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Elegance and glamour with plenty of sparkle for a wedding in Cheltenham with Special Day Photography (20)

Selina and Matthew’s gorgeous Manor By The Lake wedding, with Special Day Photography

Matthew and Selina are both musicians, and took inspiration from music when styling their wedding. It’s a wonderfully glamorous day full of sequins and sparkle, with a laid back vibe. The bouquet is breathtaking – and don’ you just love Selina’s glorious hair colour?

“Our wedding style was all about boho glamour with geometric shapes. We took inspiration from our favourite colours, hobbies, styles and eras.
Music plays a huge role in our lives due to both being musicians who met on a music course at university, which is why the table names were the surnames of our favourite musicians. We were inspired by music, the 1920’s, boho hippie style, nature and geometric shapes (the latter due to Matthew’s scientific and mathematical side).

Elegance and glamour with plenty of sparkle for a wedding in Cheltenham with Special Day Photography (12)

Our flowers were from The Flower and Garden Shop in Cheltenham – http://www.flowerandgardenshop.co.uk/. Rose (brilliant name for a florist, right?!) was fantastic from start to finish. She sat with us and listened to what we had in mind. All I knew was that I wanted flowers that were in season to keep the price down, and definitely wanted Peonies. I left it all up to the florist once she knew the colours we wanted. We used solar lamps from Next for the table flowers, so that in the evening we could take the flowers out and pop the lights in. We also used the table flowers along the aisle, and on the registrars table during the ceremony. The florist also tied the fabric of the dresses around the bridesmaid’s posies and my bouquet, as well as a bouquet charm onto my bouquet that had my Grandparents’, Great Uncle and Aunt’s, and my Mother-in-law’s photos, so that I could keep them close to me as I walked down the aisle.

Elegance and glamour with plenty of sparkle for a wedding in Cheltenham with Special Day Photography (9)

Wedding photographer’s website:

http://specialday.photography

We’ve admired Jon Sparkman’s photography for years. After he did a photoshoot with me (Selina), I told him he was officially going to be my wedding photographer when I got married (he was the first photographer who took photos of me I liked). Four years later, when I got engaged, I didn’t think twice about any other photographer, despite being approached by others. Jon’s wedding photography was just beautifully natural and artistic, and we couldn’t imagine anyone else who would be better to capture the day.

Elegance and glamour with plenty of sparkle for a wedding in Cheltenham with Special Day Photography (14)

We absolutely loved our wedding photographer. Jon was brilliant on the lead up to the wedding, listening to what we wanted. He was great with our guests during the group photo, and made our little flower girls smile and laugh throughout the family photos. There are photos from moments during the day that we didn’t even notice he was near us taking! He’s a natural, and made us feel completely at ease.

We were nervous about seeing our photos. I knew Jon was good, but I also knew that I (Selina) had ridiculously high expectations. When we saw our photos for the first time, it was like living the whole day again. It felt really special. The photos were so natural but also very artistic, just as we’d hoped. There was even a shot I had forgotten to request, but Jon had captured it anyway. We couldn’t have asked for better photos.

Elegance and glamour with plenty of sparkle for a wedding in Cheltenham with Special Day Photography (1)

I loved this wedding as I was shooting for someone who I went through university with. Having known Selina for 9 years, we have been through degrees, post-uni jobs and finally come out the other side as both self employed, me as a wedding photographer and her as a social media expert. She’d been helping me with my site to get it going online when she asked me for the honour to shoot her wedding in the most popular venue in Cheltenham.

I also remember the time I first met Matthew – I used to be a photographer for a local underground music event, and spotted Selina with a new man. He kept turning up to these gigs month after month, and I got to know him over some home cooked food and good wine. I couldn’t have asked for a better couple to shoot – they know me and I them, we knew what we all wanted from the day and it went off without a hitch.” ~ Jon Sparkman, Special Day Photography

