Chrissy and Clayton are the absolute CUTEST.
I mean you only have to take a look at the header image at the top here to agree don’t you?!
Factor in a couple of the sweetest flower girls, two frothy tutus, some equine inspired pyjamas, cherry blossom by the bucketload and a pair of James Bond stylee pageboys and I guarantee that you’ll think you’ve died from wedding-related perfection.
Of course it’s probably a good idea to mention at this stage that Chrissy had a little bit of help from her sister Eddie Judd – a frankly amazing wedding photographer – and her little black book containing the crème de la crème of wedding industry suppliers.
Well that’s what sisters are for…right?
Come on let’s take a look…
The Perfect Venue
Chrissy The Bride:Trying to find the perfect venue was really difficult. On so many visits to prospective venues we found ourselves saying “If only we could put together the ceremony room of this place and the wedding breakfast room of that place.” or “Loved it but what a rip off!” The totally gorgeous Stoke Place, in Stoke Poges, Buckinghamshire was the tenth venue we had seen. From the moment we drove through the entrance gates to the moment we drove back out we had huge smiles on our faces. I think it was the beautiful Georgian building and gardens, landscaped by Capability Brown; mixed with the modern, quirky interior; and that the owners were not in the wedding business to rip people off!
The Amazing Elbie
I am one of those girls who has been doing her hair and makeup since she was 8 years old so there was no doubt in my mind that I would be having a talented and professional makeup artist for my wedding day. My sister, Eddie Judd, works in the wedding industry and has ‘a little black book’ of awe inspiring suppliers; she introduced me to the amazing Elbie van Eeden. I had wanted to wear my hair down; as friends had commented that my hair is a huge part of who I am! However, I wanted bigger hair than my hair is capable of and as with every part of our wedding, something slightly different – I adored what Elbie created! With the make-up I just told Elbie to go for it!
I cannot leave the question of ‘The Beauty’ without mentioning the only perfume house that I would recommend to Brides – Jo Malone. I mixed two of their fragrances: Orange Blossom and Elderflower and Gooseberry (a special edition fragrance). I also purchased their Orange Blossom body cream. The assistant at Jo Malone in Selfridges gave wonderful advice on how to get the best out of the fragrance on the day.
Sexy Not Sweet
I purchased my gown from the idyllic boutique in Ripley, Miss Bush Bridal (again recommended by my sister). I had been to only two boutiques in London prior to this and had not enjoyed the experience at all yet I loved every visit at Miss Bush and every moment spent with Emma and Jen.
I had no fixed style in mind and so just tried on dresses that I liked the look of. The beautifully simple dress by Maggie Sottero that I wore was not in fact picked by me but by Emma – my, does she know her stuff! Being only 4ft 11inches Emma helped me to look sexy rather than sweet.
Diamonds Are Forever
As well as being a young girl who loved beauty I was also obsessed with shoes and would walk around in my Mum’s high heels at the age of three maybe even two so I was not going to miss out on the opportunity of buying my first luxury brand designer shoes! I wanted a shoe that I could wear again if I was going to spend so much money on them and the sparkly Jimmy Choos were perfect, plus they gave me an extra 4inches which helped to make our couple shots less comical (Clayton being 6ft)!
I felt that I could really go to town on my veil and jewellery as my dress was so simple. The stunning veil added some lace which I desperately wanted (Jen even added more lace to it!). The jewellery ended up being much less extravagant than planned as Clayton had bought me the diamond earrings I wore for Christmas and I felt it would be more special to wear these – I had planned on big dangly earrings as that is what I generally wear. My headpiece (designed by Richard Designs) was perfect for adding some subtle bling and perfect for my hairstyle. The beautiful antique ring that I wore on my right hand was my something old and a memory of my Mother who we sadly lost 11 years ago.
Grey, Green And Pink
My sister and my two gorgeous nieces were my matron of honour and flower girls; Clayton’s nephews were our page boys; his best friends were his ushers; and his sister was his best woman (we knew she’d do a cracking speech – and she did!). The colour of their attire tied in with the grey of our colour scheme. My sister wore a dress by J.Crew and my nieces tutus were from Little Dress Up.
I knew I wanted my bridal party in grey and Clayton was keen on a grey suit (Room Ten). The pastel pinks and greens came to me when I was looking at a rose one day that was turning pink but still at the white, green and pink stage.
The theme was children’s literature. Partly because I’m a primary school teacher and Clayton owns and runs, with his family, Children’s Montessori Nurseries but also because of the nature of our love for each other and the love story that we and our friends feel we are.
Idyllic Days styled our wedding and what a beautiful job they did. We particularly loved our Mad Hatter’s Tea Party cake table.
Two magical words – Fairy Nuff Flowers! Steph Turpin (again a sister recommendation!) quite possibly made our wedding – I love her! We had flowers everywhere. When I was a child I had once said that I wanted to get married under a blossom tree and as we could not find the perfect venue with an outside ceremony area, we brought the outside in and had 5 blossom trees indoors. My stunning relaxed hand-tied bouquet included white (black centred) Anemones, pale pink and white Ranunculus, David Austin Roses, silver brunia berries with berried eucalyptus all tied with lace and sparkly pins.
Yes I’ll Marry You My Dear
The ceremony is all of bit of a blur – I was so emotional but the photos show just how happy and in love we are. Our readings were all from children’s literature and could not have been more perfect. We sat in bed researching one morning, me on my Laptop and Clayton on the Ipad and many were read out and dismissed (or so I thought – I’ll come back to that!).
One that we particularly loved was some extracts of a conversation between Pooh and Piglet and it was in searching for this a second time that we stumbled across the following website: www.confettidaydreams.com and found the other two readings ‘I Like You’ by Sandol Stoddard Warburg and ‘Oh The Places You’ll Go’ By Dr. Seuss.
