I hope you’re wrapped up all snuggly and warm this morning – not only is it freezing outside, I also have a January wedding to share with you today. Joanna and Angus got married at Kingscote Barn in Gloucestershire at the beginning of the year; a day full of romance, shared glances and elegant, individual style. Joanna’s wedding dress and jacket are gorgeous; Angus looks the part in top hat and tails. I adore the bridesmaids’ capes (want one!) – as soon as they caught my eye, I wanted this particularly wonderful wedding to show you on English Wedding blog.
Joanna’s wedding report is fabulous. Her advice is great: “Decide what you care about and plan, plan, plan. Then on the day: Relax.” There’s more – but I’ll leave Joanna to tell her wedding story in her own words.
Photography is by the lovely Samantha J Photography, based in the West Midlands.
Who proposed, and how?
Angus proposed – he took me to a gorgeous restaurant overlooking Hyde Park, the day before Christmas Eve, and then into the Winter Wonderland to propose (on one knee in the snow!) right by the carousel – he knows how much I love fairgrounds!
Religious or civil wedding?
Religious – this was important to us, and we chose Kingscote Church, and Revd Stephen Earley, who was an absolute angel throughout the planning. We had my sister and a close friend do the readings (both of which made us smile a huge amount), chose hymns that we loved (and sang loudly!) chose a processional that I knew would put a smile on everyone’s faces (the Wedding March from the Sound of Music, my favourite film) and a recessional that suited us both (Grand March from Aida – I’m an Egyptologist, and we both love opera and classical music), and we had a group of incredibly talented friends sing during the register signing – one of Angus’ best men arranged the songs, another friend played guitar, and it just made our day!
The wedding readings
The wedding dress
Romantica – very simple, ivory duchesse satin, sweetheart neckline, pleated. I bought it from Pollyanna’s in Warwick, and Tess, who runs Pollyanna’s, made my jacket out of the same fabric – she was an absolute legend with a needle, and really lovely to boot. I’d recommend her to anyone wanting boutique service without the excessive price-tag that usually entails.
Accessories: My veil was bought from Pollyanna’s – fingertip length, scalloped edged. I loved it. I didn’t wear anything in my hair, as my talented hairdresser did such a lovely job that I didn’t need to. I wore an antique pearl necklace, pearl studs that Angus bought me a few years ago, and a bracelet loaned to me by my lovely mother-in-law, that was my something borrowed and blue (it was sapphire and pearl).
The Groom’s outfit
Morning suit from Moss Bros, lavender cravat.
The wedding reception:
What were your highlights?
The sweetie table created by my super-talented bridesmaid, the food (Strawberry Field Catering, Bath), the speeches, our first dance, the ceilidh, the last but one dance, where we went up onto the balcony and all our lovely friends sang to us, seeing all the people we love best in the world together to celebrate with us.
Wedding venue styling and details
We picked a deep plum, ivy green and cream colour scheme, and wanted to work with the gorgeous natural Cotswold Stone of the barn, so kept everything rich, textured and wintry – my amazing Mum made a cake which we adored, and bunting which was so in keeping with the colour scheme; my Great Aunt paid for the flowers, which were lots of ivy, antique Amnesia roses, and freesias to remember my grandma who passed away several years ago. We also used lots of lavender, bay and rosemary, as well as candles, so we could play with different scents and lighting effects – we wanted it to be cosy and delicious. We also had a ‘photo booth’ of props that I made, and these were incredibly popular and great fun.
Wedding music and entertainment
We had a Ceilidh Band (Banshee Ceilidh), who were amazing, and made everyone dance; then a DJ (Shadows Disco and Karaoke) who was fab – he took our playlist and made it into a brilliant end to the evening. We loved both parts.
Wedding day advice
Decide what you care about (for us it was food, wine, atmosphere and fun) and plan, plan, plan. Then on the day: Relax. Plan everything down to the last detail (I had a list of the order of events on the morning, which even included ‘get up, have a shower, dry hair’ etc! I also laid out everything I’d need the night before, which was a great idea), ask everyone to do things on the day, then sit back and have a great time.
