Mark is a groom who loves a surprise! On April Fool’s Day in 2018, he proposed to Jen by creating a treasure hunt which eventually led to a bottle of Champagne and an engagement ring. Thankfully it wasn’t an April Fools’ joke!
“Mark knew I loved rose gold and had the ring made at Mallory in Bath.”
The couple have been together since 2012 and tied the knot at Almonry Barn in Somerset in front of 79 guests.
On their wedding day, Mark had another surprise up his sleeve and entertained guests by hiring a professional dance troupe for a fantastic first dance dance-off!
Photographer: Kerry Bartlett
The Wedding Dress
“After trying on quite a few I knew the moment I put it on that it was ‘The One’. It fell just beautifully and the beading was just so pretty and intricate.
“I loved the neckline, the vintage feel, and the way I felt when wearing the dress! I wore it with a beautiful Jenny Packham hairpiece, shoes we designed at Emmy London, and a platinum bracelet that belonged to my Granny.
“Amber Persia designed my bouquet which was made up of beautiful café au lait dahlias and David Austin roses tied with silk ribbons. I wanted everything to look vintage and a bit wild.”
The Bridal Party
Jen had seven bridesmaids and two flower girls. She decided to let all the bridesmaids choose a dress they like, sticking to a blush pink and pale blue colour palette.
“All my best friends from school and my wonderful friend who I met through one of my daughter’s baby classes were my bridesmaids.
“My eldest daughter was also a bridesmaid and my younger daughter and her best friend were flower girls. My son was a little pageboy!
“All the bridesmaids chose their own dresses, sticking to the colour scheme. Most of them live in Canada so it was hard trying to find something that suited everyone available in both countries. In the end, I liked the individuality of all the dresses.
“There were too many special moments as we got ready together. We all had matching robes and were getting ready in various rooms of the pub we took over. It was just really special to have everyone together.”
Mark wore a blue, tailored suit from Moss Bros. He took his groomsmen with him to help him make a decision.
“Mark bought his suit. He wore it with cufflinks which I had made as a present for him with our daughter’s fingerprints on them from when she was a baby.”
To get to the ceremony, the bridal party were transported in a fleet of taxis from Manhattan Car Hire.
“There were 11 of us in total to transport in the bridal party so we had a BMW, a Mercedes and a minivan!
“We had a civil service accompanied by a string quartet called Nero String Quartet, who were recommended by Louise at Almonry.
“My sister did a reading from Captain Corelli’s Mandolin. The florist made a gorgeous arrangement of flowers to line the beams above where we stood for the ceremony. I still don’t know how she did it!
“My Dad walked me down the aisle. We were preceded by the bridesmaids, my maid of honour, and my two flower girls. I walked down the aisle to the string version of Hoppípolla by Sigur Rós. Our rings were from Mallory in Bath.”
Almonry Barn was the first venue that the couple visited but they knew it was perfect right away so cancelled all other viewings! They chose a theme of antique pinks, sage and eucalyptus.
“We knew we wanted a barn venue. The best thing about Almonry Barn is that it is just ready to go and has everything in one place.
“The styling is beautiful, from the chandelier to little things like the chairs. They are all so pretty, you don’t have to hire anything in to ‘dress it up’.
“Our centrepieces were beautiful low urns filled with the roses and dahlias which were used throughout the rest of the décor in the barn. We didn’t name our tables but numbered them. I bought some brass frames from H&M and my sister wrote the table numbers.
“Louise from the barn helped us with all of the local suppliers and our caterers, Pickle Shack, looked after all of the ‘on-the-day essentials’.”
The Stationery and Cake
“The invitations were a mix of soft greys and pinks, sealed with a wax stamp. The table plan was in a gorgeous frame provided by the barn with flowers from Amber.
“The table cards were attached with the same seals we used on the invites. The place cards were soft pink and then tied with the same silk ribbons we used in the bridal flowers.
“Our stationery matched our theme beautifully and Ash even managed to take a picture that my daughter had drawn of Mark and I and added it onto the order of service.
“On the night, we served a semi-naked, three-tiered cake topped with David Austin roses. One tier was Champagne flavoured, one was lemon, and one was Victoria sponge. It was made by The Baking Chick.
“We gave our guests some pink macarons tied with some ribbon, also made by The Baking Chick. She also made some little cake pops for the children.”
The couple didn’t stick to their budget but had a wonderful day and evening full of entertainment!
“We hired Hybrid Entertainment because they were a recommended supplier of the barn. He worked perfectly in the space available on the dance floor.
“Our first dance was I Get to Love You by Ruelle. Mark has a reputation for some questionable nightclub dancing and he hired some professional dancers from Pineapple Dance Studios to interrupt the first dance and have a dance-off with him. This was one of the best moments of the night as no-one was expecting it!”
After a wonderful wedding day, the couple flew to the Caribbean for some much-earned respite!
“We went to Serenity in St Lucia in the Caribbean. Mark was in charge of the honeymoon and was going to keep it as a surprise but couldn’t and told me the very next day after he booked it!
“It was absolutely stunning. We lay on hammocks swaying over the sea, we had a private pool, and the weather was perfect.
“Our wedding day felt like it went by so fast and a few times throughout the day we just stepped back to take it all in!”
Photographers: Kerry Bartlett
Reception Venue: Almonry Barn
Wedding Dress: Alice Temperley from Carina Baverstock Couture
Accessories: Jenny Packham and Emmy London
Makeup: Christina Ouloupi
Hair: David Maxwell
Groomswear: Moss Bros
Car Hire: Manhattan Car Hire
Florist: Amber Persia
Caterer: Pickle Shack
Stationery: Pale Press
Wedding Cake: The Baking Chick
Entertainment: Nero String Quartet, Pineapple Dance Studios and Hybrid Entertainment
Honeymoon: Serenity in St Lucia
Gift List: Prezola
Thank you to Jen and Mark for letting us share their gorgeous big day!