Morning all. Here’s an uplifting wedding for you - the couple, Faye and Chris who both work in recruitment, tied the knot on 6th April this year, at Hampton Manor in Hampton-in-Arden. These photographs were sent in by the very lovely Anna Clarke.
“We are very much your clean, classic, contemporary style type, but wanted to add in a touch of glamour with a burst of tropical colour to complement the venue and our love of Thailand (we went back for our honeymoon). We also knew we didn’t want to follow the traditional route of marrying in a Church and Hampton Manor offered us a venue that we could have exclusive use of all day and guests could stay at the house or nearby. There was also a theme of brooches throughout the day – from all of the stationery, table decorations, my brooch bouquet and the cake.”
Photographer Copyright (c) 2014, Anna Clarke
“Our guests all know how we met now as Chris included this in his wedding speech! Chris actually interviewed me for my second stage job interview and I was successful in joining the company (funny that!). After 10 months of working together, heading to the pub after work with colleagues, building a friendship and going on 'non date dates' as we would call them, Chris finally asked me on a proper date!
We have our birthdays one day apart in April and we arranged a birthday event at the Jam House as a joint party – our first kiss"
"Chris then went on holiday for a week with his family and after a week of talking everyday (much to the annoyance I’m sure of his family) we officially became a couple. One year later, one surprise 30th birthday party later, and a trip to Barcelona where Chris got down on one knee in Park Guell. It was a total shock, but a wonderful one.
Chris wrote a card for everyday around my birthday and for the Barcelona trip to explain what I needed to wear and what might be arranged for the day – it was very thoughtful and well planned."
Chris and I had both been in long term relationships before this and were single for quite a while before we met, although in some people’s eyes we may not have been together that long, we both knew that we’d met 'the one' from the very start. We were talking about marriage and our future within our first few weeks together.”
“We planned our wedding for one year later around the same time – fate being that this was the only Saturday left in Spring. So just to recap on the dates in case anyone is lost – Chris’s birthday is 4th April, mine is the 5th, we got married on 6th, got together 7th and Chris proposed on the 9th so now we need to fit something in for the 8th and we’ve got a straight run!”
“I wore a Pronovias wedding dress that I purchased from Eternal Bride in Warwickshire. I didn’t have the greatest shopping experience to be honest! I always had in mind that I would wear a Jenny Packham dress or a lace dress with sleeves, but nothing I tried on seemed to suit me. When it comes to shopping for everyday clothes I have my shape and size all wrapped up and find it relatively easy to find clothes that suit me. However, wedding dress shopping was a completely different kettle of fish! Being 5’2” and with curves my ideal designer just didn’t suit me. So after trying on many many dresses I realised the more Grecian style dresses suited me the most. I found my dress at Eternal Bride in Warwick, but it had a one shoulder strap (something I knew Chris wasn’t really a fan of – in his words 'I just don’t get one shoulder dresses') so after some alterations I had a Grecian style gown with a sweetheart neckline and long train.
I originally wasn’t going to have a veil, but I urge all new brides to be to at least try one on…as soon as I tried on the right veil for my dress I completely felt like a bride to be. From not wanting one I ended up selecting a cathedral length veil with diamantes! My veil was from Ivory & Co.”
“I actually won a competition on Love my Dress for a Corrine Smith headpiece. I never usually win anything so it was a wonderful surprise! There were so many options but in the end I settled on a bespoke piece – it felt wonderful to wear a one-off design.”
"For my bouquet I decided to create a brooch bouquet and found a lovely lady online called Denise Clarke (no website), who created exactly what I wanted from scratch for a third of the price of some of the more well known designers. My decision to select a brooch bouquet was firstly based on my really bad hayfever so wanted to steer away from flowers but I also wanted to include some very precious items from my late mom and nan.
As they couldn’t be there on the day I wanted to feel them close to me. It’s also a wonderful way for their jewellery to still be used and I will keep this as a family heirloom.”
“Our florists were Urban Flower Design – these guys were a family friend recommendation and were extremely patient with us. We wanted a bright, tropical feel to the flowers in purples and fuschia’s but wanted to make sure the colours worked, and we had some unusual flowers as well as those more in season. They were amazing and the flowers looked incredible! Chris’ mom loves flowers and really helped us in this department with our lack of knowledge!"
“We chose Hampton Manor in Hampton-in-Arden as our venue. It has a wonderful feel to it. Chris discovered this hidden gem before he asked me to marry him and showed me the venue one Sunday afternoon. The driveway and grounds are wonderful and the manor house itself is steeped in history. Also it was the only venue we found that had a mix of opulence and modern glamorous furnishings as well as the character and surroundings. We fell in love with it straight away and knew it was the one! We also dined at the wonderful Peels restaurant on a number of occasions before the wedding and just knew we had to have our wedding breakfast in the light, airy and dramatic Peels…the food was sublime and we are tough foodies to impress!
