Good morning, beautiful! How are you on this rather chilly October (!!) day? And can you even believe it’s properly autumn now? I know I can’t… but the best thing about autumn is all the fabulous weddings I’m seeing from lovely couples and photographers all around the country. This has to be the best time of year for wedding blogs, and I feel so lucky! Keep the submissions coming, guys!
Today we have an extraordinarily beautiful wedding, with stunning bride Amy and gorgeous groom Gerard, from Iscoyd Park. Lovely Michelle from Elegante by Michelle J submitted this one, and Gerard and Amy have completed a brilliant interview telling us all about their day. Images are by international award winning wedding photographer Paulo Santos – who captures every moment beautifully and gets a glowing review from the happy couple!
Michelle from Elegante by Michelle J tells us a little about the wedding:
Amy and Gerard live in London – as do I – but co-incidentally it turned out they are from the same part of North Manchester that I am originally from.
Their brief was this…. “wherever we choose to marry, a large proportion of our guests will have to travel, so let’s find somewhere between the North and the South where we can stay with our families”. They wanted an exclusive use, private country house venue, with beautiful grounds, not too grand (which ruled out some of the more formal stately homes); but equally not too rustic.
Iscoyd Park in Shrophsire was one of the first venues I arranged for them to visit…. as I knew it ticked all of their boxes. It has been beautifully and sympathetically restored and offers luxury accommodation for the wedding party and a fairly large number of their guests, with plenty of other accommodation close by for all of the other guests. The wedding breakfast is hosted inside a permanent marquee attached to the main house, and we were fortunate with the weather and so the drinks reception took place in the stunning gardens. Otherwise, Iscoyd Park has some beautiful indoor rooms which we would have used. Gerard’s favourite room was the library on the first floor, which is where he hosted pre-wedding drinks with his best men.
They also briefed me that they wanted a Church Ceremony, so we needed to find a venue with a local church, sufficiently large to accommodate their guest numbers… which we were estimating at between 120-130. St Oswald’s in Malpas was the perfect choice for Amy and Gerard and their families. Amy’s sister has been ordained and took a role in conducting the service alongside the rector at St Oswalds. Amy’s father told me that it was a very special moment, seeing one of his daughters conduct the marriage ceremony for his other daughter.
Wedding photographer’s website:
How did you choose your photographer?
Both of us being from the North, we wanted to showcase some Northern talent throughout the wedding. Michelle (our wedding planner) made a shortlist and we had a Skype interview with each. We connected immediately with Paulo and thought that his style and approach most fitted ours, as well as being a great photographer!
Paulo was a fantastic photographer. Always professional, kind, funny and totally un-obtrusive. Amy’s favourite moment was on the morning of the wedding when Paulo said “if there’s ever anything you need and there’s no one around, feel free to ask me and I’ll go and get it.” This completely encaptured his humble friendly approach.
We got the digital version of the photos first and we looked at them together one evening after work (we left early to see them!). We were totally blown away with the detail of the shots. We especially liked that there were so many natural photos, capturing the spirit of the day. We later received a fantastic handmade album which shows off the photos as they were meant to be. It comes complete with some little white gloves so you can keep the pages like new.
This is a stunning wedding, with luxurious styling (that Jenny Packham dress!!!) and elegant touches – a perfect English wedding celebration with a relaxed elegance and a couple whose love simply shines from their beautiful images. I hope you love scrolling through the pics as much as I have – and do read Gerard and Amy’s interview below the pics for Iscoyd Park supplier recommendations and some lovely advice for other couples.
Can you describe your wedding in fewer than 10 words?
Traditional yet modern and interactive British country wedding.
Your wedding style or theme:
The theme of the wedding was travel. As we’ve each done a significant amount of travel through work or study we wanted to have that theme run throughout. We had a map-themed seating plan and the tables were named after cities that we’ve lived in or spent a significant amount of time in. As an extra touch the place names folded into paper aeroplanes which we later used in a paper aeroplane throwing competition.
What’s your top tip for saving money?
Have a budget in mind and make sure you stick to it! Rope in any friends and family with particular skills, this not only makes things cheaper but adds a more personal touch to your day! Definitely do what you can yourself.
… and which elements of your wedding are you glad you spent more on?
Definitely a good videographer (Adam Wing). We were unsure initially about whether to hire a videographer but the end product was fantastic and worth every penny to see extra details we naturally missed on the day and to have a record we can watch in the future.
Where did you buy or source your wedding stationery – or was making it a labour of love?
The invites were made by the amazing Lisa of Paperknots. They included a hand-drawn map of the area and incorporated our wedding colours. The on-the-day stationary was made by Nikki of Knots & Kisses and included our gorgeous order of service, table names and place names
Did you fall in love with your wedding dress?
