Before I begin, let me just day… that dress!! Wow.
WWW readers Celina and Matthew were married on the 6th March 2015 at Chilston Park Hotel in Kent. They hoped for an elegant and simple wedding with ivory and champagne touches. I love the classic colour scheme with hints of gold, so luxe.
Celina’s dress was a real show stopper, I am head over heels for the pearl detail on the back of Paul by Ronald Joyce. She looked beautiful. Stunning lighting, a ferrero rocher tower and the sweet little ones have to be my favourite parts of this wonderful day.
Huge thanks to Kerry Ann Duffy for providing the gorgeous images with us today.
THE PROPOSAL | Matt took me to New York for my 30th birthday. As it was to celebrate my birthday I had absolutely no idea what was to come! On the day before my birthday we went to the top of the Empire State Building and whilst we were up there amongst loads of tourists Matt got down on one knee and asked me to marry him. He had asked my dad the night before and had had my ring made by a recommended jeweller who took the diamond out of my Nan’s engagement ring and reconstructed the vintage style ring in Platinum.
THE VISION | We wanted our wedding to be fun and relaxed, yet simple, classy and elegant. As soon as we saw Chilston Park we knew that we wanted to keep things simple but elegant and the colours ivory and champagne would be our scheme. We didn’t want the wedding breakfast to be an ordinary wedding breakfast and as a lot of our guests enjoy live music we asked Danny Mills to entertain our guests.
THE PLANNING PROCESS | Once we were engaged it took us 8 weeks to find our perfect venue. Once we had found our venue the planning was under way as we only had 4 months to plan it in! I knew I wanted a church wedding so we contacted the local church who fortunately agreed to marry us. We knew who we wanted as our photographer, florist and hair stylist and booked them straight away! I wanted to hand make as much as possible (it seemed like a good idea at the time) so my mum started researching the invitations straight away. She lives in Spain so there were always samples landing on the door mat she had sent in the post, once we had decided on a style, she bought all the bits and got a plane over and sat day and night making 100 invitations! Once they were sent out we could relax a little bit and over the next few months I spent evenings and weekends with my mum, dad, auntie and sister in law making favours and name places, cutting pearl garlands and joining them for the back of the chairs. When we met with Kerry (Photographer) I mentioned to her what the vision was of gold and champagne and that we needed to find lots of little gold pots to fill with flowers, she then mentioned that a past bride had done something similar and would contact her to see if she still had the votives. Luckily she did and wanted to sell them so that saved hours of searching for gold votives! We knew we wanted a videographer and Kerry suggested Ignite who were just fabulous! The week before the wedding mum got to work on the table plan and it had all fallen into place.
BUDGET | We had a budged in mind from the beginning and made a conscious effort to stick it which we more or less managed to do!
THE VENUE | Chilston Park Hotel, a country house in Lenham, Kent. We knew we wanted somewhere that had accommodation so everyone could stay in the same place and have breakfast with us the next morning. The moment we pulled up the long driveway to Chilston Park we knew this was the venue for us and loved it even more as we walked round.
THE DRESS & ACCESSORIES | ‘Paulo’ dress by Ronald Joyce. Hair clip from Debenhams and shoes from Phase Eight.
FINDING THE DRESS | I went shopping with my mum, auntie and bridesmaids and tried on hundreds of dresses over the course of a day! I decided on one dress, the first one I tried on! A few weeks later my maid of honour, Sarah sent me a picture of me in the dress and I had completely changed my mind – it looked different to how I remembered it and didn’t suit my body shape! I had kept thinking about another dress I tried on the same day but the girls had mixed feelings on it, so I went on my own without telling anyone, to try the dress on again. As soon I put this dress back on I knew it was the dress and I couldn’t stop smiling! The back of the dress just wowed me! The previous shop wouldn’t give me any money back so I took the dilemma to my husband to be who immediately said go and get the dress that you love…. so I did! When I put it on on the day I can’t explain how relieved I was that I had decided on this dress and really did feel a million dollars!
GROOM’S ATTIRE | This was one of the first things we got sorted – Matt knew exactly what he wanted from the beginning and found Anthony’s Formalwear in Billericay on the internet. He chose the suit straight away and it was a very easy process!
THE READINGS & MUSIC | We had 2 readings, being a church wedding one of the readings had to be a religious one. One of my best friends Natalie read ‘maybe’, Natalie chose this reading herself which was lovely. Sian, my bridesmaid read the religious reading. I walked down the aisle to my bridesmaid Katie singing ‘A thousand years’ by Christina Perri, this made the already very special time magical. We left the church to ‘Happy’ by Pharrell!
BEAUTIFUL BRIDESMAIDS | Sarah – Maid of honour and 3 of my best friends Zoe, Katie and Sian (sister in law to be). Flower girls, my bridesmaid, Zoe’s girls – Isabella and Olivia Page Boys – Zachary (Zoe’s little boy) and my little boy Dylan.
