It’s Fridayyyyy! and quite possibly THE most exciting Friday of the year for most as it marks the first day of the Christmas jolidays! So whack that out of office ON, grab a giant glass of fizz and settle in for the penultimate in my series of posts detailing all the juicy details of our wedding day.
Monday’s post was the first in a two part extravaganza on all of the details of our ceremony, missed it? don’t worry!- scroll down to catch up. Today it’s all about the wedding breakfast and evening celebrations. Theres a lot to cover, so I’m going to get straight to it!
After our post ceremony drinks reception we headed into the beautiful Elizabeth’s Court at Hampton Manor for our wedding breakfast. This glorious, glass topped room provided the perfect setting for us to continue our celebrations with incredible food, endless wine and speeches that had us all in tears.
The room was styled to perfection by Gemma and her team from Save the Date Event Stylist and our florist Lucy Walker alongside the wonderful team at Hampton Manor who worked tirelessly while we both switched off and enjoyed our morning preparations.
We opted for large round tables of up to twelve guests per table with no top table. Rob and I actually decided to sit with our bridesmaids and best men to keep things really relaxed and our families were totally cool about it.
It was during my time at Gemma’s showroom earlier in the year that together we dressed a mock table, playing around with different shades and styling combinations. I loved this experience, so interactive and visual…and super fun too! I left with a clear idea of what our tables would look like on the day and so excited to see it all come together. On the day, the impact walking into the room was overwhelming. It was everything we imagined and more!
The crisp white table cloths had a simple blush table runner, scattered gold candlesticks with taupe tapered candles finished with a large floral centrepiece Lucy had designed to compliment the rest of our florals. I loved how the pheasant feathers added incredible height to these otherwise low floral urns.
My super talented bridesmaid of Sian Smith Designs and her lovely sister Jade created our place names on rich burgundy card with gold lettering. They sat perfectly alongside our Menu’s which we ordered from Project Pretty to match the Order of Services used during our ceremony.
In the centre of each table we placed a table number, created by Sian- a simple black number sat inside small gold frames we picked up from Oliver Bonas.
Our table plan as I touched on in my previous post was hand drawn onto a ornate gold mirror I was kindly gifted by one of my previous brides. Lucy dressed the mirror in a suave of florals for the most perfect finishing touch. This was moved from the lobby for our reception drinks to sit just inside Elizabeth’s Court so guests could refresh their memory of where they were sat on the day as they entered the room.
I picked up some wooden Mr and Mrs signs from Ginger Ray as a fairly last minute addition, during that panic buying phase that I know most bride and grooms go through in those final few weeks! They were a sweet addition to the backs of our chairs though, especially in photos!
We decided not to do favours on the day. It wasn’t a decision that we came to easily, especially as I had a whole Pinterest board at one point dedicated to novelty ideas, but we eventually agreed that we would rather put this rather large sum of money towards some form of entertainment for our guests. A decision on the day, we definitely didn’t regret!
Instead we simply placed a selfie stick on each table with a very apt “help your selfie” tag!
We did however treat the little ones at our wedding with table gifts. We had very few children at our wedding and we wanted to spoil them. We gifted each child a build-a-bear, the girls a “Bryony” Bride and the boys a “Rob” Groom, they loved them! The Save the Date styling team even sat the bears inside their highchairs which was just the sweetest touch ever!
We also gave them a personalised activity book and crayons to keep them happy between food courses and speeches, it is after all a long old time to sit while the adults are being boring.
Our epic floral arch was moved from our ceremony room with muscle power (insert ego massage!) by the groomsmen and sat outside framing the terrace doors meaning we could marvel in it’s beauty all day long!
We all sat together and enjoyed a feast of four course of michelin starred deliciousness courtesy of the incredibly talented chefs at Hampton Manor. After a week of nerves, and very little appetite as a result this meal truly was the best ever, surrounded by our favourite people and sat next to my now husband. It was the first point of the day, I paused for a second just to take it all in.
We had Jayme from The Wedding Crashers serenading us with an acoustic set. He pitched the song choices perfectly with no brief at all, singing everything from Oasis to “You’ve got a friend in me”- the atmosphere was electric with guests joining in between courses and we loved that this music offered something completely different to the gospel choir we had for our Ceremony and Reception drinks.
After the boys gave their incredible speeches it was time for us all to head outside, drinks in hand to continue the celebrations.
We wanted this time to be fun packed, conscious that this time during a wedding guests can sometimes feel a little at a loss.
I was inspired by one of my lovely brides Niamh who I was lucky enough to make up for her special day during the summer months who had these very same garden games on her big day (major perks of the job when wedding planning- ALL the inspo!). I loved their vintage vibe and just knew they would be such a great addition to our day. I contacted lovely Sally from Daisy Chain Wedding Hire and was thrilled when she said the games were available. We hired a whole host of fun from her including a Skittle Alley, Archery and ’10 Green Bottles’ to name just a few. They set up the games on the day, thoughtfully positioned amongst the grounds surrounding our celebrations and even came to collect them the following day. Our guests of all ages from 3 years to 70 years loved them! It brought everyone together and when Rob and I returned from taking our photos it was a delight to see everyone taking part in what can only be described as some kind of wedding olympics.
As the gaming settled down, our guests relaxed on the terrace at Hampton Manor and began to filter into the fairy light lit tipi we had hired through the venue from Sami Tipi. This provided the coolest chill out space for those guests who wanted to shelter from the elements, stay cosy around the fire pit and even toast marshmallows or enjoy a cup of (bottomless!) hot chocolate.
