When anyone asks me what our wedding was like, the only word that comes to my head is US! Our wedding was just so ‘us’. From the food, music, décor, cake, photos, it was all just perfect for us.
Jodie and Joe
Church Hall Wedding
It’s a real pleasure to welcome Jodie and Joe to the blog today with their utterly gorgeous Belbroughton Church Hall wedding held on the 20thJuly 2019 in the West Midlands. Their wedding day vision was kept simple, with a focus on their day being totally them and the food was really important to them both too (Jodie is a pastry chef). They chose to have Jamaican wedding food as it’s their favourite and their friend baked their cake, which by the way sounded absolutely delicious. Hello tiers of chocolate, raspberry and peanut butter, carrot cake with cream cheese frosting and tiramisu, yum!
Another key element for them was flowers and they really went to town with the blousy beautiful blooms, they looked amazing! I love how their family and friends all came together to create their day, it really made it sound ever so special. Do look out for super stylish attire all round and the gorgeous bouquets. It’s amazing they achieved everything on a budget friendly £10,000 too, wow.
Faye Green Photo thank you so very much for sharing these very beautiful images today, how lovely.
We are quite private people, I’d always told Joe I wouldn’t want a big public display and he knows thats just not me. Although we had talked about marriage and we both knew it was something we wanted, it still came as a surprise to me at the time. It was 3 years ago now, we had just moved into our first home together, we had spent the Saturday decorating and Joe said he had booked a table for us to go out on the evening. He’d brought me flowers, told me to get dressed up, but I was still non the wiser. We went out for our meal, we were in such high spirits after spending the first night in our new home on the Friday, we had our meal and headed home. At the time we had our sofa in the kitchen as we were decorating in the lounge! I sat down, Joe disappeared for a minute, came back over and said ‘close your eyes’ and when I opened, he was on one knee with the ring in his hand! I couldn’t believe it, I was so happy and excited. I think I cried on and off for the rest of the night, happy tears. He said he wanted to ask me before we went out but he decided against it as he knew I’d be crying! I think he made the right choice!
I had never been the kind of girl that had dreamed about her wedding day all her life. We both just wanted something simple really. My whole life revolves around food, I’m a pastry chef, I work in a lovely café called caneat in Stirchley, Birmingham. I bake the cakes and sweet treats at the café. My first thought when thinking about the wedding was about the food. My Dad is Jamaican, Jamaican food is my favourite kind of food to cook and to eat. Joe also loves this food so we knew that this is what we wanted on the day. Before starting to plan the wedding I had become obsessed with house plants and flowers, Joe says our house looks like a jungle. I knew I wanted to have loads of beautiful flowers and greenery at the wedding.
The Planning Process
I don’t think we really had a planning process. I just kind of bought bits when I saw them, or asked people I knew to be part of our day. I tried to never get stressed while planning the wedding and just enjoy the process. We knew we wanted a church wedding and then we just wanted a room we could make our own for a brilliant party. We planned the wedding in around 12 months. We had some help and advice from family and friends along the way but we basically just went with whatever we thought was best for us.
We didn’t want to go crazy and spend too much on our wedding. We wanted it to be amazing but knew we could do this without stretching ourselves too thin. We didn’t necessarily have a budget, but I think that in our minds we didn’t really want to go over around £12,000. We didn’t really keep track of everything that we bought and spent but I think all in all we did the wedding for around £10,000. We had people we knew to do the food, the flowers, the cake and the DJ’ing. So this kept the price down for us. Also it means we got exactly what we wanted as these people were friends so we knew what they could do and had great conversations with them about our vision for the day. My lovely Grandma offered to buy my wedding dress for me, so that was a great help. Joe’s Mom and Dad also saved some money for us to put towards our day which was amazing.
We had our wedding ceremony at St Marys Church in Oldswinford. Its only down the road from our house, we looked at a few local churches but we knew this was the one as soon as we saw it. It looks so grand from the outside and even more beautiful on the inside. When thinking about our photos I just knew they would look amazing in and outside of this church.
When looking for a venue for our evening party, we had looked at a couple of places that just didn’t do anything for us, my Grandma suggested going to look at the Belbroughton Church Hall. As soon as we went to visit this place, we knew it was the one. It was absolutely perfect for what we wanted. It had a really vintage feel about it, big dark wooden beams, it looked almost like a little barn from the outside. I just loved everything about it. It also had a small outside area which was great as our wedding was in the summer and it was a lovely sunny day.
