WWW readers Nikita and Tom tied the knot on the 20th September 2014 in their local Church and held their reception at Homewood Park. They envisioned a subtle and soft classic English country wedding, which just worked.
I especially love the pastel pink and blue colour scheme which was reflected in the bountiful blooms, Tom’s bow tie and shirt and the pretty paper goods. Nikita looked incredible in Suzanne Neville “Everlasting” which she teamed with floral heels and a chic up do. Be sure to look out for the bridal suite celebrations, the sweet little ones and quirky car.
Matt Willis, thank you so much for sharing your beautiful imagery with us.
THE PROPOSAL | Not every bride can say they have had 3 engagement rings… probably not by choice anyway! Having said across the 5 years of our relationship that it didn’t matter about all the tea in China – I’d say yes to a haribo ring, that’s exactly what Tom proposed with… so technically, there was never a chance of saying no. Being out with our best friends, Tom found a local shop open at silly o’clock and with that – picked up a packet of Haribos – the small ones for 10p! Having returned from the toilet, none the wiser, we headed for a drink. It was only when Tom said Emma (who later became my bridesmaid) wanted to see the fountains – even though they weren’t on, that I turned around and he was on one knee. The next day, we went to pick the ring but the following Friday – I lost my job! Not ideal and so the ring got put on hold. At this point… I still had no ring and felt a bit of a fraudulent bride when everyone said, let’s see the important dazzling ring! At a time when you should be celebrating, instead I found myself daydreaming about what my ring would eventually be like. So to fill the void, we picked up a very simple Pandora silver ring, with a beautiful moonstone in the centre – nothing to sing about but it became symbolic to us. All day every day, I would be ‘trying’ possible rings on and the longer it went on, the more confused I became about what style suited me. (At this point – I longed for ‘all that tea in china’ rather than that Haribo ring. Anyway, a few months later – having stopped to have an early evening stroll, just as the jewellers were removing the rings from their windows for the night – I SPOTTED MY RING and it was identical to the Pandora one, only instead of the moonstone, it was a diamond. Perfect, I could carry the sentimental journey on and that’s what became of our wedding style. Tom finally, re-posed, having surprised me with my actual ring, just ahead of our engagement party – in front of our friends and this time family, just how he did all those many moons ago.
THE VISION | Subtle, soft and English Country style.
THE PLANNING PROCESS | As an marketing, events and venue stylist, this was probably the hardest wedding to dress. Suddenly – it was our wedding! Rather than sorting the flowers and all the other cherries on the cake for other people, suddenly we had to think about what we liked. As I love flowers and Tom is a gardener, we knew it was the way forward. What ultimately led the style was a beautiful flamingo jug from NotOnTheHighStreet – my Dad thought we were most bizarre that this country chic would lead the way for our wedding, but that’s what we wanted – until we saw the size of it. It was way too small, so we just dissected the design and incorporated it in other ways. The entire planning is a wave – one minute you’re on it, then next it just sits quiet for a few months and then it starts up all over again. Lists are the way forward for keeping your sanity!
BUDGET | We were lucky to be helped along in parts, but contingency plans should always be in place!! Thankfully we looked at what we could utilise and built on that.
THE VENUE | We married in St Peters and St Pauls, Weston In Gordano – a beautiful little church in the village where we live. It’s within walking distance, however no bride wants to walk to their wedding. A few months before I’d seen a clip from My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding and a young girl lost her veil in the wind whilst in a horse and carriage… we had Gladys, a soft green Morris Minor and I would have random spells of laughter imagining my Mum running down the road waving my veil! Thankfully, that wasn’t to be!
For our reception we stumbled on Homewood Park on the outskirts of Bath where we liaised with the wonderful Sheila throughout. She was just a constant, which made the planning so much more stress free.
THE DRESS & ACCESSORIES | A beautiful Suzanne Neville Dress called Everlasting and the most gorgeous floral shoes from Ted Baker, topped off with some glittery Ugg trainers to dance the night away in!
I’d been given my mum’s eternity ring years ago when my parents separated, so upon finding the style of my Wedding band – we used the diamonds from that, meaning we could upgrade Tom’s wedding ring.
