Real Wedding- Amy & Nathan-Donnington Park Farm House, Derbyshire

Many thanks to Rachel @ http://whimsicalwonderlandweddings.com/rustic-barn-red-gold-glam-wedding.html for writing and publishing this blog 😍

What a fabulous treat we have in store today with WWW readers Amy and Nathan’s warm, sparkling and glamour filled barn wedding. Our pair wed on the 20th July 2017 at Donington Park Farm House. Together with her wonderful florist, Amy created such a magical atmosphere with fairy lights, moss and the most glorious florals you ever did see.


There are just so many wonderful details to take in here, from the floral hoops and the bell jar roses, to the moss runner and the heaving cake table. Pinterest fingers at the ready! One of my favourite touches is the mossy table plan board and Amy was a woman with a plan, making sure all the nooks and crannies of the venue were filled with gorgeous details.
Amy’s Sottero and Midgley gown fits in with the glamorous décor just perfectly and I think you’ll agree the chaps all look rather dapper in their Marc Darcy suits. I do so love Chi Chi London’s bold bridesmaids dresses and don’t the youngest bridesmaids look just gorgeous in their Monsoon numbers?
Thanks ever so much to Gareth Newstead for capturing the incredible atmosphere so beautifully and sharing these images with us.


Cake Table Sequin Cloth Cake Pops Buttercream Naked Log Wood Slice Stand Meringue Kisses Fairy Lights Topper Laser Cut Rustic Barn Red Gold Glam Wedding https://garethnewsteadphotography.com/Floral Hoop Red Voile Runner Foliage Greenery Rustic Barn Red Gold Glam Wedding https://garethnewsteadphotography.com/Moss Table Runner Rose Bell Jar Wood Slice Log Greenery Rustic Barn Red Gold Glam Wedding https://garethnewsteadphotography.com/


THE PROPOSAL | Nathan proposed after 4 years together while holidaying in Barcelona in beautiful Park Guel. I was actually in a bad mood at the time after being forced to walk up the hill in 36 degree heat but I soon cheered up! No one knew what was happening apart from us, it was really special.
THE VISION | I wanted the wedding to be super relaxed and have a party vibe. My dream was for it to be a day to remember for everybody and to only have our closest family and friends there. I wanted the day to be full of personal touches and to reflect our personalities – nothing too ‘flash’! I wanted the décor to be rustic yet romantic with quirky touches. I’m all about food so this was a big deal breaker in the wedding, I didn’t want a sit down meal as mass catering for three courses is often disappointing but with Donington Park Farmhouse there was an option for a barbecue as the main course, which was right up our street and went with the informal atmosphere we wanted to create.


THE PLANNING PROCESS | Naturally I had a wedding pinterest board two years prior to Nathan popping the question. So I already had a good idea of what I wanted! Unfortunately a month after booking the venue my Mum passed away so planning went onto the back burner for a few months. I originally wanted to do absolutely everything myself but I didn’t have the energy for a while so my amazing florist and venue dresser helped ☺. After Christmas I managed to get myself into gear and spent hours browsing wedding blogs and mentally walking around the venue thinking of bits and pieces to go in all the nooks and crannies! Along with creating x 10,000 lists.


BUDGET | We managed to save a lot of money with the venue and suppliers due to the Wedding being on a Thursday, and with suppliers who weren’t offering mid-week discounts already I was a bit cheeky and requested bits for free. I’d definitely recommend a mid-week wedding if you’re booking the wedding late or would like to save money. You tend to find that you only get guests who want to be there coming to the day as well – which is quite heart-warming.
THE VENUE | It’s impossible not to be impressed by Donington Park Farmhouse. As soon as you walk into the barn, it’s got a really special atmosphere and is traditional yet has modern touches like the industrial lighting hanging from the ceilings, it really had the WOW factor. The rooms are adorned with twinkling fairy lights and rustic detail and even if you weren’t to decorate the venue for your wedding it wouldn’t look bare. It was the first venue we viewed and we booked it straight away, I strongly believe if you see something and love it then what else are you looking for? You could look forever always trying to find something that bit better. What I really liked about it was that you had the venue exclusively to you and your wedding guests, the accommodation of 17 rooms was spread across three different buildings so it felt like a little wedding village! We had the ceremony and evening party in the main barn and the Wedding Breakfast in the Pig Sties, each table was set it its own walled Pig Sty so it was really different. We also had a lovely separate bar with picnic tables and a courtyard to use which was fab as it was such a sunny day!
THE DRESS & ACCESSORIES | The dress was ‘Natalia’ by Sottero and Midgley from La Belle Boutique in Nottinghamshire. The shoes were Irregular Choice from Schuh.


