Inspiration

Shenay and Dan were married at the Riverhill Himalayan Gardens in Kent, such a stunning venue! And they have one of my favourite colour schemes, lemon yellow and peach, such summery shades of happiness. The table plan is particularly lovely, simple yet pretty pales of lavender suspended on wooden frames. And although I wouldn't normally mention the food choices, the menu sounds AMAZING, having experienced an antipasti/meze at a wedding myself I can assure you it's a sure fire hit with guests......Shanay and Dan's cake looks rather delicious too.

The Dress

Shenay The Bride: I wanted my dress to be slightly different from the typical strapless, bodice dresses that I had seen at many a wedding. I saw the dress I eventually chose when another lady was trying it on in the boutique - I tried on various dresses after that one but my mind kept going back to it and it seemed special somehow. My Mum is brilliant in the craft department, so we found a perfect length plain veil from Berketex Brides that she then hand embellished with Swarovski crystals - added a personal touch and also kept it within our budget!

Grooms Fashion

Dan opted for a slightly more informal style for the groomsmen and chose a bespoke 3 piece suit for himself. Mont Blanc cufflinks were a wedding gift from his Mum with a matching belt from his Sisters, and his pocket watch was a wedding gift from me the Bride. 

The Venue

We had visited a couple of other venues in and around South London and Kent, but we both seemed to know straight away that Riverhill Himalayan Gardens was the venue for us. It is essentially a family estate, and the owner Sarah Rogers was so welcoming and accommodating - we felt that we had the freedom to plan our wedding reception as we wanted it, rather than having packages imposed on us. Plus the grounds are beautiful! Also Camelot Marquees were brilliant, the standard of the marquee was excellent and they took care of all the finer details around what caterers might need etc so that we didn't have to worry!

Colour Scheme

Dan's Mum Angela was the first to spot the Bridesmaid dresses in lemon yellow and we thought they would be nice and summery for an August wedding. We then went for yellows and peaches to carry on the summer theme. On the hen do, we had a craft activity of bunting making where all the hens created 3 or 4 handmade triangles than went together to create the final thing - we hung this in the marquee and it's a very special keepsake.

Florist

We cannot rate Georgia and her team at Sweet Pea in Farnborough Village highly enough - she spent so much time running through ideas and colour schemes, and nothing was off limits or too much trouble for her. Again we wanted to keep things relatively informal, so Georgia suggested mixing roses with greenery and fresh herbs in the bouquets and table decorations - they looked absolutely gorgeous against the colour of the Bridesmaids dresses and the marquee. The flowers were my favourite thing in the end!

Entertainment

Dan's parents organised singing waiters from Encore Entertainment to entertain the guests during the meal as a surprise. We were completely unaware and were introduced to one dressed as a chef and proceeded to thank him profusely for the food! They were brilliant and everyone agreed it was the highlight of the day. There was even a conga.... The owner of Riverhill commented that it was one of the jolliest weddings they had ever had there!

Food

Russell at Rafferty's helped us with loads of ideas, and again was extremely accommodating. We have Italian and Turkish heritage between us, so we went for a menu of antipasti/meze to start, followed by grill platters and salad bowls to share at the table. There was no formal silver service and people could tuck in as they wished, carrying on the informal and summery theme. Desserts were petit fours. My Mum Safiye made our wedding cake, traditional fruit cakes with the layers filled with fresh flowers provided by Sweet Pea Florist. She also hand made the favours, which were boxes filled with Turkish Delight.

Photographer

As soon as we met Nichola at Lemonade Pictures it seemed like we'd known her for years...we made the decision on the drive home from meeting her to book her there and then! She knows how to capture the fun in your wedding day and instantly makes you feel at ease.

Advice

Not everything will go to plan on the day - don't worry about it! If you don't have an event manager on the day, make sure you prep Bridesmaids and Ushers to help out in that respect and to be your spokes people to any event staff. As Bride and Groom, you should be busying yourself having fun and speaking to your guests, not worrying where things are and why things aren't happening at certain times. We didn't, and it meant we ended up having to keep half an eye on how things were running. People don't notice the small touches that you might spend hours agonising over. People want to be well fed, watered and most importantly to have fun! Don't forego the fun elements to focus on insignificant bits like favours. Eat something - we barely got a chance to touch our food and missed out. It also means any glasses of wine that you have to relax go straight to your head.

Written by Charlotte O'Shea

Dress Designer: Pronovias | Bridal Boutique: La Boutique Bridal | Bridal Shoes: Rainbow Club Couture | Headpiece: Alan Hannah Devoted at Debenhams | Bridesmaid Dresses: Coast | Venue: Riverhill Gardens | Florist: Sweetpea Florist | Marquee: Camelot Marquees | Caterer: Raffertys Food | Stationery : Berin Made | Entertainment: Encoure Entertainment | DJ: Bromley Wedding DJ | Videographer: Framework Video

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