Elegance and glamour with plenty of sparkle for a wedding in Cheltenham with Special Day Photography (2)
Elegance and glamour with plenty of sparkle for a wedding in Cheltenham with Special Day Photography (3)
Elegance and glamour with plenty of sparkle for a wedding in Cheltenham with Special Day Photography (4)
Elegance and glamour with plenty of sparkle for a wedding in Cheltenham with Special Day Photography (5)
Elegance and glamour with plenty of sparkle for a wedding in Cheltenham with Special Day Photography (6)
Elegance and glamour with plenty of sparkle for a wedding in Cheltenham with Special Day Photography (7)
Elegance and glamour with plenty of sparkle for a wedding in Cheltenham with Special Day Photography (8)
Elegance and glamour with plenty of sparkle for a wedding in Cheltenham with Special Day Photography (10)
Elegance and glamour with plenty of sparkle for a wedding in Cheltenham with Special Day Photography (11)
Elegance and glamour with plenty of sparkle for a wedding in Cheltenham with Special Day Photography (13)
Elegance and glamour with plenty of sparkle for a wedding in Cheltenham with Special Day Photography (15)
Elegance and glamour with plenty of sparkle for a wedding in Cheltenham with Special Day Photography (16)
Elegance and glamour with plenty of sparkle for a wedding in Cheltenham with Special Day Photography (17)
Elegance and glamour with plenty of sparkle for a wedding in Cheltenham with Special Day Photography (18)
Elegance and glamour with plenty of sparkle for a wedding in Cheltenham with Special Day Photography (19)
Elegance and glamour with plenty of sparkle for a wedding in Cheltenham with Special Day Photography (20)
Elegance and glamour with plenty of sparkle for a wedding in Cheltenham with Special Day Photography (21)
Elegance and glamour with plenty of sparkle for a wedding in Cheltenham with Special Day Photography (22)
Elegance and glamour with plenty of sparkle for a wedding in Cheltenham with Special Day Photography (23)

Wedding venue:

Manor By The Lake, Cheltenham, England.

Wedding month:

June

Can you describe your wedding in fewer than 10 words?

Music filled, joyful, hectic bliss in an enchanted manor house.

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

It was a complete mix. Our wedding venue arranged the food so we didn’t need to find the supplier for that. The florist was recommended by a friend, makeup was done by a makeup artist I (Selina) had worked for, and hair was done by our hairdresser who we’ve had for years (who has become a good friend). The band and sound were recommendations, and everything else (dresses, suits etc) were found through google searches.

What’s your top tip for saving money?

Make your own invitations if you can. That saved us hundreds of pounds.
Buy your decorations rather than hiring. We found that hiring cost double what we could buy decorations from Amazon and local businesses for. A lot of the little decorations and touches go unnoticed by the guests, and you won’t even care about them on the day. So stick to the essentials that you both feel are important to YOU, and don’t feel you need to go overboard and over budget.
Take the measurements of your bridesmaids and buy their dresses online (but make sure you read reviews from the site your buying from), another thing that saved us hundreds of pounds.
If you can’t afford a videographer, live stream your day via a private Facebook Group so that overseas friends and loved ones can attend online, AND you get to keep the video afterwards to watch back. It won’t be the quality a videographer can provide, but when you’re on a budget it’s just lovely to have that video footage to relive your day. We asked our groomsman to capture the ceremony, confetti, speeches and first dance, and we’re so pleased he managed to capture those moments for us.
We also had a Spotify playlist later on in the evening instead of a DJ. It saved money and meant we could make sure there was no Abba 😉

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

I (Selina) was happy I didn’t skimp on the dress. I had originally thought I would go for a cheaper much more plain dress. But the dress I chose in the end felt amazing on the day, and it’s something I hope I can pass down to someone in the family in the future. I’m also glad we spent more money on the venue, as it was just so easy thanks to the wonderful staff, and the venue looked amazing. Which really makes a difference to the photos.
Also, photographer! We’re extremely glad we spent money on a good photographer. The photos are the thing that we’ll keep forever, so it was important to us that they looked perfect.

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

We made all the invitations ourselves, and printed them all using Vistaprint. Our save the dates were Vistaprint design. But the wedding invitations were our design. That saved us a lot of money. Matthew is great with photoshop and enjoys designing things, so he created the layout. We only used Vistaprint to print the main part of the invite, then we printed all the menus and info sheets ourselves. Then bought copper ribbon from ‘The Range’ to tie it all together.
Name tags for table favours were from Hobbeycraft, and table name tags with geometric rose gold borders were bought from Ebay.

