Tropical Gatsby

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Yes it’s actually a thing – or at least Daisy and James have certainly made it a thing. Think super sophisticated fashion and an abundance of feminine white blooms mixed with giant multi-coloured balloons, a unicorn and a giraffe wearing a hat. This is one of the most bonkers weddings style wise we’ve ever featured and I LOVE IT. It’s completely brilliant.

I am in raptures over the bridesmaids co-ordinating navy nail polish and Daisy’s Eastern inspired hand jewellery, it’s all just so achingly cool. Of course it’s not just the decor and details that make a wedding awesome, it’s how much of a good time everyone is having and this bunch are having A REALLY GOOD time. Gutted I wasn’t invited.

You really must take a moment to read about the foody details too – the most amazing menu ever!

A gatsby themed wedding at Aynhoe Park with navy bridesmaids and bright balloons_0138A gatsby themed wedding at Aynhoe Park with navy bridesmaids and bright balloons_0139A gatsby themed wedding at Aynhoe Park with navy bridesmaids and bright balloons_0140A gatsby themed wedding at Aynhoe Park with navy bridesmaids and bright balloons_0141A gatsby themed wedding at Aynhoe Park with navy bridesmaids and bright balloons_0142A gatsby themed wedding at Aynhoe Park with navy bridesmaids and bright balloons_0143A gatsby themed wedding at Aynhoe Park with navy bridesmaids and bright balloons_0144A gatsby themed wedding at Aynhoe Park with navy bridesmaids and bright balloons_0145A gatsby themed wedding at Aynhoe Park with navy bridesmaids and bright balloons_0146A gatsby themed wedding at Aynhoe Park with navy bridesmaids and bright balloons_0147A gatsby themed wedding at Aynhoe Park with navy bridesmaids and bright balloons_0148A gatsby themed wedding at Aynhoe Park with navy bridesmaids and bright balloons_0149

Daisy The Bride: We got married on the five year anniversary of when we meet. It.s also the anniversary of when James’ parents met, when his brother and his long term girlfriend meet and my sister and her husband also meet on the 3rd may. Just the best coincidence and now James has no excuse not to remember our anniversary!

The traditional bridal look wasn’t for me. I wanted fashion led contemporary party dress so Sophia Kokosalaki’s bridal collection was perfect, the one shoulder Grecian made to measure dress had the perfect balance of structural design and wow factor. The heavy jersey draped beautiful on the day and looked very glamorous coming down the aisle. To fit with the Grecian look and my dressed down style I went for simple Balenciaga flat sandals and eastern inspired Fatima’s hand jewellery.

James wanted the perfect fitted made-to-measure suit. He is a big fan of Tom Ford and really wanted to have wide lapels which Sammy Aki (who is a grooms style consultant) said would flatter his body and looks more distinguished in the photos. They decided on a scooped waistcoat so it was less formal and more fashion forward. The lining was a creamy gold, personalised with James’ initials and the wedding date. Accessories wise James had a vintage gold tiepin; a green tie to complement his eyes and his pocket square was chequered blue and green to tie it all together. His shoes were from Mr Hare. Sammy Aki suggests this brand because it’s the shoe maker favoured by trainer lovers and those who like the grown up take on street style.

The moment we saw the house we knew it was the place we would get married. Classic with a wonderful eccentric twist running smack bang through it. There were roaring fireplaces flanked by huge sofas in bold bright colours, not to mention the collection of taxidermy polar bears, giraffes, zebras and cheetahs dressed in hats, goggles and waistcoats. There are also 15 beautiful luxurious guest rooms kitted out with everything you and your guess could need. Sophie who lives at and runs the venue was amazing, super understanding, patient and she felt like an old friend. It’s grounds over look the rolling costwolds hills and it sits in the middle of the beautiful old English village of Aynho. Despite the rural setting its only an hour out of London so guests could fly in and out or simply get a cab back to the city in the evening – the perfect location. When James and I booked Aynhoe we didn’t realise it came with butlers. Raymond, Tim and Charles were our savours that weekend – delivering delicious breakfasts in bed, topping up champagne and dispensing advice. When we drove away late on Sunday afternoon and I saw Raymond waving good bye to James and I, I cried and cried. What an absolutely magical weekend and what a lucky bunch we were.

