Your Kent Wedding - January/February 2022 (Issue 100)

the ball Alex and Mike styled their big day with an industrial chic edge Images courtesy of Nicky’s Photography YOU SHALL GO TO Although Alex and Mike attended the same secondary school for six years, their paths hadn’t crossed. However, they did share some mutual friends and eight years later they recognised one another while on a night out at the local pub. “The rest is history,” Alex says. In 2018 Mike’s Christmas present to Alex was a New Year trip to Vienna and the Silvester Gala. The evening of the event, seated on a table with strangers from all around the world, the pair got talking about their relationship and one of other couples joked that Mike should propose that night. Little did Alex know that as she patted down his jacket in a humorous response, there actually was an engagement ring in his pocket! As the clock ticked closer to midnight, Mike disappeared making the excuse that he was going to request a Stormzy track, which was odd considering the classical playlist they’d been entertained with thus far. Next thing Alex knew, there was Mike, microphone in hand on the stage in front of 400 other guests asking her to marry him. “I was so surprised, but looking back it probably had been glaringly obvious from the moment I unwrapped the trip on Christmas morning,” Alex says. The effort Mike had gone to to make this special proposal meant even more to Alex since it had been inspired by a story her late grandmother had told him about her and Alex’s grandad taking a trip to Austria and having the best holiday of their lives. The couple set about looking for a manor-house venue with an outdoor ceremony area, a barn and somewhere for the bridal party to sleep and Solton Manor fit the bill. When Alex found it online, it had just reopened with new owners and Alex says, “The work they were doing to improve it left us with no question it was the venue for us.” So, the date was set for June 2020, but thanks to the pandemic the big day finally happened in August 2021. Here, the bride tells us more about the happy occasion... 45 REAL WEDDING