Fay and Adam are seriously sweet. If we were rating them on a scale of ‘cute as a button’ then they’d be off the chart. Where to start then with this beautifully styled Disney inspired big day? Well let’s begin with Fay’s Vera Wang frock, all sensuous curves and super sass – this girl has style in spades. And let’s not forget dapper Adam either – self-described as ‘a man unafraid to wear adventurously’.
I’m head over heels for their Disney couples centrepieces and I know that there’ll be those of you who will definitely appreciate Adam’s DeLorean choice of transport. There are pastel tin cans and confetti and all sorts of other gloriousness that abounds. All of it was captured wonderfully by McKinley-Rodgers .
I have to say that I really love how Fay and Adam tell the story of planning their wedding day. You can tell that they both really enjoyed the journey of designing and pulling together all the different elements that make up their wedding day, plus they’re really rather funny too. Come and take a look.
Fay The Bride: Our wedding took place in Hampshire. We always wanted a venue in one of the home counties as most of Adam’s family and friends are based in Reading, with mine further away in the Midlands. After visiting a number of venues which weren’t suitable due to overall cost, size, aesthetics (some were ruled out because of carpet colour alone, I’m not gonna lie), we visited The Elvetham Hotel, Hartley Wintney, Hampshire. It was a beautiful and historical building (originally home to Jane Seymour and her family) and met all of our needs. We were blown away with the quality of service we received in the two year run up and on the day itself. Music could be played until 1am and the bar was open 24/7 for residents — something we hadn’t encountered before, but made sure to take full advantage of (we stayed up until 4am)!
Having a church wedding was important to us, and once we had decided upon The Elvetham for our reception, we set about finding a church within a twenty minute radius. All Saints Church in Odiham was simply breathtaking with a gorgeous stained glass window at the altar. More importantly though, the church community were absolutely wonderful. Our Reverend, Peter Dyson, was so inviting and eager to help create the perfect wedding for us. Warm, welcoming, understanding and completely on board with our ideas on how we could make the service unique. This included Adam’s idea of taking a selfie at the altar, which Peter was totally happy with as long as he could be in it! Much to our surprise, knowing the Disney touches we’d be bringing to the wedding day, he themed his address on his favourite Disney film which was lovely.
For our readings, we chose extracts from ‘Song of Solomon’ and ‘I See The Light’ from Disney’s Tangled. We thought it would be fitting for our friend Rachel to read the latter as she introduced us; I was a colleague of hers from school, whereas she and Adam had become friends whilst working together at Disney World, Florida.
I was walked down the aisle by my Dad to Pachelbel’s Canon in D and we exited to Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now by Jefferson Starship which features at the end of the film Mannequin – a total contrast! We chose some familiar hymns as we really wanted everyone to join in (Lord of the Dance, Give Me Joy In My Heart & One More Step Along The World I Go). Peter commented on their efforts and it really added to the atmosphere.
Adam The Groom: Fay had always dreamt of a white Mini as her wedding car and after popping into a dealership (once) to do research…we ended up buying a pepper white coupe. Fay can be very persuasive! Needless to say, I didn’t think choosing my own transport would be frowned upon.
I’d always dreamt of riding in a DeLorean. My very own time-machine. After researching the handful of UK owners online, I found Brian O’Neill who was brilliant to work with. Not only was his car fully suped-up with every Back to the Future gizmo you can imagine, but he arrived to pick me up dressed as Doc Brown in a white radiation suit accompanied by the electric white wig. It was incredible. The guy was absolutely wonderful and so eager to be part of the day. Over the course of the twelve months post-booking him, we emailed back and forth corresponding as if we actually WERE Marty and the Doc! On the wedding day itself, we were so pleased to finally meet each other and it felt like old friends, something which we were fortunate to experience with all of our vendors.
