This elegant Pendley Manor wedding has a whole lot of pretty and some of the most beautiful garden wedding flower inspiration. Nikki and Tony’s wedding is full of pretty styling details and flowers, from the fabulous church entrance floral arrangements to the table designs and, of course, Nikki and her bridesmaids’ gorgeous bouquets. Everything about the styling details echo the beauty of the stunning wedding venue.
Another showstopping feature of this wedding is wedding cake – wow! This five tier masterpiece in soft pink and white has such splendid detailing, including ruffled icing and lace-effect icing – it’s gorgeous!
These amazing pictures by Joss Denham Photography captured the elegance of this wedding perfectly…
An Instant Connection
“I volunteer for the GMB Trade Union and was due to attend my first ever Congress. To prepare delegates the GMB run a training course to understand the process and, in particular, prepare you for public speaking. I attended the course held in London and Tony was one of the Trainers, and we then met again a few weeks later at the GMB Congress held in Dublin. Tony gave me encouragement, support and the confidence to deliver a ‘last minute’ speech to 1,000 people.
“Tony and I had an instant connection when we met; it honestly was ‘love at first sight’, something that, previous to meeting, neither of us believed in. How wrong we were. We now understand what people mean when they reply to the question ‘how do you know you’re in love?’, ‘You just know!'”
Just a Ruse
“Tony told me he had won a VIP Evening Experience on the London Eye for 12 people. He invited family and friends, and my daughter also travelled back from University in Cornwall for the weekend as a surprise.
“My daughter was studying Fashion photography and kept taking photos and video footage including on the train to London. I was not suspicious of anything though, as she explained she needed to practise filming. We all met up at the VIP lounge and enjoyed cocktails before being led to our very own VIP Pod. Once aboard, we enjoyed looking at London in the dark – the skies were clear and it was lit up for Christmas too.
“The pod was just getting to the top of the Eye when Tony made a speech to our friends and family. He thanked the friend who invited him to the function where he won the Raffle, and also thanked everyone for coming, before adding ‘however, all of you, apart from Nikki, know that that was just a ruse…’. He then dropped to one knee and asked me to marry him.
“To be honest I was so surprised that I don’t remember his exact words, but I was the happiest woman alive! Of course, I accepted. We all celebrated with Champagne, and after the flight went on to a pub in Westminster to celebrate further, where I called my mum and dad to give them the exciting news. Unbeknown to me, Tony had asked my dad and my daughter if he could marry me before his proposal, so they were also in on the ‘deception’.
“Even more amazing is that my daughter made a short video capturing the evening, from the journey there to the journey home, so we can relive the moment again and again.”
“I wore Katalina by Enzoani, purchased from Les Sposi Bridal in Wendover. I suppose you might call my dress ‘fit and flare’ or ‘mermaid’. White, very simple, sleek and figure-hugging, the front has cascading tulle tiers finished with a horsehair hem, and an amazing showstopping train.
“I added a little bit of sparkle with a silver diamanté and crystal belt, which gave that little bit of something extra and the illusion of my waist being smaller. I also wore a mermaid underskirt but without the hoop, an antique white cathedral length veil finished with a satin edge, silver crystal high sandals by Dune, and diamond earrings that were my 50th birthday present from Tony and my mum and dad.
“My bridesmaids wore long, silver/grey dresses by Coast, called Madeline. They had a lace off the shoulder ‘Bardot’ top adorned with soft sequins that caught the light, and were finished with a simple satin sash around the waist. They also wore silver peep toed shoes, matching silver necklaces and earrings, and had fresh flowers woven into each of their hairstyles.
“Tony and his best man wore bespoke three-piece blue tweed suits with traditional white suit shirts and a pink silk ties. They also wore brown suede leather brogues accented with blue laces and a blue stripe around the edge of the sole. The fathers opted for two-piece dark blue suits with white shirts, and patterned pale pink silk ties with matching pocket squares.”
