Charlotte Balbier
Brides Up North Wedding Fairs

totally tropical. anna campbell for a vibrant wedding at kelham house – jenny & dominic

June 8th, 2017 | Rachel Parry

A Tropical Wedding in Nottingham (c) Ed Godden (43)

Carefree and colourful was the order of the day at Jenny and Dominic’s fun-filled big day that we’re sharing with you on the blog this morning.

Though the wedding took place in rural Nottingham, it’s brimming with all kinds of bright and beautiful, reminiscent of more tropical destinations. From flamingos and pineapples to steel drums and barbecue food, this celebration packs a punch in both colour and character.

Guests were treated to a host of treats, including upbeat entertainment, garden games and a to-die-for dessert table, which resulted in lots of laughter and enjoyment.

It’s certainly put a smile on our face, and has us craving a Pina Colada too!

With images by Brides Up North Sponsor, Ed Godden Photography.

A Tropical Wedding in Nottingham (c) Ed Godden (1)

jenny says: We got engaged in Whistler, Canada. The proposal was a complete surprise and meticulously planned by Dominic – he is a real attention to detail kind of guy! We always go skiing with a group of close friends who are more like family really, but this was the biggest trip we had ever been on. It was amazing Dominic had told everyone in the group apart from me about his planned proposal so they were all in it to help him put his plan into action. The morning of the proposal was a pretty lazy one the boys got up early to apparently get the fresh tracks while the girls had a leisurely morning getting ready and having very relaxed breakfast. Then a text came through from Dominic asking what time we are heading out to meet them. I still didn’t know anything, he had been up the mountain already that morning to check the conditions and that everyone could ski down as our skiing ability varies throughout the group. When we eventually met up, Dom was his normally cheery self and we went up on the ski lift together. We eventually made it to the top and view was breath-taking, all you could see were crisp white snow-capped mountain tops. As always Dom had his big DSLR with him and he began taking photos, then he handed the camera to Ralph and was busy giving him strict instructions on not dropping it etc. Dominic walked over to me smiling and started to bend down, I still hadn’t realised at this point and proceeded to ask him what he was doing as he’ll never be able to stand up again if he kneels down in his ski boots. He looked at me and bent down on one knee he declared his love and popped that magical question ‘will you marry me?’, I was completely taken aback I just couldn’t believe it! I said yes and couldn’t stop crying I was so happy everyone was cheering and clapping – it was absolute perfection!

A Tropical Wedding in Nottingham (c) Ed Godden (41)

Our wedding date was the 26th August 2016. Had Dominic planned the wedding it would have been on the top a mountain somewhere, however I didn’t quite fancy being freezing cold on my wedding day as well as every holiday. So, we opted for a Bank Holiday in sunny August. Both my late father’s and grandfather’s birthdays are in August so it’s a pretty special month.

We were married in a sleepy little church called Holy Trinity, Lambley, in Nottingham. I went to primary school in Lambley and have fond memories of the church as we used to attend church with the school. It was perfect!

A Tropical Wedding in Nottingham (c) Ed Godden (47)

Our reception was at Kelham House in Southwell. We were very lucky with the venue in that we wanted somewhere that offered enough bedrooms for the family and a few guests. We also wanted a large outdoor area for games and drinks and the barbecue. Kelham House was ideal for this and we were very lucky with the weather too.

This was the happiest day of our lives and so we wanted it to be colourful and fun; after all it is a celebration. Another major factor in choosing a vibrant theme for the wedding is that Dominic is colour blind, I wanted him to be able to enjoy and appreciate the day as well, so subtle changes in colour were never going to work. We opted for a tropical theme with pineapples a steel drum band and lots of flamingos! Bright, bright, bright! It needed to be impactful.

A Tropical Wedding in Nottingham (c) Ed Godden (14)

When it came to choosing my dress, I found the task a little difficult. There are so many styles out there and I found that some boutiques seemed happy to put you in anything as long as they could make a sale. But I was lucky – I booked an appointment with the wonderful Sophie Derry at Coco & Kate, in Warwickshire, she is an absolute dream to work with. She stocks the most amazing dresses I have ever seen and this is the important part – she is honest, if a dress doesn’t suit you she will tell you. She has an amazing eye. She helped me to pick out a selection of dresses to try on and we discussed the pros and cons of each. I honestly don’t know what I would have done if I hadn’t found her. I finally decided on a dress by Australian designer Anna Campbell. It wasn’t at all the style I had imagined myself wearing but it was perfect.

Dominic wore a bright blue Ted Baker suit, again the colour here was key we wanted everything to be bright.

The bridesmaid dresses were from In One Clothing. We choose the coral colour to keep things nice and bright.

A Tropical Wedding in Nottingham (c) Ed Godden (19)

Photographer Ed Godden captured our day and he was absolutely amazing! There was no pushy sales chat, just a very down to earth, extremely talented photographer. We first met Ed at the Confetti studios in Nottingham for an informal chat where we discussed what we were looking for, his style and his packages. We also looked through some of the weddings he had previously shot and his style was perfect for us. We then decided to go for an engagement shoot as I really hate having my photo taken and felt this would help us get to know Ed a little better and feel more relaxed on the big day. The shoot was brilliant we went to Elvaston Castle in Derbyshire, with our two boxer dogs (Bernie and Zeena). It was so much fun and Ed made us feel very relaxed, which gave us even more confidence about the big day.

