These high-school sweethearts put together a wonderfully rustic celebration
Lovebirds who meet early in life often see the very best, and the very worst of each other. Which is a beautiful gift. Because you know they really adore one another! They've seen the growing pains, dealt with each other's teenage trauma, and stuck together as they progressed from children into adults.
These days, you hear less and less of high school sweethearts, but today's couple, Tanya and Niall are proof they still exist! After 13+ years together, this bride and groom finally tied the knot with a beautiful boho-inspired ceremony and reception this year at Oak Tree Barn in Tonbridge, Kent. Surrounded by loved ones, our pair had a wonderful day, and cemented an almost lifelong dedication to each other.
Tanya & Niall's Wedding at Oak Tree Barn in Tonbridge, Kent
Find out a little more about our East London lovers and feast your eyes on their gorgeous wedding pics!
How did you two meet?
We both met at Wanstead High School when we were fifteen years old. We were in the same friendship group, so despite seeing the most embarrassing side of each other, we did eventually get together while in Sixth Form!
How did you get engaged?
We got engaged on our annual winter walk through London to see the Christmas lights. After 12 and a half years, he caught me completely by surprise, down on one knee, in South bank Christmas market while his brother was pretending to take a photo of us.
Tanya in the Evangeline wedding dress by Élysée
What was your favourite moment(s) from the wedding?
So hard to pick! I think the first look between us at the ceremony, as the doors opened, and I was about to walk down the aisle with my mum. Seeing his big smile instantly comforted me and made me giddy. Then when we took our seats at the top table for our wedding breakfast. Seeing all our loved ones, family, and friends together in one room celebrating our day was just so special! We said it was truly a pinch me moment.
Tell us all about your wedding dress. How did it make you feel?
I think everyone expected me to go for something with sleeves, or a high neck. But when I saw this dress hanging in the changing room – I thought, wow, this is giving me Jessica Rabbit vibes!
The dress had off-the-shoulder straps, floral embroidered lace, and it fit me like a glove. Being high school sweethearts, I felt the romantic element the dress had was just perfect! It was classy, elegant yet still had that drama with the hem/train. I felt amazing – and even though it was sculpted to my body, it was so comfortable!
What was the general decor for your big day?
Oak Tree Barn is a unique rustic outdoorsy wedding venue in Tonbridge, Kent. With that in mind, we opted for a very boho, natural yet still romantic theme. Our main colours were toffee, peach, and blush, which were very warming. And we mixed that up with accents of lilac.
We had a very romantic outdoor ceremony with opening wooden doors and hay bale benches, which was followed by reception drinks at a tipi bar under the trees. The area was decorated in fairy lights and candles, which added to the whole magical, cosy midsummer night's dream feel.
We had a camper van photo booth in the evening for extra fun! I am also very lucky to have a sister who is super creative and can do calligraphy, so she added the finishing touches.
Do you have any advice for future Bellissima Brides?
Arrange to do wedmin in small doses. Little and often is my advice, as it'll stop things from feeling too overwhelming. Spend time together on the day as a couple, a good photographer will help you find those pockets of time.
How was your Bellissima Experience?
Honestly, it was a real pleasure and such an enjoyable experience coming to see you each time. Mariana, your talented seamstress made the dress fit like a glove, yet feel still so comfortable! Thank you again for your really helpful, efficient and professional service.
Do you have any local suppliers you would like to recommend?
All of our suppliers were wonderful, and they all contributed to us having the most special wedding day:
Wedding Videographer – Lea Hepburn Videographer
Wedding Flowers – Copper and Moss Botanics
Photo Booth – Buttercup Bus
Catering - Souper Food Catering
Wedding Music – Niki Jane, Saxophonist