I’m not going to become a wedding bore, and this is definitely not a wedding blog- but I did get married recently and I really want to acknowledge the outstanding work by some fantastic teams. Our wedding was planned in 4 months, during much of which we were out of the country, so we really had to rely on people to come up with the goods! So if you are planning a wedding in South Derbyshire or East Staffordshire, I can highly recommend the following:
Make Up – Penny Taylor, The Frangipani Tree
Penny was an easy choice as not only is she a friend, she has also done wedding make up for a number of other friends who have all looked stunning. I was probably a nightmare to work with as I’m unoriginal and unadventurous with my own make up, and unspecific with what I wanted (other than to look like me still, but prettier. And not too made up. Easy, right?). But after a trial in the week and a few tweaks for the big day, I was so happy with the result.
Johnson’s the Florist
Mum has the designer’s touch in our household, so I had no concerns about letting her be responsible for all things decorative and floral. She chose Johnson’s as she’s worked with them a lot in the past, and Kevin and his team are familiar with her style and tastes. The result was breathtaking: from the foliage and candles in Church, the candlelit marquee entrance, and the lanterns, pedestals and table decorations all creating the perfect ambience, not to mention our beautiful wintry bouquets.
New Farm Catering
It was an absolute pleasure to work with Chris and his staff. They were wonderfully adaptive to our unconventional demand of sharing platters for starters, and we received so many compliments from our guests on the exceptional quality and presentation of the food. They also ran the bar for us and learned new skills for our ‘cocktail hour,’ so we could all enjoy sipping espresso martinis late into the night. The following day they were back to provide us with comforting dishes such as sausage and mash to ease our hangovers. I can’t recommend these guys enough!
Top Marques Marquee Hire
My husband was very ‘hands on’ with the marquee design; in fact, he drew up our preferred layout (two adjoining marquees with an island bar between them) and Top Marques just made it happen. I was nervous about the finished product as, having made the decision to have a marquee in November, it needed to be watertight and warm- but I needn’t have worried. Will and his team created our perfect wedding venue: I don’t know how we managed to fit it all into Mum and Dad’s garden but it felt a bit like stepping through the wardrobe into Narnia, as it was so spacious inside, beautifully lit and elegantly finished. We were over the moon!
Our Wedding Videographers
We deliberated for ages about whether a wedding video was really necessary, but when my bridesmaid told me how much she enjoyed watching her parents’ wedding video to see her late Grandad, I realised how important it may become in years to come. Our Wedding Videographers – yes they really are called that- were another recommend and a quick look at their website content had us sold. We’ve recently received the finished product- a ‘feature length’ film as well as a short trailer for sharing online- and we are absolutely thrilled. I could watch it again and again, and I love how professional and artistic (ok, and flattering!) the different shots are. The highlight was being able to see bits that we hadn’t experienced on the day such as, for me, seeing guests arrive in Church and the groom nervously waiting. It’s a perfect memento of the best day of our lives and, thanks to the professional and talented camera work, probably the best I’ll ever look on camera!
Miles Dosher Photography
We wanted a photographer who was going to be informal and not intrusive and Miles was exactly that. We didn’t want to pose for photos (while our guests enjoyed all the champagne) so instead he’s captured some fantastic ‘in the moment’ shots of us, and of all our guests throughout the day. We were awkward customers as we didn’t want the photographer to ‘own’ our photos or use them for publicity; Miles was fully amenable to this and we got to keep every single one of his photos to do with as we wish.
We used Derby based Imagine Invites for our invitations and order of service and they did a beautiful job, with stationery of the highest quality and all produced very quickly inside our tight timeline.
Charlotte Thompson Bridal Boutique
I’m so glad I found my perfect dress in this beautiful boutique: the service Mum and I got from Charlotte and her Mum was so warm and personal that I wanted to buy my dress from her! We had less than four months to go so there was a little pressure, but Charlotte made sure the dress would be here in time and cleared her diary the week before our big day to prioritise my alterations and finishing touches. I felt like an absolute princess trying on dresses in her boutique, with a glass of fizz and surrounded by pretty things! It was a much more enjoyable experience than the other dress shops I visited which just made me feel like I’d left it too late and hadn’t done enough research.
I’d already danced the night away to Piano Factor at a friend’s wedding and knew they would be the perfect choice for our own big day. Music and entertainment was a very important aspect for both of us, and so we were prepared to splash out a little extra for the unique and memorable experience that is Piano Factor. And they really did live up to the memory- these guys are fantastic! Everybody loves a live band, but as well as nailing it musically the visual effect of two duelling grand pianos accompanied by drums and sax gave us an incredible party atmosphere. I just need one of my friends to book them now so I can enjoy it all over again!
The Frangipani Tree, Etwall: www.thefrangipanitree.co.uk
Johnson’s the Florist, Burton on Trent: www.johnsonsthefloristltd.co.uk
New Farm Catering, Burton on Trent: www.newfarmltd.com
Top Marques UK, Ashbourne: www.topmarquesuk.com
Our Wedding Videographers: www.ourweddingvideographers.co.uk
Miles Dosher Photography: www.milesdosherphotography.co.uk
Imagine Invites: www.imagineinvites.co.uk
Charlotte Thompson Bridal Boutique, Tutbury: www.charlottethompsonbridal.com
Piano Factor: www.pianofactor.co.uk