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The modern world of online dating brought Amy and John together in the first instance. They soon found themselves delighted by each other's general "geekiness," and the more they got to know each other the more mutual loves they discovered, including music, animals, and the countryside to name but a few. "Based on past experience, we were both wary of something coming out of the woodwork, as it all seemed too good to be true, but the moment never came," Amy remembers.
Given Amy's passion for Christmas, John chose December 25th as the day to pop the question. In a bid to surprise his bride-to-be, he wrapped the ring and put it alongside her other presents, which would have been a great plan if Amy hadn't been wise to it. She'd already worked out what was inside the little box and wanted to save the best for last, making it very difficult for poor John to keep his cool. All's well that ends well though: of course, she said "yes," and the venue search was on.
Ness Botanical Gardens was a natural choice for the couple. Amy had been to a wedding there several years before and had fallen in love with it. "The gardens are beautiful, and the wedding set-up feels private and intimate. It's peaceful and relaxed, and the entrance for the bride is incredible. What more could we ask?" Choosing The Little Fox for the reception was the simplest decision they made throughout the planning process. Amy explains, "It was the place we had our second date and many more after that. It's one of our favourite spots due to its beautiful countryside surroundings, great food, and relaxed atmosphere."
The date was set for 21st September 2019, and we caught up with the bride to find out more about the day…
Nature served as the inspiration for the venue's styling, with a colour palette of navy and teal. The centrepieces featured log slices with jam jars full of flowers sat atop, surrounded by little log tea light holders. Amy adores flowers and Vivid Floral Design did an incredible job of including all of her favourites – roses, scented stocks, freesias, waxflowers, and veronica in shades of cream and purple. As you can imagine, not only did they look beautiful, they smelled divine.
The mother-of-the-bride is to thank for many of the lovely little touches. She suggested the navy table cloths to make the flowers standout and give the room an air of elegance. She also found the little wood-effect favour boxes, which she filled with Lindor chocolates, as well as the seed packets, which were gifted to guests to continue the nature theme.
The cake topper was one of Amy's favourite styling elements. She says, "It featured an adorable pair of peg dolls, painted to look like us. The suit, dress, hair, and flowers were all personalised to match our wedding. It was too cute for words!"
Amy's mum ran with the natural theme and crafted the seating plan from wallpaper samples, a foam board, string, and printed cards. "She's a clever lady who's watched a lot of Blue Peter," Amy laughs.
The bride wore a Stella York gown. It was simple and elegant, but Amy says, "It was at the back where the drama happened, with a stunning sheer lace boned-corset, satin-covered buttons that went all the way down to the bottom, and lace cutouts around the edge of the train."
Wanting to embrace the simplicity of the dress, Amy accessorised with freshwater pearl drop earrings and necklace. She also wore Ruby Shoo shoes and carried a matching handbag for all of those wedding-day essentials.
The groom was dressed in a navy suit, white shirt, grey and blue tweed waistcoat, and tan shoes. His button hole varied from the groomsmen, but otherwise, all of the gents matched. They accessorised with teal ties and handkerchiefs.
The couple were keen that their two bridesmaids should both feel happy and confident in what they were wearing, so they chose a different dress for each. Amy says, "They fitted the colour scheme, as well as the personality and shape of each bridesmaid, and they both looked stunning."
What stood out for Amy was her big brother's reaction to seeing her as a bride for the first time: "He burst out crying when he walked into the room, as did I, then our photographer, Jackie, joined in for good measure!"
As the bride and her brother set off down the aisle to meet their dad halfway, Amy could see the look of pride on his face as she approached, which is something, she told us, that would stay with her forever. Finally, as she reached her destination beside John, she was met with a look of love and pride, and they couldn't take their eyes off of each other.
The couple decided on canapés and drinks at Ness Botanical Gardens, opting for a mix of vegetarian, and meat options. Guests were offered a selection of prosecco, beer or elderflower fizz. The newlyweds selected a three-course menu for the wedding breakfast. Amy recalls, "The food at The Little Fox was incredible. We had amongst our guests vegetarians, vegans, allergies, and fussy eaters, but nothing was too much trouble for the venue, and everyone raved about the food." A hot buffet was served in the evening, and despite being stuffed from the meal, no one could resist the delicious delicacies on offer.
The talented Jordan Price played Fairytale by Ludovico Einaudi on piano for the bride's entrance and walk down the aisle, which is one of the couple's favourite pieces. The pair had worked on background playlists featuring some of their best-loved tracks, to set the atmosphere as guests gathered before the ceremony and later, while they sat down to eat. Family friend and DJ Adam Wakeman got the party started in the evening.