This is a wedding for all of you pastel, afternoon tea loving ladies out there, held in the most romantic of settings! The Secret Garden Kent is beautiful. Think walled gardens, gravelled paths flanked by wild blooms and secret corners covered by hanging trellises. Penny’s choice of soft pink and yellow blooms just makes it look even more pretty.
There’s a particularly impressive cake too, made by Penny’s best friend, who is clearly a very talented lady. I’m also loving the Cocktail Cart which is brimming with rather delicious looking drinks. I can’t promise that this wedding won’t make you hungry (and crave a cocktail in the sunshine) but I can promise that you’re going to love all of the pastel details…ready to take a look?
The Brides Fashion & Accessories
Penny The Bride: I wore a pearl studs with a matching delicate pearl necklace bought for me as a wedding gift from my parents from HM Samuel. The morning of the wedding my mum handed me a gift from Adam. Even though we both said we wouldn’t do presents, we both failed. I opened up a beautiful letter from him with perfume and a stunning ‘tie the knot’ bracelet from Beaverbrooks.
I always pictured myself in a princess ball gown, something with lots of detail on top, sweetheart neckline but very plain and big at the bottom. When I first stepped into Abigails I saw THE dress. The ladies in the shop were amazing. They knew I wanted to try the Victoria Jane on however kept it till last. As soon as I tried it on I cried and when I turned around I saw tears in my maid of honors eyes and my mums. This was definitely the dress. I did however need my dad to see it and be as happy as me, so I made another appointment and went in with my dad only, when I came out of the changing rooms I could tell he thought it was stunning. Everyone always says you never choose what you originally want, but I did.
I shopped around for shoes but kept going back to the Monsoon peeptoe lace ones. They were so comfortable. These were lace open toe shoes with a mid height heel with tiny sequins dotted over them.
I wore a 2 tier veil floor length with sequins dotted over it. I wore it over my face during the wedding and then my dad lifted it up during the ceremony.
My headpiece was a simple headband covered in crystals. It was from ‘A little bit of heaven’ in Lenham. I wasn’t sure what i wanted so when i saw it and found it was only £10, i thought, let’s try it and it went perfectly!
The Grooms Fashion & Accessories
The groom and dads had pocket watchers which were brought from a vintage antique shop. Cufflinks were worn with their names on.
The Secret Garden is a tiny restaurant set in Mersham le Hatch, Ashford. It is an old coach house with a beautiful gazebo outside. It is surrounded by walled gardens with beautiful hidden corners and amazing flowers! It had a special place in our hearts as it was the place where Adam took me to ask me to move in with him. We didn’t even look at another venue. We wanted a place with a great meaning and knew this was it!
Everyone at the Secret Garden as amazing! Stephanie was always at hand to answer our questions and was a calming influence throughout the whole process. She went through everything in fine detail and gave us great advice the whole way through. She even served us extra cake during the wedding breakfast which was an Afternoon Tea. Laura was always happy to help us even when I would ring 4 times in an hour with questions! Maria had an eye for detail and even though I had planned for things to be placed in one way, she found unique ways to hang and place things. When I walked through to the wedding breakfast room I cried. It looked fantastic. Nothing was too much trouble.
Adam and I had brought hanging pom pom hearts and birds which were hung from the ceiling. We had pink and blue bunting which was hung around the room. I spent the summer holidays making bunting which was placed on our sweet table and on the top table. We used a mirror to display our wedding breakfast menu and we spent many Sundays at boot fairs where we bought 1 step ladder which we painted in chalk paint and used to display our table seating. Adam made another step ladder for the wedding which we painted and used for pictures of our family and for those people who couldn’t be there. My sisters and best friends helped to make much of the decor including place names which were simple made out of luggage tags and alphabet stamps. We made paper chains which were used in the gazebo as decoration for the ceremony and also made 50 wedding wands from skewers, lace, ribbon and bells! We even made our own ‘Hooray’ and ‘Mr and Mrs’ tags to go on them.
