When Simon proposed to Sheyi, it was almost done within the loving parameters she'd set. Read how he asked as told by the bride:
Simon and I had talked about marriage a fair amount, and I had laid down a rule that basically I didn't want to get married until I had been out with someone for 2 years, or more! He had always agreed with me so I wasn't really expecting anything to happen until after September 2014. Simon is a teacher so gets a big break in August, and that's normally when we go on our big trips. We had booked a trip to Santorini, but Simon suggested that we do a mini break before the big break. We ended up booking Ellenborough Park hotel through secret escapes and although it looked lovely online, we didn't really know what to expect.
When we arrived it was beautiful and I think Simon was very relieved. He had been to talk to my parents the Friday before we went, (which was another one of my rules, he must talk to BOTH of my parents, not just my Dad!), and had told them, that if Ellenborough Park wasn't as lovely as it looked online, he would abandon the plan, and propose in Santorini instead. We had a look around the room, and after about 10 minutes Simon beckoned me over, and asked me to sit down with him. At this point I thought there was nothing untoward going on, rather I thought he was just being a bit soppy.
It was then that he started saying a lot of very nice things. It did cross my mind at this point that this was a rather large amount of compliments I was being paid. Simon is very good, and says lots of lovely things to me, lots of the time, but i did think that this was quite a lot even for him. It was at the end of this speech, that he said that i knew him very well, and i knew that he was stubborn. he then told me that it was for that reason, that he was going to break my two year rule, and propose a month before our 2 year anniversary!
I was too shocked to cry as he got down on one knee and produced this beautiful ring! I was a little overwhelmed to say the least. I did shed a tear when I talked to my parents and to Simon's parents.
We had a wonderful two days in Ellenborough Park, to let it all sink in. Simon had gone the extra mile and organised dinner with both of our parents the night we came back, which was a really lovely touch.
The quintessentially British couple, as Sheyi so proudly proclaims, had a wedding that was fitting to their personas. The fun affair featured cultural elements from Sheyi's Ghanaian and Nigerian backgrounds. And just as much as laughter was seen throughout the day, so was the love between the two Brits. Take a look at their navy and gold wedding with photography by Jay Rowden.
Favorite item on the wedding menu: The duck
First dance song: "Stay With Me" by John Legend
Bride: Sheyi Martins-Allen
Groom: Simon Allen
Wedding date: 08/08/2015
Wedding location: Hampton Court House - London
Describe your wedding dress. How was your shopping experience?
Wedding dress shopping was both wonderful and frustrating at times! I soon realised that British designers didn't really have the styles that suited me. However i live in London and that means every international designer stocks here as well. It became quite clear that Israeli designers had the dresses for me! Berta Bridal, Galia Lahav, and Inbal Dror, were the 3 that I focused on, and eventually I decided on an Inbal Dror dress I found on my birthday! The mermaid cut suited me best and I loved the detail on that back. I added straps about the week before so that I felt more supported on the day. I couldn't have been happier with it!
How was culture incorporated in your wedding?
The format of the wedding was still quintessentially British, as that’s what Simon and I are. However my father is Nigerian and my mother is Ghanian so it was important to have both of those cultures represented too. At the afternoon tea reception after the ceremony we had traditional Nigerian drummers. They were fantastic and really showed guests a good time. During the champagne reception we had Ghanaian traditional dancers during the champagne reception. They were brilliant and many of the guests danced with them. Everyone absolutely loved it!
What advice would you give to our brides-to-be?
Make sure you invest in the momentos of your day. After the big day, your biggest want is to relive the day in any way you can, which is why, the photos, videos, special objects you had commissioned for the day, are so important. It also makes things such as invitations and general stationary more important than I initially thought they would be. They are all things you get to keep, and that is priceless.
Wedding Dress - Inbal Dror
2nd Wedding Dress - Yemi Kosibah
Bridal salon - Morgan Davies Bridal
Bridesmaids dresses - Ghost
Makeup - Alison Cameron
Hair - Candice Edwards
Shoes - Jimmy Choo
Reception venue - Hampton Court House
Florist - Miriam Faith Flowers
Photographer - Jay Rowden
Stationery - Intricate Creations
Wedding planner - Ishari De Silva
Cake - Maisie Fantasie
Videographer - Adam Galwas