A Vintage Tea Party At Valentines Mansion

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Valentines Mansion… That just might be the perfect place to get married. And if you grew up just across the road from such an appropriately named venue then it must feel like a dream come true for it to become the backdrop for your perfect day… Welcome to the wedding of Sue and Harry…

An English country garden tea party wedding with vintage touches at Valentines Mansion. Rachael Simpson shoes and photographs by Rik Pennington_0001An English country garden tea party wedding with vintage touches at Valentines Mansion. Rachael Simpson shoes and photographs by Rik Pennington_0002An English country garden tea party wedding with vintage touches at Valentines Mansion. Rachael Simpson shoes and photographs by Rik Pennington_0003An English country garden tea party wedding with vintage touches at Valentines Mansion. Rachael Simpson shoes and photographs by Rik Pennington_0004An English country garden tea party wedding with vintage touches at Valentines Mansion. Rachael Simpson shoes and photographs by Rik Pennington_0005An English country garden tea party wedding with vintage touches at Valentines Mansion. Rachael Simpson shoes and photographs by Rik Pennington_0006An English country garden tea party wedding with vintage touches at Valentines Mansion. Rachael Simpson shoes and photographs by Rik Pennington_0007An English country garden tea party wedding with vintage touches at Valentines Mansion. Rachael Simpson shoes and photographs by Rik Pennington_0008An English country garden tea party wedding with vintage touches at Valentines Mansion. Rachael Simpson shoes and photographs by Rik Pennington_0009An English country garden tea party wedding with vintage touches at Valentines Mansion. Rachael Simpson shoes and photographs by Rik Pennington_0010An English country garden tea party wedding with vintage touches at Valentines Mansion. Rachael Simpson shoes and photographs by Rik Pennington_0011An English country garden tea party wedding with vintage touches at Valentines Mansion. Rachael Simpson shoes and photographs by Rik Pennington_0012An English country garden tea party wedding with vintage touches at Valentines Mansion. Rachael Simpson shoes and photographs by Rik Pennington_0013An English country garden tea party wedding with vintage touches at Valentines Mansion. Rachael Simpson shoes and photographs by Rik Pennington_0014

Sue The Bride:We wanted a day which was very personal to use. Everything we chose had a very personal reason behind it, the date, the venue, the food and the flowers. As every detail meant so much to us it made the day perfect. We chose Valentines Mansion, set in Valentines park in Essex as I had grown up playing in the park (my parents live across the road) and we fell in love with the recently restored Mansion for it’s understated elegance and beautiful gardens.

It was very important to look like me on the day, the best version of me! I asked Connie to keep make up simple so everyone was comfortable about how they looked. Rachel did an amazing job with everyone’s hair, again keeping things simple and natural. I love vintage style so chose a tea length dress, very 1950’s! The dress was comfortable and was easy to wear, I fell in love with it as soon as I saw it! I wore shoes from Rachel Simpson, called Hettie. They were beautifully vintage with sparkles and pearls to match my dress and accessories. I accessorised with my Nan’s pearl necklace and engagement ring. It was very important to me to wear them on the day. The hairclip I had made myself, I didn’t want to fuss about with a veil!

I asked the bridesmaids to choose their own dresses. and somehow they both chose the same colour dress, albeit in different styles, much better than I could have done myself! They looked beautiful. They wore hairclips they had made at my Hen Party! The Bridal Party consisted of two bridesmaids (my sister-in-law Jo and my best friend Lorna), my niece Jessica and my nephew Jason with Boris the frog* as ring bearer. We all got ready at my house, along with my Dad, my Mum and my brother Dave. They were all stars on the day and made me cups of tea on demand… although Jessica ate my toast! The Groomsmen consisted of James as bestman (he had introduced Harry and I), with Martin and Raj as ushers All the men wore grey suits with spotty ties in varying colours. Harry wore a tweed jacket and fawn coloured trousers… very lord of the manor!

The bridal party flowers were hand-made by Princess Lasertron and shipped over from the US. I didn’t like the idea of watching an important part of my day wither and die so opted for something I could keep forever. I am also a BIG fan of buttons so I got to have something very personal which suited my taste perfectly. I could only get a brooch bouquet made in the UK and as these have been so popular recently I wanted something a bit different… I think I found it! The table decorations were created by Sam at The Vintage Bee using succulents. They were planted in a mixture of jugs and pots from varying friends houses! She understood that I didn’t want cut flowers and created the beautiful displays which looked amazing. They are now growing very happily in my garden as a constant reminder to our big day.

We stole the band from another friends wedding, they were that good! Matt Strafford Duo know how to get a room up and dancing! They sang our first dance song ‘Stand by Me’ originally by Ben E King. We decided to make the most of the grounds by bringing garden games. Giant Jenga was very popular and the egg and spoon races got very competitive! We used a company called Feast as our caterers and they did us proud! They listened to what we wanted and understood the reason for our choices. They also sourced the mis-matched tableware which I so desperately wanted!

  • Canapes after the wedding – mini scotch eggs and welsh rarebit
  • Wedding Breakfast – Afternoon tea with bubbles
  • Evening canapes – Hot dogs, burgers and fish & chips

My mum made my wedding cake. It was a fruit cake decorated with buttons and Sylvanian Families wedding bunnies which my brother had picked for me. Harry wanted a cheese cake to go with it too! As wedding favoors we used mini jars of Tiptree Jam (a good Essex company!) Strawberry and Champagne flavour. All the stationary on the day I made myself, with the help of some very patient friends and a lot of spray mount! All the Orders of Service, Menu’s, Table Numbers and name tags had buttons on them and were backed with maps. Harry loves maps and I love buttons so it made sense! They also tied in with the jam jar candle holders which were dotted about the place with either maps or pages from books in, I made these as well with the help of Harry!

If I could offer some advice it would be that the only thing that matters is that you get married. Have fun and feel loved. Every person there on the day is there to see you start your journey. Think of it as a party rather than The Wedding. I found organising a party a lot less worrying than a wedding!
So much of my day makes me smile. I can’t thank everyone involved in the day enough, we are so lucky to have such loving families and wonderful friends.


Rik Pennington Photography
Venue Valentines Mansion | Catering Feast Food | Bouquets Princess Lasertron | Band Matt Stafford Duo | Florist The Vintage Bee | Shoes Rachel Simpson | Makeup Shadow and Lashes | Hair Rachel Williamson Hair and Make up | Wedding Favours Tiptree Jam

*Boris the (fairweather) Frog has been a big part of all adventures in our lives and usually ensures good weather, so it seemed only right that he be part of the day too.

Author: Adam Crohill
Adam likes Pina Coladas and getting caught in the rain.

6 thoughts on “A Vintage Tea Party At Valentines Mansion

  1. How super cute is this wedding?!! Really unique carrying the buttons through from the bouquet to the hair etc. Sue’s dress is really lovely too, totally suits the styling of the wedding x

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