our wedding story… Pam and Andy

When we heard that Pam and Andy got married in Richmond, just round the corner from our offices, we wanted to find out what got them there:

So how did you get engaged?

Pam’s short story:
As part of our last vacation in Colorado, Andy and I spent a weekend in Aspen. Not only was it a perfect blue sky weekend, but it was full of surprises. Andy proposed at the top (well, almost the top!) of Ajax Trail, overlooking the beautiful town of Aspen. We celebrated with champagne at the famous Little Nell after!

Andy’s version:
So, where do I start? Pam’s asked me to do a witty, yet charming and sincere anecdote about the engagement. Well let’s deal with the “charming” first. How lucky am I that the most beautiful girl in the world said yes to an out of breath me, on top of a mountain in Colorado?! Very, I can tell you. Kudos goes to her for choosing the venue; Aspen, Colorado. On a rainy day in London, I only need to look at our engagement picture to perk me up a bit! Kudos also goes to her for saying yes, ensuring that this would all happen. So the witty bit. Well, I guess the story of that weekend last May has enough of it’s own humour to satisfy this requirement.

After a raucous wedding in Steamboat Springs, the next day we had a long drive to Aspen, which neither of us were feeling in shape for. As some of you know, a hangover at altitude is not pleasant. We only had one night in Aspen before heading back to Denver, and I wanted to pop the question that day, so we could enjoy our evening in Aspen.

We arrived in Aspen around lunch time. Shattered. Neither of us was in the best mood, and I think we were both thinking, “let’s chill out, hair of the dog, bed”, not necessarily in that order. However, I was determined to make things happen, so I convinced Pam to go for a short hike along Ajax trail, to a lookout spot above Aspen.

Within minutes of setting of, Pam was out of breath, looking at me as if to say, “Really? Why are we doing this?”. She was moaning to me, I was moaning to myself (while trying to remain upbeat). I was thinking, “this is not the most romantic situation”. But I persevered, knowing that many a proposal had ended in comical circumstances.

I reckon we got about halfway up to the top of the trial, and Pam was really flagging. I began to accept the fact that we just might not make it to the top. The next decent clearing, we sat down, and I thought, “this is it!”. I popped my hand in my pocket, trying to conceal the fact, which is quite tricky, while simultaneously rotating onto one knee. This was verging on acrobatics! The next few moments were a blur, but three things definitely happened: 1) I asked; 2) she said yes; 3) Pam nearly passed out. And the rest, they say, is history…. the happiest day (so far) of my life.

What was your wedding style?

We did not really have a definite style, but did make it about “doing it ourselves”. Most of our decor was handmade, including the programs, favours, table numbers, and others. One thing we did try to do was incorporate both British and American wedding traditions, as I am American and Andy is British. And we also incorporated a few Slovak wedding traditions (my mother’s family comes from eastern Slovakia). The traditional dance is called the “Nasa Mlada,” which involves the removal of the bride’s Parte(veil), the headpiece denoting her as a girl ready for marriage. After the church ceremony, her mother, godmother, and all female relatives and friends would parade her around the room and sit her on a chair placed in the center. They would take off the bride’s veil and then put a babushka and apron on the bride, symbolizing her move from childhood to adulthood.

Did the big day turn out to be your dream wedding?

I would definitely say our wedding was the dream wedding. Andy and I were so fortunate to have so many of our closest friends and family with us from both sides of the pond! We had an absolute blast sharing our wedding day with everyone. We only wish it hadn’t gone by so fast!

As for the other details, it all turned out just as we expected it, if not even better! We were fortunate to have a beautiful, sunny spring day in London which made for excellent pictures! Our ceremony was at our Catholic church in Wandsworth and was so special, personable and memorable. Afterwards, we hired the classic routemaster bus for everyone to enjoy a ride on back to the reception venue, so very British! The Richmond Hill Hotel was by far the perfect choice for us for our reception. Not only was the ballroom a spectacular venue, the staff were so attentive and friendly. Everyone was taken such good care of. Our flowers were perfect as well, bright, cheery and super colorful! My aunt decorated our wedding cake (which we ordered from Waitrose) and it looked like a million bucks! And if anyone is looking for a photographer, I’d highly recommend ours. His photos from the day were incredible, he captured every moment we wanted and more. And as a bonus, he was wonderful to have around! All and all, we were so happy with how everything turned out. It’s such a reward to see all your hard work come together.

What would be your one wedding tip?

On your wedding day, remember to take a moment (or two!) for you and your groom to step back and look around you. It all goes by in the blink of an eye. A good friend told me this and we made sure we stopped to capture the moments and take it all in. I’m so glad we did, we’re already reminiscing about the memories and will be for the rest of our lives!

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