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Gemma Hammond and Duncan Comber celebrated their nuptials on 30th July, 2011 at Preston Court with an Alice in Wonderland theme.


Gemma and Duncan met while at secondary school at the tender age of 15. “I decided to sit behind Duncan during our first lesson together,” says Gemma. I soon found out he was a bit of a class clown, but he made me laugh and, after a few months, he asked me out; although I told him I would think about it before giving him an answer!” Duncan adds, “We were teenage sweethearts and I’m ecstatic we’ve been able to spend so much of our lives together already.”

Duncan popped the question while the couple were on a boating holiday in the Norfolk Broads. “One evening, while I was napping inside the boat, Duncan asked me to come up on deck. I was met by beautiful tea lights which spelt out ‘Marry me Speck’, as Speck is my nickname,” says Gemma.

“I immediately said ‘yes’ and as soon as we arrived back home we started to eagerly plan our wedding,” she adds. Read on for Gemma’s account of the big day.


Image 1

Image 1


We found our venue, Preston Court, by chance. We were searching on the internet when an image of a vintage carousel appeared, which we fell in love with. We were amazed to find out it belonged to a venue nearby. We arranged a visit and booked it there and then.



Image 2a


Image 2b


My gown was by Lusan Mandongus.

I tried on lots of different styles before I fell in love with this sparkly, bead-encrusted design at Teokath's bridal boutique in Canterbury.



My shoes were by Diane Hassall. They were covered in pearl beading, lace ruffles and a vintage brooch-style trim.

I accessorised my dress with a long veil and a cream fabric flower in my hair.



Image 3

Image 3


I had a teardrop bouquet comprising roses, jasmine, eucalyptus and blue delphinium sprigs.



Image 4

Image 4


I arrived in an ice blue Beauford Tourer, it suited our vintage theme perfectly.



Image 5a


Image 5b


Duncan decided against wearing dark colours for his suit and instead opted for a sand-hued lounge jacket and trousers, with a cream waistcoat.



We loved the fact we were able to have our ceremony and reception under one roof. We said our vows by the lake known as Juliana's Island.



Image 6

Image 6


I had four bridesmaids who are all different heights and sizes, so it was tricky to find a dress to suit them all. Duncan, the girls and myself went shopping to Bluewater and to my surprise he picked out a baby blue gown in Coast that was exactly what we were looking for.



Image 7

Image 7


Duncan's mum and dad are both members of a silver band and arranged for a 30-piece group to play throughout the day.



Image 8a


Image 8b


Duncan's two nieces were our flowergirls. They wore cream, handkerchief-style dresses to complement my gown. His two nephews were our pageboys and wore mini suits, matching Duncan's.



“My best man was Gemma's youngest brother, James. We have shared many funny moments together and he even managed to find Gemma's diary from when we first met – the extracts provided great material for the best man speech!” – Duncan



Image 9

Image 9


We wanted our cake to reflect our garden party theme. Nicola Hall from Hall of Cakes created an assortment of creations in different sizes decorated with sugar flowers in chocolate, vanilla and lemon.



Image 10a


Image 10b


We served candyfloss throughout the day. It was a big hit with children and adults alike.



We had teacups made entirely from sugar. It was great to watch our guests try and figure out whether the designs were real or not.



Image 11

Image 11


“One of the highlighs of the day was walking over the bridge and having confetti thrown at us – it was such a great feeling to finally be husband and wife.” – Duncan



Image 12

Image 12


For the evening entertainment we booked a band called Penfold, as well as a DJ.



Image 13a


Image 13b


Vintage Twee designed our Alice in Wonderland themed favours. Each featured a quote from the film, along with a lemon teabag.



Our first dance was to Just The Two Of Us by Bill Withers which the live band performed.



Image 14

Image 14


We ordered a bespoke wedding cheese cake from The House of Cheese. It comprised cheddar, chilli cheese, smoked Wensleydale, Brie and goats' cheese, all served with meat platters, chutneys, olives and bread



Image 15

Image 15


We had an Alice in Wonderland-themed photobooth. It was filled with lots of props for guests to pose with and provided a great talking point.



Gemma and Duncan's contact book


Bride's gown

Lusan Mandongus at Teokath


Bridesmaids' dresses



Cake designer

Hall of Cakes


Cheese cake

House of Cheese



Vintage Twee at Etsy



Lily and Lace



Groom's suit

Peter Posh at Canterbury Suite Hire



Yaggi Photography


Silver band

Birchington Silver Band



Wedding Cars 4 You



Preston Court


Wedding band



Date Posted: Friday, 13 April 2012


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This week, the editor loves...

this beautiful heart-shaped tea light holder from Swanky Maison. It looks fab as a centrepiece to any table, indoor or out, and made from driftwood its perfect for a seaside-inspired big day. Priced £22.99, buy from www.swankymaison.com

Francesca Lee
Francesca Lee, Editor of Your Kent Wedding magazine

Loved by Your Kent Wedding magazine


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