After having to reschedule their wedding date a few times down to covid restrictions, Jenna and Simon finally wed at the modern No.131 in the heart of Cheltenham. It was such a joy-filled celebration with beautiful muted nude florals, modern wedding styling, sharing style food and a fun kitsch wedding cake… oh and plenty of champagne!
Over to Jenna to tell us more about their day…
Jenna & Simon…
How did you meet and get engaged?
We had known each other through work previously. I left to start with a new firm & then Simon turned up there months later. We got engaged whilst drinking champagne at a rooftop bar in Vienna, overlooking the city. It was freezing cold & beautiful. I couldn’t stop laughing & remember waking up at about 4am, bursting into laughter.
Was there an overall theme to your day?
We wanted it to be not too ‘wedding-y’. We had a black tie theme & were after a day of good eating & drinking, catching up with our favourite people & having a great party. We wanted to spoil our guests.
How would you describe your day?
The most fun. Very intimate & so much love & happiness from our guests. Simon is not know for his emotion, but he almost cried & his speech was awesome & off the cuff. He had many guests go to congratulate him. Dad received a standing ovation too- what a guy!
How long were you planning it for?
We were engaged November 2018 & were initially due to be married April 2020.
How was your day unique to you?
The effort our friends & family went to was so moving. The love we felt from them, their generosity & kindness. Having a small wedding made it so special. We loved being able to spend that time with our guests & after not being able to see many of them for over 18 months, it’s was all the more special.
Where was your wedding / reception venue and why did you pick it?
We chose 131 The Promenade Cheltenham as wanted somewhere local to us, so it was easy to visit but also so that our guests didn’t have to travel too far. I really wanted for everyone to be able to stay in the venue so they didn’t have any faff. There are 8 bedrooms within ‘The House’ & then the main hotel next door too. As the weather is so changeable, we were after somewhere with beautiful interiors for photos or a pretty outside space if a nicer day. I loved the big Georgian sash windows & the huge fireplace.
Who was your wedding photographer and why did you chose them?
Phillipa from Pink Elephant Photography came recommended by a friend. It was something we didn’t shop round for or spend ages deciding. I trusted my friends advice & saw her profile on Instagram. She makes you feel very at ease & was such a fun person to work with. Anyone wishing to work with her- please know she likes a nice gin cocktail!
Your outfits… Tell us more about them! Was there any special details, accessories or reasons behind your choices?
My wedding dress was picked by one of my oldest & best friends. She sent me a drunken, blurry photo of a dress in a window. I made an appointment with Wedding Days of Cheltenham & she came with me.
We had a black tie theme, which felt glamorous. I bought Simon a double breasted, velvet cord suit. I wanted him to have something that no one else would be wearing & he wanted a big vintage style of bow tie. Specifically hand tied ones. Except no one knew how to tie one on the day. Thankfully one of the bar staff stepped in!
Tell us about your wedding florals…
Tiger By The Tail delivered the most dramatic fireplace setting. I’m not a huge lover of bright colours when it comes to flowers so Jess suggested a muted nude colour scheme. It all looked stunning on the day.
Which decorations / props did you use on your wedding day? What was the overall look you were trying to achieve?
Classic was the theme we were after, with a bit of fun. We had a very kitsch cake with ‘you’ll do’ iced on it & our favours were ‘love heart’ biscuits with anti love messages such as ‘I tolerate you’. We set up an instant camera & asked for photos of our guests as couples, as a nice momento. The venue is so beautiful though, you wouldn’t need much.
Let’s talk food! What style of food did you go for and why?
We had sharing style food, which we thought would be nice & sociable. Two starters were brought out, two mains & puddings. We have been to weddings where the food has been shocking & it was a big part of what we remembered & often not for a good reason. Lots of our guests said they enjoyed the food & I really hope they did!
Cake! Who created your wedding cake and what theme did you go for?
April’s Baker, London.
I wanted something a bit silly & funny. Simon doesn’t eat cake, so I could go to town on it. Heart shaped, piped & rather 80’s.
Tell us about your wedding stationery – who designed them for you and what style did you go for?
We chose Papier & went for a simple calligraphy style of invite, date postponement, order of service, menu, table plan & thank you card. Very easy to edit & you can order a sample before your ‘big’ order.
Tell us more about your hair / make-up for your wedding. What kind of look did you want to achieve and was there any particular products/accessories you wanted to use?
Libby, our make up artist works both mobile & for Charlotte Tilbury – so has the most amazing range of CT products. We went for dramatic eyes for me & polished but not huge amounts of make up for Mum, my sister & two friends. I had some serious skin issues on the morning of the wedding & Libby still managed to pull it off! Our friend Lily did my friends & bridal party hair. She has done hair for some of them before, so the girls had an up do & my sisters was part up, part down. I have a bleach blonde grade 5, so no styling for me. Rachel @ Mad P’s Worcester made sure that my hair was looking icy before the big day. Mum is an ex hairdresser, so always does her own blow drys.
How did you entertain your guests throughout the day?
It was a late wedding, so our guests would have had lunch beforehand. We made sure there were lots of champagne & cocktails on hand both before the service & after. We didn’t want photos to take long, so there wasn’t too much standing around for them & because a lot of our guests knew each other & we were talking & catching up, there wasn’t a need for any more entertainment. Dinner finished at 8.30 & we had music we played through the venues sound system & their nightly DJ played out to us & the rest of the 131 venue. Some of our guests are naturally highly amusing, so all the fun we needed.
Looking back, what was the stand out moments of your day?
I loved my dad seeing me in my dress for the first time & the look on his face.
Waking up the aisle towards Simon & seeing how emotional he was & the look of happiness on our guests faces.
My dads speech & Simons speech were so moving.
The next day was the best too, getting to re-live everything & laughing at the photos we got sent together.
Do you have any advice for couples currently planning their wedding, for either the planning or the lead-up?
Of course it’s your day, but imagine it from the guests perspective- what would you do to make it fun & enjoyable for them? We chose to make a weekend of it with our nearest & dearest as it goes so quickly. Get someone to film the speeches so you can revisit them, my regret is not being able to hear Simons speech again.