Light, airy marquees are perfect for a sunny August wedding, and Ami and Thomas were lucky enough to get the feel of both a marquee and country house wedding on their big day at Hutton Hall. Special touches – like a cake made by Thomas’ mum and a cake topper tribute to their cat Sidney – combined with elegant florals and styling for an effortlessly relaxed, romantic and personal day.
Ami and Thomas met in a bar in central London, but it wasn’t exactly love at first sight. “I thought Thomas was rude, but he persevered and won me around with his dad jokes!”
The jokes must have worked way better than Thomas expected, because what followed was three years together and a very romantic proposal.
“Thomas planned a romantic weekend in London just before Christmas 2017. We stayed at The Kensington Hotel and spent the Friday night at Winter Wonderland. We then spent Saturday afternoon at Kensington Roof Gardens where we had lunch, saw the flamingos and drank quite a lot of prosecco. I had no idea at this point Thomas was planning to propose!
“Thomas had booked tickets to see Matilda in the West End, but the drinks had been flowing, we’d lost track of time and now had a mad rush to get to the theatre on time. Predictably, we were late for the start of the show by almost an hour, too embarrassed to go in late so instead went for more drinks in a nearby bar!
“I was surprised at how remarkably calm Thomas was despite having wasted his money and efforts on the show, but he simply said, ‘Don’t worry, I have something else planned’ with a huge smirk on his face.
“After drinks we retired to the hotel where I had no idea there was champagne and rose petals waiting, along with an engagement ring in the safe! Thomas led me into the room, with his hands over my eyes, grabbed the ring, removed his hands from my eyes and it was at this point I realised there was something different about this weekend.
“Thomas got down on one knee and asked, ‘Will you be my flamingo?’ and I said ‘YES!’ Thomas then started to open to bottle of champagne which he dropped half way through opening and redecorated the room in the process! Luckily the staff were lovely and just very happy for us.”
Thomas had spent months trying to find out what kind of engagement ring Ami would like, so it’s no surprise that he nailed it. “Thomas got this absolutely spot on; it is an emerald cut diamond on a platinum setting.”
Ami and Thomas spent 18 months planning their big day, which gave them plenty of time to put their own DIY inspiration on some of the décor. Don’t miss their gorgeous gold frames filled with rose petals for their table plan and table numbers!
Photographer: Gemma Giorgio Photograhy
The Wedding Dress
When it came to finding her dream dress, Ami had to search a little longer than most brides-to-be. “I tried on at least 50!”
But when Ami did finally slip into her Hayley Paige gown at The Wild Heart Bridal in Rochester, she knew it was the one thanks to the gorgeous floral fabric, sweetheart neckline, keyhole back and, most importantly, the pockets!
Ami had kept her dress completely under wraps, making the big reveal on the wedding morning extra-special. “None of the bridesmaids had seen the dress until the morning of the wedding so revealing the dress to them was a very special moment, and seeing my Dad for the first time.”
While it may have taken Ami a while to find her perfect gown, it took just one trial for her to pin down her bridal beauty look.
“I went for relaxed curls, mostly hair down, with a sweep at the front. My makeup was browns and golds and natural skin. It was similar to my normal look, but a little more glam.”
The Wedding Party
The bride chose Lesley, Charlotte, Jenna, Hazel and Rachel – a mix of close friends from school, college and university – as her bridesmaids. The girls wore pastel blue, fitted fishtail dresses with a lace overlay bodice.
The groom chose a suit from Anthony Formal Wear in Billericay.
“I went for a tailor-made, navy blue suit with contrasting grey, double-breasted waistcoat, and a navy blue, polka dot tie. The groomsmen wore a similar, hired version with light blue ties to match the bridesmaid dresses. I chose them myself; it was the one thing Ami trusted me with!” joked Thomas.
Thomas also personalised his outfit with a few unique touches and accessories.
“The inside of the jacket was embroidered with the words ‘Ami and Thomas 31st August 2019′.
“The underside of the jacket was embroidered with the words ‘Ain’t Nobody’ which was a reference to our first dance song. This was something I didn’t show Ami until the wedding day.
