Hi everyone! I hope you’re all suitably full of cheese after the festive season. My last post was back in November, before Rob and I had tied the knot. I wrote it feeling a little bit nervous that my next post would be my last, and a round-up of our WEDDING DAY! I truly loved documenting our plans on SYGM, and I hope you enjoy seeing how it all came together…
Photography by Amy Shore
Our wedding day had been set for November 12th 2016 – almost two years since Rob’s proposal, but we were convinced we wanted an autumn wedding in our dream venue. Donington Park Farmhouse is somewhere we already knew we liked, even prior to our engagement, but after we visited and met the lovely staff, it completely sealed the deal.
With exposed brick, high ceilings, and full of character, we just knew straight away that this is where we wanted to have our big day. The venue is littered with fairy lights, which makes it feel so unbelievably magical – I think our photographer, Amy, captured the rustic and cosiness of the place so perfectly.
I can’t thank the staff at Donington Park Farmhouse enough – especially Josie, Emma and Jack, who really pulled it out of the bag for us. Literally nothing went wrong, and I’m so grateful to them for giving us a day to remember. Josie helped myself and my bridesmaids set up on the day before the wedding, and she even came to collect us from our rooms when it was time to go. I suffered with pretty severe anxiety in the months leading up to the wedding and knowing that Josie was there to help with little things like that made me feel so much better.
Because we were having a November wedding, we knew it might rain, which was another reason behind choosing Donington Park Farmhouse – it’s mostly indoor, so our guests would be inside and wouldn’t notice if the weather was bad. It did rain a little on the morning of the wedding, but dried up after the ceremony which meant we got to take some photos in the gorgeous fields across the road.
When I first set eyes on the Orveito dress by Ronald Joyce, I knew I had to try it on. The detailing on it was simply stunning; a layer of the most gorgeous ivory lace stood on top of a champagne coloured layer. The low back and sweetheart neckline made me feel so elegant, and it’s a choice that will stay classic and timeless. It’s easy to get caught up with Pinterest trends, but I didn’t want to look back on our photos in 5 years’ time and regret my decision.
I chose to add a champagne waist belt in the evening, which tied in a bow that sat beautifully at the small of my back.
My hair was crafted by the incredible Lindsay at Alice Elizabeth Hair in Derby, and I’m so thankful for her help on the day. She even gave us a hand with our makeup, which we were all so grateful for!
Rob made it very clear from the beginning that he wanted to feel comfortable on his wedding day – it should go without saying, right?! He isn’t a suit-wearer. He finds it extremely uncomfortable when he has to wear a suit for other weddings and funerals and he doesn’t feel like himself, so we made a point of getting something he would feel 100% right in.
He opted for a gorgeous blue tweed jacket and waistcoat from Hammond & Co at Debenhams, and wore a shirt and trousers from Next, which were altered to fit perfectly. He wanted to wear a pin on his suit jacket, and although initially he wanted to wear his old racing car badge from when he was little, our friend gifted him a silver Golden Retriever pin, which took pride of place on his suit – meaning his Usher, Stu, could wear the car badge.
The Bridal Party
My bridesmaids consisted of my absolute oldest and bestest friend Tamzin, and my absolute newest and bestest friend Laura! I met Tamzin in our first year of secondary school and we bonded over ice cream and Sex and the City; way older than our years! I met Laura in my previous job, and I’ve never clicked with someone as instantly as I had with her. They wore dresses from Little Mistress via ASOS, and by complete fluke I managed to get bolero’s and bags in the exact same colour in the BHS closing down sale!
My flower girl was my beautiful niece, Grace, who was an absolute star to go shopping with. She loved having a girly day out with my Mum and I and it only took three dress shops before we decided on an RJR.John Rocha dress from Debenhams, plus a “fluffy thing” as she called it! She loved the whole thing so much she ate her Sunday dinner in her dress the next day…
Rob, again, was adamant he didn’t want the groomsmen in matching suits. As long as they all looked nice alongside each other, it didn’t matter what they wore. Thankfully they pulled it off!
