Kate and Chris’s traditional and beautiful wedding at Hampton Court House, with Elaine Williams Photography
Kate & Chris were married at Hampton Court House in a decadent, dramatically styled wedding. Kate wore a gown by Sally Eagle and Valentino Rockstud pumps. They exchanged vows at her family church before heading on to Hampton Court House, of course via Bushy Park for photographs. The whole day was relaxed and stylish. Guests were treated to music from a quartet, before heading to the dramatically styled dining room for the breakfast.
I had a slightly different style of wedding dress in mind but I was drawn to this one as soon as I saw it, and when I tried it on at Luella’s Bridal it felt perfect. My mum and maid of honour both did these little intakes of breath when I came out in the sample! I only went to one bridal boutique as on my first visit I narrowed it down to two, and by my second visit I knew which one it was to be. The designer is Sally Eagle Bridal, and I also wore a bolero, handmade by Sewn Right with material from Sally Eagle (to match the dress).
I had seen the shoes I wanted on Pinterest and knew I wanted them even before I knew what my dress would be. I wore Valentino Rock Studs with a mid heel. I bought them seven months ahead of the wedding and had to wear them in around the flat when Chris wasn’t in. I rarely wear drop earrings apart from hoops, so I wore pearl stud earrings which had been a gift from my parents for my 21st birthday, and I borrowed my mum’s pearl necklace which matched perfectly. I didn’t want to wear a veil, so I found a gorgeous hand made pearl and rose gold bridal hair comb from Victoria Harper Bridal on Etsy.
Chris wore a morning suit from Favourbrook, with a pale yellow waistcoat and grey spotted tie.
Wedding photographer’s website:
How did you choose your photographer?
Elaine was recommended to us – along with a few others – by another photographer we’d met at the Most Curious Wedding Fair. We liked Elaine’s style of photography the most out of the list and luckily she was available for our wedding date!
We were really pleased with Elaine and we had a lot of compliments in the few days after the wedding on her style of working. She captured some lovely little moments and we felt really at ease with her.
We were so excited when Elaine emailed us with the link to all of our photos. Looking through it brought back all of the emotions from the day – the nervousness, excitement and this sense of amazement that we’d actually done it!
Ceremony was at Our Lady of Lourdes RC Church, Thames Ditton, Surrey
Reception was at Hampton Court House, Hampton Court, Surrey
Can you describe your wedding in fewer than 10 words?
An amazing day, worth every minute of planning!
Your wedding style or theme:
Art deco comes closest to our theme. Hampton Court House is a beautiful 18th century building with some lovely period features which we fell in love with, so we kept our colours neutral – greys, gold and blush – to show it off and just enhance what was already there.
Where did you find your suppliers? (Blogs, magazines, recommendations?)
Recommendations from people in the industry who knew what style we wanted led us to our photographer. Pinterest helped with our florist – once we knew what style we wanted it made searching a bit simpler. Our caterer was from the list of preferred suppliers and was our favourite after speaking to a few and looking through sample menus. My maid of honour recommended our make up artist Catherine Bailey, who had been recommended to her in turn and my hairdresser came from my usual hairdresser – Jimmy Campbell – whom I’ve been going to for years.
What’s your top tip for saving money?
Don’t just have something because it’s traditional or what everyone else does. We didn’t have any wedding favours and no one noticed or cared. We also encouraged car sharing to get everyone to the reception from the church, rather than hiring a bus. Also if there is something you particularly want but it’s pricey, consider doing it yourself. Instead of hiring in a photobooth we provided selfie sticks, a borrowed frame and loads of props – at a fraction of the cost – which our guests loved.
… and which elements of your wedding are you glad you spent more on?
The food! I’m half Guyanese and we wanted to have some have some elements of the culture there. Our caterer made a fish curry to my mum’s recipe which we had as an extra meal option. Our venue was a bit pricier than say, a rustic barn in the countryside, but it was exactly what we’d been looking for.
