Personal history: pure Edwardian elegance at Belvoir Castle
Gemma & Joe: A Courtly Affair
It had to be Belvoir Castle for Gemma and Joe, who fell for the 19th century estate even before they were engaged. After Joe proposed on a romantic countryside picnic – “He started mumbling about how much he liked me; I thought he was either ill or breaking up with me!” jokes Gemma – they booked the castle for their wedding. Photography: Dottie Photography
Gemma & Joe: Love Makes The World Go Round
Thanks to input from the creative team at Dottie Photography, who also supplied the stationery, Gemma and Joe incorporated a vintage travel motif to their day. Passport-style photos of the couple set the tone on invitations; reception details used airmail colours and stamps; and confetti cones were handmade from old Ordnance Survey maps. “I’m a fan of antiques and vintage style, and we love to travel, so the theme fitted us both,” she says.
Gemma & Joe: Something Old
Gemma’s authentic Edwardian lace gown from The Vintage Wedding Dress Company was also key to the theme. “I found my veil at The Vintage Wedding Fair in Harrogate, but the headdress was originally very large – like a halo,” she explains. “So my hairstylist made it smaller to suit me.” Gemma's maids wore soft blush dresses from Jigsaw..
Gemma & Joe: Something New
Gemma picked elegant cream and gold peep-toe shoes by Rachel Simpson to complete her bridal look.
Gemma & Joe: Pretty Posies
To reflect the old-time vibe, the bridal bouquets by Milners Florists were made up of white and pink peonies, roses and stocks.
Gemma & Joe: Suits You
Groom Joe kept his look classic with traditional tails from Moss Bros.
Gemma & Joe: The Case For Cake!
Gemma and Joe worked globe-trotting imagery into their details including their wedding cake created by The Cake Room. “The bottom tier looked like a battered old suitcase with labels of places we’d visited, while the top tier was a new suitcase, with our honeymoon destination as a luggage tag,” Gemma says. “The bride and groom figures even wore outfits that perfectly matched ours.”
Gemma & Joe: Special Delivery
At the reception, an old suitcase lined with vintage maps and strung with string made the perfect table plan.
Gemma & Joe: Destination Romance
Luggage tag-inspired table names, stamped with places the couple had visited together, added splashes of red and blue to the dining room.
Gemma & Joe: Sent With Love
Airmail style envelopes were used as place cards with names hand-typed by Joe’s mum on an old typewriter. The couple even added stamps so they looked like real letters!
Gemma & Joe: Drop Me A Line
Red, white and blue postcards for guests to send the couple their best wishes took the place of a traditional guest book.
Gemma & Joe: A Toast To The Future
Favour-making became a family affair when Joe, Gemma and their parents picked piles of sloe berries to make into ruby-coloured gin. “We presented them in bottles from miniatureglassbottles.co.uk so guests could take them home,” Gemma says. A friend with lovely handwriting helped create the ‘Drink Me’ labels.
Gemma & Joe: Crooning Groom
In the evening, the party headed to the Old Kitchen for a dance party. Joe, a former lead singer in a band, kicked things off with three songs, including his dad’s favourite, Mr Bojangles. “We didn’t have time to prepare a proper first dance,” Gemma says. “So Joe’s band played and I danced with his dad instead!” Photography: Dottie Photography