You just know that when an interior designer gets hitched, things are going to get so very stylish. WWW readers Jessica and Jason’s sumptuous nuptials will leave you all aflutter, I promise, with their floral filled, loving and relaxed wedding day held on the 18th May 2018 at Gaynes Park in Essex. A welcoming and warm vibe was high on their priorities and they had a super entertaining day planned for their guests. What with a live band provided by WWW faves Tailored Entertainment, a glitter make up station for glitter fun and pass the parcel to name a few. What fun!
Onto the decorations and I just love the chic dove grey colour palette, which was also complimentary to the pastel pink and cream blooms used throughout. The reception room looked especially spectacular complete with disco ball, hanging drapes and tall flower centrepieces. The signage too was simple yet elegant and the tall modern cake sounded just scrumptious.
All of the beautiful moments, super stylish attire and stunning couple portraits were shot by the wonderful Three Flowers Photography. We are so thankful to Charlotte today for sharing them with us, enjoy it all folks.
Jason planned a surprise holiday to Positano on the Amalfi coast, on the second day he hired a yacht and after an hour of sailing around the coast he proposed. We then spent the day swimming in the caves and ended it with a dinner on a private beach cove over looking the sea.
Modern classic – being an interior designer the venue and styling were super important to me, where as my husband was unsurprisingly more interested in the band and food. I knew that once I had the venue locked down, this would sway the style for the rest of the wedding. I just knew that I wanted the day to be classic and beautiful.
The Planning Process
My husband and I were engaged for a year prior to the wedding, having started a new job the week before our engagement and being quite naive to the whole process it took me 3 months to even think about opening a wedding magazine. I was also conscious that we wouldn’t get this post engagement time back so wanted to soak everything up celebrating. I initially thought that a year was plenty of time to plan a wedding, until I started to view venues and was laughed out of the door if I wanted to book a summer Saturday in the next 2 years. Knowing that we didn’t want to spend 2 years of our life planning our wedding, we opted for alternative venues and Friday bookings which was a blessing in disguise (hello beautiful weather, missing clashing with the royal wedding and an extra day to cure everyone’s hangovers). I collated all of my research, expenditures, to do lists etc into a spreadsheet and this became my bible for the coming year.
My sister’s friend has her own florist business at really competitive prices and is utterly gifted in turning a vague unsure idea in your head into something out of your wildest dreams. As the wedding style was simplistic I wanted a lot of the colours and detail to come through the flowers and foliage. I went for a wilder, looser style of mainly whites, green foliage and a few blushes to keep in with the relaxed setting.
The Details & Décor
The venue is swamped in beautiful grounds with flowers all around which I really wanted to focus on, we put petals down the aisle, bunches of flowers on the chair ends, 2 x large wild urns at the front of the orangery sitting on plinths draped in grey chiffon fabric which were the main focus. The barn where we had the wedding breakfast has a really tall peaked ceiling so I chose large table centrepieces to fill the space and draw the eye up to the centre where I hired a massive disco ball enveloped in white drapes that wrapped around the original beams. This made the space feel cool but intimate. I then placed a couple of bud vases at the base of each vase. For the table numbers I bought some cheap brass metal photo frames and wrote each number on the glass, my florist then squashed dried flowers such as lavender in each one. I wanted to pull the grey theme through in to the wedding breakfast so decided to make my own washed linen napkins as buying or hiring them was so expensive. I tied velvet grey ribbon around each one and attached velum name tags, stuck a flower in it and that was that. For our wedding favours we made home-made Cosmopolitan shots with pomegranate seeds in. For the wedding breakfast entertainment we didn’t want to spend much money as we had a band in the evening so I created our own version of pass the parcel (I know It sounds lame) but it actually turned out great and would really recommend it, we had notes on each layer that read things like ‘pass to the person that likes Jess and Jason the most’ winning a framed photo of us or ‘pass to the person who you would most want to be stranded on a desert island with’ winning a Hula lei necklace which everyone wore for the night, plus it got people talking on the table.
For the evening food we hired a pizza oven providing freshly made stone baked pizzas which I’m told were amazing (I was too busy on the dancefloor), served alongside a popcorn machine, vintage barrels full of beers and mini bottles of prosecco and a donut wall which went down a storm. Make up artists Glitter Dolls arrived at 9pm to throw Glitter on everyone’s faces, OJ’s soulband played disco songs for an hour including our first dance. We also hired a photobooth complete with inbuilt beauty light and props.
