A Peony Party.

Aneta Mak Photography

Danielle and James’ wedding is like a peony party… There are hundreds of them and they look stunning.

You might recognise Danielle and James from when we featured their engagement shoot last year (think windy beach and sky high red Louboutins. Is it coming back to you?)

We were in love with her style then and we are even more in love with her wedding day choices. Danielle’s dress is SO gorgeous. And there are more Loboutins. Well, a girl can never have too many right?

Anyway, I suppose you want to have a look at this don’t you? Well, don’t let me keep you…scroll away my lovelies.

A peony party

An Absolute Joy

Danielle The Bride: The whole wedding process was an absolute joy for me; I enjoyed every aspect of putting together the day and all the little touches that made it personal to us. Whilst we had a decent budget, it wasn’t never ending and there were still certain things I knew I MUST have that it just wouldn’t stretch to. So the famous Danielle line ‘I can make that myself!’ came out many, many, many (and perhaps a few more!) times.

The wedding really started the day before with a ‘den’ full of white peonies which we had bought from the local wholesaler and me, James and various family members sat there for a good few hours cutting leaves off and putting them into vases (collected from various car boots over the past 18 months) – I think we had over 200 stems so it was quite a challenge. I continued with the bouquets, buttonholes and table vases all day!

A peony party

Couldn’t Imagine Anywhere Else

We got married at the exquisite Hengrave Hall near Bury St Edmunds, simply because once I had seen it I couldn’t imagine I would get married anywhere else; my parents came to the rescue and I can’t thank them enough for that. They also have a church on site, which meant I could also have a Catholic wedding service.

Finally, after all the planning and making, the gloriously sunny day arrived. I was banished to the back of the house so I didn’t see James, as he and his bridesknights loaded the cars with the masses of vases, homemade signs, dresses, goody bags for those who stayed the night and my pride and joy, our wedding cake that I made. It felt nice after all that planning and making to actually sit back and let someone else take charge to be honest. They also put everything out when we got there (with very clear instructions from me) leaving me to just put up a few candles and vases in the church and to get ready.

A peony party

Totally Calm

Getting pampered in the bridal suite was absolutely amazing. My friend Zoe did my hair in the exact way we had planned, my makeup was done by Wioletta Kierach who was just starting her own business and my beautiful bridesmaids, Laura and Kayleigh, were my eyes and ears, to check everything was going well with preparation downstairs. My Mum’s main job was to keep me calm and get me into my dress!

My dress itself was a massive challenge. When I saw Rosa Clara my heart was set and nothing else quite matched, the one problem being, these dresses are extremely hard to get hold of in the UK. After a bit of fortune and some free tickets to Paris, my Mum and I ended up buying the Enigma from their Paris shop! And of course, while in Paris, we might as well get some Christian Louboutin’s to go with it – my something blue.

I was actually, for once in my life, totally calm – until I realised there was only 15 minutes to go and my Mum (who had now left for the church) and I had forgotten to put my bolero on and tie the ribbon around my dress! I never did get that ribbon on…which is probably my only miniscule regret of the day.

A peony party

Perfectly Composed

Standing outside the church and walking down the aisle were definitely the most nerve-wrecking moments for me, although with my Dad’s jokes and seeing James beaming, looking perfectly composed, at the altar meant I was definitely at ease once I’d reached the end (about 4 steps away!).

A peony party


Aneta Mak was our wedding photographer. She also did our engagement shoot and we had Will and Caroline of Cinereportage film the day in beautiful, grainy super 8. Both were amazing. I can’t recommend them enough and they really listened when I said I wanted them to be as unobtrusive as possible.

A peony party

Sto Lat

After the drinks reception, which was accompanied by the operatic tunes of Richard Reaville and a few garden games on the West Terrace, we had a sit down meal in the Long Gallery. We made escort cards and hung them on the trees in the gardens for people to find, setup a photo booth, put out our travelling photo albums for people to browse through and made little games of items to find for the children.

I am half Polish so we had little touches of the culture throughout the day, the most memorable being the shot (which turned into quite a number) of Polish vodka (which we had brought back from a holiday the year before) before the meal. My Mum made a small speech and we sung a Polish song ‘Sto Lat!’ (which literally translates to ‘100 years’) at full pelt (twice). Needless to say this and the vodka definitely seemed to put everyone at ease and the staff at Hengrave Hall kindly left the vodka out for people to enjoy after the meal. We also spent a year collecting books as favours for our guests, each one was something related to them and we had a £1 budget per book so we spent at lot of time at car boot sales, we then made place cards out of bookmarks with ‘why we chose this book for you’ on it to make it truly personal.

A peony party

Speeches On The Lawn

We knew we did not want the speeches at the table, so were praying for the weather we got. It was absolutely amazing to be able to sit out on the lawn, totally relaxed in the balmy June air listening to James, my Dad and Adam share experiences and re-live old memories.

Our first dance ended up actually being in the chapel and it was just me and James, with Aneta, Caroline and Will up on the balcony working their magic to record the moment. These are some of the best images from the day in my opinion, so I’m so glad we did it. We ended the night with music from Cupid’s Wish and a good time was had by all, until the copious amounts of vodka got a little bit too much for some people, and I will leave it there…

A peony party

Click here & view all images from this wedding

Venue – Hengrave Hall
Dress – Rosa Clara
Videographer – Cinereportage
Photographer – Aneta Mak

Pretty swish or what? I think Danielle and James picked the perfect photographer to capture their day. Aneta’s style of photography tells their story perfectly.

Please make sure you check out the gallery to see more portrait shots. The images shot on film have captured such drama and such romance.

Are any of you having your days shot with film? Is this a medium you have even considered? It really does provide some spectacular results.

Congratulations to you both on a super stylish, beautifully white on white, happy day.


P.s. Speeches in the gardens…Epic.

Author: Becky Sappor
Becky is at her happiest when dunking a slightly chilled chocolate digestive into a very warm, very milky cup of tea. She also loves her job and pinches herself every day to make sure that she isn’t in a graphic design dreamworld.

12 thoughts on “A Peony Party.

  1. Book favours, with why I chose this book for you…..IMMENSE.

    And yes, what a gown. I went into the gallery to get a better look at it, but when I clicked off the picture realised I hadn’t actually looked at the dress – only at Danielle’s hugely smiling face! Of course it’s the bride that makes the dress awesome and not vice versa. 🙂

  2. What a gorgeous wedding!
    The last few shots of them dancing are just divine!!!!

    Oh & the book favours……amazing! What a lovely thoughtful idea 🙂

  3. Where did she get her cover up from? I am really struggling to find one which is like a top with sleeves as opposed to a jacket or shrug.

  4. Utterly gorgeous day! I hope I can can capture some of the elegance of the day for my own.

    Speeches in the garden! Great plan, do you think I can get the weather next April in the Scottish highlands to copy that idea??

  5. I absolutely love your book idea I was thinking about books as favors as well but this is such a better idea!. May I ask what written on the cover – the “Were Married!” part, I would love to do this!

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