Where do I even begin?
Jenny and Mike’s nuptials were a feast for the eyes, all sparkly pink, blues and golds. YAY. Think divine Spring florals including a spectacular flower wall, which provided the backdrop to the ceremony and photo booth. Not to mention boho glam bridesmaids in dusky blue sequin frocks, whimsical décor which included spray painted toy animals and the sweetest ruffle cake.
Jenny chose a Stephanie Allin gown which she customised, teamed with a lace edged veil and bright pink lipstick. The gents meanwhile donned Dress 2 Kill suits with pink ties and rose buttonholes. Pretty pretty pretty.
Thanks so much to Sara Reeve for sharing the utterly gorgeous imagery today.
THE PROPOSAL | Gassin – a pretty Provençal village in the South of France with amazing views over St Tropez. It’s a treasured place for Jenny who has been holidaying in the area with her family for many years. Mike dropped down on one knee – Jenny got excited as she thought he was getting chocolate out of his bag-! But even better, it was a diamond! I hadn’t even washed my hair that day-! The best surprise ever. I knew very soon into dating Mike he’d be my husband. You just know.
THE VISION | We were keen to avoid a theme! But we would say probably say Boho Bling. Not one specific colour but a mix of: blush pink, light gold, dusty blue and dashes of hot pink.
THE PLANNING PROCESS | 21 months – At the time we got engaged we were in the middle of renovating a house in Kent, so decided that in order to enjoy the wedding preparation process, we’d set the date a bit further ahead than we would have originally gone for. It was the perfect amount of time for us as it meant we could finish our house but also enjoy the wedding prep. Jenny was Creative Director, Mike was Chief of Operations.
My sister had discovered this gem of a photographer online and had booked her for her wedding. Sara was so fantastic she was the first supplier we booked (once I’d received the ok from my sister, of course!). She is so much fun, extremely talented and has a magically creative mind. She’s the best.
The biggest slog was probably the homemade limoncellos. Mike and my Mum took on this task – zesting hundreds of lemons! It was worth every minute though – the yellow bottles added a lovely zesty glow to the tables and were enjoyed by many in search of a palate cleanser after the meal.
THE VENUE | We really liked the English garden feel to the grounds and that it offered a cute boat house situated by a duckling-filled lake for the ceremony. There was also a Yurt Village where our bridal party collapsed into after the big day! We stayed in the house itself, which was stunning. My favourite feature of Broyle Place is that the bridal room overlooks the front of the house so I could see my guests arriving on the day and taking their seats for the ceremony. It was really special to be able to see what’s going on below from a bird’s eye view – it made me less nervous. The area itself is also very special to me as I grew up and went to school there.
Betty was fantastic from day one. She listened to our ideas and suggested additional ways to make our day the way we wanted it. She answered every single email we sent (and there were a few!) quickly and helpfully. The staff on the day were also extremely helpful.
FINDING THE DRESS | I tried on about 50 dresses at about 5 different bridal boutiques – from Guildford to Richmond, we looked everywhere! Only to discover my perfect dress was much closer by in a village called Lindfield, near where I grew up!
I opted for a lace dress as both my mum and sister married in lace and I wanted to keep with the tradition. I made some minor alterations to a Stephanie Allin dress to make it more ‘me’. I loved the lace on it and the way the dress went in at the waist and out and frothy at the bottom! I added a sweetheart neckline, adapted the lace across the shoulders so it was lower, capped the sleeves and changed the flower bow to a more simple blush pink one.
Nicola at Mathilda Rose was extremely helpful. I knew as soon as I stepped in the shop that I was going to find my dress in her shop. I felt we had very similar taste! Gorgeous feminine lace dresses lined her shop – I was in heaven!
My ‘something borrowed’ was a diamanté hair comb that my sister wore on her wedding day. I also loved my shoes as I colour matched them to my pink dress ribbon (via Rainbow Club). I also loved my veil as it was made by the same designer of my dress so its laced edge matched perfectly.
GROOM’S ATTIRE | Custom-made 3-piece navy blue suit from Dress 2 Kill. Thomas Pink Elephant And Ball tie. Thomas Pink cufflinks. Thomas pink flamingo socks (Jen’s favourite animal and matched our colours perfectly!) We wanted to make sure the bridal party complemented each other. The ties coordinated with Jenny’s bow and flowergirl, while our page boy’s blue suit matched the bridesmaids. The father of the bride wore a blue Thomas Pink tie while the Mother of the Bride wore pink.