Allow people to look after you, don’t try and do it all yourself. Find good, reliable suppliers, and tell them what you need. Forget trying to impress your guests, and trying to entertain them every second – good food, wine and company are the most important factors – but do think about what they will need (how will they get to the church & reception, how will they get to their hotels, think about what they might need during the day – I did a basket of useful things in the Ladies, including mints, hairspray, hair grips, plasters, paracetemol, safety pins and it all got used, some of it by me!) in advance. If anything goes wrong, forget about it. Unless it’s a disaster, you won’t remember it afterwards.
Memorable wedding day moments
My father walking me down the aisle – it was an emotional but incredibly happy moment – and catching the eye of an old friend who made me smile. Angus whispering ‘you rock’ as I got to the altar. Saying our vows and enjoying that moment of togetherness. Being announced as Mr and Mrs for the first time. The speeches (which were brilliant) – I nearly cried with laughter at points. Looking around the room at all our family and friends and knowing that they were all there for us. Dancing together for the first time as man and wife. The whole day, really!
Recommended wedding suppliers
The Kingscote Barn were ace – super-professional and incredibly helpful and friendly. Rachel, our wedding co-ordinator answered all my questions almost immediately and never made me feel as if I was crazy (even when I was)! On the day, she was there, making sure everything ran smoothly, and she took care of every detail (even lighting all the candles for us!), even emailing us afterwards to congratulate us. We’re hoping to go back for another party soon! www.kingscotebarn.co.uk
Strawberry Field Catering, Bath – we checked out all the possible caterers for the Barn, and SFC were head and shoulders above the others. Lee Bishop, who was the catering manager, was an absolute gem – the food was outstanding on the day (one vegetarian told me it was the best meal she’d ever had!) and he really listened to what we wanted and delivered. We would recommend SFC without hesitation – not only for the food, but for the impeccable and really kind and generous service we had. Lee sorted out so much more than just the food for us – he took delivery of a rosebush that I wanted to give to my Mum, he found elderflower presse the night before (I’d forgotten to get any for the reception), he greeted us on arrival from the church with a glass of champagne, and even sourced a whole Serrano ham to go with our canapés. Totally brilliant. www.strawberryfieldcatering.co.uk
Samantha Pommells – her photos were amazingly gorgeously wonderful. I love every one of them, and she has such an eye for http://english-wedding.com/wp-admin/post.php?post=20369&action=edit&message=9detail. She was incredibly professional and friendly – she spent some of the morning with us, and put everyone at ease, and then melted into the background (so much so that I didn’t notice her at the front of the church until after the second hymn!). Can’t recommend her highly enough – and she’s a really lovely lady as well! www.samantha-j.co.uk
Samantha asked me to mention her second shooter for the wedding day – Lucy Stendall, www.lucystendallphotography.co.uk
Chris Fordham, Chris Fordham Hair Design – my talented and lovely hairdresser, who did my hair, my two bridesmaids, my Mum and mother-in-law, and kept us laughing the whole time. He took my idea (inspired by Downton Abbey) and made it perfect – I loved the style so much! Again, wouldn’t hesitate to recommend to anyone. www.fhdmobile.co.uk
Shadows Disco – Paul was amazing – he did exactly what we wanted, didn’t intrude or talk over the music, played a great mix of songs. I barely stopped dancing!
Facebook links for your wedding supplier address book:
- Samantha J Photography https://www.facebook.com/Tiarasandteddybears
- Kingscote Barn https://www.facebook.com/Kingscotebarn
- Banshee Ceilidh https://www.facebook.com/pages/Banshee-CeilidhBarn-Dance-Band/321339027907203
- Lucy Stendall Photography https://www.facebook.com/lucystendallphotography
- Strawberry Field Catering https://www.facebook.com/pages/Strawberry-Field-Catering-Ltd-Event-Catering-Company/110627962320241?ref=ts