Your Outfits & Accessories
I really didn’t know what I wanted from a wedding dress. The dresses I originally tried on were a million miles from what I ended up having! My sister suggested visiting a wed2b store to try on some dresses. We picked a few out and I tried them on and didn’t like any. The lovely lady that was helping me try the dresses on went off to the rails and picked a couple for me and came back with THE ONE! As soon as I put it on I knew it was perfect for me. My sister loved it too! I walked up and down for a while in the dress and could just imagine myself wearing it on the day. The dress was a size too big for me and the lady said there were no other sizes on the racks. I glanced over at the mannequin next to me and realised it was wearing the dress! It had a long sleeved shawl over the top so we hadn’t noticed that it was the same dress, and by some stroke of amazing luck, the dress was my size. I loved the simplicity of the dress, I just added a slim diamond belt to the waist to make it my own and had some minor strap adjustments and that was it. I had a lovely seamstress called Pena who altered my dress for me (facebook page: PB Sewwright the busy little sewing bee). I also had a lacy veil to go with my dress that was also from wed2b.
The only jewellery I was going to wear was earrings. Joe told me not to pick any earrings as he wanted to pick some for me. On the morning of the wedding Joe sent his brother Josh (best man), to the B&B where I was getting ready with my bridesmaids, over with some beautiful earrings he had picked for me. I have never taken them out since the wedding day. I wore some lovely high heeled sandals I ordered online from Dune, the straps were covered in embellishments, I loved them, and they were actually quite comfy! But I did take a smaller pair of heels along with me for the evening as I needed to be able to dance the night away!
Joe wore a lovely suit he had picked from Moss Bros. It was a checked blue, black and white material and then he picked a pale blue tie from Next. I really loved the suits. Joe and his 5 groomsmen all wore the same suits.
The Readings & Music
Neither of us were set about having readings from family and friends at our ceremony. We thought it would be nice to just have one person to do a small reading. We asked my sister Zoe if she wanted to do the reading and she said yes. She picked ‘1 Corinthians 13:1-7’ and it was lovely for someone other than just the vicar to do a speech. The piece felt very relevant on a day all about love.
We had traditional music played by the church organist at the ceremony, it was a lovely calm feel.
For our first dance we danced to ‘I wanna be the only one’ by Eternal, we were both a bit nervous about the first dance and didn’t want anything too slow, I think we picked the perfect song, it was upbeat but romantic.
My dad picked the music for our dance, he picked ‘Close to you’ by the carpenters. It was beautiful, there wasn’t a dry eye in the room.
Flowers were something I was so excited about picking. I met an amazing lady called Rachel through work a year before our wedding. She used to do some amazing arrangements for events we held at the café. As soon as we started planning the wedding I told Rachel I would love her to do our flowers and she agreed. I was over the moon. We would meet up and talk for hours about flowers. I knew I definitely wanted David Austin roses and we went from there. David Austin roses were my Grandads favourite and this is why I had my heart set on them. I wanted my bouquet to be quite wild looking with different types of flowers, not too perfect and neat. Rachel suggested having a lovely ribbon hanging down from the bouquet and I just loved it. As the church and the reception room were already so beautiful, we just wanted to add to the natural look of the venues. We had lovely flowers and greenery attached to the end of the pews in the church and vases of flowers just outside the church doors. We decided on a big grand piece to go above the top table in the reception venue.
Rachel put together all different types of flowers and greenery and suspended it above the table it was incredible! Then we had rows of greenery above the rest of the tables, it all looked very natural I loved it. In the months before the wedding I started collecting small vases for the tables to put little flowers up and down the tables to add to the flowery theme.
In my bouquet, the bridesmaids bouquets and the big arrangement above the table there were a mixture of; Koco Loco, mocha and peach roses, peach yarrow, bronze amaranthus, sweet peas, wild carrot, astrantia, dahlias, creek brulee, cherry caramel phlox, the list goes on, all amazing!