To ensure everyone didn’t power down too much during this breakout time, we hired magician Darren Campbell to woo guests with his mind blowing magic tricks in those final hours before our evening celebrations began.
Rob has always been a lover of magic and having been to a wedding with a magician a few years back I knew when the time came to plan our own this would be top of Rob’s priority list! I wasn’t wrong. Darren came recommended to us and on the day he was easily a clear highlight for both us and our guests. He was the ultimate entertainer, working the room and ensuring all of our guests got some time to see what tricks he had up his sleeve…literally! I have no explanation or understanding of his tricks, they were totally seamless, my only conclusion is he is ACTUALLY magic and we’ve had endless conversations with friends and family since about just how amazing he was.
After the most memorable afternoon it was time to start our evening celebrations. A new wave of our nearest and dearest began arriving and we were all ready to hit the dancefloor.
The venue had kept four of our tables up from our wedding breakfast with refreshed candles for those who wanted a prime dance floor seating position.
During the afternoon while we had been distracted by games and magic a rather large neon sign reading ’Til Death Do us Party’ had been delivered and pulled forward to sit alongside our evening bands stage set up creating the coolest atmospheric lighting and a prime selfie opportunity. I had loved this sign from the moment I stumbled across the Vowed and Amazed website and knew our party goers would too!
Rob and I are big lovers of a photo booth, well lets face it who doesn’t love a photo booth? We had one for Rob’s 30th, our Engagement Party and knew we’d like one for our big day. However we were conscious we didn’t want to draw guests too much away from the dance floor with a booth.
It was while working (…and snooping) at the Hampton Manor Wedding Fayre back in March that I saw my good industry friend and photographer Ani Evans had branched into the photo booth world with a luxury photo booth. I loved how the booth looked, it was chic and minimalistic and meant we could have a super sociable photo booth set up next to our bar area meaning guests could and were diving in and out all night.
The gallery is just hysterical and we had a lovely little photo album as a keepsake where guests could stick a photo and leave a message which was very sweet to begin with, inevitably heading progressively downhill with smutty comments as the drinks kept flowing which in itself is very entertaining to look back on.
I ordered a bespoke photo booth backdrop from Kate Illustrate, a super talented calligrapher I had followed on Instagram for ages. I dropped her a note to see if she would be up for creating something especially for us and she gladly accepted the challenge! It created the perfect backdrop for all of the silliness!
In a stroke of genius we created a ‘Treat Yo Self’ sugar table full of sweet treats to sit adjacent to the bar area. It was a hit with guests of all ages, you are after all NEVER too old to get excited by a yellow belly snake. Sian created an apt ‘Treat Yo Self’ sign and Gemma dressed the table with sweetie jars and gold terrariums we had hired from their repertoire. We ordered sweetie tongs from amazon, sweetie bags from Ginger Ray and took a visit to a wholesalers to bulk buy a ridiculous amount of sweets which amazingly ALL went, much to Rob’s disapointment!
The team at Hampton Manor moved our postbox from its original position in the lobby to a gifting table, it sat alongside a heap of generous gifts from our incredibly lovely friends and family, a few small terraniums and candles scattered by the styling team and our guest book which was a hand drawn caricature by my very talented Uncle which had crazy resemblance to Rob and I, and had a very appropriate nod to the Spice Girls which for everyone who knows me was bang on! Guests signed the frame mount, leaving us sweet messages of well wishes and we have since had it framed and on display in our little loo!
The DJ played our first dance (Ray LaMontagne- You are the Best Thing) and we awkwardly swayed around the dance floor until we were happily joined/saved by our family and friends.
Next it was time to cut the cake. The cake had sat pretty all day in the corner of Elizabeth’s Court, a three tiered vision with burgundy and gold accents, finished with fresh flowers provided by Lucy. Our beautiful and damn tasty creation was baked to perfection by Gemma from the Cakery who after tasting endless varieties and flavours of cake back in the summer months helped us finally settle on a tier of red velvet, carrot (…or ginger as we called it!) and lemon drizzle. YUM YUM YUM! It tasted so damn good that we only had a few little slithers to take home with us the following day AGAIN much to Rob’s disappointment!
After all the traditions of cake cutting and first dances were over it was time for a damn good party!
Hampton Manor served up gourmet hot dogs cooked on the Big Green Egg BBQ’s on the terrace, they were laced in chilli and various insane toppings that were SO inappropriate to eat with your glad rags on but tasted too darn good to care!
Our incredible band Groove Shack, who we unknowingly discovered at a NYE party a few years back (pre engagement!) and had the biggest lightbulb moment remembering their greatness having spent what felt like days researching bands. The lead singer Sila, who by our understanding isn’t the usual lead vocalist in the band but is who we saw originally perform that NY and had with us on the day, has THE most incredible voice she was just totally mesmeric. The dance floor was packed and they played tune after tune, I just didn’t want them to end!
Thankfully we had DJ Ryan Grace to keep us rocking between band sets and partying right through until we had to call it home time!
We provided roll up flat shoes from Rollasole so that the ladies could kick their heels off and give the dance floor their everything.
It was the best party ever, a celebration of not only Rob and I but of all of our favourite people ever all under one roof. I would give anything to do it all again, it does as everyone tells you go SO damn quickly but thankfully we are left with such incredible memories of the most perfect day!
What a joy it has been to relive it all through these blog posts this month. I still have one final post to come next Friday to wrap up this series of posts dedicated to our wedding before we all wrap up 2018.
In the mean time, HAVE THE BEST CHRISTMAS! I hope this post brought you lots of inspiration or even just got you in the mood for a damn good party- tis the season and all that!
Have a good one everyone! Lots of love, Bryony x