We had a 4 tier white Italian meringue buttercream cake made of 2 different flavours; 2 white chocolate and raspberry tiers and 2 strawberry and champagne decorated with real flowers. Both had whole pieces of fruit in and were absolutely out of this world crazy delicious. The inside of the cake was ombre pink from bottom to top because why not? I found the supplier Spooned Ldn via her Instagram account as she does really cool artistic designs.
We were mainly paying for the wedding ourselves so after doing the maths felt that a £30k budget is what we could afford to save in the timescale. We then created a list of extras which we would absolutely love to include in the wedding if we had any money left over nearer the date. In the end with the extras the budget went up to £50k which terrifies me to write.
Beauty & Grooming
As my dress had a lot of beading detail on the shoulders and back necklace I wanted to have my hair up, I tried a few classic styles but didn’t feel like myself in them, you have enough to think about on your wedding day, I just wanted to feel comfortable. We went with a more risky high messy bun as 6/7days a week this is how you will find my hair and I absolutely loved it, Emma Dallimore did a fantastic job. I grew my hair in the run up to the wedding so that I had as much to play with when it came to the day, my hair is long but quite fine so I also opted to have balayage closer to the date to add texture and depth. For my make up I went for a heavier look with a brown smoky eye and nude pinky lips. Jason went to his normal hair dressers on the morning of the wedding and had his hair styled.
Your Outfits & Accessories
My dress was by Pronovias, I had heard a little about the brand prior to looking at dresses and knew that it suited my style for the wedding so used this as a starting point. I scoured their website to begin with, which is great as you can see all of their current seasons styles (most importantly including prices), so I searched for stockists and it just so happened that the bridal shop at the end of my road were the only stockists in Essex. A small quaint wedding shop which has been running since I can remember, having lived in Brentwood since birth it seemed like a familiar and great place to start my search for the perfect dress. I hadn’t researched styles to much before my first appointment which I think actually helped me find the dress as I didn’t have any predispositions or what ifs, the shop assistant was fantastic and picked out the third dress I tried on which turned out to be the one.
Shoes – Kurt Geiger, at 5ft 1 I was adamant to have as much height as I could bare, these were so comfortable I didn’t even need to swap into my back up shoes!
Veil – Cathedral length veil with piping from Matchmaker Bridal.
Earrings – tear drop crystal earrings from Liberty in Love.
I also wore my nan’s eternity ring which was my something borrowed on the day.
Jason wore a dark navy Reiss suit, we opted for Reiss as this is where he normally shops, the suits were surprisingly affordable in comparison to other popular brands and were great quality and style. Jason then wore a TM Lewin double cuffed white shirt, grey Reiss waistcoat, Russel and Bromley black loafers, TM Lewin blue and white polka dot tie, TM Lewin pearl cufflinks and his late grandad’s silver tie pin.
We knew that we wanted to get married close to our home which would mean either a city or country wedding, loving the craziness of London but the beauty of Essex, we looked at venues in both until we decided on Gaynes Park, Epping. This venue is absolutely breath taking from initial drive up through the fields of sheep, on to the beautiful orangery, barns and Victorian walled gardens overlooking the London skyline. We chose this venue in particular as it is easy to reach for all of our guests being on the central line and M25, it means the ceremony and evening reception can be in one place, because of how stunningly beautiful it is and that the venue has hosting weddings down to a T, as little stress as possible! You are provided with an events coordinator upon booking whom will be with you on the day so it was great to know that both myself and family could relax and enjoy on the day which took the pressure off.
The Readings & Music
We had a civil ceremony in the orangery on site and wanted it to feel relaxed and intimate, we had 2 readings given by our close friend and my cousin. Both mashed up segments from their favourite poems and articles along with their own words which made the whole thing really unique and personal. We hired string trio The Dotted Crotchets to play the ceremony and drinks reception, after reading about them on a Facebook group I am so glad we booked them and I cannot recommend enough, hip hop songs played on strings what more could you want? They played 5 songs for the ceremony, including a slowed down version of you’ve got the love by Florence Welch which I walked down the aisle to. The sound of the violins reverberating through the orangery is something that I will never forget.