FINDING THE DRESS | At University, eight years prior – I’d always said I’d buy my dress from Dragonfly Contemporary Design in Cheltenham… and that’s just what I did. I had gone from place to place and had my heart set on another and I just couldn’t make it work in the style we wanted our wedding to be. I’d still buy that other dress in a second but it just wasn’t to be. The only day my Mum and Sister could make was Dragonfly’s Sample Sale. This wasn’t my ideal as I’d heard horror stories about these events, but as soon as we walked through the door – the wonderful Suzi welcomed us with the biggest amount of warmth and I knew this was the place I’d find ‘the dress’ and I didn’t leave disappointed. Ladies, if you get the chance too – get to those sample sales. My dress was immaculate – and it went from £2500 down to £700!!! Thank goodness it was the one that made my mum cry.
GROOM’S ATTIRE | With Tom being a gardener, suits are a rare sight. However, on a shopping trip with Terence, (who was with us when he proposed and his wife Emma (My Bridesmaid) he found a deep navy Ted Baker suit with soft pink stitching – perfect for our colour scheme. He then accessorised with a Ted Baker bow tie and tan shoes – he certainly made my heart flutter as I walked down the aisle… plus he had a hair cut, which probably made all the difference as he often sports the shabby Gardeners look!
The Groomsmen and Tom all wore soft pink shirts from TM Lewin and floral ties from Next.
THE READINGS & MUSIC | We knew we wanted my Step-dad to play his tuba and with that – not only did he become our ‘Musical Director’ but he arranged for his brass band to play a part in our special day. To quote my friend, it was just a good old English Wedding. When they started playing, it nearly blew the Church roof off. People could hear it down the Village, so its nice to think they all got to enjoy the moment. I walked down the aisle to the final section of Kingdom Triumphant. Funnily enough, when the 1st hymn began, Tom and I couldn’t actually hear people singing and both thought, oh no it’s that cliché of no one singing – how wrong were we. We just couldn’t hear behind us but for that 1st hymn, pelted out those words like no one else was there… just in case!
Two of my closest friends gave our reading – Lucy, reading My Personal Penguin and Sarah who read from my Uncle’s Bible. I had inherited his bible when I was little and kept it safe all this time. This was emotional for us all, as my paternal family didn’t know it was going to happen until they read the order of service. There is a striking photo of my dear Grandpa encapsulated by the reading – you can see his cogs ticking by processing every word as if my Uncle were there.
For the evening reception we knew we wanted a massive party. We’ve been to a couple of weddings where no – one danced… SHOCKINGLY, so we knew this was absolutely not going to be the case. We found WeddingJam – a website of DJ’s who joined forced to squash those bad wedding memories and with that came, the infamous DJ Danny – who was EPIC! He mixed everything right there in front even my Grandparents got a standing ovation because he just mixed everything so amazingly well meaning guests of all ages joined in with us, which was just amazing. We liked him so much, we’ve booked him for my 30th in January… our first dance was McFly, Love is Easy and was just perfect. 1st Dances are often dodgy – and ours was no exception, which is a shame as we are always the 1st to bust some moves at a party, so to rectify it, we played it on our phones in an Italian square where we went for our mini-moon and just danced the night away under the stars.
BEAUTIFUL BRIDESMAIDS | My sister, Liana, Lucy and Emma. I have known Lucy since I were 3 and Emma from Uni. They all have very different shapes and I found this probably the hardest part of the planning as I’d see dressed I liked that would suit one but not the others. Eventually I randomly found an amazing vintage website called 21st Century Foxy who made the most wonderful tea dresses and it suited each one perfectly.
We had the scrummiest flower girls, Arabella and Violet (our God-Daughter) who wore soft pink dresses from Monsoon and matching trainers to my Uggs, from John Lewis. They were just perfect little princesses! One of my favourite images is Arabella leading us all into the Church – its like she’s leading us on a bear adventure!
THE FLOWERS | A mixture of pink and blue hydrangeas, stocks, Avalanche and Norma Jean roses (that smell divine), soft pink carnations (because they gave the frill of a peony when out of season!) Astilibe, Ranunculus and bouvardia.
THE CAKE | Keeping with our planning theme, we kept it close to who we knew could help make it special and so our very dear friend Pia Cato of Vanilla Pod Bakery in Cheltenham made our scrummy cake. A two layered lemon sponge filled with raspberry champagne cream filling and lemon curd, edged with a white chocolate ganache and then iced. I love fondant icing from my childhood, so knew the cake had to be special and Pia created us a cake, which was everything and more. Tom can’t actually visit poor Pia without asking whether she has any cake for him and when she left her car at ours for my Hen Party, we all made it very clear ‘No Cake is left in the vehicle overnight!’.
