Chic Weddings/Real Weddings

Elegant Cornflower Blue & Peach Wedding At Blenheim Palace

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Jon and Vanessa’s wedding at Blenheim Palace is the epitome of classic, English elegance. Awash with cornflower blue and peach hues and captured exquisitely by Jessica Davies Photography, this is what little English girls dream about for their big day (and big English girls like me too!)

Vanessa made such a graceful bride in her chic, strapless gown from Suzanne Neville complete with statement bow detail at the waist, satin trimmed veil and an elegant chignon. Her bridesmaids wore beautiful pale blue gowns topped with an ivory lace overlay from Dessy. While Jon and his groomsmen were dashing in their navy three-piece morning suits from Moss Bros teamed with cigars later in the evening.

With a village church ceremony followed by a reception at a venue fit for royalty, gold chandeliers, a harpist, Spanish guitar players, jaw dropping florals, classic cars and a spectacular four tiered cake, prepare to be inspired…

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From The Bride

Initially, I didn’t necessarily want a big wedding. I would have been quite happy with eloping to Italy [where the couple got engaged] and getting married in a pretty little rural ceremony. However, Jon was keen to be able to invite everyone that meant something to him and us. We looked at a number of venues and, having not found what we were looking for, the final and most exciting visit was Blenheim Palace. From the moment that we drove through those imposing black gates and down the long driveway towards the spectacular Palace, we knew it was ‘the one’. It took our breath away.

We also wanted a Church ceremony and visited local Churches in the Benefice. We came across a small cluster of Churches in the Akemen Benefice who had just the prettiest village churches. As we were not local to the area and didn’t have an affiliation with the local Benefice, we attended Church regularly for 1 year – which was a wonderful excuse for a mini break to the Cotswolds every month!

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The Bridal Style

My dress was a Suzanne Neville wedding dress bought from Pantiles Bride in Tunbridge Wells, Kent, and I fell in love with it the moment I put it on. Anyone that knows me, knows I love classic, elegant style without being over-decorated and this dress was completely me. It fitted nicely in all of the right places and I felt like a million dollars. I only took my mum, maid of honour, aunty and grandma with me, and the gasps when I stepped out of the changing room and tears in the eyes made my decision.

As the dress was quite ‘plain’, I opted for a statement veil and have no regrets. The whole experience from Pantiles Brides was second-to-none with a glass of champagne on arrival, thick cream carpets and elegant décor. The staff were fantastic.

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The Florals

Joanna Carter Flowers was a recommended supplier for Blenheim, and I had already come across her website. She had decorated Blenheim palace many times before and as soon as we met her, we knew we were going to book her. She was professional, easy-going and although she knew exactly what we wanted, she listened to us. It was from this meeting with Joanna that our colour scheme really came to life. We wanted beautiful spring blooms, with pops of peach and coral colour but with some paler pastel shades. One of my favourite flowers is a hydrangea so we took this as our baseline inspiration, and used the soft pastel cornflower blues and whites of the hydrangeas for the main colour. The bridesmaid dresses were in beautiful cornflower blue and ivory dresses, and the Groom and Groomsmen had navy morning jackets with blue hyacinth, ranunculus and eucalyptus leaves.

The Cake

Jordana at Petit Gateau‘s warmth, kindness and clear talent for creating the most delicious and style-forward cakes meant that we booked her on the spot.

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The Decor & Details

The details of the wedding came a bit later, towards the final stages of the planning. We wanted whites, silvers and golds running throughout the wedding and I simply had to have the white Louis chairs, from Chairman Hire. They transformed the Orangery and went stunningly well with the bright airy room filled with light from the huge glass windows. We added little touches such as a white post box, white rose and blue hydrangea petals in the church, white church candles throughout the church, and silver tassels on the orders of service. Alongside this, we purchased a beautiful gold Zara basket which, for the evening, we filled with white flip flops for the ladies’ dancing feet. Our guest book was personalized in a pale, ice blue leather cover with ‘Mr and Mrs Cooper’ on the front and we bought a white HP Sprocket so that our guests could print out photos and stick them in the guest book.

