The perspex signs are just the most fabulous thing at this classic pink and white wedding at RMW favourite venue Northbrook Park in Surrey.
They are used to welcome you, show you to your table, and display absolutely adorable quotes to make your heart swell.
Laura-Jayne and Andrew are pretty awesome too. Looking incredible in a lace Martina Liana gown and Navy Hackett suit. Surrounding them are their entourage of beautifully dressed friends, and an abundance of blooms in the most beautiful arrangements, buttonholes and posies. I bet as soon as you see them, you’ll be pinning the chair backs.
The lovely Tell Your Story photography, have got a gorgeous collection of images for you to swoon over, perfectly representative of this elegant affair. Enjoy.
Laura-Jayne the Bride: I recently got married at Northbrook Park in August 2017. To try and describe my wedding in a few words will be difficult but the words that spring to my mind are Classic Romance. The whole venue ended up looking like a fairy-tale.
The day begun in the vine room where the ceremony was held. Guests were greeted with a handmade clear acrylic ‘Welcome’ sign which encouraged the guests to enter the room which was filled with beautifully scented flowers from FairyNuff, who transformed the vine room into a white sublime setting with touches of blush.
With a harpist playing a mix of Disney classics and John Legend the scene was set for the bridal party to arrive. My Husband wanted to walk his Mum down the aisle, which they did to Danny Boy. My Dad and I arrived in a vintage Rolls Royce and the BMs in a Bentley and we walked down the aisle to the classical Canon in D. I was dressed in Martina Liana, the girls in light grey Dessy Dresses and my Husband and Best Man in tailored Hackett suits and my Husband wearing my gift of a silver Hermes tie. The ushers were in dark navy suits from M&S and our fathers wore matching grey Hugo Boss ties.
After 2 readings by 2 of our closest friends and a few personal promises, the ceremony was soon over and my Husband and I got a chance to take in the beautiful setting that I had created from what was once upon a time, just a vision. With limewash chairs from Crystal Hire and a white carpet from Stressfreehire with beautiful hydrangeas and lanterns alternating each row, it looked beautiful. To finish the room we had small vases with flowers and two white plinths at the end of the aisle with rose petals scattered around the floor and beautiful big silver vases filled with scented blooms. As guests left the room, they were able to pop their cards into the personalised acrylic card box, which I wrote on, gaze at the family photographs (including great grandparents) that were on the bar and pick up some rose petals from the basket for confetti.
We were lucky enough to have some crazy hot weather on our wedding day so our champagne reception was a success in the sunken gardens. An amazing jazz trio (Midnight Blue) played a mix of modern and old school jazz songs; we had vintage sofas and armchairs with art deco tables from Classic Crockery and cocktail tables dotted around garden all featuring a large hydrangea. To add to the décor I handwrote love quotes using calligraphy on empty vintage photo frames which were positioned next to the trees in the garden, and each tree had hanging chandeliers from them to catch and glisten in the sunlight. We also had a beautiful bike, filled with gypsophila and another ‘love sign’ propped up against it. To complete the picture, we used the large apple tree outside the orangery to prop up my hand-made large acrylic table plan (which took a good few hours!) and also hung white lanterns, glass baubles with roses in and a few other love quotes on clear acrylic which were hung with ribbon.
The amazing KalmKitchen provided our food for the day and they soon devoured our guests with Champagne from the outside bar, beers from a wheelbarrow and elderflower fizz from the ladder we styled with hydrangeas. Canapes were presented on mirrored trays, flower filled birdcages and grass covered wood, making each bite a gastronomical experience. The magic touch was that my husband and I had our own canape tray which was constantly stocked so we were never without a glass of bubbles or a canape when enduring the (what seemed endless at the time!) family photographs.
The orangery was also picture perfect, with heart shaped flower filled wreaths hanging on the walls, a cheese board prepped with a hand written blackboard, the white twinkle lit dance floor and draping fair lights from the ceiling, the scene was set. Each table had a beautiful large silver bowl filled with scented flowers of a mix of white and blush, tealights and mini vases, and each place setting had a silver beaded charger plate, serviette and a capiz shell with ribbon acting as a place card. The guestbook (from Not on the highstreet) was on a vintage dressing table with a typewriter, my veil, a vintage football shirt and a pain of ballet pointe shoes (to represent mine and my Husband’s passions). Guests were sat, we walked in to Florence and the Machine ‘You got the love’, and the speeches commenced.