One of my favourite things from the day were the little head pieces Rachel made for our nieces Faith and Georgia, our flowers girls. They were just so cute, everybody commented on them. Rachel owns a business called The Hedge, she is truly amazing at what she does and is so passionate. She made planning the flowers such a lovely experience and she also helped me get a real feel for how I wanted my tables and my venue to look. (Instagram: the_hedge) (rachelperryflowers)
The Details & Décor
Not too much went into the décor as both venues were already so amazing. The flowers were all the decoration we needed! Rachel, our florist, helped me pick a theme for our tables. The venue had some lovely vintage wooden tables that were perfect. My lovely friend Vic agreed to make some table cloths and napkins out of a lovely dark navy linen fabric. With the little vases of flowers on the tables and the linen cloths it looked beautiful.
Months before the wedding I started buying bunches of roses whenever I went food shopping and started drying the petals for our confetti. I loved the outcome, I didn’t want the traditional shiny confetti and I really loved the look of all the different coloured petals.
We had 5 groomsmen. Mine and Joe’s Dads, Guy and Dave. Joe’s two best friends Jay and Ste, and last but not least Joe’s brother Josh who was the best man. They all wore suits from Moss Bros, they were the same as Joe’s checked suit.
We had the most amazing photographer. Her name was Faye. A photographer friend recommended her to us and after looking at her work I knew she would be the perfect fit for our day. After meeting up and chatting with Faye about our day I felt so confident she would capture exactly what we wanted. Me and Joe are not the most photogenic pair and neither of us are very comfortable in front of the camera. But that being said we didn’t feel nervous or awkward at all on our day. We wanted all of our photos to be natural as this is when we look best. So many people said that they felt like Faye was a guest at the wedding. She made everybody feel so comfortable. She got so many great natural shots of us and our guests. She always seemed to be in the right place at the right time. When we got the photos back I was so emotional seeing them for the first time. I could have never dreamed they would turn out so perfect! I feel like she just went above and beyond for us, it was amazing and it’s so nice looking back on the photos, a year on I feel like it was yesterday.
We had our sisters as our bridesmaids. My sister Zoe and Joe’s two sisters, Danielle and Dominique. I found some amazing dresses on ASOS, the make was Needle & Thread. The bridesmaid’s dresses were one of the first things I bought. I was obsessed with them and all the bridesmaids agreed, they loved them too. I kind of wanted to wear the bridesmaid dress myself! The dress fitted our flowery theme perfectly. What I loved most about the dress is the fact it had lots of different colours on so we weren’t tied down when picking our flowers to one colour for the theme.
The bridesmaids also had their dresses altered by Pena.
The bridesmaids also did their own makeup on the morning of the wedding and my sister Zoe did all the hair. They all looked stunning!
They wore their own accessories and shoes, my florist Rachel put together some little fresh flower hair clips for the bridesmaids which looked beautiful.
We’re pretty low maintenance when it comes to beauty and grooming I think. My sister is a hairdresser and is the only person I would have trusted to do my hair on my day (Instagram: zvlhairandbrows). We had done a few trials, I just wanted a natural look really. My natural hair is curly so this is how I wanted it to be on the day. I didn’t want to look back at the pictures and look unrecognisable. I had some lovely curly hair extensions put in for my wedding by an amazing lady called Tenika Campbell, who has done extensions for me many times in the last 2 years. She is a freelance weave and wig specialist and is really amazing at what she does. (Instagram: Hair by Miss Campbell)
I did my own makeup for the wedding. I bought some new products, mainly from Fenty Beauty, and practised a few times before the day. I don’t generally wear much makeup so thought it would be best to do it myself so I didn’t feel like I had way too much on. I was so pleased with how it turned out and loads of our guests commented on my makeup. I had my nails done the day before the wedding by a lovely lady called Charlie, I can’t find her Instagram page sorry.
Joe got his hair cut on the morning of the wedding by his barber Luke and that was about as far as the grooming went for him. Like I said, low maintenance haha!
The cake! The cake was so important to me as I make cakes for a living. I love everything cake! There was only one person that I would have trusted to make my wedding cake. My lovely friend Emma. I didn’t think this was going to happen as Emma and her girlfriend Anna moved to Australia a couple of years ago so I just didn’t know if they would make it back for our wedding. But, much to my excitement, they did! I could not have been happier! Me and Emma spoke for MONTHS about the cake, we obsessed over it. I first met Emma at my previous job where she became my apprentice, but more importantly, my friend! We made cakes together every day for about a year and a half and we loved it. We had the same taste, we loved the same recipes, it was just perfect. We taught each other so much.
