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Helen Abraham

WPC Real Wedding: Antonia and Craig's Traditional English Wedding

Today we share the classic English wedding of WPC couple Antonia and Craig. They wanted a day steeped in tradition, family and personal touches. Join us as we look back on their Church wedding, followed by a dramatic Cowdray House reception. Read on to hear their gorgeous engagement story, read about their favourite gifts and their advice to future couples.

Helen Abraham

What was the highlight of your experience with The Wedding Present Company?

Being able to visit the showroom and have an in-person appointment gave the experience such a personal touch. We could see and feel so many gorgeous items and really visualise what they could look like in our home. It was also something we tried to take our time over, and being able to revisit the showroom through our engagement was a joy.

What were your favourite brands available within The Wedding Present Company?

Burleigh Pottery

Why did you choose The Wedding Present Company for your wedding list?

The personalised service is second-to-none, and I loved that The Wedding Present Company had a wonderful connection to my bridal boutique, Miss Bush. It felt like a wonderfully connected family determined to deliver the best experience.

Helen Abraham
Helen Abraham

Have you had your presents delivered? How was your delivery day?

Not yet! But that's our fault for enjoying married life and not closing our list!

Helen Abraham

Your favourite presents?

Duck Wine Decanter
Roberts & Dore
£50.00
Fire pit, Idbury, Cast Iron
Garden Trading
£120.00
Photograph frame, 5 x 7", Fine Silver
The White Company
£50.00
Buff & Unpeeled Willow 4 Bottle Carrier
Willow & Wicker
£50.00
Rectangular platter, 34cm, Regal Peacock, Blue
Burleigh
£72.00
4 Player Garden Croquet Set with Wooden Box
Uber Games
£185.00
Rounders Set, Nylon Bag
Uber Games
£35.00
Candle Stick, H46cm, Akello, Mango Wood
Nkuku
£55.00
Hurricane lamp, 15 x 25cm, Glass
OKA
£40.00
Throw, 150 x 183cm, Fishbone, Duck Egg
Tweedmill
£72.00
Picnic hamper - 4 person, 58 x 38 x 22cm, Blue Tweed, Light Willow
Willow & Wicker
£267.00
Photograph frame, 4 x 6", Fine Silver
The White Company
£40.00
Helen Abraham

Engagement Story

Craig and I have been together since 14th May 2009 (so 12 years as a couple) but as Craig quite rightly said in his Groom speech, our story started 13.5 years ago at Hurstpierpoint College, West Sussex. He tells the story differently, but we first started “speaking” after I sent him a rather embarrassing message on Facebook and slowly we got to know one another. Craig being the year above at our boarding school was quite the College gossip. We went to different Universities (Exeter and Reading) which we didn’t intentionally do but it definitely allowed us to fully immerse ourselves in university life, but long distance was difficult. Eventually, we both moved to London (me to do a Masters) and Craig to start a Graduate Scheme at Network Rail. In 2015 we bought our first flat together.

Craig’s proposal was a complete surprise, despite having been together for so long! On Good Friday 2018 he took me for the Sunrise Breakfast at Duck and Waffle, London which I had always wanted to do. He then took me for a walk through a silent St James’ Park and with a backdrop of Buckingham Palace he proposed. I was absolutely stunned and couldn’t speak. He had planned an entire day, booked us in to The St Pancras Renaissance Hotel and had a table reserved at my favourite restaurant, The Wolseley. Just to make sure my answer was a “yes” the next day Craig drove me to St Mary’s in Thakeham, West Sussex and as the sun was setting and proposed once again. He had bought a toy ring for me to keep so we could choose my engagement ring together. We both wanted a long engagement so that the wedding wouldn’t completely take over our lives and to give us an opportunity to save and plan. I also felt a little young to officially tie the knot! From engagement to wedding was going to be 2.5 years. And then, the Pandemic. We decided to push the wedding back by a year to allow for the dust to (hopefully) settle and allow us to have the day we imagined.

Helen Abraham

Theme/Inspiration for Your Wedding

We always knew our day would be traditional with a Church of England wedding in a church of significance to family and us, and English Country themed wedding with whites, greens, blush pinks and a touch of blue. Very traditional and what my parents also chose 35 years ago. I always wanted a large and long wedding dress that would evoke a sense of a classic wedding and bride (without looking like a meringue or that I was trying too hard). The boys were always going to be in Morning Suits, we wanted the day to be timeless, classic and personal.