We also used the amazing Tom Calton for videography. He was a dream to work with and also had the same relaxed style as Ed, it was just perfect. I was quite nervous about having people take photos/video of me before the wedding while I was getting ready, but actually it was so much fun and they captured the morning really well. When we received our fully edited video back from Tom we sat down together to watch it, it was beautiful we were both in tears – we love it. I definitely recommend Tom he’s a great guy, very talented and relaxed which is just what you need on your big day.

All the way through, from our initial contact with Ed to finally getting our wedding photos back, he has been a dream to work with. He always replied to emails and kept us up to speed with everything. If there is one thing I could recommend to a bride and groom it would be to choose the best photographer you can afford. Your photos capture your entire day and will be with you for life, they are so important. Whenever I look at our photos I feel so pleased that we chose Ed, he captured each moment so beautifully.

A Tropical Wedding in Nottingham (c) Ed Godden (29)

Flower-wise, my bouquet was made up of Strelitzias, Gloriosa Lilies, Calla Lilies and Proteas. I loved it, though I just wish someone had warned me how heavy it was going to be.

The flowers used for décor followed a bright tropical feel too. We wanted to create a huge impact with colour, and we certainly did that. For further decoration, I had been collecting all things bright and tropical; we had pink and yellow pineapple candles, bright pink flamingos for the garden. We used a suitcase to collect the cards. The biggest decoration we created was definitely the cake backdrop, it was perfect.

A Tropical Wedding in Nottingham (c) Ed Godden (30)

For our relatives that are no longer with us we also added some photos next to the top table. Unfortunately, my father passed away when I was 18 and I knew it was going to be an emotional day. Having his picture so close to us was lovely. My nanna had also passed away when I was three so we had an individual photograph of her on the same table. We also added wedding photos of my mum and dad’s wedding and my nanna and poppa’s wedding; it brought some comfort for my mum and poppa to have them as a part of the wedding. I also had locket photos of both my dad and nanna on my bouquet as I wanted them with me as walked down the aisle.

We knew decorating Kelham House was going to be difficult as we couldn’t get into the venue until the night before, but luckily a friend from work very kindly offered to decorate the venue on the morning of the wedding. It looked amazing she did such a good job and we will be forever grateful.

A Tropical Wedding in Nottingham (c) Ed Godden (33)

Our cake was made by the very talented Natasha from The Sweet Stuff, in Nottingham. She was so easy to work with and helped us generate lots of ideas. The cake was buttercream with a chocolate cookie and cream filling for one tier and lemon zest for the other. We also decided to have mini deserts on the table rather than serving one fixed desert. The mini deserts were summer fruit cupcakes, passion fruit and strawberry macaroons, raspberry cake pops, mango meringue kisses and fruit tartlets. The cake table looked amazing everyone commented on the cakes they were so tasty. I keep trying to find reasons to use Natasha again; I would recommend her to anyone in a heartbeat.

A Tropical Wedding in Nottingham (c) Ed Godden (44)

Before the wedding breakfast, we had a selection of canapés as we had opted for an early wedding and didn’t want everyone to be hungry. Then instead of a sit-down meal we decided to go with a barbecue as we wanted a really informal relaxed vibe for our big day and this really helped to get people on their feet and free to walk around.

A Tropical Wedding in Nottingham (c) Ed Godden (48)

We had a few different entertainment ideas for our big day; we were very keen to liven up our church service and opted for an amazing gospel choir called CK Gospel, who are from London. They were incredible we kept this as a surprise for most of the guests and they were just perfect. For the reception, we choose a steel drum band, I had always loved the sound of steel drums and this fitted perfectly with our theme, we used Steel Drum Bands.

A Tropical Wedding in Nottingham (c) Ed Godden (50)

Looking back at our wedding, it’s difficult to choose one favourite part, as we loved the entire day! The church service was amazing our vicar was lovely and the gospel choir just brought so much happiness, it was really quite emotional.

A Tropical Wedding in Nottingham (c) Ed Godden (76)

Unfortunately, we haven’t had our honeymoon yet as we are still renovating our house. We did have a minimoon in Scotland after the wedding, but hope to go to Hawaii at some point in the future.

A Tropical Wedding in Nottingham (c) Ed Godden (70)

My top tip to other Brides Up North is to take some time for yourself – it’s a long day and it goes by in a flash so you need to take it all in. Luckily, we had a 40-minute car journey from the church to the venue which worked out perfectly. Also, try and make sure you eat, it sounds so simple and obvious but we hardly ate anything as we were so busy talking to people. Neither of us managed to try playing the steel drums either which was frustrating but the day just went by in a flash and you can’t do everything.

the big picture

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about the author

Rachel Parry
Rachel joined the Brides Up North editorial team as Features Editor in February 2015. Rachel draws on her news reporting background, experience in features, bridal & lifestyle editing for previous regional titles and time spent working for Yorkshire’s most successful PR agencies. Yet to tie the knot herself, Rachel's own wedding looks set to be very, very pretty...

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