When you think of a Disney themed wedding, you immediately think pink, overly girly and slightly garish. Well Sarah and Ashley's Beauty and the Beast themed affair throws that silly assumption out of the window! It's elegant, feminine and utterly sophisticated. A grown up fairy tale, if you will. The photography by Jacob and Pauline captures the day beautifully. Sarah looks every inch the Princess and the couple portraits are just brimming with romance. And it's true - a love story really is a tale as old as time...
The BrideSarah The Bride: In my search for a dress I knew I wanted something timeless and classic that was a little bit sexy. My Christine Dando gown from her Dando London range was in fact the best last minute decision I could have ever made. I originally chose a Tara Kelly strapless, ivory gown that was a discontinued style so bought the dress off the rack. Unfortunately when arriving for my final fitting and to take home my dress two days before my wedding the dress alterations were not right and the dress was unwearable. The day before my wedding and on route to the venue to stay the night before I arranged a visit to Confetti and Lace in Farnham, Surrey to find a wedding dress to wear the next day. The ladies in the store could not have been more helpful and helped me find my perfect dress. It was exactly what I was looking for with its classic and timeless cut that was sexy with the low back and fitted shape and went perfectly with the cathedral veil I had already purchased and my No1 by Jenny Packham shoes. The dress was altered overnight and arrived at my wedding venue at 12pm, just in time for my 1pm ceremony. I chose a dramatic lace cathedral veil and beautiful Ben Amun pearl and floral cut earrings to keep accessories to a minimum and in keeping with the classic and timeless look I was going for.
The GroomThe Groom wore a cream three piece suit with an ivory tie and brown braces. The outfit was topped off with Russell and Bromley brown loafers. We chose cream as it was in keeping with the light and airy feel of the venue and reflected my love of all things neutral.
The VenueWhen beginning our search for a venue we knew we wanted a castle. We got engaged at Hever Castle in Kent in front of the castle in a horse drawn Cinderella carriage. This was arranged by Ashley to encompass my love of Disney and fairy tales. We knew we wanted to follow through with this theme for our wedding but found most castles although beautiful from the outside were unable to live up to our expectations on the inside. We have a very neutral taste and I love natural light. Most of the castles we viewed were dark and dingy inside with dark décor. Then we viewed Farnham Castle. This ticked every box we had from a cream and neutral interior to guest rooms on site and incredible caterers.
The DecorThe theme for the wedding was a subtle nod to our favourite classic Disney film Beauty and the Beast. We thought if used subtly would make the perfect romantic and classic wedding we were hoping for. The theme was encompassed by using roses in the floral arrangements, candelabras, Beauty and the Beast table names and of course the rose in the glass cloche. The colour scheme was a mix of pastel pinks, greens and white.
The FlowersI love flowers so wanted lots of greenery and floral arrangements throughout without blowing our whole budget on flowers. Our florist was brilliant at helping us achieve the look we wanted within our budget. I wanted rustic bouquets incorporating my favourite flowers, peonies, and roses to go with our theme. Other flower arrangements were beauty and the beast themed such as the roses in the glass cloches in the ceremony room and on the top table and the candelabras. I was particularly pleased with the candelabras with the roses, greenery and gypsophila winding up the stalk. I thought this looked so elegant and the tall candelabras really helped fill the large dining hall.
The Wedding PartyBridesmaids – the bridesmaids wore beaded Adrianna Papell dresses in pale green with pale pink and white bouquets. This was in keeping with the pastel and neutral colour scheme. I loved these dresses as they were different from usual strapless chiffon bridesmaids dresses seen so often and were so comfortable for them to wear. The blouson design and column cut was very flattering and the straps made them practical and unlikely to fall down. They also wore some beautiful stud earrings from John Lewis that were their presents from myself and Ashley. I wanted to give them something to wear on the day that wouldn’t take away too much from the glitz of the dress and that they could wear again. My nieces wore ivory dresses from Monsoon and carried bouquets of gyp. The main priority for these dresses were that they were comfortable for them to wear all day and not too heavy, hot or itchy and that they came in sizes for both of them (aged 4 years and 15 months). They had ivory flower accessories in their hair. The groomsmen also wore the cream three piece suit from Next but wore ties to match the green of the bridesmaid’s dresses and had a pink rose button hole to match the bridesmaid bouquets.
The CeremonyAshley’s mum, a trained drama teacher, wrote a poem to read during our wedding ceremony which made the reading so personal and unique to us. This was such a special moment for us.
The EntertainmentThe harpist played throughout the ceremony and was incredibly accommodating to our requests. I walked down the aisle to Ed Sheeran Tenerife Sea which she specifically wrote an arrangement for and we signed the register to A Heart Full of Love from Les Miserables, our favourite musical. She also played during our drinks reception and wedding breakfast. The Distractions were a high energy 5 piece band. The singer Aearon had an incredible soulful voice. We saw them at a wedding fair and booked them there and then as the band was a big thing to us. We wanted everyone to really enjoy the evening so a great band was crucial.
The FoodGalloping Gourmet are the caterers based at Farnham Castle. We had already viewed another venue they catered at and loved the sound of their menus and how flexible they are to accommodate your specific requirements so were really happy to learn they were at Farnham Castle. Our menu was based around Ashley and my favourite foods and Ashley was set on having a hog roast in the evening. The trio of desserts was a massive hit at the wedding breakfast and the children’s menu was just perfect as we had 11 children there.
The PhotographyChoosing the right photographer was the second most important thing to me after the wedding venue. Your wedding photos are the lasting memories of the day and I was looking for someone that took wedding photos that were both natural and beautiful and reflected my love of light and Jacob and Pauline were the perfect people for that. I loved their portfolio and couldn’t wait for them to photograph our day. Ashley and I are over the moon with our wedding photos.
The VideographyChoosing a videographer again had the same importance to us as choosing a photographer. We wanted a stylish and professional video that was short enough to give to our friends and family to watch but not too short that it missed out on a lot of things.
AdviceSome things won’t go to plan but remember to stay calm, remind yourself of the bigger picture (you’re marrying the love of your life!) and solve the problem. There is always a solution. Despite my wedding dress being ruined two days before my wedding I was determined not to let it stress me out or stop me enjoying the day before and morning of my wedding. Make the most of every moment as you won’t get it back again!
Bride: Christine Dando | Boutique: Confetti & Lace | Videography: HD Moments | Jewellery: Ben Amun | Veil: The One Bridal | Florist: Classic Floral Designs | Venue: Farnham Castle | Cake: Bluebell Kitchen | Catering: Galloping Gourmet | Bridesmaids: Adrianna Papell | Stationery: Beautiful Day | Groom & Groomsmen: Next | Harpist: Amy Turk | Band: The Distractions | Hair: Lush by Design | Make Up: Grace Kelly Make Up