We designed it ourselves with the cake toppers being our Personal Penguins from our reading. Our top layer was a fake layer, meaning we still have it (although we’re not too sure what to do with it – I’d like it set in something?!)
YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER | The superbly talented Matt Willis, who captured our day so spectacularly. He put us at ease from the day we met – to our engagement shoot right through to the minute he left us. Living nearby means we’ve been able to keep in touch as well – I’m lining him up for many more shoot for years to come!
We also had the day filmed by Rupert Lewis-Ward who has also managed to give us memories for years to come.
THE DETAILS & DÉCOR | Very simple. Hydrangea heads lined the aisle and where the readings were given and so it was so special to return to the church for the Harvest festival to see the flower committee copied the simplicity. Alongside the stoned walls, they were just perfect. This soft pink went through to ribboned bows from the wall lights. Homewood Park is ‘stylishly homely’. That was the main reason for picking it – we knew that should my Grandpa want a whiskey in the lounge, he could – but if we wanted to sit and listen to Mark our Piano man, we all could. We found some country kitchen style cake plates, candles and ironised jugs that became our table centres. Going to M&M world to get £130 worth of M&Ms was also interesting – but resisting eating them before the wedding was harder!
We just wanted a wedding style that allowed people to relax. All our stationery was made by the talented Ger Lewis of Feel Good Invites. Uber talented, it set the tone from the Save the Dates right through to the Order of Service making the process so easy.
We are known for our love of cooking and so that became the table names. Coming from a creative family, it was great fun making our table plan, Liana is fantastic at paper cutting and sewing so made us some keepsake cushions. The main table in the entrance hall was just all about us and what makes us the couple we are.
THE HONEYMOON | We were fortunate to be gifted a stay in the Italian Lakes from someone Tom works with and so that was our mini moon. We’re hoping to buy our first home together this year and so from the vouchers we received from our lovely guests meant that are going to hit the roller coasters of Florida before we have kids! (due to Tom’s season we have had to delay that until May 2016 but that means we’ve extended our wedding celebrations for a bit longer!)
MEMORABLE MOMENTS | Watching my dear friends cause havoc in the bridal suite whilst we were having our photo taken on the lawn outside. Nothing too rock and roll (no damage was done!) but they filmed a message thinking we were clueless even though we’d watched it unfold. Seeing them dance like a fairy with loo roll was always memorable (Pia – that was you!)
Two days before the wedding my Auntie came over from Rome and helped us start celebrating with copious bottles of prossecco and subsequently, couldn’t get our rings on without a bit of a shove.. and its OK brides if you mess up your vows!
Apart from that, it was the entire planning process and everything that comes with it. It is so special – memories I’ll never get again and so I’m glad I wasn’t one of those bridezillas who missed the special moments.
ADVICE FOR OTHER COUPLES | Don’t confuse yourself. We found the more we looked around, the more we confused and went away from our initial ‘loves’. Look at everything – I was super proud of all the adventures we went on to source things throughout the wedding and pine for those days again – they are so special, that cherish the planning stages as well as you hope you won’t do it again!
Also keep surprises for your spouse – I’d arranged for a second Morris Minor to collect Tom, but actually he thought he’d arranged the wedding car to start at the wrong place, so that added to his wedding jitters!
CREDIT WHERE CREDIT IS DUE |
Photography | Matt Willis
Rings | John Titcombe Jewellery
Dress Shop | Dragonfly Contemporary Design
Suit | Ted Baker
Cake | Vanilla Pod Bakery
Bridesmaid Dresses | 21st Century Foxy
Film | Rupert Ward-Lewis
Flower Girls Dresses | Monsoon
Shirts | TM Lewin
Ties | Next
Car | Gladys Morris Minor
Venue | Homewood Park
DJ | Wedding Jam DJs
Stationery | Feel Good Invites
Favours | M&M World
Honeymoon | Virgin Holidays
Utterly stunning. And I am so happy that you found your perfect ring Nikita :-)
Thanks so much to Nikita and Tom for sharing their gorgeous celebration with us xo Lou