THE READINGS & MUSIC | We struggled to find ceremony readings that weren’t ones we’d heard before, and that meant something to us. After finding a nice one for Mike’s sister to read, we hit a bit of a dead end with the second one. In the end I stopped complaining and decided to write something myself (!). It took me two hours and three glasses of fizz to write a poem about how I met Mike, the highlights of our 8 years together and the things I love most about him. It got some great laughs and made our ceremony more personalised. My godmother memorised the whole thing. It was a special moment.
The groom’s cousin Harry played guitar during the signing of the registers – it included The Beatle’s ‘Blackbird’ and Dire Straits ‘Romeo & Juliet’. He’s extremely talented for his young age! We also made some playlists for our Cocktails & Canape’s reception after the ceremony.
We had an 8-piece soul band called ‘Soul Beat’ plus a DJ who played some of our favourite songs in between sets. I told Mike I wanted brass as part of our wedding band (especially a trumpet!) as I love the sound it makes. We agreed a soul band would offer some great brass parts. We were thrilled to discover Soul Beat not only played some soul classics but many other songs from the decades including Johnny B. Goode and Uptown Funk. They also learnt our first dance song: Burning Love by Elvis. This led onto the first set – it was a great way to get people onto the dance floor.
BEAUTIFUL BRIDESMAIDS | Embellished Gatsby-esque gowns but given a relaxed look with boho waves in their hair. I didn’t want them all to wear the same dress as they’re all so different. I definitely wanted them to have ‘WOW’ dresses, which they could wear again. I opted for three baby blue fishtail gowns and two dusty blue beaded gowns. They had bouquets of simple ivory peonies bound with satin ribbon and a line of crystal pins to finish.
I would never make them wear anything they didn’t feel like themselves in. They’re all so beautiful it was easy to find something that looked amazing on them. I made sure to check they were comfy in them – comfort is key!
Tamsyn was my sister’s flowergirl when she was 2. She was so well behaved and you could tell she absolutely loved it! Why deny a child the chance to be a flower princess for a second time!? I gave her the pinkest, most sparkly dress I could find! Including a special flower ‘wand’ created by our florist. Tamsyn wore pink to tie in with my dress’s ribbon and Mike and his best men / usher’s ties.
THE FLOWERS | Peonies were my flower of choice as I love their blousy femininity and pastel shades – plus they were in season during May which made them beautifully fresh. I opted for ivory and soft pale pink peonies to complement my dress and pink ribbon. To give my bouquet a touch of English Garden my florist added touches of ami, camomile daisy and delicate green bells and soft pink astilbe. I also had a couple of hot pink peonies included to give it some extra pizzazz (and to match my brighter pink lipstick!). The bouquet was bound with an off-cut of my lace from my wedding dress.
Our tables centrepieces were a grouping of gold julep vases in varying sizes with pretty domes of ivory flowers such as roses and hydrangeas. We wanted to keep the table flowers simple to highlight the little details of the rest of the table including limoncello favours and toy lambs and flamingos sprayed gold as name places (lambs for ‘Lambert’ and flamingos as they’re Jen’s favourite animal!). Jen’s family surprised us on the day with a gold unicorn name place for the bride and a big sheep name place for the groom.
Our Flower Wall was by far the floral show-stopper though. We wanted to use it as a backdrop to the ceremony, which then moved nearer to the marquee and acted as a backdrop for our photo booth. We left a big picnic basket of fancy dress next to it (from a Batman mask to princess crowns!). Guests were encouraged to take a snap of themselves in front of the flower wall with a pink polaroid camera, write a message on it then peg it up on a frame Mike and my dad made out of French shutters (a nod to our engagement location Gassin, which is filled with beautiful French shutters all striking colours). – The photos were then put into an album, which acts as our Guest Book. The flower wall’s fresh flowers included roses, peonies, dahlia, lisianthus and carnations. Flower colours complemented the colours featured throughout our wedding: soft pale pinks, hot pinks, pale blue hydrangeas as well as some delicate green foliage to continue the garden feel. All flowers were fresh – it smelled amazing! Our florist – Sharon at Flowerbug – did an incredible job of making our mad ideas a reality.