After some cheers and some tears, the feast was presented – amazing fillet of beef was served by the exquisite staff at KalmKitchen and we slowly circulated our guests after our meal. I actually made a surprise speech (which I had prepared but wasn’t too sure to read!) and started the party with circulating espresso martini shots as no party starts without these! The patisserie table was filled, and guests emptied them very quickly whilst we ran around the gardens to capture some perfect images with the fading sunlight – we were even greeted by the cutest family of ducks (when I say family there was about 50 of them). We soon returned to our guests, cut our tasty cheese tower and moved to the dancefloor to enjoy our first dance to ‘Lets stay together’ by Al Green, sung by our band Nexus. Our amazing band – Nexus played for the rest of the night entertaining us with a range of Motown hits to Bruno Mars. The ladies soon turned to the vintage trolley outside the toilets which were filled with white flip-flops and the goodies in the toilets were devoured.
The night ended with guests slowly making their way back to the cottages on site and pubs a far. Guests staying at the cottages were greeted by a personalised tote filled with goodies and hangover kits which were very much appreciated at midnight and the following morning. A truly elegant day filled with romance, laughter and amazing memories that will be cherished forever. We were lucky (or not so lucky when it came to our budget) that all but 2 of our guests who were invited, made it to our special day travelling from California, Dubai and Australia beyond – it was a moment we will never live again.
Venue – We chose the venue because it already looked beautiful without any furniture or decorations inside it. It was a blank canvas which allowed my creative mind to run wild too. The cottages on site were also the perfect accommodation for family to slip away whenever they desired. We only looked at 2 other venues, however our decision was made pretty instantly when visiting Northbrook Park.
After 10 shops, I thought I had made my decision with an appointment booked to order my dress at Morgan Davies, I thought I would try one more shop (London Bride Couture) and it was this one that I had ‘the moment’. I put on the Martina Liana dress (that I had actually saved on Pinterest when I initially got engaged) and came out the dressing room in tears, it was exactly how I thought my Husband would picture me and exactly what I wanted to look like. To be completely honest, it was this moment exactly I was waiting for to decide the dress. I wanted something with light material, low back, embellishment but beading rather than rhinestone, and not too much lace. This was a mix of them all – oh and I needed to have pearl buttons! With shoes, it had to be Jimmy Choos! I tried on a few pairs, but wanted something I could wear again which is key given the price. Some of the typical bridal shoes are a low heel, so I went for a higher strappy pair which I enjoyed on my honeymoon too! I used a beautiful pearl hair vine (from Gemma Sutton) in my hair which was twisted away from my face. I wore a new Riva bracelet from Monica Vinader which my Dad had brought for me, a ring which was gifted to me after my Great-Grandmother passed away which is a mix of diamond and sapphire, and wore some earrings I already had.
The girls had a struggle with their dresses at first, because we didn’t want the ‘typical bridesmaid’ dress. I wanted them to look like they were in a long summer dress and knew I wanted a light grey to match the silver bowls of flowers and silver accents on the day. We tried a few highstreet brands, but they were still failing on quality – so we went back to the classic Dessy dress but with a slit up the middle, spaghetti straps and a light grey, I finally felt we found the modern bridesmaid dress. They partnered their dresses with glitzy Kurt Geiger sandals, which looked lovely through the slit in the dress and had a smaller version of my hairpiece in their hair. They also wore necklaces from Oliver Bonas, a gift from me.
My Husband was 100% sold on a tailored Hackett suit, that when his brother went with him for the measuring appointment, he bought into one too. They both looked super smart and decided on silver lining and silver backed waistcoats to match the girls. My husband also had a pair of Crocket and Jones black shoes – they are his go to brand, so he knew he would be comfortable in them during the day. With the swatches we had of their suits, we matched them very well to some M&S suits for the Ushers and they had silver silk ties to match the bridesmaids, with a personalised silver tie clip.
We chose FairyNuff simply because of how easy Steph made the whole process. I found her (like many of my other suppliers) on instagram, saw a wedding I liked and used the inspiration from there. She completely understood my vision. I had the idea of simplicity in mind, I didn’t want too much foliage in any of the bouquets, centre pieces or general decorations, so we used stocks to break up the flowers. Stocks or eucalyptus are great at just that, providing a break rather than too many leafy greens!
Simplicity was our theme throughout the wedding – each decoration was more of an accent rather than a feature. Each floral arrangement, photoframe or decoration enhanced the venue rather than transformed it. We loved the venue as it was so did not want to transform it to look completely different. We kept everything very neutral because neither of us wanted much colour either, hence the use of acrylic. We even had an acrylic card box which I wrote on with our names and also created hashtag signs using A5 acrylic on little stands and a Bar sign which listed the cocktail options. I usually would have gone for a lot of glitz, however being aware I did not want to change the elegance of the venue, I went for an abundance of fairy lights (draped from the ceiling and a starlit dance floor), used silver foil on the wedding stationery, silver on the bowls of flowers and silver beaded charger plates.
