Shh… can you keep a secret? Well that’s good, because WE CAN’T! Everyone please join us in gazing in awe at Pippa and Josh’s absolutely sublime secret garden-themed wedding!
Before we start unpicking the absolutely divine details of the day (and there are many), you may have already come across today’s wedding in the form of the viral best man video (below) in which the eight contenders for the job of delivering groom Josh’s best man speech created a hilarious and epic parody of The Apprentice. This had us in absolute stitches, and we highly recommend watching it!
Back to the big day itself, our incredible Recommended Vendor, the inimitable Debbie of Qube Events & Productions, outdid herself on this secret garden production, which took no fewer than four days to set up!
The romantic lakeside ceremony was conducted under a magical, wild and sprawling floral chuppah, heaped with foliage and tumbling flowers. Does it get any more dreamy than that? The statement floristry was a major focal point of the dà©cor, with stunning table arrangements and flowers throughout.
Gorgeous bride, Pippa, looked a vision in her elegant and show-stopping Stewart Parvin gown and old Hollywood waves, and their meaningful ceremony was full of love and focused around family.
Photographers Reportage Gallery created a beautiful spread of images, which we’re so thrilled to be able to show off on these pages, and, thanks to Pippa’s eloquent write up, we almost feel like we were there (if someone could pass us some of those churros through the screen, we’d be very grateful)!
We’ll pass you over to Pippa now for the full report. STG-ers… ready, steady, PIN!
A lakeside venue
Pippa, the bride: We got married at Thornton Manor Lakeside Marquee. It was only the second venue we visited but we loved all the beautiful outdoor space and the ability to get married by the lake, which was an amazing setting for the chuppah.
A secret garden theme
In general we stuck with white, green and apricot as the color scheme. To reflect the venue, the theme was loosely based around a secret garden, with an emphasis on lots of rustic style flowers, candles and fairy lights.
We were also inspired by 1920s garden parties, so cocktails were a big part of our day. We reflected the theme with a carefully crafted cocktail menu and cocktail names for each of our tables.
Debbie Marks, from Qube Events & Productions, was our wedding planner and, together with her team, did an amazing job of bringing our vision into reality. I know from Debbie that the wedding involved a four-day build, which included a complete transformation of the Lakeside Marquee and massive production rig. It also took months of planning to make the logistics work to comfortably house our 280 guests, but it all paid off.
I worked with Natalie Spencer, an amazing illustrator and an old friend of mine, to design the illustration for our invite. Natalie picked up on our theme and designed a border for our invites of wild flowers, vines and berries, which was inspired by an overgrown entrance to a secret garden.
My friend Christine Gubbins, who is a graphic designer, did a great job of bringing the illustration together with the text to create the final invite.
Working with Christina, we then used parts of the illustrated border, and the monogram Natalie designed, in all of our wedding stationery, including the menus, benchers, table names etc.
The illustration was a great way to bring something unique to the wedding and helped create a consistent theme.
Glamorous hair and makeup
I loved the getting ready portion of my day. I had eight bridesmaids, including six friends and Josh’s two sisters, and we had a team of makeup artist and hairstylists to get us ready.
Laura Rzemieniecka did my makeup. I didn’t want to look too obviously bridal and I loved the look Laura created. Rebecca and Zara from Paul Michaels Hair Salon in Altrincham did my hair. I went for old-Hollywood-style waves which were pinned back on one side.
Other than ‘soft and flowy’ I didn’t give my bridesmaids a strict brief for hair and makeup and let them choose their own. The bridesmaids all looked great. Hair was done by the team at Paul Michaels. The bridesmaids sent through their preferred looks before the day and the team did an amazing job of creating the variety of styles from up do’s to fishtail plaits. The bridesmaids all loved their makeup which was done by Tally Bookbinder.