Scented Garden Flowers
“Our wedding flowers were all scented garden flowers in blush pink, ivory, nude, and an array of pale blues accented with soft silver grey foliage. My sister is a florist and she encapsulated my vision perfectly. Despite being out of season, she even managed to supply peonies, my favourite flower, for use in my bridal bouquet.
“An elegant hand-tied bouquet that was slightly loose in its form, my bouquet had a country garden feel. It incorporate scented flowers including varieties of garden roses, freesias, double lisianthus, scabious, blue corn flowers and seasonal dahlias. The foliage was grey with wisps and movement from touches of seasonal grasses, and the stems were wrapped in lace with trails of soft hand-died silk ribbon.
“The bridesmaid bouquets were a smaller version of mine, but each had more nude and ivory tones, with just a hint of blue. For buttonholes, Tony and his best man had single cream rose accented with grey foliage and blue blossom, and the other groomsmen had a single blush rose with silver/grey and blue foliage. The ladies buttonholes included lisianthus and spray roses with soft foliage to complement their outfits.
“We had a mixture of tall and low arrangements for our guest tables. Gold candelabra framed the room and with gold punch bowls placed on the tables in the centre. Each arrangement consisted of garden style flowers and a variety of gold glass votives surrounded each arrangement.”
Country Garden Elegance
“Living in the country, our beautiful church, our love of garden flowers and my love of a ‘bit of bling’ and pink inspired our wedding. We wanted to keep the styling simple, but in keeping with both the church and the reception venue. The room for the wedding breakfast was a beautiful duck egg blue with gold, so we incorporated these colours into the scheme. I guess you could call the style ‘Country Garden Elegance’.
“We used gold candelabras and punch bowls for our reception table displays, keeping the garden flower theme, and surrounded these with glass votives. We also used gold glass vases to display the bridal bouquets on the top table at the reception.
“The table names and seating plans were gold and blue, accented with small crystal embellishments, and matched the wedding invites and order of service. We named the tables after the flowers used in my bridal bouquet. Some were quite unusual so we thought this would give our guests a talking point and break the ice for any who had not met before. We also used personalised wildflower garden seeds for our wedding favours, which our guests sent us photos of once they had sewn and grown them.
“I used a small wicker hamper basket for wedding cards, which I decorated with some flowers and a bunting sign. Each letter was on its own flag made of card and pegged to twine. I also used my outside hurricane lamps at the evening reception, placing church candles inside with fresh petals arranged around the bottom.
“Finally, I bought party boxes for the children who attended, which I filled with appropriate gifts for their ages.”
A Little Bit of Bling
“I am a cake maker and made our wedding cake. It was five tiers of cake in varying depths. I wanted to keep it simple in design with not too many colours, using white, shades of pale pink and, of course, a little bit of bling, whilst pulling inspiration from the flowers and wedding dress.
“I opted for a rich, boozy fruit cake for the bottom tier because I could make and decorate this well in advance of the wedding. Tiers two to five were dummy tiers (polystyrene cake drums), again so that I could ice and decorate them in advance of the wedding, alleviating some of the stress.
“I then made three ‘kitchen cutting’ sponge cakes – these are cakes that no one except the ‘kitchen’ sees. The beauty of this was that I could make them last minute, throw some icing on them and no one would know the difference!
“Our guests had a choice of Fruit Cake, Devil’s Chocolate Cake, and Luscious Lemon. I also made gluten and egg-free chocolate cupcakes to cater for allergies. I loved designing my own cake, and whilst it was still stressful making it, I loved my little cheat and that no one was wise to it. But the most gratifying thing was the wonderful comments from the guests.”
“For entertainment, during the day we played music from a wedding playlist on our iPhone, and then had a DJ in the evening. We decided to opt for a ‘choice menu’ for the Wedding Breakfast, as we did not want to restrict our guests to either a choice of one meat dish or a vegetarian dish. We then had a hog roast buffet for our Evening Reception, which also included vegetarian and gluten free options, along with desserts and the wedding cake.”
