If you’re a food lover and are yet to discover the incredible Hampton Manor, then prepare to be blown away. This is a wedding venue with a Michelin starred restaurant, a focus on local produce, a strong knowledge of wine and spirits and the team have serious style when it comes to presentation. Going out for a beautiful meal is such a treat, why not make sure you and your guests have the same feeling on your wedding day?
Garden-led cocktails, feasting on fresh, British produce and decadent desserts that look almost too good to eat. Hungry? You certainly will be after reading this…
We’ve been following bride Claire a.k.a The Green Eyed Girl‘s house renovation very closely over on sister blog Rock My Style, if you haven’t seen it yet you must, it’s so serene and peaceful, and makes the perfect backdrop for the getting ready portraits. It’s especially lovely to be able to continue her & Will’s journey with you and share their beautiful wedding.
Being a lifestyle & travel blogger Claire certainly knows how to style things and together with her florist Floribunda Rose created an utterly dreamy flower filled wedding at Hampton Manor. From the centrepieces to the table plan garland and not forgetting the bouquets, each flower design is delicious and adds to the elegance of this wedding.
Claire looks stunning in a Jenny Packham Hermia beaded gown, a far cry from what she originally thought she wanted, so definitely a reminder to try things out of your comfort zone, to which she added a pair of fabulous ivory satin Manolo Blahnik Hangisi pumps to her bridal look, making her an absolute vision.
Images come from the talented Xander and Thea who’s fine art wedding photography was perfect for this wedding in every way.
Hampton Manor took me all of about 5 seconds to fall in love with, and I expect it will be a similar story for you. I can see it now, beautiful brides getting ready in the sumptuously gorgeous Arts & Crafts bedrooms, guests dining on the most amazing British produce, honed to perfection by chefs Rob and Steve, the Manor’s rich heritage providing the most wonderful photographic backdrop.. Don’t even get me started on the epic use of wallpaper which would be completely at home on the super stylish pages of Rock My Style. See! I told you I was in love. Hold on folks because you’re about to go all starry eyed.
Although our beautiful couple married in Autumn there is a magical Christmas feel to their wedding. It could be Bride Charmaine’s glamorous Justin Alexander wedding dress, fur stole and red lip combo or maybe her Bridesmaids fancy black lace No.1 by Jenny Packham frocks. But I also think the super luxe mercury glass votives with overflowing white blooms, succulents and simple yet stunning gypsophila that looks like snow drops add to the pure magic and sparkle too.
Charmaine & Ed were so super savvy when it came to creating their overall look on a budget. They’ve got a wealth of handy DIY tips, crafts and places to shop so you too can achieve your dream day whilst holding on to more of your hard earned pennies.
Amy and Ben, vey much like ‘Old Blues Eyes’ Sinatra, did it their way. The most suprising choice could well be their decision to not actually have a reception. They celebrated tying the knot with a massive afternoon teaparty instead.
To be honest that sounds pretty good to me and totally reflects Amy and Bens laid back and chilled out personalities. If it feels good then do it… And this vintage inspired snowy Spring wedding certainly feels good…
More Tea Vicar?
Amy The Bride:a Ben and I had been to a few Venues before we found ‘The One’! We knew we wanted a church ceremony and we knew it didn’t need to be Westminster Abbey as we wanted a small wedding! We finally chose my families local church, just down the road in Hampton in Arden. It sat right on the corner of the town and had the most amazing Vicar, Duncan Ballard. We sat down for a cup of tea and a chat with him and we were completely sold! We also then discovered that when you follow a small walkway at the back of the church, you reach Hampton Manor. The place was stunning and surrounded by a beautiful garden and as we were hoping for a spring wedding, it was perfect!
We had decided on quite a vintage, shabby chic style for the wedding, mainly because I wanted a vintage twist on my ‘effortless, yet really lots of effort’ style that I attempt to rock every day. My hair I wanted to leave loose with lots of volume and bounce (thanks to the effort it took to grow, I felt I wanted to show off the length!) To keep the vintage style I then put a small french curl on the side to keep it out my face. My makeup was done by a lovely woman called Nicole Gallon that my Mom found online. I wanted subtle makeup and as natural as possible but with a vintage flick on the eye. Understated but striking. Nude tones for my nails and you can’t go wrong with Dior for the perfume.
Ben and I were quite clueless on wedding photography and film, so we started with Hampton Manor recommendations. We googled everyone on the list. We were beginning to worry until we got to Anna Clarke Photography and Simon Clarke Films. Anna’s photos on her website made me want to book her right away! I wanted to look as good as all the beautiful brides and I couldn’t get over how natural and real the whole wedding looked! I was sold!
Then through Anna’s website we realised Simon her husband did wedding film. I hadn’t considered a wedding film so being nosey I clicked on one of the videos… Well… I didn’t even know the people I was watching but I cried throughout! It was beautiful! We planned a meeting with both Anna and Simon. They made us feel so calm, relaxed and excited about our wedding and we couldn’t not book them! They were completely professional yet wonderfully warm and reassuring. On the day they were both amazing, the morning of a wedding can be a stressful occasion! But thanks to Anna and Simon I felt relaxed and calm. Through the entire day I felt like we were spending our special day with friends.
