WILL + JESS
This couple followed their hearts,
making food and flowers focal points
PHOTOGRAPHY BY STUART GIRVAN PHOTOGRAPHY
After a Pride and Prejudice style romance, a shared love of chicken wings and hot sauce sealed the deal, and nine months into their relationship Will popped the question! “He’d flown out to Dubai for a job interview, had an epiphany that he wanted to stay in the UK with me instead, and spent the weekend learning all about diamonds there! On his return, he called my slightly bewildered father, whom he’d only met four times, to ask his permission and then proposed on Marazion beach in Cornwall while we were visiting his parents (only the second time I’d met them!). I asked if he was serious a few times and then said yes!”
Jess’s Paloma Blanca gown came from Proposals in Chichester. “My dress had a full A-line dupioni silk skirt with a train, an off-the-shoulder Alencon lace bodice and two incredibly handy side pockets.
“Mum picked my dress out at random and the moment I put it on I finally felt like a traditional young bride, which is exactly what I wanted.”
Staying true to her classic style, the only jewellery Jess added was a pair of drop pearl and sapphire earrings from Whibley’s, Worthing, gifted to her by her parents. Gold glittery Jimmy Choos, a gift from her bridesmaids, and a Paloma Blanca cathedral-length veil completed her look, concealing lingerie and a lace garter from La Perla underneath.
Will, both fathers and the groomsmen all wore traditional tails, hired from Buckleigh of London in Sloane Square, and Les Trois Soeurs supplied their silk ties in the same colour as the bridesmaid dresses. “Will treated himself to a pair of shoes from Church and had a bespoke shirt made with his initials monogrammed onto the cuff by SuitSupply. He also wore his late grandfather’s watch and a pair of Cornish coastline cufflinks, which I gifted to him from Damson Jewellery.
We had such a good time shopping for bridesmaid dresses together, with one on Facetime from abroad,” smiles Jess. “We chose five Dessy gowns in cameo that were floor-length and in a lovely light chiffon, perfect for our summer wedding day. My maid of honour Laura’s dress had a sweetheart neckline to help her stand out and the knee-length slits showed off their gold shoes. To keep their looks uncluttered, the girls wore no jewellery apart from the pearl earrings and bracelet that I gifted them to say thank you.
Becky from Beauty Call used a variety of products to give me a natural yet long-lasting look with quite defined gold smoky eyes. We used some of my mum’s Clarins gold eye shadow that she wore on her wedding day as well as false eyelashes. Becky added some California kissin’ blue lipgloss from Benefit over my lipstick – it really made my teeth look whiter!”
Their wedding ceremony took place at the village church where Jess’s parents live. Her father walked her down the aisle and Will’s uncle, a classical musician, wrote them a personal piece of music for their entrance that proved very emotional.
“Crowd-pleasing hymns completed the ceremony’s musical offering and the newly married couple exchanged a high-five at the altar after being announced as husband and wife!”
“We are both massive foodies so the wedding breakfast was a key part of the day for us. We served Champagne and canapés on arrival, followed by a five-course dinner. Teas, coffees and espresso martinis were offered as we cut the cake, which we all tucked into later on in the evening along with enormous boards of delicious cheeses and meats.”
The couple let both their church and reception venues speak for themselves, adding just the subtlest of decorative touches. Guided by a palette of cream, nude, blush and gold, they paid attention to detail, monogramming their initials onto their table decorations. “We bought a gold Mr and Mrs sign, a small cream vintage suitcase for cards, and a personalised guest book from the Bespoke Album Company.”
The flowers, on the other hand, took centre stage. “The brilliant Green Fingers Florists in Worthing provided our peonies, hydrangeas and roses in cream and pink shades. We had a gate display made for the church, a large lectern arrangement and eight pew ends. Each reception table had a tall silver vase floral centrepiece, surrounded by hurricane lamps and candles, and the bridesmaids put their bouquets in vases along the top table. Both venues looked and smelled incredible!”
Invitations and orders of service came from EYILove with U-R-Invited styling on the day stationery to match as much as possible.
“Jess and Will’s cake boasted four tiers of chocolate and coffee and walnut layers, covered in white chocolate ruffles rather than icing.”
Made by genius cake maker Elaine Corrigan of Janey Mac Cakes, edible gold leaf and intricate sugar peonies added the final flourishes.
The new husband and wife shared their first dance to ‘Sunny’ by Bobb Hebb. “Will and I aren’t the most romantic of couples so we wanted something upbeat. My late grandfather had nicknamed me Sunny after the song, so it was a personal choice.” Sara Oschlag and the SO Quartet played jazz music during the drinks reception, followed by a DJ from discofever.co.uk.
Sub-Saharan Africa called for their honeymoon, booked through Scott Dun, for a two-week safari adventure in Malawi and Zambia, which even included a helicopter ride over the Victoria Falls!
R E C E P T I O N V E N U E Wiston House, West Sussex
D R E S S Paloma Blanca at Proposals, Chichester
B R I D E S M A I D D R E S S E S Dessy
G R O O M Buckleigh of London
A C C E S S O R I E S Jimmy Choo, La Perla and Whibleys MAKEUP Beauty Call
F L O W E R S Green Fingers Florists
C A K E Janey Mac Cakes
S T A T I O N E R Y EYILove and U-R-Invited