Hey there lovelies! It’s on days like today I wish you were here with me, helping me choose the best of all the gorgeous images I’m sent for every real wedding feature. Because to be honest, today’s Fanhams Hall wedding is so beautiful I’m simply lost for where to begin!
Today’s stunning bride Nicola wears a Galina Signature gown from David’s Bridal. She looks incredible with a navy sash belt and crystal hair accessory – and oh, those flowers… nothing provides texture more than fabulous blue thistles and berries, while the roses add glamour and anemones complete the romantic bouquet. LOVE!
I can tell Nicola and Adam were inspired by wedding blogs and Pinterest: the chalkboards (and hours learning how to get the lettering just perfect!), anenomes and attention to detail are ideas I love to share on the English Wedding Blog so this blog-inspired wedding is more than perfect!
Images are by Richard Pickavance at London-based Pickavance Weddings. See more of Richard’s wedding photography and check him out here:
Our wedding story: Nicola & Adam
Wedding photographer’s website:
Were you pleased with your wedding photographer?
A close friend suggested Richard to us. He was actually the best man at his wedding but we were promised he was an exceptional photographer too and we were not disappointed! After meeting Richard and seeing his work, we were smitten and knew that he would be the perfect photographer for the day to capture the natural, story book photos that we wanted. Richard also set up a photo booth in the evening and we where so glad that he did! The memories are amazing! We gathered an old suitcase and filled it with old fancy dress costumes that we have collected over the years.
Once Adam proposed in October 2013, we knew we did not want a long engagement. We agreed that a winter wedding in 2014 would be ideal and so started to hunt for the perfect location. Somewhere with fireplaces, stone walls and wooden beams was high on our wishlist, so when we looked at Fanham’s Hall Hotel, located in little town called Ware, we knew it was the one. The date of the wedding was set for 29th November!
We wanted somewhere away from the madness of London and that really built an atmosphere for a natural, wintery themed wedding. Somewhere where the location and grounds could take your breath away, but when inside you could cuddle up next to a fire or dance in candlelight! We also wanted somewhere that felt like an escape for our guests (most stayed for the whole weekend), and where we could stay dancing into the early hours of the morning.
29th November 2014
Can you describe your wedding in a single sentence?
The day had such a romantic feel but with a family party atmosphere; it was so much fun seeing everyone dressed up in their best.
Your wedding style or theme:
We wanted to go for a wintery wedding theme that had an intimate feel but still had held the traditional feel of the occasion. We tried to keep the style fairly classic, but tried to add in elements of personal touches and looked for inspiration on blogs like “The English Wedding Blog” then used Pinterest to help visualize what I wanted.
Where did you find your suppliers?
From wedding blogs, the venue & a couple of recommendations.
Best bit of budget advice?
A good spreadsheet really helped me keep everything in budget.
Did you fall in love with your wedding dress?
I had always heard the stories of ‘when you put on the right dress, you will know’, but I never believed it! The dress I chose was the 2nd one I tried on. It was from David’s Bridal in Stratford and designed by Galina Signature. The basket weave bodice and the feathered tulle skirt took my breath away as soon as I put it on. The finishing touch was a navy contrasting ribbon around the waist. We picked the colour to match the bridesmaid dresses and bought a crystal applique from notonthehighstreet.com which my Mum lovingly sewed on!
The headpiece was from David’s Bridal. With the dress being quite dramatic I knew that I wanted to keep jewellery at a minimum, but this meant more room for a sparkly headpiece!
The something old, something new and something borrowed happened without me realizing! My mum lent me some beautiful diamond and pearl earrings that I have coveted for years! They matched my headpiece perfectly without me realizing. My Aunt and Godmother also lent me a gorgeous teardrop diamond bracelet, that was so simple but so elegant. My other Aunt then handmade me a blue brooch that she attached to the underskirt of my dress, and with a theme of navy I certainly wasn’t short of any blue on the day!