We provided a vintage Red Routemaster bus to transport our guests from The Elvetham to the church, and back again. Not only did it take the pressures off trying to find parking spaces for everyone, but it also meant that guests could arrive together on time. Aboard the bus, we nominated Fay’s brothers-in-law as our conductors, checking guests were accounted for, as well as keeping tabs on the playlist of classical Disney inspired music to enjoy en route.
Fay The Bride: One of the very first things we booked were our photographers. Photos were something that we were willing to spend more on as ultimately, they would be a lasting memory of the day.
I spent hours trawling through wedding blogs and websites trying to find the right ones for us. We came across McKinley-Rodgers and we were immediately blown away by the quality, style and personality that was captured in all of their work. We wanted two photographers as we loved the idea of us both having some “getting ready” photos on the morning of the wedding.
We met Pen and Cam over a coffee in East London and straight away, we were in love! Adam’s infatuation with Cam could class as borderline creepy but I was willing to turn a blind eye for the sake of their incredible talent! Pen and Cam were absolute superstars in the run up to the wedding and on the day itself. We were always confident in their ability but we weren’t anticipating just how tolerant, efficient and charming they would be with our guests also. Everyone commented on how warm and personable they were.
The package we selected included a four minute video highlights reel of the day which we could not be happier with. Not only are Pen and Cam fantastic photographers, they’re also incredible filmmakers. If you’re not sure whether or not to go for a videographer, we can assure you it’s 100% worth it.
Much to the shock of my friends and family, I never felt obliged to spend that much on my dress. Although my appearance on the day was important to me, I decided fairly early on that I’d rather allocate more money to something that would have a bigger impact on our guests or that would last beyond the day.
I was fairly open minded as I didn’t really have a vision as such. I struggled more than I thought due to my height (5’2”) and being petite, many dresses I liked just swamped me.
I purchased a dress around a year before the big day from David’s Bridal only to have a complete change of heart in the January before the wedding! They kindly agreed to exchange my dress, and I only lost out on about £60 in shipping fees. I eventually chose a strapless, Chantilly lace column gown by Vera Wang at David’s Bridal.
I wanted a shorter dress for the evening so I’d feel more comfortable dancing. I’m really glad I did this as due to the wet weather on the day, my long dress got covered in dirt and moss and we couldn’t for the life of us work out how to do the bustle! Luckily, my short tulle dress from Coast saved me from walking around with half of the garden stuck to my train!
I never really had that “WOW’ moment you always hear about. I was pleased with how everything looked in the end and I was happy with my choices but I certainly didn’t have the crying, arm-flapping moment you see all too often on episodes of ‘Say YES to the Dress’. Maybe if I had given myself a larger budget, I may have found ‘the one’ but I had different priorities.
My Jenny Packham headdress had just the right amount of glitz. I wanted a veil but couldn’t justify spending hundreds of pounds so I opted for a very simple fingertip length one from David’s Bridal. On the morning of the wedding, Adam gave me a beautiful Anya Hindmarch Georgiana clutch bag in a soft gold colour with the most amazing oversized tassel.
I incorporated my ‘something old, borrowed and blue’ into my flowers by using one of my Grandma’s brooches and tied wedding photos of both sets of my grandparents to my flowers with blue ribbon. My grandparents were sadly unable to make the day and this felt like a really nice and personal way to include them.
My good friend Laura Shimmin is a make-up artist and she kindly offered to do mine and my mum’s makeup as a wedding gift. Laura was an absolute gem and worked really hard in the run up with trials, product testing and whattsapp-ing various looks to me. Despite her offering to use her own kit, I really wanted to purchase some nice make up of my own that I would be able to keep.
Laura recommended her friend, Lorna Kings, to style both mine and my bridesmaids’ hair. I prefer my hair down and after a trial with Lorna, decided on a half up, half down style. The girls had free reign to select an ‘up-do’ of their choice. Lorna did a great job at incorporating small plaits into all of the hair and used sprigs of Gypsophila in their chosen styles. It was a busy morning but she managed to get everyone seen to in plenty of time.
