Let’s fill our Friday with a real wedding – and a blast of colour, fun, love and joy with our gorgeous couple Lauren & Lewis. These two chose Thornton Manor’s Lakeside Marquee to celebrate their love, with elements of Chinese and Malaysian culture bringing the party to life! Images are by Jules Fortune Photography, who gets a glowing review from the happy couple.
Wedding photographer’s website:
How did you choose your photographer?
Months of searching online and recommendations, we wanted a natural vibe to our pictures with nothing too staged, and when we found Jules we knew she was exactly what we were looking for.
Were you pleased with your wedding photographer? Do tell… we love a brilliant review!
We absolutely adored working with Jules! We aren’t fans of staged photos and she managed to capture the whole day magically, from an entirely candid perspective. Jules got in and amongst us, without us really even noticing she was there. She made us feel relaxed and her warm and lovely personality made her a delight to have at our special day.
We were so excited to receive our wedding photos, and we weren’t disappointed! Jules captured the full spirit of the day, covering all the little touches and special moments. She has given us the ability to relive lasting memories over and over.
Your wedding style or theme:
Being from a Chinese background I wanted hints of this culture to run through the day, making it unique to us.
The traditional lion dance is one of our favourite things when we visit family in Malaysia for new year, and so it was important for us to have this performance at the wedding. That, coupled with the romance of the cherry blossom trees, and a fusion menu from Olive Tree Catering, meant the Asian side of our family culture was acknowledged.
It was also really important to us that our personalities shone through the theme, being big party animals, the brief was always just a laid back fun party vibe for everyone to enjoy themselves and celebrate with us!
Where did you find your suppliers? (Blogs, magazines, recommendations?)
We visited a number of wedding fairs as well as getting recommendations from friends and other suppliers in the industry.
What’s your top tip for saving money?
Use your family and friends lol! We were surprised how many people offered to help and how skilled they all are. From making the wedding cake to floral garlands, singing and makeup, we managed to save a lot of money by using our skilled family and friends 🙂
… and which elements of your wedding are you glad you spent more on?
Definitely the photography and videographer (Jules Fortune & Adam Wing). Everyone told us the day goes by in the blink of an eye, they weren’t wrong. And so the ability to re-live the day through photos and videos is absolutely priceless.
Where did you buy or source your wedding stationery – or was making it a labour of love?
We got our wedding invitations from www.cartalia.co.uk as they specialise in laser cutting. Red is a lucky colour in Chinese tradition, and so we opted for a red lace design laser cut onto the front.
Did you fall in love with your wedding dress?
Absolutely, I tried it on initially at Confetti Box in Eccles, however as this was the first shop I visited I wanted to try on a few more. I visited 5 more shops trying on countless dresses, but none made me feel the way the first dress did. The last boutique I went to, they had it in stock so I tried it on again and just knew it was The One.
Wedding dress designer and bridal boutique:
Because I love you Bridal – Harwood
Tell us about your accessories: jewellery, shoes and anything else!
I initially didn’t want a veil as I didn’t want to hide the detail of the back of the dress, however in one of the final fittings the seamstress put one on me and it just made the dress come alive! And if you can’t wear a veil on your wedding day, when can you? So I went for a single tier cathedral veil custom made by Sheila Ann Bridal Alterations (she was amazing!)
I wore my mums sapphire drop earrings as they were something old, borrowed, and also blue!
A beautiful Swarovski bracelet gifted to me by my mother-in-law
And my shoes were Jimmy Choo
And what did the groom wear?
The groom wore a custom made suit from Whitfield & Ward, complete with waistcoat and bow tie.
Craig at Whitfield & Ward was amazing, really helping Lewis decide on his suit, from the fabrics and lining, down to accessories such as braces and pocket watch.
He opted for a black dinner suit style with a subtle lace overlay on the jacket.
Beautiful bridesmaids: what did your best girls wear?
The girls wore bright red dresses, a lace overlay top, cinched in at the waist with chiffon skirt to the floor. As mentioned, red is a lucky colour in Chinese culture and so we thought having the girls all in red would tie in with the theme and bring us good luck with our married life.
Hair and make-up – did you DIY or hire a professional?
Hair and make-up was carried out by the fabulous Sarra Slimane – Artiste Makeup
Describe your wedding flowers. Who arranged them for you? (florist details would be lovely please)
Bouquets and button holes were created by Classy Blooms in Stockport. Carla had done my friends wedding and I loved the loose natural style of the bouquets so it was a no brainer for me to go with her.
A special mention has to go to our wonderful family friend Shirley who made a floral garland for the staircase entrance to the marquee.
General styling – did your venue need much decoration?
The lakeside marquee at Thornton Manor is pretty spectacular so we didn’t go overboard with decoration, however Red Floral did an amazing job with the blossom tree archways, top table garland, and table centrepieces, this was intertwined with traditional Chinese parasols, candles and lots of petals giving a totally romantic atmosphere.
Crafts and makes – tell us about any homemade elements of your wedding… did you enjoy them?
I’m not at all crafty, and so the thought of making anything myself filled me with horror. However we opted for red chopsticks with our names engraved, and little bottles of Jagermeister for guests favours; and so the one thing I did make was little tags for these: “to have and to hold” for the chopsticks, and “we tied the knot, so take a shot” on the miniatures.
The wedding cake: what kind of cake did you choose and why?
One of our wonderful friends (Sam Astley-Dean, head chef at Church Road in London) kindly offered to make our wedding cake as a gift to us. We opted for a 3 tier red velvet sponge with white chocolate icing! Again tying in the lucky red colour, we also thought it would look (and taste) stunning in white chocolate icing, but be very striking when cut open to be bright red inside.
Entertainment: any musical recommendations, surprises or treats?
Entertainment was really important for us as we wanted the wedding to be fun and entertaining for everyone.
For the ceremony we had a string trio from String Infusion who were fabulous, we also had a surprise operatic performance by Natalie Turgut-Thompson (friend) of You’ll Never Walk Alone. This song has great personal meaning to our family, not only for Lewis being a die hard Liverpool fan, but because it was a song his late granddad sang. Without him at the wedding, this surprise was my little way of ensuring his granddad was there in spirit.
We had the traditional lion dance during the prosecco reception which was a surprise to all guests and something some of them had never experienced before.
During the wedding breakfast we also had a surprise performance from crooner Cole Page who was absolutely amazing! As a friend, he was attending the wedding as a guest and started singing from his seat, so none of the guests could tell where it was coming from. He had both our dads up singing, and by the end of the performance everyone was stood on their seats!
We then had a DJ and SIX15 provided a saxophonist for the evening party as we love dance music and wanted to give that Ibiza vibe to the night do.
Words of wisdom: share your best piece of advice for other couples:
Don’t sweat the small stuff. Plan the day for yourselves and what’s important to you, and don’t lose sight of the fact this is your day, celebrating your love.
Also take time to spend even just a few moments together soaking it all in.
What’s the best thing about being married?
You feel an added sense of security knowing you are committed to your best friend for the rest of your life