Suited and booted – the groom wore:
Adam’s suit was a beautiful present from his parents ahead of the wedding. Custom made by A Suit That Fits in dark grey with a navy lining to match the colour scheme of the wedding. He felt like James Bond on the day!
Since getting engaged, I knew I wanted to treat Adam to a gift on the day and a watch seemed ideal. Back in April he spotted this Mondaine watch, and I had to do everything to convince him not to get it so that it could be his gift! Six months later, I was finally able to give it to him and he hasn’t taken it off since.
Beautiful bridesmaids: what did your best girls wear?
It was not hard to find a dress that looked good on my beautiful bridesmaids! The colour choice of Navy suited them all beautifully and as soon as they all tried on the one shoulder, column design from BHS we knew it was the one! The crystal applique on the shoulder just added some winter sparkle!
The ushers’ suits were hired from Burton. With Adam’s suit being a dark grey, we knew we wanted something a little bit different for the groomsmen, and a lighter grey suit with a silver waistcoat worked perfectly. Part of their ushers’ gift were the navy silk ties from Thomas Nash which matched the Bridesmaids exactly.
Hair and make-up – did you DIY or hire a professional?
Simply Faye did both mine & the bridesmaids hair and make up. We gave them examples of the sort of thing we where looking for and had a practice run, so by the time the big day came around they were very efficient.
With the wintery theme, we knew we wanted to keep the flowers to the white and blue colour scheme. White hydrangeas, blue thistle and anemones were in season to our luck(!) and worked beautifully with the venue. Our florist, Scarlet Rose, added some willow to the centrepieces and suggested white roses as an addition to my bouquet for that added bit of glamour.
General styling – did your venue need much decoration?
The venue was so beautiful, we didn’t need to add much to the décor! I had a bit of a buying craze on ebay for chalkboards once we were engaged, so decided to turn these into beautiful signs for the day! Many pinterest tutorials later, Adam and I learnt how to perfect writing in chalkboard paint and created ‘Welcome’ , ‘Pick a seat’ and our Table Plan from the boards. We then also bought some chalkboard hearts which we used as table numbers and our simple, but perfect cake topper on top of our M&S three flavour layer cake (which was so delicious there was not a crumb leftover). It helped give what was a traditional cake a quirky edge.
The DJ was great, we created a playlist on Spotify based on the sort of music we wanted playing and he just went from there. Although dance floor played host to some crazy moves, it was great to have the photobooth as another source of entertainment. The sweet trolley provided by the venue was also great fun especially for the kids. We also made up personalized packs for each child, with games and colouring in kits.
On the day tips and advice:
Everything won’t go as planned, just let the day unfold as it does and try not to sweat the small stuff.
What’s the best thing about being married?
Adam and I are childhood sweethearts, so although we have been together for along time it was such a magical & humbling experience having your family in friends brought together on such a great occasion to celebrate use.
Quick supplier list for other brides and grooms:
Photography: Richard Pickavance – www.pickavanceweddings.com
Brides Dress: Galina Signature at David’s Bridal – http://www.davidsbridal.com
Brides Jewellery: Borrowed
Brides Shoes: Pink by Paradox London – http://www.pinkparadoxshoes.com/home
Veil / Headpiece: David’s Bridal – http://www.davidsbridal.com
Florist: Scarlet Rose – http://scarletroseflowers.co.uk/
Venue: Fanhams Hall Hotel – http://www.ehvenues.com/fanhams-hall-hotel/the-venue/
Caterers: Fanhams Hall Hotel – http://www.ehvenues.com/fanhams-hall-hotel/the-venue/
Bridesmaids Dresses: BHS – http://www.bhs.co.uk
Grooms Attire: A Suit That Fits – http://www.asuitthatfits.com
Groomsmen Attire: Burton – http://www.burton.co.uk
Hair: Simply Faye Bridal – http://www.simplyfaye.co.uk/
Make Up: Simply Faye Bridal – http://www.simplyfaye.co.uk/
Music: Max at Mighty Fine Entertainment – http://mfent.co.uk/