We decided on a massive 3 tier cake, 10”, 8” & 6” sponges. The biggest of course had to be chocolate. Me and Joe both love chocolate. We had chocolate, raspberry and peanut butter. The middle layer was a real crowd pleaser, a carrot cake with cream cheese frosting. This is most of my family’s favourite cake that I make. Including my baby niece Faith who has had it for both her 1st and 2nd birthday cakes. The top tier was a tiramisu cake. I started making the tiramisu sponge a few months before the wedding at work and it soon became a café favourite and a favourite for me too. Me and Emma spent two days before the wedding baking the sponges together and then I left her too it. Emma and Anna worked so hard on the cake I honestly couldn’t have asked for more. They spent hours at my house the day before the wedding getting it all done. It was perfect in every way, they made this as a wedding gift to us and we couldn’t have appreciated it more. The cake went down a storm with all the guests. We also had a couple of vegan guests and a couple of gluten free guests. We had a small banana, chocolate and walnut vegan cake, and a little lemon and blueberry gluten free cake.
Initially we thought we would hold off and go on our honey moon to Italy the year after the wedding (this summer 2020). We had started planning our honeymoon at the beginning of this year, we were planning on going in July, and then coronavirus happened! So Italy is on hold, we are also expecting our first baby so I would have been heavily pregnant, so it has all turned out for the best really.
A week before the wedding we decided to just book a last minute holiday to get away for a week after a hectic few weeks of wedding planning. We booked a week away in Mallorca. We had the best time, the weather was amazing and we just relaxed and really enjoyed ourselves. Turned out we were 15 minutes away from magaluf which was the last place we thought we would end up on our ‘mini moon’ but we had a couple of great nights out and had such a laugh! I’m so glad we made the decision to have a last minute get away, it was perfect. We made some amazing first memories as Husband and Wife.
The food was definitely a memorable moment of the wedding. My friends from work did the food for us, we had a Jamaican feast in the afternoon, Jerk chicken, curry mutton, rice and peas, and a vegetarian Jamaican spiced curry. It was amazing! We had a jerk drum and a massive paella pan, that was filled with curry mutton, not paella, in the garden of the venue.
We had some samosas for people to nibble on when we first arrived at the reception venue before the sit down meal was served.
On the evening when the rest of our guests arrived, we had loads of cobs from our favourite pub called The Anchor, they do a selection of cheese, beef and ham cobs alongside a load of salad. They went down a storm! I don’t think me or Joe actually had any!
The music was also a great memory from our day, we made a playlist and a friend brought his DJ gear and disco ball and we had the best party ever. I don’t think I left the dance floor all night! Everyone had such an amazing time, there are some brilliant photos from the dancefloor!
Our guests made our day what it was. Without all of our family and friends it would not have been what it was. And all the people that helped out on the day worked so hard we couldn’t have asked for more.
Another memorable moment for me was arriving at the church in my grandad’s car. My grandad was a massive part of mine and Joe’s lives and he unfortunately passed away 3 years ago, this felt like he had a little part in our day.
The speeches! So special, this was one of my favourite parts of the day! My Dad, Joe, Josh (best man) and myself did speeches and it was amazing. All of our guests were either in floods of laughter or floods of tears.
Advice For Other Couples
The cliché, enjoy every single moment. It really did fly by! Don’t stress about the little things because on the day they really don’t matter, e.g. personalised coat hangers, I forgot to take these with me, I didn’t even realise until about week after the wedding when I saw them hanging up.
Enjoy all of the planning as this is all a big part of it and when you look back you don’t just want to remember yourself being stressed.
Try and get people you know to be a part of your day, this made ours even more special. Knowing that our friends and family had such a big part in our day made it what it was.
Try and spend some moments with your partner, because you are surrounded by so many people it’s hard to get time together on the day.
Credit Where Credit Is Due
Faye Green Photo
PB Sewright the busy little sewing bee
Does it get any prettier? I am head over heels for all of the flowers.
Jodie and Joe thank you both so much for sharing your church hall wedding with us, it’s an honour to share your story on WWW xo Lou