Happiness and Love
“We found our photographer, Joss Denham, by searching online. We wanted an engagement shoot so we could meet Joss and also get a real feel for his work and how he worked. It is too difficult to pin down one favourite picture as there are so many, but we really love the one of us in the woods having a kiss behind my bouquet.
“My best memory was Tony’s face when he saw me walking down the aisle. He looked straight at me and said ‘WOW!’. Tony said this was his best memory too.
“One of the most significant memories was walking into the church and the wonderful smell of all the garden flowers. It was heavenly and the beauty of them was wonderful. There are so many more too… holding my father’s hand walking down the aisle, seeing our friends and family’s faces in the church, greeting them after the ceremony and seeing the wonderful happiness and love that surrounded us.
“The speeches were all great and my father’s speech made our day. He was very nervous and wasn’t going to give one, but despite being in a wheelchair and unable to stand, he and gave a wonderful impromptu speech full of humour.
“The final memory was our first dance as husband and wife, and of course, my daughter singing to us was unforgettable. The whole day was a celebration of love with our closest friends and family and it was the best day of our lives.
“Sadly my father passed away suddenly three months after our wedding, and these are my last memories of him, but what wonderful ones they are.”
Enjoy Every Moment
“My top advice to other couple is to delegate a list of jobs for on the day. It helps to have one person that is the ‘go-to’ person, such as a Master of Ceremonies or the best man. One of our close friends was our Master of Ceremonies who, along with our best man and chief bridesmaid, oversaw the intricacies and scheduling on the day.
“Plan, plan, plan. Tell the photographer what group photos you would like, and be specific about what you want and don’t want – this goes for all your suppliers. If you are not happy with something, be sure to tell them, otherwise you may have regrets. Remember, if you have bridesmaids, get them to look after you – they can see if your dress needs placing correctly etc, so tell them what you want them to do.
“Enjoy every moment of your day, and try not to worry; let other people do that for you. If something goes a bit awry, and it could be something as simple as people disappearing when the group photos are being taken, send the ‘go-to’ person or some of the groomsmen to sort it out. Often even the best laid plans go awry, but your friends and family are there to support you as well as enjoy your special day.
“Finally, try and stay within sight of each other. It is very easy to meet and greet friends and family separately, but the day goes very quickly so try and have as many joint memories as possible. Tony and I were not joined at the hip, but we shared most of our memories together.”
“When it comes to saving money, shop around and don’t be afraid to ask for a discount. Also check what is being offered in a package – we found that one venue was charging £15 for a bottle of water, and it was only when we asked for the individual item prices we picked this up.
“Where possible, utilise your family and friends’ talents. We used friends and family for the flowers, Master of Ceremonies, cake, DJ and singer. However, also remember certain suppliers such as florists and cake makers are experts in their field and highly experienced. Well-meaning friends/family may have best intentions but you may not save money in the long run or get the professional look you may want.”
Photography: Joss Denham Photography
Ceremony Venue: St Peter and St Paul’s Church, Little Gaddesden, Hertfordshire
Reception Venue: Pendley Manor, Tring, Hertfordshire
Bridal Gown Crystal Belt, Hair Vein and Hair Pins: Le Sposi Bridal Wear
Bride’s Shoes: Dune ‘Madallenna’
Bridesmaids’ Shoes: Roland Cartier ‘Minnie’
Groom/Best Man Suits: Bespoke/Handmade
Ties: Swagger and Swoon
Groom’s Shoes: Dune Benito in Tan
Bridesmaid Dresses: Coast ‘Madeline’ Dress in Silver
Bridesmaids’ Necklaces and Earrings: Swarovski
Brides/Bridesmaids Hair: The Cutting Studio
Flowers: Lonsdale Flower Company
Cake: Planet Scrumptious
Stationery: Tiggity Boo
Transport: Lord Cars
Card Bunting: Hobbycraft
Seed Wedding Favours: Wildflower Favours
DJ: Vince Maple