When Vikki sent us a couple of photo’s of her wedding it was clear that she had an exceptional eye for detail and beautiful styling and had adored every second of planning her big day! We were desperate to hear all about it and see more photos so we invited her to share her fabulous fairground wedding with our readers. We hope you enjoy it as much as we did!
When Ben proposed I knew where to go to get my gown and would not go anywhere else. I had previously met a lovely lady working in a bridal shop, when helping my friend find ‘the one’. It turns out this lovely lady opened her own beautiful boutique, Hannah Elizabeth Bridal in Botley. So I called her and made an appointment.
My gown took several attempts, mostly because I fell in love with a style but it wasn’t flattering to my body shape! Hannah, who had been wonderfully supportive, honest and encouraging, suggested a dress. It wasn’t what I was looking for but I trusted her fully and guess what?! It was THE ONE!!! We all agreed, so I placed my order and that was that!
The Lusan Mandongas, ‘Lisanthus’ was mine! Complete with the lace jacket which buttoned up the back and pearl detail belt and beautiful, simple long veil. It was everything I wanted and more! I felt wonderful and so happy.
And believe it or not – it was an absolute bargain! £1,460 altogether! I didn’t really have a budget but I was pleasantly surprised by the price, especially as it was beautiful with its lace and button detail.
Hair & Make Up
My friend Nicki offered to do my hair and make up, which was lucky really because I was going to ask her to! Nicki doesn’t have any formal training, but she has been tinkering with many a brides hair and make up for years! We were aiming for vintage and something a little different. I let Nicki loose on my hair when I stayed at her house the night before my final wedding shopping appointment. She did a one sided curly up-do with the vintage little victory roll and I loved it! I chose a Jo Barnes comb and Nicki incorporated it in the style.
Make up wise, we both know what suits me and Nicki went ahead and made me look natural and complemented my skin tone and also worked with the striking red YSL lips that I insisted on!
The Wedding Ceremony
We got married in St Mary’s Church, Michelmersh in Hampshire which is where I am from.
Sadly my Father passed away in November 2013 from cancer. His loss left a big hole in the family and we are still coming to terms with it. He was never far from my thoughts (or my Mum & Sisters) during the whole wedding build up. So when Ben proposed, he knew I would like to get married with Dad, where his ashes are interred in his parent’s grave in the Church.
It also happens to be a very beautiful Church and the Vicar, Reverend Canon Steve Pittis is just wonderful. We met him several times for our pre-wedding meetings. He understood my loss and was a great support and really took the time to get to know Ben and I. He also was also aware that I had been married before and was happy to marry us in the Church.
We had about 125 friends and family join us for the ceremony, which was beautiful. We chose 3 hymns, ones we knew everyone would be able to sing, as it would remind them of their school days and asked Steve to do a reading for us. We also asked a lovely local Choir to sing for us. It was quite special for me particularly as I was back in my home town, where my Dad & Mum grew up.
After the Ceremony Ben & I went to lay a special bouquet of flowers on my Dad’s grave, along with a poem I had printed on the back of a photo of him.
I’m particularly proud of our wedding! It was a combination of vintage, fairground, handmade and personal, but most of all we wanted the theme to be fun! We wanted our Guests to be busy enjoying themselves instead of waiting around bored. We tried to involve them as much as possible and incorporate all the things that Ben & I as a couple love. There is a certain amount of expectation that a Nanny (I have been a child carer for 16 years) will consider the 30+ child guests!! We also wanted to thank our friends and family for supporting us over the last 6 years. We made sure the bar was all free and that they were looked after in the morning when our wonderful caterers returned to make breakfast.
So think ‘Grease’ at the end when they sing “We go together” and add a children’s play area tent, pampering tent for the ladies, a “Great BISHOP Bake Off” Tent and an amazingly beautiful bell tent village for our guests to GLAMP the night away, complete with a gorgeous Honeymoon Suite Tent
We had the idea of a fairground a few years ago – we have talked about our wedding for years!
So we contacted a few fairgrounds, we went with Irvin Leisure. They were a well known company who run fairgrounds all over, including Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park. We had a carousel, coconut shy, hoopla, cork shooter & high striker. The aim was to entertain both adults & children alike.
The Venue Decor
Our venue was Timsbury Manor Estate, a short 5 minute drive from the Church and we decorated it all ourselves. Everything was homemade!
My Mum made the table runners, napkin rings and pin wheels. I made simple jam jar candle holders with a ribbon tied in a bow, added a row of small pearls to some Ikea scented candles and bought Ikea milk bottle vases and my friend collected Laurent Perrier Champagne Bottles for vases.
I ordered stick photo props from Amazon and used tins which we made safe then covered with a label that we designed as part of our stationary. We made the children’s activity books, made the place cards and added the cancer research pin. We made all the stationary – menu’s, plan of the day, table plan, drinks list, instructions for the guestbook. All with the same theme and design.
