WWW readers Andrew and Hollie wed at Chilston Park in Kent on the 22nd June 2017. Hollie relished the whole planning process and it really shows. I just love all the handmade touches, from the table plan to the dance floor rules, everything is classic but with a modern twist. If you’re a fan of displaying older generations’ wedding photos, you’re going to absolutely love Hollie’s unique idea for honouring the older women in her family.
Hollie cuts a rather glamorous figure with her stunning ‘Rylee’ by Ronald Joyce gown and Hollywood waves in her hair. Her dashing groom Andrew chose a very dapper Reiss suit after much careful consideration!
Wanting to make the most of the beautiful tones at Chilston Park, our pair didn’t go for a colour scheme but rather kept everything neutral with a few pops of blush here and there. Don’t you think it works just perfectly?
Thanks must go to Kerry Ann Duffy Photography for capturing these gorgeously soft images and sharing them with us today.
THE PROPOSAL | Skiing, 2100m high on top of mountain, overlooking a few snowy villages of the French alps – he asked the question… followed by my response – are you sure? (oops lol)
THE VISION | Romantic, Vintage, Fun, Fairy-tale.
THE PLANNING PROCESS | I loved every part of the planning, Every single part!
I found it every easy and satisfying, even if there were any problems along the way I would think “Ooh a new challenge, great!” I really enjoyed making things like the table plan , favours and dance floor rules.
BUDGET | Under £20k
THE VENUE | Chilston Park. What a venue! The views, the lake, the Georgian styling throughout the hotel, the ornate ceilings, the fire places … I could go on forever, it was just dreamy.
We could not fault the staff, so helpful and nothing was ever too much trouble, everything was always in hand. We had some great comments from the guest regarding the wedding breakfast ‘Best wedding meal, EVER’. Sam and Fiona – my two superstars from Chilston – You guys rock!
FINDING THE DRESS | I work in town with 6 Bridal boutiques on my door step. After returning from our skiing holiday, I got myself booked in to all 6! Over the course of a week I would nip in on my 1 hour lunch break. I found my dress in Christina K Bridal Boutique. Miss Stacey – Thank you for your help and advice every step of the way.
THE DRESS & ACCESSORIES | Christina K Bridal Boutique. Her name was ‘Rylee’ by Ronald Joyce. Rylee was blush, beautiful, oozed romance and she was all mine!
By 9pm I was sweltering, luckily I had a second dress to switch into for my ‘Dad and daughter dance’ her name was ‘Cadillac’ by Ian Stewart, a fun, cute ¾ length lace number.
I found my shoulder necklace idea online retailing at £500 from Etsy! I couldn’t pay that, I just couldn’t… so I made it instead, sewing together seven rhinestone motif’s from Ebay! I just love it! So many lovely compliments.
Shoes – Pink by paradox
Hair Clip – Monsoon
Veil – Christina K Bridal Boutique
MAKEUP | My good friend Helen Lee was my Makeup Artist and remained professional and calm through the whole morning of crazy bridesmaids dancing & singing with a thunderstorm and a power cut to add to the mix.
HAIR | Talking of crazy … my hair stylist Vicki Lord was on hand to make me look like a Hollywood Film star, Sweetie’. What a babe she is! We used a small vintage looking clip from Accessorise to perfect the look.
GROOM’S ATTIRE | Andrew is a big fan of Esquire Magazine, he knows his stuff! He knew exactly how he wanted to look on his Wedding Day. His suit was from Reiss and he was possibly fussier than I was choosing his wedding attire! It definitely paid off. I’d say he quite resembles David Gandy?
Gift from me – Daniel Wellington Watch
The Best Men’s (Alex and Simon) suits and ties were from Next teamed with their best men gifts, a Daniel Wellington watch.
Page boy Keston wore an outfit from Next.
THE READINGS & MUSIC | Piacere String Quartet and Masterclass for the evening entertainment
BEAUTIFUL BRIDESMAIDS |
Lucie, Samanatha K, Francie, Samanatha F, Katie, Tiffany, Ruby and Little Coral.
As I pretty much planned everything from the words ‘YES I’LL MARRY YOU ANDY’ I was able to get my bridesmaid dresses and shoes at a discounted rate before BHS closed. These were actually wedding dresses and bridal shoes, so extra comfy for the girls! Flower girls dresses were from Monsoon.
Their loose curls and cute plait where styled by Natalie Books (also my amazing cake lady!)
THE FLOWERS | My good friend Ruth became a florist again for the day, well it was a few days, hottest days of the year so far and she didn’t stop! Ruth captured my vision from day dot. We took a trip up to New Covent Garden Flower Market which was amazing! Peonies, Peonies, Peonies, Roses, Peonies, Succulents and more Peonies! Such a great experience choosing your own flowers! My bouquet was even better than the 300 pictures I pinned on Pinterest!! The whole venue was transformed by so many beautiful flowers which smelt amazing!
CEREMONY | The only thing I didn’t plan for… I totally forgot that I had to make it down the aisle with over 80 sets of eyes watching you! I nearly forgot the whole reason why we are here, so tied up in pleasing everyone, making sure Nanny Mue is sat in the right seat, have the bridesmaids got the right dresses on or is it going to rain? Yes, but that’s not the point! Ha! I forgot that I was here to marry my best friend. I held my dad’s arm tightly and turned the corner. BOOM! Instant tears and unfortunately I am a very ugly crier so I used my bouquet to cover my face! Breathe, breathe! Ok! I’m fine! I see Andy, hold his hand and just can’t let go through the whole ceremony…
THE CAKE | My beautiful yummy wedding cake was made up of Victoria sponge, lemon drizzle, almond and coffee
and decorated with beautiful peonies and succulents, made by Natalie Brooks.
