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Why making a bouquet was so important to DIY bride Jen

An honest and inspiring insight to the journey behind Jennifer & Boyd's wedding planning.

Tell us about how you & Boyd met?

I had been seeing someone for a few weeks, and knew he just wasn’t for me, plus the guy was an absolute tool! Ha. Boyd was actually friends with this guy at the time, and got in touch with me as it turned out the guy I was seeing was a compulsive liar. Gotta love abit of drama!

We stayed in touch, and would meet for a drink if Boyd was in Milton Keynes. Neither of us were looking for a relationship, and did not see anything developing between us at all, so there was no bravado, or putting on a façade with each other to impress: Or Peacocking as I like to call it! We were 100% ourselves around each other, and I thought Boyd’s arrogance was hilarious.

After about a month of talking, we had gone for a walk around Willen Lake near where I live, and we got to talking about Gavin & Stacey. Quotes came pouring out from both of us, and I was dying with laughter. That was the moment I realised, oh Sh*t, I actually really like this guy. I tried to orchestrate us walking towards a huge rain cloud so I could try and kiss him, but sadly, my hints fell on deaf ears! We did end up having our first kiss that night, in his car when he dropped me off home. Touch by Shift K3y was playing on the radio, so you know, keeping it classy!

Tell us about the moment you got engaged?

It was May 2016, and we’d just arrived at Corfu Airport. After a stressful wait for our luggage, turns out we had stood at the wrong carousel, we finally arrived at our Hotel. It was about 1am, and I just wanted to unpack, eat and sleep. I was I sat on the bed with my hair in a pineapple, wearing an old vest top from Magaluf circa 2009, and was eating peanuts. Boyd said he had a gift for me, and proceeded to give me a pandora charm: It had a tiny little diamond ring on it which I loved, but he could tell from my face I thought it was an odd gift considering we weren’t engaged. Boyd then went off to his suitcase, and came back with a huge box shaped bulge in his pocket: He took the box out and I knew what was coming….. I had to stop him, so we could swap places as he was standing over the bed and I’m still sat eating peanuts! Ha. I honestly can’t remember what he said to, as the whole moment is such a beautiful blur. I must have said yes, because here we are.

Turns out, he was so stressed at the airport, because he’d only put the ring in his SUITCASE!!!

Boyd is one of the most calm, level headed people I know, which is great, as I am such a hothead. He had plans of proposing on the beach, or getting the hotel to do something, but he was so nervous he had to get it done as soon as we got there. To me, it was perfect. To have had him so nervous, and flappy, it was a huge compliment haha. It meant that we could just enjoy the week ahead just the two of us, which was fab.

What was your wedding style and how did you achieve it?

I wanted a relaxed, rustic, vintage feel to the day, but also wanted to show our personalities throughout.

Pinterest was my best friend, as were wedding groups on Facebook, so I took lots of inspiration from there. My husband is a huge golf fan, so for our place names we made card holders out of golf tees, and the name cards were in the shape of golf balls.

I love afternoon tea, so we had that instead of the standard 3 course meal. We created the menu with the inhouse caterers so it felt as though it was more personalised to us. Boyd loves marmite, so they made marmite cheese straws for him.

I feel as though once we found the venue, the rest just followed: We knew we wanted a barn style, which then led to ideas of décor and all the little extras. We had a fab outdoor space, which I utilised by buying outdoor games for the children to play with.

We wanted to give a little nod to family members who are no longer with us: We had framed photos of them, which I had placed on an old Stepladder my Great Grandad had built in the early 1900’s. It was really special to me to be able to use sentimental items from my family.

I wasn’t overly precious on a colour scheme, which left my décor ideas wide open. We ended up with lots of pinks, rose gold and white in the end, but I wasn’t one of those brides that had to have the exact shade of ‘cerise’ for everything to be perfect. I enjoyed the slight mis-match!

I had a budget in mind, and I’m pleased to say, I was just within it! I’m quite crafty, so took great pleasure in making a lot of decorations myself.

Why did you choose your venue? Was it love at first sight?

We looked at a few venues online to get an idea of cost and packages and I came across Hunsbury Hill Barns on the outskirts of Northampton. We decided to book a viewing with their Co-ordinator Sarah. We honestly did not think we would book a venue that early on, we hadn’t even set a date! However, when we arrived, and we saw the venue, we just fell in love. It had fantastic views over Northamptonshire and it was such a great space for the day. There was so much character to it, yet still a blank canvas for us to make it our own.

Sarah was brilliant, and we both felt like our day would be in great hands with her. We ended up picking a date there and then. Their packages per person were so reasonable, yet the quality was second to none. They love what they do there, and the caterers take such pride in their food. On our meeting to discuss the menu, they added an ice cream cart for after the wedding breakfast: I mean, who doesn’t want ice cream on a hot afternoon in July!!! It was a great addition to the day.

The venue were so accommodating with anything that we wanted to do, and their staff took care of setting everything up the morning of the wedding. We just took everything over the day before and that was that.

Tell me about your dresses?

