A sentimental church service followed by a manor house reception for this couple. Read how Jennifer & Jon didn’t let one broken down wedding car ruin their special day.
We had been together for just over 18 months and had discussed getting married. Jon had told me for weeks he had bought me a gift and I had a suspicion it could be a ring but I wasn’t sure.
Then on a Saturday in July 2014 (how bad is it that neither of us can remember the date), Jon came to my parents and said come on let’s go out. Jon said he had to drop some things off at a friend’s in Rubery but he pulled up outside Wasely Hills Country Park. Jon asked me to get out of the car and when at the boot of the car he told me he had hidden my gift in his car and I had to find it. Jon’s car is normally full of sports equipment so it was a mess and I was looking in his boot and back seat for ages. He started to play hot and cold and I eventually ended up back in the passenger seat and there, in the glove box, was a little yellow box and when I opened it there was my stunning solitaire ring.
Jon got down on one knee and asked me to marry him and bless him, he was so nervous and shaking he couldn’t quite put the ring on my finger.
Our wedding was in June 2016 after a 23-month engagement. We wanted a day that felt happy and filled with everything good. We knew what we wanted and Jon also knew exactly what I had dreamed of.
It was a big wedding with a Church and then a venue for a sit-down meal and evening buffet. I have always been a person that thinks if you are doing something, do it big and enjoy doing it, so we did.
The theme was always going to be purple (my favourite colour) and involving butterflies. We eventually decided we would incorporate these into a vintage theme to go with the venue. Jon was really happy to let me choose the finer details, he just wanted to have input into the church, venue, cars and his outfit. Anyone who knows me had already guessed the theme would be purple and include butterflies as it is me all over, it had not been very hard to choose a theme.
For us, the most important thing to remember was the actual ceremony. We wanted to take it slow and make sure we looked around and took the moment in. So many people had told us that it fly’s by so fast and becomes a blur and we wanted to stop that being us. Although we tried, it did go very fast and before we knew it we were announced as Husband and Wife, but that moment will definitely be remembered by us forever. If we could bottle that feeling we had right then we would, it was brilliant.
THE VENUE & CEREMONY
We chose to get married in Church as we both felt this was the right place to get married and we are very traditional when it comes to this kind of thing. We actually got married at All Saints Church in Bromsgrove, the same Church my parents got married in and it felt really special. I also wanted a long aisle to walk down as I wanted to be able to savour the moment and enjoy walking to Jon, and this Church had everything we wanted.
We then went to Hogarth’s Stone Manor and we booked it before Hogarth’s took over. I became a bit concerned about the venue once it was taken over as a lot of work was being done to it and I was worried it would lose the character we chose it for. Luckily the changes were actually really nice and it didn’t lose its charm or vintage feel. Although the venue did make a few noticeable changes the way they looked after us and made our day flow so well, it didn’t actually matter and we didn’t notice these changes on the day. As a special treat, they upgraded our hotel room on our wedding day as well and it was beautiful. I cannot recommend Stone Manor enough for a wedding and the morning after, we saw a couple being shown around. We told them to book without thinking about it as they would not regret it.
Despite the changes, the venue pulled out all the stops and listened to every instruction we had given. The only thing they did wrong was set the room the opposite way to the way we asked, but honestly, I cannot say enough how much this didn’t actually matter on the day despite thinking beforehand it would.
I bought my wedding dress from A-Z Wedding Services. I went there with my Mum, Nan and Mother-In-Law to try a dress on that I had seen at a wedding show. The one I had seen was a white lace dress and I was convinced it was the dress I would have. At the shop, they had the dress ready but also asked that I choose about five other dresses. So we all looked at dresses and I picked a few out. My Mum pulled a dress out and said “what about this?” I did say that I didn’t really like it but to keep it and I would try.
I ended up hating the dress I had chosen from the wedding show when it was on and so I tried the other dresses on. They were nice but didn’t have the wow factor. Then came the dress my Mum had pulled out and as soon as I put it on, without it even being done up, I knew that was the dress. It was amazing on and I felt like a bride and so that was it, my dress had been found in the first shop I went to and I did not have any doubts once about it.
Something else that happened was that I had wanted a veil but only a short veil and not over my face. I ended up with a cathedral length veil and had it over my face when walking down the aisle. I would say to any bride, keep an open mind. What you think you want, might not be what you end up with.
We ended up getting the bridesmaids dresses and all our accessories from A-Z Wedding Services.
GROOM AND HIS MEN
We hired the outfits from A-Z Wedding Services. I had a vision in my mind of what I wanted the guys to look like and luckily after going to the Wedding show at the NEC and showing Jon the type of suits I liked, he also agreed they were nice and wanted them. I liked the idea of the guys all being the same with matching waistcoats, however, Jon decided he wanted a patterned waistcoat and the rest to have plain. It actually worked really well and made Jon stand out that bit more.