I had been anxious that we might have to be rushed and pulled away from our guests a lot to get the beautiful shots we had seen in their other samples and that the film might seem like acting, a bit robotic, but they were amazing, warm, caring, professional, friendly, fun and just mingled with our family and friends while capturing the most amazing images and footage I could have ever wished for. To know that I have these images and film for the rest of my life is just worth every penny. Every wedding is expensive and this has given us the most enduring value of all, because everything was captured and brought beautifully back to remembrance. There are so many things we would have missed without it.
I wore the most amazing Justin Alexander dress in antique gold. It was strapless and fitted all the way down to under the bum and then flared out with a subtle train at the back. The fabric was like nothing else and shimmered a beautiful silvery gold colour. I was covered in lace and embellishments. I have never felt so special and the dress really was my dream dress. My lovely hubby wore his own vintage store bought blue crushed velvet jacket and looked incredible on the day! Due to swirling snow on the day I also wore a full length cardigan my late grandma knitted for my mother. I so wished she could have been there but it helped me feel like she was.
I bought my wedding shoes 2 days before the wedding day (not the most organised of brides!) from a gorgeous small franchise called Aspire Style. They specialise in very retro and vintage styles and the second I saw them. . . they were coming home with me! All my jewellery was bought from a small jewellers in knowle at the end of the High Street called Glasstower Jewellery, lovely people and very lovely jewellery!
I didn’t have bridesmaids but I did have 2 of the cutest flower girls! They wore Monsoon dresses and shoes in Ivory with Ivory tights and a small cardie. As the men were in ivory waistcoats and I was (secretly) not wearing ivory or white, the flower girls tied in well with that!
As we had decide on a vintage, shabby chic style, I wasn’t too concerned with colour matching but more the style of everything! We had a lot of our own items that we decorated in the months leading up to the wedding. I love and own quite a few birdcages and my lovely mother, being the creative type, worked to decorate with jewels and fake flowers in pastel and antique tones. We used personal items more than anything to keep it special. We had jewellery and items such as hatpins and broaches from my grandma and nan and my Great Grandma who I remember well. It all added to making it such a personal and joyous day.
We had chosen to have an Afternoon Tea Party instead of a formal sit down wedding breakfast. We hired the most fabulous crockery from TheVintageHire.com through a wonderful lady called Lesley. We were in communication all the way up to the wedding day and she spent time to find out styles, colours and other props I was using. She brought with her a vintage typewriter for guests to leave messages and more birdcages. She also for the smallest price, came to my wedding venue to set up all her amazing crockery! Id requested them all to be mixed up with as many styles and colours as possible. My Mom then topped off the teapot centre pieces with a ball of the family jewels and broaches. This created such an amazing look but kept the intimate and relaxed family feel we wanted.
Big & Sparkly
As there was no set colours and not being a very flowery person, we decided to go big and sparkly!!! I found a producer online that would create me a broach vintage bouquet to go with all my grandma’s jewellery. It worked perfectly.
Perfect For Us
The ceremony for me was complete the second I saw my soon to be husband with tears in his eyes. We had only 45 people there, close family and friends but it was just perfect for us. It was intimate and relaxed and because of that, both my husband and I got to live the whole thing ‘in the moment’ instead of feeling overwhelmed like a whirlwind of activity and missing half of it. We chose hymns that both our parents had at their wedding and the ‘Lord of the Dance’ at the end for a bit of a bop to!
We didn’t have one! I know! Its absolutely unheard of! I think we were completely into our vintage ‘old school’ theme and decided that after our beautiful ceremony all we wanted was a relaxed afternoon tea with our loved ones and our hand picked music playing. We wanted the wedding to be about us and so within a few hours of being married my husband took my hand and we went off together to start our honeymoon! It was perfect for us and very romantic!
Hampton Manor provide afternoon tea’s although not for weddings! So we chose the menu from the tea party selection and added a few family favourites! A lovely hot and cold savoury selection followed by lots and lots and lots of cake! Our main wedding cake was created by my Mom’s good friend Maggie Beal. She is a whizz in the kitchen and made the most amazing gradient cake. I wanted the cake just right so its the one thing I was specific about.
I chose to do all the invites, table plans, order of services and paperwork myself. I did a lot of layouts and image manipulation at Uni and thought it would keep our personal touches… Well… Very personal. You can’t get more personal that do it yourself.
Plan & Communicate
I think the most important advice I could give to a future bride would be to plan and communicate. Keep control of things, plan, organise, make lists and plan some more… right through the planning stage but… when the wedding day comes, let it all go!
Don’t panic when the bridesmaid puts a pull in her dress or the grooms men are wearing the wrong size trousers. Don’t bat an eyelid at the inappropriate friend that turned up the the ceremony wearing cream when everyone can see the theme is ivory. Let it go if your future hubby hasn’t done his hair quite how you thought he would or if you both stumble through the vows. Your wedding day will never be exactly what you planned in your head. It will be filled with precious, imperfect yet wonderful moments. So relax, enjoy and take in every moment, you will see that every single person there is well wishing, wanted to make it the most special day for you. And regardless of if you catch your heel on the carpet and fall flat on your face… At the end of the day you will be married, and you’ll always have a good story to tell! Just enjoy it and it will be the perfect day, whether you planned it that way or not.