Jen and Jack met in high school. “We were in the same classes and became good friends when we both started attending a badminton club,” says Jen.
“Over the next year, we grew closer, and that summer whilst on a family holiday, I used my one hour of internet allowance a day to message Jack. One day he confided in me that he liked someone and didn’t know what to do. I asked who it was, but he wouldn’t say. I went through all the girls in our year until he finally said ‘it’s you.’ That was when my internet time ran out! When we next spoke we agreed that we weren’t going to do anything about it as we didn’t want to ruin our friendship, so that was that.
Six months later, Jack spontaneously held my hand, and I got butterflies. I didn’t know he still liked me as we’d not spoken about it since summer, nor had I told him that I’d developed feelings for him too. That night we spoke, and I said ‘let’s give it a go, and if it goes wrong, then we’ll pretend it never happened and stay friends.’ Well, it never went wrong, and 10 years on, we’re finally married.”
Jack proposed during a trip to Iceland. “Our engagement was incredible,” shares the bride. “For as long as I can remember, I had wanted to see the Northern Lights, so for my 21st birthday present, Jack took us to Iceland. We went on a tour to see the lights, and when they finally appeared, I turned around to see Jack on one knee in the snow with the ring in his hand. Of course, I said yes, and it was the most surreal moment of my life. The whole thing was a complete shock to me but looking back there were so many hints that I don’t know how I didn’t guess.”
"Bartle Hall Country Hotel and Restaurant was the only venue that really stood out to us," explains Jen. "The beautiful grounds, the main house and barn were all stunning, yet what sold it to us was the staff. They were so welcoming and made us feel completely at ease, and nothing was too much trouble for them."
Jen and Jack decided to have a wildflower theme. "Given the theme, I kept everything very natural using wood and greenery throughout with touches of white to brighten everything," adds the bride. "The wooden memory ladder was white with eucalyptus, and the card box was a mini-greenhouse which I painted and put some fake greenery in the bottom."
"We chose not to have wedding favours, however, I created colouring books for the flowergirls, so they had something to do during the meal," Jen recalls. "I also bought them teddies with their names on instead of flowers to carry down the aisle. I knew the girls would love these and could treasure them. They are affectionately named their hop-hops."
Jen and her father-in-law created the table plan and welcome sign. "He cut the wood to size and stained it," reveals the bride. "I then painted the wording, attached the eucalyptus and created the seating chart, which I hung up with wooden pegs on brown strings."
"For the centrepieces, I wanted something simple, so we went with wood slices and gin bottles with eucalyptus stems inside with a dinner candle in the top," says Jen. "I also created mini-easels to match the welcome sign with the table numbers on."
Heathers Creative Florist provided the flowers. "Our lovely friend, who I have known since we were four years old, runs the company and created the most amazing flowers for us," shares the bride. "My bouquet included miss piggy roses, lavender and Craspedia. The bridesmaids had gypsophila, Matricaria and eucalyptus, which matched the groomsmen's buttonholes. All the buttonholes were encased in shotgun cartridges as Jack is an avid clay pigeon shooter."
“I made the cake myself,” explains Jen. “The flavours were carrot and pecan, lemon and raspberry and chocolate and Biscoff. The decorations were white buttercream with hints of blush, gold leaf, eucalyptus and gypsophila.”
Jen designed the table names using a template on Etsy. "I used this to create all the invitations, thank you cards, place names, table numbers and menus," the bride adds. "To decorate the rest of the venue, we had a memory ladder with photos of our family who are sadly no longer with us. In the centre was a photo of my twin brother, Peter, who we lost last year. I wore an ashes-into-glass necklace, so he was with me all day. My lovely friend and florist also gifted me a buttonhole to place next to his photo, so he had his own. We had a Polaroid camera alongside our guest book, so our friends and family could take their own photos and stick them next to their messages. This has been wonderful to look back on, and we would recommend this to everyone."
"I initially didn't want a big dress, but I ended up wearing the biggest one I tried on," laughs Jen. "It was such a romantic, floaty design that was fun to twirl in. My very talented auntie used pearls and Swarovski crystals to create a hair vine and comb that looked beautiful."
Jack and the groomsmen wore different outfits. "We weren't too bothered about everyone wearing the same as we just wanted them to be comfortable," recalls the bride. "Jack chose a three-piece blue tweed suit with an orange tie from Marc Darcy. The best men's suits included hints of pink in their outfits which matched the bridesmaids."
"The bridesmaids are all so different, so I didn't want to make them wear the same outfit," says Jen. "I found multi-way dresses from Roman in a beautiful blush colour which matched the theme perfectly. This meant they could all wear the gowns in whichever stylethey wanted."
“We had a live music duo called Ryan and Craig who were just fantastic,” shares the bride. “There are no words to describe their performance. They were so talented, funny and completely brilliant. Those of us who had seen them before knew what we were letting ourselves in for, however, those who hadn’t were completely blown away.”
"We felt completely overwhelmed, incredibly lucky and also relieved that we finally managed to pull it off," explains Jen. "After postponing our wedding from last year, we weren't sure if it was ever going to happen. It was only seven weeks before the date that we found out we could go ahead! Saying 'I do' didn't feel real. At the end of the evening, I went around with a camera and took photos of everyone enjoying themselves. I'm so pleased I did this as it gave me the chance to sit back and see our loved ones having a good time."
The happy couple had the perfect wedding thanks to their family and suppliers. "My uncle, Adrian, performed a reading for us, which was incredibly special," adds Jen. "Our parents were really generous, and we couldn't be more grateful. Our wedding parties were such a big part of the day, and we're so lucky to call them our friends and family. Sonara Parker Makeup Artist also went above and beyond. I have nicknamed her my fairy godmother as she had solutions to any problems that occurred and had her Mary Poppins bag stocked with everything we might have forgotten. Victoria Louise Hair really saved the day!
Six days before the wedding, my hairdresser told me she had to isolate, so I had to find someone else to do my hair. After a few shares of my Facebook post asking for recommendations, I received a message from Victoria saying she was available for the day. Within 12 hours, I was in her chair having my trial. She was an absolute star, and all the ladies were over the moon with their hair on the day.
Our photographer, Christina from Fish 2 Photography, was also fantastic. Everyone commented on how she worked throughout the day and adapted to the rain. The photos are stunning, and I can't wait to have them on our wall."