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A bicycle made for two! Jen and Rob’s Torre Abbey wedding, with WR Photography

I’m all for bicycles on a wedding cake, signature skateboards (only write on the wood, folks!) and wellies tied to pew ends. Today’s is a wedding with a super cute sense of humour and a gorgeous – I mean stunning! – bride and groom.

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Jen and Rob were married in Torquay in spring (hence the wellies – they expected rain!) and held their reception at the fabulous Torre Abbey. I adore Jen’s bridal look: her lace dress was bought at a wedding show and is from Silk Brides in Lichfield. Rob and Jen found suppliers online, through recommendations and had help with lots of DIY projects from friends and family.

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The lovely flowers are by a family friend and stationery was designed by Rob. Signage on the day was made by a friend too – Jen’s told us all about the DIY elements of their day in her English Wedding Blog interview at the end of the feature today.

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Images are by Will Reddaway at WR Photography. Find out more about Will here:

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The English Wedding Blog Interview: Jen and Rob

Wedding photographer’s website:

www.willreddaway.co.uk

How did you choose your photographer?

Recommended by a close friend.

Were you pleased with your wedding photographer? Do tell… we love a brilliant review!

Definitely! Will was friendly yet professional from the start, answered all our questions and showed us some excellent examples of his work. Before the big day he visited the venues and took time to find out any specific photos we required. On the day we barely noticed he was there (which is what we wanted from a photographer) yet he captured the most amazing shots of every aspect of the day including both formal and natural photos. We couldn’t be happier with the photos and are so glad we chose Will for our wedding.

Tell us about the moment you saw your wedding photos for the first time?

We were both out when we had a message to say they were ready. I was so excited to see them that I peeked at a few of them on my phone but when we got home we sat down properly to see them together. We were so pleased with them that we contacted our family and friends straight away to share them!

Wedding venue:

Service at St John the Baptist Church in Shiphay, Torquay and Reception at Torre Abbey Historic House in Torquay.

Wedding month:

April

Can you describe your wedding in fewer than 10 words?

Perfect day full of family, friends and fun!

Your wedding style or theme:

We didn’t really have a style or theme in mind but wanted our wedding to remind people of spring. We assumed it would rain (it didn’t!) as it was in April so we incorporated wellies into the décor.

Where did you find your suppliers? (Blogs, magazines, recommendations?)

Most suppliers were recommendations from friends and family but we did scour the internet for a few. I also bought A LOT of bridal magazines!

What’s your top tip for saving money?

Ask friends and family to help where appropriate. We were lucky to be able to save money on transport, makeup, decorations and much more although we realise that this is not always possible.

… and which elements of your wedding are you glad you spent more on?

The band. We used a website to find them and were nervous as we hadn’t seen them live before the day. However, paying a little extra to get a band from a little further away was definitely worth it. They were a massive highlight of the day and we had so many positive comments. (‘The Look’ found on the website www.alivenetwork.com).

Where did you buy or source your wedding stationery – or was making it a labour of love?

Rob is a graphic designer so he was able to design all our stationery. This allowed us to have exactly what we wanted without paying too much for it. It also gave me one less thing to stress about as I was able to hand it all over to him!

Did you fall in love with your wedding dress?

Yes but not at the start. I tried on a lot (I mean loads!) of dresses and liked a lot of them too but never had ‘the moment’ that people talk about. Trying on lots of different styles meant that I knew all the parts I liked but couldn’t find them on one dress. In the end I went to a wedding fair in London and spotted one that was very close but wasn’t my size. As it was heavily discounted I bit the bullet and bought it and thankfully found the most amazing seamstress who tailored it perfectly. The first time I tried it on with the adjustments my mum and I cried!

Wedding dress designer and bridal boutique:

It was a Kitty Chen dress from Silk Brides in Lichfield but I bought it from their stand at The Wedding Fair at the ExCel Centre.

Tell us about your accessories: jewellery, shoes and anything else!

The dress was lace and had quite a high neckline so I didn’t wear many accessories, just some pearl drop earrings. I bought some comfy heels from the bridal section at Debenhams and wore a plain chapel length single-layer veil to match the length of my dress.

