A Hertfordshire fairytale: Simon Marks & Clare Jeffery
06 Sep 2013
A Hertfordshire fairytale
Simon Marks and Clare Jeffery
Where: Offley Place, Hitchin, Hertfordshire
Photography: Paul Adam Photography
How did you meet?
Simon and I met when I was 15 and Simon was 24. Fast forward seven years and a Cinderella castle proposal in Disneyworld, the wedding planning began. We knew straight away we wanted a February wedding, so decided to marry on Feb 16th, two years exactly from our engagement.
How did you choose your venue?
Finding a venue was very, very hard, we both wanted different things. I wanted a big grand castle or stately home, Simon wanted a cosy homely venue. We searched and searched, until we viewed Offley Place. Simon fell in love instantly and being only 30 minutes away from our home, it was perfect. We would be the only people there on the day and our guests booked all the bedrooms. Offley were so amazing and very accommodating. We had a lot going on during the day, loads of different vendors coming in and everyone worked together to make it a truly perfect day.
Tell us about your dress.
I knew from the start I was going to have a ballgown. I had dreamt of a big dress for as long as I can remember. I tried on more than 100 dresses and even had one designed before I found ‘the one’, my Lola by Ronald Joyce.
Tell us about the big day.
On the day of the wedding, I was so relaxed. Me and mum spent the night before at the venue. I didn’t sleep at all I was so excited and by 5am, I had enough, it was time to
get up and start getting ready. At 8am we went down for breakfast, where my amazing groom had left boxes of gifts for me, including a ginger cake (my fave) to look like the
venue with bride and groom gingerbread men, flowers, a box full of all my favourite things and a bracelet from Tiffany’s to match my necklace.
Leigh the hair and make-up artist arrived, started on my mum and slowly throughout the day, the photographer, videographer etc all arrived and started work. I should also mention Nikki here from The Dream Wedding Company, she was my fairy godmother on the day. She took over all my plans and made our day perfect. She ran the day, and made sure everything was how we wanted. Nothing went wrong throughout the whole day not a single thing. When it was time to go, I was a crying mess. Nikki stood with me, and calmed me down got me to breathe, then my entrance music started, (‘As the World Falls Dow
n’ from Labyrinth), and that was it, I was crying again.
Our ceremony was so beautiful. Finally saying our vows after nine amazing years together was the best moment of the day.
What was your favourite details of the day?
Our wedding cake, was a big one for me - I love cake. And I wanted the biggest cake any of our guests would have seen, so my mum and I made a seven tiered rich fruit cake using my late great grandmothers recipe and the florist finished it off with stunning fresh flowers. I also, as a surprise, arranged a wheat free grooms cake for Simon - four tiers designed as retro games.
What part of the day brought the biggest smile to your face?
Our wedding breakfast was such a laugh, Steve the toastmaster made everyone feel so comfortable and made it so much fun, with a few silly games. Walking into our reception room, was breathtaking, seeing our vision come to life with flowers, chairs everything put together, it was better than we planned. In the evening we wanted to create a fun atmosphere. I have a major sweet tooth, so we made a candy room, where we hired a 50” chocolate fountain, candy floss and popcorn plus a 20 choice sweet DIY candy bar. The dream wedding company changed the lighting to pink, so it made it look like a whole different venue.
Did anything go off with a bang?
We are very lucky, that my close family friends are pyrotechnics and as a very kind gift, put on the most amazing firework display. We also gave all our guests sparklers.
What did you choose for your first dance?
Our first dance was lovely, quite funny also, as my dress was so big, you couldn’t see Simon’s legs so we were just laughing and talking to ‘Stolen’ by Dassboard Confessional. Straight after I danced with my dad to ‘My Girl’ by The Temptations. We went for a white classic fairytale theme, I wanted our ceremony to be all white, then silver was slightly introduced into the reception with lots of candle light.
Steal their Style:
Photography: Paul Adam Photography, Berkhamsted, www.pauladam.biz
Venue: Offley Place, Hitchin, www.offleyplace.com
Dress & Accessories: Mignonette, Slip End, Bedfordshire, www.mignonette.com
Bridesmaids dress: John Lewis, Watford, www.johnlewis.com
Best-women dress: Mignonette, Slip End, Bedfordshire
Hair & make-up: Curls, Swirls & Beautiful Girls, Hertfordshire, www.curlsswirlsandbeautifulgirls.com
Groom’s outfit: Moss Bros, St Albans, www.moss.co.uk
Flowers: The Dream Wedding Company, St Albans, www.thedreamweddingcompany.com
Cake: (Grooms cake) Cakes by Shelly, Leighton Buzzard, Bedfordshire, www.cakesbyshelly.co.uk
Venue dresser: The Dream Wedding Company, St Albans
Toastmaster: Steve Morey, Hertfordshire, www.the-toastmaster.com
Videographer: Daniel Peters Cinematographer, Bristol, www.danielpeters.co.uk
Entertainment: Pianist, Exceptional Pianists, Hertfordshire, www.exceptionalpianists.co.uk; chocolate fountain, Chocolate Angels, Hertfordshire, www.chocolateangels.co.uk; candy floss/popcorn, Mr Flossy, Hertfordshire, www.mrflossy.co.uk; magician, John Bulleid, Hertfordshire, www.johnbulleid.com; caricaturist, Steve Hearn, Hertfordshire, www.warble-entertainment.com; DJ, Smile Events, Hertfordshire, www.smileevents.co.uk; photobooth, PhotoBooth, Hertfordshire, www.photobooth.co.uk