Well if you can't get whisked off your feet by a handsome man on your wedding day, then when can you quite frankly...?! This morning we're off to the Lake District for a quirky and fun wedding brimming with pops of neon, flamingoes and Easter Eggs. Oh and Jenny Packham, beautiful sparkly Jenny Packham. I'll let Bride Kate tell you all about how she found her dress - it's a lovely story and hopefully one that will encourage you to take a gamble when it comes to finding 'the one.' The Belsfield, Kate and David's venue, is actually owned by Laura Ashley, hence all of the delicious sofas, wall paper and decor. What a fabulous location to hold your wedding celebrations! Images and the stunning video come from Tub of Jelly, who always manage to capture dramatic light, along with emotion, brought together with a real sense of fun. Enjoy this one lovelies, it's a real treat for a Friday!
The BrideKate the Bride:From the trillion weddings we have attended in recent years, Jenny Packham as a designer caught my eye the most. I typed her into Google and searched her website in awe for stockists and gowns. I spotted an eBay ad of a Jenny Packham dress and noticed there was only a few days left on the item so sent the seller a message to say if it wasn't sold, I was interested in the dress, though I'd not tried a single dress on yet! I was aware that so many people had advised that what you imagine you would like, isn't always what you suit and choose for your wedding, so in the meantime, I went to several boutiques and enjoyed trying some lovely dresses on. But in my mind I kept going back to the thumbnail photos of the Jenny Packham dress. I contacted the lady selling it and drove across the country to try it on. It was clear how much she loved the dress, and didn't really want to sell it but was having a baby and thought someone else should get some pleasure from it rather than keeping it in a box. It fit perfectly, well was just a little long and more importantly, outshone everything I'd seen. She apologised for it not being as special as trying it on in a bridal shop but I actually found it even more fabulous as we both loved the dress so much! I just wanted to make sure I did the dress and her justice and wanted to look as good in it, but still have my own style. An obsession with flamingos plus them making several appearances on my hen do meant there was only one choice for my shoes- the Sophia Webster Coco Flamingo pumps. I knew I wanted flowers in my hair during the day but knowing they might flop or fall by the evening, I wanted something else. I couldn't find anything of interest, but then the week before the wedding, a new bridal boutique was opening up and they were waiting for a delivery of Liv Hart hair vines and accessories. The range was stunning and I told myself I'd wear it again to justify the price - and I have! I also got my veil from here too. I got 'something blue' Monica Vinader siren ring and earrings. Hazel & Lucy thoughtfully gave me a rose gold bracelet engraved with the wedding date the night before. Hair was Kim & Julie at Headleys who worked wonders with my locks and I loved the flowers left over from the bouquets they used in my hair adding a pop of colour!
The GroomDavid the Groom:As Kate has mentioned we've been to our fair share of weddings over the years and I've seen numerous good grooms suits, however I have to say the traditional grooms tailcoat just isn't me. I always knew I wanted a three piece suit as I feel that they are very smart but can also be really comfortable. I looked through a quite a few suits in the build up and from looking found that the only place where I was feeling happy with the fit for me was Ted Baker. My friend Warby swears by it and he has a saying that nothing else touches his skin he's 'Ted to toe'! As soon as I saw the suit I knew it was the one for me and it fitted like a glove. The suit was Ted Baker Birdseye in Blue which is the Bayvil Jacket, Baywai Waistcoat & Baytro Trousers. I wore a Reiss white shirt and coupled this with a Ted Baker knitted tie. The groomsmen's suits were Marks & Spencer and were really well fitted and of good quality. They were also affordable, as we we're buying six this was important. The lads wore their own white shirts as they knew what was best for them and wore M&S knitted ties, green for the two best men and navy for the four ushers. All of the grooms party wore chocolate brown suede shoes. Myself and the best men also wore rose gold flamingo pins which is Kate's favourite bird which matched one that she had on her bouquet. I also wore a slate ceramic watch which I had bought when in Las Vegas for my sisters wedding, it's engraved with a personal message on the back from her when I gave her away. We did end up having a last minute dilemma with the suits which was actually quite funny in the end. As the gents were ready and about to go down in to the ceremony room, we noticed that the huge punched through security tags had been left in two of the suits. This resulted in a last minute mad dash in to Bowness to have them removed at a hardware store and the lads wishing they hadn't stayed out till three the night before. Just before the ceremony Kate also sent me a last minute gift which was a bottle of Creed Aventus so I smelled like a dream.
