Following on from the stunning start of Anuszka and Joe’s wedding, we bring you part 2!! Sit back and get cosy ladies, this is a wedding that you just have to see!
One thing I really wanted to do was to keep the traditional wedding service (excluding the God references) but have hymns, singing and readings. We organised an organ hire and Matthew Pitts, a very talented local pianist to come and play me in, accompany the hymns and play us out again. I had produced and printed order of service and we had chosen hymns and readings that meant something to us. We had a reading by Bob Marley on love and women, read by my Uncle Andy, the patriarch of my family, and Joe’s Italian Godfather Francesco read the Corinthians in Italian, something he had chosen and sounded so beautiful in Italian. My friends, aunty and mum had spent months drying rose petals to make confetti and my mum put these into beautiful little ivory organza bags which were given out to guests as they arrived with the services.
We also wanted to have someone we knew and loved to officiate the wedding. Henry Erlich, a lifelong friend of Joe’s parents officiated our wedding and he had previously officiated Joe’s sister’s wedding the previous June. We wrote our own service and Henry guided us on content and helped edit it until it was just perfect. One of the poignant moments for me is where we remembered people who were no longer with us in body but were with us in spirit. I lost my father when I was 15 and it was really important to include him somehow in the service. My wonderful, not so little brother, Michael did the honour of giving me away and also did the most AMAZING speech. I was so proud of him. And yes, he did make me cry.
After the ceremony, Joe and I took off on a golf buggy decorated by fresh flowers while the guests made their way down to the sunken garden next to the Abbey. We had a group shot with our bridesmaids and ushers and headed off to join the champagne reception and delicious canapés we had chosen catered by the amazing Arnold and Henderson. As I have already mentioned, Joe and I are HUGE foodies, Joe has his own award winning farmshop (The Welbeck Farm Shop), and the food was one of the most important things to us at the wedding besides getting married of course! There were three priorities. 1. Great food, 2. Great booze and 3. Great music. That to us was the winning combination to an amazing celebration of our marriage as well as having the most important people in our lives to celebrate with us. The sunken garden looked amazing and as the weather was so odd and the flowers were late out, the wisteria was out in full bloom and looked and smelled amazing!
We had some more group photos and mingled and chatted to our guests. We didn’t want many posed photos but a reportage style of photography and Wiesia is brilliant at that. She brought friend Laura along (they studied together) and Laura was also on hand to take photo’s for the rest of the day after spending the morning with boys. After the drinks we headed through the Rose corridor down to the magnificent underground ballroom of Welbeck Abbey. As this is a private house, there has not been a party in here for 70 years so it was really special to be having our wedding celebration in there. As it is so big, we had to think of a way to make the room smaller and also to improve the acoustics. Even though we had 250 guests during the day and a further 50 a night, we still needed to drastically reduce the size of the room. Joe had the idea of bringing trees inside and that is where the woodland theme came to play. We had originally said we didn’t want a theme and I knew that I wanted neutral colours but after deciding on the woodland ceremony and the idea of bringing trees inside, the woodland theme is one we took forward.
Joe’s mum found an old sketching of a Welbeck Oak tree, which we had scanned onto our invitations, menus and order of service, and our Best friend and Best Man Alex, made us hundreds of little tree stump name place holders, which looked brilliant. Of course we named the tables after trees! The works and woods departments made us a bar, which was fronted by column after column of beautiful logs which really fitted with the theme and was HUGE. Mickey had hung tea – lanterns in all the trees so they lit up at night and we also had a ‘hat tree’ where the ladies…and men, could hang their hats and they looked fabulous.
The ballroom looked amazing with sunlight pouring through the skylights onto the chandeliers and into the amazing space filled with beautiful trees and our beautiful guests. We enjoyed a FEAST! We started with sharing plates of pigeon and foie gras terrine, asparagus picked the day before from a local farm and peas in their pods followed by huge chicken and leek pie’s with love hearts on top of everyone, with a variety of delicious salads and jersey royals. We had to have our favourite puds too so we had mini chocolate pots, mini sticky toffee puddings and mountains of freshly picked,seasonal strawberries and jersey cream so guests could swap and share and eat their fill. It was truly amazing.
We weren’t traditional with the speeches. As I mentioned, my brother Michael did the father of the bride speech and smashed it, then Joe’s dad did a speech, then me (I had to have a women’s voice heard!), then Joe ending with Alex the Best Man. We cut the fantastic cake made by the Welbeck Bakehouse. Joe’s mum had organised this and brought lemons back from Capri so we could have Capri lemons in our lemon drizzle cake. Our first dance was Bob Marley Is this love’. We weren’t going to have a first dance but decided on this as we love the song. We also used it on the wedding video. I still had cake on my hands so had to lick my fingers really quickly so I didn’t cover Joe! It was such a wonderful moment but bizarre at the same time with everyone crowding round. We wanted our best man and chief bridesmaid to join in immediately but they held back until we looked like we might kill them then they took to the dance floor so everyone else could get the cue and join in. From that moment, the dancefloor was packed all night! We had a Ska band called Ska Wars, who were incredible! They had such a great time that they played an extra hour!
After the first dance the incredible cocktail bar opened led by Joe’s friend and colleague Finn Spiteri. The cocktail bar was a huge hit and there was a list of 7 of our favourite cocktails with a whole back bar to rival the best bars in London! Joe’s passion is a good cocktail so we had to have the best! It certainly fueled the dancing and oh my, there was certainly some dancing going on.