HAIR & MAKEUP
I decided to have my hair and makeup done professionally. For me, as it was a very special occasion, I wanted to make sure I enjoyed every single part of it, which included this.
I also wanted my bridesmaids to feel special too and they also had their hair done professionally, which was lovely because we were all at the salon together having breakfast and a glass of bucks fizz.
I chose the flowers we had because they looked stunning and fitted in with the theme. Our bouquets and button holes were provided by a company called Peppermint however we wanted more flowers included in the end so a family friend created our decorations for the aisle and pedestal in the church. We also doubled up the flowers we used for the centrepieces as decoration for the cake plates. The flowers really made the Church and venue look beautiful but it was this simple addition that meant after the day had ended we could give a gift to family and friends to enjoy for days after.
I worried about the food as you can never know how it will turn out on the day. The tasting before hand had been great with the food being top-notch and we hoped it would be the same when it was being cooked for 80 people. It was!
We had goat’s cheese tart to start and then beef dinner with a baked Alaska for dessert. I could have eaten it again it was so good and it seems everyone else was impressed with it too so it was definitely worth the money we paid. We also had a buffet for the evening which was again lovely. It had mini burgers on it which were really really nice and it was a good choice of finger foods and not just a few items repeated as you went down the table.
Our cake maker, Rosy, was found at a wedding show and after doing a taste test we were sold. It was a four tier modern style cake which had a cascade of flowers running down the side in purple, lilac and ivory. It was so pretty but hard to cut into because of the style of the icing. We had many compliments on the taste so I was really happy about that and it was so unique.
We had our stationery provided by Weddings by Kathy B. We had met Kathy at a wedding show and the level of her work was brilliant. She had so much to choose from it was difficult to pick one theme of stationary.
Kathy created our save the dates, invites and order of service and we were very proud of them. The only things we made were the table names, the place cards and the table plan, which we presented on a mirror.
We had an acoustic guitarist in the Church called Paul Thornton, mainly because neither of us wanted to walk down the aisle to the normal organ playing. We had a lot of compliments about this and it sounded lovely in the Church.
Jon really wanted a Magician and so we booked Christian Fletcher to entertain guests during the photos being taken at the venue. He went down a storm and really was impressive. We have some brilliant photo’s of guests expressions while he was performing.
We had a DJ in the evening, Ian Neal. He is a friend of ours and it was good to have a dance to end the evening.
We booked Jenny Hannah Photography. They are a sister-in-law team who photograph weddings together. We had wanted two photographers because we liked the idea of one being the formal photographer and the other capturing natural photos. I actually spotted them on Facebook and followed a link to their web page. The photos were lovely and the testimonials they had made us feel confident in them.
Jenny and Hannah were very flexible and made us feel relaxed before and on the day. They also sent us every photo they had taken on a USB to keep. This was really good as some photographers we had looked into only let you choose so many and it was an extra charge for more!
Another surprise they did us was a video of the day that we had no idea they were taking. A really, lovely touch and we have watched the video hundreds of times over.
For me, it is when I walked down the aisle and Jon was looking at me and he was crying. It really made the moment special and I cannot remember anyone else being there other than me and Jon in that moment.
For Jon, it was when I walked through the door of the church and then turned to face the aisle and walk towards him (awwww).
Together we think the day is memorable in so many ways, from our wedding car breaking down outside the church and having to steal the bridesmaids car for us, and wait for a taxi to come and collect the bridesmaids, to my Dad’s speech, getting flies stuck in the layers of my dress while having our photos taken and having our first ever dance as Mr and Mrs Miller.
We talk about these things regularly and all of them are special. It didn’t matter what had gone wrong or well because the day was everything we had ever wanted and at the end of it, we were finally Husband and Wife after almost two years of planning.
BRIDE TO BRIDE
My advice would be that as much as you plan and stress over the details, on the day if anything goes wrong it won’t really matter because you will be sat in the glow of married happiness, and nothing else can affect that. So if something isn’t finished or not set up right, don’t worry about it. I got flies stuck up my dress, our car broke down, I forgot to put my garter on and the venue put the top table at the wrong end of the room, but it didn’t matter. Nothing changed the amazing day we had.
Ceremony: All Saints Church ♥ Reception: Hogarth’s Stone Manor
Wedding Dress & Bridesmaid Dresses: A-Z Wedding Services
Hair: The Cutting Company ♥ Makeup: The Beauty Company
Groom & Groomsmen: A-Z Wedding Services
Flowers: Peppermint ♥ Stationery: Weddings by Kathy B
Entertainment: Paul Thornton & Christian Fletcher ♥ Cake: Cake’s for All
Photography: Jenny Hannah Photography