We chose to have a civil ceremony because neither of us are religious. It also meant our ceremony wasn’t too long for our guests, but short enough to be personal and intimate. We read our vows and personalised promises to each other and had 2 readings from dear friends. My favourite was ‘The Relationship Promise’ by Luke Wright.
This was super important for us, given that we both absolutely love and value good food. Northbrook Park try and limit who your caterers are, however we fought to have our own as we really didn’t want the classic white plated canapes, we wanted our guests to have more of an experience. Found (again!) on Instagram, KalmKitchen were the only caterers we met with and our choice was made after the first meeting. They are super professional, understood my vision and fitted in perfectly to our idea of our wedding day. They also act as a coordinator on the day, which eases any bride – wanting to know every fine detail so they can make sure everything is in place. The tasting was incredible, and felt like a fine dining experience. The guests were also overwhelmed at the quality of the food – and this is what we wanted. We have been guests at far too many weddings when we have been speaking about the food for the wrong reason! The canapes were not just served on a tray, they were creative and made it into more of an experience, rather than just eating food. We had a mixture of beef, lamb, monkfish, halloumi, chicken and prawn – each with a delicate taste. The patisserie table was a hit, with chocolate lollipops and marshmallows too, it was a sweet-tooth’s heaven. The cheese also went in record time, but it was the presentation again that hit the roof. They go the extra mile to make sure you wedding is unique and different from the one they worked on the week before. You truly feel special and that your wedding is one-of-a-kind with KalmKitchen’s food.
This was relatively easy for us. Nexus were the first supplier we booked as my cousin had the same band, it felt like we were at a concert with hit after hit song. Their mix of motown and current tunes engages the whole wedding party, ensuring a guest is never without something to dance to. Camilla our harpist and Midnight Blue were found online and after copious review readings we decided on them.
Although photos were incredibly important to us, we also did not want to break the bank. I found TYS on Instagram and knowing that they had photographed a wedding at Northbrook was the main reason we chose them. Being familiar to the venue I think is key as they know all the secret spots and where the lighting is good to make sure you photographs come out well. Also working as a pair, both Oana and Vale ensured that our wedding was captured and different angles and perspectives which helped tell the story of the day.
Again we did not want to break the bank so had to do some serious research here. We did not want a cheesy video, which I am sure no bride wants. We also didn’t want any pop or modern music used as backing tracks, or too much speech reading. YTWF ensure that you get all the raw footage of your wedding and the full length speech so the highlights just capture the key moments of the day and they also use backing music to fill the gaps rather than the general noise of the day. These aspects make the film into more of a showcase, rather than the feel a guest is filming it themselves!
When reflecting on the day and all the preparation involved I can offer a few pieces of advice to future bride to bes!
– Create your own Instagram – sometimes Pinterest can be overwhelming and also difficult to track down where the photos originate from. With reposts on Instagram it is easier as most people tag the original creator or supplier of the picture. I created my own Instagram account @bride2beblog and now continue to use it as I am helping a few friends with their decorations and wedding planning!
– I also have the dream of eventually working in the wedding industry so it is a good way of keeping in touch with suppliers and other people you have met along the journey of wedding planning. I was lucky enough to be a model for THTH bridesmaid dresses on their recent photoshoot, work at the BridesShow with Zosia Zacharia and work on a photoshoot at Somereley House with Kim Balasubramaniam. Every single one of these experiences has helped with expanding my knowledge of the wedding world!
– Any job that you think will take 5 minutes will take 5 hours, try and do everything in as much advance as you can to ensure you enjoy the build-up.
– Do not fall into traditions and formalities. If you want to spend more of your budget on food and not give favours or get a cake, that’s OK! Do exactly what you want, guests do not go to weddings for the little favour they get, they are there because of you! Spend the money where it will make a difference.
– Enjoy the morning with your BMs. I was super organised so I could have the whole morning to just relax and gossip with my bridesmaids. Ensuring you have communicated everything to your suppliers and double checked everything is key. When it is the morning of the big day, you cannot do anything else, so just relax.
– If you have a vision and someone is telling you not to go that extra mile because guests will not notice the difference, do go that extra mile! My family constantly told me not to bother with an elaborate table plan, but I had the vision and it was the main thing all my guests commented on the day!
• DIY tip – you can create your own calligraphy signs too! I pre bought all the acylic online at Cut Plastic Sheeting and downloaded a free modern calligraphy font and traced it onto the acrylic using a waterproof white chalk pen!