A bright sunflower themed summer wedding in Berkshire

08 Apr 2019

Emma Long married Jerry Varney at the The Elephant Hotel, Pangbourne, Reading 

Their day was filled with happiness and smiles with a bright yellow sunflower theme, quirky entertainment and their two dogs who joined the couple during the ceremony.

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Why did you choose your venue? 

The Elephant in Pangbourne was not only dog-friendly for Peppa the pug, our flower girl, and Henry the papillon, our usher, but also suitable for all of our guests to travel to. The quirkiness of the venue was important to me, being a little quirky myself, and it was also near to where I spent a great deal of my childhood. 

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Tell us about your dress…

I have seen lots of people stress about their dress and as I got older I knew what would suit my shape.  My dress was a Sincerity lace fit and flare gown from Bride To Be in Reading. It was a rich ivory with lace overlay, strapless with a sweetheart neckline. They insisted I tried on others, four in total, but all agreed the first was the right choice. Paired with a lace bolero top buttoned down the back, I also replaced all the buttons with Swarovski crystals as I wanted a timeless and classic look that wouldn’t age.

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Did you have a theme or particular colour scheme? 

We called our wedding 'the sunshine wedding'. On one of our first dates we bought one another Mr Happy and Little Miss Sunshine mugs - so yellow was a big part of the theme. Sunflowers have always been a favourite of mine and we wanted to incorporate some of Jerry’s Celtic (Cornish and Scottish) heritage, so we had seashells and blue thistles.

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Each of our tables were named after a beach we loved in Devon or Cornwall, and each table had shells from each beach incorporated within the floral arrangements created by The Garden Room in Goring. I also wanted a VW camper and all of it tied in perfectly. 

Tell us about your cake…

Our dear friend Claire Potts from Claire’s Sweet Temptations made our cake and it featured a Lego cake topper. 

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Tell us about your flower arrangements…

For flowers we chose sunflowers and blue thistle. Kerry at Flipside Bride made my button bouquet. 

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Often the aspect that makes a wedding original to the couple is the detail – tell us about the details of the day. 

Having worked in the industry for a while, I have made great friends along the way. Both of our mothers supported us, with storage, bargain hunting and also my mum’s exquisite baking skills making the favours.

Wez Morris and Amanda Carter from Wizard Signs created our wedding signs and unique posters.

Jules Webber from Colourseum Bideford did my hair and make-up, knowing she would not make me feel uncomfortable on the day as I have seen her work with so many brides. 

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Being overly organised, each table had a plan; adults had an etched glass in-keeping with our co-ordinating logo napkins, a heart shaped biscuit favour with a fan, mints and tissues.

The children all had Mr and Little Miss books, a Clovelly plate with donkeys on and personalised activity packs. They also had an entertainment corner including colouring in books, super hero dress-up and inflatable instruments. 

What did the bridesmaids wear? 

Blue dresses chosen by themselves with a sunflower buttonhole. 

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Where were the suits from?

Jerry wore a blue Ted Baker suit. The fit and colour suited Jerry perfectly and complemented my dress and our sunflowers.

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How did you feel as you walked down the aisle? 

Walking down the aisle and during the ceremony in the morning I was totally relaxed, it was the best decision I have ever made deciding to marry Jerry and I never had any anxiety. Being surrounded by people that I knew and loved doing my hair and make-up and having my pug, Peppa, by my side made it a great morning. 

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How did you make the ceremony personal to you? 

I was excited to see Jerry and the ceremony flew. We kept it simple because neither of us wanted anything complicated and wanted it simply to be focused on our love for one another and the positivity when you find the right person. 

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Did you have any evening entertainment? 

The Linchpins; they were exceptional and sounded perfect in everyway. Zac put up with my obsession with Foo Fighters

What was your first dance?

Can’t Take My Eyes Off Of You, by Andy Williams. 

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Was there anything you wish you’d known before? 

I wish I’d known that my dog would bark at the registrars - I forgot the treats.

Where was your honeymoon? 

We left the day after for a week's break in a log cabin with our two dogs in Cheddar, followed by a romantic weekend with no pooches in Bath. 

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Do you have any advice for couples in the planning stages? 

Have a planner; I obviously did it myself, because I have learnt a lot over the years and how to keep the stress and anxiety levels down. However, my biggest advice is do not take the advice of other friends or relatives on how you should do things; it’s your day and the reason ours was such a relaxed day was because we had the people around us we wanted, the food we wanted and the entertainment we wanted.

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Steal Their Style

Photography: Mike Crowshaw Photography
Venue: The Elephant Hotel Reading
Dress: Essence of Australia Bride to Be Reading
Leather Jacket: Sammy Leas Retro
Button Bouquet: Flipside Bride
Hair and Makeup: Jules Webber Colorseum Bideford
Groom’s outfit: Ted Baker
Stationery: Wizard Signs Bideford
Flowers: The Garden Room Goring
Cake: Claire's Sweet Temptations
Transport: Sparky, the VW camper
Entertainment: The Linchpins

For more wedding inspiration pick up our 2019 issue of Berkshire and Buckinghamshire Bride magazine. 

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