Hayley and Matt’s family celebration / après ski party wedding! With Nicola Norton Photography
Morning lovelies! Are you feeling a little chill in the air today? Autumn is coming… and here on English Wedding we’re racing ahead and bringing you a ski and snowboarding themed wedding! Gorgeous bride Hayley and Matt describe their day as a ‘family celebration après ski party’ – inspired by how they met. 7 years ago, these two were working for a ski company in France, where they met. 5 years later, this is where Matt proposed (on a surprise holiday back to Les Gets). The ski resort theme continued at their DIY wedding in Bedford, with multi-coloured hats and sunglasses as favours, welcome cocktails – even the Save the Dates and invitations were designed as lift passes!
As the great hall was just an empty school hall it all needed decorating including the stairs and entrance hall.
We used fake snow EVERYWHERE, hung snowflakes , built a ski rack and piste map stand (table plan), hung gondolas from the stairs, had drapes from the balconies, uplighting on the pillars, photos and piste maps of places we have been over the walls, different tables (sweets, mountain post box, memory table), snowboards and sledges with lanterns on the top of the stairs and finally a sign post in the entrance.
We made an awful lot of things but we loved doing them all.
We made cake toppers, shot glass paddles, all of our stationery, millions of snowflakes with glitter, cut out snowflakes for decoration on the tables, children’s colouring books and a beer pong table!
Wedding photographer’s website:
We searched on numerous wedding sites and found Nicola. Then looking through her website and seeing a relaxed style interested the both of us. The packages that were on offer fitted what we wanted. Getting a collection of prints and all others on a usb stick is what sold it to us.
Nicola was kind and made us feel relaxed. We discussed what photos we wanted before and Nicola delivered these. We got good direction in poses and did not waste all day trying to get one picture. She seemed to be able to see where the right place to stand was and how the background would look in print.
We both got very excited when we got the email from Nicola. The mixture and amount of photos surprised us and we were both extremely happy especially with the group photos as family means a lot to us.
Contact & Bookings: Nicola Norton Photography
Bedford School (for boys).
Our reception venue was at Bedford School in Hayley’s Home town in Bedfordshire. We had the great hall and the whole of the grounds to ourselves . Bedford School meant that we were in the heart of Bedford which meant not far from the church or hotels as most of our guests came from afar. Due to so many teachers in the family including Hayley it was the cherry on the top not to mention those huge windows that were just breathtaking.
Where did you find your suppliers? (Blogs, magazines, recommendations?)
Recommended from Bedford School on a list of approved suppliers. We found Nicola online, flowers were from Hayley’s godparent who has a side business. Wedding bus and car were found from searching the internet and our band were picked from Entertainment Nation, who were brilliant! M&S was where we got our cake.
What’s your top tip for saving money?
Do what ever you can yourself, shop around and don’t mention wedding to suppliers. We made an awful lot of decorations and we made our save the dates and invites.
… and which elements of your wedding are you glad you spent more on?
The venue! We tried to cut down on other bits but agreed to have what venue we both loved and Bedford School ticked all the boxes.
Where did you buy or source your wedding stationery – or was making it a labour of love?
our save the dates, invites and the table plan were designed by us at home and the local print shop produce them at a low cost and everything else we made from home.
Did you fall in love with your wedding dress?
As a Tomboy, I thought wedding dress shopping was going to be horrible but I went to 3 different shops and tried on all types of dresses until I was asked by the shop owner to try my dress on and as soon as I tried it on it felt so right. I went away and thought about it as well as going to another shop to try on others but all I was doing was comparing to my dress. After trying on other dresses, I knew I had already found the the one and went back the next day and brought it.
Wedding dress designer and bridal boutique:
Essense of Australia and from The bridal Boutique in Biggleswade, Bedfordshire sadly though they went out of business.
Tell us about your accessories: jewellery, shoes and anything else!
Most of my jewellery came from Debenhams ( headband and earrings) which I didn’t think when I went in there I would come out with the headband but it was one of my favourite buys as it was in their 70% sale. Matt gave me a snowflake necklace for Christmas which went with the theme. My mother in-law lent me a bracelet which was part of the borrowed part. My shoes came from JJ house ( China) as I wanted Disney like shoes that had a low heel. My best part of my outfit was my veil due to having my dearly departed Nan’s veil stitched onto mine. Her veil which she kept for over 65 years meant a lot to her so I asked to have it out onto mine and the other horseshoes given to my mum, aunt and cousin.
And what did the groom wear?
A noose and monkey 3 piece navy suit, with a horse shoe waist coat. Tan brogue shoes. White shirt and a silver/blue tie with lavender flower pattern.
Beautiful bridesmaids: what did your best girls wear?
They wore a two toned long dress with the top being ivory pattern and the bottom being a light blue. They wore ivory coloured heels, pearl bracelets and earrings with gypsophila in their hair. The flower girl wore a ivory lace dress from M&S with a blue ribbon to match in with the bridesmaids also with similar jewellery and flowers.
Hair and make-up – did you DIY or hire a professional?
Everyone had their hair done at the hairdressers who has been doing Hayley’s family most of her life. All ladies guests who wanted their hair doing also went there. Over 20 ladies attended that morning! Hayley, mother of the bride and mother of the groom had their make up and nails done there too.
O’hair in Kempston.
Describe your wedding flowers. Who arranged them for you? (florist details would be lovely please)
Hayley’s godparent Sandra Gedney arranged the flowers. We asked for white as we mentioned the theme and wanted it to blend in. Hayley had a rain drop look with white roses, gypsophila and many more other white flowers that Sandra could find. The mothers both had the same as Hayley as a present and corsage but with different ribbons to match their outfits. The bridesmaids had a gypsophila and white roses. The groomsmen, brother of the bride and best man all had white roses. Matt had a white rose with a purple flower. We also had flowers on the tables, going up the stairs and a big flower arrangement on the top table. Which were all very similar to Hayley’s.
The wedding cake: what kind of cake did you choose and why?
We got our cake from M&S. It was a 3 tier cake which had two different flavours one being red velvet and the other being buttercream and jam. The reason we chose it was because it was simple and a cheaper option. We then decorated with our own toppers and ribbons to match our table centrepieces and theme.
Entertainment: any musical recommendations, surprises or treats?
We had a pianist for six hours and she played nonstop, she was recommended by Bedford School. She was brilliant as she played during the wedding breakfast for something different and then the band turned up from Entertainment Nation and they were also brilliant the band were called White Rabbit.
Words of wisdom: share your best piece of advice for other couples:
Give yourself enough time to plan, make as much as you can to make it personal and enjoy it you only get married once.. maybe.
What’s the best thing about being married?
Like us we have been together a long time so the best thing about being married for us is being able to called each other husband and wife rather than partner. Oh and the honeymoon.