Did you fall in love with your wedding dress?

Yes! I had originally wanted a very plain dress in a 1920’s style, but after trying that style on it looked too plain, so I tried much more fitted and lacey styles. Then when I went to Chanticleer in Cheltenham, I tried on my dress and absolutely fell in love, and my mum did too. Both of us felt very overwhelmed with a tear in our eye, but neither of us wanted to cry in the middle of a dress shop over a dress, haha. Then I was told I could customise it to be the exact colour and style I wanted, and that it would be made from scratch. So I was completely sold on my dress, knowing I would be part of the design process.

Wedding dress designer and bridal boutique:

Chanticleer – https://www.facebook.com/ChanticleerBrides/

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

Shoes – Debenhams
Veil – Joyce Jackson (Bought from & customised by Chanticleer. Same type of lace from wedding dress was added to trim of veil) I wasn’t originally going to have a veil, in fact I was completely against it. But then I saw that you could use your veil for decoration in your house (thanks to Pinterest) and tried a veil on and completely changed my mind.
Headpiece – Bought from Chanticleer
Necklace – Borrowed from Mother of the Bride
Engagement & Wedding ring – 77 Diamonds https://www.77diamonds.com/
Photo Bouquet charms – from Charms By Jane on Ebay
Perfume – Boss Jour

And what did the groom wear?

Matthew rented his suit from Regency Groom – https://www.groomswear.co.uk/
Matthew colour coordinated his cravat and waistcoat with my wedding dress. He hadn’t seen the dress, just the colour.
Cufflinks – Amazon
Shoes – Base London
Perfume – Jean Paul Gautier Special Edition

Beautiful bridesmaids: what did your best girls wear?

Bridesmaid Dresses – Goddiva – https://goddiva.co.uk/
Shoes – Debenhams
Bracelets – Custom made by Sunago Unique Creations
Flower Girl Dresses & shoes – Monsoon
Flower Girl Necklaces – Custom made by Sunago Unique Creations

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

I hired a professional, as I’m not skilled enough to apply make-up to last all day. Plus it was nice to be pampered on the morning of the wedding, and treat my mum and bridesmaids to some pampering too.
Hair by Michelle McPherson (wouldn’t have had anyone else, as she is extremely talented and has been doing my hair for years)
Makeup by Nadezhda Hardiman – https://www.facebook.com/hardimanMUAH (Brilliant make-up artist who really knows her stuff, she even helped me create a skin routine on the lead up to the wedding to make sure it was healthy for the day)

General styling – did your venue need much decoration?

The venue didn’t need much styling at all. Manor By The Lake is so naturally beautiful with the surrounding gardens being well kept, and the beauty of the old manor house. It’s a really enchanting place.
We hired the venues fairy lights for the ceiling, the garden and bridge outside were lit by fairy lights in the evening.
All we used to decorate were some fake flowers from The Range, wrapped in some geometric lights from Primark. These were hung up on the pillars in the ballroom.
Then for the tables: Vases for the table flowers – Solar lamps from Next
Hexagonal Mirror Plates – weddingmall.co.uk
Geometric rose gold tea light holders – Cards by Cally https://cardsbycally.com
Glass Tea light holder – Amazon
Pink Salt Rock Tea Light holders – Amazon
Coloured Glass vases used for table names – Bought from Sue Rider Charity shop
Swedish Dhala Horse next to cakes – Brought over from Sweden by a friend of the bride and groom (requested by mother of the bride, as Sweden is where Matthew Proposed)
Rose Gold Sequin Table Runner on Head Table – from ShinyBeauty Wedding Co.Ltd on Amazon.
Table Chart – Frame from The Range, names written by the Bride using a white chalk pen.
Photo ladder with family photos of grandparents and mother of the groom – from The Range.

