Lifestyle Magazine

Michelle and Jack’s Big Fat Sponsored Wedding!

By Claire

I have to admire Michelle and Jack for doing this: they cre­ated a wed­ding web­site and blog, list­ing all of their sup­pli­ers and even donat­ing to char­ity. This is also their sec­ond fea­ture on Eng­lish Wed­ding Blog (the whole con­cept and the fact they pulled this off intrigues me!) As a wed­ding sup­plier myself I wouldn’t choose to work for free, but it’s cer­tainly a very inter­est­ing way of doing things.

So the big day came around in Decem­ber, and Michelle got in touch and asked me to fea­ture their wed­ding. She’s writ­ten a great wed­ding report and shares details of all their sup­pli­ers here — about half way through the blog fea­ture. I’d like to say a huge con­grat­u­la­tions to Michelle and Jack, and thank you both so much for shar­ing. Thanks also to Carl Thomp­son Pho­tog­ra­phy for send­ing the images through. Enjoy! Claire xxx

Big fat sponsored wedding UK blog by Carl Thompson (2)

Big fat sponsored wedding UK blog by Carl Thompson (3)

Big fat sponsored wedding UK blog by Carl Thompson (4)

Big fat sponsored wedding UK blog by Carl Thompson (5)

Big fat sponsored wedding UK blog by Carl Thompson (6)

Big fat sponsored wedding UK blog by Carl Thompson (7)

Big fat sponsored wedding UK blog by Carl Thompson (8)

Big fat sponsored wedding UK blog by Carl Thompson (9)

Big fat sponsored wedding UK blog by Carl Thompson (10)

The groom wore: a pin-stripe James Bond-esque suit from Dun­hill, a crisp white shirt from Ted Baker which had a blue pais­ley print in the col­lar and cuffs, this was styled with a con­trast­ing red Dun­hill tie and a red and blue damask pocket han­kie that co-ordinated with his ush­ers. He went with his dad to choose his suit and said he wanted it to be a sur­prise on the day! I must admit I was a lit­tle ner­vous as his taste can be quite wacky (his wardrobe is slightly out­ra­geous) but he looked gor­geous as always and incred­i­bly hand­some. He also had a huge red Anemone flower and white snow­ber­ries to match my bouquet.

All the ush­ers wore elec­tric blue suits, red ties, red pocket han­kies and even red socks — with a match­ing red Grand Prix rose and red win­ter berries. The six brides­maids wore match­ing blue floor length dresses by Fever Designs with a white pash­mina shawl and car­ried a dozen white roses in their bou­quets. The two lit­tle flower girls wore white princess dresses and blue fur shrugs with cute blue match­ing sparkly pumps.

The Bride: The Ellis Bridal gown from Fairy­tale Wed­dings was amaz­ing, it was mod­ern but wouldn’t look out of place in a black and white movie! I fell in love with it before I had even tried it on! It had dia­mantes on the hip and lots of tulle lay­ers, so when choos­ing the veil from Richard Designs I picked out one with the match­ing detail. Every­body com­mented on how beau­ti­ful my veil was as the dia­mantes on the veil glis­tened under the light. When choos­ing my head-dress it was a really hard choice as Richard Designs had so many too choose from! I sat down with my hair­dresser and make-up artist Jenny Buck­land and as I was going for a six­ties look and feel we decided on some­thing very chunky and also with dia­mantes to match with the dress. Every­body com­mented on how amaz­ing my acces­sories were and it made me feel very spe­cial! Jenny kept my make-up very soft with exag­ger­ated cat-eyes and big lus­cious lashes and con­trasted this by going with nude lip­stick. I don’t usu­ally wear a great deal of make-up and never have my hair up and I wanted to look like me — in fact one of my biggest wor­ries was choos­ing my hair and make-up. I didn’t want to have pic­tures I looked back on and thought that just doesn’t look like me! I kept my hair down and slightly tou­sled and tried to look a nat­ural glam so to speak! I wore a pair of quirky Vivi­enne West­wood white wing shoes and for the evening recep­tion I changed my dia­mante head-dress to a feather and wore a giant sparkly state­ment piece from But­ler & Wil­son that my Grandad had bought for me with a three-quarter length sleeve fur shrug.

Big fat sponsored wedding UK blog by Carl Thompson (11)

Big fat sponsored wedding UK blog by Carl Thompson (12)

Big fat sponsored wedding UK blog by Carl Thompson (13)

Wed­ding venue: Woburn St Mary’s Church, Bed­ford­shire
Wed­ding pho­tog­ra­pher: Carl Thomp­son. We are still amazed by our pho­tographs. They are per­fect in every way. Carl has man­aged to cap­ture people’s per­son­al­i­ties and the fun that was had and that can be found in his images — we love them! We also love the sepia tint to them that makes them feel old. I espe­cially love all the church pic­tures as Carl said — it was ‘epic’ and he has cap­tured that.

