Jessica & Rod
NAVY + CORNFLOWER BLUE | WASING PARK BARN WEDDING | FAIRY LIGHTS + BALLOONS | ELEGANT FREESIA BOUQUETS
What is your best memory of your time dating?
We had only been on three dates when Rod went away on business and, before he returned, I then went away on holiday too. We didn’t see each other for almost a month and Rod was worried I would forget about him, so he sent me postcards from every country he visited! It was very sweet.
How did the proposal happen?
Rod surprised me while we were away in California by booking us into a luxury tree house. He led me to a secluded spot with a blindfold on. When he took it off he had lit lots of heart candles and passed me a glass of Champagne. After a lovely speech he got down on one knee and proposed and when we looked up we saw shooting stars – it really was magical!
My dream Mori Lee dress came from Bride to Be in Reading. It had a classic A-line style with a beautiful corset back and stunning embroidery. It was my wild card option, but as soon as I put it on I felt amazing – I didn’t take it off for an hour!
I sourced my shoes from Rainbow Club and found my tiara in another bridal boutique. Rod gifted me my earrings as a wedding present.
Rod wore a navy morning suit with an ivory cravat and champagne waistcoat, all hired from Windsor Formal Hire. I thought he looked so handsome and I felt like a very lucky girl to be marrying him!
My four bridesmaids wore dresses also from Bride to Be. They were by Little Mistress and complemented my gown perfectly.
Hair and makeup
I contemplated doing my own bridal makeup for months but I am so glad I decided to leave it to a professional in the end! Miki Rossiter did my makeup and Stacey Austin styled my hair. They kept me so calm on the day so I could just relax and enjoy being pampered. It took me a few makeup trials to find the right makeup artist for me, so keep searching until you find a look you’re happy with.
What was the best part of the ceremony?
Saying our vows is definitely my fondest memory. Rod was really nervous and concentrating so hard on not messing up his lines that he ended up getting my name wrong, calling me ‘Jenessica’ instead of ‘Jessica Denise’! Everyone – even the vicar – burst out laughing.
What did you have for your wedding breakfast?
Rod is a real foodie so the menu was his domain. He chose confit pork belly and apple spring rolls for the starter, chicken wrapped in Parma ham with truffle sauce and dauphinoise potatoes for the main and chocolate brownie with vanilla ice cream for dessert. He also handpicked wines for the top table.
Dad was really nervous about his speech but he did a great job and included the classic joke that the day was so emotional even the cake was in tiers. Rod’s speech was very romantic, and it was hilarious how different his best man’s version of how we got together was!
We added candelabra to create a romantic atmosphere in the barn, as well as draping fairy lights along all the beams. Bubblegum Balloons provided our Mr and Mrs tassel garland balloon, while we bought our Mr and Mrs right and always right signs, letter bowls and thank you bunting online.
The florist from Longacres garden centre provided our wedding flowers. I chose freesias, muscari, gypsophila, ranunuculus and delphinium blooms – they smelled amazing together! The flowers made such a huge impact, making our venue feel cosy and elegant and our florist did a fantastic job turning my ideas into reality.
Sweet as Sugar supplied our three-tier cake made from chocolate, carrot and Victoria sponge layers. It tasted delicious! Artlocke Designs provided our cake topper, which is now a lovely keepsake from the day.
We purchased personalised sweet bags and my mum helped us put together Ferrero Rocher trees and a sweets table for guests to help themselves to for the favours.
Backbeat Village, a six-piece jazz band, played everything from Jamiroquai to Stevie Wonder at our reception and were a big hit for all ages. We also hired Simon Alexander, a magician, to entertain our guests while we disappeared off for photos – he left the guests spellbound and in fits of giggles!
Our honeymoon was at the beautiful five-star LUX Maldives resort. We arrived by seaplane and stayed in an over-water villa that was pure bliss! Relaxing was our priority, but we did also go canoeing, hire jet skis and enjoy a star light cruise.
There was a single butterfly in the church during the ceremony and I felt like it was my grandma who is no longer with us – it was really special.
Seeing all our ideas come together in the barn surrounded by family and friends was a magical experience.
Take your time to make decisions. I bought my bridesmaid dresses before my wedding dress and then decided they didn’t look right together. Start with your wedding dress and work from there.
Enjoy every moment, both together and with your guests – the day really does fly by!
VENUE Wasing Park DRESS Mori Lee at Bride to Be, Reading BRIDESMAID DRESSES Little Mistress at Bride to Be, Reading GROOM Windsor Formal Hire ACCESSORIES Rainbow Club FLOWERS Longacres CAKE Sweet as Sugar and Artlocke Designs DÉCOR Bubblegum Balloons ENTERTAINMENT Backbeat Village HONEYMOON LUX Maldives PHOTOGRAPHER VLA Photography