Milton Keynes Ayeasha and Stephen as Bride and Groom on bench

Ayeasha (Esha) and Stephen’s relationship started with a joke invite to a laser tag event from a mutual friend. “The joke was that I was their shortest friend (5’0″), and Stephen was their tallest (6’6″). So they invited us for the thrill of seeing us stand together,” laughs Esha. “The laser tag event unfortunately never happened, but it did get us talking. Weeks, then months passed, and the two of us would stay up till the early hours chatting online about anything and everything: music, film, TV, food and… hot chocolate. I was very opinionated about my hot chocolate!”

“Finally, Stephen challenged me to prove my assertion that Costa does the best hot chocolate. So, in the autumn of 2015, he travelled from Lincoln to Covent Garden, London, to go on a café crawl that would change our lives. We ate pasta at Pasta Browns, drank copious amounts of hot chocolate and cuddled on the embankment. I’m pretty sure I knew he was the one I was going to marry right there and then.”

Ayeasha wedding Milton Keynes walking down stairs

The sweetest proposal

Stephen proposed on 7th July 2019 after the couple had been together for four years. “It was a lovely intimate moment at home,” says Esha. “Stephen had spent the day in his hometown of Surrey, while I was at our flat in Reading. He was due home around the same time that I was going out for the evening and he was desperate not to miss me.”

“On his way home, he saw a woman who looked like me and felt sad, thinking that he’d missed out on cuddles before I left. When he realised it wasn’t actually me he was very excited to get home. When he did, he told me that there isn’t anyone else he’s ever had that amount of butterflies for, just at the mere thought of catching a glimpse of them, and he proposed to me. I said yes, and then pulled out a ring box of my own and proposed right back! He’s truly my best friend and I love that he knew exactly the kind of proposal I would want, sweet and subtle.

Ayeasha and Stephen wedding Milton Keynes flowers on table

Bridal shops Milton Keynes

Esha planned the wedding in the midst of the pandemic, so wasn’t able to visit any shops. “I found my dress on the WED2B website,” she says. “Once I saw limited edition Brit, I knew that it was my dress. I was so grateful when I found out that WED2B had a click-and-collect service*. There was only one Brit dress left, in WED2B’s bridal shops Milton Keynes. So, I had it shipped to my local store in Surbiton.”

“It was the best decision I’d ever made. I went to my collection appointment, tried it on, fell in love and didn’t even look at another dress. I absolutely love the waterfall skirt and the sparkly embellishment. It was so unique and stunning. I just loved everything about it, I felt like an absolute princess. It was truly everything I’d ever wanted in a wedding dress.” (For similar styles try Marina, Brynn or Natasha or click here for more details about WED2B’s bridal shops)

Ayeasha and Stephen micro wedding Milton Keynes bride with tiara

Finding the perfect location

“My mother-in-law suggested Richmond Park for one of our early dates because she thought we’d love it, and we did,” says Esha. “So much so that we got married there on 15th May 2021. There was a wedding happening while we were on our date and there was something about the deer and the beautiful park that cemented it in our minds. It was the only venue we saw and we knew instantly it was the one.”

Ayeasha and Stephen's wedding venue exterior

A venue upgrade

“When we booked our venue pre-Covid, we chose the smaller suite due to the lower cost. Later, as the smaller suite didn’t have an outdoor rain shelter (and our guests weren’t allowed to remove their mask indoors, so had to eat outside with a rain shelter), we were moved into the larger suite without having to pay any extra! I was so grateful for this, as the new suite was absolutely beautiful. I wasn’t sure if I’d feel a little lost in a room for 200 guests, when we only had 12 due to the pandemic, but it was absolutely lovely.”

Ayeasha and Stephen at the altar Richmond Park

The big day

“The weather on the day was up and down, but our photographer joked that we were controlling it, because it only ever rained when he wasn’t taking photos,” says Esha. “The sunshine came out during our bridal portraits and it was absolutely stunning. Even though it rained, it felt so cosy and intimate to be sat on a long table surrounded by our nearest and dearest, having a meal and listening to the rain around us. I wouldn’t have changed it at all.”

Ayeasha and Stephen with family signing the registry book

If music be the food of love...

“We used music to tell our story throughout the wedding,” says Esha. “I walked down the aisle with my mum to ‘Can’t Help Falling in Love’ covered by Twenty One Pilots. This was the first song Stephen ever played for me on the piano. We also had moments in the wedding which related to our favourite TV couples. We signed our wedding certificate to ‘Reflecting Light’ by Sam Phillips, which is the song Luke Danes and Lorelai Gilmore get married to in Gilmore Girls. It’s a very special song to me.”