It really is true what they say, you will go for the exact opposite of what you have imagined. I thought I would go for a Vintage, lacey fishtail dress, how wrong was I?! It was my sister who picked out a huge ballgown for me to try on, just to see what it was like. I put it on, and could honestly see the Disney birds flying around me: I felt like such a princess. It wasn’t ‘the one’, but I knew that I wanted a big dress!

Having done a couple of Bridal boutiques, I decided to try Wed2b in Milton Keynes, as one of my Bridesmaids had bought her dress from there. I went along on a Monday with my Mum, two Sisters and twin baby Nieces. Wed2b don’t have an appointment system, so you just turn up. It was actually my Mum who saw my dress on a mannequin: It was a sparkly Ballgown, with lots of embellishment and a plunging neckline. I opted to try that on, and a few others of course.

It made me feel like a princess, and was just so sparkly: Definitely not what I thought I would have gone for, but when else do you get to wear a huge sparkly dress! The store girls, Lottie & Hannah, were brilliant at accessorising me up, and telling me how amazing I look. (I absolutely recomened wedding dress shopping just for a confidence boost) I took Christabelle (my dress) home with me the same day: I would occasionally get her out to try on when the Fiance wasn’t at home, and swoosh around my landing.

I had my dress, a huge part of the day: Sorted. Then I started working for Wed2b. One of the great things about working there, is seeing the design team everyday, and their stunning creations. Then one morning, as I’m walking past, I spot a dress makers mannequin with a new design. It had lace Bardot sleeves, spaghetti straps and was a beautiful fitted simple lace design. I immediately fell in love. I thought about this dress, a lot, and would always look at it on the new designs wall. The dress was named Dylan, which I saw as a sign as that is my nephews name.

The Monday before I was getting married, my colleagues threw me a surprise Afternoon tea in the design studio. As I was helping pack up, there was a rail with one dress hanging on it. It was Dylan! I tried the dress on, but it was a size too small, however when I put the dress on I had that ‘this is the one Moment’ and I audibly gasped. The dress wasn’t in stores yet, so the team were able to track down the only sample in my size in our Rotherham store, and get it sent back to Milton Keynes. I tried the dress on the Wednesday and it fit like a glove. One of our incredible ladies in the warehouse took the dress home to take the hem up for me, and had it back to me by the Thursday, and I wore it the Friday night. I felt so extra having two dresses. I was so lucky to have two fabulous dresses!

How did you create your own flowers, and why did you?

I didn’t necessarily have it in my head what I wanted for my flowers, and whilst it would have been lovely to have had a florist do all our flowers, I couldn’t quite justify all that money on something I wasn’t massively fussed about. I did however, know that I wanted a Brooch Bouquet for myself: I’d seen one on Pinterest with peonies and Ostrich feathers, so tried to emulate that.

For me, being able to create a lot of parts of our wedding was super important. During the wedding planning process, I was diagnosed with Relapsing Remitting MS. It was a huge blow to me, and we ended up pushing the wedding back by a year as I was studying at the time and just couldn’t do it all. One of my most difficult relapses ended up with me losing all functionality in my left hand, which proved extra difficult as I am a leftie! After a couple of months, it went back to normal, and I could drive again and do everything. Because of that, it left me wanting to do as much as I can.

I had countless visits to the Range to get artificial flowers, and started collecting Brooches: It was really special to me to have an earring that my Sister wore on her wedding day, along with Brooches from my Grandmas’ on my Bouquet.

I made the bouquets for my Bridesmaids and Flower girls by buying ready made bouquets from the range and just tweaking them. My dining table was taken over for weeks, but it was a lovely task to occupy myself with to switch off from work and just create!

We bought lots of small vases from Ikea and for the table center pieces, and to dot around. I wanted Baby’s breath to ‘pad out’ the real flowers, so bought bunches from an online wholesaler. For the rest, I actually just went to my local Lidl two day’s before and just bought what they had: I got lots of Peonies and Roses, which was perfect, and a fraction of the cost of a florist. Every arrangement was a little bit different, and I really enjoyed just being in my garden on a sunny day putting it altogether.

Kind Words

We were a little late at looking for a photographer, unlike most couples, we didn’t look as soon as we had booked the venue. I found the whole idea super daunting, and didn’t know where to start. I came across Sophie on the recommended suppliers page of Wed2b and sent her an email. We set up a facetime, and I was instantly relaxed.

We loved Sophie’s documentary style, and how everything was so soft and romantic. I knew I didn’t want hours of standing around getting countless group shots, so we knew Sophie was the photographer for us.

On the day, in the most complimentary way, you hardly noticed Sophie was there. She wasn’t imposing at all, and was there to capture all the little moments. It’s lovely to look back at photos and be reminded of what was happening at that moment in time, instead of seeing lots of posed shots.

Even during the short period of group shots, Sophie has such a relaxed style, it didn’t feel like a chore to get everyone together. Our couple shots felt natural and intimate, and not awkward at all.

I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend Sophie May, I’d definitely book her again, maybe for my second wedding... haha

Dress No.2

Dresses WED2B

Videographer Love is Lovely Wedding Films

Venue The Barns at Hunsbury Hill

Shoes Ted Baker


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