Jess & Alex's biggest piece of advice would be: "Go for it!". Ignore everyone that tells you 'it's just a day' - no it isn't, it's YOUR WEDDING DAY! Spend that last £ and feel as fabulous as you can!" Which is exactly what they did at their black-tie wedding at Cripps Barn and is also the reason why all their pictures captured by Carla Blain Photography are bursting with happiness as they embraced every moment.

What Made Our Day Unique

As a bride, being told I had free rein to plan our wedding day meant I wanted a BIG DAY! I totally took advantage of this having two wedding dresses, a black-tie theme, a harpist, sparklers, a cigar humidor filled with the most luxurious cigars, a personalised wedding scent from Jo Malone, a champagne tower, band, personalised wax seals for the stationery, all-new wine glasses for the venue, a champagne sabre - you name it, I wanted it. We thoroughly enjoyed analysing each part of the day and ensuring it matched our personalities perfectly. I think the over the top tone was set at the rehearsal dinner the night before when the scheduled briefing began (two weeks prior to this, the main wedding party had been sent a 4 pager wax-sealed itinerary, which was, unfortunately, the butt of many jokes in the best man speech...), needless to say, the timings ran like clockwork and everything was executed perfectly - right from the 30 person rehearsal dinner to the pre-wedding golf to the Sunday wedding party brunch. Who doesn't love organised fun...

Jess & Alex

Black Tie Wedding

Jess and Alex wanted all their favourite things incorporated in their black-tie wedding, including endless amounts of greenery, and an abundance of candlelight with absolutely mesmerising results. The groomsmen wore tuxedos and the bridesmaids dressed to impress in halterneck black gowns bringing elegance to the rustic venue and setting off the black-tie wedding theme beautifully. Bride Jess wore a Made with Love Bridal gown which she customised with lace long sleeves giving it a more regal look, she also slipped into a silk number for the evening reception and their epic first dance moment.

Wedding Suppliers

So Carla was an easy choice, her photos sold themselves. My close friend's sister had Carla as her photographer and she's pretty damn awesome herself, so if she trusted Carla, we totally could - and good job we did, the photos were insane. The best and easiest choice. Cripps Barn - well, who doesn't love candlelight, an open fireplace, real stone walls, bonfires and endless greenery - again, a very easy decision for us. It felt wintery and magical which was exactly the vibe we wanted. We wanted to team this with a black-tie dress code. I can at times be sassy, and I liked the idea of everyone looking the same - it felt very neat, crisp and elegant. In addition, I wanted the bridesmaids to coordinate so put them in high neck black bridesmaid dresses, along with the mother of the groom. Everyone looked stunning and the black dress theme even carried over to our guests who similarly wore black dresses to match the men in tuxedos. I was so bossy I even insisted the harpist wore black (bridezilla was not an understatement)

Jess & Alex
Groom Alex was very hands-on when it came to wedding planning, ensuring all Bride Jess's requirements (or demands as she put it) were met. In her words "From the moment we got engaged, Alex was fully involved in the whole planning process. He was truly amazing and made all of my dreams come true. I loved his enthusiasm, particularly when I said I wanted to order 260 new wine glasses for the venue - he took it in his stride and ensured they were ordered immediately." If your groom wants to help too, or even if they need a little nudge of encouragement, get them to listen to our Podcast, Wedding Planning From The Grooms Perspective to get them started, where real groom Ben shares his experience and tips.
Lorna Shaw

Written by Lorna Shaw

Featured suppliers

Wedding Venue: Cripps Barn | Wedding Dress: Made with Love Bridal | Bridal Boutique: Heart a Flutter Bridal | Grooms Suit: Ralph Lauren | Veil: Made with Love Bridal | Drink: Berry Brothers and Rudd | Cake: Hannah Hickman Cakes | Florist: Go Wild Flowers | Stationery: Lilac & White | Entertainment: The Indie Killers | Wedding Candles (Scent): Jo Malone | Favours: Fortnum and Mason | Linen: Zara | Stationery Cards: Liberty London | Rings: Tiffany & Co.

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