Our wed­ding style:

I really wanted to recre­ate six­ties movie glam­our with tra­di­tional Eng­lish ele­ments as well as try­ing to make it a real win­ter wed­ding won­der­land. I wanted it not only to be the best days of our lives but also our guests and I wanted to make them feel looked after all day. The main inspi­ra­tion was to keep it com­pletely per­sonal with a focus on fam­ily and friends.

A lit­tle about the wed­ding ceremony:

The Church! Wow! Our best part of the whole day! The church ser­vice was mag­i­cal, it had been dec­o­rated for Christ­mas by the Duchess of Bed­ford so there were huge gar­lands and a 20ft Christ­mas tree cov­ered in thou­sands of fairy-lights from the Woburn Estate. Our florist, The Blos­som Shop, also dec­o­rated the 36 pews with a sin­gle red Grand Prix rose which we felt was sim­ple but effec­tive. We had hun­dreds of can­dles through­out the church as it is almost cathedral-like and we wanted a warm atmos­phere. My entrance, which was also our first dance, was to a piano ver­sion of Lovin’ You by Min­nie Rip­ple­ton, which had guests in tears before the ser­vice had even started! Dur­ing the sign­ing of the reg­is­ter the pianist played our favorite songs includ­ing New York by Ali­cia Keys as it was where Jack pro­posed, Edge of Glory by GaGa and Some­where Over The Rain­bow. We had the Dans­bor­ough Cho­rus 30-strong choir singing Christ­mas Car­ols and exited the church to a piano-version of Mariah Carey’s All I Want For Christ­mas is You which had every­one cheer­ing and clapping!

My bou­quet was made-up of a mix­ture of roses and unusual sea­sonal flow­ers and berries as I wanted to keep to the win­ter theme. I also had my late Nan Francis’s favorite jew­ellery tied into the stem, includ­ing a green emer­ald ini­tial ‘F’ neck­lace and a brooch — to have some­thing of her’s so close dur­ing the cer­e­mony meant a lot to me. Our rings were hand­made and inside Jack’s he has ‘to infin­ity…’ and inside mine I have ‘& beyond’.


Our great friend Wendy Bonham-Carter read True Love. I just wish we had a pic­ture of her shoes! She works in the fash­ion indus­try and as she walked past me to go and do a read­ing it was the first time I had seen her that day — she had 5inch boot­shoes with spikes! I loved it and thought it summed up our wed­ding — tra­di­tional with a mod­ern edge! Quite a few guests asked us what should they wear and we said we would like every­body smart, it is a wed­ding after all, but go crazy! We had one guest in a green tweed suit, big fur coats, huge hats and lots and vary­ing hem-lines! We have an eclec­tic group of friends and what a smart bunch they turned out!

Wed­ding venue styling and details:

As we had the big coun­try house I didn’t want to go too mod­ern inside with the dec­o­rat­ing but wanted guests to feel a ‘WOW’ moment when they walked in the door! A dou­ble decker red Lon­don Bus from Aroute2hire then took all the guests back to the recep­tion which was held at Plum Park in Tow­ces­ter. On arrival guests drank mulled wine and Jack’s spe­cially made (strong!) hot toddy to the back­ground of the pianist play­ing Christ­mas songs. We had giant sil­ver can­de­labras from The Blos­som Shop on every table dec­o­rated with red and white roses and over 250 can­dles mak­ing the atmos­phere very Christ­massy and mag­i­cal. We had white cov­ers and red sashes on the back of the chairs from Ambi­ence Venue Styling and when you walked in the door it was sim­ple breath­tak­ing. It looked bet­ter than I had imag­ined in my head. On every table was a bot­tle of caramel vodka for guests to enjoy from the Fab­u­lous Vodka com­pany, a unique flip-book, a funny ques­tion­naire, a char­ity lot­tery ticket from Keech Hos­pice and deli­cious Bai­leys fudge nugget from Crumbs its Cake! Every nap­kin was tied with red rib­bon and had minia­ture pine cones, which I picked with my brides­maid Lee ear­lier in the week from an Alder tree in our local woods where we go walk­ing. Not only did that make it extra spe­cial but we had a lot of laughs doing it!

Invi­ta­tions and recep­tion stationery:

Our invi­ta­tions and sta­tionery from RSVP Candy really set the bar for the wed­ding as soon as they had gone out! They were really unusual and folded out to tell a story of how we first met. We had 250 guests and nearly every­one com­mented on how amaz­ing they were. Andy at RSVP Candy also did a six­ties style table plan and each table num­ber had an image from the six­ties which really pulled the whole room together. The place names were also from RSVP candy with printed vec­tor six­ties images depict­ing each guest. I don’t remem­ber see­ing any at the end of the night as they all took them home with them!

