Cotswolds Colourful weddings

Wedding of the Week: Laura Houghton and Jamie Blinkhorne

09 Jul 2018

Bursting with colour, this Warwickshire wedding was a joyous occasion filled with love and happiness from start to finish

How did you meet?

We met in a night club in our local town Stratford-upon-Avon. It wasn’t until arranging our first date we realised we lived on almost opposite streets in Bidford-on-Avon. We met for our first date with some convincing from Jamie and we’ve been inseparable ever since.

Tell us about the proposal.

We were in Rome and we were about to leave the hotel for the day when Jamie suggested we go up to the roof balcony which overlooked Vatican City. He was fumbling with his backpack and as I turned around he had the ring in his hand and he asked me to marry him. It was just us two and it was very special.

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Did you have a theme for the day?

Our theme for the day was very much colour; we’ve both always loved colour and we wanted our day to reflect us and our personalities. We knew from the get go that we wanted everyone to have lots of fun and to let their hair down which I think we definitely achieved.

What venue did you choose and why?

We chose Stratford Manor because we could have a marquee in the garden which was something we wanted all along. They had a great team on hand to help and if we had any questions,  which we did, they were very quick to answer them.

When did you know you'd found 'the' dress?

I was very lucky and found my wedding dress at my one and only appointment. I tired on about six or seven dresses and my dress was about the second one I tried on. As soon as I put my dress on I felt so beautiful and I couldn’t imagine wearing any other.

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What did the bridesmaids wear?

The bridesmaids wore yellow dresses which we found for a bargain of £30 each from the Dorothy Perkins sale the previous winter. We teamed them with some plain white cardigans with flamingos sewn on by my maid of honour, which tied in with the theme and made them personal.

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Where did you find your suits?

The groom and the groomsmen wore blue Ted Baker suits which they found in Moss Bros. Jamie wore a checked blue suit to stand out even more.

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Tell us about your floral arrangements.

We found a lovely florist; I requested a sunflower or two and lots of colourful flowers mixed in. She definitely delivered, I’ve never seen such beautiful flowers. The bridesmaids had a simplified version of mine minus the sunflowers whereas Jamie and his groomsmen had mini sunflowers as buttonholes and my flower girl had just a single sunflower.

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Tell us about the details of the day.

  • I personalised lots of decorations myself such as the card box and seating plan photo frame which I painted in lots of bright colours.
  • I bought a hollow J & L which I then painted and filled with pom poms for our top table which just seated me and Jamie; this gave us a chance to spend time together on such a busy crazy day.
  • We also had Mr and Mrs in balloons behind our top table which made the plain white background pop.
  • We have both had family members effected by cancer so our favours were Cancer Research badges. The money we paid for them provided a donation to Cancer Research which was incredibly important to us.
  • We love to travel so for our centrepieces we used pictures of us in different countries which also formed the table names, alongside some beautiful colourful balloons and pom pom weights.
  • Colourful lanterns hung from the ceiling of the marquee.
  • We had a photo booth, which we couldn’t recommend more. It kept the guests entertained and we have some questionable photos of some of the guests who may have had one too many. We had a good laugh about that the next day.

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How did you feel as you walked down the aisle?

For me, I felt incredibly nervous. I think I’m the only bride in history who was early for her wedding... I had to wait outside the church for 15 minutes; this added to my nerves. I’m so lucky to have had my amazing step-dad walking me down the aisle or else I’m not sure my legs could have carried me. But once I got to Jamie at the end, he told me I looked amazing which definitely helped and I could see he was just as nervous as I was. As soon as the ceremony started the nerves changed to butterflies and I was so excited for the rest of the day

What was your most memorable moment?

The moment I think we could both agree on is when we saw each other for the first time at the end of the aisle. Jamie didn’t turn around until the very last minute but when he did it was worth it.

What was the biggest challenge of planning this wedding?

The thing we found hardest was wedding cars, trying to work out who was going in what car and then figuring how everyone was going to come back.

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Where did you go on honeymoon?

We definitely wanted a nice honeymoon at the end of this and this was one of our priorities early on , we knew we wanted to treat ourselves after the stress of wedding planning . We decided on going to Mauritius for two weeks and it did not disappoint. We left the very next day which meant we had no time to let everything sink in although the 12 hour flight helped.

What did you choose for your first dance?

We chose Sam Smith Latch (acoustic version); this was such a tough choice as we were torn between this and Songbird by Oasis as they are both special to us. But Latch by Disclosure and Sam Smith had been our song since early in our relationship so we couldn’t not chose the acoustic version for our special day.

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What did you have for your evening entertainment?

Our evening entertainment consisted of the hotel's resident DJ and some questionable dance moves by our guests (including my own).

Tell us about your wedding cake.

Our wedding cake was comprised of three tiers. We chose different flavours for each tier and each one was incredible. As the theme was colour, each tier was a different colour: pink blue and yellow. We didn’t want anything on the cake except for our cake toppers which were bride and groom flamingos with 'just married' bunting above them. We also had some multi-coloured swirled cupcakes. By the end of the night there was no cake left.

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Would you change anything about your day?

Our day was perfect and we wouldn’t change anything... I just wish I could relive it all again.

Did anything go wrong on the day?

Our original photo booth that we had booked had damaged in transit and had been written off about four hours before our reception, but the amazing staff at Stratford Manor found us a replacement before we even had time to stress.

What advice would you give to a couple planning their wedding?

My advice would be to have fun with it, stick to the traditions you want to keep, and don’t worry about other people’s opinions... you can’t please everyone. 

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Steal their style:

Venue: Stratford Manor, www.qhotels.co.uk/our-locations/stratford-manor/
Balloons and chair sashes: Blueberry Balloons, https://blueberryballoons.online
Lanterns: Fleur de lace, www.fleurdelace.co.uk
Cake: Daisyblue Bakehouse, http://daisybluebakehouse.co.uk
Floristry: Lisa Drinkwater, www.lisadrinkwaterflowers.co.uk/home-page
Photography and videography: Tom Calton and Paul England, www.tomcaltonweddings.co.uk
Suits: Moss Bros, www.moss.co.uk/
Cars: Avon Classic Wedding Cars, www.avonclassicweddingcars.co.uk/
Dress: Georgina Scott Bridal, http://georginascottbridal.co.uk
Make-up: Helen Brady, www.helenbrady.co.uk
Marquee: Cotswold Marquee Company, www.cotswoldmarquees.co.uk
Wedding favours: Cancer Research, www.cancerresearch.org 
Photo booth: Freezeframe Photobooths, www.freezeframephotobooths.co.uk/

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