It’s Friday peeps and that means I of course have a gorgeous wedding day to share with you all.
WWW readers Jacqueline and Andrew tied the knot on the 29th May 2014 at Packington Moor. They could just be one of the happiest couples I have ever featured plus they did some epic DIY.
With a woodland theme they got so creative; with Sylvanian Families making appearance alongside logs, ribbons, paper flowers and a tree table plan. There were also beautiful flower arrangements and the prettiest toadstool cake which sounded delicious.
Thanks goes to the utterly fabulous Gemma Williams for sharing her photographs with us.
THE PROPOSAL | It was quite un-dramatic, but wonderful all the same! We’ve been together 8 years… so I’d almost given up hope! Andrew unexpectedly suggested we went for afternoon tea (which I LOVE to do!) and once we were settled into “Thea Caffea,” a lovely little tea room in Nottingham, he told me that he didn’t want to be without me, got down on one knee (in front of all the grannies drinking their tea!) and asked me to marry him! … I actually thought he was joking at first, as he’s known for being a bit of a prankster, but once I realised it was for real I was over the moon! (Of course, I cried!) Plus, he said he knew I was super fussy so hadn’t picked a ring… but we went straight to my favourite jewellers ‘Berry’s’ to pick one out that afternoon!
THE VISION | By my own admission, I am definitely one to obsess over every detail. I wanted lots of handmade touches – and personal details that people would remember for years to come. I wanted our day to have a relaxed feel but for our guests to be spoilt with the best of everything.
We settled on a “Woodland theme,” as it fitted with both our venue and our lifestyle. We incorporated lots of natural touches (wood slices on tables, handmade wooden signs, our amazing ‘tree’ table plan) as well as using my childhood Sylvanian Families to be the ‘table hosts’ – as we named each table after a different family.
THE PLANNING PROCESS | We ended up setting a date only just over a year after we first got engaged, so there was a lot to do! I have quite a demanding job, so it was really not an easy task… as wedding planning should definitely be a full-time job! (haha) My mum was a wonderful help, assisting many evenings and weekends with my ever increasing list of craft projects! Although I bought every single Wedding Magazine going, the Internet was definitely my biggest planning resource – and I took a lot of inspiration from Blogs and Pinterest.
BUDGET | …We blew it!! I’d rather not admit how much we spent, although I would say that it kept me calmer having a very obsessive spreadsheet where I recorded every detail. If I’d not done this, I would most certainly be questioning how on earth we spent so much – but every little thing adds up and even though we did everything ourselves, having an expensive venue and quality suppliers quickly add up.
THE VENUE | We went to see A LOT of venues up and down the country, but as soon as we walked into Packington Moor, near Lichfield – we both fell in love. I got goosebumps walking down the aisle and we could both see our guests mingling in all the beautiful space they had available. Without a doubt this was the perfect choice for us, being a working farm – it had the rustic charm we were looking for, but the premium catering from Galloping Gourmet and the beautiful converted barns and gorgeous grounds had all the other boxes ticked too!
THE DRESS & ACCESSORIES | My dress was “Oda” by Pronovias, which I got from the lovely Hannah Noble at Noble and Wright Atelier in Leicester. It was the perfect choice for me. It’s almost ‘two in one’ having a more fitted under layer and then a delicate top layer, with intricate lace and sequin detail all over. I accessorised the dress with a soft dove grey sash, as I wanted a bow detail at the back and this added some pretty contrast.
I had ‘Amelia’ shoes by Rachel Simpson, which I bought at their main showroom in Birmingham. They were wonderful in terms of both style and comfort.
I ended up going OTT and ordering a full cathedral length veil – also from Noble and Wright Atelier. I just felt like a princess when it was put on and knew I had to have it to complete the look! The way my dress was as well, you also couldn’t tell where the veil ended and the dress began!
FINDING THE DRESS | It was actually unbelievably easy! I went to the ‘National Wedding Fair’ with my mum, with no intention of buying a dress as I’d only just started looking. I knew I didn’t want anything strapless, as it’s really not my style, so already this rules out a lot of dresses!! My beautiful dress was only the 3rd one I tried on… and I really did have that “this is the one” moment. Of course, it was much more than I intended to spend… but I wouldn’t change it for the world.
