As the clock struck 12 ...

Kelly and Lee shared their English country garden wedding with friends and family at Hexton Manor.

Kelly's fairytale began at a New Year's Eve party in a castle in Scotland. The only thing missing was a pair of glass slippers when she met Lee, her prince charming, as the clock struck midnight almost six years ago.

The duo hit it off immediately and soon after, planned their first date. “We went for a few drinks in Harpenden and laughed and chatted the whole time,” remembers Kelly. “At the end of the night, I challenged Lee to a round of shots - I felt really queasy in the taxi on the way home,” she says.

The proposal came a few years later in New Zealand. Lee chose Cathedral Cove, a stunning beach on the Coromandel Peninsula, as the perfect backdrop for the big question. “Lee knows that's my favourite place in the whole world and he completely took me by surprise by asking me to marry him. I wasn't expecting it at all,” recalls Kelly.

The pair decided on an English country garden theme for their special day and the surroundings at Hexton Manor suited them down to the ground. “The fact that we were able to get married outside on a beautiful sunny afternoon made the day for us. I got to walk over the bridge, linking arms with my dad and holding my mum's vintage bridal parasol. It was perfect,” says Kelly.

Here she tells us more about planning the big day...

As the clock struck 12 ...: Image 1
Kelly Gregory, 29, married Lee Brooks, 31, at Hexton Manor, followed by a reception in the venue's Walled Garden on 23rd August, 2014.


As the clock struck 12 ...: Image 2aAfter a couple of hair trials, I knew that I wanted an elegant up do. My headpiece was beautiful and I had little pearls in my hair that emphasised the detail in my dress.

As the clock struck 12 ...: Image 2 I felt a million dollars in my dress. It had Swarovski crystals all over it that shimmered every time I moved, and the lace was so delicate and intricate.


As the clock struck 12 ...: Image 3
Lee chose his two close friends from school to be his best men. They, along with his ushers, all wore grey morning suits.


As the clock struck 12 ...: Image 4aThe bridge that we walked over to the ceremony was beautiful. It really added a magical feel to our day.

As the clock struck 12 ...: Image 4 The time spent with my dad before the ceremony was very special. I've dreamt about that moment since I was a little girl.


As the clock struck 12 ...: Image 5
We fell in love with our venue straightaway; the surroundings were beautiful and suited our English country garden theme perfectly.


As the clock struck 12 ...: Image 6aOur tables were named after our favourite places in New Zealand and we used decorated jam jars, milk jugs and watering cans filled with flowers as our centre pieces surrounded by tea lights and scattered pearls.

As the clock struck 12 ...: Image 6 The decorations were really personal and varied. We used photographs of us taken over the years to display around the venue.


As the clock struck 12 ...: Image 7
Our guests had to walk through a secret door to the Walled Garden where we hosted our reception. It reminded me of my favourite childhood film, The Secret Garden.


As the clock struck 12 ...: Image 8aMy best friends Carly, Ami, Claire and Deborah all looked stunning in their bridesmaids' dresses. They could be worn in 15 different ways, so we had fun Watching YouTube clips on how to wrap them.

As the clock struck 12 ...: Image 8 My bouquet was made up of white and pink roses and gypsophila wrapped in hessian to match our country theme. Lee's nan sadly passed away in the December before our wedding, so I included a few of her brooches in my bouquet so we felt that we had her with us on our special day.


As the clock struck 12 ...: Image 9
Our photographer was very talented. She knew exactly the sort of fun, natural shots we were after.


As the clock struck 12 ...: Image 10aGuests were invited to hang messages on the wishing tree that I decorated with my bridesmaids.

As the clock struck 12 ...: Image 10 We decided to use vintage teacups and saucers to add a traditional English feel to our décor.


As the clock struck 12 ...: Image 11
Pink and blue vintage bikes adorned the entrance to the marquee alongside wellies filled with flowers, which were a real talking point.


As the clock struck 12 ...: Image 12aOur guests had so much fun with the fancy dress prop box and photo frame; we've got loads of hilarious pictures to look back on.

As the clock struck 12 ...: Image 12 For our cake, we decided to have a traditional ivory top tier with cupcakes below decorated with flowers and butterflies. To add a fun twist, we also had ivory and pink cake pops.


As the clock struck 12 ...: Image 13
Our special day was exactly how we'd imagined – it was just perfect.


Kelly Gregory and Lee Brooks' contact book


Bride's accessories
Brides and Bustles

Bride's dress
Xquisite Bridal

Bride's hair
Hair: Rachel Smithers

Bride's make-up
Hannah Keech

Bridesmaids' dresses

Casino Caterers
Tel: 01462 893874

Ceremony and reception venue
Hexton Manor

Chair covers

Cherry Bees

Groom's and groomsmen suits

Mother-of-the-bride outfit

Marie Wootton

Design by Michelle

Hertfordshire Wedding Cars

Venue styling
Kelly Brooks

Special Occasion Videos

Wedding night
The Dower House