough. We liked the realism of it. We don’t want to paint this idea of marriage always being bliss. We know there will be times that try us and it’s important to be strong together, and we wanted something to reflect that. The poem was “All I know about love”, and it is a beautiful poem that accepts it’s impossible to know much about the journey ahead, other than that you will be there for each other.”
Please describe your wedding breakfast and the reasons behind it?
“We wanted something very elegant, so we hired in gold rimmed charger plates and glasses and it was so worth it. We also had custom made menus so each guest had their name in gold foil on their menu and this acted as their place name as well. Each table was named after a place in Cuba, and had a table info card with gold foil that had information about that place, some fun facts about us, and useful (but funny) Spanish phrases. We loved adding small touches like this. The food was a Spanish inspired starter (Croquettas), then chicken for main, and a British Lemon Tart for dessert.”
Did you provide wedding favours? If so, please provide details or what and where you sourced them
“We made our own miniature Cuban rum bottles, with labels matching the table designs. It was an excuse to give the guests more alcohol and also add to the Cuban theme.”
Please describe your cake and why you chose it?
“We designed our cake on photoshop using elements of 10 different cakes that we liked, then using our editing knowledge to create something totally unique, different, modern, and that combines our two flags in a classy way. Our cake maker Nia was amazing and did an amazing job at replicating and improving the design.”
What was your first dance track and what did it mean to you?
“We fooled our guests by starting with a slow first dance. We pretended to go to the band and complain (this was part of the act), they then suddenly burst into an up tempo version of the Latin cover “Let’s Get Loud” by Jennifer Lopez. We learnt the choreography with Strictly Come Dancing’s Karen Hauer. She did an amazing job and the guests loved it.”
What was your favourite part of the day and why?
“This is going to sounds very very odd. On the day I (Adam) was very ill. I had a stomach bug and was sadly being sick a lot during the day. During the wedding breakfast I took a bite of my food and had to run to the wedding storage room. Daniel came out to help me – and me being ill meant that we actually had 5 minutes alone together on our wedding day. It was a nice, although unexpected, private moment and I think was a silver lining to being unwell.”
What led you to choose Nick from Parkershots as your photographer and please can you comment on the results?
“When looking at wedding photographers you do of course naturally trawl through endless websites, and all of them have amazing example of their work on their home pages. The thing is though, all these amazing shots are just a few from thousands taken across many many weddings. It’s easy to get a couple of amazing shots out of 400 or so. When you go into a specific wedding album and take a closer look at just one wedding, often there are a lot of “nice” photos and a couple of amazing ones. Nick is the exception to this. In his albums, each and every photo is an amazing photo. He doesn’t do anything less than perfect. I have no idea how he achieved the shots he did but they are without a doubt the most beautiful photos I have seen in my life, and that is not an over statement. Our suppliers were blown away and had never seen anything like it. We will cherish them forever.”
On reflection, is there anything you would have done differently with foresight?
“We would have tried to plan it over 2 years rather than 5 months because we definitely lost hair as a result of it.”
If you could impart any words of wisdom to a bride to be planning her marriage and wedding day, what would they be?
“On the day, you won’t care if something doesn’t quite go perfect. It’s all part of it. It makes it real. Equally, don’t be afraid to make it the day you and your partner want it to be. Stop worrying about pleasing everyone. It’s your day and people are there for you.”
– Hair / Make-up Stylist – Fran Straker
– Florist – Blakes of Bookham – www.blakesofbookham.com
– Venue – De Vere Horsley Estate – www.devere.co.uk/horsley-estate/
– Décor / Styling – Confetti & Lace
– Toastmaster – Steve Eggleton
– Cake Maker – Nia Cummings
– Celebrant – Ellen Bower
– Wedding Planner – Sarah Haywood Weddings
– String Quartet – Palatine String Trio – www.palatinestringquartet.co.uk
– Band – The Doodle Bugs
– Photobooth – Open Booths
– DJ – Surrey Event Services – www.surreyeventservices.co.uk
– Videographer – ManMade – www.manmadeltd.com
– Photographer – Parkershots – www.parkershots.com