Jen & Rich Image by Karl Bratby Photography
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I thee Wed – Jen & Rich


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Real Weddings

I thee Wed – Jen & Rich

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Today we take a look at Jen & Rich’s relaxed wedding affair photographed by the lovely Karl Bratby

Where did you get married and what was it about the venue that sealed the deal?
The location was perfect, the views were incredible, and the staff were extremely helpful and diligent. I really wanted an outdoor ceremony and East lodge was perfect for this. My family are based in Nottingham but I currently live in Surrey so I needed a venue which would be easy to contact when I had some mad question about decorations. Having exclusivity of the venue and their 12 gorgeous bedrooms really added to the day. I couldn’t have imagined sharing our wedding day with any other brides and having the bedrooms meant we could wake up the next morning in the same place we were married. It was a great feeling. We didn’t want to be told at 12 midnight that our wedding was over and being able to stay up talking to our guest into the small hours meant there was no clear end to our wedding day.

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How would you describe the style of your wedding and what made you decide to go down that route?

Our wedding, if we had a theme, was countryside meets vintage. My dress was a 1950’s short dress, the bridesmaids wore 1950’s inspired purple polka dot circle dresses and we had bunting around the pagoda we were married in. Our cake was made of cheese with handmade hessian birds on top. Our cardholder was an old suitcase with a lace lining and our table plan was a birdcage. I knew as soon as I found my dress, what the theme was going to be. I love the era and I love the ethos of what marriage meant back then.

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Describe your dress and how you came about finding ‘the one’.

The dress started everything. I tried on hundreds but I wasn’t happy with the heaviness of the dresses or the way I felt restricted in them. My friend told me about Elizabeth Avey in London who sell vintage wedding dresses and I fell in love. It was here I found my short, ivory, petite wedding dress and I fell in love as soon as I put it on. Its very elegant, fun, and light! I had no worries about my husband standing on my dress and it meant I could dance and move quite easily at the end of the night.

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Talk us through the suppliers you used for your wedding from stationery to cake, flowers to cars – was there anything quirky or creative which will inspire future brides?

I created my own stationary. This was very fun and rewarding because I managed to come up with something I really wanted and which fitted in with our theme perfectly. I have a graphic design background so this wasn’t too much of a challenge but it made a big difference in terms of costs. Our guests loved them and it set the tone for our small, intimate, fun, relaxed wedding.

The flowers were by Tineke Floral Designs and of course were amazing. The photos were by Karl Bratby and have exceeded our expectations. They both went down a storm at my wedding and were extremely helpful leading up to the day. Both parties were able to gauge exactly what I was after whilst providing something slightly different or original to my wedding. Tineke made a corsage which could be pinned to the bridesmaids belts from peonies and the photographer helped our guests take their own pictures of us. We used our friends soft top car but my dad runs the virago star motorbike club in Nottingham so we had a motorbike procession to the venue. With an outdoor wedding, everyone heard me arrive in style.

The cake was from a company called the cheese shed and they provided the most amazing cake. We choose exactly what cheeses we wanted and how tall /wide the cake was going to be whilst being able to keep within budget.

Ebay is amazing for wedding items – I found and purchased vintage tea tin on here and they looked amazing with Tineke’s flowers inside. I also bought various other times which allowed me to buy personal / vintage / hand made style items within my budget.

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Any words of advice for future brides about planning your dream day?

You can never please everyone.

Nothing is too adventurous – it just makes your day a little different. I thought my day was completely different and in a way it was but I’m glad it still looked tame.

Have the ceremony and reception in one place, it saves on travelling costs, people getting lost and adds a relaxed feel to the wedding.

Add half an hour run over time to your day. You may think you don’t need it but you will.

You don’t have to have a DJ to have a good time – we didn’t have one and it was perfect – this seems strange but think back to the times when you’ve sat in a pub and just chattered the evening away until the small hours. The grandparents love it and the young alike – I’m 28. Less pressure to choose the right songs or worry about no one dancing or the grandparents not being able to hear you.

Relaxed atmosphere does not mean boring.

Create a schedule for the day but be flexible, the weather may change, the bride may be late etc
Relax and have fun – a happy bride = happy guests.

Don’t have a big venue if you do not have the guest numbers – people will look lost and the dance floor will look empty.

Your guests like to be surprised

You don’t have to stick to the normal schedule / rules for the day – we had Lego on the tables and had competitions between them. The cake was cut straight after the meal and used for the buffet. We had photos between the main course and desert when the light was perfect and had a late start to the day.

The later you start the wedding, the more time you can spend getting yourself organized and ready – the more time you have the less stressed you will be during the ceremony.

Lots of fab advice there from bride Jen, keep checking back for more gorgeous real weddings!

The fab team involved in this wedding;

Venue – East Lodge Country House Hotel

Dress – Elizabeth Avey

Flowers – Tineke Floral Designs

Photographer – Karl Bratby

Cake – The Cheese Shed

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