Happy New Year gorgeous ones! We're kicking things off in style, as always, with this belter of a wedding from James Frost. Bride Claire looks utterly stunning in a bespoke gown by Hermione De Paula (who should be on your bridal radar if you're searching for a truly heirloom piece of couture). The boys all look dapper in tails, which I always adore for a church wedding. The flowers will blow your mind - Claire sourced long metal animal feeders and filled them with blooms to create the most beautiful living floral runners. The result is just dreamy and so unique, the perfect way to inspire you lovely lot for our first real wedding of 2019. Look out for the epic cake too, this duo are lucky enough to call Hannah Hickman family and she created the most incredible pink sprinkle cake for them! Enjoy gorgeous readers, here's to a wonderful 2019 for us all.
The Photography & FilmClaire & Ricky: Photography was one of the most important aspects of the wedding planning for us, and one of the first things we booked over a year in advance. James Frost’s pictures are breath-taking so we were thrilled that he was free to shoot our wedding. The photos are amazing. Aurora Wedding Films came highly recommended as Richard did Ricky’s twin brother’s wedding a few years ago. He was absolutely fantastic and drove all the way from Wales to shoot our day. We also hired a photobooth for the evening from Megabooth – which was very popular and provided some great memories.
The Venue & FoodFalconhurst is a stunning venue right next to my parents house which we know well. We were delighted that we were able to get married there, their garden and grounds are absolutely stunning and are home to some really adorable woodland pigs! The views of the garden and surrounding fields were just perfect on such a warm & sunny July day. They give you free reign to bring in whichever suppliers you love so we had full creative control. We planned the whole thing ourselves with the things that we liked for our wedding day and we wouldn’t have had it any other way! We used the walled garden at Falconhurst for the reception of 195 guests with lots and lots of flowing champagne and the most delicious canapes by family friend Caroline Gent, who did all the catering for the day and came all the way from Somerset! The food was simply divine and the staff were great and made sure that the bride & groom were well fed during all the photos. Thank you to Sarah from Caroline Gent Catering, who was a superstar in the lead up! We chose our favourite foods for the canapes selection so had mini fried chicken with spiced ketchup, aromatic duck pancakes with hoi sin, the most incredible vegetable tempura with satay dipping sauce, mini yorkshires with rare beef, seared tuna in little gem boats & cajun prawns on sweet potato blinis. For the wedding breakfast in the marquee we had our favourite: fillet of beef with skinny fries and lashings of béarnaise sauce. Puddings were sharing platters of gooey meringues, brownies and seasonal fruits along with bottles of limoncello which went down an absolute storm and got everyone prepped for the dancefloor. Late night food consisted of sausage rolls and cheese & potato pasties for those needing a midnight snack and dancefloor refuel. The wedding cake was made by my now real-life sister-in-law Hannah Hickman who is just the best. We had all our favourites flavours; chocolate, lemon with lemon curd, banana with chocolate chip & victoria sponge with blackcurrant jam. The four tiers were covered in buttercream and hundreds and thousands, Ricky’s favourite topping! She also made the most delicious marshmallow rice crispy cakes which were inhaled by guests so quickly during the afternoon reception that we actually both missed out on them. We had a drinks party the night before the wedding with a local pizza van making wood fired pizzas for all the ushers, wags, bridesmaids and family friends which were amazing, and it was such a good way of introducing everyone the night before.
Hermione de Paula Wedding DressThere was only ever one designer in the running for me – Hermione de Paula. I originally chose one of her trademark dresses but changed my mind a few months down the line (sorry Lucy!); I had a vision of what I wanted in my head so Hermione & Lucy helped create a beautiful bespoke dress with lots of tulle, feathers & miniature rose embroidery. I had the veil embroidered with the lyrics to one of my favourite songs which was a dedication to Ricky’s mother who sadly died five years ago. As a slight shoe obsessive, I wore three pairs of shoes on the day. A pair of leopard print with blue pom pom Charlotte Olympia heels for the church & reception; a pair of platform glittery disco Charlotte Olympia platforms for the marquee & first dance; and a pair of pink sparkly Manebi platform espadrilles which were super comfy for dancing all night! My jewellery was all by my beautiful bridesmaid, Kinvara Law, she made my engagement ring, wedding band and on the day I wore her signature large star earrings and matching star bracelet. She matched the wedding band to my engagement ring and I could not have asked for anything as amazing as what she created for us. Charlotte Jacks is an old friend and such a talented make-up artist, I felt a million dollars on the day. She is a genius! Laura Anne did my hair, what a pro! She was so fun to have around in the morning whilst getting ready with the girls. I also had the best spray tan of my life with Amanda Harrington from In Parlour two days before the wedding which looked amazing and lasted for the first week of honeymoon too.
Living Floral RunnersThe flowers were a huge deal for us, we didn’t have a theme or colour scheme but we really wanted a huge amount of flowers in the marquee to give the illusion of being a wild garden. We ordered 45 (!) metre long galvanised chicken feeders from Germany, the feeders were pre-planted with the base flowers and foliage by my amazing mother weeks before the wedding. I think they caused her a few sleepless nights! To complete the 45 metre floral set up a range of colourful flowers including my favourite dahlias & sweet peas were all planted the day before. Rebecca from Lilac & Lace Floral Design did the most outstanding job with the feeders, bouquets, flower rings, buttonholes and our friend Pam Paige made the incredible arch in the entrance to the church along with all the pew ends and rest of the church flowers. The heatwave in the days leading up to the wedding was so intense but the flowers all survived and looked stunning. What a job!
The ProductionKaristocat dj’d the wedding and she kept the dancefloor heaving all night long, it was epic. She is a great friend and we were so happy she agreed to play at our wedding. I loved getting up with her behind the decks and having a dance and a marg with her. Everyone had the best time! Our first dance was to Modern Love by David Bowie. We entertained the idea of having a dance lesson to save face but in the end did a three minute practice run in the garden two weeks before, this suited us as we just freestyled so didn’t feel worried about missing any steps or moves! The NKN guys did the best job on the sound and lighting in the marquee, huge thanks to them for all their hard work. They were on site the whole time and it really made the difference having such good quality sound and lighting, it looked and sounded like we were in a club!
Sailcloth Tent WeddingThere were quite a few tent options to choose from but we were so glad we used Shades Canvas who came all the way down from Yorkshire. Their sailcloth tents are stunning and allowed us to be surrounded by the trees and garden with the clear sides and super high top. We loved their hex panelled bar and rustic tables and chairs. The uplighters on the external sides of the marquee looked amazing, the whole team worked unbelievably hard in the stifling heat to get everything set up and did a wonderful job.
AdviceBook things well in advance. We didn’t feel the need to use a planner for the day as we had twelve months to organise everything and we were lucky that everything ran smoothly on the day thanks to our super helpful ushers, bridesmaids, friends & family.
Bride : Hermione De Paula | Shoes: Charlotte Olympia | Jewellery: Kinvara Law Jewellery | Bridesmaids: Reiss | Topshop | Make Up: Charlotte Jacks | Hair: Laura Anne | Groom: Welsh & Jefferies | Flowers: Lilac & Lace | Cake: Hannah Hickman Cakes | Food: Caroline Gent | Film: Aurora | Photo Booth: Megabooth | Singer: Karistocat | Marquee: Shades Canvas | Production: NKN Productions | Venue: Falconhurst