The ‘Maids and ‘Man
My two sisters, Nicky and Emma, and two best friends, Holly and Ryan, made up my wedding party. For the bridesmaids, I always wanted navy dresses as I think it’s a colour that suits the majority of skin tones and hair colours. The dresses were by Closet from House of Fraser and were paired with pale pink peep toes from French Connection. My Bridesman Ryan wore his own navy suit with a pocket square, socks and tie we gifted him on the day. The girls wore a gold bangle from Kate Spade I gave to them as a thank-you present (Ryan received a bottle of gin to thank him for his efforts!)
The Grooms Attire
Adam The Groom: I’m a man unafraid to wear adventurously. You can imagine the surprise to both Fay and I that I bought the first suit I tried on! We felt top & tails weren’t really for us. Instead, I wanted something bright, fun and well-fitted – I left ‘baggy’ behind in my former J from 5ive days.
I began a mood board with cut outs of the styles I was inspired by, shoes that added a certain ‘pop’ to what I was considering, and colour schemes that worked. It became apparent almost immediately that I had a thing for Ted Baker. I’ve always admired the well-tailored, gentlemanly style of the suits they produce and I found a three piece that I immediately fell for. Light blue with a subtle yellow & pink check, I knew right away; if I didn’t go for this one, I’d be searching for something to wear for months.
Accompanying my suit, I wore tan and cream 1920s style Ted Baker brogues, Paul Smith pink, blue, grey and yellow striped socks, a navy Reiss pocket square, a tan Hackett slim-line belt, a Ted Baker striped blue and off-white tie, and a pink Ted Baker shirt with ‘OUTATIME’ licence plate cuff-links. The piece de resistance was a vintage Omega watch which Fay gave to me as a gift on the morning of our wedding. She’s a keeper.
The Groomsmen Attire
We requested each of our Groomsmen to wear a navy or grey suit with white shirt and brogues. Over the course of eighteen months, Fay and I turned into treasure hunters of the fashion world. We’d given ourselves the almighty task of finding each of the fellas (two Dads, two Best men, three Ushers and a Bridesman) a pair of socks, a bow-tie/tie and a pocket square which we wanted mismatched. Pastel colours to tie-in with our weddings theme was key, but we wanted no two gents dressed the same. Thanks to Hackett, Paul Smith, Ted Baker, Liberty and Reiss, everyone looked absolutely marvellous as we’d envisaged and each trio was presented as a gift on the morning of the wedding.
Fay The Bride: I always had grand ideas for the cake. I wanted something with lots of colour and texture. After spending hours on Pinterest, I came across Melissa Woodland Cakes. I had a super quick and welcoming reply from Melissa within a matter of hours and as someone who is ridiculously organised, I knew she would be perfect!
After looking at her extensive menu and narrowing down our choices, we met with Melissa to sample some of her cake flavours and chat through our vision for the day. We fell in love with her and her cakes immediately! She is one of the nicest people we’ve met and we were over the moon with the cake she created for us. I drew up a design including the colours and textures we wanted and Melissa made the most beautiful sugar flowers to compliment it.
I really wanted peonies for the wedding flowers but because they were out of season they were sadly never an option. Melissa however, incorporated them into the cake so I could still have my wish!
Fairly early on, we decided to have a seasonal mix of pastel flowers. I was keen to use a variety of jars to display them to keep the overall look of the day a little more informal. To make them slightly more unique, we made personalised, mismatched tags for them; an idea we’d used at our engagement party.
We met Charlotte from Moutan Florist at a wedding fair at our venue. We clicked with her instantly and we were confident she knew exactly what we were after. Moutan have two shops which happen to be in the same villages as both our church and our venue, it was clearly meant to be! Most of our meetings with Charlotte felt more like having coffee with a friend. She was super efficient, so lovely and great at getting back to emails quickly which kept us at ease and made the whole process a pleasure.
