Jodie & Luke contacted me after I had shot a wedding that Luke was best man at a couple of years prior to their big day. I always like it when we are booked this way as it shows the couple has trust in us from already seeing us in action.
The ceremony was at St Mary’s church Kingswinford, which is a beautiful large church. The reception followed at The Gainsbourgh hotel Kidderminster. Jodie stayed over at the hotel the night before so I met her there on the morning for the her bridal prep shots. As soon as I walked in to the hotel room I could tell it was going to be a good day by the atmosphere of the girls, and I was correct.
The weather was holding off but the sky did look it had some rain in it. Off we went to the church and the magical journey begins…
Here’s what the bride had to say:
How did your proposal go?
In January 2017, Luke was turning the big 30, so I had a surprise trip planned for him. He didn’t know what he was doing or where he was going. Luckily for him I was taking him to Venice, I’d planned a trip to 3 little islands for the second day, Murano, Burano and Torcello. It was on the beautiful island of Burano Luke got down on one knee, I had absolutely no idea. I’d been so wrapped up in trying to keep the trip to Venice a secret, the day after this, on 16th January, (his birthday) I was also surprising him with a card which revealed his second surprise.. a cavapoo puppy. He totally out did me though didn’t he! He told me he knew back in summer 2016 no matter where he was on his 30th, he was going to propose.
What was your vision for your wedding?
We aren’t a couple that like to be in the limelight, so we wanted something simple and intimate. Luke would of loved a wedding abroad with 10 people, but as we have elderly relatives I wanted a homely wedding, so that all the family could see us get married. My main wish was for us to be married in a church, Lukes wish was to be married in St Marys Church, kingswinford. This made the first decision an easy one. Luke didn’t have a say (he did really) in our colour scheme, navy blue. As my family are big Albion supporters this colour choice wasn’t up for a debate, even if he is a Wolves fan. We also agreed that our love for Disney had to be our key theme through the wedding, nothing over the top but simple touches throughout the day. We had originally chosen to involve all Disney films, but after a few months we decided this would be too much, so we narrowed it down to our favourite, Beauty and the Beast.
How did you begin planning?
Where did you look for inspiration etc Our planning began with the help of one the bridesmaids, Lisa. She had made us a beautiful wedding planner, which had all the spreadsheets, notepads and pens, calendars and plans laid out of what needed to be sorted and by when, everything that any bride or groom would need. Pinterest, this had been my best friend from the start.. I did however have a joke! “I have my Pinterest dream wedding and then I have my reality, affordable wedding” through this app I found ideas for all the Beauty and the Beast inspired decorations, invitations etc. Everything down to my chip teacups templates.
We had decided pretty much straight away that we wanted a venue that catered for all our needs, accommodation, food, drinks etc. When looking we focused on hotels that offered such wedding packages. We looked at many packages on hotel websites and finally narrowed it down to two local hotels. We wanted these to be as local as possible so that the travel between the church and venues wasn’t too long for our guests. We finally fell in love with The Gainsborough House Hotel, Kidderminster. After meeting with our first wedding coordinator Viv we instantly knew we would be in good hands. The room was a lovely size to accommodate what we thought at the time 150 evening guests in. Halfway through the year, Tim took over from Viv which was a bit worrying at first as we had told all our ideas to Viv, however after our first meeting with Tim we immediately felt relaxed and comfortable again.
Your dress and accessories?
Dress shopping, was the thing I was most looking forward to, as any girl would be. My mom offered to buy my dress for me, so it was down to myself and Mom to find that perfect dress. We only went to 3 shops, the first one turning out to be the tester shop. I had the picture in my head had that the my dream dress would be a ball gown princess type dress, so off I went pinning a tag on all these big dresses with my mom in the background begging for me to try a more fitted, fishtail style. I wasn’t having any of it at the time. After trying on what I thought I wanted, I just didn’t get the wow factor that I had hoped for. 5/6 dresses down and feeling quite deflated, I wasn’t sure what I wanted anymore, so I gave into my mom and agreed to try on a fishtail dress. To my Moms delight and the told you so smirk on her face, I was in love with the style! It wasn’t THE one.. but now we knew we had to start trying on more like this. It was in the third shop we went to, we knew the exact style we were looking for and there it was. The moment I walked out of the dressing room and looked at my Mom, her eyes filled up, so before I had even seen it, I knew this must be the one. I have looked at my wedding picture a 1000 times to see my dress. I couldn’t have picked a more perfect dress and for that I thank my Mom. My accessories were a present from Luke, he knew I didn’t want anything to over the top, so he bought me the Disney couture Beauty and the Beast set. I was so in love with it all, they were perfect.
We did a lot of research on wedding suits and come to the decision that hiring them suited us the best. We found a formal suit hire shop in Wolverhampton called Dapper Dans. We booked an appointment and went with the idea of having navy suits to match the colour scheme. As soon as we told the shop assistant he advised us that having the suits the same colour as the bridesmaid dresses may be too much, to which we agreed, he went on to show us styles and selections that he thought would go. We fell in love with the traditional tailcoat style suits. We decided on grey suits with Luke having an ivory waistcoat and cravat and the best men’s, dad’s and ushers in navy blue. The suits looked amazing on the day, and we were so happy with the service we received.
