A timeless wedding focused on love in Essex
19 Nov 2020
Jodie Stewart and David Sheppard brought their wedding forward because of Covid-19 and married at Braintree Town Hall, Essex
What venue did you choose and why did you choose it?
Originally, we were getting married at the Compasses of Pattiswick in November 2020. This is a very beautiful and rustic venue near Colchester. Because of Covid-19 we opted to get married at Braintree Town Hall. It is a beautiful building and the staff were amazing, considering how quickly it was planned. We intend on having a party with friends and family at the Compasses in 2022.
What was the theme for the day, and did you have a colour scheme?
I wanted the wedding to be classy, timeless and focus on love. On the original invites was written “Nothing fancy, just love". They were all white, and were perfect.
We kept to pastel colours. I am a fan of all things vintage and wanted this reflected in the wedding with my outfit, hair and make-up. I had a floral headband which Sue (who did my wedding flowers) had made for my hen do, I decided to wear that to the wedding. The hairdresser Mel did a lovely job adding soft waves, and Steph the make-up artist did a 60’s eyeliner on my eyes.
Tell us about the dress
My parents have both passed away so I did not want the ‘normal’ wedding dress shopping experience, as I felt it would be too emotional. Instead my mother-in-law originally brought a dress and shrug from Monsoon. I found a pair of LK Bennett heels online. I then saw a French Connection dress to wear to the Town Hall instead. A few weeks before our wedding at the Town Hall, I went into the Air Ambulance charity shop in Braintree, just to browse. There I saw a white belted LK Bennett dress for £8 in perfect condition. It fitted perfectly and went with the vintage vibe. Nobody could believe it was only £8! It matched my heels perfectly; I was lucky to find it.
Does the dress match the one you originally thought you would choose?
I have always wanted an understated wedding dress; I think sometimes less is more. I have always been a fan of a classic silhouette, as worn by the likes of Grace Kelly and Audrey Hepburn. The dress I found in the end was perfect. I felt incredibly chic, and I loved the Jackie O vibes the dress had.
Who were the bridesmaids and what did they wear?
My sister Laura, who wore a pink lace Joanie dress and a next faux fur coat. Her outfit was a bit last minute and she actually borrowed it from me. My friend Helen borrowed a dress from her sister, and my friend Keira who wore Dorothy Perkins. The girls all looked beautiful, and I loved the happy colours they wore.
Tell us about your floral arrangements
My sister in law’s mum, Sue did the flowers for us, as a wedding gift. I wanted something with a vintage feel and very classic. Sue did an amazing job, also incorporating rosemary which reminds me of my mum. She did a beautiful bouquet for me, a flower for my husband’s suit and a lovely floral arrangement in a basket. The basket was displayed in the registry office then taken and displayed at the meal afterwards. Sue also did my floral headband; I love the colours and I think it really made my outfit. I adored all the flowers, they were beautiful, but especially the passion flower in the basket arrangement. It was really special that an extended family member did the flowers for us, and a real personal touch to the day.
Often the aspect that makes a wedding original to the couple is the detail – tell us about the details of the day
We had photos of my parents displayed in the ceremony room which was important to me. I am a big fan of Fortnum and Mason - David took me there once. At the wedding we drank their wedding breakfast tea and used a F&M basket of mine for cards.
I also opted for me and the bridesmaids to be picked up and taken to the Town Hall in a cream vintage camper van. Hayley who I hired the van from has become a friend of mine (she took me and my friends out prior to the wedding on a separate occasion). Hayley was a key part of the day. She decorated the camper van beautifully, and was really calming and helped me with my nerves. We did not have a photographer, and Hayley took some lovely photos, which was a nice touch.
How did you feel as you walked down the aisle?
Extremely nervous. I walked in the ceremony room with my sister, which was a nice moment. I was extremely happy when I saw David.
How did you make the ceremony personal to you?
I think having friends and family so involved made it personal. We had no photographer, so guests took all the photos. The ceremony was really personal, I could smile at each guest. You don’t always get that feeling at big weddings.
What was your most memorable moment?
When I walked up to the aisle and mine and David’s eyes met. It was a really magical moment. Something I think we will never forget.
What was the most challenging aspect of planning this wedding?
Covid-19, initially we had a bigger wedding planned. But because of this we had a smaller wedding at different venue. Despite this we had a lovely day. We were determined not to let Covid cancel our day.
What was the most important investment for you?
David and I are foodies, so it was important to have good food and drink. We had a champagne toast afterwards and had a really yummy meal at 47 The Street. But the actual wedding was very inexpensive. You do not need to spend thousands to have a wonderful wedding day.
Did you have any evening entertainment?
In the evening we met up with some of the family. We had a lovely time, we had a Chinese takeaway and cut the wedding cake. It was a perfect evening.
Tell us about your wedding cake
A friend of David's mum made the cake. Linda did an amazing job. It was a two-tiered white sponge cake, with flowers made of icing and pearl beading. It was very understated and chic, and tasted wonderful.
Steal Their Style
Photography: Family & friends
Ceremony Venue: Braintree Town Hall
Reception Venue: 47 The Street
Dress: LK Bennett dress from Essex & Herts Air Ambulance
Hair: Melanie Clark, 07949 307945
Make-up: Make-up by Stephanie
Nails: Amelié nails
Groom’s suit: Slater Menswear
Transport: V-DUB Rides