Amy and Jamie told me that their wedding was the “Best. Day. Ever.” and I can totally see why! They were married on the 7th September 2019, with a ceremony at St. Helens Church, Selston, where Amy’s grandparents and parents were married, isn’t that just so special? They then held their reception at The Riding School at Calke Abbey in Derbyshire, which turned out to be perfect for their Autumn wedding day.
There is just so much to love about their day, from the live music to the beautiful blooms and the rustic style décor. I love how they infused reds and pinks together in the styling for a modern take on an autumn colour palette. They added in touches to really bring a fun vibe, such a sweetie bar instead of a wedding cake, glitter face painting, which sounded like it was a big hit and a wire mesh wall as a backdrop for photos. Amazing!
Do also look out for really stylish outfits, a very scrummy pudding and elegant stationery. HBA Photography were behind the lens and what beautiful images they captured, thanks so much for sharing them with us guys.
We had been together for 7 years before Jamie proposed, on Valentines Day, 2017. He had originally planned to do it a little earlier, in Reykjavik under the Northern Lights, but having told his parents, they let it slip, so that plan went out the window!
I wouldn’t say Jamie is the most romantic, and he told me afterwards that he picked Valentine’s Day so as not to arouse my suspicions. He had been ring shopping a couple of months before with our friend Sammy, and presented the ring alongside dessert, on one knee, on a specially engraved wooden board inscribed with “Amy, will you Marry me?”
Despite being aware of the previous plans, it still came as a surprise and I grabbed him and excitedly said “of course I will!” . The happiness was felt throughout the house, as in my excitement to say yes, Sid the cat swooned in on the forgotten-about New York cheesecake and took full advantage of my back being turned.
We just wanted it to be personal, and what we wanted, not “this is what everyone else does”. We wanted it to demonstrate the people we were, quite chilled, simple, we do like to be a little different to everyone else, but personable and fun loving.
My grandparents and parents both married at our local church, St.Helens in Selston, and have both stood the test of time, so that was the only “must” on the list when we set out on the planning journey.
The Planning Process
We initially looked at getting married the following year, in 2018, but Jamie has always said “if were doing it, were doing it right”, and many of the suppliers we had seen initially were all booked up, so we deferred to 2019.
We really wanted to get the key pieces in place quite early, and being quite decisive, we only visited Calke Abbey and we knew instantly it was the place where we would be wed. Once this was sorted, the rest of the “big ticket” items followed, and quickly booked the photographers (HBA), florist (Avant Garden) and evening entertainment (The Daddy O’s).
Getting booked early meant we could relax a little, we kept things moving and added suppliers as we went along, but things really didn’t hot up again until June 2019. Just before this, my father sadly passed after a short illness, which meant most of the start of 2019 was focused on that. The wedding was a great focus to give me something to put my energy into and the 4 months we had to get everything in place became quite intensive thereafter, but everything came together in the end!
Your Outfits & Accessories
Bride – Dress was from Alexandra Anne, and was designed by Rembo Styling.
Groom – from Jon Paul menswear Swadlincote. Chose it because again, didn’t want to be like everyone else and wanted something a little different. Jamie liked the idea of tweed from the start and thought it fit with our style, décor and venue, and also it fit with the time of year.
The Readings & Music
Wedding was at our local church, St.Helens in Selston, Notts. It was a traditional church wedding with no particular readings, but we did sing “Morning Has Broken” and “Jerusalem”.
We hired a choir to sing both during the songs above but also whilst we signed the register. They did a bit of a medley of the Beatles songs which I thought sounded fantastic.
Total cost including honeymoon was around £45k. It is a lot, but as Jamie said, “if we are doing it were doing it right”.
Make up by Josephine Way.
Hair by Rock n Roller Hair.
Grooming was all self done.
Calke Abbey – Ticknall, Derbyshire.
This was the only venue we visited and we knew instantly it was the right location for us and the vision we had set out with.
The Riding School is full of rustic charm, exposed brickwork, high ceilings and beams, a rugged blank canvas that we knew we could set our own stamp upon to ensure we delivered on the personal notes we were after.