Ami gifted me a very nice set of engraved collar bones to wear on the day along with a small picture of my Dad to tie to the inside of my jacket, so he was with me on the day.”
The Wedding Ceremony
Ami stayed at the reception venue, Hutton Hall, the night before the wedding and made the short walk to All Saints Church across the road with her dad, bridesmaids and adorable flower girls.
Once they arrived, Ami was walked down the aisle by her dad to Wagner’s Bridal Chorus. The rest of the wedding ceremony was very much a personal, family affair.
“The hymns we chose were Give Me Joy in My Heart, Make Me a Channel of Your Peace and Amazing Grace. Thomas’s sister, Claire, did a reading called Maybe and my nan, Irene, did the religious reading.”
The wedding bands were purchased from Dynasty Jewels in Hatton Garden.
The Wedding Venue
Ami and Thomas fell in love with Hutton Hall straight away. The manor house wedding venue is set in eight acres of manicured gardens, just across the road from the village church in Brentwood, Essex.
“We loved it as soon as we saw it, it had lots of natural light, an amazing setting and gorgeous grounds. The gardens and bridal suite are stunning, and Paola from Hutton Hall made the lead up and the day itself go really smoothly,” said Ami.
The couple went for a classic palette of white and pale blue with hints of gold, complementing Hutton Hall’s elegant, country house vibes.
Once seated within Hutton Hall’s stunning marquee, guests were treated to a feast of butternut squash tortellini to start, followed by rump of Essex lamb, dauphinoise potatoes and a vegetable bundle with a red currant jus. For dessert, guests tucked into a trio of chocolate brownie, lemon posset, and white chocolate and strawberry cheesecake.
The Wedding Flowers and Cake
The flowers, arranged by Little Tin Shed, fitted the classic and elegant feel of the wedding. Featuring plenty of greenery, they allowed the stunning roses to really stand out.
“The bridal bouquet featured a lot of foliage with white and cream David Austin roses and hints of blue.
“We had a floral arch over the church doorway which was later used to decorate the fireplace at Hutton Hall. We had a mix of large, tall and circular centrepieces in the marquee for the wedding breakfast,” explained Ami.
The five-tier wedding cake was made by Thomas’s mum and was iced with white roses to match the floral arrangements and also featured iced, blue forget-me-nots. The layers were a mixture of traditional fruit cake and zesty lemon sponge.
The cake was finished off with a wooden topper featuring a silhouette of a bride and groom and a cat – the couple’s tribute to their cat, Sidney!
The Décor and Special Touches
Ami and Thomas made their own paired-back, classic, monochrome stationery. Each piece was stamped with their initials in gold.
“We also did table numbers which were presented in frames with petals under the glass which we made ourselves.” Said Ami.
Instead of favours, the couple decided to donate to Cancer Research on their guests’ behalf, leaving a notecard at each place setting.
Throughout the day, pianist Laura O’Connell played, and for the evening, the Aurora Pearl DJ kept guests on the dance floor.
The couple took to the floor for their first dance to the acoustic version of Ain’t Nobody (Loves Me Better) by Jasmine Thompson.
Ami and Thomas went to Las Vegas on their honeymoon. “I had always wanted to go, and Thomas had promised we would go together one day. It was an amazing place to celebrate with lots of nice dinners, parties, shows and the Grand Canyon!”
And their advice for couples planning their weddings? “Start planning early, it takes a lot longer than you think. Also, keep in mind what you both want, and what would make the day special for you. Remember, it is your day, so don’t worry too much about what you think everyone else will want!”
Photographer:Gemma Giorgio Photograhy
Venue: Hutton Hall
Wedding Dress: Hayley Paige at The Wild Heart Bridal
Bridal Accessories:Sophia Webster and Monica Vinader
Hair and Makeup: Keely Griffin and Makeup by Polly
Groomswear: Anthony Formal Wear
Florist: Little Tin Shed
Entertainment: Aurora Pearl; Lora Music
Rings: Dynasty Jewels
Thank you Ami and Thomas for sharing your beautiful day with us!