Steph the Bride:
Lee and I met in our local nightclub when we were 20 (cringe!) We had very close mutual friends but had never crossed paths before – at first I wasn’t too sure if I liked him never mind thought he’d be my future husband! He obviously won me over!
We got engaged during our stay in the beautiful Wayanad Jungle Retreat (Kerala) during a three week holiday backpacking around India with my sister and brother-in-law in November 2015. We stayed in a beautiful tree house which over looked a meadow with a watering hole surrounded by the Indian jungle - we managed to see wild Asian elephants the night Lee got down on one knee! So memorable –it was like something out of the Jungle Book!
I knew I always wanted an autumnal/winter church ceremony with a rustic barn theme for the venue and as Lee was quite laid back he was happy to follow suit! When we discovered Curradine Barns
it was the perfect combination of a gorgeous, warm and inviting barn with a traditional grade I listed church, St.Mary’s, a few hundred yards down the lane. I was so glad that we could walk to the venue rather than be bundled into a wedding car to travel to the venue! We wanted our guests to feel like there was only one destination so no need to arrange further logistics to the next place. I was prepared for the walk with my pastel green (our colour theme) wellingtons underneath my wedding dress!
We loved the type of venue Curradine Barns was, it was rustic and warm throughout with a blazing wood fire in the bar area. The Granary Barn which is usually used for ceremonies was an amazing space for our dance floor and fantastic band! The saxophonist was able to work his way round this beautiful space to mingle with our guests and the lead singer sang from the balcony over the dance floor. I also love the wooden beams with delicate branches entwined with darling fairy lights – this is where our scrumptious wedding breakfast was served! It was also essential that the venue had overnight accommodation for both Lee and I, but for our families. The farmhouse, which is on site, is furnished beautifully and was ideal for us as we aren’t local to the area.
The church ceremony and the speeches! I knew I would cry! Lee and I both commented how moving the church ceremony was and how good our speeches were after the breakfast! Tears and laughter in every kind of way! Readings were picked by my sisters, ‘The Key to Love’ according to the Bible and ‘The Key to Love’ according to Anonymous.
Lee and I had always discussed that our wedding would be laid back, served great food (Lee and I are big foodies!), would be attentive to our guests and basically throw a great party after the traditional church ceremony! We weren’t bothered if something didn’t go to plan as long as people were fed, watered (alcoholic beverages of course) and could let their hair down!
, Birmingham Jewellery Quarter. Lee always wanted a traditional yellow gold wedding band and I wanted something to frame my beautiful platinum engagement ring! As I’m not a massive fan of silver coloured jewellery/accessories I wanted a contrasting colour hence why I chose two rose gold wedding bands with a similar pattern of diamonds to my engagement ring. I love my trio of rings!
My dress was the second dress I tried on in the second bridal boutique I attended and I knew it was the one! My parents kindly bought my dress for me as a gift (one of three daughters - my poor Dad!) and it was actually purchased before we had booked our venue or wedding date! That’s how much I love it. She is called Proa, designed by Pronovias
provided by Rachel Ash
(Bridal Boutique in Atherstone, Warwickshire) The staff there are so kind!
I had small additions to my dress by adding glass, pearl and tiny silver beads to accentuate the stunning soft lace work. I wore an ostrich feather bolero whilst in church and outside which was also provided by Rachel Ash. I kept jewellery to a minimum to keep my dress as the statement, I only wore a pearl bracelet bought for me to wear as bridesmaid at my sister’s wedding and stud pearl earrings bought by Lee whist we were on our pre-moon in Vietnam’s idyllic island Phu Quoc. They have an abundance of sea oysters on this island which produce the most beautiful unique pearls! The look was finished with a beautiful fresh flower crown – it smelt and looked incredible!!!
Lee wore his military attire for the church ceremony, his Royal Marine Commando Blues.
He then changed into a brown flecked 3piece Donegal tweed suit from Duncan James
, Walsall for the reception.
The Wedding Party
My two sisters were my bridesmaids; their dresses were from True Bride Luna Collection
, Kiki in Aqua. Shoes were purchased by the bridesmaids. The two flower girls wore dresses from Rocha John Rocha, Debenhams
with shoes from Monsoon.
Advice From The Couple
Don’t worry about pleasing anyone – enjoy your special day with your husband! Everyone says it but the day goes so quick! Same as above but enjoy your day with your wife! Eat, drink, dance and be merry!
Don’t argue about planning your wedding! It’s a very important day and you can get lost in things like deciding your guest list or seating plans but it’s not just about the wedding - it is more about the many days/months/years spent together and the journey you are undertaking to become husband and wife and the excitement of what the future has to offer that you also need to look forward to!
We wanted totally relaxed reportage style and definitely not lots of photos where people had to be lined up for hours getting cold! Lee and I weren’t too keen to look at the camera with posed shots-the more natural the better! We just wanted the day captured from a fly on the wall kind of perspective and Jonny
certainly delivered what we wanted. He was so down to earth and a very friendly person! There was no pressure for Lee and I to ‘act’ we just ‘were’! He was professional and even felt the wrath of our vicar to get the shots which we so love in the church! We still laugh about that now! The grooms’ party commented on how much of a sound guy he is. He definitely put people at ease and adopted the fly on the wall approach with great skill without being impersonal to guests.