Heart to heart

03 Mar 2014

Heart to heart

Junior and Leyoh’s wedding at Combermere Abbey was celebrated simultaneously in Africa

Royston Junior Goodall and Leyoh Amion

Where: Ceremony and reception at Combermere Abbey, Whitchurch

Photography: Adam Capper Photography

I had not envisioned my wedding day for years before and so had no dress or venue in mind. I did however want all aspects to be a reflection of our personalities and tastes. Combermere Abbey was the first and only venue we visited and my wedding gown was the first and only one I tried on.

I didn’t feel any nerves until everyone had been delivered to the venue and I was left with only my sister Adela who was my maid of honour and my father, waiting for the car to pick me up. My dad asked me if I was 100% sure and the butterf lies started as soon as I confirmed I was.

As I walked up the aisle I made sure I took a few seconds to savour the moment. The whole day goes so quickly, it’s easy to miss all of the details as you are swept up in the activity and I wanted to remember as much as possible. We wrote our own vows for the civil ceremony.

My father, Roland, who is an African tribal leader originally from a small village called Monga in Cote D’Ivoire performed a traditional hand-fasting ritual. My father’s village celebrated our marriage simultaneously and we received blessings of security, fertility and happiness which completed both our legal and spiritual commitments to each other ahead of heartfelt and truly memorable speeches.

I decided on a subtle and discreet colour theme which was harder to stick to than I had originally thought. The main inspiration was the stone colour of my dress, and also the Sahara rose which ranges from champagne to blush pink in tone. Instead of favours I wrote a personal message to each guest on the reverse of their name place cards. They found them throughout the day and were touched by the effort.

The evening buffet was an outdoor barbecue and we had a jazz band for entertainment. The dance floor was never empty – one of my favourite memories is dancing with friends and family. We were lucky enough to have upcoming UK artist, Jacob Banks, perform an acoustic version of The Closer I Get To You as our first dance and followed this with the cutting of our delicious coconut, raspberry and vanilla wedding cake.


Photography: Adam Capper Photography, Nantwich, Cheshire, 01270 665450,


Venue: Combermere Abbey, Whitchurch, 01948 871662, www.combermereabbey.co.uk

Dress: Brides of Solihull, 0121 709 0677, www.bridesofsolihull.co.uk

Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Tobi Hannah, www.tobihannah.co.uk

Hair: Debbie Simpson, 07878 094129

Make-up: Juliet Bain Beauty, Make-up and Well Being, www.facebook.com/thebeautyloungemidlands

Groom’s suit: Clements and Church, Birmingham, 0121 233 9994, www.clementsandchurch.co.uk

Rings: Vault 88, Birmingham, 0121 523 7389, www.vault88.com

Flowers: Red Door Design, Cheshire, 07968 805137, www.reddoordesign.co.uk

Cake: Gorgeous Cakes, www.gorgeous-cakes.co.uk

Catering: Sue Le Bonne Catering, Knutsford, Cheshire, 01565 873502, www.suelebonne.co.uk;

Drinks, Gorilla Events, 0844 693 1033, www.gorilla-events.co.uk

Entertainment: Jacob Banks, www.jacobbanks.co.uk; Sound Wave, www.facebook.com/soundwavebirmingham

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