Pretty Pastel Garden Party, British & African Fusion Wedding: Jenny & Topsy
Totally beautiful pastel pretty fusion wedding up on the blog today.
Jenny and Topsy envisaged a sunny garden party wedding with a vibrant African infusion. Jenny looked a pure vision in her princess worthy gown and oh they make one seriously, super sweet couple.
Pretty Pastel Garden Party, British & African Fusion Wedding: Jenny & Topsy
Words by Jenny. Images by Jason Alexander Leaman.
We first found the reception venue, I did my research online and we only visited three choosing Northbrook Park in Farnham. It was perfect for the style of wedding we were looking to create. We wanted a garden party feel, nothing too formal, no red carpets or chandeliers, but something more relaxed and full of fun.
Northbrook was everything we were looking for, big enough to hold 200 guests yet felt intimate, beautiful walled gardens, and I was also looking for a venue that had a bar in the main room. It may seem strange requirement but I have been to a number of weddings where after dinner everyone leaves to go to the bar and the dance floor is empty, having everything and everyone in the same room meant the party really got going.
It was important to us to get married in a church and we chose St Peter and St Pauls Church in Godalming around 20 mins from Northbrook Park.
I wore a bracelet that my mum bought me as a wedding gift from Tiffany. I also wore a single diamond drop necklace that was a birthday present from Topsy from a previous year.
My something old and something blue were sewn inside my dress. The something old was a diamond that was given to my grandma as her 70th birthday present from our family. She left it to me when she passed away.
My something blue was a sapphire which was given to my nanna by my granddad on their wedding anniversary, unfortunately they were unable to make the wedding due to the distance so these two stones were a way of having all of my grandparents there with us.
When I set out to find my wedding dress I had in mind that I wanted something simple and floaty, the type of dress you might wear if you were getting married on a beach, I didn’t see myself as the big dress type of girl.
However I was talked in to trying on different shapes and styles and surprised myself. I will always remember the sales assistant (whilst I was trying on the simple floaty styles) telling me to imagine the dress in a different colour such as navy and then asking me if it was navy would I wear it to another event.. such as a ball or black tie party..
The answer was yes.. from then I knew I needed a dress that could only be worn to my wedding. It still remained a simple and unfussy dress but the size and shape changed.
I didn’t originally think I wanted a veil but once I had found the dress the veil is what made me feel like a bride.. it made the dress a wedding dress. I bought it from the same place I got my dress Aurora and it was by Richard Designs.
My shoes were by no means a traditional bridal shoe I wanted something I would wear again and the typical wedding style was not me. They were by Jimmy Choo and called ‘cosmic’ in python.
The bridesmaid dresses were by Dessy which I bought from All that Glitters in Wimbledon. I chose Style 2858 in Suede Rose.
The bridesmaids wore 3 artificial flowers tucked in to their hair which complimented the colour of their dresses. These were bought from Lavenders of London a fantastic place for all things wedding decoration!
The groom and his groomsmen hired their suits from Moss Bros. They all wore the same suit and waistcoat but the groom wore an ivory cravat rather than the colour we chose for the others.
As Moss Bros didn’t have a cravat colour close enough to the bridesmaids we chose for them to wear a grey cravat instead. We then took the excess material from the bottom of the bridesmaids dresses (after fittings) and had it made in to pocket squares.
My step dad collected me from the cottage where I was getting ready and traveled in the car with me to the church where we met dad.
I wanted my dad to be the one to walk me down the aisle but wanted to also acknowledge the role my step dad has played in my life.
It took me a while to figure out the best way to do this as he didn’t want to make a speech or anything as public as that so this was perfect.
I walked down the aisle to ‘Kissing You’ by Sade from the Romeo and Juliet soundtrack.
Our photographer was Jason Alexander Leaman. I found this to be one of the hardest things to choose as I did not know where to start when looking on the internet.
I narrowed it down by looking for a photographer that had worked at Northbrook Park venue before, that way looking at his work had some context for us rather than just some one else’s wedding pictures.
