Wedding of the Week: Jennifer Bows and Jonathan Ledger
17 Apr 2017
Adding their own DIY details, this Yorkshire couple even opted for a first song instead of a first dance which they compiled themselves and perfomed at their reception
How did you meet?
At secondary school. We were in the same maths class together in sixth form.
Tell us about the proposal.
We went to Disneyland Paris for New Year and Jonny proposed to me in a treehouse with a view of the Disney castle and fireworks. I wondered why he kept checking his pockets every time we got off a ride... he was worried about losing the ring.
What was the theme for the day, and did you have a colour scheme?
Our colour scheme was mint green, hot pink and baby pink. We didn't really have a theme, but my bridesmaids' dresses were '50s inspired.
When did you know when you'd found 'the dress'?
I only went to one shop. I tried on a few that I thought looked nice, but when I put them on I just didn’t look right in them. There was one hanging up separately that I would never have picked, but I tried it on and loved it. I thought I was looking for simple, but I ended up with quite a big dress.
Where did you find your suits?
Jonny mixed and matched his suit from high street stores. His jacket was from House of Fraser, trousers from White Stuff, tie from Next and shoes from Burton.
Tell us about your floral arrangements.
We just created our own. We bought some flowers the day before from the market in York, and a family friend let us loose in her garden where we were able to pick some beautiful flowers. My bridesmaids then put the bouquets and buttonholes together on the morning of the wedding. They included roses, peonies, lisianthus and gypsophila. My bridesmaids had bouquets of gypsophila.
Often the aspect that makes a wedding original to the couple is the detail; tell us about the details of the day.
- I bought Jonny (and myself) some custom All Star Converse shoes, with our new surname embroidered on the back. Mine were the colours of our wedding scheme. We put them on in the evening when the dancing began, and wore them on our honeymoon.
- I arranged for two of Jonny's favourite comedians - Cash Levy and TJ Miller - to record a video message for him, and played it to him on the morning of the wedding.
- Jonny's brother transported us to the reception in his own car (a Kia Picanto); he put a shiny bow on the front.
- My friends and family made homemade cakes for after the ceremony, which we served with tea from the teacups I had been collecting over the years.
- Our favours were jars of things; my mum and I made homemade jams and chutneys of different flavours, and some were filled with sweets. I made the labels for the jars and made stickers with each guest's name on so they could stick it on the jar they wanted.
- I made our seating plan out of wooden pegs turned into little people, each with the guests' names on and that they could take home at the end of the night.
- I'm a graphic designer, so I handmade all of our stationery from invitations and orders of service to posters with lovely quotes on.
- My best friend made some beautiful clay birds as cake toppers. My mum baked our wedding cake and Jonny's mum decorated it with beautiful icing flowers.
How did you feel as you walked down the aisle?
Relieved that my dress didn't get stuck. I was concentrating on not crying so was trying to think of sad things - but I was incredibly happy.
What was your most memorable moment?
My sister gave birth to her first child the day before the wedding, but still attended and brought my baby niece (Olivia).
What was the most challenging aspect of planning this wedding?
Getting it all done in time. I booked the main things OK, but when it came to hand-making all the details I gave myself too much to do. I was up until 3am the night before making cones for confetti, had to quickly wash my hair and then go to bed with wet hair. Very stressful, but so worth it.
What was the most important investment for you?
We wanted to do the wedding cheaply but beautifully, so decided on what we wanted to be the things we spent most money on. It turned out to be the wedding band (Move It Like Friday) who were awesome, and the photographers (SDS photographers) who were so lovely and we couldn't have asked for better photographic memories.
What song did you choose for your first dance, and why?
We didn't do a first dance, but wrote our own 'first song' and called it 'When We're Old'. The last line of the chorus is "But we don't mind, how it unwinds. 'Cause we're best friends, and will be 'til the end". Jonny played the guitar, I sang (and played the rice shaker) and my bridesmaids held up lyric cards for the audience.
Tell us about your wedding cake.
It was three circle tiers. My mum made the fruit cake at the bottom and mother-in-law made the other two Victoria sponge cakes. My mother-in-law also decorated the cake with pink and green peonies made out of icing. My best friend made some clay birds as a topper.
If you could go back and change anything, what would it be?
I'd not give myself so much to do and make sure I chilled out the night before and on the morning (instead of waiting for sandwiches in Sainsburys).
Was there anything you wish you'd known before?
How quickly the day would go. I don't think I managed to speak to everyone, but they seemed to have a good time.
Where did you go on honeymoon?
Disneyland Florida, where we got engaged, so we carried on the theme. We spent two weeks there and went around all the parks. I wore Mickey ears with a veil, and Jonny wore Mickey ears with Goofy's hat on.
Do you have any advice for couples in the planning stages?
Don't try and do everything yourself. Ask friends and family for help with making/organising things, and accept that spending money is sometimes a better option than giving yourself lots of stress.
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