In gear - real wedding in Gloucestershire

24 Apr 2014

In gear - real wedding in Gloucestershire

A love of Formula One leant itself to a vintage motor sport theme at Erika-jo and Matthew’s wedding, where the bride walked down the aisle to the Top Gear theme tune and The Stig made a special appearance

A love of Formula One leant itself to a vintage motor sport theme at Erika-jo and Matthew’s wedding, where the bride walked down the aisle to the Top Gear theme tune and The Stig made a special appearance

Erika-jo Needham and Matthew Weston

Where: Ceremony and reception at The Manor House Hotel, Moreton-in-Marsh, Gloucestershire

Photography: Nikki Kirk Photography

After texting a friend while feeling really miserable for myself being signed off sick from work she mentioned she was waiting for a friend of hers to come round called Matt who she had never mentioned before. Being nosey I started asking questions about this guy she hadn’t introduced me to before. She mentioned he was looking for a girlfriend and after a few more texts she gave me his number. Apparently he was to shy to make the first move. So the next morning I bit the bullet and sent him a text, that afternoon he came round and we have been together ever since.

We quickly found out we both had a love for motor-sport and would often curl up on the sofa on a Sunday afternoon to watch Formula One or be seen in the Forest of Dean knee deep in snow watching the British Rally championships.

We would often get friends mums winding us up about when Matt was going to “pop the question” even though we had only been together a year and a half. It got to the point that I told Matt I didn’t want to get married yet and that I wanted him to ask me when he wanted to, so it came as a complete shock when he proposed to me on my birthday. I still to this day can’t remember if I actually said yes through the tears and screaming!

We immediately got down to planning what kind of day we wanted and after a few ideas that went out the window we knew exactly what theme would suit us both perfectly - vintage motor-sport.

We both knew that we didn’t want to get married in a church as we aren’t religious so started researching suitable venues. I dragged Matt round venue after venue, seeing as many as four in one weekend but nothing shouted out as being “the one”. That was until I saw the Manor House Hotel in Moreton in Marsh and knew we just had to go and have a look at it. As soon as we stepped through the door and saw the welcoming staff we knew it was where we wanted to get married. With the venue booked we now needed to come up with a colour scheme and being avid fans of Goodwood Revival we decided to go for hunter green and silver. I contacted the marketing lady at Goodwood and she kindly sent us some vintage promotional posters that we could use for our big day.

Venue and theme sorted the next important thing on the list was the photographer. My bridesmaids and I went to a vintage wedding show at Hagley Hall where there were numerous photographers stands but nothing really caught my eye, Until we entered the yurt in the grounds of the hall and I saw Nikki Kirk’s stand. I explained to Nikki the type of style of wedding photographs we wanted and she showed me a certain picture from a previous wedding which was exactly the kind of thing Matt and I were looking for. We arranged for Nikki to come round the following week and knew straight away we had found the person we wanted to photograph our special day.

I knew that I wanted a vintage style dress but knew I didn’t have the figure for a short style. After trying loads of dresses on I was starting to think I would never find “the one”. We were going up to Lincoln Christmas fair and to see my family when my step mum suggested I try a few of the bridal shops around Lincoln. After an unsuccessful morning I wasn’t holding out much hope then we visited J’dezire, a beautiful converted barn on the middle of a farm. Not your usual bridal boutique!

The owner, helped me pick out a few dresses for me to try on. As soon as I put my dress on it felt special and from my step mum’s face I knew it must be right. It was a beautiful lace dress with a train to die for.

Unfortunately sorting the bridesmaids out was not so easy. I couldn’t find anything suitable in the colour I wanted, or it was the right colour but not the right style. Again my step mum came to the rescue and mentioned Fonthill Road in London so armed with one of my bridesmaids we had a successful trip to London and found the perfect bridesmaid dresses.

After the main things like the dresses, suits etc were sorted it was time to decide on the little details such as the table plan, table decorations etc. We knew we wanted something different and something that was going to fit into our vintage motor-sport theme.

I decided I wanted a racing driver cut out as our background for our table plan so ordered a life size cut out of The Stig. I then painted this black so it looked like a silhouette and cut out racing driver helmets that were used to put peoples names on. I also cut out vintage car shapes to make the place names for the tables. We used old motoracing gloves and goggles as our table centre pieces and each table was named after a racing car driver. I made the vintage lollypop sticks that the grid girls hold out of cake boards and cardboard and managed to stick these into plaster of Paris into hunter green little buckets. We used these to show the names of the tables. After all this creativity I nearly forgot about my bouquet and the

bridesmaids bouquets. I already knew I didn’t want fresh flowers but also knew I couldn’t afford to buy a bouquet that was made out of old jewellery. After some research I decided that I would like my bouquet to be made out of feathers and set about ordering different varieties off the internet. In the end I made a beautiful bouquet out of white, gold and black ostrich feathers and peacock feathers finished off with some jewels I had got from Hobbycraft. I also made the bridesmaids

bouquets out of paper roses finished off with gold coloured feathers. I had done a lot of research into wedding cakes but found nothing I liked until myself and my bridesmaids went to a vintage wedding show at Hagley Hall and that’s where I fell in love with the perfect cake. After getting numerous quotes I was starting to feel like I wouldn’t be able to have the cake I had fallen in love with, until my step mum’s friend came to the rescue and said she would make it for us.