We had martini style glasses for the table that were tall enough for people to see each other – these were filled with lights and gel and wonderful flowers! We also scattered the table with crystals and candles and there were lots of coloured candles everywhere. My dad, Kevin, walked me down the aisle and gave me away. He was very emotional on the day.
“Our photographer was Anna Clarke – words cannot describe how amazing Anna and her husband Simon were throughout the process. We hope you agree that the photos are amazing!!! We also had an engagement shoot which was a wonderful way for us to get to know them and get used to being photographed. We are trying to create our wedding album at the moment as a 1st year anniversary gift but there are so many wonderful photos we can’t seem to reduce the selection down! What better recommendation can you get for a photographer.”
“My make-up artist Katy Bird was wonderful and really listened to what I wanted on the day – it was all about the smokey eyes and flawless finish! She also did the bridesmaids makeup on the day. One of my bridesmaid’s friends, Amy, did all of our hair on the day. As I'm not used to having my hair up, Amy tweaked and combed for many sessions before the wedding so I felt really happy with the elegant but soft up-do on the day.”
“One thing that people don’t tell you is to think about the material of your dress when purchasing your wedding shoes. I am a bit of a magpie so originally bought diamante sandals – unfortunately these were snagging my dress. So after a frantic return and refund I bought some Champagne Satin shoes and a matching bag from Karen Millen .”
“Chris wears a suit every day for work so he wanted to feel unique and special on the day. After trying on many suits, both high street and to hire. he splashed out on a 3 piece bright blue bespoke suit and matching accessories from Clements Church. He looked amazing!”
“Our favourite part of the day has to be locking eyes with each other for the first time in the ceremony room. I don’t think words can describe how overwhelming it was to see my amazing handsome husband to be waiting for me at the end of the aisle and turning round to see me for the first time. We were both very emotional and fought back the tears. It was a wonderful moment that neither of us will ever forget. It was as if we were the only people in the room.”
“For our ceremony we chose traditional vows, but were able to add our own vows for the ring exchange. This added a very personal touch to our day. It was very emotional and something we will never forget.
We asked my brother, James, to read “The One” and Chris’ good friend, James, to read 'I'll Be There For You' by Louise Cuddon. Following the loss of our mom my brother and I are closer than ever and I wanted him to read a heartfelt and meaningful reading. Our friend James is a bit of a joker so we wanted something more lighthearted for the second reading and a lot of the prose was very apt for me as the bride!”
“We both wanted to do something meaningful for our wedding favours. Chris unfortunately lost his father to cancer when he was a young boy so we donated to cancer research and chose sparkly heart shaped pins for the female guests. My mother unfortunately committed suicide when I was in my early 20s and the charity 'If You Care Share' were a huge support to both myself and my brother. Shirley and Dean, who founded the charity wanted to support us and actually designed the charity pins especially for our wedding – we gave a pin to all of the male guests to wear. It was very touching to see all our guests and wedding party wearing both pins throughout the day.”
“It took a long time for us to choose a song to dance to– we haven’t been together for years and years like some couples so we whittled it down to a selection of tracks and took a spin around the kitchen after a couple of glasses of wine one evening. We chose “Everything” by Michael Buble as it was upbeat and meant Chris could spin me around a bit rather than it being slow on the night, and the words also really resonated with us."
Words of Wedded Wisdom…
“The few weeks and days on the run up to the wedding can get pretty crazy and stressful so remember that it WILL be the most amazing day of your life – it’s yours and your husband'
s day. Wake up the morning of your wedding, take your time, smile and just enjoy it. No one will notice any of the small things that might not go 100% to plan, so instead stand back with your new husband and take it all in.
Take a moment together every hour to talk, observe and commit things to memory. And remember the lasting memories of your day are your photographs and the rings you will wear for the rest of your married life so my advice would be to make sure you spend your budget on these rather than some of the other small things that you might not be able to afford."
A big thank you to photographer Anna Clarke for sharing these images and, congratulations to Faye and Chris - may the first year of marriage be a very beautiful one for you both.
Are any of you reading this now planning on wearing a Pronovias gown?
Photographer – Anna Clarke
Venue – Hampton Manor in Hampton-in-Arden
Wedding Dress – Pronovias via Eternal Bride in Warwickshire
Veil – Ivory & Co.
Headpiece + Accessories – Corrine Smith
Shoes – Karen Millen
Groom – Clements Church
Bridesmaids Dresses – Coast + Kurt Geiger shoes
Florist – Urban Flower Design
Cake – Friend
Entertainment – The Acoustic
Rings – Jewellery Quarter in Birmingham
Stationery – Wicked Weddingz
Make-up Artist – Katy Bird
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