Choosing my bridesmaids was an easy one, Lisa, is like a big sister to me, she’s worked for my dad since I was 6 and has been there for me through all my life! Grace, was the girl I made friends with first in year 7! We’ve stuck by each other through all the heartaches with boys growing up and now the happy times with babies and weddings! How times change. Becky and Jess, I’ve not known these as long but the friendship I have with each of them is second to none. I already had a style of dress I wanted for them all to wear which I thought would suit everyone. I know what each of them were uncomfortable with, so knew what style dress I needed. I found a beautiful lace chiffon navy blue dress online, and after showing the girls we ordered them. They all looked absolutely stunning on the day, as they do always.
This was an easy one, my Mom used to be an artificial florist with her business many moons ago called pandoras box. She said straight away that she would like to have a go at the bridesmaid posies and my bouquet. I didn’t have to think twice with my answer and I’m glad I didn’t. She did an such an amazing job, people complimented them throughout the day and have done all the photos justice.
I’m not a cake lover but Luke and his family are, so we soon decided on having two. One being the ordinary fruitcake and cupcake piece and the other being a cheese one. Anyone who knows me knows my love for cheese. We had ordered a selection of cheeses from mousetrap cheese, Ludlow. It was a very populated part of the Buffett table and we received so many compliments on the different cheeses during the night! The actual wedding cake, two of my bridesmaids moms and grandmother made them. Having seen the seen the cake that Grace’s mom Janice had done for Grace’s baby shower I thought I’d be cheeky and see if she would be happy to do the top part of my cake. She did an amazing job. The cupcakes were the job of Jess and her family, they are known to our friendship group and family for their amazing cupcakes. The stand and layout of the cakes turned out amazing with the Beauty and the Beauty theme continuing throughout.
I didn’t have to think hard for this as I’ve used Holly for my makeup and hair before. I love her work and she makes every occasion an enjoyable and relaxed one. I knew I could trust her to help make me look amazing. After a few hair trials we found the style and it was exactly what we had envisioned, my make up was perfect from the first trial. She takes her time to ensure every extra lash used was on in the perfect place. Since my wedding another of my friends have actually booked her for their own wedding. I had compliments all day long, with the guests at the end of the night commenting on how my make up was still in tact and looking amazing.
I’ve never dealt with any photographers before having not been to many weddings. Luke suggested we use the the people his friends has used a couple of years back where he was the Best Man. We made some enquiries and we contacted Nick (Nicholas Rogers photography) he came round for an initial meeting to discuss everything and to make sure we were happy to go ahead and book with him. As soon as he walked in we felt at ease, which was an important thing to us. We were more than happy to go with him and aren’t we glad we did, throughout the entire wedding day Nick and Sophie did an amazing job. They made us all feel relaxed and reassured as straight away anyone could tell they were pros at this. We had such a laugh with them, through our struggle of not being natural posers the photos have turned out incredible. We’ve all had a few tears looking through them all.
Your details and décor?
As we went for a Beauty and the Beast wedding, it was important to us to have this shown all the way through. We didn’t want it to be cheesy so simple details was all we needed to decide on. Everything from the rose ring box for the church to the homemade chip cups on each table filled with mints. I had designed and made all the invitations myself with the theme incorporated into them. We then decided our initial focal point would be an outline of Beauty and the Beast with a rose. We had this shown everywhere, the cake topper, the welcome banner and all the wedding day signs. We still had the navy colour scheme run throughout, which in turn worked out to look fabulous with the red roses on the cupcakes and table decorations. We decided on having our centre pieces small and simple which I put together myself, we had 4 tables with candelabras (Lumiere as it was referred to during the wedding planning) and the other 4 tables having fish bowls with roses and lights in to reflect the bell jar and rose in the film. The tables all looked wonderful and had turned out exactly how we had envisioned them to be.
Your memorable moments from the day?
Both our most memorable moments from the day had to be the church part, Luke said taking a sneak peek at me walking down the aisle (the church had told him to keep facing forward) was the best thing he did. He said he felt the luckiest man alive and that I looked beautiful. I was just happy at the fact he was standing there dressed and on time, just kidding! I loved every single part of the day, from seeing Luke for the first time, to the laughing and smiling with family and friends, the speeches, the evening, just everything throughout the day was lovely and I couldn’t have wished for a more perfect day, nothing could have been any better, even the weather turned out better than was predicted.
We’re yet to go on our honeymoon, which we are now desperately counting down the days for. We decided on trying a cruise for the first time followed by a week in Alcúdia! We’ve already planned all our excursions for the first week. We did go on a two day “mini moon” with our dog Flo the day after our wedding. It was lovely, with the exception of the weather, the location was beautiful and it was just what we needed to help with the come down from the wedding day.
Advice for other future couples?
Advice I have given my friends who are due to get married in the next month or so is to just smile, breathe and take every little moment in. People were right when they kept telling us the day goes so quick and it sure does. I’ve told them to take time out to look at the guest smiling and chatting and most importantly take time to be with each other. With regard to the build up to the wedding I’d say just keep positive, don’t let the little things worry you. You’ll see on the day they really weren’t worth the stress! Everything comes together and it all works out in the end! I wish we could it all again.
Here are a selection of images from their day: