Happy Monday beauties! Hope you all enjoyed the glorious sunshine over the weekend……..it seems all that rain did have a silver lining after all! This morning we have a brilliantly unique wedding for you to feast your eyes on. Lucy and Danny’s Big Top Wedding was perfectly poised and put together by the flawlessy super Something Blue Wedding Planning. The couple used a giant big top tent belonging to the Groom’s family to unite everyone in style. Captured by the amazingly talented Martin Beddall and Matthew Page , we love this wedding from start to finish. Naturally elegant and bustling with dazzling creative décor, it really does have a little bit of everything, including a grand manor house as the backdrop to their funfair-style marquee reception! Bride Lucy describes her day as ‘magical’ and we absolutely agree that there’s a sparkling touch of fairytale about this big day. Over to Lucy…
We were our inspiration! Danny and I have been together 7 years and we have similar tastes that reflect both our personalities. We encourage each other to bring new ideas to decorating our house, gifts for friends and family, and each other. Our wedding was an extension of ourselves, so we made sure there was nothing but our loves, likes and interests in every aspect of our day.
Tate modern proposal
It was magical. Danny met me outside the Tate Modern under the ruse we were going to Bournemouth for his Mum’s 60th. I asked what he’d bought her for a gift, he then showed me an old fashioned slide viewfinder and said I could take a look. As I went through the slides I realised they were pictures of us, asking me to look at where we were, thinking about changing my name to something else…then when I looked down he had the most amazing engagement ring! We were taken by our black cabbie friend to Blake’s Hotel where he’d decorated the room with bridal magazines, flowers and champagne. Then somehow Danny convinced the hotel to create a three course meal of my favourite dishes…nachos to start, sausage, mash & baked beans for main, and cheese for dessert. Then the next day he whisked me away to Venice for the weekend. He’s one in a million.
Manor house wedding and a big top circus tent!
We got married at Folkington Manor, Sussex. Danny’s family Big Top Circus Tent held our reception on the grounds of the manor after we married at the estates local church, which just about held the 160 guests! We always knew we wanted to get married in the Potts’ family Big Top Tent. It was unique, incredibly personal to the family and gave us a beautiful canvas to create our wedding from. We needed a picturesque location that was used to hosting such large tents, and with the local church a walk away, Folkington was the perfect location.
The rings arrived just in time for the ceremony!
The church on the estate were kind enough to let us wed there as I was born locally to the village. By attending church we were able to meet the local community who were incredibly excited and supportive of our wedding. Our Reverend, Malcolm Elwis, is a retired Reverend who brought love, light and warmth to our service. It was a traditional marriage, though we had our rings blessed twice. I forgot where I’d ‘safely kept’ our rings, and so on the day we were planning to use two rings kindly loaned to us by the congregation, but the evening before the wedding I suddenly remembered – they were in the cat food drawer at our London home. A good friend raced to collect them the day of the wedding, but got stuck in traffic. We wedded with two rings loaned to us, but as we’d said the last vow, our friend appeared with the actual rings – so we did it all over again! We had an amazing local guitar player – Andy Nash playing welcome music for the guests. Then three hymns and a reading by a dear friend.
Bridal gown with hidden pockets
I loved my dress, as every bride does of course. I’d been shopping with my Mum at some high end bridal shop in Bond Street. I’m quite impulsive and so after trying on five dresses (and being shocked at how some styles made me look like a showgirl) I found ‘the one’. But at nearly £3,000, there was no dress (apart from Cinderella’s maybe) that was worth that, not with our budget. And so I searched and I found a designer who had a near identical dress – this one had hidden pockets! And the overwhelming bonus was the bridal shop – 30 minutes from where I lived, and the most friendly, understanding owners I’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting. They were a delight, and I would highly recommend the store ‘From This Moment’ on Kingston Road, Epsom. As for the shoes……I have odd feet, a whole size different! So for the first time in my life, I splashed out and bought two pairs of Ivory Silk Round Toe Benjamin Adams bridal shoes. And the accessories were from Rosie Willet.
Danny’s outfit is from Anthony Formal Wear Billericay and the Bridesmaid’s Dresses were from Navy Blue Ghost.
We couldn’t have done it without our wedding planner…
I didn’t know how hard it would be to make a field into a suitable dining/dancing/drinking space for 200 people. That’s why I was saved when we hired Emma from Something Blue Wedding Planning three months before the wedding. We had so many grand ideas – but with busy jobs, we just didn’t allocate the time to deal with it. Emma helped us finesse our plans. Instead of draping a tent in material (a very tall order) we decided on fairy lights as in such a dark space this worked beautifully. We always wanted long tables, mainly so no one was ever sat with their back to the top table. And our main decoration was 12ft long foliage garlands sitting in the middle of the tables with lightly scented candles scattered in between.
We had a table for gifts, a table with pictures of our four grandparents (most of whom sadly weren’t with us, but we wanted to acknowledge that we wouldn’t be there on our wedding day if it wasn’t for them) and then ribbons strung up with pegs for ladies to hang their hats. Also in the main tent was a dance floor, with the surprise band already set up. Oh, and a bar!
Outside, we took advantage of the beautiful views and had barrels for people to chat casually over a drink. Everyone was outside during the drinks reception. And because we have three dear Grandmothers, and a few quieter relatives, we set up a smaller ‘Granny Tent’ marquee next to the main tent. We went to an antiques fair and bought second hand furniture. Sofas, seats, loungers. Laid out on rugs, and with a solid table for all of our favours, cigars and prosecco – we loved the idea of everyone being able to consume the favours at the venue!
Cake, ice cream and flowers really made the day!
We used Caroline from Wild Rubus for our flowers. They were truly unique and absolutely stunning. We had a really personal service and the most incredible flowers a bride could hope for. It was the most exceptional way of making our visions and dreams a reality! Our catering came from Nicola at The Secret Restaurant – I don’t think we’ll ever eat food at a wedding that good. There was a two-course meal and then cake & ice cream afterwards – absolute perfection!
First dance and favourite moment
Our first dance was to ‘Cupid’ by Sam Cooke. We just love the song. We hired the Piano Factor – two duling pianos, a drummer and the best entertainment we’ve ever seen/heard! Our favourite moment was looking out at all our friends and family during the fantastic speeches.
The line up
Couple Photos: Martin Beddall
Detail Photos: Matthew Page
Tent: Potts Family Big Top
Make Up and Hair: Portraits Bridal Hair & Make Up
Catering: The Secret Restaurant
Cake: Willow & Bloom
Wedding Planner: Something Blue Wedding Planning
Music: Piano Factor and Andy Nash Guitar
Lighting: Creative Spark
Flowers: Wild Rubus