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Nadja and Sandy’s charming church ceremony

St Andrew's Church, Ham, Richmond.

Nadja and Alexander – The Proposal

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Photography: Denise Winter

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The couple

Nadja Eberhardt met Alexander ‘Sandy’ Doyle in Canada in 2000. “We both lived in a small town called Tofino on Vancouver Island in British Columbia,” says Nadja. “We were initially just good friends for a few years (at a distance, as I spent quite some time travelling and living in Switzerland for a year).

In 2002, I moved back to Tofino and we fell in love the minute we saw each other again!  Two years later, we moved to London.”

In January 2008, Sandy popped the question during a snowboarding holiday in Switzerland. “He proposed with a ring made out of snow!” says Nadja. “Although I did get a more heat-resistant one later.”

Nadja and Alexander – The Ceremony

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The ceremony

The couple tied the knot on 26 September 2008 at St Andrew’s Church in Ham, Richmond.

“The church was on the road that I grew up on, and my parents still live there, so I could walk to the church from their house,” says Nadja. “It’s a beautiful church in a listed building.

“We had three professional musicians – we were helped out by our friend’s father, who used to play lead trumpet in the Scottish Philharmonic Orchestra. He came and played for us at the ceremony and also organized a soprano and organist. Needless to say, the music was amazing.”

Nadja and Alexander – The Dress

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The outfits

Nadja’s dazzling Eternity Bride dress was from Silhouettes in Richmond, and she accessorised her outfit with a necklace and earrings that were from her grandmother.

“They’re very sentimental,” she says. “My wedding band was also made from rose gold that came from my grandmother’s ring – the diamond from the original ring was used in my engagement ring.

I borrowed the veil from my maid of honour, Natasha.” Natasha and the two bridesmaids wore chocolate knee-length Dessy dresses and sandals from Bhs.

Nadja and Alexander – Double Decker Transport

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Transport

The couple hired a double-decker bus (from london-heritage-travel.com) to take guests from the church to the reception. If you’re having your own ceremony and reception at different venues, think about how people are going to get between the two.

A bus is more eco-friendly than everyone driving separately – and all your guests can get to know each other better en route!

Nadja and Alexander – The Reception

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The Wedding Reception

Nadja and Sandy chose Great Fosters in Egham as their reception venue. “We wanted a historical English building, as we had so many people coming from overseas that we knew they would really appreciate it,” says the bride.

Great Fosters is immaculate – the attention to detail in the restoration of the building is incredible! And the Orangery, our function room, had so much light and a great atmosphere that we knew immediately it was the perfect place!”

Nadja and Alexander – Style At The Reception

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The details

“I tried to keep everything relatively classic and simple, including the flowers,” says Nadja. “I wanted local flowers that were in season and our florist Julie (07812 144581) was amazing! The table centres were lots of little glass vases with red and pink roses and anemones, and there were a lot of candles and mirrors.”

Nadja and Alexander – The Cake

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The Wedding Cake

Nadja and Sandy’s fresh French-style cake was created by Maison Blanc. “The florist decorated the stand with flowers and the cake was decorated with fresh fruit,” says Nadja. “People loved it.”

Nadja and Alexander – Tips for the Big Day

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One of Nadja’s top tips is to consider having a wedding website in order to interact with guests before and after the big day. “I designed my own and people loved it,” she says.

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“It also took the stress out of having to inform people of everything individually.” As a direct result of her own wedding, Nadja’s now started designing wedding websites for other brides. For more details, see celebrationwebsites.co.uk.