We both work in Theatre, I used to be an actor and am now a Prop Buyer / Art Director and Sam often plays bass in Musicals, so Shakespeare’s Sonnet 116 and Bob Marley’s Letter on Love were perfect readings on the Sunday – esp. as Sam’s band recently supported The Wailers when they were in the UK on their tour.
Our good friend Emma Topolski, behind the band Saint Clair, sang one of my favourite Stevie Wonder songs, If It's Magic. It really was magical listening to her soulful jazz rendition under the trees accompanied by birdsong.
Saturday’s civil ceremony had Fools Who Dream, a song from La La Land as a reading by Sam’s future brother-in-law, which could not have been more suitable to us, esp as our love story is very similar to La La Land’s apart from the fact we didn’t break up when Sam was offered to go on tour to China for 5 months for The Bodyguard!
Soul Beat rocked the party hard. As Sam runs Articulate Music
with one of the Best Men, of which Soul Beat is one of their party band options! We carefully curated the music to have a good range of disco, funk, motown and 90s – it even included us getting up with Sam’s mum and one of his ushers for a bit of Five’s Got the Feelin’. So many of our guests commented on how fantastic the music was with loads of crowd interaction!
We love going to this delicious local bistro for lunch so we thought to ask the chef, Nicholas, if he’d be up for doing a hog roast sharing platter 3 course meal for 150! He’d never done anything as big as this, but he more than rose to the occasion. Canapes were a mix of Nicholas’ cherry toms, mozzarella balls + olive sticks, smoked salmon salad mini clubs, a couple of pastries filled with goats cheese / mushrooms and a French friend who loves to make these savoury cakes filled with various delights like courgette and feta, pesto and prosciutto ham.
For the sit down - we had Melon au Pineau Charentaise, the local Pineau was given to us as a wedding present by one of our French family friends. Which was accompanied with local cured hams, homemade pork terrine and this incredibly delicious fluffy goats cheese mousse. The patisserie we got our profiterole tower at made these massive sourdough boules of bread with our named stencilled on with flour which I had never seen before, so we had them along the tables for everyone to break bread together, family style.
The hog roast was infused with garlic and garden herbs, and we had poached salmon and vegan moussaka for the non-meat eaters accompanied by Dauphinoise potatoes, quinoa with Mediterranean veggies, chunky Greek salad and apple compote. Four favourite French cheeses with fig jam followed. The piece de la resistance was really the trio of mini puddings we had; tarte au citron, mousse au chocolat with raspberry coulis and this divine dark chocolate and citrus banoffee tart.
The Pizza Party came out at 1am along with any leftovers for the munchies.
The Photography & Film
and Wild Stories Photo Caravan
with the best personalised logos! We couldn’t be more thrilled with the documentary style photos The Shannons did for us – WOW. We couldn’t imagine anyone else photographing the day any better.
Hannah Aldridge - Hannah Films, a friend of a friend who just has the best taste and style when filming and had a brilliant vibe on the day, coming up with really cool shots for us to do then going back to documentary style to capture cute moments between out guests. She was seamless throughout the whole day and quickly got to grips with the drone we bought!
The Jazzification Station, full of glitter pots and gems!
Jenny, one of my bridesmaids, had a balloon lift off surprise before we all sat down for dinner. Everyone had to write a little favour they’d do for us if the balloon was found (ie cook a meal) and sent to our house in London. We’ve had 2 so far from a couple of farmers about 30km away from our home, which kept the spirit of the wedding going for the following couple of weeks.
Another of my bridesmaids, Pauline, who’s French, hosted a traditional French wedding game, jeu des douze mois (game of 12 Months), between the cheese and pudding. It's a bit like musical chairs, but each round the 12 guests have to race to grab things like a pair of shoes, or a bowtie, a champagne glass with the other guests helping and shouting words of encouragement. The last person back is out and has to get one of us a cool present for that month, like a massage or manicure – ingenious (not sure we’ll end up getting any, but that wasn’t really the point of the game). It was a great way for the guests to get to know others and also rally for their area on the tables – we picked a range of guests who we knew would relish in the competition from across all the tables!
I’ve worked with colour smoke bombs a lot when I’ve worked on shoots - I finally wanted to play with them myself infront of the camera as I think they’re a really fun and vibrant addition to any photos or video!