Tilly & Mike’s classic English wedding at Sprivers Mansion, with Howling Basset Photography
If any of you lovelies are heading out to a wedding dress shop today, I hope you have as wonderful a time as Tilly did at Chilham Bridal Boutique! I absolutely adore reading our couples’ interviews for the blog, and hearing about the planning, and about favourite suppliers is what makes my little world go around! Today’s wedding is another summery, graceful and beautiful day – styled in white and grey with gold accents – a beautiful match for Tilly’s amazing dress! Images are by lovely Sprivers Mansion wedding photographer Howling Basset Photography, who gets a five star review from the happy couple!
Wedding photographer’s website
How did you choose your photographer?
We found him on Instagram and really liked the naturalness of his shots.
Were you pleased with your wedding photographer? Do tell… we love a brilliant review!
Yes he was great. He got all the images we asked for, he caught some great natural shots of the wedding party and our families which we will cherish forever. Also we loved how easy going Andy was and listened how we wanted the day to go. We didn’t want to miss anything at our wedding and Andy made sure to fit in the photos without taking us away from our special day for too long. He also took time noticing the details we put into the day making sure to capture them all such as our handmade gold oyster shell name places, our drinks cart, around the world table plan, table name photographs of where we had been around the world.
Videographer details if applicable – and any thoughts for other couples about having a wedding video?
Andy Bird Wedding Videos – AB Wedding Videos – he was fantastic. Caught some great clips, we love watching our video back and remembering our special day.
Tell us about your venue – what made this place special for you?
Sprivers Mansion was the only venue we looked at, and fell in love with it instantly. From the beautifully kept gardens, to the grand Georgian House & impeccable marquee. We loved how personal it felt to us, you could really make the day your own and design it how you wanted, there was so much freedom. We loved you didn’t have to buy into a package deal and become just another number on the long list that other venues had. We were given the whole day before to set up which was so helpful. & myself and husband stayed at the venue on the night of the wedding which was perfect. The guests complemented how bespoke the venue was. We liked the fact that Sprivers Mansions only hold 6-10 weddings a year, making us feel very special & no one we knew had been there before.
Did you love wearing your outfits? How was the dress / suit shopping experience?
I would say choosing outfits was one of our most memorable moments. My husband is a mechanical & electrical engineer and as you can image, his work outfits aren’t the smartest. So seeing him walk out in his suit tails was an amazing moment… he really does scrub up well! We went to the Kent Wedding Experience at the Hop Farm in Paddock Wood. They were so helpful with finding the right fit for Mike & making us feel comfortable in store. We liked the fact you could mix and match the suits & sizes, you could hire and buy what you wanted which was ideal for us as Mike wanted the trousers tailored for a slimmer fit which we bought & the tails we hired as we knew he would only wear them for the wedding day.
My dress shopping was amazing. I had only been into 2 shops before I found ‘the one’. The first shop was in Tunbridge Wells which I attended with my mum and sister. This was a great first experience, everything I had dreamed of- we had prosecco, i got to stand on the mini plaform and tried on at least 7 dresses- but I knew they weren’t ‘the one’. Then one Saturday afternoon myself and mum booked an appointment with Chilham Bridal Boutique. It was the sweetest shop I had seen, we turned up to a sign saying ‘Tilly’s Dress Day’ which I thought was a really great personal touch. Walking in there was a long rail full of the most amazing wedding dresses. The shop specialises in sample dresses and both owners have a great eye for detail. The dress I chose was NOT what I thought I originally wanted. Originally my idea was a slim fitting fish tail dress. However after trying a handful of this style on, none of them made me feel special. Then out of the corner of my eye I spotted a dove grey netting dress, with a skirt so big it stood out from the other dresses on the rail. Once I tried it on, I instantly knew it was the dress for me; a fitted swarovski beaded bodice flowing into a waterfall skirt, white with dove grey running through. It was like nothing I had ever seen before.
Did you hire a florist? Tell us about any floral amazingness
Yes our florist (The Garden Room, Tenterden) was a miracle worker. It was a lady who my dad uses to buy flowers for my mum, the bouquets have always been beautiful so we had a meeting with her an fell in love with her ideas. In the reception marquee I wanted table stands that didn’t block peoples view from who you were sitting opposite. We found high gold podiums with 4 sides that looked so elegant with the flower arrangements. Jo searched for hours just to find us the right ones- it really made the marquee look amazing.
As cake lovers here at English Wedding we’d LOVE to know who made your cake, and how delicious it was?
My best friend made our cake for us. The cake was something that we weren’t sure we wanted to spend a fortune on (after all you have to have a priority list…!) She had never made a wedding cake before but offered to give it a go. Any boy did she… it was amazing. A 3 tier sponge cake filled with cream and jam. Covered in beautiful crisp white icing decorated with delicate dove grey petals. Everyone commented saying how beautiful & yummy it was.
Tell us about any special personal touches, or creative projects you made yourselves
I really wanted to make the day personal to us and love doing DIY bits. We brought out house in Whitstable 2 years ago so wanted to bring a bit of the beach feel to our wedding. We came up with the idea of using oyster shells as name places. I marched down to Whitstable harbour and scrambled around the stones to find 110 perfect oyster shells. I wanted to give them an elegant feel so sprayed them all gold. (after putting them through the dishwasher of course) Then my mum took them to her house and placed everyone’s name on a white piece of card & attached it to the gold oyster shell. They were so beautiful we used them as favours as well. Lots of people still have them up on their mantelpiece now!
I also have a background in marketing so I was able to design everything myself, from the menus, invitations, wedding signs, order of service, thank you cards & most importantly our table plan. We decided to have a ‘where in the world are you sitting?’ map of the reception marquee & named each table with countries we had visited. On the tables I had created a photo Polaroid of a photo of us in the country we had visited, it was a fun, personal touch to the marquee. I also designed a photo booth area for the guests. I had a huge frame printed with out name, wedding date and leaf pattern. We hung this from a white backdrop outside the marquee with lots of props. It was really popular and saved us loads no hiring an actual photobooth! My mum-in-law also designed the most spectacular sweet table I had ever seen, it looked beautiful used small trees to hang sweetie bags off & decorated sweet jars with dove grey pearls. Hard to believe it but all the sweets disappeared by the end of the night… guests love a midnight feast.
Did you personalise your vows or have any wedding readings? What were they?
No we stuck to the original vows as we agreed with what they meant. My best friend wrote a poem for us as a reading, it was beautiful.
What was your first dance song? Why did you choose it?
James Arthur – Say You Won’t Let Go. We decided this song as when we were dating, it took Mike a year to say he loved me…! I heard this song and imagined him coming into my room declaring his undying love for me. So I got home from work, and put the song on replay- instead he marched into my room and told me to take this song off replay it’s been playing for hours…! Not quite what I envisioned, and after he eventually told me he loved me, I told him about my original plan to get it out of him & we laughed for hours.
Favourite wedding suppliers
Make Up- http://kateglanfieldmakeup.co.uk/
Boutique – https://chilhambridal.co.uk
Wedding Singer & DJ (brings an amazing portable grand forte piano) –https://www.maleweddingsinger.com/
London wedding photographer Howling Basset is an English Wedding member