Our flowers incorporated a summery, country mix including pink O’Hara, Peony Roses, white Astilbe, lilac Hydrangeas, cream Lisianthus, Gypsophila, lilac and mid-pink Sweet Peas, cream and lilac Stocks, herbs and Eucalyptus. Charlotte was fantastic at offering suggestions to cut down costs and alternatives thereafter.
We had a subtle Disney touch in the centre of the top table with a pink rose sat upright in a large bell jar reminiscent of Beauty and the Beast. We had a large pedestal arrangement at the altar and bunches of Gypsophila were used to decorate the pews. A beautiful garland of Eucalyptus was wrapped around the staircase at The Elvetham. It looked amazing and smelt divine!
This is probably the part I spent the most amount of time on. We didn’t really have a colour scheme until the very end. We were always going to have navy paired with pastels but in the last few months the pastels were narrowed down to a colour palette of mint, pink, peach, cream and gold. Although everything didn’t match exactly, it seemed to work when it all came together.
Being an Art, Fashion & Textiles teacher, I was lucky enough to have some extremely talented students illustrate a wedding day time-line and a portrait of us re-created as Disney characters. They were magnificent! They both saw photographs of our outfits, the church, cake etc beforehand so that both images could be completely personalised. We were absolutely blown away with the results.
To tie in with the fashion/textiles theme, we had a vintage sewing machine set up next to a sewing box which we used for cards. My mum and sister made a beautiful bunting ‘cards’ sign and cross-stitch pictures which set the scene perfectly. We also used a mannequin to display our seating plan. The conservatory where the wedding breakfast took place was a huge bright space. We hired our own chairs as the ones at the venue weren’t to our taste and we aren’t fans of chair covers. This wasn’t a huge expense and is definitely something we’d recommend as it can have a big impact on the overall look of the room.
We spent two years collecting china trios from car boot sales, antique shops, Etsy, charity shops and eBay, also borrowing a few pieces from one of my friends. I actually became a bit addicted and carried on buying it even though I knew we had plenty! Although it’s always worth giving the venue some spares to cover any breakages that may happen, 20 extra sets is possibly a little excessive! We managed to find two ‘Mother’ cups which the Mums appreciated as a personal touch on the day as well.
Our table names were all Disney couples; an idea we had from when first getting engaged. To save it from becoming too much of a themed wedding, I didn’t want to add anything else to do with Disney onto the name cards themselves and so instead, I created cards with a floral motif logo which was purchased from Etsy.
For our favours, we wanted to donate money to Cancer Research UK in memory of Adam’s sister, Lauren. We purchased Jenny Packham pin badges from Cancer Research UK so that guests had something to take away with them. These were presented in one bag per table so that each person’s place setting didn’t become too cluttered.
We used pom-poms, honeycombs, paper fans, tassel garlands and banners to decorate the windows in the conservatory and the fireplaces throughout the venue. They added splashes of colour which contrasted really well against some of the historical features. We had been looking for some giant tassel balloons to use in photographs and we discovered Bubblegum Balloons whilst at a wedding fair in Islington. We couldn’t believe our luck when we found out they were based in the same village as our venue. My Dad made some wooden signs to place around the church and venue, and also cut up slices of bark to use as our centre pieces. This was super helpful and saved us the cost of renting or buying them.
We wanted to keep our guests entertained at all times. Having experienced the quintessential wedding DJ with collar over lapel and an affinity for the Chicken Dance, we were adamant we go in a different direction. Likewise, our taste in music can be slightly questionable at times so it was also important that they weren’t going to be too cool for school.
It was when chatting to our photographers, Pen & Cam, that they recommended the Wedding Smashers. We checked out their site and were really impressed with it. In fact, when it came to vendors of any description, if their website was designed well, looked sharp and stylish, we took it as a really good sign they’d deliver. We touched base with owner, Max, who was brilliant helping us create a strategic playlist beforehand incorporating songs our guests had requested via their RSVP. We saved quite a lot of money hiring props (giant A&F Letters, extra speakers etc) by adding them to our package through him. He ‘smashed it’ and we would hugely recommend them.
