Why hello there glitzy bridal frockage with the most glorious back detailing. Amanda chose to say her vows to hubby Jess in the glorious Jenny Packham gown 'Noa' at the equally amazing venue Wick Farm near Bath. Their day looked glorious, filled to the brim with bubbles and florals and witty banter (check out their wedding favours for the latter!) I adore the fact that Amanda who is a designer, actually created her bridesmaids' dresses and their headpieces too! Don't they look beautiful in lilac with their trailing ribbons. I can't not mention the awesome newspapers that the pair had made for their guests too: I'll leave her to tell you more about this... Lastly isn't Amanda's smile just beautiful; just a wonderful beaming bride. We like those very much indeed.
Amanda The Bride: The best weddings we have ever been to were destination weddings, so we knew we didn’t want to get married too close to London. We decided on Somerset as it's somewhere that holds a special place in our hearts, as we visit Bath regularly to see my brother and his family so it seemed a fitting choice. We knew we wanted a relaxed venue which had a outside and inside space which didn’t have too many rooms so it would feel intimate with our 100 guests. And exclusivity was also important to us and Wick Farm seemed to tick all of these boxes! (plus when they said it was corkage free for Sunday weddings we were sold!)
The Morning PrepI stayed at Babington House the night before our wedding with my maid of honor and on the night of the wedding with Jess. It was only a 20 minute drive to Wick Farm, so was the perfect choice. The staff at Babington were amazing. I can’t thank them enough for all that they did. I had the amazing and very talented Nikki from Beauty Call create my relaxed tousled hair, and do my makeup. I found her by pure luck when I had a hair trial with a different hairdresser who then recommended her. She understood exactly what I wanted, as I didn’t want to look different to how I do on a daily basis. Nikki did my hair and makeup and put my bridesmaids hair up. I made the bridesmaids flower crowns to match their dresses. I bought faux flowers, florist tape and wire from hobbycraft and created them one evening while watching tv. The materials for four hair garlands probably cost me £12. Plus I got to match the flowers exactly to their dresses.
The DressI actually bought a different dress at first from a local bridal boutique in Tring, Hertfordshire. It was from the first bridal shop I had stepped foot in, and I had taken three of my bridesmaids with me. However, within six weeks of purchasing, I decided it wasn’t THE dress and I had to let my deposit go. I realised when one of my friends asked me what it was like to find my dream dress, And I didn’t feel it was, it was just a nice frock so that was the end of that. Looking back, I think because we booked the wedding in February, and knowing that we had six months to plan the whole wedding from start to finish I wanted to tick something off my list. I then did a LOT of internet research as I didn’t trust myself to try on any more dresses without buying one, and that’s when I came across the Jenny Packham website. I have been a HUGE fan of Jenny Packham for years. Being a fashion designer myself, I admire the workmanship which goes into all the heavy embellished gowns and I knew instantly (as corny as that sounds), that I wanted to be a Jenny Packham bride. So I booked an appointment at the Mayfair branch, and took a friend and tried on almost every dress in the range. I have to say the staff were amazing, incredibly patient and made me feel like a goddess. They then gave me the SS16 bridal lookbook to look over and I saw the Noa gown. I knew instantly from the minute I put it on and walked outside (they have this beautiful outside space out the back), that when I saw the jewels catching the light in the mirror I cried it was so beautiful. I never thought I would have a backless dress since I have massive boobs, as it’s never been a look I thought I could carry off, but the way the dress is tailored with wired cups inside, I felt completely secure. I felt like Cate Blanchett's elfin character in lord of the rings, it was heavenly wafty and angelic, but still had a rock and roll edge to it with the heavy embellishment. I knew Jess was never expecting to see me in something super traditional, but it still surprised him. As soon as I got to the end of the aisle Jess said it was like nothing he had ever seen before and asked if it was vintage. I’m also not normally a blingy girl, as I usually go for the minimal paired back look, but they say you go for something completely different and I certainly did. The shoes were Jimmy Choo’s ‘Louise’ in silver. I actually bought them before I bought the dress, as I knew I didn’t want a ‘bridal’ satin shoe and I wanted something I could rock with a pair of skinny jeans on a night out afterwards. A month before the wedding I decided that this ‘non blingy girl’ needed more bling, and I decided I wanted to wear something from Myra Callan’s ‘Twigs and Honey’ range, so I ordered the 545 in silver to wear later in the day after my veil came off. I borrowed my nan's diamond stud earrings as my something old and borrowed. At this stage, I felt I definitely had enough bling on my dress and head to warrant not wearing anymore!
The Bridesmaid DressesI had originally wanted mix and match dresses for my maids, but my buyer at work reminded me that I had designed a bridesmaid collection for Tesco. I decided on the lilac multi way dresses from my range; it was nice to have the girls wear something I had designed.