GROOM’S ATTIRE | Andrew absolutely loves fashion and dithered endlessly over what to wear!! In the end, he chose a classic single breasted soft grey suit from Reiss, with peak lapels. He wore black Grenson brogues and Paul Smith cufflinks. The waistcoats and cravats were purchased from Formal Tailor.
THE READINGS & MUSIC | Music was a very important part of our day. We had acoustic guitarist, Ben Drummond play as guests arrived, throughout the ceremony and during drinks reception/canapés. In the evening, we had rat pack singer, Mickey Fordola, along with his DJ colleague to help us dance the night away.
Our first dance was to a song called “Then” by country singer ‘Brad Paisley.’ It’s actually my favourite song, but Andrew isn’t a huge fan of country music. It was one of my favourite moments of wedding planning when I had been working away and I got home and he told me “I’ve been listening to the lyrics of ‘Then’ over and over, I think it’s perfect and we should have it for our first dance.’
BEAUTIFUL BRIDESMAIDS | I only had one bridesmaid, my younger sister, Lauren. She wore a beautiful dove grey dress from Coast – which we ended up having to get shipped over from Ireland when we both fell in love and it was the only one left in her size!
THE FLOWERS | My flowers were from Flower Design by Kate in Lichfield. I was so happy with them, they turned out exactly as I’d hoped.
I wanted an informal feel to the flowers, to fit in with our Woodland theme – definitely nothing too ‘groomed’ or polished. We ended up with a beautiful mix of all kinds of flowers… peonies, ocean song roses, sea holly etc… all in a delicate mix of cream, pink and purple.
THE CAKE | My cake was one of my favourite details! Funny…originally, my mum and I thought we would make it ourselves as we’re pretty handy in the kitchen. Thank goodness we didn’t as there was so much to do in the run up to the wedding!
We found the lovely Pam at the Red Cake Company, who totally understood my ‘Woodland theme’ and my desire for a non-traditional wedding cake. We had a 3 tier cake, with the top tier being a bird house and it was decorated with flowers and woodland birds and animals.
Each layer was a different flavour, Dark chocolate cake with velvety white chocolate ganache, Apricot & cardamom cake with vanilla butter cream and apricot preserve and Moist Banana Cake with dark chocolate Buttercream…Yum!
YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER | What can I say? Gemma Williams was our photographer and fantastic in every way!
Picking a photographer was a tough decision and I came across Gemma by browsing on the Wedding Industry Awards website. As soon as I saw Gemma’s style, I knew I had to get in touch as her photography was exactly what we were looking for. We really hate ‘staged’ and formal photography, so Gemma’s relaxed reportage style was perfect for us.
We had an AMAZING engagement shoot with Gemma a couple of months before our wedding – with our beloved dog Charlie! Not that we needed reassuring, but seeing the photos we got from this totally convinced us we’d made the right choice.
On the day, Gemma was more like a friend than a photographer and I felt really relaxed in her company. We had Gemma’s colleague, Clare as a second photographer too – and they both produced some incredible shots for us.
Gemma also did some fun ‘add-ons’ for us, like our Photobooth in the evening… our guests absolutely loved this and it produced some hilarious photos that we are really enjoying looking through now!
THE DETAILS & DÉCOR | I was accused so many times of going over-kill on the detail, but it all came together on the day!!
Aside from the Woodland theme, we also had a colour scheme – which was grey, aqua and pink.
With the help of my mum and auntie, I handmade hundreds of paper flowers – which we used to decorate the archway in the ceremony room, as well as the staircases leading into the main barn. We also made paper pom poms to hang from the chandeliers, which made an amazing impact.
I’m not a huge fan of chair covers, but didn’t want it to look like I had forgotten this detail – so we ordered ribbon in our wedding colours and cut to lengths to thread through each chair. I have to admit I’d seen this idea at a wedding fair, but they were charging a huge amount to do it… and ordering ribbons from eBay I achieved exactly the look I wanted for just under £1 per chair.
We had handmade all of our own Invitations – and made Order of Ceremony and Menu cards to match this. We used a natural style, with brown card and a hand drawn tree design, but added a colour pop by tying ribbon in our wedding colours on the corner of each card.
