The most fabulous winter wedding at Stapleford Park
This was definitely the most musical wedding I’ve ever photographed.
I knew Gavin and Tulay for some time from performing at my weddings as Singing Waiters Masters. I always admired how passionate they are about providing their unique musical act.
On their wedding day, they created a truly unforgettable experience for all of their guests (and myself included) by pulling off one of the greatest shows I’ve seen.
They had it all; a theatrical singing performance during their wedding ceremony, Gavin’s surprise choir during the drink reception, “One day more” a song from Les Miserables performed by Gavin, Tulay and various west end singers popping up from all around the room, a string quartet for the first dance joined by a musical performance by Singing Waiters Masters. All of this wrapped up by an amazing evening party provided by one of the best bands out there The Distractions Band.
I can’t believe that Tulay and Gavin managed to fit so much entertainment into one perfect day! It’s been truly phenomenal!
Taking into consideration it was February and there was 18 degrees and beautiful sunny weather, the day could not have got any better!
The Story of Tulay and Gavin
When did you know he/she was the one? Was there something he/she did?
We are both romantics and found it easy to fall for each other!
Gavin: I knew that she was the one after about six weeks of dating! I felt I had won the lottery of life-she was so perfect for me in so many ways. I found my best friend and soulmate.
Tulay: I loved how flamboyant and crazy Gavin was straight away but also loved his sensitive, caring nature. I think I told him within the first few weeks of dating I knew he was the one (cringe!) but it turned out to be true! He is my everything.
Tell us about the proposal.
Tulay: I had no idea! Gavin had always said that he hated proposals over the Christmas period and I thought that was kind of a shame a Christmas is such a special family time to us full of lots of love and laughter. Anyways, Christmas day 2017, we had the usual lovely family Christmas morning opening presents with our niece, nephew and family, boys went to the pub, I helped with the dinner, only to be told when they got back that there was one more present for me. I didn’t click at all! Gavin sat me down in the living room with a huge box wrapped up beautifully. I thought it could have been a puppy! I opened it up carefully and a balloon popped out with ‘Will you marry me’ written on. I didn’t even see it, I just saw Gavin on one knee and burst into tears! We had the most amazing Christmas with our family-it was absolutely perfect. He had been putting me off of the Christmas proposal idea for years with his plan in mind! Shame about the puppy though!
Gavin: I had planned the proposal for around 3 months. I knew I wanted to marry her as soon as the ring was finished. I had the ring a month before the proposal so I waited until the perfect time – Christmas Day – especially as I kept saying to Tulay that I wouldn’t propose over any Christmas period!
Why did you choose to have your wedding at Stapleford Park?
Gavin: Tulay and I work within the wedding industry and have been to loads of venues across the country. All of them have a charm, whether it’s a rustic barn or a geodome or a hotel or by the sea, there are so many beautiful places. We have both always loved stately homes; we love the history and detail within them as well as the grandeur. We viewed several places but as soon as we walked in Stapleford Park, we knew it was the place for us. Everything is beautiful, detailed, has a story and has so many different rooms with different personalities. We decided to go for exclusive use so that we could have a different room for each part of our day – the orangery for our ceremony, the saloon for our drinks reception, the grand hall for the wedding breakfast, the ballroom for our formal photos and the saloon again for our evening reception. Moving rooms throughout the day kept our guests on their toes and each place gave a different vibe.
Tulay: We fell in love with the orangery – the glass dome ceiling is just stunning. I could 100% imagine myself walking down the aisle with my dad there and after that, I simply couldn’t imagine doing it anywhere else.
Gavin: Not only was the venue perfect, the staff were incredible. They went above and beyond to make sure everything was perfect and we could tell they really cared from our first meeting with them. The entire team was wonderful and we couldn’t praise them highly enough!
Could you give 1 or 2 most important pieces of advice for all the couples who are planning their wedding?
Gavin: Research! Research! Research! It is SO important to research your suppliers thoroughly. Read reviews, make sure you have examples of their work from previous weddings and make sure you feel comfortable with them as a person. Some suppliers vary in price – be careful of the cheap but also be careful of the very expensive. Choose a supplier in the middle with a good reputation and lots of reviews. They are also there on the most special day of your life-make sure you have a good relationship!
Tulay: Also, plan for all weather- this is England after all! We got married in February and had contingency plans for wet weather and snow but nothing prepared us for gorgeous sunshine! It was unusually warm so we ended up having our drinks reception outside which was lovely. So plan for all weather – extreme cold and extreme heat!
What was the most important factor in choosing your wedding photographer and why have you chosen Latzo?
Gavin: We met Latzo at a wedding we were both working at a year or more before I proposed. When we met him, he was so full of energy, professionalism and was so friendly. He was fantastic with the guests throughout the day as well as making the bride, groom and wedding party feel totally at ease and comfortable.
Tulay: He was so lovely and I remember getting home and nosing on his website, showing Gavin and talking about how fab his pictures were.
Gavin: After I had proposed, we researched his portfolio in more detail and loved the natural photos he had taken as well as the classic formal pictures.