FINDING THE DRESS | Hate to say it but I didn’t enjoy the ‘finding the dress’ experience! I hate being centre of attention, don’t like looking at myself in the mirror and I’m naturally not very enthusiastic.. all in all a disastrous combination – Being centre of attention all day and being stared at for a reaction by various staff members and my bridesmaids and sisters. I think the ‘Finding the Dress’ experience is often really romanticized and it doesn’t always work out like that, equally there isn’t anything wrong if you don’t feel like that! My brief was a long sleeved dress, nothing fitted and loose. I ended up with a fitted, corseted, strapless trumpet gown – which a member of staff asked me to try on and I loved it! I was a little bit conscious that I was too big to wear it but I found with the loose dresses I actually looked bigger and while I wanted sleeves to cover my arms it was actually highlighting them even more!


GROOM’S ATTIRE | The Grooms suits were all from the Marc Darcy website, they were navy blue tweed with a nude trim which matched the Bridesmaid dresses perfectly. The burgundy bow ties and socks were from eBay and complimented the rich colours in the flower bouquets. The Gingham shirts were from House of Fraser and went with the ‘Rustic Theme’. The brown brogues that the Groomsmen wore were from Moss Bros.
THE READINGS & MUSIC | I walked down the aisle to the rather original Christina Perri ‘A Thousand Years’ – I know everyone has this but I think it’s just beautiful. We then had a reading read by my sisters dedicated to my Mum, inspired by something I found on Pinterest but amended by my sisters – it finished with ‘and now we say our vows of love today in memory of you’ which was a really nice fitting touch. After the vows were made Nathan’s sister Sarah read out an excerpt from the childrens book ‘I like you’ by Sandol Stoddard. We signed the register to The Beach Boys – Gold Only Knows and Father John Misty – Chateau Lobby and walked back down the aisle to The Cure – Just Like Heaven.
BEAUTIFUL BRIDESMAIDS | I had my three best friends as my bridesmaids and I couldn’t have done it without them on the day and leading up to the wedding. They looked absolutely beautiful in Chi Chi London dresses with shoes and hair accessories from ASOS. One of my bridesmaids Sophie tore some ligaments in her knee a few months before the wedding so had to wear flats but I think it worked really well! So many people complimented the bridesmaid dresses on the day – so I felt really happy. The two flower girls were my nieces Lilly and Daisy, they are just so cute! They wore dresses from Monsoon and glitter shoes from Next.


THE FLOWERS | Where do I start with the amazing florist we used?? Laura at Avant Garden in Belper was absolutely amazing, she seemed to know what I wanted straight away without me having to explain. I found her on Instagram and loved the unusual way she put things together and all the ideas she had. The tables were decorated with real moss table runners with floral cloches and dahlia petals, a custom back drop behind the top table with copper foliage hoops and flower sprays. The table plan we had was an antique looking frame on an easel with real moss as the back drop, it was stunning. The bouquets were all stunning as were the floral garlands for the girls, we had compliments on them all day.


THE CAKE | The cake table was made by Louisa Bella’s Cake Company, which is actually my sister’s company so I got the full works! We had a three tier semi-naked red velvet cake with cheesecake buttercream and a gold tier centre, a sequin single tier carrot and orange cake with a handmade sugar magnolia, miniature pistachio, rose water and white chocolate drip cakes and blueberry cake pops with edible flowers and gold glitter, with handmade meringue kisses scattered around the table. Gorgeous!


YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER | Our photographer was Gareth Newstead. We actually viewed the venue after seeing one of his wedding blogs! After meeting him we loved his relaxed style, we were very nervous as we aren’t a couple that love a photo op’ but Gareth reassured us we wouldn’t have to do anything we didn’t want to do. He blended in so well with the wedding he felt like one of our friends which is why I think he managed to get so many natural shots of everyone. I laughed and cried looking through the photos for the first time, we said to him the most important part of the day was capturing the feel of the wedding and the relaxed atmosphere and he certainly did that in bucket loads.
THE DETAILS & DÉCOR | The venue was full of fairy lights but I had to add extra! I bought copper wire fairy lights from eBay and put them everywhere! On the tables in the bar I bought jars with fairy lights in to add a bit of atmosphere and dotted them around. We had hessian bows on all the chairs to go with the barn/rustic theme. A big highlight was the beer pong table we bought with a rule board for ‘Bride & Groom Beer Pong’ and blue cups for the grooms side and gold cups for the brides side – we even had personalised ping pong balls. My bridesmaid Michelle painted us some amazing signs to use on the day, the order of service was an old pallet painted black with white chalk pen as the writing. We hired a ladder from Avant Garden to do a little display for my Mum complete with photos and fairy lights with a hessian and lace runner – I had quite a few little photos displays about to add a personal touch. The favours were all different succulent plants, that I had wrapped in pieces of hessian and tied with a bit of string, they also served as place holders with a mini chalkboard pick with each guests names on – they went really well with the moss on the tables.
THE HONEYMOON | We went to Staithes in a harbourfront cottage for a Mini-Moon straight after the wedding and to Khao Lak in Thailand two weeks after the wedding staying in a beach front Bungalow, it was beautiful and we had the best time.
MEMORABLE MOMENTS | I think walking up the aisle was such a memorable moment for me, it’s something you dream of from being a little girl and I just couldn’t stop smiling. Another memorable things was all the dancing at the end, we created our own play list going through the ages 80’s / 90’s etc. and for the last hour we had ‘Amy Vs Nathan’ so a track I had chosen followed by a track Nathan had chosen and people had to cheer for which they liked the most, this really got the atmosphere going and was so funny! Paul Ace our wedding singer was there all day and is also worth a mention – he was absolutely brilliant – everyone loved him. There’s too many memorable moments to mention, the Mexican wave before dinner was served, the incredibly touching speech from my husband and the sing along to Paul Ace ‘That’s Amore’ after the meal – we couldn’t begin to list them!
ADVICE FOR OTHER COUPLES | Do what YOU want, they’ll be so many family members and friends who try and influence what you do along the way, and try and push outdated traditions on to you, or make you invite people just because you should. But at the end of the day you’re always going to upset someone so it isn’t worth worrying about, the most important thing is having a day that’s all about you both and having no regrets. Once you’ve achieved this – on the day take a moment and look round the room at all the people who matter to you having a wonderful day enjoying everything you have put together, it’s the best feeling knowing you trusted your instincts and everything is exactly the way you both wanted it!
CREDIT WHERE CREDIT IS DUE |
Photography | Gareth Newstead Photography
Venue | Donington Park Farmhouse
Florist and Props | Avant Garden Weddings
Dress | Sottero & Midgley from La Belle Boutique
Shoes | Irregular Choice
Make Up | Maxine Holland at Black Cactus Salon
Hair | Hair by Charlotte Leigh
Suits | Marc Darcy
Adult Bridesmaids | Chi Chi London
Young Bridesmaids | Monsoon
Singer | Paul Ace
Wedding Stationery | Rocket Monkey Design
Light up Letters | Distinct Event Solutions
 
What a marvellously warm and sparkly day! Thank you so much Amy and Nathan for sharing it with us. Rachel x
 

Making dreams come true

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Welcome to our very first blog!

If you have just begun planning your wedding – congratulations, you’re embarking on a wonderful journey and have many exciting months ahead of you.

Here at Avant Garden we are absolutely passionate about weddings and everything that goes with them; from bouquets to buttonholes and candelabras to cake stands.

In fact, we love weddings so much we sold everything we own – including our home and our possessions – to launch our business. It means that we have one of the widest ranges of wedding props in Derbyshire and a beautiful showroom for customers to look around.

We love nothing more than making dreams come true for brides and grooms, not least because Avant Garden itself is a dream come true for me.

Years ago, when I was studying Criminology and Law at the University of Derby, I dreamed of being a florist. It was a world away from the classroom or a court – but nothing appealed to me more.

So, with the support of my amazing partner Scott, I decided to follow my dream. I signed up for a part-time floristry course and went on to have a market stall in Rowsley – selling flowers, plants and gifts.

I soon found I was spending more and more of my time working with brides-to-be and the idea for Avant Garden was born. At first we offered wedding flowers only; dressing bridal parties and venues with the freshest and sweetest arrangements possible.

But soon we were being asked for vases, bowls and jam jars or birdcages, candelabras and crates. It made sense to build up our stock – which was when our house and home went up for sale!

Today we have multiples of most props and our offering means we can dress the whole wedding. Our clients like it because it means they have to explain their vision to just one person – and we like it because it’s such a beautiful job.

We feel absolutely privileged to work in some of the loveliest wedding venues in Derbyshire, including Shottle Hall, Makeney Hall, Hassop Hall and West Mills.

And we get to be part of a bride and groom’s special day, helping to make their dream become a reality. And no one understands how important that is than us!