Zoe & Ben
A Relaxed, Rustic Wedding With A Jenny Packham Dress
PHOTOGRAPHY BY ROBYN ACKRON, robynackronphotography.com
It was autumn in Central Park, New York, when Ben proposed to Zoe. “We were on a beautiful bridge, the park looked stunning in its fall colours and Ben had chosen a gorgeous vintage ring!”
Having tried on a whole host of bridal gowns without anything grabbing her attention, Zoe was starting to lose hope. Everything changed when she tried on a Jenny Packham design.
“I knew Jenny Packham was the style I wanted, but I only had a small selection to choose from, and I hadn’t quite found ‘the one’ yet.”
After extensive browsing of the designer’s collections, Zoe found the ‘Portia’ dress.
“In a stroke of luck, I found White Room Bridal in Sheffield – and they stocked ‘Portia’! I live on the Isle of Man, so I wouldn’t be able to get there to try it on for some time. They were wonderful and agreed to post the dress out to me to try on – I can’t thank them enough for uniting me with my dream dress!”
Not wanting to conceal the sparkling details that first attracted the bride to her gown, she did not wear a veil. “I was toying with the idea of Christian Louboutin nude peep toes, but I knew they’d be too high for me to last all day. I’d also had my eye on Manolo Blahnik heels. Then I found the perfect pair from Rainbow Club that looked the same but were a fraction of the price. The company even provide a dyeing service so you can recycle your shoes in a whole new colour.”
The groom and best man both chose Lambretta suits, purchased from Slaters, for the big day. “The team helped them choose suits that would complement each other – it was a brilliant service.”
Zoe’s best friend and Ben’s sister embraced the role of bridesmaids.
“We visited Belles and Bows – the only Dessy stockist on the Isle of Man – to find the bridesmaid dresses.”
I took my own dress so we could coordinate colours and ensure the bridesmaid gowns complemented my own, but there was no set theme and I just wanted the girls to feel comfortable and beautiful.”
Having worked with makeup artist Charlotte Easton previously on a photoshoot, the bride’s beauty choice was simple. “I wanted a glowing, smoky look and that’s exactly what she created.”
The couple tied the knot officially with a civil ceremony the day before their wedding. Then, their local vicar held a blessing for them in their marquee venue on the big day. “We had wanted to get married out in the field, but the paperwork and licensing issues meant we decided against it!”
“It was overwhelming to see all of our favourite people in the world in the same place!”
After the ceremony, the couple’s caterers of choice, Betty Pie Co, cooked up a storm with – you guessed it – pies, peas and mashed potato. “The weather was bad, so they brought their beautiful van into the marquee. It really added to the occasion! The food was served in wooden trays with chalkboard signs.”
Aiming to create a relaxed and rustic feel, the couple hired Sarah from Taylor Made Events to decorate the marquee. “She sorted out all the finer details and I would completely recommend her team. I made the table plan myself by painting an old ladder in chalk paint. We borrowed rustic signs from my sister-in-law and hired in a red post box.
Cream roses, pink carnations and gypsophila created a pretty and rustic wedding style.
“We kept the bouquets pared-back with cream roses and gypsophila.” Family friend Gill Kneale from Ballanelson Nurseries created the bouquets, while Sarah’s Designer Florist added floral touches to the pergola.
The bride’s mother made the naked wedding cake, which featured decadent chocolate, lemon and Victoria sandwich tiers. “Mum also made all of the desserts for our wedding and all of the fudge wedding favours! They all went down brilliantly and people still talk about them now.”
When it came to the wedding entertainment, Zoe and Ben had every base covered. “We had a harpist play before the ceremony, Ian Thompson who played during the reception and meal and a silent disco DJ in the evening!”
The couple shared their first dance to ‘More Than Words’ by Xtreme.
“We booked our honeymoon via Island Travel. They were fantastic! As soon as they knew where we wanted to go, they arranged a complete package including travel, transfers and accommodation! We spent four days in Sorrento, where we also squeezed in a day trip to Capri and a day out in Positano, before heading to Sardinia for a further six days. The beaches there are stunning, and the trip we took to see wild dolphins and snorkel was a highlight.”
“It tipped it down for our wedding, but it really didn’t matter! We actually lucked out, because we wouldn’t have seen the rainbow without the rain.”
VENUE Marquee at home
DRESS Jenny Packham at White Room Bridal, Sheffield
BRIDESMAID DRESSES Dessy at Belles and Bows, Isle of Man
GROOM Lambretta at Slaters
SHOES Rainbow Club
DÉCOR Taylor Made Events
FLOWERS Ballanelson Nurseries and Sarah’s Designer Florist
HONEYMOON Island Travel