Yes! When it brought my mum to tears I knew it was the one!
Wedding dress designer and bridal boutique:
Jenny Packham, Jenny Packham London
Tell us about your accessories: jewellery, shoes and anything else!
As the dress was so detailed I wore minimal jewellery. I wore a bracelet that had been my grandma’s and some silver Jimmy Choo shoes to highlight the beading.
And what did the groom wear?
The groom wore a three-piece navy suit from Whitfield & Ward with a grey-silver waistcoat and an antique pocket watch (handed down through the family). The groomsmen wore navy blue waistcoats to match their suits and baby blue pocket squares to match the bridesmaids.
Beautiful bridesmaids: what did your best girls wear?
They wore baby blue multi way dresses so that they could customise them to their own personal styles. They all had silver shoes and bouquets with baby blue accents.
Hair and make-up – did you DIY or hire a professional?
We hired Ariana Rose of Makeup by Jodie. She was incredible throughout and made the hair and makeup look very natural, which was exactly what I wanted. The hair and makeup lasted all day and she made the whole getting ready process stress-free.
Describe your wedding flowers. Who arranged them for you? (florist details would be lovely please)
Laura of Regent House of Flowers.
Amy, together with Elegante by Michelle J, our wedding planner, spent a great deal of time finding the perfect florist and on the design of the wedding flowers. They focused on incorporating blue (bridesmaid dresses, table linen, navy suits for the men) and silver (detailing on Amy’s dress). The flowers included white and powder blue hydrangea, white avalanche roses, lisianthus, stocks, astranthia, ranunculus, silver sprayed eucalyptus and thistles. The wedding reception took place in a permanent marquee attached to the main house at Iscoyd Park and we wanted to detract from the white blank canvas… hence tall colourful centrepieces and a hanging ball. The overall effect that they created was stunning. Laura also provided pedestal arrangements for the Church (which were moved to the entrance of Iscoyd Park after the ceremony) and pew end flowers. Laura did an amazing job of interpreting the brief and produced something stunning for us.
General styling – did your venue need much decoration?
We wanted a touch of colour in the marquee so we hired blue table cloths to accent the flower arrangements. We added personal items to the tables that we’d purchased in those particular cities around the world, so for example we had a Samurai figure for the Tokyo table and a British Bulldog for the London table.
Crafts and makes – tell us about any homemade elements of your wedding… did you enjoy them?
The biggest one was definitely the cake. My mum handmade a 4 tier cake! We put together a sweet table, featuring sweets in our colour theme in pick & mix tubs with scoops and bags (which harks back to when we both worked at a Cinema as students). We wanted to have an interactive guestbook experience so we had a guestbook made which could accommodate polaroids. We left polaroid cameras and coloured pens, as well as homemade props for the guests to take a picture of themselves and add to the book along with a message. We bought photoframes and found photos of our parents and grand parents’ wedding days as a nod to the joining of our two families. I hand wrote signs to go around the venue such as ‘Pimp my prosecco’ and ‘Sparkler send off’ for the personal touch. Also, I put together boxes for the bridesmaids containing lots of little things each of them would like, for example homemade biscuits, candles, miniatures and photos of us together.
The wedding cake: what kind of cake did you choose and why?
My mum made a cake inspired by my dress. It was chocolate, red velvet, lemon and sponge cake. It was delicious and looked amazing!
Entertainment: any musical recommendations, surprises or treats?
We hired a band for the evening called the Rush from Manchester (where we’re both from). We wanted to do something fun as the guests took their seats so we asked the lead singer, Gavin, to do an impromptu acapella sing-a-long to ‘Wonderwall’ which the guests loved. They also played our first dance song which was ‘Wonderful world’ by Sam Cooke and had everyone dancing all evening with their music from a range of genres and decades.
Words of wisdom: share your best piece of advice for other couples:
Make sure the day is what you both want. It’s nice to incorporate other ideas but ultimately the day is for you so make sure you’re totally happy with everything. For us, involving our nearest and dearest was very important. We asked our niece to be flower girl and also asked Amy’s sister Sally (who had recently been ordained into the Church) to give a sermon and also Amy’s brother to do a speech.
What’s the best thing about being married?
Definitely being able to finally call Amy my wife!
Favourite supplier web links for other brides and grooms:
Wedding planning ,design and co-ordination: Elegante by Michelle J
Venue and Catering: Iscoyd Park
St Oswald’s in Malpas
Flowers: Regent House of Flowers (Wrexham)
Wedding Dress: Jenny Packham
Videography: Adam Wing
Fabulous Wedding Cars (Shropshire)
Entertainment: The Rush Band
Hair and Make UP: Ariana Rose
Wedding Day Stationery: Knots & Kisses