The Favours

Finally the wedding favours were something that we were very proud of and pleased with. Rather than go with the traditional wedding favours, we wanted to give something back. We, and many people that we know, have been affected in some way by cancer and therefore we made a donation to Cancer Research UK and Dementia UK, and they sent us some pin badges which we put onto bespoke favour cards which were in keeping with our wedding stationery. It was lovely to see our guests wearing these badges with pride throughout the evening.

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The Photography

I approached Jessica Davies because I was completely in love with the fine art style of photography, and I could clearly see that Jessica was an incredible talent at this style. I wanted ‘fine art’ because, for me, I had spent years thinking about the smallest of details, for example, the confetti cones, the tassels on the orders of service, the gold wax stamps on the wedding invitations, and this is what I desperately wanted to be captured. I wanted to be able to look back and remember those little details that made our wedding day so special and unique. Jessica did us proud!

The Videography

We chose Deneemotion because Denis films a lot of high-end, luxury weddings and really knows his stuff. The trailers that he has created were seamless and we wanted to show our wedding in a way that shows that it was a fun, enjoyable day. I also chose Denis because he was a pleasure to work and speak with and he took all of the stress out of it. He was a true professional.

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The Music

Regarding the musicians, we knew that we wanted something a bit different. We both love a string quartet however we had been to a few weddings with a quartet. I considered a harpist and after doing some research on the internet, was shocked how angelic it sounded. We booked Karina Bell after listening to some of her repertoire and we were not disappointed. During our initial meeting, she serenaded us with Canon in D by Pachelbel and there was not a dry eye in the room. As we had a spring wedding, we were unsure about if the weather was going to be kind to us and felt that it would be lovely to have some upbeat music back at the Orangery during cocktails and canapés, to lift any grey clouds. What better than a Spanish guitar duo to bring some Spanish fiesta flavor to the afternoon. As it was, the sun was shining gloriously and the spirits were high with our guests enjoying peach and raspberry bellinis to the exotic sounds of the Gypsy Kings.

The evening band took us a long time to find. We did many hours of internet research until we finally came across The White Keys! This band feature as one of Harpers Bazaar’s top 10 wedding bands and, boy, are they incredible. We went to watch them perform at the Jazz Café, after we had booked them, and grew even more excited after seeing them live. The band and the food were the most complimented things at our wedding, and even friends who are getting married told us they wanted to book our band. They had the dance floor full the whole evening – they really are next level.

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The Favourite Moment

I think for us, it was the first dance. We chose an acoustic version of ‘Are you with me?’, which is the song that we got engaged to. Jesse from The White Keys band learnt the song and sang it live for us. As soon as he started to sing, I broke down because the song was so meaningful and he sang it beautifully. That moment really signified that we had done it, we were married and that this was now the beginning of our lives together.

The Honeymoon

We honeymooned in, of course, Italy. We spent one week in Tuscany, Florence followed by a short train ride to Venice for our final evening. Italy really is one of the most romantic places in the world. We spent the week in Florence relaxing at our hotel, Villa Cora, who we must say was one of the most best hotels we have ever stayed in. We used the spa, dined in the poolside restaurant, took the shuttle into the main centre and explored the wonders of beautiful Florence. We also managed to fit in a day trip to rural Tuscany which involved a visit to the vineyards and some wine tasting, a stopover in Siena and other breathtaking Tuscan villages. After the honeymoon, we returned home rested and relaxed…wanting to do the whole thing all over again!

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Advice For Other Couples

I cannot recommend highly enough all of our suppliers. I think regarding budget, try to be as clear as you can with the suppliers about your budget and they might be able to work with it…if you don’t ask you don’t get. Also, be clear about what you do not want to compromise on, and perhaps what isn’t quite necessary if budget is tight. Whether you have those white doves flying out after the ceremony or not, your day is still going to be the most amazing day.

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