Wed­ding music and entertainment:

I think the two stand out fea­tures for us were the pho­to­booth by Pho­to­booth Mania as the guests loved it and it was nice they had some­thing spe­cial to take home and remem­ber the day and also chore­o­graphed fire­works to Take That Never For­get by Dynamic Fire­works — it just topped off what was already a won­der­ful day!

Big fat sponsored wedding UK blog by Carl Thompson (14)

Big fat sponsored wedding UK blog by Carl Thompson (15)

Big fat sponsored wedding UK blog by Carl Thompson (16)

Big fat sponsored wedding UK blog by Carl Thompson (17)

We also had Mar­ryoke by Elec­tra Films with the guests singing and danc­ing along to the Black Eyed Peas, it got even the most reserved peo­ple up on their feet! Kar­rie from Elec­tra Films sent me the fin­ished Mar­ryoke on Christ­mas day which was the best present I received! It was lovely for me to be able to send every­one the link first thing on Christ­mas morn­ing and give every­one a lovely memento and put a smile on their face for the rest of the day!

We also had the leg­endary singer Jackie Rawe singing motown and get­ting every­one into the party spirit. We par­tied into the early hours with Events MAA pro­vid­ing the music and Shilen the DJ was key to keep­ing a packed dance floor with a great selec­tion of tracks from The Rolling Stones to Noto­ri­ous BIG keep­ing all ages young and old happy and danc­ing away!

Cake: Helen from Gard­ners bak­ery cre­ated our exquis­ite cake, made from choco­late and looked too good to eat! We wanted a lot of tex­ture and each layer was lov­ingly dec­o­rated with white on white icing keep­ing it sub­tle but effec­tive. Helen then hand-made every sin­gle trail­ing flower to run asym­met­ri­cally down the tiers. The cas­cad­ing sug­ar­work matched my bou­quet and every guest had a flower to take home with them — or eat with desert!

Mem­o­rable wed­ding day moments:

Oh dear Lord! The speeches! By the time the speeches came about after din­ner, every­one was well oiled to say the least! With vodka flow­ing, mulled wine and hot tod­dys being drunk in abun­dance I’m not sure there was a sober per­son in the room! The best man Dan couldn’t find his speech, we later found out some­one had hid­den it as a joke, so he free styled… drop­ping F-bombs, every swear word in the Eng­lish lan­guage and regal­ing the most inap­pro­pri­ate sto­ries… Sure every­one was laugh­ing, but at just how bad it was! Even­tu­ally Jack man­aged to get him to sit down. With every­one look­ing on in sheer hor­ror I got up to do my speech and had every­one cry­ing and laugh­ing. I am thank­ful to the best man though as he made my speech look great! The fire­works in the evening really brought a mag­i­cal fac­tor and the sur­prise big sparkly J&M sign at the end made our night!
The best bit though was mar­ry­ing my best friend!

Wed­ding day advice:

We, or if I’m com­pletely hon­est, I, planned our wed­ding from start to fin­ish in five months. As soon as the venue and church was booked, the first month was filled with wed­ding shows, blog scour­ing, pin-interest and col­lect­ing heaps of mag­a­zines for inspi­ra­tion and ideas although we had a very strong idea on what we wanted and how we wanted our guests to feel. We wanted it to be mag­i­cal and Christ­massy and tra­di­tional but with ele­ments that would make the guests go wow! Every­thing we choose was what we wanted even if some­times my mother disagreed!

I would say my best advice is to not sweat the small stuff and take every­thing in your stride and do what you want to do! You are only going to do it once! Also try not to be too cool or edgy, Mariah Carey isn’t espe­cially the epit­ome of cool but that song is spe­cial to us and that is why we had it! We didn’t care if peo­ple thought it was cheesy!

I would also say get a good toast­mas­ter! He ran our day like clock­work and ush­ered guests through, knew all the tim­ings and pro­vided every­one with great enter­tain­ment and allowed me to relax and enjoy myself with­out wor­ry­ing. Also if you can afford to get a video­g­ra­pher then do! Being able to look back at our high­lights video means we can re-live it when­ever we want! If you don’t have the bud­get to hire a pro­fes­sional then just ask a trusted friend to record loads of videos on their phone or video cam­era for you so you have some­thing to look back at.

Above all, what­ever hap­pens it will be the best day of your lives as you are mar­ry­ing the one you want to be with for­ever. It absolutely chucked buck­ets on our wed­ding day but we didn’t even notice the sun wasn’t shin­ing and it cer­tainly didn’t dampen people’s spir­its! In fact peo­ple embraced the rain and some guests were even out­side danc­ing in it!

Relax, Enjoy and be Mar­ried! Oh and make sure the best man has a back up speech printed out and stored safely.….

Big fat sponsored wedding UK blog by Carl Thompson (18)

Big fat sponsored wedding UK blog by Carl Thompson (19)
For a full list and links to all of Jack and Michelle’s wed­ding sup­pli­ers please spend a lit­tle time on their web­site which you’ll find at:

Big fat sponsored wedding UK blog by Carl Thompson (20)

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