Steve proposed during a Caribbean cruise. “We booked it for January 2019 to celebrate our 10th anniversary,” shares the bride. “We’d docked in St Thomas on the morning of our anniversary and had gone to get some breakfast whilst we sat on the deck enjoying the view. Steve said he felt unwell and needed to go back to the room. He returned shortly after and said he wasn’t feeling great, so could we go back to the cabin. Unknown to me, he was perfectly fine but had taken the opportunity to run half the length of the cruise ship and down four flights of stairs to prepare the cabin for the big question. When we got back, Steve walked past pretending not to know where it was so I’d enter first. I walked in, and it was completely dark apart from a small ring box on the end of the bed, open with a single bright LED shining down on the contents. I immediately broke down as Steve told me how much he loved me and what I meant to him. We got engaged then and there.”
"We'd originally planned to get married on a cruise, but due to COVID-19, we decided to choose somewhere local that meant something to us," explains Charlotte. "Lytham St Annes is a place close to our hearts that we visit regularly. We wanted a venue that had a sea view and a welcoming feel to it. The Clifton Arms Hotel was perfect! It's an independent family-run hotel that was refurbished in 2020. Bernard, our wedding planner, has worked at the hotel for more than 45 years and was amazing! Nothing was too much trouble."
For their favours, the couple gave their guests candles and home-brewed beer made by Steve. "He designed and printed the labels for the bottles," adds the bride. "He also created our table plan based around an imaginary cruise itinerary with ports of call being the table names such as Barcelona and Gibraltar."
"Our centrepieces were tall cylinder vases containing dendrobium orchids and floating candles," recalls Charlotte.
"Our flowers were orchids, ivory roses, and blue thistles finished with navy ribbons from Bond & Bloom."
Charlotte and Steve chose a two-tier cake from Treats of St Annes. "It had a Mr & Mrs topper and dangly bride and groom figures," says the bride. "It was decorated with navy drip icing and made up of vanilla sponge and strawberry jam."
"We decorated the space with a fairylight backdrop, ivory blossom trees, light-up letters, lanterns and petals from Sophisticated Events," shares Charlotte. "Clifton Arms Hotel were kind enough to arrange the chair covers and sashes for us."
"I wore a Stella York wedding dress from Ava Rose Hamilton," explains the bride. "I loved the lace slim fit style, beaded crossover neckline and long train. I accessorised with a bag, shoes and a hair clip."
Steve chose a navy suit, grey waistcoat and matching pocket square from The Bridgewater Menswear. To help him stand out, he wore a Rolex pocket watch and Marc Darcy navy tie.
"The bridesmaids opted for navy halter-neck dresses from Next," adds Charlotte. "The design had lace on the bodice and tied in perfectly with our colour scheme."
"To keep our guests entertained, we hired Sarah Davies Harpist to perform during the ceremony and meal," recalls the bride. "She played a mixture of classical and modern music that sounded great. In the evening, the Brothers Of Swing performed. They sang a wide variety of genres and got everyone up dancing."
"We both felt fine on the morning of the wedding, but Steve did get a little nervous when called upon by the registrar," laughs Charlotte.
"After 18 months of the pandemic, it was great to have all our family and friends there to celebrate, and we felt so fortunate and blessed.
We'd planned to use a local taxi service to take us to the beach to have our photos taken at sunset, but sadly the minibus was delayed, and the light was fading. This was when our photographer, Simon from Creative Camera, offered to drive the 10 minute trip in his Mini. Without him going the extra mile, we would have missed the sunset and wouldn't have the photos we truly wanted."
For their minimoon, the couple went to The Woodland Spa in Burnley. "It was wonderful," says the bride. "We're planning a seacation cruise around the UK later in the year as well."
Hair and make-up artist
Venue and catering