We had fireworks back in the sunken garden at 11pm. Joe had asked for a ‘half an hours display worth of fireworks condensed to 5 minutes’! They were the best fireworks I have ever seen. Everyone loved them. When we went back in through the Rose Corridor a screen had been set up at the end and the film of our day was played on the big screen to the guests. It was magical to watch this whilst at your own wedding and so funny to see bits the videographer had captured during the day. The brilliant thing was no one knew he was filming as he looked like he had a camera rather than video camera so he captured everything and everyone beautifully! It was brilliant how he had edited it during dinner and had it ready to play the same day. I LOVED it and have watched it repeatedly ever since!
We came back into more Ska Wars followed by superstar guilty pleasure’s DJ, Sean Rowley, who was incredible! He rocked it and commented that he has never played a wedding where the dance floor was that packed all night and where the bride and groom rocked it so much! (must have been the cocktails!) I also made sure that I would be able to dance in my dress. Belinda had added a loop to it as well as a bustle so for the dancing, we let down the bustle, I hooked the loop over my wrist and threw the rest of my train over my arm and danced the night away! We finally finished at 3am! I had no idea it was that time. It was the most incredible day and night and I LOVED every moment of it.
We joined guests the following morning for brunch. There were lots of sore heads! Then later that evening, we took off to the airport with 8 of our best friends and headed to Capri for our ‘minimoon’. We had THE BEST week with our friends and as we didn’t end up getting married there, we decided it was the natural place to go to unwind straight after. Wiesia asked me to take my dress so she could take some photos. We went to the top of the hill and Wiesia took some incredible photos. Joe refused to dress up so we have a fabulous photo of me in my beautiful dress and Joe in his swimmers!
We returned from 2 amazing weeks in the Cook Islands, I’d definitley recommend having a later honeymoon!
What was your groom’s reaction to your gown? Did the guests love it and more importantly, did you feel amazing?
Everyone LOVED my dress and so many people asked who had made it! I loved it, Joe thought it was amazing. It was really funny as he is quite opinionated about fashion and I don’t know what he expected me to wear but I joked about a huge dress to send him off track. He said he couldn’t have picked a more perfect dress and thought I looked stunning. One of the things I love about the film is being able to see Joe’s reaction as he sees me for the first time. I felt incredible and will hold on to that feeling forever.
Was your wedding day everything you wished for? Did everything go to plan? Did any little things go wrong?!
It was more than I had ever dreamed or had hoped it would be. We really had THE BEST time ever! We had so much fun, I wouldn’t have changed anything. Our sound cut out just as the ceremony finished so we couldn’t hear the organ play us out (probably to Joe’s parent’s relief as we were going to walk out to ‘you’ll never walk alone’ by Gerry and the Pacemakers! Joe is a huge Liverpool fan!) It didn’t matter. We were on such a high and everyone was throwing confetti at us as we walked back down the woodland aisle, it was amazing!
What was the best part of the day?
All of it! However, I loved walking down the aisle. It was such an incredible feeling seeing Joe waiting at the end for me. I loved it so much.
Is there anything you would change?
Not a thing.
Do you have any advice for brides to be?
Enjoy every moment, don’t turn into bridezilla, the tiny details really don’t matter if you can’t get them done, don’t stress about it. Things will go wrong but take it in your stride and enjoy it. A piece of advice I received from a few people was to take a moment for just the two of you and to take a moment to take it all in. Joe and I enjoyed walking through the woods and then the buggy ride together down to the drinks reception. I also remember standing at the edge of the dance floor when the party was in full swing, looking at everyone and seeing what fun they were all having. It will be a snapshot in my mind for years to come, a truly wonderful, happy memory.
Who were your following suppliers?
Venue Welbeck Abbey, Worksop (private venue)
Florist Sara Hope-Hawkins email@example.com
Photography Wiesia Bojko http://www.littlemissboyco.co.uk/http://littlemissboyco.blogspot.co.uk/
Assisted by Laura Eddols http://lauraeddollsphotography.4ormat.com/
Videography A Beautiful Day http://www.abeautifulday.com/en
Organist Matthew Pitts Freelance.firstname.lastname@example.org
Caterers Arnold and Henderson http://www.arnoldandhenderson.com/
Girls Brunch Caterers Boutque Aromatique http://www.boutiquearomatique.com/
Wedding Cake Welbeck Bakehouse http://www.welbeckbakehouse.co.uk/
Band Ska Wars http://skawars.net/
DJ Sean Rowley http://www.guiltypleasures.co.uk/tag/sean-rowley
Wedding Planner Mickey Luke, Eclat Events http://www.eclatevents.co.uk/event-planner/
Hair & Make Up Hair by Louanne, Tuxford, Notts Make up by self (MAC) tuition by the fantastic Emma Koch
Styling/extras Shoes – Rachel Simpson, Flo Veil – The White Room http://www.whiteroombridal.co.uk
Anuszka wore Aspen by Jenny Packham from The White Room, Sheffield
We would like to take great pleasure in congratulating both Anuszka and Joe on their stunning wedding day, we are sure you agree this is one striking, detailed and beautiful event!! We also extend our congratulations to them as there will soon be a mini Joe or Anuszka appearing in July 2014 too!!!!
With White Room Love