Tell me about the proposal, (did you see it coming, how long was it in the planning, how did you feel, nervous, excited, freaking out?)
Amy - The lead up to the proposal was just as impressive as the proposal in the end.
My birthday was coming up and Phil wouldn’t tell me where we were going. I’d tried to guess and guess for weeks. Suspicions arose when a new passport arrived for me in the post that I hadn’t arranged! At a halloween party the day before everyone was in on it and I still didn’t know! We set off and eventually I guessed that we were going to York! Which is my favourite place in the UK. Lots of lovely memories and family holidays.
Phil handed me small presents throughout the day and said they were clues to my main present. First was a Christmas decoration shaped like an apple. Second a jam jar with a cocktail in it (it was a Manhattan which I didn’t guess initially) and then in a tea shop he gave me a notebook, New York City guide book and the plane tickets. I cried as I was really overwhelmed as I’d always wanted to go to New York at Christmas and really wasn’t expecting such a big gesture! So after this amazing birthday present we both planned our trip together.
December Friday 13th (hopefully not a bad omen) - Proposal:
In the morning we had planned to go to the Metropolitan Museum which is right on the edge of Central Park. It had snowed quite heavily and the park looked beautiful. It was also -3 so we were both wrapped up and looked ridiculous. I couldn’t take my gloves off for more than a few minutes at a time or they’d get too cold to function.
We walked around the museum and came outside just as the sun was setting. I’d noticed Phil was acting a bit odd. Telling me to follow him and constantly looking around the park. If somebody appeared he’d drag me somewhere else. We walked up a small hill and he paused. Then I think I realised what was about to happen and I started to cry and Phil started to cry!
He had asked his friend Clare to make some bunting for me and asked me to hold one end of it. As he walked away it read ‘Will you marry me?” and he got down on one knee in the freezing snow. I can’t remember much after that but I did say yes and got my gloves off long enough for Phil to put my ring on.
Soon after (about ten minutes and a few feet away) another guy got down on one knee to his girlfriend and proposed! A homeless guy went up and congratulated them and offered to take their photo. We then went for a celebratory coffee and muffin and celebrated with a huge New York Pizza. It was perfect.
Phil - I think I carried that ring and the bunting around for 5 days in New York looking for the right place, getting more panicked as I went. I even managed to drop the bunting in a restaurant and had to run back to find it without being able to tell Amy what I was looking for. By the time we found a nice quiet spot in Central Park I was frozen and couldn’t work my hands. Amy started crying and I had to ask a few times to see if it was happy crying or not. Luckily it was!
Tell me one thing that you love most about each other.
Amy - Phil is extremely patient. He is also very thoughtful and hardworking and consistently believes in me and my abilities even when I struggle to see them myself.
Phil- She’s gorgeous and I’m shallow. Nobody can make me laugh as much as Amy, so I love spending any time with her. She has a way of making even dull things feel fun.
Why did you choose Stanbrook Abbey as the reception venue for your wedding?
Amy - We had looked at a few venues in Worcester and all had quoted us around the same for similar numbers and requirements. We had seen Stanbrook had a ‘January sale’ on so we went to look and, I must admit, I fell in love as I was pulling up the drive! Turned out they had our date free and we were going to be the only wedding on that day so I like to think it was fate. It’s such a beautiful venue and every time we've visited the staff are brilliant and attentive.
It was also close to Claines Church, had the option for guests to stay overnight which was quite important to me as I want our friends and family to have a fun, relaxed evening and all have breakfast together the next day.
Phil - I didn’t think we’d manage to find anywhere as special as Stanbrook, so I was amazed when I saw it was available. It’s got a great feel about it and it looks incredible. Amy is terrible at hiding what she is thinking, so I could see straight away that she loved it which clinched it for me.
Besides getting married, what is the one thing that you are looking forward to the most on your wedding day?
Amy - All our friends and family being in one room together. People making new friends and everyone having a good day. Being able to share a once in a lifetime moment with Phil as all the components coming together on the day are because of our hard work and organisation and us coming together as one big family. Plus the food and wine!
Phil - Having a drink at Stanbrook. And the moment when we get a minute to ourselves as a married couple for the first time.
How have you find the wedding planning? Do you have any tips for other brides?
Amy - I’ve been a mix of being so laid back I’m almost horizontal to crying late at night over crepe paper flowers worried I’d taken on too much! My mantra for this wedding has been ‘If I can avoid paying somebody to do it then I’m going to do it myself’. However I’d say if you're happy and can afford to pay for it then do it. Sometimes it's not worth the hassle. Draw a timeline of when things need to be done and when. Enjoy it!
Phil - I’m aware that Amy has been the driving force in this, and I’m happy with that because she had a vision for how the wedding should look. The groom always seems to take flak for doing less, but supporting Amy in this is more than it seems, and I’ve probably had more thought into how the guests will feel on the day (hopefully drunk) than how it looks.
- Stanbrook Abbey Wedding Photographer -