All things bright and beautiful

Alice in Wonderland met '50s-style garden party at Jessica and Jay's wedding on 8th September, 2012

Jessica Birch and Jason Miller met online through a dating website. “Jay is a navigating officer for the Merchant Navy and when we first contacted each other he was 300 miles off the coast of Angola. He'd only just started his trip so we waited six weeks before meeting up,” explains Jessica. The couple soon fell for each other and began dating. Jay popped the question while they were on holiday in St Anton, Austria. “

Jay proposed at the highest accessible point in the snowy mountains – it was so exhilarating,” recalls Jessica. When the couple arrived back home they started to plan their nuptials eagerly. Read on for Jessica's account of the big day.

All things bright and beautiful: Image 1aWe tied the knot in our home town at The Assembly Room, Chichester, followed by a reception at George Bell House, in the picturesque Chichester Cathedral grounds.

All things bright and beautiful: Image 1 I bought my tea-length gown from Catherine Francis Bridal Boutique in Arundel. It was the perfect style for the hot weather.


All things bright and beautiful: Image 2
My beautiful high heels were by Rainbow Club, although I changed into a pair of white sneakers for our first dance.


All things bright and beautiful: Image 3
Jay wore a three-piece suit by The Kooples. It took us a while to find the perfect style and colour but it was well worth shopping around.


All things bright and beautiful: Image 4aSamantha from Spriggs in Petworth did a wonderful job with all of our arrangements. We had yellow and cream blooms for the bouquets and buttonholes, while the centrepieces were vintage teapots filled with flowers.

All things bright and beautiful: Image 4 My flowergirls, Naomi and Laura, looked adorable in their whimsical dresses from ilovegorgeous.


All things bright and beautiful: Image 5
I wrote a piece of music to our favourite poem, I Carry Your Heart by E.E Cummings, which was sung by seven of my friends after the signing of the register.


All things bright and beautiful: Image 6
My sister Rebecca was my maid-of-honour and my friends Clemmie, Sarah and Emily, were my bridesmaids. They wore pretty frocks from Joules.


All things bright and beautiful: Image 7aI made 50 metres of bunting and my bridesmaids collected 150 jam jars, which were and painted by my sister and her children and used as candle holders.

All things bright and beautiful: Image 7 “In the afternoon we had a garden party. Guests ate cheese and chutney and cucumber sandwiches, mini chocolate brownies, jam tarts and mini cheese scones with fresh mango and coriander chutney, all washed down with homemade raspberry gin with rose lemonade.”


All things bright and beautiful: Image 8
As our venues were within walking distance of each other, we didn't need a chauffeur-driven car so we treated ourselves to a shiny blue vintage Austin Healey for the whole weekend instead.


All things bright and beautiful: Image 9
The Hot Club Trio kept everyone entertained with jazz music at the garden party. We also had games on the lawn including croquet and a giant Connect Four.


All things bright and beautiful: Image 10
My chief bridesmaid Rebecca is very creative and designed the stationery for the menus and order of service using the artwork from our tea towel invites as inspiration.


All things bright and beautiful: Image 11aWe ate a delicious vegetarian curry for the wedding breakfast.

All things bright and beautiful: Image 11 The cookie place names and cupcakes were made by Rebecca at Frizelle Cakes.


All things bright and beautiful: Image 12
“I had two best men, Martin and Jason. Their speeches went down really well – Jason made everyone laugh while Martin followed up with some heartfelt and touching comments. We also had three ushers.” – Jay


All things bright and beautiful: Image 13
We had a three-day mini-moon to Jersey as Jay had to go back to sea a week after we got married. When he got back we went to the Yucatàn Peninsula in Mexico for almost three weeks. We stayed in lots of different places and saw lots of sights – it was everything we imagined and more.


Alice and Jay's contact book

Bride's dress
Catherine Francis Bridal Boutique

Bride's headpiece
Beretun Designs

Bride's shoes
Rainbow Club

Bridesmaids' dresses

Ceremony venue
The Assembly Room

Chair covers
Tudor Catering

Cupcakes and cookie place names
Frizelle Cakes

Sound Division

Flowergirls' dresses

Spriggs Florist

Groom's suit
The Kooples

The Original Wedding Tea Towel

Jazz band
Hot Club Trio at Jazz Moods

Tino & Pip Photography

Reception venue
George Bell House


Vanilla Classics


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