After all the effort and hard work that went into the planning we got married on the hottest day in July last year. I wasn’t nervous at all and no-one could wipe the smile off my face. My hairdresser and make up lady both commented that they had never known a bride be so relaxed. Just before dad and I started to walk down the aisle the tears began to flow but they were tears of joy that I was just about to marry the best man in the world.

I walked down the aisle to the Top Gear theme music, Jessica by the Allman Brothers, a little different I know but it worked so well with our theme. I was incredibly nervous of getting the vows wrong but I needn’t have worried as the registrar was wonderful and it was no longer me who was crying but Matt who got incredibly emotional saying his vows.

We walked back up the aisle as husband and wife to Paolo Nutini’s Pencil full of Lead. We didn’t need any transport on the day as both ceremony and reception were held at the Manor House but I knew it would make Matt’s day to have a classic car at the wedding so I hired a Vintage 1920’s Lagonda car as a surprise wedding present. My new husband’s face as I led him out to the front of the hotel to see his surprise was picture perfect.

The owner of the car, took us to Batsford Arboretum where we had some photographs taken and some time on our own to reflect on the day so far. Then it was time for the wedding breakfast and the speeches. My dad and I lost touch for 10 years so his speech was incredibly emotional, Matt’s was much better than I thought it was going to be considering he only prepared it the evening before and he even remembered all the people to thank as well as mentioning the people that unfortunately were no longer here to celebrate our special day and the best man’s was superb. I had previously sent Dave, the best man, some embarrassing pictures of Matt which he knew nothing about, so there was much laughter when a specific picture of Matt in rather large boxer shorts was brought out!

We didn’t think our guests would want to sit down to a hot meal in the middle of July so went for the buffet instead. A platter of fruits de mer, carved meats, selection of salads and potato dishes went down a treat and Matt was in his element when the cheese boards were served.

Matt and I aren’t disco people but knew we wanted some evening entertainment that our guests wouldn’t forget so we organised a lindy hop dance class which went down a storm.

We had the most perfect day we could ever have wished for. We are still organising our honeymoon after we had a difficult end to last year with my father in law being diagnosed with cancer. Unfortunately he sadly passed away three weeks ago. Although Matt surprised me with a wonderful mini-moon to Padstow which is where we had our first holiday together.


Who did what

Photographer: Nikki Kirk Photography, Cheltenham, 01242 252716,

Venue: The Manor House Hotel, Moreton-in-Marsh, Gloucestershire, 01608 650501,

Brides Dress: J’dezire, Lincoln, LN6 0SB, 01522 682 636,

Hair: Holly Parkinson, friend, Tewkesbury

Make-up: Verity @ Beautylicious, Lotons Hairdressing, Bourton-on-the-Water, Gloucestershire, 01451 820012

Grooms Outfit: Cox of Malvern, Malvern, Worcester, 01684 575949,

Bridesmaids’ dresses: Sahari, London; Debenhams, Monsoon

Stationery: The bride

Flowers: Melanie Weston, mother-in-law, Liz Young, aunt-in-law and Jane’s Flower Box, Malvern, 01684 568623

Transport: Lagonda Hire Vintage Wedding Cars, Malmesbury, Wiltshire, 01666 860368,

Entertainment: Jazzjiveswing, Chalford Hill, Gloucestershire,



supplier finder

Get a quote

Looking for that perfect local supplier?
Let us know what you need and we’ll start looking for you.

supplier finder

Find a supplier

Search over 200,000 Suppliers in the UK.



Everything for your wedding

Wedding flowers inspired by the seasons

If you don't know where to start with your wedding flowers, consider your wedding season ...

Wedding Photo of the Week: Lewis Bishop Photography

Each week we’re inviting all wedding photographers to submit their images to be Bri...

The benefits of a smaller wedding

We explore the benefits of a smaller wedding, giving you plenty to consider before you d...

Asperger's and me; a bridal make-up artist's first-hand account

One bridal make-up artist shares how her Asperger's Syndrome has finally given her an app...

Wedding Photo of the Week: Laura Moon Photography

Each week we’re inviting all wedding photographers to submit their images to be Bri...

Looking for that perfect local supplier?
Let us know what you need and we’ll start looking for you.

the wedding show