For our first dance, we wanted Bruno Mars ‘Just the Way You Are’; the first song we ever heard on the radio together. With my brothers being talented musicians, we asked the three of them to play an original of their own acoustically and it was beautiful. You could hear a pin drop in the room and their rendition was arguably better than the real deal.
We loved the idea of having a photo booth, particularly one which could record video messages; two birds, one stone. We were so pleased to work with Emily and the team at Blue Steel Booths. Nothing was too much trouble and she helped source us a vintage open booth with props which tied in perfectly with our theme. They were such a pleasure to work with and their booth manager on the day, Alan, was a great sport…particularly when two of my good friends entered the booth in the buff on the very first photo. This really set the tone and aesthetically it looked great. Thank you Blue Steel Booths!
It was really important to us to try and give all of our guests a great experience on the day. Weddings can be expensive for everyone and we really wanted to show our appreciation for the effort everyone was making. On the bus, we provided snacks and water for the journey as we weren’t going to be eating until late afternoon. We made sure that all of our friends and family who had helped in the run up and on the day received a card and a gift to show our appreciation. Anyone who had an August birthday had a birthday card at the table as well. During the speeches, Adam had all of his stags stand to do a shot of Icelandic vodka (purchased from Reykjavik on his stag do) and I had bought all of my hens a miniature bottle of prosecco. We made sure to have group photos so that all of the guests were included. We then had smaller group shots of family, the bridal party, the stags and the hens.
Don’t worry about the weather! You can’t do anything about it. Just make sure you have a back-up plan and don’t let anything get in the way of your dream wedding.
Be explicit with information. We printed a letter to put inside our invites which gave details of timings and a rough breakdown of what would happen when. We thought it best to tell people in advance when they would be eating throughout the day as there’s nothing worse than having grumpy guests who have forgotten to eat their Weetabix!
Be careful when buying abroad. We bought so many things from Etsy, many of which came from the US. Quite often we had to pay an additional shipping tax upon arrival, often in excess of £60.
Choose vendors you love. We can hand on heart say we adored every single person who helped us create our dream day. We built up so many wonderful relationships over our two years of planning. These people are available to help you create the most important day of your life and if you don’t love them, don’t use them.
You can’t please everyone. We are both massive people pleasers so many decisions were quite difficult (especially with divorced parents and new partners). Either way, stick to what makes you happy.
Spend money on the things that will last or that people will remember and don’t cut corners on your photography! These very talented people will make your day if you choose the right one.
Enjoy it! I know this sounds like an obvious statement but as an anxious person, I was genuinely worried about it all being too stressful. In reality, this couldn’t have been further from the truth. Much to the surprise of my bridal party I was so relaxed on the morning of the wedding. Sure, things happened that we didn’t foresee (the weather being surprisingly rubbish for August for starters) but because everything was planned out so meticulously, everything fell into place. We both spent the day grinning like Cheshire cats, constantly laughing and enjoying every second together. It’s such a cliché but it was hand on heart the most magical day of our lives.
Photography by Mckinley Rodgers
- Bridal Gown Vera Wang
- Bridal Boutique David’s Bridal
- Venue The Elvetham Hotel
- Bride’s Shoes Christian Louboutin ‘Talitha’
- Bride’s Headdress Jenny Packham (Ananti headdress II pearl gold)
- Hair Lorna Kings
- Make-Up Laura Shimmin
- Groom’s Suit Ted Baker
- Bridesmaid Dresses Closet from House of Fraser
- Church All Saints Church, Odium, Hampshire
- Cake Melissa Woodland
- DJ Wedding Smashers
- Photo Booth Blue Steel Booths
- Giant balloons Bubblegum Balloons
- Florist Moutan
- Transport DeLorean hired from Brian O’Neill
- Order of Service Design The Paper Pinwheel
- Videographer Story Catchers Films