When we met with Jason he was great, really listened to what we wanted from our photos, made us feel at ease and we were confident he would capture our day beautifully. There was also the added bonus of a pre wedding shoot, which I would most definitely recommend for any future bride.
The pre shoot helped us to figure out what worked best for us, looked good in print and got all the awkwardness out of the way for those that don’t feel comfortable in front of the camera.
On the day Jason was very professional and personable with our guests but he also had the confidence to let the guests and wedding party know what he needed from them, that way we didn’t have to stand around forever waiting on people or trying to get the right shot.
When the photos arrived we weren’t disappointed!
I made the table plan my self using a mirror I bought form whatnotantiquesltd.co.uk. Our table numbers were in shabby chic frames also from Lavenders of London.
Rather than just having a number we decided to give each number a meaning which we printed under the number in the frame such as Table 13: The number of diamonds in my wedding ring. Table 16: The day of the month we got engaged.. etc.
We met our florist Eden Blooms at the wedding fair at Northbrook Park. The display looked gorgeous so we set up a meeting.
In the end we opted for peonies and garden roses, in a variety of pastel shades. Flowers were the main wedding decoration and table centerpieces and Hazel worked with us to ensure we got the look we wanted and kept within our budget.
Our wedding favours were from Green and Blacks… 3 little bars of chocolate tied with a ribbon.
I also took the opportunity to thank particular guests for their help in planning etc, by placing a small thank you card with their favour, letting them know our appreciation and that the flowers from the centerpiece of their table were theirs to take home at the end of the evening.
As we were off on honey moon the next day I did not want the flowers to end up in the bin so this was a great way to thank those people.
We wanted a garden party feel to our wedding so we had everything crossed for the weather. My vision was pastel colours, floaty fabrics, candles, peonies, pimms etc mixed with the fun and vibrancy of the African culture, the evening was full of music and dancing!
My husband is Nigerian so he and his family wanted to incorporate some of their culture in to our wedding. After dinner we took part in a traditional ceremony (that would normally take place around a week before the wedding).
The focus of this ceremony is mainly for the groom to gain the blessing of bride’s family to marry the bride.
In order to do this the groom, his best men and ushers, and is this case the majority of his friends in the room, laid flat at the feet of my parents in order to win their approval.
Gifts were given to my parents from his and eventually I was to say thank you and goodbye to my parents and my new husband carried me away and to his family.
This was followed by prayers, singing, dancing and the new couple being showered with money. It was great fun!
Our cake was made by a local lady in Sunbury called Hannah Cuffe. She has her own business called Remember the Cake. We had a great evening cake tasting with Hannah and eventually chose to have 4 tiers (chocolate, vanilla, lemon and fruit).
The design was adapted from a picture I had seen in a wedding magazine. The cake was white with 3d flowers made from icing graduating up the cake in size and colour, getting smaller, fewer and paler towards the top.
Our first dance was ‘I Won’t Give Up’ by Jason Mraz, which we asked the band to learn rather than play a CD. We didn’t have ‘a song’ as a couple so we listened to lots to find one that we both felt comfortable with.
We found it quite hard to find something that wasn’t too cheesy or soppy and that suited us and our relationship.
If you could impart any words of wisdom to a future bride planning her wedding day, what would they be?
Don’t stress about the details, on the day all those little things don’t matter to you. Yes they are nice touches for the guests but I promise you wont even notice them!
If something doesn’t get delivered, arrive on time or generally not go to plan… don’t panic… just go with it… you’re the only one that knows the plan anyway so your guests will be none the wiser! Ha.
I am so in love with this gorgeous pretty pastel fusion wedding and the way Jenny and Topsy incorporated both of their cultures and personalities into the big day.
Absolutely beautiful images from Alexander Leaman Photography too!
wedding credits / photographer: alexander leaman photography / wedding venue: northbrook park in farnham / brides dress: mori lee from aurora brides / brides veil: richard designs / grooms suit: moss bross / brides shoes: jimmy choo / bridesmaid dresses: dessy / hair: orange kerr / makeup: charlotte arrowsmith cja makeup / florist: eden blooms / wedding cake: remember the cake