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

We made the invitations, it was time consuming but worth it. We felt really proud of them afterwards.
I (Selina) hand wrote all the tags, trying out calligraphy for the first time, which i enjoyed. I also made the table chart myself, using a mirror from the Range and a chalk pen. That was also very time consuming and I had to rub it out the first time and start again. But looking back I did enjoy making it.
The table favours were homemade by the Mother and Father of the Bride. Succulents were grown and potted by mother of the bride.
Ribbon, wire for bees & clear flower wrap around the pots from Hobby Craft & The Range.
Bumble Bee from Novelty Craft Buttons 4u on Amazon (bumble bees because a bee turned up just after Matthew proposed, and chased me around the sun hut. Our friend later told us that there’s a myth that at Zeus’ wedding a bee gathered food for the wedding, so we thought it apt to have a little bee in the favours).
Name tags – Hobbycraft
Mother and father of the bride put the favours together.

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

The cake was made by Carole Clark (Bride’s Mother). We were only expecting one cake but she got carried away and made a 7 tier and a 2 tier cake.
7 tier cake was a mixture of fruit cake, chocolate Guinness cake & sponge cake. The flowers were made from icing – made by Carole Clark (Bride’s Mother).
Extra touches were the orange roses on top of the two tier cake to represent Matthew’s mother. Lilies and tulips to represent Selina’s Grandmothers.

Entertainment: any musical recommendations, surprises or treats?

Matthew and I chose to have a String Quartet play while we signed the registry at the ceremony. We hadn’t told our guests, so that was a surprise for them. They were tucked into the bay window in the Maxamillian room, so I didn’t even see them when I walked in. We asked them to play ‘Tale as old as time’ from Beauty and the Beast, and ‘Everlong’ by the Foo Fighters.
The String Quartet played during the cocktail hour too, playing Beatles songs and all sorts of our favourite songs. (Manor By The Lake’s in-house String Quartet)
The evening reception band were the Kim Cypher Quartet http://www.kimcypher.co.uk/jazzy-wedding/ who played lots of jazzy numbers, perfect to kick off the evening. The band knew my Dad (Stephen Clark, Father of the Bride), was a musician and invited him up to play double bass, which was a fantastic surprise. My Uncle David (David Clark, Uncle of the Bride) got up and played ‘Crazy Little Thing Called Love’ by Queen (which has become a family tradition to play this song at big events), on guitar, accompanied by the band and our friend Mike who is a drummer.
I was invited up to sing with the band, performing a Frank Sinatra classic ‘Fly Me To The Moon’. And Matthew and I sang a Beatles song together. So it was an evening filled with music.
After the band we opted for a Spotify playlist that we created. With a mixture of our favourite songs, and a few of our guests favourites too.

Words of wisdom: share your best piece of advice for other couples:

Invest in a photographer who you love the style of. Make sure you’ve looked at their portfolio before booking them. The photos are the thing that encapsulate your wedding forever, and it’s so important they’re done properly so you can enjoy them.
You’ll hear this a lot, but the day goes past way too quickly. Make sure you take a few moments every now and again throughout the day to be with your partner alone.
When it’s over, write down your favourite memories, because memories can fade and you want to hold onto those special moments that made your day. (This was a piece of advice a good friend gave us after the wedding)

What’s the best thing about being married?

There are so many things we love about being married. I think the main thing for us is knowing that you have committed to spending your life with your best friend (sounds cheesy, but it’s true!).

Favourite supplier web links for other brides and grooms:

Chanticleer – https://www.facebook.com/ChanticleerBrides/
The Flower and Garden Shop – http://www.flowerandgardenshop.co.uk/
The customer service was fantastic with both!
Manor By The Lake, Cheltenham, England – https://www.manorbythelake.co.uk

Jon Sparkman of Special Day Photography – http://www.specialday.photography/

The Flower and Garden Shop – http://www.flowerandgardenshop.co.uk/

Chanticleer – https://www.facebook.com/ChanticleerBrides/
Veil – Joyce Jackson (Bought from & customised by Chanticleer. Same lace from wedding dress was added to trim of veil)
77 Diamonds https://www.77diamonds.com/
Nadezhda Hardiman – https://www.facebook.com/hardimanMUAH
Kim Cypher Quartet http://www.kimcypher.co.uk/jazzy-wedding/

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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Venue - @theholfordestate 
Styled shoot managed by the fabulous @jessicastottphotography Flowers by @flowersbycarys Dress by @wildernessbride Stationery @vanillaretro cheese wedding cake by @the_cheese_yard_
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