Nikki the Bride:
As Gareth is a cameraman he had very clear ideas of the kind of photos that he definitely didn't want, and anything 'posed' featured high on that list. Other than a few obligatory shots of the family to keep the mums happy, we really just wanted to capture the essence and emotion of the day.
Having already looked at the photos on Jonny’s website
, we knew that we loved his style! He made us feel very at ease, and immediately felt like one of our guests rather than our photographer! We feel very lucky to have had him there.
Our flowers were extraordinary, and I can't thank Nicky Llewellyn Flowers
enough. I know lots of people comment on how expensive flowers are for weddings, but the beautiful bouquets, flower crowns, buttonholes and arrangements that we got from Nicky were worth every penny and she really did go above and beyond what we'd expected. We knew we wanted herbs to feature heavily in our arrangements, with the key elements being lavender and rosemary, and she really couldn't have got it more right! They looked incredible and smelled amazing, which was a really nice added bonus.
My ring was actually my grandmother's wedding ring. It needed a little spruce up, so the restoration work was done by Joy Everly
in London. They did such a lovely job, the ring is as good as new only with the added sentimental value of being passed down through our family.
We chose the Marks and Spencer rainbow cake
, because it's the children's favourite cake! We also let the children do the official cake cutting too as, until they said they wanted to do it, we weren't going to have a cake at all! I'm so glad we did, as it turned in to a really lovely moment.
Caroline Gent Catering
managed the food at our wedding, and everyone agreed that it was exceptional. They were a dream to deal with from the very start of the process and nothing was too much trouble. Not only was the food delicious but also Jess, our catering manager on the day, was a delight and her team were brilliant. I'd recommend them again in a heartbeat!
We wanted an activity as an icebreaker at the drinks reception and our son loved the idea of archery, and we agreed! Simon at Phoenix Leisure
provided a brilliant set up and everyone from the youngest to the oldest guest had a go - it was great fun!
We are lucky enough to know a brilliant graphic designer, Oli Milburn
, as our daughters were friends at nursery. We spoke to him about the kind of design that we'd like for our invitations and reply cards, although neither of us had particularly fixed ideas. Oli pulled together the most beautiful design and we really couldn't have been happier. On top the overall design and layout of our paperwork, he also designed a monogram for us, which was such a lovely touch, and which featured not only on our invitations but also in other ways at the wedding itself, and it's something we can use forever.
Gareth and I both work in the television industry, and actually met while we were both working at MTV but it wasn't until we both left and worked together on a few freelance jobs that romance blossomed. It was a real case of opposites attract in those early days, think musical theatre vs rock music, but clearly it was meant to be! After 6 years together I had put any thoughts of marriage behind me as we already had 2 beautiful children, which was all the relationship 'cement' that we needed, but Gareth knew that marriage was important to me so proposed on Christmas Eve 2016, after we'd put the children to bed and I'd made him endure an hour of Christmas veg prep! I can only imagine how nervous he must have been but I didn't notice a thing! He told me he'd wanted to give me a small gift while it was just us, before the madness of Christmas morning with the children kicked in, and that he'd hidden it in the tree. It took me ages to spot (again - what must he have been feeling?!) and then I saw the peppermint green of a Tiffany ring box. I actually couldn't open the box, so he took over and got down on one knee. It was the most perfect proposal - right there in our lounge, wearing our slippers - and of course I didn't hesitate in saying yes!
We didn't hire a planner, as I produce events for my job so the challenge of arranging our wedding didn't seem at all daunting. That said, our beautiful venue, Pennard House
, allocated us a wedding director to help guide us through the process. We were lucky enough to get the brilliant Tess Hillier so she was on hand to help everything run smoothly. We totally fell in love with her - especially our daughter, who was glued to her side for most of the day!
It only took one visit to Pennard House for us to know it was perfect for us. It is a family home and really has that feeling of being full of love. It's utterly gorgeous and has all the elements of a luxurious stately home but in a very lived in way, which ticked a lot of boxes for us. We took the children with us to our initial look-around and Harry, the owner, was so welcoming to us all and didn't bat an eyelid at the children rolling around on the floor (after 3 long hours in the car!) which was such a relief to us. Since that day the children only ever referred to Pennard as 'Harry's House' - leaving people very confused when they asked where we were getting married! With a set up like Pennard House I also think it's important to say that we never once felt like we were intruding in someone else's house - we were made to feel like extended family!