Finding the bridesmaids dresses proved to be the hardest task in the whole wedding planning process. I struggled with choosing a colour theme, I read a great article which suggested looking at your own wardrobe as these are obviously your favourite colours and with a wardrobe that is 95% black, white and grey I’m not the biggest fan of colour. I went with my gut and decided to have dove grey as the staple theme for the wedding. Eventually after 30+ ASOS orders, endless hours and many more high street brands my sister in law pointed me in the direction of the brand Jarlo and suddenly everything clicked in to place. I could have ordered any of their dresses and they would have worked out great, but we went for Draya which is a Bardot style tight fitting dress with a small train, classic but glamorous.
We had 2 best men and 2 ushers consisting our brothers and Jason’s best friends. The groomsmen wore dark navy 3 piece Reiss suits, TM Lewin shirts, ties and cufflinks and their own black shoes.
The photographer was the first job that I tackled for the wedding after finding her on a blog post about a wedding that she had shot I knew that we had to book her. Charlotte specialises in informal and unobtrusive documentary style photography and was barely visible for the whole day, which worked out great for 2 camera shy people like us, she got some amazing natural shots and made us feel completely and utterly at ease all day.
We spent a while researching different videographers as there are so many good ones out there with different styles, we opted for Philip Smith Visuals based in Essex as he had previously filmed a wedding at the venue and got some really beautiful shots which were identical to what we had envisioned. Phil is so lovely as well that he made us feel super relaxed and at ease not only on the day but through our communication in the lead up, shooting on a DSLR camera rather than a massive hunk of equipment meant that he got some really natural shots of lots of guests talking and laughing and captured moments which we would have missed out on. View here.
Jason was in charge of the honeymoon, the initial discussion involved staying in 1 place for 2 weeks so that we could relax, enjoy and have as little stress as possible, flash forward 8 months to us spending 2 weeks travelling around Bali and Lombok between 7 different hotels, multiply ferry rides, taxis, coaches, planes but I wouldn’t change it for the world. It was completely us and transported us right back to being 18 and travelling around South East Asia, albeit without the cockroach infested hostels and slightly cleaner clothes.
My most memorable moments apart from the ceremony were:
The string trio playing Dr Dre – forgot about Dre outside in the sunshine sipping cocktails after the ceremony was brilliant.
Glitter Dolls – Glitter faces, glitter beards, glitter bald heads you name it, it happened.
Speeches – these were so heartfelt and lovely it really was a moment to treasure. You will have another chance to eat, drink, dance etc but this is a once in a lifetime experience which was very special to me.
Dancing – not only to the amazing band who got everyone up on the dance floor but also to the garage hour at the end of the night, our favourite music growing up and everyone loved it.
Advice For Other Couples
Breathe. The wedding and lead up can be a crazy time tackling one task after another. It is easy to get caught up in the decision making and practicality and forget about the fact that this is your one chance to do it! Book the day off work, invite all of your friends, have a prosecco filled lunch after an appointment. String it out as much as possible!
Do your research, make a decision and move on. I spent too much time mulling over the same thing which just left me feeling confused and hazy, put a time cap on how long you are going to think over something and then move forward. Remember that in that moment you made the best decision with all of the facts and advice that you had available to you.
Don’t be afraid to make things – even if they seem excessive there are some really good resale websites out there for your unneeded wedding bits and I managed to get a good 50% back on what I paid in materials. Plus.
Don’t feel that you need to stick to traditional timings and day orders do whatever suits you, we pushed our first dance back until 9.15pm in order for it to be dark (what use is there hiring a disco ball if you can’t be all glittery for your first dance?) which concerned a few people but it all worked out great and the photos came out amazing!
Trust your gut – don’t always go for the easy way, the unique things are always the most difficult as they are normally new to all, but this is what will make your wedding unique and personable to you! What may seem like unneeded stress and organisation at the time will be well worth it on the day.
If you are unsure whether you should invite someone or not, my advice would be just to invite them, even if it is just to please your mum. There is so much going on during the day you really don’t get to spend much time with everyone anyway, and it just means a few extra people to help you both celebrate.
Credit Where Credit Is Due
Three Flowers Photography
The Workroom Florist
Philip Smith Visuals
The Dotted Crotchets
Little Big Things Essex
King of the Booth
Goodness me, what a stunning day.
Jessica and Jason, you both looked so gorgeous and totally in love. Thank you for sharing your story with us here today xo Lou