THE CAKE | Liz from Sylvia’s Kitchen – the fairy godmother of wedding cakes. We had light gold layers, and blush pink layers featuring ruffled icing to look like flowers. Other than the look and taste! – We wanted to add our humour to it via cake toppers. Mike is the spitting image of Tin Tin (!) and I dressed up as Sleeping Beauty on my hen do so they both represented us on the top tier! We also had Mog (our cat) on a tier below. She had to be on there. We couldn’t decide on one flavour as the cake tasting gave us far too many tasty options! We settled on a Base Tier of Vanilla Sponge with Madagascan Vanilla Bean Paste whipped Buttercream and Raspberry Conserve, Tier 1 of Belgian Couverture Chocolate and Kirsch Sponge with Belgian Couverture Chocolate whipped Ganache and Black Cherry Conserve, Tier 2 of fresh Lemon Zest Sponge with whipped Lemoncurd Buttercream and Tier 3 of moist Rich Fruit Cake.
YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER | My sister had Sara Reeve for her wedding – she was so fantastic we booked her for ours! Not only is she extremely creative and talented, she’s such a friendly and helpful person. Sara was so much fun to have around as we got ready and went off to the grounds for our couples photos. All our guests loved her. She’s amazing.
THE DETAILS & DÉCOR | Our table runners were hammam towels bought in the South of France near where we got engaged – it was important we included some Provençal touches to the room. Lighting was also a huge thing for us – we wanted proper rustic, big light bulbs hanging from the ceiling to give the room a country glow in the evening. Round glass tea light baubles with faux tealights were also hung in little garden coves in the venue and the boat house. It looked magical when the sun went down.
We also featured each table name written in gold on a piece of painted wood and placed on a mini easel in the centre. Each table was a paint name to represent our recent house renovation. Each table therefore had a different colour centrepiece easel and name: from ‘Unicorn Horn’ pink to ‘Tropez Blue’ – each paint colour was selected because its name meant something to us.
Wedding tables can get quite busy so we wanted our flowers to keep the tables looking light and romantic. We didn’t have a traditional top table – preferring a big rectangular table amongst our guests’ circular ones. The top table had a gold sequin runner and two rose bowls of flowers, plus my bridal bouquet as the floral centrepiece.
We had lawn games including croquet, ring toss and boules.
Mark at Circa Events also produced some absolutely fantastic food and drinks – from cocktails and canapés to the main sit down meal. The piece de resistance was the evening snacks: freshly made pizza via Circa’s brand new Pizza van! We bought mini pizza boxes and stamped them with our wedding logo so people could use them as plates, and even take some home with them.
THE HONEYMOON | Mauritius. We wanted to go somewhere exotic, relaxed but with activities to do if we wanted to explore and tick some things off our bucket list. It was absolutely perfect. We chilled a LOT for the first few days as we jetted off on the Sunday of our wedding weekend. We then started to explore the island more and booked up some fantastic day trips including swimming with dolphins, walking with lions and a helicopter tour around the island. Our resort’s bar staff also knew how to make the perfect mojito. We were in paradise!
ADVICE FOR OTHER COUPLES | Keep it ‘you’.
CREDIT WHERE CREDIT IS DUE |
Photographer | Sara Reeve
Venue | Broyle Place
Veil | Stephanie Allin
Shoes | Rainbow Club
Suit | Dress 2 Kill
Bridesmaids’ dresses | Miss Selfridge (lighter blue ones x 3) and Adrianna Papell (dusty blue ones x 2)
Rings | Chalfen of London, 100 Hatton Garden.
Cake | Liz at Sylvia’s Kitchen
Flowers | Sharon at Flowerbug
Stationery | Kate Ruth Romey
Band | Soul Beat
Wedding favours | We ordered the plastic animals and limoncello bottles online. The rest was DIY!
Catering | Circa Events
Lighting | Reveries Events
Videographer | Bear Jam Productions
Hair and Make-up | The Chapel
Jenny and Mike, thank you both so much for sharing your glorious wedding story xo Lou