Tropical Gatsby was the bonkers theme we went for (to match the equally crazy venue!). Each part of the wedding was a fusion of classic along with vibrant youthful fun. Think the best party you will every go to and then times that by ten. We went for all white with the flowers then displayed then in mismatching bold coloured vases and buckets. The balloons made the ceremony room – Bubble Gum Balloons suggested the white balloons and made the neon tails to go with the theme. They came and set them up too so they looked perfect on the day. The cake was designed especially to match the theme – splashes of neon and even flamingos.

We wanted to keep a party feel about the day so while we wanted to tie the wedding party together we didn’t want things too uniform, we went with Navy for the bridesmaids and grooms men in keeping with James three-piece suit. The girls where in classic long dresses from Ghost, but the fitted silhouettes kept them looking sassy and sexy.

We wanted to make the ceremony special for us as well as our friends and family. This is why we asked the amazing talented Chris d’Lima to sing while I walked down the aisle and as James and I left. For my entrance we went for one of my favourite songs “higher Love and James’ ‘this modern love’ as we exited. We hoped this set the mood. My mother read the Art of Marriage; as a way to guide us into our new lives together and James’ brother Chris read an extract from the Amber Spyglass – my favourite book.

James’ friend and client MK was the surprise guest DJ – he is my favourite producer so this was the best wedding day surprise and made me feel like a very lucky bride indeed. Both James and I work in dance music so there was a lot of that as the party really got going – our dj booth came with video walls that had our names dancing across them – it was like our own festival set up. When we weren’t shaking our things to house music we had the great Wild Boys 80’s tribute playing things like “Easy Lover”! Out in the entrance hall we also had a Photo Booth – two copies of each photo were made so that a guestbook with the extra copies were collected as a keepsake for James and I. It was also a great way for our guests to get to know each other!!

We love canapés so we asked the caterers to give us a selection of our favourites and their best ones to keep our guests happily munching away during the champagne reception. There were croquettes, giant prawns, salt and pepper squid in bamboo cones to name but a few. We kept the variation going and each course featured a trio. James’ favourite part was the main which came with a duo of spring lamb and veg – the chop was tender and perfectly cooked. His mum loved the gin cooler which was served in a shot glass with desert. I loved the mini scotch egg made with waygu beef which was accompanied by a gazpaco made from tomatoes from the kitchen Garden. Because we knew the cocktails and champagne would be flowing all night we thought we should make sure there was something to soak it up so we organised for mini bangers & mash, mini fish & chips and organic bacon butties. We saw guys and gals alike wandering around with a raspberry and rhubarb cocktail in one hand and bacon butties in the other.

The speeches were James’s favourite part of the day, his best memory was when my dad said we stood an incredible chance since both sets of parents had been together for 40 plus years. I loved James unintentintional comic timing and the best man, Ash giving out CDs of James’s dj mix circa 2002!

Just like the venue – the moment I meet Faye Cornhill I knew she would be our photographer. Faye had a stand at a wedding fayre and unlike the boring stands around her she stood out! Friendly, vibrant and incredibly kind. James and I are a photographer’s nightmare – camera shy and a little bit moody! I knew that we needed someone like Faye to bring out the best in us and capture all that’s great in the wedding day. She made both of us feel at ease in the day and captured the fun and buzzy atmosphere in her shots. Her photos are the most amazing keepsake of one of the best days of our lives. I’m incredibly grateful.


Faye Cornhill
Venue Aynhoe Park | Gown Sophia Kokosalaki | Bridesmaids Ghost | Grooms Suit Sammy Aki | Florist Sweet Peas Of Great Tew | Balloons Bubblegum Balloons | Cake Choccywoccydoodah | Production Made Up | Band Wild Boys

Author: Charlotte O’Shea
Purveyor of short shorts. Make-up junkie. Hopes to grow old disgracefully.

15 thoughts on “Tropical Gatsby

  1. Erm wow. I mean WOW! So much styling and decor goodness in this morning’s wedding! The aisle is sublime and I’ve always loved Aynhoe Park as a venue so it’s a winner in my book!

  2. This was such a pleasure to photograph – Daisy and James are the nicest people and their natural style and incredible vision wowed everyone. Literally gasps of amazement from their guests!

  3. Wow – what a gorgeous wedding! Whoever said balloons at weddings were tacky didn’t see this one! Is that fantastic cake from Choccywoccydoodah? I love the flamingos! As for the bride – what a gorgeous lady! Emma xx

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