Jess and Justin’s elegant rustic Avon Gorge wedding, with Martin Dabek Photography
Today’s gorgeous couple married in the summer of 2020, and with covid restrictions limiting their choices they still had the most amazing day – it’s all beautiful. Jess found her dress at Monsoon and fell in love with it; Justin bought his suit online and loved it too – they both look fabulous. This lovely pair kept an eye on sustainability with their wedding: hiring items rather than buying, choosing candle favours from a maker who donates a % of profits to bee conservation, and donating part of their gift money to a local charity kitchen.
And the images of their day by Avon Gorge Hotel wedding photographer Martin Dabek are out. of. this. WORLD!
Wedding photographer’s website
How did you choose your photographer?
Google searching Bristol wedding photographers led us to his page and his laidback, fun style made us choose him!
Were you pleased with your wedding photographer? Do tell… we love a brilliant review!
We absolutely loved the photos Martin took for us. He was very friendly and helped keep us relaxed throughout the day, his humour really put us at ease during the more intimate shoots of just us. He captured lots of special little moments with our guests, we barely knew he was there! The way he used natural light to take different shots had beautiful results and he took some really creative, more artistic shots of us using features in the venue. He had amazing attention to detail despite keeping everyone laid back. We couldn’t be happier and would recommend him to anyone wanting a relaxed, fun style.
Did you love wearing your outfits? How was the dress / suit shopping experience?
Neither of us wanted to spend too much on our outfits as we wanted to save money for other elements of the wedding, so we only really looked at highstreet brands. We also planned the whole wedding in about 6 weeks during summer 2020, which meant our access to shops was slightly limited due to covid-19. My dress was from Monsoon and I fell in love with it as soon as I tried it on at home, it was a lovely quality and didn’t break the bank. I was very lucky that it needed no adjustments and was extremely comfortable. We shopped online together for Justin’s suit and once again, he tried it on at home and fell in love with it.
Tell us about your venue – what made this place special for you?
Our venue was Avon Gorge by Hotel du Vin in Bristol. For most of our relationship we’ve lived in Bristol and having the backdrop of the Clifton Suspension Bridge, somewhere we have lots of happy memories, made the venue extra special and resulted in some wonderful photos. The hotel has a dedicated private venue for weddings with its own bar and kitchen, so there was no interruptions from other guests and the service was excellent. The hotel is in a beautiful location overlooking the Avon Gorge and it has a luxurious but modern theme throughout, we barely needed to add any decorations to the venue due to how beautifully decorated it was. We just loved it.
Did you hire a florist? Tell us about any floral amazingness
We did hire a florist – we used The Wilde Bunch who are based in Bristol (https://www.thewildebunch.co.uk/). We adored the flowers they arranged for us. My bouquet was absolutely beautiful, they made gorgeous flower crowns for my flower girls and they decorated the venues with little vases of flowers and tealights. They have a huge range of accessories you can choose from which are included in the price and returned after the wedding – this was a big draw for us as we didn’t want to be wasteful and buy lots of things we wouldn’t use again. We had a consultation with Abby to decide on what we wanted – she was really knowledgeable and picked up straight away on our style (laid back, countryside flowers). We’re both keen gardeners and Abby let us pick our favourite species of flower and worked them into our design. On the day of the wedding, they delivered and arranged all of the flowers with absolutely no hassle and dropped off my bouquet in plenty of time. After the wedding our guests took small bunches of flowers from the vases to enjoy at home. We would 100% recommend The Wilde Bunch.
As cake lovers here at English Wedding we’d LOVE to know who made your cake, and how delicious it was?
Rosie from https://www.rosieshawcakecompany.co.uk/ made our cakes! We choose a variety of little cupcakes in 5 flavours for the guests and had a mini semi-naked cake for the cake cutting. They were absolutely delicious and the guests polished off every last one!
Tell us about any special personal touches, or creative projects you made yourselves
We lost my Grandad back in spring. He was a huge part of my life and helped to pay for the wedding, he would’ve loved to have been there so we lit a candle during the ceremony to honour him and feel close to him.
All of our stationery was handmade and personalised by Paige from https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/PaigenCo. We’re not very artistic but she did a beautiful job of making special invites and vow books for us.
Our wedding favours were handmade by Joelle from https://nickola-candela.com/, she makes eco-friendly, vegan candles and she made a personalised sticker for our candles. The candles smelled absolutely gorgeous (we went for Peony and Suede) and she donates to the Bumblebee Conservation Trust (https://www.bumblebeeconservation.org/) with every item sold, which was perfect for us as nature-lovers.
Instead of wedding gifts we asked for donations towards our honeymoon (which we plan to go on next year if possible), we donated 10% of the money we received to a local initiative (https://jamaicastreetstores.com/stokes-croft-food-project/) who provide hot, sustainable meals to local people in need – Jamaica Street Stores is just around the corner from where we live and it felt very important to give back something after we had been so fortunate, especially this year when so many people are struggling.
Did you personalise your vows or have any wedding readings? What were they?
We both wrote our own vows in little handmade vow books, this made the ceremony really special to us and we have a lovely keepsake in the form of the books. We had a celebrant (Claire from http://www.clairethecelebrant.co.uk/) rather than a registrar do our ceremony as we wanted a tailored, personal service. She did an excellent reading prior to our vows – she was extremely thorough when getting to know us and wrote “our love story” for the reading, it was perfect, personal and very moving. She provided us with a copy of the reading which I know we’ll look back on very fondly in the future.
What was your first dance song? Why did you choose it?
Our first dance was 26 by Caamp. It’s quite a unique song and not hugely well known but it makes us both smile every time we hear it. It was very light-hearted and sweet and fit our day perfectly.
Favourite wedding suppliers
Photographer – https://martindabek.com/
Celebrant – http://www.clairethecelebrant.co.uk/
Hair and makeup – Leanne from http://www.bristolbridalhairandmakeup.com/home/4590126625
Wedding favours – https://nickola-candela.com/
Wedding invites and vow books – https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/PaigenCo
Flowers – https://www.thewildebunch.co.uk/