Gemma and Tom’s gorgeous Brighton wedding proves that sometimes size isn’t everything. They celebrated with only ten members of their immediate family and had the intimate wedding of their dreams, with a small dinner following their ceremony. They had a loose theme of 1950s burlesque, romance and Hollywood glam.
“We knew Brighton was the perfect backdrop for some stunning photos we would treasure forever,” Gemma explains. “We got ready at The Artists’ Residence and then our ceremony was held in the Regency Room in Brighton Town Hall. My Grandad walked me down the aisle to Heroes by David Bowie – and bless him, he stood on my dress as I was walking into the room! Everyone gasped as they thought I was about to stack it but luckily I managed to get through it with my dignity and dress intact. My favourite part of the wedding was seeing everyone’s faces as I walked/tripped into the room!”
“There was such a loving atmosphere in the room, because everyone was family,” she continues. “My bridesmaids were my sisters, and our witnesses were our mums – it was so close and truly heart-warming. Everyone has those people at their weddings that years later they drifted apart from – we’re lucky to be able to say that won’t happen. Our officiant Tabitha was theatrical, funny, and incredibly sweet, making everyone smile and laugh throughout the ceremony (my mum recognised her as an actress and we later found out she was in Kevin and Perry Go Large – weird, huh?!)”
After their short ceremony, Gemma and Tom went for photos on the iconic Brighton beachfront. “In Brighton…in July…on a Saturday…it was very busy!” she laughs. “But on our way down to and across the seafront, we were stopped quite a few times for compliments from strangers, people asking to take photos with us, AND a little girl called me a princess. Living out my fantasy of being a Disney Princess as well as a bride was an unexpected bonus!”
Speaking of the dress – isn’t it a beaut? A custom piece from Boo Boo Kitty Couture, Gemma wanted to make sure it featured an open back to compliment her large back tattoo by Alex Bawn. “It took 7.5 hours, so it was going to be seen!”
Unusually, Gemma and Tom held their reception party the next day, on the Sunday, where they got back into their wedding outfits, instead opting to go for a intimate meal after their ceremony on the Saturday. “I was actually nine weeks pregnant on the day of our wedding, but nobody knew other than me and Tom. We decided that we would announce it to everyone during the dinner. When Tom announced it, everyone burst into happy tears in unison. It was one of the loveliest and most surreal moments of my life.”
When asked for advice for other couples, Gemma warns: “Don’t scrimp on the photographer! We didn’t hire a photographer for the reception party on the Sunday, and this is a massive regret. The whole day – or days, in our case – go by so quickly that you miss details or you forget how badass you looked. Also, make sure you’re sure about your plans before you start chucking money about – we changed our whole wedding once, and lost £600 in deposits. At the end of the day we had our wedding the way we wanted, but that money was sorely missed!”