“These are beyond our wildest dreams. They are perfect! We cannot tell you how grateful we are to have so many precious moments captured. We feel very lucky to have had you there!”
PENNARD HOUSE WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHY
Gareth and Nikki both work in the television industry. They actually met while they were both working at MTV but it wasn’t until they both left and worked together on a few freelance jobs that romance blossomed. It was a real case of opposites attract. Think musical theatre vs rock music, but clearly it was meant to be! After 6 years together Nikki had put any thoughts of marriage behind he. They already had 2 beautiful children, which was all the relationship ‘cement’ that they needed. Gareth knew that marriage was important to her so proposed on Christmas eve 2016. Only after they’d put the children to bed and Nikki had made him endure an hour of Christmas veg prep! He told Nikki he’d wanted to give her a small gift before the madness of Christmas morning with the children kicked in, and that he’d hidden it in the tree. It was the most perfect proposal. Right there in the lounge, wearing their slippers and of course Nikki didn’t hesitate in saying yes!
Here’s their day told in the words of the beautiful bride Nikki.
We didn’t really focus on details too much. One lovely thing that we did was in honour of my Dad who is sadly no longer with us. A family tradition that Dad started, and we all still do, is the annual sloe gin production in early winter. So it felt like a fitting idea to have miniature homemade sloe gin as part of our favours. My Mum made the sloe gin over a year ago- it had a good long steep! We sat and bottled it up together, sampling each batch of course! We included the recipe on the labels too, so that friends could re-produce it if they like it. Dad would have been very happy! It took a while for us to realise that it would mean that he was literally there in spirit!
NIKKI & GARETH | BOUTIQUE COUNTRY HOUSE WEDDING
It only took one visit to Pennard House for us to know it was perfect for us. It is a family home and really has that feeling of being full of love. It’s utterly gorgeous and has all the elements of a luxurious stately home but in a very lived in way. It ticked a lot of boxes for us. We took the children with us to our initial look around. Harry, the owner, was so welcoming to us all. He didn’t bat an eyelid at the children rolling around on the floor (after 3 long hours in the car!). Since that day the children only ever referred to Pennard as ‘Harry’s House’. With a set up like Pennard House we never once felt like we were intruding in someone else’s house . We were made to feel like extended family!
THE WEDDING FASHION
The dress was from Phase Eight and it was the first dress I tried on. It wasn’t the one that I’d originally thought I wanted. The minute I put it on I knew it would be the one I wore down the aisle. The beading on it is absolutely stunning. The short train on the back gave it a lovely bridal feel without it getting in the way of dancing later on! Never has a piece of clothing made me feel more wonderful. I just need to find another way to wear it again now! My shoes were from Rachel Simpson https://www.rachelsimpsonshoes.co.uk. I’ve always loved green shoes, and so the Mimosa Mint shoe was perfect for me. So elegant and not too high, so they were comfortable all day.
Gareth’s suit was made to measure by Gieves and Hawkes on Saville Row (gievesandhawkes.com). Thomas Blatch was his consultant. It was a navy, single breasted suit and it looked incredible! His shoes were tan brogues from Office.
The bridesmaids all chose their own dresses, they were just given navy as the colour theme. I wanted them all to feel really special and also comfortable, so they were given total free reign on style. We met up to try some dresses on all together. They fell in love with some beautiful Ghost dresses, but they were a little on the pricey side. So, my savvy girls got online and ebay came up trumps with their dream dresses for a fraction of the cost! That would definitely be a top tip, as most bridesmaid dresses are only worn once before being sold on. The flower girls wore dresses from Monsoon kids and gold shoes. Our son wore a navy suit from Next with some new trainers, which he was thrilled about!
ADVICE TO THOSE PLANNING A WEDDING NOW
The most important thing about your wedding day is that you’re marrying the person you adore! No one else will know if things haven’t quite gone to plan. Try not to get too caught up in the detail. Planning your wedding should be fun. Go with your gut instinct on all the big decisions. Try not to get too lost in the smaller details. Make sure you’re both happy with any decisions you make and do as much of the planning as you can, well in advance. Getting in early means you’re more likely to get the key suppliers you want. It will also reduce the stress hugely!
Gareth says the moment you see your bride walking down the aisle, you’ll realise nothing else matters. Before then you’ll feel nervous as hell! Don’t feel guilty for taking a moment alone to gather yourself. Go over your speech, triple check that the music works or whatever you need! You’ll no doubt have lots of family members and groomsmen offering to help, so give them all jobs to lighten your own stress. Even if it’s just because it gets them out of your hair. Your bride deserves you there stress free.
SHOUT OUTS TO PENNARD HOUSE WEDDING SUPPLIERS
Wedding planner: Pennard House https://www.pennardhouse.com, allocated us a wedding director to help guide us through the process. We were lucky enough to get the brilliant Tess Hillier (@tess.hillierweddings_events) so she was on hand to help everything run smoothly. We totally fell in love with her – especially our daughter, who was glued to her side for most of the day!
Make up artists: Hair and make-up done by Amber Ralf who did a brilliant job and was a real joy to have with us in the lead up to the ceremony.
Florists: Our flowers were extraordinary, and I can’t thank Nicky Llewellyn Flowers enough. I know lots of people comment on how expensive flowers are for weddings, but the beautiful bouquets, flower crowns, buttonholes and arrangements that we got from Nicky were worth every penny and she really did go above and beyond what we’d expected. We knew we wanted herbs to feature heavily in our arrangements, with the key elements being lavender and rosemary, she really couldn’t have got it more right! They looked incredible and smelled amazing, which was a really nice added bonus. http://www.nickyllewellynflowers.co.uk
Rings: My ring was actually my grandmother’s wedding ring. It needed a little spruce up, so the restoration work was done by Joy Everly in London. They did such a lovely job, the ring is as good as new only with the added sentimental value of being passed down through our family. https://www.joyeverley.co.uk Gareth’s ring was bespoke made by Four Ones https://four-ones.com who have previously made pieces for him.
Cake: We chose the Marks and Spencer rainbow cake, because it’s the children’s favourite cake! We also let the children do the official cake cutting too as, until they said they wanted to do it, we weren’t going to have a cake at all! I’m so glad we did, as it turned in to a really lovely moment.
Catering Company: Caroline Gent Catering managed the food at our wedding, and everyone agreed that it was exceptional. They were a dream to deal with from the very start of the process and nothing was too much trouble. Not only was the food delicious but also Jess, our catering manager on the day, was a delight and her team were brilliant. I’d recommend them again in a heartbeat! http://www.carolinegentcatering.com
Entertainment: We wanted an activity as an icebreaker at the drinks reception and our son loved the idea of archery, and we agreed! Simon at Phoenix Leisure provided a brilliant set up and everyone from the youngest to the oldest guest had a go – it was great fun! www.phoenixleisure.co.uk
Invites: We are lucky enough to know a brilliant graphic designer, Oli Milburn, as our daughters were friends at nursery. We spoke to him about the kind of design that we’d like for our invitations and reply cards, although neither of us had particularly fixed ideas. Oli pulled together the most beautiful design and we really couldn’t have been happier. On top the overall design and layout of our paperwork, he also designed a monogram for us, which was such a lovely touch, and which featured not only on our invitations but also in other ways at the wedding itself, and it’s something we can use forever http://www.olivermilburn.co.uk
Other: My spray tan was done by the brilliant James Harknett at the W Hotel, Leicester Square. I was lucky enough to work with James on a show last year, and immediately loved him. He’s the tanning master so I knew I was in very safe hands, and the end result was exactly what I wanted http://www.jamesharknett.co.uk
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