Ayeasha and Stephen just married with guests throwing confetti

“We got married in front of a balloon arch, because our wedding date was the same as Amy Santiago and Jake Peralta’s, two characters from Brooklyn Nine-Nine. We watched this a lot when we first got together. The arch was beautiful and one of the best things we added to the wedding!”

Bridal shops Milton Keynes Ayeasha and Stephen's wedding with family

“We also tied our hand-fasting knot to an instrumental version of Taylor Swift’s ‘Invisible String’ because it’s a lovely song and we’re both huge ‘Swifties’, but also it’s kinda funny as we were literally tying a ribbon to each other’s hands!”

“Our celebrant personalised our ceremony and, as well as the hand-fasting ritual, our guests also came up to the mic to tell us why they love us or their favourite memory of us. It had the whole room in tears and it was just so beautiful to have everyone wish us the best.”

Ayeasha and Stephen's micro wedding table settings and decorations

Beautiful blue and rose gold

The colour scheme was a mix of different shades of blue and rose gold. “It’s a mix of both of our favourite colours,” says Esha. “We also had a flower wall, made by our florist, which became the designated area for guests to take photos, and ‘Love’ floral lettering. The tables were named after dates we’d been on and included a polaroid of us on each date.”

Ayeasha and Stephen wedding cake Mr & Mrs topper

“Our favours were a hot chocolate mix and a sketch of us that Stephen drew and I added my calligraphy to. The wedding cake was a gorgeous Victoria sponge, with blue and rose gold icing, which we served as dessert.”

Ayeasha and Stephen micro wedding Bride and Groom cutting the cake

“Finally, as we were leaving, we had a bubble gun exit, which was really fun,” says Esha. “It was actually a last minute thing that I bought and threw in the wedding boxes. I’m so glad I did.”

Bride and Groom leaving venue with guests blowing bubbles

An unexpected first dance

“One of our favourite moments was something we thought we wouldn’t be allowed to do, but somehow the stars aligned,” says Esha. “After the photos, all of our guests were outside having their reception drinks. We walked back into the room to hear our first dance song (‘I Still Remember’ by Bloc Party) playing.”

Ayeasha and Stephen micro wedding in field of flowers

“I guess, because none of our guests were around us and because I was so excited, our master of ceremonies allowed us to have our first dance. I am so, so thankful because it was something we’d given up on being allowed to have. It really made the whole day that bit more magical for us.”

Ayeasha and Stephen wedding Bridal shops Milton Keynes

My top tips…

“Get legally married before or after your wedding day – you don’t need all the legal stuff on the best day of your life,” says Esha. “Get a celebrant who will personalise your wedding perfectly. I would advise against setting up your venue yourself, unless you really want to. Seeing it all unfold moments before getting married added to the magic for me, but I did give my venue detailed instructions about what I wanted. I also made a three-page photo list, which might sound excessive, but our photographers/videographers were absolutely fine with it. They were actually quite grateful to have so much direction.”

Bride and groom in field of wild flowers

“I really recommend having a wedding hashtag, too. You can follow the hashtag and have your own curated wedding feed, plus it’s exciting to see all of the photos everyone took on their phones in one place, while you wait for your professional photos. Lastly, if you’re not having a micro wedding like ours, find moments you can savour and take it all in, because it really does fly by.”

Esha’s Dream Team

Photographer and Videographer: Moritz Schmittat from Schmittat Ltd 

Additional Photographer: N May Photo and Video 

Additional Videographer: Indiego Photography

Venue: The Belvedere Suite, Pembroke Lodge, Richmond Park 

Bridal shop: Wed2B

Celebrant: Stephanie Forster, Silver Bee Ceremonies 

Chair Covers, decor and tablecloths: Host with Style 

Florist: Harmony Events and Decorations

Balloon Arch: London Balloon Lady 

Acrylic Place Names/Signs: faye_product_design

Wedding Ring: Angelic Diamonds

Bio-Degradable Confetti: Adamapple

Hot Chocolate Favour: The Pure Moment

Ring Box and ‘Our Love Story’ sign: Mallys Crafts

Wedding Cake: Baked By Steph 

Stationery: TheFoilStationeryCo

Makeup Artist: Storme 

Hair and Makeup Hair Stylist: Karl Hewitt (my childhood hair stylist)

If you would like your big day to be one of our real weddings please click here to share your story and photos with us and we’ll be in touch. Or click here for more details about WED2B’s Bridal shops.
* Wed2B ran the Click & Collect service during the pandemic to enable brides to purchase dresses when stores weren’t open