Where did you buy or source your wedding stationery – or was making it a labour of love?
Chris uses design software for his job, so he designed all of our wedding stationery, which saved us some money but took a long time! It was definitely worth it – we were able to create invitations and matching signage in the exact style that we wanted.
Beautiful bridesmaids: what did your best girls wear?
My maid of honour Bex wore the Penelope dress (in frosted fig colour) from Maids to Measure, and my flower girl Amelia – my cousin – wore a gold and pink sequinned dress from John Rocha, with a matching cardigan and shoes.
Hair and make-up – did you DIY or hire a professional?
I hired professionals for both. I knew exactly what hairstyle I wanted (again – Pinterest) and knew that I wouldn’t be able to achieve that myself. My usual hairdresser – Jimmy Campbell – also does weddings, which made that decision very simple! My make up artist Catherine Bailey came recommended through my maid of honour and she was great.
Describe your wedding flowers. Who arranged them for you? (florist details would be lovely please)
We used Wildfire Flowers (https://www.wildfireflowers.com/) for our reception venue, who are based in south London. They were great, really lovely to work with and completely got my ideas. I wanted to have candelabra on the dining tables with flowers and foliage twisting up through them, and lots of greenery to complement the venue. My bouquet had roses, eucalyptus, seeded and populous ivy, some Russian heather, lavender and blue thistle. My mum and sister-in-law kindly decorated the church in beautiful flowers to match my bouquet and one of my friends provided some dried petals for the church.
General styling – did your venue need much decoration?
The venue had so much style already that it didn’t need a huge amount of decoration. We covered the mantelpieces above the fireplaces with flowers and foliage and made use of plants already there, together with some orchids from our florist and the table flowers. We then decorated the walls with photos of me and Chris and used some tealights plus the candles on the tables to create a lovely atmosphere in the evening.
Crafts and makes – tell us about any homemade elements of your wedding… did you enjoy them?
We had a cake buffet instead of serving a pudding course, where we invited guests to contribute by baking something sweet. This went down really well – our guests baked some beautiful cakes and it added a lovely personal touch. The signage was designed by us and we made our own photobooth, which was fun to put together.
The wedding cake: what kind of cake did you choose and why?
Both of our mums love to bake and we knew they both wanted to do the cake, so rather than choose one we asked them both! We had two lovely wedding cakes. Chris’s mum made a traditional fruit cake for one level and a carrot cake, and my mum baked a Guyanese black cake, which is a fruit cake where the fruit is blended and soaked in rum before being baked.
Entertainment: any musical recommendations, surprises or treats?
We were wary of hiring a wedding DJ, having spoken to friends who were annoyed that their DJ had veered off their playlist. We also weren’t keen on a band. One of our friends had played their own playlist through a PA system, and after reassurance from him we decided to do the same. We didn’t really save any money as hiring the equipment costs almost as much as a DJ with his equipment, but playing from our own Spotify playlist meant we had full control over the music. Our guests loved it! I’d recommend it if you don’t want a band and you’re unsure about a DJ. You have to time it precisely and it helps to have one or two groomsmen or bridesmaids in charge of keeping an eye on it – particularly if you’re running slightly over time. Also have your playlist on two laptops, an iPad and your phones – just in case!
Words of wisdom: share your best piece of advice for other couples:
Remember that the day is about you and your other half and what you want, not about what anyone else wants or about what ‘should’ be done. Also, little things will go wrong on the day, but no one will notice and you certainly won’t. As long as you both turn up, nothing else is essential!
What’s the best thing about being married?
Being able to call Chris my husband feels incredibly special, and we have some wonderful memories of celebrating with our friends and family which we’ll have forever.
Favourite supplier web links for other brides and grooms:
Pinterest is a great starting point for everything, from the dress to the colour scheme, flowers, groom’s outfit, everything. I also used www.hitched.co.uk for some ideas. Instagram is great and it led me to the Most Curious Wedding Fair, which is the only fair we went to but led us to our photographer and gave us some great style ideas.