Flowers were from Laura at Avant Garden, they were pastels of green and pink, but also provided foliage runners for the tables and corner décor for the “Crazy In Love” photo sign.
The Details & Décor
Arrived at Calke in a vintage 1930s double decker bus.
Arrival drinks supplied in Amy’s fathers garden troughs.
Avant Garden, florists and prop hire. We hired a wire mesh wall with a neon “Crazy In Love” sign on it, set up trestle tables either side with vintage style décor and a polaroid camera. It went down a storm.
Fabric Theatre did the lighting and ceiling drapes in the middle of the room.
Duncan William – magician on arrival.
We wanted trestle tables as something a bit different, so we hired these in instead of using ones provided by the venue. It was a great decision as it looked superb and fit in with the character of The Riding School.
Food was superb, a little picnic style starter in its own grazebox, followed by fish and chips served wrapped like traditional chip shops, homage to Amy who used to work in a chip shop in her younger days. Dessert was an Eton Mess in a jar with a mini Jammy Dodger on top!
We completed other finishing touches to the décor largely ourselves, so table decorations, photos around the room, pick n mix table etc.
Evening entertainment, the Daddy O’s band provided the live music, amazing and made the day, especially the dance off.
Finally, we had wish upon a sparkle in who provided glitter face painting for the evening. I would say probably 80% of the people, including the photographers, had it done and we felt at least it was really popular!
2 x best men, Craig & Dean.
2 x brothers as ushers, Mark & Andrew
2 x nephews as Ushers, Jake & Danny
Outfits were hired from Jon Paul menswear, in Swadlincote, Derbyshire.
1 x Chief Bridesmaid, Emma
2 x Bridesmaids, Molly and Nicola
2 x flower girls, Emmy and Lyla
1 x pageboy, Olly
Dresses from Rewritten
Flowergirl dresses from Monsoon
Pageboy from Jon Paul.
We first met Hannah & Ben from HBA Photography at a wedding fair at Calke, and had already seen some of their work as they were photographers at the wedding of one of Jamie’s work mates.
We fell in love with their style, they have an amazing flair for catching the right light and mood to create such amazing atmosphere within their portfolio. It was clear that they weren’t “traditional” as such and would provide us with the kind of relaxed and natural capture of the day we were after. They delivered, and some!
The photos captured the day probably better than we even imagined they could, they delivered on all of the above, provided an amazing highlights reel linked to just the perfect soundtrack, all whilst being the most lovely and amenable couple to work with!
A tour of Sri Lanka including visits to the cultural triangle, camping in the jungle and a safari, followed by a few days R&R in The Maldives.
We decided against a cake. Our view was the cake was just a tradition that we could do without. We instead provided a pick and mix table, although we didn’t have a photo cutting the jelly snake ;)
On the day my brother gave me away. At the Alter the vicar asked him to repeat “I will” when giving me away to Jamie. He instantly forgot these instructions and there was a silence, broken by the laughter from the congregation, which really relaxed everybody!
Then we all boarded a 1930’s style bus to Calke Abbey which was a great experience, it was amazing to go alongside all of our guests to the venue, albeit a little slowly…
Finally, the band did an impromptu dance off, which was taken to the next level by Emmy and Oliver, our flowergirl and pageboy, who raised the roof off the Riding School!
Advice For Other Couples
Don’t cut corners, do whatever you want, the day is absolutely worth it and the cost goes out of the window when you reflect on the day.
Make sure you also take the time to take a step back to watch and acknowledge all the people that are there for you and the fun that they are (hopefully!) having.
Credit Where Credit Is Due
The Riding School at Calke Abbey
Florists & Prop Hire
Avant Garden Events
Trestle Tables & Chairs
Lighting / Centre Staging
Honeysuckle and Castle
Wish Upon A Sparkle
Oh so gorgeous.
Amy and Jamie, thank you both so very much for sharing your epic wedding celebrations with us xo Lou