Jeff & Emma
The Gardens, Yalding
Jeff & Emma chose The Gardens for their summer wedding, we asked Emma to share her story with us.
Scroll down the page to see links to all the wedding suppliers and Emma’s top tips for other Brides.
Emma’s Wedding Story:
I always had an idea of what sort of dress I wanted and after seeing a friend’s dress I knew where I wanted to buy my dress from. So I made an appointment with Dig for Victory in Brighton and after a 45-minute appointment with two friends I had picked my dress. I had always wanted a vintage strapless dress and I came out ordering a lace capped sleeved design. I tweaked a few little bits on the dress (changed the colour of the piping and changed the style of the back. It must have only been 3-4 dresses that I tried on before picking the one. I picked a bright pink petticoat to go underneath to add a bit more colour and to match my hair and shoes.
We always wanted something a bit quirky with some outdoor space and we’d seen a few that weren’t right. Shortly after getting engaged The Gardens had an open day and it came up as a suggested event on Facebook so we decided that we would go and have a look. We both fell in love with the venue but we needed to look at a few more venues before we confirmed our booking. We looked at one more venue and went back to The Gardens. We were very open to venues and didn’t have anywhere in mind but knew we would know when we’d picked the right one.
We had no real theme or colour scheme. We incorporated Emma’s love of everything vintage, tea and books by using teapots and books for the centrepieces. The bunting to decorate the venue was all handmade by Emma’s mum. The tables were named after Comics and retro games set up to incorporate Jeff’s interests.
Bridesmaid and Groomsmen.
The Bridesmaid wore a baby pink dress from Pretty Kitty while the Groomsmen and the Fathers of both bride and groom wore suits by Moss Bros.
My flowers were Peony and rose bouquet and the bridesmaid had roses. The Groomsmen had artificial roses by Petals Polly. The venue was decorated with gypsophila and roses around the gazebo.
Marks & Spencer, 3 layers (chocolate & vanilla), decorated by us. Cake toppers made by a friend as a wedding gift. We choose hedgehogs as they are a big part of our lives – Emma has rescued and released many wild hedgehogs over the years and we have had pet African pygmy hedgehogs for a number of years – the most recent being called Bruce Quillis.
There are two funny moments that stick in our heads from the big day – the first one was Emma breaking a nail just moments before the ceremony resulting in a mad rush to find some superglue to stick it back on. The second funny moment was during the ceremony Emma’s young cousin saying ‘Uh-Oh’ which made us all laugh.
Louisa and Duncan made the whole process of photos and gathering people together for this really easy and laid back – we didn’t need to think, it just happened around us. It was nice to get away for a few moments and do the photos of the two of us and just to relax with each other for a little while. We walked around The Gardens and guided by both Louisa and Duncan we had more photos taken. We were able to relax and enjoy our big day knowing we had experts with us (Louisa and Duncan) who walked us through the day.
While we were off having photos taken the guests enjoyed the nice weather and explored The Gardens, played on the outdoor games and took the time to relax and catch up with people.
We decided to have the speeches before the meal so that everyone could relax knowing that all the big bits of the day were done. The groom’s father was our Master of Ceremony and announced the speeches, we were all reminded of different parts of our past some of which we may or may not have chosen to remember. There was lots of laughter and some tears shed. And most importantly nothing embarrassing was shared.
The Wedding Breakfast
We went with an afternoon tea/picnic style meal. We use vintage crockery to serve a selection of sandwiches, quiches, scotch eggs and of course cakes and scones. This went down brilliantly with all the guests
Advice for other Brides.
- Take 5 minutes to sit back and enjoy your guests having fun, some of our clearest memories were from when we deliberately did this.
- If someone offers to help with something – making something, organising something – let them! Take all the help you can in the run-up to the big day.
- Lists, boxes and labels – group things together in boxes (e.g. everything for a table in a box each) and label them clearly so they can be put in the right place (even if you’re not there) and you are not hunting around for stuff.