Helen Abraham

Location

Cowdray House, Petworth, West Sussex

Helen Abraham
Helen Abraham

Transport

Helen Abraham

Flowers

Helen Abraham

Bridal Fashion

My dress was custom-made by Jesus Peiro from Miss Bush, Ripley. The dress was a bespoke creation of styles from Jesus Peiro and from the Miss Bush Anniversary dress. The Overtrain was also a Jesus Peiro special from the 2020 collection. My veil was a bespoke design by The Couture Veil and Sassi Holford, overseen by the Miss Bush team.

My shoes were Manolo Blahnik, Hangisi in white satin. Earrings were pearl and diamond studs from Liberty London. My Engagement Ring was by Sophie Breitmeyer, a yellow gold ring with diamonds set in to the band, central round diamond with diamond halo, platinum top setting.

Helen Abraham
Helen Abraham

Hair & Make Up

The Bridal Dream Team (Nadia and Gavin)

Helen Abraham
Helen Abraham

Your Partner’s Fashion

Craig’s morning Suit was from Favourbrook. He had houndstooth trousers, jacket and buff waistcoat with cream piping, and a tie from Hermes.

Helen Abraham
Helen Abraham

Bridesmaids, Flower Girls & Page Boys Fashion

My Bridesmaids wore Maids to Measure’s Regent Dress in Cream Soda, LK Bennett Suede Courts and pearl earrings.

Helen Abraham
Helen Abraham

Caterer

Caper & Berry provided our food.

First Course: Beef carpaccio, House-cured fillet of beef served with anaged parmesan croquette, rocket cress, sunblush tomatoes and truffle oil. Beetroot carpaccio, Golden beetroot, roasted and thinly sliced, topped with whipped goat's curd, pickled vegetables, beetroot crumb, baby herbs, cold-pressed rapeseed oil and garlic salt

Second Course: Roasted rump and slow-cooked shoulder of lamb, served with a confit barrel potato, vibrant pea puree, asparagus spears, lamb jus, and salsa verde dressing, Buttermilk marinated halloumi pan-fried and served with a garlic and thyme potato rosti, asparagus spears, vodka spiked tomato and summer herb salsa

Dessert: Trio of wedding cake, by Emily's Mixing Bowl, Served with seasonal berries and cream.

Helen Abraham

Photographer & Videographer

Our photographer was Helen Abraham and Ash Videography captured our day on video

Music

DT8, our first dance opened with Paolo Nutini's 'Someone Like You' which the Mother of the Bride choreographed a routine to for us! As the track faded, DT8 broke in to 'Pencil Full of Lead' by Paolo Nutini and everyone raced to the dancefloor.

Helen Abraham
Helen Abraham

Wedding Planner

Though certainly not wedding planners, Erin Overend and Amber De Savary at Cowdray House were an invaluable support. Erin oversaw our whole day, and was there from 7am when I arrived at the House until the final sparkler farewell.

Stationery

Save the Dates were by Papier, Wedding Invitations were by Rosemood Atelier, Menus: Bride’s Design. The Table Plan was by ERA Caligraphy and Wedding Guest Tables Place Cards were by Ellie Riley Calligraphy.

Helen Abraham

Stand Out Moments

Putting on my dress, overtrain and veil for the first time and the first reveal to my Father. Seeing Craig's face for the first time at the top of the aisle, my veil getting slightly caught on a church grate as I walked up, my sister singing beautifully during the Signing of the Register, squeezing in to the Rolls Royce Silver Cloud with my lengthy train and veil completely covering Craig, performing the 'Dirty Dancing' lift! Our sparkler farewell in a Cowdray House Golf Buggy with 'Just Married' on the back!

Helen Abraham

Advice to Future Couples

Trust your suppliers – they are experts for a reason! But, if there’s something you really want or your gut is telling you to push on, listen to that feeling. Communicate what you want to your videographer and photographer. They can’t read minds and key photos could be missed.

Helen Abraham

Suppliers

Venue: Cowdray House

Bridal Fashion: Miss BushJesus PeiroThe Couture VeilManolo Blahnik and Sassi Holford

Engagement Ring: Sophie Breitmeyer

Groom's Fashion: Favourbrook and Hermes.

Bridesmaids' Fashion: Maids to Measure and LK Bennett

Transport: Premier Carriage

Flowers: This Floral Life

Hair & Make Up: The Bridal Dream Team

Caterer: Caper & Berry 

Cake: Emily's Mixing Bowl

Photographer: Helen Abraham 

Videographer: Ash Videography 

Band: DT8

Stationary: PapierRosemood AtelierERA Caligraphy and Ellie Riley Calligraphy