The VenueWe love the Lake District so after we decided we were having a UK wedding, we knew we'd love it to be there. We had some great weekends venue hunting but The Belsfield stood in a different league to all the other places we looked at. Every time we went, it felt like a treat and the staff were so professional and approachable. David hates fussy decor but somehow the Belsfield have got the balance of old and new and every room is a delight. The main dining room where the ceremony was has the wow factor with the view of the lake and we loved all the different rooms we could use for various parts of the day. We loved that we were able to take over the place and have all the rooms exclusively so it was like one big house party and sleepover! It was also the perfect location to walk down to Lake Windermere for a boat ride. Georgina at The Belsfield went above and beyond and was a pleasure to liaise with throughout. I loved that David was so involved in the wedding planning and enjoyed it. It meant that he could sort all the stressful parts with his multiple spreadsheets. He even did a plan of the hotel to make sure that quiet family members rooms were away from the dance floor and the rowdy friends of ours were altogether. The Belsfield thought he was doing a survey of the hotel when he was walking round with plans of the building that he'd drawn up from memory! (He's an Engineer and a bit odd like that).
The DecorThe colour scheme was just a free for all, just things we liked and would use afterwards. Because The Belsfield is so gorgeous inside and outside already, we wanted to make sure we didn't go overkill on the decor. Auntie Hazel was legendary creator of most things crafty including making the pineapple vases with fresh flowers in for the bar, writing the Table Plan on the mirror, creating easter garlands, making balloon tassels, an easter egg hunt for the children and other finishing touches. Claire & Simon our friends from Clairabow who usually make cards and frames but marvellously set the bar sky high with the best wedding invites and then followed them up with heaps of bespoke items including Drinks Menus, which featured cocktails fittingly named comically after the Groomsmen, photo booth props which they designed and had especially made from words/quotes we wrote, thank you tags for the table favours, Table Names themed on 'great partnerships'. Lucy my sister added a host of delights with a huge jars filled with mini eggs, other easter treats for the kids egg hunt, polaroids, 'Wish you were here' photographs for our memory table of important people in our lives who weren't able to make it. David's Mum Jo brought confetti rockets which the page boys used to collect their eggs in after, and sparklers amongst other goodies. Our friends Amy, Sammy and their Dad Martin at Rustic Wedding Settings lent us log slices for cake stands and chalk boards we personalised.
The FlowersPeonies are my absolute favourite but we got married at least a month too early for their arrival so Yvonne at Ambience helped us to try to get the look we wanted but using flowers that were in season. She used David Austin Patience Roses, Ranunculus, Hydrangea and Gypsophilia in my bouquet in ivory, and added some colour in the Bridesmaids. The centrepieces were M&S mottled glass hurricane lanterns with fairy lights inside and were so beautiful in the day and especially when it went dark. We have kept some and gave some as presents afterwards for people who helped us. The Page Boys refused to wear flower corsages but were happy to carry the confetti balloons, which I'd seen at another wedding and on Pinterest. We had rosebushes going down the aisle and beautiful freeze dried petals. The wedding favours were votive candles from Next for the ladies and a free drink token for everyone. We made the drinks tokens using the left over gold foil hummingbird stickers that we had used on the front of our invitations, stuck on wooden buttons so this tied in nicely.
