"Our florist Jay Archer is just an absolute female boss!" Never before has a truer word been spoken, she has literally created floral genius at Amy & Darren's outdoor ceremony at Whalton Manor in Northumberland. The use of brambles and dramatic crimson flowers and foliage in the floral arch framing the couples nuptials is nothing short or spectacular. All captured beautifully be Andy Turner Photography, as well as all the emotion. It looks like there wasn't a dry eye in the house. The reception took place in a PapaKata teepee which was also full of hanging florals, romantic votives, laughter and delicious food, and I can't finish without saying what an absolute vision bride Amy looks in her Anna Campbell gown from Coco and Kate Boutique.
DressAmy the Bride: My dress was from Australian designer Anna Campbell, which I found at stockist Coco and Kate. I loved the vintage style beading and the contrast of the lightness of the silk tulle. I wanted something I would feel free in - I wanted to be able to dance with my hands in the air, pick up children, hug friends and not feel too restricted. My sister Chloe gave me the most incredible gift, a handpainted leather jacket to wear in the evening. It was so beautifully detailed and I just loved shaking up my look in the evening. I regret not wearing it back down the aisle, after the ceremony. The bridesmaid’s outfits were from Chi Chi clothing, were really affordable and got some of the biggest compliments or the day.
Grooms AttireDarren the Groom: I decided not to go bespoke and instead bought a blue off-the-shelf suit from Topman, but took it to a tailor to get the right fit. I added a grey waistcoat from French Connection, a crisp white shirt from Reiss and a floral tie that I found from independent seller Poserclub on Etsy. Shoes were a pair of black Oxfords which I found on ASOS. Finally, I added a tiny gold bee pin on the day, a gift from the bride!
VenueWe had decided that we wanted to have an outdoor ceremony and by absolute chance we found Whalton Manor in Northumberland. It was just everything we were looking for. The gardens are incredibly beautiful and just filled with flowers. We fell in love with it in November so seeing it again in full bloom in August just blew us away. We had Papakata set up some giant tipis in the gardens, with fire pits inside. They were phenomenal and super professional. We felt in really safe hands.
BeautyAmy the Bride: Hair and make-up were done by Tina Elliot Hair Styling and Amanda Bell- not only were they great but an absolute pleasure to be around on the most nerve-wracking morning of your life! I’d already met them for my trials and they felt like friends.
Colour SchemeWe don’t believe in colour schemes. Do what you love. And if everything is something that you love, everything will somehow go together and fit. After all, your scheme is you.
FloristOur florist Jay Archer is just an absolute female boss! We loved her so much we brought her up from Hampshire. Our venue was already incredibly beautiful and I wanted to bring that outdoor vibe inside the tipis. I’m not a fan of pastel tea-roses. I like a touch of drama and whimsy so we asked for brambles, blackberries, moss, apples, plums, herbs and other seasonal flowers and foliage of dramatic crimsons and emerald greens. She also added huge branches inside the tipis to create and inside/outside vibe. She created a 12 foot hanging floral display above the dancefloor. We wanted it big and abundant with scented flowers dripping down, tealights in glass baubles and rose petals hanging down on tiny wires. We had a disco ball hanging down from the middle. They told us usually people choose one or the other, but we went for both! Jay saved me some flowers for my hair and also created a huge floral arch for us to get married under. We added Moroccan lanterns and rose gold sequin table runners which caught the light of the candles and the fire and gave everything a warm shimmery glow. My mum and Grandma made up the bouquets-again, I wasn’t interested in having them match anything else. The roses were from my Grandads rose garden and so even though they didn’t match, they belonged there.
CateringDarren the Groom: We were looking for a chilled-out vibe when it came to the food. We weren’t interested in a formal sit-down meal, it’s just not us. But having said that, we’re real foodies and wanted something that showed our personalities. We decided on two of our favourite street-food options. Wood-fired pizza from Scream for Pizza and shawarma wraps and halloumi fries from Papa Ganoush. It worked out really well as our guests got to mingle.
PhotographyWe chose Andy Turner as our photographer because he was so chilled out and we loved his informal style. We can honestly say we hardly noticed him there he’s like a ninja and we had lots of lovely comments about him from our guests. Plus, he knew how to tie a Windsor knot which came in pretty handy!
AdviceAmy the Bride: It took about 8 months for my dress to arrive and in that time I started to second guess myself. No-one tells you that’s really normal. It’s totally wrong but there’s so much pressure on brides to look a certain way. I wish someone had told me to trust myself and the decision I made that day because when I saw it again, I called out from the dressing room to my very nervous family ‘This is the one, definitely the one’. If you’re getting seriously stressed out, you’re either doing it wrong or your using the wrong suppliers. Focus on each other and why you’re doing it, and it’ll come right. Darren the Groom: Stay calm relaxed, both during planning and on the day. Everyone has their stories of how planning a wedding can be stressful, but that doesn’t mean it has to apply to you.
Dress Designer: Anna Campbell | Bridal Boutique: Coco & Kate | Bridesmaids: Chi Chi Clothing | Grooms Suit: Topman | Waistcoat: French Connection | Shirt: Reiss | Grooms Shoes: ASOS | Venue: Whalton Manor | Florist: Jay Archer | Catering: Scream 4 Pizza | Papa Ganoush | Hair & Makeup: Tina Elliott | Amanda Bell MUA | Teepee: PapaKata