OMG this wedding!!! So many things I want to tell you about, but I think I’m going to let the beautiful pictures from Melissa Beattie do the talking. The flowers! The Dress! The CAKE!!!! Gahhh it’s just all too much. Nina and Jesse are one seriously stylish pair and they executed their Aynhoe Park wedding day with major flair…
Very proud that the couple found Melissa via RMW too – we love it when we help to connect you with suppliers you love! Especially when the results look like this!!!
Nina the Bride: When looking for my dress, I wanted to find something that not only suited the amazing venue but also something I could actually move around in and dance until the early hours in! (Managed to accomplish all of the above). One of the only requests from Jesse was that he could actually stand close to me. I loved the style and details of the Jenny Packham gowns; the beading is incredible, the material is beautiful and the dress I went for was the perfect understated style I wanted. I ended up going very off-piste with the veil I chose as I wasn’t originally planning to have one, but as soon as I tried one on I didn’t want to take it off.
I went for Jimmy Choo shoes as these are the only brand I can handle wearing for an extended period of time. I’m not sure what they do to them but I managed a full 8 hours before I had to change to trainers. I wanted glittery gold so they broke up the white a bit – and also wanted a shoe I would wear again.
Jesse and I found our wedding rings on a trip to Tokyo – which went perfect with the travel theme we were basing the wedding around.
Jesse had a very specific look he wanted to go for and wanted to invest in a custom suit we would have forever. Ascot Chang is a HK based company who makes incredible suits using the best materials from all over the world. He wanted a perfect mix of English chic with a modern twist and blue is his colour so this was pretty much a given and we just worked around it. The shoes he had been eyeing up for a while, so the wedding was a perfect excuse to finally push the button!
The Wedding Party
Planning from afar, I didn’t have the luxury of being able to agonise over the bridesmaids dresses too much. I wanted something that they would all feel amazing in and that complimented my dress. The dusty pink colour I went with sat with the colour of the flowers. They all looked like fairies. I also got my sister-in-law to match a little matching version for my niece…
The venue was a no brainer once we knew it was available! My Father went to another wedding there a year or so before we go engaged, and had already mentioned to me and Jesse that we needed to at least visit. We are collectors of weird and wonderful taxidermy and the eccentric style was so on point with who we are. We had all but written it off as expected it to be out of budget, but when my Mum and sister went to visit another venue for us close by, they secretly went to view Aynhoe and helped make it all happen! We owe them so much for this.
Every corner you turned you found something more magnificent. The entire experience was incredible, from the staff to the planning, I honestly don’t think there is a place like it in the world. We spent two nights there and had the run of the house which was amazing, as it meant we could spend time actually talking to our guests. People travelled from all over the globe (Jesse is from New York and we live in Asia) so being able to do this was very special. This was the first time most of our friends and family had met.
The theme we decided to run with for the wedding was a vintage inspired travel theme. Jesse and I spend most of the year traveling together with work and have had a lot of amazing experiences doing this, so wanted this to shine through in the wedding. We did this mostly through food options, the stationery, favours and the cake. The house was so incredible as it was that we didn’t need to being any other decorations in. For the stationery, my sister drew one of the main pieces of taxidermy in the house (the Giraffe), and so we ended up using him throughout. We had a vintage map inspired backing, and a good friend of mine from work, Aimee, did the actual design layout. We named each table by using vintage postcards from some of our favourite trips.
I had been following Florence in Instagram for a while, swooning over the amazing weekly bouquets she puts together and hand delivers in London, so she was my first point of call when I started the planning process. I’m so so glad I did as she went above and beyond in what she managed to achieve. I still look at pictures of the orangery and tear up at how incredible she made it look.
Even though it was mid-summer, I wanted to something very light, soft and romantic colour wise to fit with my dress, Jesse’s suit and the bridesmaid’s dresses. We gave a rough idea on what we were looking for, both myself and my sister Katie became Pinterest addicts for a solid 3 months, but Florence really pulled together what she thought would work best and also what she had available to her.
My Father created the structure of the Chuppah, something that was very important to Jesse to keep some aspect of Jewish traditions within the ceremony. Florence then went wild with all sorts of berries flowers and foliage to create the amazing structure we got married under.
With Jesse coming from a Jewish background and me coming from a Christian, but neither of us really practicing, we didn’t really have the option of nor really feel comfortable with a church wedding. We also didn’t like the option of a civil ceremony as there was aspects of both religions we wanted to combine and this wasn’t possible with this type of service.
We settled on a humanist service and found the amazing Zena through a recommendation from Aynhoe. Zena created the most amazing ceremony, she kept it engaging, entertaining and so personable! I’d recommend her a 1000x over to everyone! Zena had a wonderful idea of Philly and Nay (the two bridesmaids who did the readings) being given free rein to pick the extract and keep it as a surprise for the ceremony!
Doing this from overseas, the Entertainment was probably the hardest aspect to try and pick. We couldn’t go and visit anyone so had to rely on recommendations or just hope for the best! Thankfully this all worked out. For the day we wanted to try and have something upbeat and fun! My sister had heard the Stamford Stompers playing in our local town and recommended them to us, they were perfect and the music really set the tone for the day! One of my Bridesmaids Nay helped me to pick out The Black Hat Band after I had spent weeks searching the internet for the right style. We didn’t want a band to sound too weddingy, we wanted someone with a super fun band that could play a bit of a mix of genres and keep the party going! These guys were great and I don’t think we stopped dancing for hours!
For the food, we wanted to try and keep the travel theme running throughout! We opted for Canapes with varying relations to places we had visited along with a salad bar. We then wanted to go down the traditional English route for main courses, and had the option of Pie or Fish and chips. For the dessert we just wanted to cram as much chocolate onto one plate as we could.
For the evening we wanted to bring in a food truck to try and keep it a bit more casual, and were recommended Steak and Honour. People are still talking about how amazing these burgers were.
The cake was a surprise I worked on for Jesse and met with the designers to come up with concepts to try and make it as personable as we could. They incorporated the globe to stay within the theme and adding in a few personal touches that related back to experiences Jesse and I had been through.
We found Melissa on Rock my Wedding and as soon as we saw her style of photography we fell in love. We wanted someone who would be able to discreetly capture the mood of the day and the ridiculousness of the house, and Melissa fit the bill perfectly.
Getting a videographer was a last minute decision as some of my grandparents unfortunately couldn’t make it. We wanted them to feel like they had been a part of it so found The Cine Collective after having them recommended to us.
The Wedding Planner
As I was attempting to plan this wedding from afar, Caroline, long-time friend of my mums, kindly offered her services to help with the coordination of the wedding and working with all the suppliers on the day. Without her the day would not have run anywhere near and smoothly, and she was instrumental in making sure everything was in place, organised and on time.
Photography by Melissa Beattie
- Bride Jenny Packham ‘Ophelia’
- Veil Jenny Packham
- Shoes Jimmy Choo ‘Leslie’
- Hair & Make Up Laura Anne Makeup
- Groom Ascot Chang
- Shoes Church’s
- Bridesmaids Needle & Thread
- Venue Aynhoe Park
- Floral Design Petalon
- Humanist Celebrant Zena Birch
- Entertainment Stamford Stompers
- The Black Hat Band
- Cake Compton & Kennedy
- Burgers Steak & Honour
- Photo Booth Victoria Lily Events
- Videography The Cine Collective
- Wedding Planner Vivid Minds