We used the fairground theme throughout – festoon lighting between the fairground and marquee, uplighting the beautiful trees in the grounds.
I up-cycled where I could, using an old wooden wine box for the reception drinks table and Pepsi cans for straw holders.
We bought Pepsi crates and used it as a card box for any wedding cards. I softened it’s look with some pink ribbon and a tulle liner!
The flowers were beautiful and Pip from Willow Floristry totally got my vision. We used the pin wheels instead of flowers on the tables but Pip made a beautiful arrangement in my gorgeous mugs which spell L O V E for our top table and another lovely bouquet in a large metal jug on the bar. We asked Pip to use large 2 foot balloons for impact and height on our tables and to display the table numbers we made. Pip was also responsible for our bouquets, boutonnières and buttonholes.
For the flowers, as with outfits, I wanted the individuals to be recognised. Kerri had Dahlias, Nicki had Calla Lilies and Jade choose Gerbera’s and the same for the men’s button holes.
I chose a tight bouquet with no foliage, incorporating all the above pink flowers (so everyone was represented in my bouquet) along with my favourite flower white orchids! I also wanted my accent colour gently popped in – the red lips and nails in a red rose! Pip also made a small bouquet for my Fathers grave, using the same flowers from my bouquet.
We (I!) wanted something simple, beautiful and delicious. Ben’s Uncle Pete made the most moist, delicious and beautiful naked cake I’ve ever seen. His brief was a chocolate cake with white chocolate filling and naked (neither of us like marzipan or icing). We wanted orchids to match my bouquet and my mum’s bunting to go on top!
Minna Rossi Photography was our wedding photographer. She was recommended to us by Ben’s sister, who is a wedding planner. Minna is based in London which made her more accessible to us than others we had contacted. Minna was excited by our wedding, the theme, location etc. She understood our aims and goals and took on board what we liked. We actually had an engagement shoot with Minna to get to know each other and capture more memories. The photos were great! On the wedding day Minna did her best to take all the photos we asked her to – it wasn’t easy because we had a fairground, which had everyone’s attention! Our toastmaster (Philip Gardner) helped her out as much as possible. Minna also got to know the surroundings and lighting and captured some beautiful photos.
Hugh Farrow Films was our videographer. His work is amazing!! It’s all vintage, filmed on Super 8 film and set to music of our choice. I love his style, the way he blends into the background, capturing all the special moments on film. It’s nice to go alongside the still shots a photographer takes. My friend’s boyfriend, Scott, is actually part of The James Brothers Productions and he produced a beautiful cinematographic style wedding video for us!
For me, personally, it was a wonderful day and I’ve never been happier or more in love, but because my Dad was not there to share it with me, it was also very sad. It was touching to be able to go and put the flowers on his grave and to have included him in the thank you cards, which I wrote for him and left on the welcome table along with a framed photo.
For my Mum to mention him in her speech and for Ben to do so in his speech was very bittersweet. Ben also asked his Nan to make something special for me – a memento of my Dad’s name and his football team in Southampton’s red & white stripes, sewn onto silk to be sewn into my dress. He sent it to my room on the morning of the Wedding along with a Tiffany infinity bracelet and an enormous bunch of roses, which made me cry! Also, my 4 year old charge was super sweet on the day, she gave me a huge hug outside the Church and was the first person to use my married name (we had talked about how my name would change once I was married) she said ‘I love you Vikki Bishop’ That was special.
Don’t forget that the wedding you are planning is actually about you marrying the love of your life!! I forgot this until the day of the rehearsal, when I realised the ‘party’ I was planning was actually my wedding and I was marrying Ben. I suddenly felt nervous but very excited!! Also do a lot of research and use any skills you and your family have so you can make your wedding even more personal. Our wedding took so much time and effort, on all our parts but it was worth it! I’m incredibly proud and would love to do it all over again!
Ceremony venue: St Mary’s Church, Michelmersh | Reception venue: Timsbury Manor Estate, Timsbury | Hair and Make Up: Nikki Knight (bridesmaid) | Wedding Cake: Peter Bishop (Grooms uncle) | Catering: Keats, Romsey | Photographer: Minna Rossi Photography | Videographer: Hugh Farrow Films | Entertainment: Great Scott! band | Flowers: Willow Floristry | Grooms Suit: Ted Baker | Wedding Dress: Lusan Mandongus from Hannah Elizabeth Bridal Boutique, Botley
Helpful points to remember when choosing a wedding cake supplier! Photo courtesy of Shaw Shots Selection and presentation What kind of cake would you like - traditional fruitcake, sponge cake, etc? How…
Lucy Leaper is our inspiration and bridalwear specialist! She has a degree in fashion design and 12 years experience in the fashion industry, including 3 and a half years as the manager of a bridal boutique. Lucy loves to hear every little detail about a bride's wedding plans and it is no surprise that the first thing she wants to know is what they're wearing!