Wedding favours were made from beautiful vintage cotton bags which I brought from eBay and filled with leaf tea. Gift tags were handmade and tied onto each one.
We brought a vintage bike and used it as decoration. Birdcages were decorated with rose garlands and had tissues for happy tears, heel stoppers for the ladies so they didn’t sink into the grass and one was for the wedding programmes. Chalkboards were handmade to display details for the wedpics app which we used to share images and was for ‘Our Love Story’. I used wicker hearts and decorated them with matching colour felt flowers from hobby craft as pew ends which looked great but were also nice to give away at the end of the night.
I had a mixture of pink roses, daisies and other pinky flowers which were hand-tied. Fiona also made herby button holes with roses and made a beautiful wand decorated in flowers for my flower girl. Fiona Chapman at Anenome Blue was super as she helped the mums and boys put on their button holes.
The centre pieces were arranged in teapots and tiered cake stands where we went for a little more colour and of course daisies. We got married outside in the gazebo which Fiona decorated with a beautiful garland to surprise us. It was such a romantic setting! When the flowers arrived at my mum and dads house I cried. Suddenly everything was becoming real.
The Wedding Party Fashion
I had 4 beautiful and wonderful bridesmaids who played a huge part in the day. They wore beautiful pastel pink dresses by Jenny Packham from Debenhams which had straps and tied in at the waist by a diamante broach. They also wore matching strappy heels which had sparkly toes straps. I didn’t realise how high these were when I bought them but my bridesmaids loved them and wore them the whole day!
My beautiful flower girl wore an ivory dress with pink flowers on it from Monsoon and waved a flowery wand made by Fiona. The page boys wore Ted Baker suits from Debenhams which matched the grooms from Moss Bros. They looked cute! They held a sign I had made which read ‘Here comes your girl’. The groomsmen wore Ted Baker suits from Moss Bros with pink cravats the same colour as the bridesmaid dresses.
The ceremony was non-religious and outdoors, under the gazebo. It was stunning. I had the longest walk down the isle. I walked under willow trees and all I could think was ‘try and take it all in’. It really does pass you by. When I got to the top of the aisle I looked up and waved a nervous wave. Now when I look back at the videos, I’m shaking the whole way to Adam. The moment I saw Adam he told me I looked beautiful. It is the most emotional part of the day. We had our rings made, as Adam had had my engagement ring designed and made. I was so nervous putting it on.
We chose my little sister to read ‘sonnet 116’ from Sense & Sensability. We created a mixture of the modern and older version as there were elements from both I liked. This had a lot of meaning to us as Adam and I always say phrases from it randomly. Even though he has never seen the film…
Adam’s brother read a poem/song called ‘Your personal penguin’. We wanted something that reflected us. As I am a primary school teacher and Adam is just funny and crazy we thought it reflected our personalities perfectly. Scott was happy to read it and even practised it at work on top of a house roof!
In the evening we had the glass house as the fun and games room. In here we had a Photo Booth from ‘Juiced’
We also had a candy cart which we created ourselves. our guestbook was a typewriter which we brought from a boot fair. We bought lots of tiny keys which we hung miniature luggage tags from for people to write their ‘key to success’, and had a box of flip flops that guests could wear to head their tired feet so they could dance the night away.
Music for the evening was provided by my Dads band called ‘Klikz’ who can be contacted by email firstname.lastname@example.org. It was lovely to have all my family members playing such big part on the day. The evening was rounded off by my Dad playing our first dance again as the last dance as a surprise which was by Ed Sheeran. This will always be something I remember. Your dad is always your first port of call, no matter how old you get. I feel so lucky to have parents who wanted to be such a big part of the day! My dad also did a photo powerpoint presentation as part of his speech. There were family photos but also included my best friends, and the key moments when I met Adam! It couldn’t have been better.
We wanted to leave the party in full swing dew with a bang so we bought sparklers which were lit and waved at the end of the night as we departed for our honeymoon.