I went shopping with my bridesmaids to find their dresses, they had several appointments booked and had free reign of the dresses they wanted, they didn’t all have the be the same but in the end decided on the same dress in the last shop of the day! Luckily the dress came in lots of different colours so we chose the ivory/champagne colour to match the theme. They same went for their hair and make up, they could have free reign of what they wanted and just looked beautiful. I gave my bridesmaids on the morning of the wedding a Thomas Sabo pearl bracelet and pearl earrings which complemented the pearl theme of the day. The flower girls tried on lots of dresses and in the end felt like princesses in Ivory dresses with bows matching the colour of the bridesmaid dresses. I gave them pearl bracelets with a flower girl charm attached again to complement the pearl theme of the day. Luckily, Anthony’s Formalwear had smaller suits for the two page boys to match Matt’s suit and the ushers.
THE FLOWERS | Marybella Wedding Flowers were recommended to us through friends. I knew she wanted plain ivory roses and calla lillies with some greenery. We had a meeting with the florist and we showed her pictures of what we had in mind and then left her to do her magic. She came up with wonderful ideas to decorate the gold votives for the wedding breakfast and did an amazing job. She decorated each of the pew ends at the church, the corsages for the men and the displays for the venue and it all looked better than we could ever have imagined.
THE CAKE | The cake was a 3 tier Victoria sponge cake that was made by a local cake maker.
YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER | Kerry was one of the first things we booked. We had seen Kerry’s work on facebook and had been looking at it well before we were engaged so when Matt popped the question we had no doubt that we would ask her. We were a bit worried that she wouldn’t be free as it was such short notice but luckily she was and we were so overwhelmed when we first saw her pictures of our wedding day – they were perfect. Kerry is so passionate about her work and that certainly reflects in her photos. We knew we also wanted a videographer and Kerry recommended Keith and Andy from Ignite who were amazing also on the day and you could see their passion in what they did too.
THE DETAILS & DÉCOR | Chilston Park is already a very decorated venue so we knew that it required very little decoration. We didn’t want ordinary chair covers so decided to make pearl garlands to decorate the backs of the chairs. I then made gold butterfly name places that were placed on the top of the glasses and had 6 gold votives, 3 with flowers and 3 with candles scattered at the bottom of the tall gold candelabras.
Sian, my bridesmaid and sister in law to be made a gold ‘C & M’ for the middle of the top table. The wedding party had wine glass charms attached to their glasses for that personal touch. Our favours were also handmade and were a voucher for a free drink at the bar which seemed to go down very well with many people saying what a fantastic idea it was that they hadn’t seen before.
The table plans were the different places we visited in NYC which is a place very close to our heart where we got engaged last year. During the wedding breakfast we had a pianist Danny Mills who absolutely rocked it! Danny really got the party started and looking round seeing everyone up and dancing was a moment we will never forget. For the evening reception we had a large ‘C & M’ in lights which were lit up the dance floor perfectly for the party.
We had a ferrero rocher tower hand made by my bridesmaid and sister in law to be Sian, and scattered gold wrapped sweets around it. For the evening entertainment we had both a band (Anthem) and a DJ (Feel Good Events), who also supplied the dance floor and venue lighting. Both kept the dance floor going all evening with our first dance, girls v boys dance offs and the hen do girls doing a surprise dance for us organised by my mum was amazing!
THE HONEYMOON | This was a really difficult decision for us as we have a little boy of almost 2 years. We weren’t sure whether to take him with us or leave him with my mum. We went to NYC last year where we got engaged and loved the States so decided to go back for our honeymoon so we went to Vegas. We decided to leave Dylan with my mum and we had a truly fantastic time and so did Dylan.
MEMORABLE MOMENTS | My dad walking me down the aisle to see Matt waiting for me was a moment I will never forget. My amazing bridesmaid Katie, signing ‘A Thousand Years’ by Christina Perri as I walked down the aisle. Seeing everyone we love together under one roof standing, dancing and singing with Danny during the wedding breakfast – the party had started early! Danny made Matt sing along to Bohemian Rhapsody which was hilarious. The surprise dance by the girls! There were so many memorable moments!
ADVICE FOR OTHER COUPLES | Don’t worry about the finer details, as on the day it won’t matter! Enjoy every second and when people tell you the day slips away so fast it really does!! Take some time out to spend with your parents as it will be a very proud and emotional day for them too. Make sure you get a video!
CREDIT WHERE CREDIT IS DUE |
Venue | Chilston Park Hotel
Pianist | Danny Mills
Hair | Collette Preston-Reeves
Make Up | Emma Smisson
Photographer | Kerry Ann Duffy
Videographer | Ignite
Flowers | Marybella Wedding Flowers
Mens Suits | Anthony’s Formalwear
Wedding Dress | Christina K
Band | Anthem
DJ | Feel Good Events
Wedding Cars | Aarion Wedding Cars
Light Up Letters | Wedding Letter Hire
So very lovely. Such a joyful affair.
Thanks so much to Celina and Matthew for sharing their wedding story with us xo Lou