THE DETAILS & DÉCOR | I didn’t want a colour theme as the venue is beautifully decorated already with its rich colours, so we kept it neutral with a pop of pink here and there.
Pinterest was my savour as it gave me so much inspiration – our welcome sign, dance rules, table plan and favours, I just loved making them all!
I loved the 2ft Balloon idea and it definitely jazzed up our bridesmaid photos, I’ve had a few friends say “Yup, I’ve just nicked that idea!” We had great fun blowing them up… all extremely nervous if they’d pop in front of us.
The beautiful ivory lace chair sashes were supplied by the awesome girls at Well dressed.
I used a few vintage books to create different heights on my top table, with a posy of flowers just sat on top
Try creating a ‘Mr and Mrs’ folding book – it took me a very long time, but really enjoyed making it, look on Etsy for the pattern.
I had a vision… I wanted to display my mother’s wedding dress. I then discovered that my Nan still had hers! So I asked my mother in law if she was happy for me to display hers and her mother’s dresses, she was delighted. A real bit of family history which came to life from a simple idea.
THE HONEYMOON | We went to Windermere in the Lake District for our mini moon a few days after the wedding and stayed in the AMAZING Gulpin for 3 nights, definitely worth a visit. The Spa Suites are out of this world! Pure bliss! Your own private Lodge with your own sauna, steam room and Hot tub! Then we went onto The Cranleigh in the centre of Windermere, WOW! Very different décor to the Gulpin but still so amazing! Hot tub again with a glass of Champagne … don’t mind if I do!
TRANSPORT | Andrew knew he wanted a British made car – so he chose a Rolls-Royce Phantom II Continental from Premier carriages. The owner, Greg, has truly cared for this beauty and you can see that he is so proud to show her off.
ENTERTAINMENT| Piacere String quartet were playing at a stunning wedding I went to last year and they made my hair stand on end, so I just had to book them. Just stunning!
Masterclass were our evening entertainment, along with their fellow DJ, they had everybody on the awesome LED dancefloor (discologic) and even allowed me to have a sing song with them at the end! Cheers Guys!
Our evening was complete with our Caricaturist Rich, better known as The Artful Doodler. No one knew he was there, just casually walking around drawing peoples caricatures as they drunk, laughed and scoffed their dinner.
YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER | Kerry Kerry Kerry! What can I say! I love photography, I love moments and I love capturing those moments, creating memories. Mrs Kerry Ann Duffy certainly knows her stuff and she’s a pretty cool chick to go with it! Andrew is a fairly shy guy if you don’t know him that well so he wasn’t really up for all the structured, ‘posy’ shots, Kerry instantly made him feel at ease.
VIDEOGRAPHER | My good friend, Big G who goes by Graham Bewley Photography was an absolutely trooper, all day! He didn’t stop! Maybe for some hog roast, but that’s it! I am so glad we choose a videographer to capture those moments we missed.
ADVICE FOR OTHER COUPLES | Always accept help from others. Let others share your vision to enable you to relax on your big day and let the wedding party sort bits and bobs out for you.
Take time out. Spare 5 minutes just to the two of you, on a bench, looking at your wedding guests and realising how luck you are to have such amazing friends and family.
Don’t compare your wedding to others. You are individuals with your own stamp and idea’s, people will notice the small things and personal touches that you create. We would all love a ‘Pinterest’ wedding but most of us do not have over 50k to spend. Make it your own.
MEMORABLE MOMENTS | I really can’t remember that much which is really sad, but I do remember seeing so many of my family and friends mingling. I have quite a few different groups of friends – about 9 to be exact. Old and new work colleagues, college buddies, old school friends, Andy’s mates’ wives & girlfriends (WAGS), ‘no idea how we became friends’ friends. Too many to mention. I just loved how they all came together for the first time and just got on like a house of fire, they all mean the world to me.
Getting ready with my girls – I remember that so clearly as that was the calm before the storm. I loved Dancing around the table when we had a power cut from the storm that was passing over. Yes, I felt slightly sick at that point … “power come back on, power PLEASE come back on! WE HAVE LIGHTS!!!!”
Crying down the aisle! I remember that as I was thinking “No! Nobody film this! I am an ugly crier!”
Holding Andrew’s little finger through the whole ceremony – I just couldn’t let go!
The Fireworks, a complete surprise given to us by Andrews’s parents! I cried the whole way through the eight minute display. It was truly an amazing gesture enjoyed by everyone to end a truly amazing day! Aurora Fireworks
Dad and daughter dance was so much fun and the guests didn’t suspect a thing! Who knew an old boy of 61 could dance like that! Sorry Dad!
CREDIT WHERE CREDIT IS DUE |
Photographer | Kerry Ann Duffy Photography
Videographer | Graham Bewley Photography
Venue | Chilston Park, Lenham, Kent
Bride’s Gown | Rylee by Ronald Joyce, Christina K Bridal Boutique
Bride’s Evening Gown | Cadillac by Ian Stewart
Shoulder necklace | Made by the bride
Shoes | Pink By Paradox
Veil | Christina K Bridal Boutique
Headpiece | Accessorize
Florist | Ruth Havard
Lace Chair sashes | Well Dressed Venue Styling
Cake | Natalie Brooks
Bridesmaids Dresses | BHS
Groom | Reiss
Groomsmen | Next
Ceremony Music | Piacere String Quartet
Evening Band | Masterclass
Evening Dancefloor | Discologic
Caricaturist | The Artful Doodler
Transport | Premier Carriages
Hair | Vicki Lord
Make Up | Helen Lee MUA
Fireworks | Aurora Fireworks
Thanks you ever so much Andrew and Hollie for sharing your beautiful day with us. Rachel x