I really loved our table plan… we drew a huge tree and cut this out of card to stick on a large frame. I then created all the individual tables, with their corresponding Sylvanian picture (!) and finished off with some flowers that we had hand-crotched in our colour scheme.
One of my favourite things was such a small detail (but took so long to make!) and they were the signs we had outside the venue – one was ‘Jax & Andy Wedding’ and the other a famous quote from Winnie the Pooh that I amended with our wedding date. With the help of my step-dad Alan, I made these from old pallets and paint.
I had other signs too, on more basic blackboards – to encourage guests to sign our guest book, help themselves to our sweetie bar, enjoy a drink on us at the bar and to let them know we had sparklers in the courtyard. We also had an ‘Order of the Day’ blackboard, to let guests know exactly what was happening. We also handmade personalised bunting for various locations – ‘Bride’ and ‘Groom’ – ‘Mr & Mrs Cheung’ and ‘Just Married’.
On the tables, I had hessian and lace table runners, that my mum and I spent hours making! The centre pieces were a sanded log slice, with a small lantern and three different jam jars/vases filled with fresh flowers. Then we had a ‘Sylvanian Couple’ from my childhood collection on each table. The table names were simply on laminated card, but we made log holders to slot these into to keep with the theme.
We had ‘Thank you for sharing our first meal as Mr & Mrs Cheung’ tags to tie onto each persons fork and some gorgeous little wooden love hearts that were engraved with our names and the date. Most of our guests commented on these and I know nearly all the ladies left with one in their handbags!! Our favours and place settings were combined – a beautiful handmade chocolate plaque, from boutique chocolatier, Chocolate Utopia in Nottingham, in dark chocolate featuring each guests name.
Finally, since I lost the battle to have our dog, Charlie there on the day – I had one of the photos from our engagement shoot printed onto a canvas and incorporated this onto our guest book table, with lots of cute details, such as his ‘Dog of Honour’ bandana and our ‘Cheung Family’ plaque that I’d given to Andrew the day before.
THE HONEYMOON | Sigh…. I wish I was still there!! Two days after the wedding, we went on an epic 4 week Road Trip in the USA. We hired a Mustang Convertible and saw San Francisco, Yosemite Park, Monterey, Big Sur, Santa Barbara, Santa Monica, Hollywood, Orange County/Anaheim, San Diego and Las Vegas!
We had some of the best experiences of our lives… watching the wild sea lions from our balcony in Monterey, our first baseball game cheering on the San Diego Padres, biking along the beautiful Santa Monica beaches, being congratulated on our marriage by every single person in Disneyland and staying in the absolute best hotel in the Universe – the Ventana Inn and Spa in the Big Sur. (Plus SO MUCH MORE!)
MEMORABLE MOMENTS | Gosh… I just want to re-live the whole day (actually makes me well-up thinking that you can’t have your wedding day again!!) I have two stand-out moments from the day though…
First of all, was walking down the aisle. I’m sure everyone says this, but for me – it was because Andrew is not a very emotional person – and as I walked towards him, I could see he was crying… I didn’t think I would get that reaction, but I wouldn’t change it for the world!!
My second favourite moment was our first dance. We had a choreographed first dance, that we’d been practising hard for weeks (thanks to the amazing Maggie Gillespie at Gillespie Dance School) – I was soooo nervous when it came to it, but once we got into it, it was simply magical. Only my mum knew we had a ‘proper dance’ planned so when we came onto the dancefloor and didn’t do the usual ‘wedding sway,’ all our friends and family were thrilled. After the first nervous few steps, I felt like Andrew and I were the only ones in the room and although it was much harder dancing in my dress than it had been in practice, we still pulled the dance off just as we’d hoped! Andrew picks me up at the end of the dance and at that moment, I felt like we were superstars in a romantic movie!!
ADVICE FOR OTHER COUPLES | Do whatever makes you happy.
CREDIT WHERE CREDIT IS DUE |
Venue | Packington Moor
Dress Shop | Noble and Wright Atelier
Thanks so so much to Jacqueline and Andrew for sharing their beautiful wedding with us here at WWW XOXO Lou