I’m an unashamed lover of lace, are you? It’s a fabric with so many possibilities – it can be ethereal and romantic, classic and vintage, striking and contemporary; floral, geometric, patterned, and many lace crafting techniques stretch around the world, and back through history.
Today’s wedding, filled with personalised touches and laid back, Aussie inspired glamour features a dress made from exquisite, hand crafted lace, and our bride looks like a dream wearing it. Jenna, who works in sponsorship, and Glen, who works in finance, were married on the 8 September at Gaynes Park, Essex. The venue is a light and contemporary orangery and barn set within a historic, family owned country estate.
Film by I Will Video
“I Will Video were a great Instagram find. Jess and Will are a married couple themselves. They were super laid back and lovely to work with. We didn’t want some epic, staged feature film, we just wanted a fun and lighthearted memory of all our loved ones having the best day possible, and that’s exactly what we got.”
Jenna grew up in Surrey, but was born in Sydney, and so was inspired by the relaxed, cool glamour of Australian design for her and Glen’s day. From Warwickshire boutique Coco + Kate, she chose the spectacular ‘Stevie’ gown by Australian label, Made With Love Bridal. With a sexy V neck and back, the bold floral lace was designed by Made With Love’s founder and Creative Director, Carla, and lovingly handmade.
Images by Fern Edwards
“I’d seen the ‘Stevie’ online, but at the time it wasn’t stocked anywhere in the UK. I loved the shape and the fact is wasn’t traditional, had unusual lace and a low back. After trying on half the wedding dresses in London, and not being able to get it of my head, ‘Stevie’ was suddenly available at Coco + Kate in Warwickshire, and it was love at first sight. I also found out the designer is based in the small town where I have family in Queensland, so it felt like fate.”
Lovely Little Book member Blossom and Bluebird makes the softest romantic veils, and Jenna wore a beautiful, simple tulle veil handmade by Sian for the day. Jenna discovered her hair stylist, Lisa Alger, via Instagram, and I just love her classic, Hollywood vintage style curls.
“My make-up artist was Katy Nixon, who is one of my oldest friend’s (and bridesmaid’s) sister. She’s a TV and editorial make-up artist by trade, and made me feel beautiful and confident enough to walk out in front of all those people.”
“Gaynes Park was the third venue we saw (the other two were in Surrey, where I’m originally from). I’d actually seen Gaynes Park online years before we were engaged, so it was always in the back of my mind. It was a toss up between Surrey and Essex (where Glen is from) and Essex won!”
Jenna and Glen first met in 2008, when studying at university in Lincoln. Facebook was relatively new, and Glen added Jenna as a friend after they met on a night out.
“The rest is history! After we graduated a few months later, we had a long-distance relationship, travelling round the M25 every weekend to see each other before we moved to London together five years later. It was another four years later when Glen proposed on the weekend of my 30th birthday, down by Tower Bridge on the Thames. We celebrated the next night with everyone at my 30th birthday party, and the following week in Copenhagen.”
The overarching colour scheme for the day was white, with greenery and accents of gold, but the navy blue bridesmaids’ dresses from ASOS did provide a dose of rich colour, which they wore with an initial necklace from Orelia (gifts from Jenna), fresh flowers in their hair, and their own choice of shoes.
“My 2-year-old goddaughter wore a white leotard and tutu from Etsy. My seven-year-old nephew acted as our page boy and wore navy blue trousers, navy braces, a white shirt and navy and white polka dot bow tie (to match Glen) all from H&M. He danced so much in the evening he had to be taken outside several times to cool down!”
Glen’s fantastic checked suit with grey waistcoat was from Hawes & Curtis, which he wore with a navy blue and white bow tie, also from Hawes & Curtis, a white shirt, a pocket square from Moss Bros., and a lovely Tissot pocket watch, which had been a 30th birthday gift from his parents.
“My dad walked with me down the aisle. We started slowly, but soon realised it’s a long walk through the gardens (they even call it the Long Walk) into the orangery, and by the time we reached the top, we practically ran down.”
“My veil kept catching on the paving on the walk in, so I stopped about three times to unhook it and by the end my dad was practically ripping it off my head! We had Latch (acoustic version) by Sam Smith as our entrance music. The ceremony had a very chilled vibe. The orangery at Gaynes Park, where we got married, needs very little dressing because it’s so beautiful.”
The couple were married beneath an arch draped with white organza, and decorated with gorgeous arrangements of roses and greenery, created by florist Joanna, from Little Tin Shed Flowers. They chose to exchange traditional vows, and had their wedding rings specially made by jeweller friend, Bradley (sadly, no further details provided).
“Glen had my engagement ring made by his friend Bradley, who runs a jewellers on Bethnal Green Road in London. I always liked the idea of an eternity style wedding band, with diamonds all the way round, and he created exactly that to match my engagement ring. Glen had a plain gold band.”
Jenna’s friend Hannah read He’s Not Perfect, by Bob Marley, and Glen’s dad read the lyrics to the Chas & Dave song, I Wish I Could Write a Love Song.
“Glen is one of the biggest Chas & Dave fans going, and the lyrics mean so much to us (RIP Chas).”
On her feet, Jenna wore shoes by Christian Louboutin, from Browns Bride, and for jewellery, a lovely pair of botanical inspired statement earrings by Jennifer Behr, along with very special gifted and heirloom pieces.
