Bride and Groom posing in the grounds of their wedding venue

Charlotte and Harry met at university when they lived in the same halls. “We met on my birthday and I introduced myself by offering a cupcake,” says Charlotte. “We became friends but soon realised there were more feelings there. Our first date in Canterbury was fun and it just felt natural and exciting.”

Bride in the off the shoulder wedding dress

A romantic autumnal proposal

Harry proposed after the couple had been together for five years. “We had gone on a trip to Bath,” says Charlotte. “Before going, we decided that one of us would organise one day and the other another day. Then we decided the rest of the activities together. Harry planned the proposal on his surprise day.”

Bride revealing her wedding dress to her bridesmaids for the first time

“Our favourite season is autumn, so we were on a lovely October morning walk along the river, surrounded by autumnal trees. Harry was about to propose (unbeknownst to me) when a large group of people on kayaks appeared. It stalled his plan but once they had travelled on Harry asked me to marry him! It was a total shock but I was so pleased and felt very in love.”

Bride with her bridesmaids in black bridesmaids dresses

Shopping for the dress

“A few friends of mine had been to different WED2B stores,” says Charlotte. “It was the first place we went and it was just me and my mum. We didn’t expect to find the dress. I’m curvy, and I was worried about how I would feel shopping for wedding dresses. Whether it would be a positive experience or not. However, the WED2B staff were attentive and super helpful. They got a feel for the style of the wedding and made suggestions based on this information.”

Bride getting out of her wedding car

An empowering experience

“After selecting a few dresses I tried them on. The one I thought would be my dress, once on, was clearly not the one. However, we found my dress among the suggestions. I love how they showed dresses with different accessories too, and I wasn't made to feel rushed or pressured. It was a really enjoyable experience and I came away feeling more empowered.”

Bride and Grooms wedding venue

The complete look

Charlotte chose WED2B’s April dress. “It felt amazing,” she says. “I loved the A-line shape, the way I felt in it and the second layer of sparkling lace detail. I added some lace straps, a belt, an Evie hair clip and a veil too. It completed the look.”

(For similar styles please try Amerie, Calo and Nataliya)

Bride with her father of the bride

An intimate September wedding

The couple married at The Secret Garden in Ashford on the 24th September 2022. “A month prior to the engagement, my friend (my bridesmaid) took me for afternoon tea at the venue,” says Charlotte.

Bride putting the grooms wedding ring on his finger Bride and Groom saying their wedding vows

“There was a wedding happening and the pictures were being taken in the garden. It was a beautiful setting. Plus the staff were friendly and enthusiastic, which was a nice bonus. Once I was engaged, I knew it had to be on the list of potential venues. Luckily, when we went to see it, Harry fell in love with it too. It has an intimate romantic feel about it, perfect for a September wedding.”

Bride and Groom walking back up the aisle as husband and wife

The big day

“Harry and his best man, groomsman and immediate family got ready at Eastwell Manor,” says Charlotte. “Myself and my bridesmaids stayed and got ready at Crabtree Farm, a gorgeous location nearby. The weather for our September wedding was touch and go. There was an amber warning for rain, but the morning was just overcast and the rain held off. This meant we could have the outdoor wedding we’d dreamed of.”

Bride and Groom with all their wedding guests

“I was driven to the venue in an old Jaguar with my dad and then he walked me down the aisle,” says Charlotte. “We had readings from my cousin Jack and Geoff, Harry’s dad. Our mums were witnesses. The most special moment was when I got to Harry and he was emotional but we were both so happy. It felt like no one else was there in that moment.”

Bride and Grooms wedding guests enjoying the bubbles

Party celebrations

“After the ceremony we had drinks and garden games,” says Charlotte. “Then dinner and speeches, which were amazing. Our first dance was to ‘All My Love’ by George Ezra. We loved the lyrics to the song and felt it wasn’t too slow or too fast.”

Bride and Groom posing with their friends

A woodland theme

“We love nature and woodland walks, so we had lots of natural woods and flowers, which were done by my mum,” says Charlotte. “It was so special to have her hand me my bouquet on the day. She did an amazing job with all the flowers. We have a place that’s special to us, where you can see the blue of the sea and the sky and the purples and greens of heather plants. They are what inspired the colours of the wedding.”

Bride and Groom walking into their venue as husband and wife

Homemade details

“The welcome sign was made out of my childhood toy box lid by my dad,” says Charlotte. “Our cake was so delicious, we went for salted caramel, carrot cake and Victoria sponge.”

Bride and Grooms wedding cake

“I also surprised everyone with a half-choreographed dance to Guns and Roses’ ‘Sweet Child of Mine’ with my dad later on in the evening, which had blow up guitars. Our band were incredible and they had the dance floor filled. We are so glad we went with them. There were also light-up foam sticks and a bubble machine, which everyone loved!”

Bride and Groom cutting their wedding cake

The best bits…

“Simply, how much love there was that day,” says Charlotte. “Getting to share that with everyone. People coming together and having a great time. I loved dancing with so many special people in our lives.”

Bride and Groom having their first dance

My top tips…

“I would say, make a list of what is important to you as a couple,” says Charlotte. “If the cake isn't important then spend more time and money on the things that do matter to you. Focus on what you want, not what others want or think you need. Don't be pressured into having something just because, only do it if it's important to you. Be open-minded when you’re wedding dress shopping, too. You might just fall in love with something you didn't expect!”

Bride and Groom dancing and enjoying their wedding

Charlotte and Harry’s Dream Team

Photographer: Peter Reynolds Photography

Venue: The Secret Garden

Wedding dresses Ashford: WED2B

Videographer: JP Video Kent

Exquisite Flowers: Bride’s mother

Hair: Jessica Louise Hairstylist

Makeup: Puja

Accommodation – Crabtree Farm

Entertainment: Tropic at Tailored Entertainment

If you would like us to feature your big day, like this September wedding, then please click here to share your story and photos with us and we’ll be in touch. Your nearest WED2B is closer than you think, click here for more details about WED2B’s bridal shops Ashford