Chris and Danielle Parish were married in a civil ceremony on 8th April 2012 at Little Silver Country House Hotel in Tenterden, Kent. Here they share with us their big day.
Danielle tells us “We wanted a small and fairly informal day for our 70 guests, with an English country fair theme. We wanted our guests to feel relaxed and entertained so I knew at once Little Silver was for us because of the way we were greeted and made to feel so comfortable. The hotel is small and pretty, which made it much more intimate. Nothing was too much trouble for the staff and they were really professional. It was also great that we could have the ceremony inside or out – especially as the English weather is so unpredictable!
I had an Enzoani dress and veil from Abigail’s in Headcorn. When I tried it on I felt incredible! It is so romantic with light tulle flowing layers and was different from the usual styles I had seen. It made me feel truly unique and special. It was fairy like! My shoes were from Next and I had teardrop stud earrings, a present from my parents. I also wore a ring given to me by my Nan which had a blue sapphire surrounded by diamonds for my something blue and old. I wore a vintage style headband with detail to the side and a small pearl hair clip which matched my bridesmaids. My bag was an ivory hard clutch bag from Accessorize. My hair was done by Ahead of Beauty and as I recently started my own small make-up business, Bridal Make-up by Danielle Gear, I did my own make-up using mostly Dior and MAC products.
The adult bridesmaids wore dresses from Coast and the flower girl a dress from Monsoon. Shoes were a variety of BHS and Next!
Our florist was Amora flowers based in Leeds Village Maidstone. They did an amazing job in capturing the theme and were really helpful in the lead up and planning process. My bouquet was a mix of Eucharis, Lily of the Valley, Cally Lily and Roses. We also had Daffodills, Tulips and purple and white Iris’s.
Chris wore a black herringbone Prince Edward suit hired from Slaters in Canterbury. He wore a purple paisley patterned tie with matching handkerchief from Moss Bross in Canterbury. His shoes were brogues from Dune.
The theme was Spring English Country Fair with Spring yellows and purples. I love spring as it represents the start of longer days, new life and exciting times and our theme represented this. It was also Easter Sunday so we had Easter eggs and various easter baubles including easter bunnies and chicks. It was fun and pretty. My mother-in-law made us yellow and purple gingham bunting and on the top table we had large glass lanterns filled with flowers, Easter eggs and a wooden heart and ribbon garland. To decorate the rest of the room we had small vases with flowers and large wicker wooden hearts with fresh flowers tied to them. Our matching menus and invites were from Vista Print.
For the table centre’s I bought small white enamel jugs from Homebase, small lanterns from Hobbycraft and small egg cups filled with mint imperials. They sat on a mirror and were decorated with yellow gingham ribbon. Table names were Romeo and Juliet characters written in chalk on small chalk boards pegged to the jugs.
Our wedding favours were jars of homemade Apricot or Strawberry jam made by Chris’ mum. They had either yellow or purple gingham material on top of the lids tied with brown parcel twine. I added a luggage label with guest’s names on which doubled up as place names. All napkins were tied with purple gingham ribbon with a butterfly conversation starter placed in it and our purple chair covers were from Your Beautiful day.
I made my own table plan from a distressed style blackboard from Merchant Chandler in Maidstone. I stuck small wooden heart pegs on from Hobbycraft and pegged small luggage tags to them with the table names on. Each luggage tag had a small gingham ribbon attached.
Our pre-dinner drinks were Pimms and lemonade. To eat we had Cheese and red onion tartlet, Lamb with seasonal veg and then Eton Mess for dessert. Our cake came from Waitrose and had two tiers, one sponge and one fruit. It was a plain cake but was decorated with fresh purple and yellow flowers.
In the evening we wanted a good party with plenty of dancing and a lively atmosphere. Our first dance was “You and Me” by The Wannadies from the Romeo and Juliet soundtrack. We had a band called the Redfords and they also DJ’d inbetween their three sets. The dance floor was packed all night, the atmosphere was electric! The band manager also takes photos throughout the night and they really captured the fun of the evening. The party went on to midnight and guests had their ties on their heads by the end of the night! My uncle also sang a song with the band.
As part of the evening we had a home-made sweet table. We collected Kilner jars to fill with sweets, one’s I loved as a kid, including cola cubes, flying saucers and sweet bananas as well as mini eggs of course! Each jar had a luggage label tied to it. To decorate the table as well as bunting I had old bound books, with a vintage style teapot and cup and saucer. From the teapot I had a stream of sweets coming out into the tea-cup. I also had a wooden “love” sign sitting on a box with a flower print. In a vase were sticks of rock from Brighton. Brighton is special to us as this is where Chris asked me to marry him! I had a heart-shaped chalk board with Fancy a treat? Take a sweet!
Our wedding photographer was Kerry Ann Duffy. We chose her because she had photographed two of our other friend’s weddings and absolutely love her style. Kerry creates vintage, softly romantic and natural images. She made us feel completely at ease, especially in the morning where it can get a little frantic! The photos were beautiful and reminded us that we didn’t stop smiling all day.”
The couples last bit of advice is “Enjoy every minute! We absolutely loved finding all the accessories over the year of planning. Don’t get worried about the weather, it rained on our day but it didn’t matter, if you have a good photographer like we did the photos will still be amazing.
A good tip is to make lists for your venue of how you want things to be when setting up. Don’t be afraid to ask questions – wedding venues and suppliers have heard it all before! Make sure you have a list of all the suppliers with their numbers on for the day. And finally take moments throughout the day to take stock of what’s going on around you.”
Thanks so much to Danielle and Chris for sharing their day with us.
Images credit: Kerry Ann Duffy