I love Kilworth House Hotel Weddings, and Jess and Chris’s big day certainly did not disappoint.
From start to finish, the day was high with happiness and emotion, and my style of raw and real photojournalism suited perfectly.
It was great to work again at Kilworth House Hotel with a couple of my favourite wedding vendors – Rochelle O’Brien (makeup) and James White (hair). James is not just a great hairstylist, he’s also an amusing guy and great entertainment during bridal prep. Rochelle’s work was, as usual, fabulous of course.
Jess’s father performed a great double act with James, and the pair of them had me constantly chuckling away. He then had me and Adam (the videographer from Forget Me Knot) almost in tears, showing us the message Jess had written to him and then his reaction upon seeing Jess in her dress.
I found it quite difficult to narrow this blog post down to 40 or so images to tell the abridged story of the day, so I settled on 56 images, still leaving out some fantastic frames! The full story of the day is below, thanks to Jess for supplying her words!
So, how did you meet? – tell us a little more about yourselves.
“We knew of each other years before we started dating as Chris is best friends with my older brother Shaun. Going back to 2008 we both started noticing each other more when we were around in the same group of friends and got to know each other more. I don’t think it was long before we both knew we wanted to spend more time together.
Chris finally plucked up the courage to take me out on our first date alone to our local Wetherspoons – not the most glamorous or romantic places, but I still remember it like it was yesterday. The rest is what they call ‘history’. We’ve been together nine years this November and I know I wouldn’t change a single day with my love.”
The proposal – who proposed, where, when & how?
“Chris took us away for our five year anniversary to London for the weekend. We had been to London a couple of times, either for my birthday or anniversaries, so I had no idea what he had planned. Chris treated me to ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’ at the theatre on the night of our anniversary.
After the show, we made our way back to our luxury hotel suite he had booked for us which overlooked the city. I had joked many times before that I wanted him to propose with a Haribo ring as I would like to pick a ring myself – well, he did! He whipped out the ring box and got down on his knee and asked me to be his wife. I was on cloud nine!
I milked it properly that night and as he always mentions to everyone in his words “she made me get down on my knees another three times!” Well, why not hey!? It was the icing on the cake as only a few weeks before we found out we were expecting our first baby together.”
How was the wedding planning process for you?
“The planning process was pretty smooth; I enjoyed it. We got engaged in November 2013, and it wasn’t until the following November that we started looking at venues as we had our baby girl in July 2014. After deciding on marrying on the 14th May 2016, we had a good 18 months to organise and plan. We had the majority of things booked and sorted a year in advance.”
Where did you get married and what was it about the venue(s) that appealed so much?
“Kilworth House was our chosen venue. We both liked the idea of having the ceremony and wedding breakfast all in one place. We also loved that we could have the whole hotel to ourselves, with all the rooms booked out for our family and friends to enjoy the whole day and night. It was so nice waking up the next morning as Mr & Mrs to be greeted at breakfast by all our close family and friends who were there to carry on the celebrations. Kilworth couldn’t have suited our needs any more; it’s a beautiful hotel.”
How would you describe the style of your wedding and what made you decide to go down that route?
“I would describe our wedding as classic with a modern twist. Choosing a scheme that naturally complemented Kilworth was a must as it has so many beautiful features and so much character. I chose a lilac, ivory and silver colour palette which complemented the orangery perfectly.”
Cuisine. What kind of food and drink was served and why?
“The cuisine was the easiest part of our planning. Kilworth’s food is nothing but the best. We chose something to suit everybody’s needs, and our guests still talk about the food now. The starters we chose were Broccoli & Stilton Soup and Smoked Cheese & Leek Tart. Mains were Lamb Rump, Chicken Breast and Salmon. And puddings were Chocolate Brownie, Salted Caramel Ice Cream, Honeycomb Tuile and a seasonal Pear & Berry Crumble.”
What were the most memorable part(s) of the day and what was the funniest moment?
“The whole day was memorable for both of us. There are so many memories from the day, and each one is special to us. Spending the morning getting ready along with our loved ones was perfect. And having twenty minutes to ourselves and reflecting on the whole day while Ian was taking our photos was great. Just the two of us after the wedding breakfast, so nice. It goes without saying the funniest part of the day was my older brother Shaun stripping down to his boxers and jumping into the lake for a bet!
Did anything go wrong on the day and were there any surprises?”
“We were so lucky that all our planning went to plan and we had nothing go wrong. I think the biggest surprise was Chris crying uncontrollably at the end of the aisle. He very rarely shows any emotion, so to walk down the aisle and see him crying most definitely took me (and most of our guests) by surprise!”
Is there anything you would have done differently?
“Looking back on our day I can honestly say there is not one thing I’d want to change about it. We all had the best day from start to finish.”
Do you have any advice for other couples in the stages of planning their own wedding?
- “If we could give couples in the throes of planning some advice, it would be to remember why you’re getting married and who you’re marrying. We found we were thinking about pleasing our guests or worrying about upsetting people we couldn’t invite. We just had to keep reminding ourselves that this one day was about us marrying each other and spending the rest of our lives together as a married couple.”
“I stumbled upon Ian’s website late one evening and I knew as soon as I saw his pictures, he was who we were looking for.
One thing always amazes me looking back on our beautiful photos is how Ian got some of the images, I never felt that he was always perched on my shoulder or even in my eye view, it really felt like he was invisible. He captured our day perfectly and I love sitting and watching our slideshow through of all the photos and our music.
I can’t thank him enough personally for capturing the images of me and my dad when he saw me in my dress for the first time, I’ll treasure them forever!”
- Hair: James White
- Make-up: Rochelle O’Brien
- Video: Forget Me Knot
- Dress: Justin Alexander from La Belle Boutique – Sutton in Ashfield
- Band: Party Up
- Flowers: Sophie’s Flowers
- Suits: Peter Posh – from RS Bridal
- Cake: Yummy Little Cakes – Natalie O’Dowd
- Venue Styling: Pumpkin Events
- Photobooth: Vintage Photo Booth