Real Wedding: A bold and beautiful wedding day in Oxfordshire
Jessica wore a bespoke Caroline Castigliano wedding dress complete with a dramatic train and gorgeous lace sleeves. She teamed her elegant dress with a quirky pair of Converse, creating a truly original bridal look.
The couple hired wedding planner Bochic Weddings to make sure their big day went smoothly, attributing much of the special details, including a unique table plan, to their planner.
Photographer | John Alexander Photography
Sam proposed to Jessica outside a quaint fudge shop in Brighton, although this wasn't the original plan...<br /><br />"Sam planned to propose on the pier while we were on a day trip in Brighton, but we went to the pier too early on in the day and he decided the timing wasn't right," shares Jessica.<br /><br />"He waited until later and asked me just as we walked past the fudge shop."
Jessica and Sam got married at Notley Abbey in Oxfordshire.<br /><br />"We chose the venue because not only was it stunning, it felt like a big house and we liked the idea of all of our family staying there together, like a home from home," explains Jessica.<br /><br />"The day after our wedding we all had brunch together at the venue and it felt as though we had a wedding weekend rather than just a day."
The wedding dress
Jessica's dress was a bespoke combination of two <a href="http://www.carolinecastigliano.com" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Caroline Castigliano</a> dresses.<br /><br />"I had the bottom half of one dress paired with the top of another dress," Jessica reveals. "It was absolutely beautiful and I felt amazing wearing it."<br /><br />"After my second to last fitting I had extra material added to my train for an even bigger dress!"
The bespoke wedding dress
"The fabric on my dress was amazing and felt so much nicer than other dresses I had tried on," enthuses Jessica.<br /><br />"The material was light and airy and the bottom half of my dress was layered with fabric to create a princess style."<br /><br />"The top was made entirely of lace and has 3/4 length sleeves and a v-neck front."<br /><br />Jessica complemented her dress with a thin choker necklace and rings, keeping her accessories simple to leave her dress to do the talking.
The bridesmaids' dresses
Jessica's 10 bridesmaids all wore dresses from <a href="http://twobirdsbridesmaid.co.uk" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">TwoBirds</a>, in bold red shade Cabernet. <br /><br />The two chief bridesmaids wore full length styles, while the other eight rocked a shorter version.
Unusual wedding shoes
In a unique move, Jessica and the whole bridal party eschewed heels in favour of funky pairs of Converse. <br /><br />Jessica herself wore a bright red pair, while the others wore white trainers with ribbon for laces.
The wedding colours
Sam and Jessica opted for a red and white fiesta themed wedding, with bold rouge flowers and red touches all over the venue.<br /><br />"Our wedding planner Ela at <a href="http://www.bo-chic.com" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Bochic</a> created the theme for our wedding and designed all aspects, but I knew from the beginning that I wanted to include red as the main colour," explains Jessica.<br /><br />"My mum and nan both had red in their weddings and I thought it would be nice to continue the tradition."<br /><br />"I also chose red because I wanted something that most people wouldn't choose and the particular shade of red we had was vibrant, fun and lively, just like our wedding day!"
The wedding planner
"Ela at Bochic planned our entire wedding from creatively designing all the styling elements to managing our budget, sourcing our suppliers and producing our timings," explains Jessica.<br /><br />"She was absolutely fantastic, so approachable and her attention to detail was second to none."<br /><br />"My advice to other brides is to hire Ela as your wedding planner!" she enthuses.
Red wedding decorations
The reception was decorated with a canopy of beautiful red balloons by <a href="http://www.pompomstudio.co.uk" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Pom Pom Studio</a>, creating a striking ceiling of colour.
The table plan
"Our table plan was made by our wedding planner; she wrote the table numbers and guest names on glass bottles and displayed them on a rustic step ladder, and hung a bunting above that read 'where am I sitting?'" shares Jessica. <br /><br />Beautiful round balloons were placed nearby, giving a real party feel to the big day.
Red wedding stationery
Sam and Jessica's red wedding stationery was designed by <a href="http://www.pinglepie.com" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Pingle Pie</a>. <br /><br />The front of the card was adorned with a red watercolour wreath with their names in the centre, while the invitation itself was printed on the reverse, with the relaxed tone mirroring the feel of the day. <br /><br /><br />
Red wedding centrepieces
The table centrepieces were created with a range of flowers and succulents placed in antique white urns.<br /><br />The blush pink glassware added a beautiful splash of colour to the table decor, and each table had a giant balloon placed on it.
The bridal bouquet
The couple hired <a href="http://www.willowandthyme.co.uk" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Willow and Thyme</a> as their florist; the company used succulents and a huge variety of flowers to create the vibrant arrangements.<br /><br />'In my bouquet I had a mix of cafe au lait dahlias, pink wax flower, bombastic spray roses, garden roses, astilbe and foliage," explains Jessica. "I loved that my bouquet cascaded."
The wedding cake
"I bought seven tiers of fruit cake from <a href="http://www.cornellisugarcraft.co.uk" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Cornelli Sugarcraft </a>and rolled out marzipan icing and fondant icing to layer in between the tiers," shares Jessica.<br /><br />"I wanted a naked fruit cake, so only put the marzipan in between the layers. I did this two days before the big day and set up our cake on a rustic wine barrel, then used a tall log slice as cake stand - it was very tall, which was what I wanted."<br /><br />The florist decorated the cake and placed a large floral wreath around the base.
"My brother sang our first dance song, and I couldn't stop crying throughout," admits Jessica."He said Never Stop by Safety Suit."<br /><br />"We also hired The Singing Waiters, who sang modern songs and dedicated them to our guests. They dedicated Justin Timberlake's Sexy Back to our nans and our cheeks were aching from laughing."