“I always wear big, statement earrings so I wanted to do the same for my wedding. I swear I spent more time looking for earrings than I did my dress! I also wore my grandmother’s engagement ring on my right hand, and my mother-in-law bought me a dainty diamante ‘G’ initial bracelet that I’ll never take off.”
Florist Joanna from Little Tin Shed Flowers created an effortlessly romantic bouquet for Jenna, filled with snowy hydrangea blooms, roses, lisianthus and scabiosa, accented with gorgeous greenery, whilst the bridesmaids carried simple and elegant posies of gypsophila.
“I met Joanna at an Essex wedding fair when we first got engaged. We hit it off straight away, and her vision is incredible. She’s always wanting to try something new and original. We knew we wanted white flowers and green foliage, so let her work her magic. There is so much choice when it comes to flowers, and Joanna helped us make decisions easily and efficiently.”
There to capture every beautiful moment with honesty and heart was photographer Fern Edwards, whose work we’re featuring here for the first time today.
“I found Fern on Instagram, and knew instantly from her previous work that she was what we were looking for. She had an amazingly positive, friendly vibe from the first time we FaceTimed. We laughed and joked through the whole process, she was awesome – and girl can work that camera!”
Jenna’s colleague Emma designed the couple’s classic white and gold foil wedding invitations, which included their own logo. Table names, the table plan and menus were acrylic with gold lettering from Etsy, and good friend Katie from Chalk of the Town hand lettered a super-cool welcome sign onto a large piece of acrylic set onto an easel.
“We wanted the wedding to be fun and reflective of us in every element, with unique touches throughout. While the overall look and feel was chic, we had little nods to us as a couple in the smaller details that our guests loved, for example, the table names were after Only Fools and Horses characters, and we used a Chas & Dave song as a reading, as an homage to Glen’s East End roots.”
Venue stylists Mediterranean Occasions worked magic inside Gaynes Park’s barn, decorating the space with floor to ceiling drapes and a spectacular crystal chandelier.
“Galloping Gourmet are the in-house caterers for Gaynes Park. We had a giant scotch egg for our starter. My dad was so nervous before his speech that he couldn’t eat the starter at first but once he was done, proceeded to eat two of them in a row!”
“Galloping Gourmet then created a bespoke steak and ale pie, with mash and gravy, an homage to Glen’s East End roots! We had so many compliments about the pie, mainly that people couldn’t finish it because it was so big – we certainly didn’t go hungry. For dessert we had delicious lemon torte.”
One of Jenna and Glen’s favourite moments from the day came during their meal, courtesy of their friend Iain, who is a radio and TV presenter, and who was their MC for the day.
“Iain got the crowd going from the start! We played a game of red or yellow with all our guests during the meal – it’s basically heads or tails, but we obviously had to have a football theme as Glen is a huge Tottenham Hotspurs fan. The winner got a magnum of prosecco, and it became very competitive and rowdy, and we looked out and saw everyone rolling around with laughter and thought, ‘This is what it’s all about’.”
The couple’s wedding cakes were made by Jenna’s talented friend and colleague Kim, who baked lemon, peanut butter and salted caramel cakes, which were then covered in buttercream and decorated with gold leaf and drips.
“They tasted insane. We were eating that cake for weeks after the wedding. We also had a cheeky little cake topper from Sophia Victoria Joy on Etsy.”
By Jenna’s own admission, the minimalist glam feel of the day (quite rightly!) went out of the window as the evening party began. There was a flower photobooth, courtesy of Megabooth, as well as a glitter station, and glow sticks arranged by Jenna’s Maid of Honour.
“Seeing my parents raving to So Solid Crew with a glow stick the size of their arm was priceless. Our friend Craig is a DJ, and did a brilliant set, including our favourite garage hour. Glen and I ended up on various people’s shoulders by the end of the night.”
There was more delicious food from Galloping Gourmet – wood fired pizzas and a popcorn machine, too, and Jenna and Glen took to the dancefloor for their first dance as a married couple.
“We had No Letting Go by Wayne Wonder. When we were growing up, this song was huge for us and our friends. Glen and I were the most nervous about this part, so didn’t want anything too soppy or slow. We wanted to get the party started!”
“I don’t think we would have changed a thing. It happens in a flash and we enjoyed every second. It was worth every penny.”
Words of Wedded Wisdom
“Everyone has an opinion and everyone has different taste and style, but if you’re the one paying for this day, do what you want to do. If you and your partner enjoy it, that’s all that matters.”
“You will always see extra things you want, and you could spend money until you’re bankrupt, but you have to draw a line somewhere. The week before the wedding I almost ordered a neon light for the reception but had to have a word with myself!”
“Etsy can become your best friend! You can find anything and everything there, and it was lovely to support so many small businesses.”
“It’s my job to be extremely organised, and I had most of my suppliers booked soon after we got engaged – so nearly two years before the wedding. I kind of panicked that things wouldn’t be left, but I learned that there will always be suppliers available, so don’t worry. There is so much choice out there it’s actually overwhelming. We could have spent months and months looking at menus or bouquet ideas, but you have to make a decision eventually, so make it and stick to it.”
Jenna and Glen, congratulations and thank you so much. Your day was gorgeous and super-stylish, but also looked to be great fun. Many thanks to I Will Video and Fern Edwards for their wonderful film and images, too.
If Jenna’s glorious Made With Love Bridal dress has left you wanting to see more by the designer, then do make sure you take a look at our other features and articles here, and for more magical Blossom and Bluebird veils, head here.