Shelley and James were married at Fraser’s of Coldharbour Farm, in Egerton back in May 2012 with 80 guests to the day and 130 in the evening.
Here Shelley tells us about their day, “We wanted a laid back wedding, nothing too formal with a country feel – ‘pomp’ wouldn’t have really been us. We’ve been together for thirteen years and have small families, so the wedding was really a big party with all our friends!
We wanted somewhere in the countryside, out-of-the-way where we could hold the ceremony and the reception with a relaxed but professional feel. Originally we had been looking at venues in Cornwall, but we decided to move the wedding back home to Kent and Fraser’s was recommended to us. At the reception we decided to have all the guests on 3 big long tables, and the food was all put in the middle so everyone had to talk to each other and pass food around. It worked really well and we had to prise people apart in the evening to get the dancing started!”
Shelley says “We had the amazing Kerry Ann Duffy as our photographer. It was a really easy choice. We already knew we wanted Kerry after seeing her portfolio, but we met with another photographer whose images were a bit more formal just to see how they differed. When we sat down with Kerry and she talked us through how she does everything, we knew we’d made the right choice. I hate having my picture taken but she made me feel so comfortable. When we got the pictures back after our honeymoon they blew us away, we were so happy.
“For my bouquet I had freesia, ranunculus, roses, rosemary and thistles as James’s family are Scottish. The four bridesmaids each had a different bouquet, using tulips, roses, freesia and hyacinths. The boys’ buttonholes were freesia and James had a thistle added to his.
On the tables we had five tall vases filled with puss willows and either roses, ranunculus, tulips, hydrangea or hyacinths around the bottom. We then had about 30 jam jars on each table, wrapped in either yellow, green, white or tartan ribbon, each with different flowers in. The table centres were agreed on after much too-ing and fro-ing of ideas with our very lovely and patient florist Julia from Sweet William Florists in Headcorn. Julia also made us a beautiful top table display – all of our flowers were just beautiful. They went perfectly with our country colour theme of yellow, green and white.
For the reception we made the table plan ourselves, using an old picture frame from my Nan and Grandad’s house and putting card in the middle to hold the names. The menus were in the style of our invitations. The place cards were handwritten on card and pegged onto the wine glasses. Our invitations had our initials on them so we took that theme forward and had wooden letters on the Guest Book table and gave initial themed gifts to the Ushers and Bridesmaids. The table names were herbs, so we potted up sage, thyme, rosemary and parsley and wrote the herb names on a big piece of slate. We then tucked a small piece of each herb under the ribbon of each napkin. It was time-consuming but worth it! I was worried that it wouldn’t all come together – as it’s hard to imagine what everything will look like when you are making it all at home – but it was even better than I pictured in my head.”
“The music we played was the most personal part of our wedding, as we both love music so much and having been together so long there were lots of songs that had special meaning for us. We spent ages choosing what to have when we signed the register, walking back down the aisle, first dance with my dad, first dance with each other and the songs we wanted played during the evening. We only got our choices back to the DJ a couple of weeks before, and the form was full of crossings out and amendments where we kept changing our minds!”
Finally we asked Shelley what advice they would give to other couples and she said, “Do it your way. Don’t be bullied into spending too much or too little, or having things you don’t want.
The only thing I would have done differently is made sure I had someone passing the guest book round, as not as many people wrote in it. Also I did have an excellent idea for my cakes about two days after the wedding which I’m annoyed I didn’t think of earlier! But the only people who will really remember your day and all the details are you.
Make it mean something to you both and you can’t go wrong. During the planning people will say and do things that upset you without realising they have. Take a step back and try to work out if you are being a bit over sensitive or whether it is something that will genuinely affect you and the day.”
Other Wedding Contacts:
Entertainment/DJ: BeeJay Entertainments
Wedding Cake & Cupcakes: Lellas Cupcakes
Bride, Grooms and Bridesmaids Outfit: All by Bride & Groom Ltd
Brides Shoes: Harriet Wilde
Jewellery: Tiffany & Co