The Wedding PartyWe spent a small fortune in time and on postage and packaging of buying and returning Bridesmaid dresses until we went back to our first idea of Two Birds. I thought they were a bit on the pricey side but entered a competition on Facebook to win one, and went and won, so I thought it was a fantastic stroke of fate, and David thought it was a con that we then had to buy 5 more! All the Bridesmaids suited different styles so they truly were perfect as they wore them how they liked. If I hadn't liked my dress so much, I would've been jealous I wasn't in one. The Page Boys outfits were from Next and my brother got them some high top trainers which I wasn't sure about at first but actually were gorgeous.
The CeremonyOne of the Groomsmen Paul sorted the music and we walked down the aisle to 'I Giorni' by Ludovico Einaudi which speaks for itself when you hear it. Whilst signing the Register we had Bob Marley 'Is This Love', The Lumineers 'Ho Hey' and then Bedouin Soundclash 'When The Night Feels My Song' as we left the room as that was the first gig we went to together. We had a short version of 'I like you (and I know why)' by Sandol Stoddard read by my sister-in-law Cal and then a divine reading made up of quotes from the film The Notebook, made comical by our friends Mike and Ash who commented they looked like Right Said Fred side by side and skipped down the aisle after the reading holding hands. I liked that during the ceremony, me and David were facing everyone in the room so I kept spotting people in the room I'd not seen yet- my Bridesmaid Sam teased for me to stop being so distracted! It was overwhelming to have so many people we love in one room who had travelled to be with us.
The EntertainmentWe were lucky the weather was beautiful which meant all guests could go out on Miss Lakeland Cruise Boat at once and this was such a special part of the day. We had heard about Entertainer Howard Wing from Georgina at The Belsfield and my honest first thoughts were no he'll be too cheesy and a bit of a tribute act. Shortly after we saw him do the 'Wing Thing' at our friends Lauren and Olly's wedding and he was class. He turns a party into a PARTY, brings everyone together, seeing really is believing with the magic he brings. We were so impressed, we tried to book him there and then at another wedding! We enjoyed meeting him before to plan things which exacerbated Davids man crush! We had a DJ at night and the dance floor was packed. Our first dance was Years and Years 'Shine' which makes me want to dance every time I hear it.
The FoodWe LOVE our food and The Belsfield does not disappoint. We had canapés before we got on the boat. David was all about the towers - champagne saucer tower, cake tower, cheese tower and macaron tower. We went from not wanting a cake at all, to having three. As nearly everyone stayed over, it was so nice to have the room full of people all having breakfast together the next day. My friend Louise sourced some small cake boxes as she works for Reynards food packaging and Clairabow made some personalised stickers from us for the boxes so people could enjoy Finch Bakery cake and Al Strong's delicious macarons the next day on their journey home.
The PhotographyI don't have the words to describe how highly we rate Tub of Jelly. We first saw their work through an old friends wedding photo's and video and were blown away. We knew straightaway we would love them to capture our wedding day, and star in one of their videos! We loved the website, their style and creativity. Though they were one of the biggest parts of our day, other people commented they didn't notice any photographers, which is exactly what we wanted as they captured the day naturally. After the wedding all you have is your memories and photos/videos and I would have Betty and David as our photographers 100 times over. The photos were sensational, and the video - WOW. The video is phenomenal and captures every element of the day and the love between everyone. Their talent is obvious but also the dedication and love they put into their work shines through.
Final ThoughtsEnjoy planning the most beautiful day of your lives. I loved having a day filled with things, and people I love - especially David!
Bride: Jenny Packham | Jewellery: Monica Vinader | Rings: Sym Jewellery | Shoes: Sophia Webster | Headpiece: Liv Hart | Boutique: Love Darcey Ru | Florist: Ambience Venue Styling | Venue: The Belsfield | Macarons: Al Strong | Cake: Finch Bakery | Bridesmaids: Twobirds | Groom: Ted Baker | Groomsmen: M&S | Stationery: Claira Bow | Entertainment: Howard Wing