Adam and I love afternoon tea! Everything was based around this from chintzy china to the wedding favours.
We had a 2 course afternoon tea. The first course was sandwiches with home made sausage rolls and goats cheese tartlets with large scotch eggs all made at the Secret Garden. The second course was the sweets. Fruit and plain scones, blackcurrant eton mess, chocolate choux buns and orange cake! There was so much food. In the evening we had a BBQ where there was burgers, sausages, salmon and goatscheese skewers. Everyone loved it. The BBQ man was the best !
My best friend made our wedding cake. The one and only Ella Shilling! When I asked Ella if she wouldn’t mind making our cake, she couldn’t have been happier. She made us a stunning 4 tier fruit cake. It had pastel colours with a teacup at the top with birds on! It tasted so good…and it all went! Ella took so much time to make our cake perfect. She even transported it to the venue and drew in depth pictures to show how to assembly the last view bits.
We also had a selection of cheese rounds for the evening which were served with crackers and chutneys. This was sourced from the Secret Garden and a gift from Adams mum and nan. We love cheese!
This could obviously be the one and only Sarah-Jane Ethan. When I found SJ online I instantly knew she was the only photographer we could have! She answered all our questions and from the very first time we spoke to her via video call we felt so at ease like we already knew her. She creates stunning photographs and snaps you in the most elegant ways. When she arrived at my parents house in the morning she was fun and relaxed. I didn’t even notice her taking photographs. During the ceremony she hid in tiny gaps to get great snaps that no one else could! i loved the way she sussed out creative places in the venue to capture shots. Places we didn’t even know existed. Plus the photographs arrived to us so quickly!
They really are a true reflection and story of the whole day! Best choice ever!
Leslie from DVD Video Memories captured our best mans wedding the previous year and did a fantastic job so we decided to choose him to capture our special day! Leslie was fun to be around and everyone has said how funny the video messages will be to watch. I can’t wait to get the video and watch it back.
Advice From The Bride
It is so easy to get carried away when planning your wedding, especially when you look on Pinterest and around wedding fairs, however I found making a scrap books as I went helped me to pin point what I really wanted and weigh up ‘musts’ and ‘maybes’ and choosing what we could afford. There were things I was able to save money on by making things ourselves and asking favours from friends and family. I knew I wanted an amazing photographer and a videographer. The big thing for me was that I wanted our wedding to really show who we are. I wanted it to tell our story and for people to see elements of both of us through the little added extras and finishing touches and I really feel we accomplished this. Adam played such a big part in the wedding too. With the help of friends and family we were able to make lots of things. I couldn’t justify the price of having a wedding car as we were only going 1 way and I didnt think many people would see it so having our best friends husband drive us helped us save money. My best friend made our wedding cake as a present which was stunning and having my dad play also saved lots of pennies but was will always be something that is special to us !
I was calm up until the day before the wedding, then suddenly I panicked about everything down to my legs and arms falling off and obviously if it rained on the day. Adam was there to calm me down and after a little cry I was fine ! There are just some things you have no power over and on the day, although the sun only came our for a split second it didnt rain (nor did my arms or legs fall off)! I ripped my dress down the isle but you couldn’t see and it’s just something else to laugh at in years to come. So advice…make sure your dress fits down the aisle, ask friends and family for help and advice…they will be happy to help and do/have things because they mean something to you! Everyone will love and remember those things and one more thing…take it all in, it really does flash past!
Photography by Sarah-Jane Ethan Photography
- Gown Victoria Jane
- Boutique Abigails
- Shoes Monsoon
- Groomsmen suits Moss Bros
- Groomsmen shoes Loake
- Bridal Hair Ahead of Beauty
- Florist Fiona Chapman at Anenome Blue
- Venue The Secret Garden
- Cake Maker Ella Shilling
- Bridesmaid Dresses Jenny Packham at Debenhams
- Photo Booth Juiced
- Videographer Leslie Watts from DVD Video Memories