And what did the groom wear? Any recommendations for tailors?

Rob bought a suit from T.M. Lewin and we asked the groomsmen if they would mind wearing their own suits. We didn’t want all the groomsmen in the same suit as we wanted a relaxed look but we bought them the same ties and corsages so they stood out.

Beautiful bridesmaids: what did your best girls wear?

My chief bridesmaid was pregnant so we bought a wonderful grey stretchy dress from ASOS so it would fit no matter how much the bump had grown. The three other bridesmaids wore long Coast dresses in cobalt blue. We also had three flower girls who wore flowery dresses which we found in Monsoon.

Hair and make-up – did you DIY or hire a professional?

Luckily my cousin (who was a bridesmaid) does bridal makeup professionally and she kindly offered to do my makeup for me. The bridesmaids, my mum and myself all had our hair done at a fantastic salon in Torquay on the day. They made me feel so relaxed and provided drinks and breakfast which was exactly what I needed after getting up so early. (WO Salon, Torwood Street, Torquay)

Describe your wedding flowers. Who arranged them for you? (florist details would be lovely please)

Again we were extremely lucky on this front as my mum’s friend did all our flowers for us. I found some pictures of exactly what I wanted and she helped us to order them. The day before the wedding she came round and put together the bouquets, table arrangements, decorations and church flowers. We couldn’t have done it without her and they were better than we could have hoped for.

General styling – did your venue need much decoration?

We hired a large barn for the main part of our reception and whilst we could have filled it with decorations we intentionally chose to keep it quite plain as we loved the barn as it was. We focused on the smaller details such as signs, table plans (a Polaroid of every guest hanging from pieces of string) and favours.

Crafts and makes – tell us about any homemade elements of your wedding… did you enjoy them?

A large proportion of our wedding was homemade but many kind people offered to help which meant it wasn’t a chore! My talented cousin made some chalkboard signs and my dad cemented some of them into pots. Rob designed Polaroids of every guest for the table plan and we had pictures of ourselves at different ages for the table numbers. A friend’s business supplied some small wooden hearts and we spent hours sticking maps of Torquay to them to give to guests as favours. My mum spent ages collecting glass jars and then I spent hours putting ribbon and stickers on them for the table flowers.

The wedding cake: what kind of cake did you choose and why?

Rob isn’t a massive fan of icing so we went for a naked cake made by a friend of the family. It was a Victoria sponge but I love marmalade so one layer had that instead of jam!

Entertainment: any musical recommendations, surprises or treats?

As I mentioned above the band were one of the highlights of the day and people filled the dancefloor for most of the night. Torre Abbey is a museum so guests were able to wander around that during the afternoon and as it was Easter my brother dressed up as the Easter Bunny and we had an Easter egg hunt in the gardens for the children (and adults!).

On the day tips and advice:

Relax and enjoy every minute! Everyone told me to do this and I kept nodding and saying I would, but on the day I didn’t realise how hard it is to do. Make sure you have a good friend who can remind you to step back every now and then to take it all in.

What’s the best thing about being married?

Being comfortable and happy together knowing it’s forever and looking forward to an exciting future ahead.

Favourite supplier list for other brides and grooms:

Venue – Torre Abbey Historic House and Gardens, Torquay (www.torre-abbey.org.uk)

Caterer – MIS Catering based in the Tea Rooms at Torre Abbey

Seamstress – Sari the Seamstress based in Torquay.

Car – www.sheerlineweddingcarhire.com

Band – ‘The Look’ at www.alivenetwork.com

Favours – Apex Laser Craft (www.apexlasercraft.co.uk)

Claire Gould

Claire spends her days writing - either in beautiful calligraphy or online. She lives on the edge of the English Lake District only minutes away from the beach, where she loves to escape and unwind. Claire's calligraphy can be found at www.byMoonandTide.com. Claire launched the English Wedding Blog in 2011 - it's been a top 10 UK wedding blog ever since, with a regional focus we hope you LOVE.

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