Jen & Andy: Howzat!
<p> Looking back on the first time they met, as students working in a bar at Headingley Cricket Stadium, Jen realises Andy was bowled over by her instantly. “It must have been love at first sight for Andy,” Jen explains, “as he allowed me to go for my lunch break first, which was an enormous gesture for him!”</p> <p> Eight years later Andy surprised Jen by proposing on her 30th birthday on an idyllic Cornish beach before whisking her off for dinner at Rick Stein’s restaurant in Padstow. “It was perfect,” says Jen, “and worth the eight years of waiting!” </p> <p> Photography by Mark Bothwell (<a href="http://www.markbothwell.com/"target="_blank" rel="nofollow"><strong>markbothwell.com</strong></a>) </p> <p> Words by Hollie Bond </p>
Jen & Andy: Sisterly love
Jen’s sister was the main force behind the wedding dress. “Soon after the proposal, my sister insisted on looking for wedding dresses as that was ‘the fun bit’,” says Jen. So, the excited duo headed to <a href="http://www.christinak.co.uk/index2.php"target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Christina K<strong></strong></a> in Maidstone. With her 5’2” frame Jen thought she would suit a shorter dress but instead fell for a full-length number with a dramatic kick flare. “As soon as I tried on my dress, my sister’s face said it all.” Her sister’s involvement didn’t end there as Jen was surprised to learn at the final fitting that her sister had bought the dress as a wedding gift.
Jen & Andy: With a little help from our friends
Jen finished off her big day look with open-toe platform sandals from Elegant Steps <a href="http://www.elegantsteps.co.uk/"target="_blank" rel="nofollow"><strong>(elegantsteps.co.uk)</strong></a>. She added a personal touch with diamond stud earrings that were commissioned by Andy as a gift from their close friend and jeweller Chris Smith (07540 376 769) who also made Jen’s engagement ring.
Jen & Andy: The Great Outdoors
<p>In all the excitement Jen now had her perfect dress but hadn’t set a date or chosen a venue. They knew they didn’t want a hotel reception so the hunt for a country house began in earnest. “The minute we set eyes on <a href="http://www.youandyourwedding.co.uk/venues/kent/knowlton-court/" target="_blank"><strong>Knowlton Court</strong></a> we loved it,” says Jen. “The setting was beautiful and Dawn, the wedding co-ordinator was just fantastic. It really reflected us as we both love the outdoors and Kent countryside.”</p>
Jen & Andy: Twice as Nice
With the venue booked the couple were all set to have a civil ceremony in the Great Hall with its dramatic monochrome chequered floor. But when they explored the grounds of Knowlton Court further they discovered a picture-perfect church. “We had a civil and a church ceremony,” Jen explains. “The church was redundant so although we couldn’t officially get married there we decided to have a blessing.”
Jen & Andy: Remember, remember the 5th of November
The date of the couple’s wedding was a big deciding factor in the theme. Being late autumn and bonfire night the couple chose a colour palette of red, green and burnt oranges that reflected the time of year and capitalised on the 5th November. “Our wedding was completely influenced by Fireworks Night and autumn. We loved the seasonal colours and the venue had a long tree-lined driveway which was all reds and oranges on the day – it was beautiful,” says Jen.
Display of love
The fireworks theme ran throughout the whole wedding with tables being named after different fireworks such as bangers, rockets, bombettes and comets. The invitations and place cards from <a href="http://www.polkadotdaisy.co.uk/"target="_blank" rel="nofollow"><strong>Polkadot Daisy</strong></a> also followed the theme and tied in with the autumnal green and bronze hues of the bridesmaids’ dresses and ushers’ suits.
Jen & Andy: Light my fire
Favours were of course sparklers, which were lit outside as the evening got off to a flying start with an explosive firework display.
Jen & Andy: Bright as a berry
Florist Ellie Spurrier from <a href="http://www.bloomboxflowers.co.uk/"target="_blank" rel="nofollow"><strong>Bloombox</strong></a> arranged Jen’s sensational seasonal bouquet which contained orange calla lillies, cherry brandy roses, red berries and thistles (as a nod to her father’s Scottish ancestry). “We wanted something to represent all the beautiful autumnal colours and Ellie came up with some great ideas.”
Jen & Andy: Yes chef!
With a backdrop of open log fires and hanging tapestries the couple chose hearty autumn fare for the wedding breakfast. For a fun touch each table had to nominate a ‘chef’ to carve the beef. “The carver was provided with a chef’s hat and apron,” says Jen. The two-course meal finished with a themed dessert – a baked Alaska with a raspberry coulis served with mini sparklers so it looked like a bomb!
Jen & Andy: Fallen leaves
Jen enlisted the help of creative friends when it came to the wedding cake. It tied in perfectly with the theme with champagne icing and delicate handmade autumn leaves and acorns.
Jen & Andy: Autumn advice
<p> For an atmospheric autumn wedding Jen recommends being bold and using the season’s colours to their full advantage. She also suggests factoring in potential bad weather with smart shawls for both yourself and your bridesmaids. “Make sure you choose a venue where you can get beautiful pictures inside” she advises. </p> <p> Jen knew her autumn wedding was charmed when a butterfly fluttered around the church as the couple said their vows. “Everyone commented on its symbolism and it made the ceremony even more magical.” </p> <p>Photography by Mark Bothwell (<a href="http://www.markbothwell.com/"target="_blank" rel="nofollow"><strong>markbothwell.com</strong></a>) </p>