Wedding of the Week: Daisie Ayres-Sumner and Christopher Whitford

25 Jun 2018

Sensational flower arrangements were inevitably a high priority for florist Daisie Ayres-Sumner's wedding day and her phenomenal floral theme didn't disappoint

How did you meet?

Young Farmers Club.

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Tell us about the proposal.

It was on my 24th birthday. I am always awake very early on my birthday; it was 5.30am when Chris shouted up the stairs that some cows had got out (Chris is a dairy farmer) and that he needed my help. I came running down the stairs and there he was on one knee in our kitchen with a ring. 

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What was the theme for the day, and did you have a colour scheme?

A relaxed, countryside, dairy farm, floral theme.

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What venue did you choose and why did you choose it?

We chose Restaurant 56 at Sudbury House Hotel for the ceremony room as it had an old fashioned/modern feel to it. The room was intimate and didn't feel too corporate. From reception to the bar to the rooms and the garden all have a fantastic finish and are clean and modern. The venue is also extremely practical; we had guests coming from Northern Ireland (Chris's relatives), Scotland, Wales and other areas around the country, so we wanted to give them a venue with accommodation where they didn't have to travel any further. All of our guests were extremely pleased with the rooms that they stayed in. We also wanted to be under one roof incase it rained on the day, which it did in the morning.

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When did you know when you’d found ‘the’ dress?

I had been to two dress shops; the first shop I tried on seven dresses and just didn't get the right feel for any of them. I found my dress in the second shop, Proposals in Witney. It was a Maggie Sottero dress and the final dress of the day that i tried on. 

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What did the bridesmaids wear?

The dresses all came from Proposals too. They were pale blue in colour.

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Where did you find your suits?

Domino in Witney; it was my grandad's tailor when he was alive so it had some meaning behind it.

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Tell us about your floral arrangements.

I am a florist and work for Fabulous Flowers based in Abingdon and Oxford. I couldn't decide what flowers I wanted so I gave my bosses, Gary Cooper and Matthew Taylor, full permission to surprise me and they went above and beyond. I didn't see any of my flowerrs until they bought the bouquets up to my room. They offered a meadow/countryside feel and were used to decorate the stairs and fill milk churns. A variety of tall tree arrangements and low arrangements were used on the the tables. Milk bottles were also filled with flowers. I had a very natural trailing bouquet, whereas my bridesmaids had bunches of daisies mixed with blue flowers called oxypetalum to match the dresses. 

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Often the aspect that makes a wedding original to the couple is the detail – tell us about the details of the day.

  • The favours were mini milk bottles to pay homage to Chris's work and also a mixture of sweets for my sweet tooth.
  • A photobooth for the evening was the best guest book we could have asked for.
  • Chris's mum wrote our table plan and name cards in calligraphy.
  • My dad is a pig farmer and supplied the hog for the hog roast in the evening.
  • A friend bought our dog, Cora, to the day so that we could get a photograph with her.

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How did you feel as you walked down the aisle?

I was so excited, I was just concentrating on breathing as I couldn't quite take it all in.

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How did you make the ceremony personal to you?

My brother, Jack, read something he had written titled A Farmer's Wife.

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What was your most memorable moment?

Daisie: For me it is so hard to pick: when I saw my dad for the first time, when I first saw my flowers, seeing our families enjoying the day together. It's a hard question as nothing stands out as it was all memorable.

Chris: The whole day was so brilliant that it's too hard to pick a stand-out moment.

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What was the most challenging aspect of planning this wedding?

Deciding on the music for walking down the aisle, as well as what should be played while guests were arriving. 

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What was the most important investment for you?

The venue.

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What song did you choose for your first dance, and why?

Brown Eyed Girl by Van Morrison has always been 'our song'. Chris set it to be my ring tone when we first started going out.

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Did you have any evening entertainment?

A photobooth, DJ and lots of dancing.

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Tell us about your wedding cake.

Our wedding cake was made by my family friend, Dianne Herd, as cake making is her hobby. It was four tiers with handmade sugar flowers between the flavoured layers from top to bottom: lemon, chocolate, fruit and sponge. Instead of the traditional bride and groom topper we had a bull and cow complete with a top hat and veil and the ear tags had the date of our wedding on. 

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If you could go back and change anything, what would it be?

Nothing, not even the fact that it rained on the morning of our wedding.

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Did anything go wrong on the day?

Not as far as we are aware... which I guess is the way it should be.

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Where did you go on honeymoon?

We went two days after our wedding to Santorini in Greece.

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Do you have any advice for couples in the planning stages?

Plan gradually so that it doesn't get on top of you; the more you get done in the early stages means you can relax in the final weeks running up to the wedding. Just enjoy the planning stage and trust your suppliers otherwise you will not be able to enjoy the day.

Steal their style:

Venue: Sudbury House Hotel, www.sudburyhouse.co.uk/occasions.html
Floristry: Fabulous Flowers, www.fabulousflowers.biz
Stationery: White Olive Designs (previously Sugar and Spice), www.whiteolivedesigns.co.uk
Hair: Emilee's Hair, Burford, www.emileeshair.co.uk
Make-up: Segais Hair and Beauty, www.segais.co.uk
Photography: Jaqueline Cross, www.jacquelinecrossphotography.com
Videography: Mark Shipperley, https://markshipperleyfilms.co.uk/
Suits: Domino, Witney, www.dominohirewear.co.uk
Bride's and bridesmaids' dresses: Proposals, Witney, www.proposalsbridalstudio.co.uk
Photobooth: Director Sculpt Photobooth, www.directorscutphotobooth.co.uk
DJ: Star Sound Express, www.findadisco.com

For more real wedding inspiration, pick up the latest edition of Bride magazine

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