The Grooms FashionJess is unfazed by high end designer brands and chose a modestly priced three piece suit from Topman. He knew he wanted to subtly stand out amongst his six ushers, so he chose a charcoal tweed herringbone design. His Shirt was from TM Lewin, the tie and pocket squares were from Topman, and his black brogues from Jones. The ushers wore grey three piece suits from ASOS with the same Topman tie and pocket square as Jess.
The FlowersI found Claire Spiller while doing a # search on Instagram, looking for #Bathflorists and Garden and wild came up. I was drawn to her organic, unpolished, loose hand tied bouquets and her use of seasonal flowers which are part grown in her garden and part bought from flower markets. We met for a cuppa in her rented barn where she works from, and it went from there. Claire did all our flowers, including supplying the ones for the cake as well which she added wire so our cake maker could add them on in the morning. I wanted loose silk ribbons for mine and the bridesmaids bouquets and Claire recommended Kate Cullen to create bespoke silk ribbons in a mixture of lilacs and greys to compliment the bridesmaid dresses. I wanted that look of silk ribbons flowing in the wind and they were exactly how I envisaged. All raw edge, bias cut and hand painted so they still had that opaque look. And bearing in mind Kate never saw my bridesmaid dresses in the flesh she did an amazing job based on one telephone conversation.
The PhotographerI have known Sam for a few years, and have always loved his reportage style photography. We were extremely lucky to get Sam as he was booked for almost every Friday and Saturday throughout the summer and it just so happened that we were getting married on a Sunday so he was available to do it! And we couldn’t be happier, Sam captured our day perfectly. Amongst the 1,000 plus photos he took, there wasn’t a bad photo within there. He should be called ‘not one shit shot sam’. Sam also provided a 2nd shooter in Matt Willis who was equally brilliant. It meant we both got to have our getting ready moment documented since we were at separate hotels.
The EntertainmentDuring the day we had live music by The Mighty Peas, and in the evening we had a local DJ who let friends have a dabble at DJ-ing which made our night even more personal. We also hired a photobooth from Funstasia Entertainment which was popular with the children and adults.
VideographerA friend said to me that the best money spent would be on a videographer, and it turned out she was right. We were lucky to have Tom Dawson do ours, and we were delighted by the results.
Food and DrinkWe wanted to add a little glamour to our relaxed farm wedding, so after the ceremony (and after the plane throwing), we poured our champagne tower which Wick Farm set up. We supplied the glasses and the champagne. As we got married on a Sunday, Wick Farm offered us a corkage free rate, so we fully took advantage of it and supplied A LOT of red and white wine, champagne and prosecco, so that none of our guests had to go without an empty glass. We opted for antipasti to start, which was served on a curved wooden platter around the table. The mains were Spice Rubbed Chicken with a Hickory Smoked Sauce and Pan Fried Pollock with Tiger Prawns & vierge sauce for the veggies. And for desert Jess wanted to something light, and chose a selection of summer fruits with cream. All of this was provided by Strawberry Field Catering.
The CakeMy sister in law works with someone who makes cakes on the side, so after sending over some pinterest ideas, Jo said she was happy to create exactly what we wanted. We chose a four tier lemon sponge cake with buttercream icing and decorated with fresh flowers provided by Garden and Wild. Jo also made us some heart shaped short bread biscuits with our names stamped on them.
The DécorMy clever cousin decorated the barn beams with faux ivy and fairy lights, and the flowers were supplied by garden and wild. We placed pillar candles around the mantle which we kept burning from day to night. I bought gold sequin fabric and made the table cloths myself for the gift/ photo table. We provided a box of cigars for the lads (and ladies) which were a huge hit! After the ceremony we walked through the floral archway to our friends and family throwing paper planes above our heads which seemed to work well with the adults and children. At the end of the night we had sparkler send off.
FavoursWe gave the adults miniature bottles of alcoholic drinks, with a little tag stamped with a drink inspired catchphrase (we tried to buy everyone their favourite tipple). The children got felt face masks and a colouring pack and we provided flip flops for the ladies in the evening to encourage plenty of dancing.
StationeryI created all of the wedding stationery myself, including the seating plan. It’s amazing what you can whip up on photoshop when you put your mind to it. I designed a six page newspaper for our order of service and had it printed by the newspaperclub. It worked out about a £1 per newspaper, but they were well worth it. They were definitely a talking point of the day, including a bride/groom quiz, order of the day, the bridal party (with photos) and explanation of the table plan (we chose numbers which meant something to us over our 8 year relationship), and three pages of hen and stag do pics which went down a treat.
Bridal Gown: Noa by Jenny Packham | Headpiece: Twigs & Honey | Venue: Wick Farm | Florist: Garden & Wild | Groom's Suit: Topman | Ushers: ASOS | Bespoke Newspaper: Newspaper Club | Catering: Strawberry Field Catering | Videography: Tom Dawson Visuals | Photo Booth: Funtasia Entertainment | Band: The Mighty Peas | Silk Ribbons: Kate Cullen | Bridesmaid Dresses: F&F at Tesco | Makeup: Beauty Call | Shoes: Louise by Jimmy Choo