The only point in the day that there was a slight hint of tears is when I saw my flowers. When I met Cara from Buds and Blooms in Staunton Harold, near Calke, I knew I needed her to bring her creations to our wedding day. We rang through colour schemes, and she came to visit the venue with me to see what could work and where. I gave her free creative reign to do whatever she felt best, and completely trusted her. Everyone commented on how beautiful the flowers were and they were the great finishing touch to the venue – the buttonholes and bouquets were also simply stunning.
Rob and I both came across Amy’s photography separately and each told the other how amazing she was. Amy photographs historic racing cars, and it’s her automotive work that caught Rob’s eye. Coincidentally, I’d found photos of a wedding she photographed and both of us knew we had to have her. It was like fate!
Amy and her assistant Steph captured the day so perfectly – there were almost 900 photos altogether, and flicking through them felt like reliving the day again. I can’t thank them both enough for getting such incredible shots.
You might have read in previous posts that we were really struggling with our music choices. We’re both quite picky when it comes to music, and although we have the same taste, you have to keep everyone else happy too. We struggled with our first dance song, because we wanted Just Like Heaven by The Cure, but it was just a bit too upbeat and not quite right.
After going to watch one of Rob’s friends play in his band, Redwood, at the local pub, we decided we would like him to sing at our wedding and requested that he perform an acoustic version of Just Like Heaven. It was perfect!
Prior to that, my Dad and I danced to My Girl by The Temptations which was played by our DJ – another one of Rob’s pals from school who played some amazing tunes after Redwood’s set – these included everything from Dr. Dre, to Taking Back Sunday, to ending the night with Build Me Up Buttercup by The Foundations. We partied until the very end – EVERYONE was up dancing and smiling!
Food & Drink
The catering was included in our venue, as they sourced everything from the farm and local areas, which we loved. We wanted to keep things casual, so we had a mojito reception, and a three course winter barbecue, in which guests could just go and help themselves. There were salads and new potatoes and veggies on a big table, and everyone said how relaxed it all felt.
Our cake was a ‘cheese’ cake – the chefs at Donington Park Farmhouse did an incredible job of creating it, and then they added many more cheeses and crackers, grapes, chutneys etc. for our evening guests to enjoy.
Naturally, I made sure I was the first to sample the cheese before a stampede of guests arrived.
Naturally I couldn’t finish without including a little bit about our Guest of Honour, Sid (who you can see in the very first photo!) Our daft Golden Retriever is the love of our lives, and we couldn’t imagine not having him there. Although we did worry he’d get into mischief or jump up my dress, we figured ‘what the heck’ and our neighbour bought him along, suited and booted with a navy ribbon and heart around his neck.
Here he is showing off a confetti cone he’d found on the floor:
And… getting up to mischief, obviously:
A Word of Advice…
Don’t let anyone else tell you how to plan your day. There will most likely be a friend who scoffs and says, “you spent HOW MUCH? You could have put that down as a house deposit!”, blah blah blah. There will most likely be a family member who questions why your uncle’s postman’s sister isn’t invited. And there will most likely be dirt on your oh-so-expensive and beautiful wedding dress by the end of the night. But just enjoy it!
Don’t get caught up in unrealistic expectations, and don’t worry about things going wrong – I had a slight shoe disaster five minutes before I was supposed to walk down the aisle. My dress kept getting caught on the embellishments on my flats, and thank goodness my bridesmaid was the same size as me, because we just swapped shoes. Simple as that. There wasn’t enough time to stress about it – just swap your shoes and go!
I can guarantee you, as soon as you’re walking down the aisle and you’re met with the smile of the one you’re marrying, all of your worries will melt away.
Thanks for sticking with us on our wedding planning journey, and good luck to all of those bride-to-be’s out there!
The new Mrs Wainwright x