Tulay: I have always felt very nervous in front of a camera but Latzo made me feel very relaxed. We had an engagement shoot before our wedding and it was great to see what it was like before the big day. The photos are fab and he just knew how to capture ‘us’.
Gavin: On our wedding day, everyone commented on how friendly Latzo was, how he organised the guests for photos, how he was like Spiderman and seemed to be everywhere at once!
Tulay: I don’t know how he did it! And when we got our pictures, not long after our wedding day which was a lovely surprise, they were amazing! We were thrilled with all of them-Latzo captured our day perfectly! I won’t blab on here again about how wonderful Latzo is as we have written an essay review! Please read it all-we speak every word of truth!
Gavin: Thank you so much Latzo, for everything! You were amazing!
Venue: Stapleford Park Dress Designer: Ronald Joyce Dress Salon: Icon Bridal. Makeup: Frances Elizabeth. Hair: Body perfections. Florist: My Nan and Auntie! Singers: The Singing Waiter Masters. Choir: Capella Choir. AV and lights: Robins Audio. Staging: Premier Events. Band: The Distractions Band
- What inspired your décor or theme?
Tulay: We went for a traditional feel – although today’s wedding trends tend to be more rustic and relaxed, Gavin and I adore the formal, traditional vibe. We have both been brought up as musicians so, within our childhood, we often played and sang in stately manors or theatres and Stapleford Park reflected that. Something else which was important to me was the flowers! My nan was a florist so my family all love beautiful blooms. My nan directed a team of the family including me, my mum, my aunts and cousin, to create the flowers for the day. This included hanging greenery from the 10ft high dome in the orangery (a more dangerous task than we first thought) but we did it and it looked amazing. The top table flowers were incredible!
Gavin: Our colour scheme was navy and white, simple and elegant. To create an ambiance, we had uplifting lights throughout Stapleford to highlight the beauty of the house itself. I think the most important thing was that the day reflected us and I believe it really did. We love a bit of over the top, and if you can’t be over the top on your wedding day, when can you!?
- Tell us the one thing you love most about each other.
Oh blimey, I don’t think I could choose just one thing! We’ll bore everyone if we list off everything!
- If you feel comfortable, share with us something silly or quirky the other person does.
Gavin: Tulay is a weirdo but a lovable one! She loves bears! She wears lots of bears themed clothes – from dressing gowns to onesies. She is also a fan of Nicholas Cage (for some reason!). She has trousers with a face collage of Nicholas Cage splattered all over it.
Tulay: I have an endless list – Gavin is one of the most random, quirky people I have ever met! Here’s a good one- every night Gavin sings me ‘the bedtime song’. He made it up randomly once and it just stuck – he does all the sounds of a brass band perfectly and it’s hilarious! I’m waiting for the day that a real brass band will troop into the house playing it – for those who know Gavin, they know this is a possibility!
- What was the best part of your wedding?
Tulay: Oh my god – too many!
Gavin: Apart from the obvious of actually marrying Tulay, there were some very special moments. Sadly, my dad passed away a few years ago and he was a huge part of my life. Tulay surprised me with a tribute to him. During our drinks reception, we were called to the grand staircase. As I walked in, a choir were stood upon the stairs singing ‘You raise me up’. This was a very special song to me and my dad, I even sang it at his funeral. All of our family surrounded us while the choir sang it beautifully. There were many tears of remembrance and it was as much of a surprise for our guests as it was for me. It was an incredibly emotional but happy moment and such a thoughtful gift from Tulay – to include my dad in such a way on our special day.
Tulay: Even though I knew that it was happening, it was far more emotional than I could have imagined. I was very nervous in case it upset Gavin or our guests but actually, it brought everyone closer together by sharing such a special moment. It was unlike anything else and we will treasure that moment forever.
Gavin: Another highlight of our day was our surprise for our guests! Tulay and I own a company called ‘The Singing Waiter Masters’. We are made up of a team of leading West End and principal Opera singers and we create surprise performances within the wedding breakfast. Now we couldn’t do this for our own wedding as many guests would have expected it, so we decided to go for something a little different. Many of our guests were singers so we dotted them around on different tables. After our meal, I gave a quick speech thanking everyone for being there. I then said, ‘I wish this day could last one day more…’ the music started and each of our friends who were singers, one by one, stood up and joined in the song ‘One Day More’ from Les Miserables, like a flashmob. Tulay even joined in and sang even though she’d not a professional singer – she did amazing! Halfway through, the choir entered the Grand Hall and joined in. It created an epic performance!
Tulay: The funniest thing was that Gavin obviously didn’t know about the choir until earlier that day. I told him they had learnt ‘One Day More’ to sing alongside us and he was so excited-it just added another level! The performance had never been rehearsed with everyone but we went ahead and did it and it was amazing! (Click here if you’d like to see the video)
Tulay: Obviously my other favourite moments were with my parents, family and friends – getting ready with my mum in the morning was so special and when my dad saw me in my wedding dress was a moment I’ll never forget!