A Stewart Parvin dress
The dress was Stewart Parvin. The team in the store were exceptional; they immediately understood the type of dress I was looking for, were meticulous about building the dress and I enjoyed the whole experience of working with them.
When I tried on the final dress, I couldn’t believe how beautiful it was and I felt amazing in it on the day.
I wore my mum’s veil which my grandma had kept carefully for me and which looked perfect with the dress.
I wore glittery, pink Jimmy Choo heels, rather than white, as I wanted something I could wear again.
The handsome groom
Bridesmaids in dark green
The bridesmaids all wore dark green dresses from David’s Bridal. I thought it was going to be a nightmare to find dresses they all liked, but we found the David’s bridal dresses quite quickly and they all looked great in the style and color.
It was really important to me that all the bridesmaids were happy and comfortable in their dresses, and thankfully it didn’t take too long to find one.
A floral fairytale chuppah
We had the chairs arranged in a semi-circle around the chuppah to maximise the view of the lake.
The chuppah itself was covered in foliage and white flowers and had a slightly overgrown look to it. We made the most of the flowers by using the ones from the chuppah to line the front of the stage later in the evening.
A family-focused ceremony
We were lucky and had great weather on the day, which is far from a given in Manchester. This meant that we were able to hold the ceremony outside, overlooking the lake.
The chuppah was really special and personal to me and Josh. Josh’s uncle Michael, who is a chazan, sang to us under the chuppah. Michael was also joined by Josh’s dad, who sang as I walked down the aisle, and Josh’s 14 year old cousin Ivri.
Wild, dramatic flowers
The flowers were a big part of the overall look and feel of the wedding, we wanted them to be wild, dramatic and make a statement.
Debbie from Qube Events, working with her in-house floristry team, created elevated arrangements of flowers and foliage on gold-stilted frames. Down the center of the middle long table, we also had a runner of foliage and a mix of white flowers.
I loved all the flowers we used throughout the wedding, especially the peach Juliet David Austin roses in my bouquet and the unusual elements including peach hypericum berries.
Our fabulous photographer and videographer
We used Reportage Gallery as our photographers after they were recommended to us by a number of our friends. Pascal, and his team from Reportage, was amazing on the day, going above and beyond to get the perfect shot.
We used Rebecca Reville as our videographer as we really liked the style of her work.
An international feast
Catering was done by Celia Clyne Banqueting. The menu was inspired by our favourite places to travel to as a family, including Thailand and Spain.
The canapà©s, starters and main were all Asian influenced. For dessert we had churros with chocolate dipping sauce, inspired by our visits to Orange Square in Marbella. Later in the evening we had ice lollies to help cool guests down during the dancing.
Apprentice-style parody film
There were lots of surprises on the day, not just for the guests, but also for me and Josh.
Josh didn’t have one best man but eight groomsmen. To decide who would give the ‘best man’s toast’ at the wedding the groomsmen created an Apprentice style parody film. The film was hilarious and has since been picked up by The Huffington Post.
Later in the evening, we were all led outside the marquee for a surprise fireworks display, which was magical and one of my favourite parts of the day.
Advice to couples currently planning their wedding
I had a big group of bridesmaids, which I know isn’t for everyone, but they were at least as excited as me in the lead up to the day and helped keep the atmosphere light and fun in the morning getting ready.
Pippa & Josh’s little white book
Wedding planner – Qube Events & Productions
Photographer – Reportage Gallery
Venue – Thornton Manor Lakeside Marquee
Bride’s dress – Stewart Parvin
Bride’s jewellery – Boodles
Bride’s shoes – Jimmy Choo
Groom’s attire – Ted Baker suit and Thomas Pink
Bridesmaids – Vera Wang purchased at David’s Bridal
Hair + Makeup – Paul Michaels Hair Salon, Laura Rzemieniecka and Tally Bookbinder
Catering – Celia Clyne Banqueting
Stationery – Natalie Spencer and Christine Gubbins
Videographer – Rebecca Reville