A poem that we had read, but dismissed, when we found the readings from children’s literature was ‘Yes I’ll Marry You My Dear’ by Pam Ayres. Unbeknown to me, Clayton had written his own poem in response to Pam Ayres’ which he revealed during his speech! He then asked me to stand up and read her poem and to each verse he came back with his version! It was hilarious and so utterly clever.
Our music was our biggest extravagance. We had visited the Designer Wedding Show and The Vernon Sisters were playing. Clayton was totally mesmerised by them and we fell in love with them instantly. They played during the ceremony, reception and Wedding Breakfast.
The evening entertainment just had to be a disco as even though there is ten years between us we both absolutely love disco music, particularly late 1970s through to the late 1980s. In fact our first date was at The Rewind Festival in 2009 which Clayton was inspired to invite me to when he saw me going crazy for ‘I Think We’re Alone Now’ by Tiffany, on the first night we ever met (and yes it was on the playlist!). So once again, my sister stepped in and said we had to have Matt Maurice Event Music. We were privileged to have Matt as our DJ on the night and I could not recommend him more highly. The dance floor was never empty and at one point was full of men and men only – surely that is unheard of!
Our first dance was one of Clayton’s most special moments of the day. He said he felt like it was only us in the room. I won’t go into the detail but there is a sad story (with a happy ending!) behind our first dance and I had in fact picked out this song during a fantasy daydream when we had only been dating for a few months. The song was ‘Hold On’ by Michael Buble and the words completely tell the story of the hard times we had had before we finally met!
Cake And Cocktails
Stoke Place provided all the food (which was of a really high standard) and most of the drink! We decided that we did not want to have the traditional champagne toast and instead asked a barman from our local bar in Marlow to come and make dessert cocktails for our speeches and of course guests – thanks Cory.
We had a huge cupcake and lots of various smaller sizes of cupcakes which were beautifully laid out on a table that we had wanted to look a little like The Mad Hatters Tea Party! These stunningly beautiful and mouth wateringly tasty cakes were made by the incredibly creative Krishanthi at Cakes by Krishanthi.
I personally made the favours which seemed like such a great idea at the time but boy were they hard work and if it wasn’t for some lovely helpful friends I would never have got there! I wanted to go down the ‘eat me’ ‘drink me’ theme and also wanted to personally make something for my guests. I made Limoncello for the men and chocolate truffles for the girls –they were a real hit! One of our guests went round collecting any leftover Limoncellos, pocketed them, then drunk them – he had a great time!
Initially stationery was only important to me and Clayton was very ‘bloke’ about it all – “Once I know the date and location, it goes in the bin!” but after I had said it is the first impression people get of your wedding I think he was more bothered that I was. We worked with Abigail Warner to come up with all the design and it was all very personal to us, for example on the inside of our invite was a faded out picture of Temple Island which is where Clayton proposed to me. The wording on the invite was written in the style of ‘Once Upon a Time’ and there were little nods towards children’s literature such as Mr Toad in his motorcar on the map, thank you Matt Dawson Illustrations.
Our table names all started with the words ‘The tale of…’ and were places that had a story to tell of our relationship to date. The table plan was placed inside an old suitcase and the inspiration for this came from an image of just this from someone else’s wedding that was featured in You & Your Wedding.
It’ll Be Alright On The Night
I think the advice I would offer to other brides is that everything will be alright on the night, nobody knows the finer details of what you have planned for the day so if anything goes wrong, which it possibly will, it will add to your day rather than ruin it. I don’t expect any bride would listen to that as I was unable to myself. However, when Clayton’s nephew dropped a pound coin he was playing with, just as the registrar had asked for the rings, (he is four and was given it as a bribe by one of the ushers to get him to wear his button hole) it caused the ceremony room, including us, to be in fits of laughter. He then crawled across the aisle to retrieve it!
I have already mentioned so many special moments but another one of Clayton’s is when I arrived to stand next to him before the registrar. At an obviously emotional time he did not feel it appropriate to kiss me as a greeting so instead we touched foreheads. A simple moment that everyone missed and would probably be insignificant at any other time, but for him, he will remember that moment forever.
A Darn Good Photographer
My final piece of advice would be to ensure that you get a darn good photographer, like we did, and that you make sure you have plenty of candid shots over formal group shots. When we got our memory stick of 800 photos of the day, it took Clayton and I right back and today I looked at them for the tenth time and still cried! Our beautiful images were captured by the wonderfully talented Zoe Collyer and her assistant for the day, the incredible Kirsten Mavric.
Zoe is a friend of my sister’s, as were most of my suppliers, and not only did she have the pressure of capturing the Bride and Groom’s day but also that the Bride was her friend’s sister. We could not have asked for more from Zoe and I know that she went above and beyond for us. What was so wonderful about Zoe, apart from her photographic skills, was her bubbly personality which put us at ease every time she photographed us. Thank you Zoe!
Venue – Stoke Place
Boutique – Miss Bush Bridal
Dress – Maggie Sottero
Make-up and Hair – Elbie van Eeden
Venue Styling – Idyllic Days
Florist – Fairy Nuff Flowers
Cake – Cakes By Krishanthi
Band – The Vernon Sisters
Stationery – Abigail Warner and Matt Dawson Illustrations
DJ – Matt Maurice
Photography – Zoe Collyer Photography
I don’t know about you but I’m sitting here with a warm and gooey feeling inside. That and I’m also slightly drooling at all the amazing florals – from Chrissy’s bouquet to those amazing centrepieces.
Congratulations you two – may this be the start of your own fairytale.
Come on, what’s your favourite part? Why not tell us in the comments box below.
All my love Lolly xxx