The game of love

Like so many happy relationships, Jess and David were friends before they got together. "We met through church and got to know each other really well," Jess says. "Things started to blossom and David asked me to go out with him in June 2006." The pair started talking about getting married, but David wasn't sure what style of ring Jess would like, so they decided to go ring shopping together. "We found the perfect rose quartz ring in Jody Cory jewellers," Jess remembers. "Unfortunately, they had to order it in, so that meant another two weeks of waiting for the proposal!" When they went to collect it, a pricing issue meant it took longer than expected, by which point the couple's chosen proposal spot, Prior Park, had closed. Google came to the rescue and they headed to Heaven's Gate beauty spot near Longleat, where David got down on one knee just as the sun was setting.  Like so many happy relationships, Jess and David were friends before they got together. “We met through church and got to know each other really well,” Jess says. “Things started to blossom and David asked me to go out with him in June 2006.”

The pair started talking about getting married, but David wasn’t sure what style of ring Jess would like, so they decided to go ring shopping together. “We found the perfect rose quartz ring in Jody Cory jewellers,” Jess remembers. “Unfortunately, they had to order it in, so that meant another two weeks of waiting for the proposal!” When they went to collect it, a pricing issue meant it took longer than expected, by which point the couple’s chosen proposal spot, Prior Park, had closed. Google came to the rescue and they headed to Heaven’s Gate beauty spot near Longleat, where David got down on one knee just as the sun was setting.

After announcing the exciting news to their loved ones, the couple got planning their dream day for 13th July, 2019, with a ceremony at Shirehampton Baptist Church, followed by a reception at Barley Wood. We caught up with Jess to find out more…

Rings The pair looked for a few key factors to find their perfect venue: accommodation, a room for dancing and a room for playing board games. "We looked at 17 venues altogether, but we enjoyed exploring the grounds at Barley Wood so much that we knew it had to be top of the list," Jess remembers. "We loved that you could have it for the whole weekend. This meant that we didn't have to rush and we could enjoy setting up, which we did mainly ourselves with the help of family and friends."

Wedding transport A colour palette of grey, green and purple was chosen, and the couple also incorporated their love of board games into the day, with a selection for their guests to enjoy, and also naming the tables after their favourite games. Jess had a clear idea of what she wanted from her flowers. "I really wanted succulents to be a main feature," she says. "I was also hooked on having hoop bouquets for me and my bridesmaids, which our florist, Verbena Floral Styling, made happen. The men's buttonholes incorporated the flowers used for our parents' weddings, while the centrepieces included succulents and seasonal florals in wooden boxes and rustic stoneware." Succulents were given as favours, as were delicious Florentines and biscuits from French patisserie Chouxfayre.

Cake The cake was a delicious four-tier masterpiece by Kerry at Angel's Kitchen, with three edible tiers and one dummy tier. "The hoop bouquets became a running theme, so we incorporated this into the design," Jess says. "Kerry got in touch with our florist to feature the succulents and flowers we were using, and she also added some of the detail from my dress."

Top table

Jess and David made the day their own, with 300 metres of handmade paper bunting, wooden signs dressed in florals, garden games and even a game of bingo during the speeches! "We hired some beautiful items from Kennedy Events to adorn the space, such as candleholders and a suitcase for our cards," Jess says. "We made sure we arrived in style with an Austin Twelve for the wedding car and a vintage bus to transport our guests."

Board games

Friends and family were treated to some amazing catering options. "As people arrived we had canapés, Pimm's and ice cream from a cart," Jess says. "We knew we wanted a sit-down meal, and we opted for roast beef followed by crumble. David had his own dessert – his favourite, cheesecake." In the evening, guests were fuelled by a ploughman's-style buffet with pork pies, sausage rolls, eggs and plenty of cake!

Walking down the aisle Jess knew she wanted a tea-length dress, but finding the right one took much longer than expected. "I finally found my dress in The Bridal Boutique," she says. "The designer couldn't supply the correct size in time, so I had the sample dress altered, which made it unique. I finished my look with bold yellow shoes with a turquoise ribbon, succulent earrings and a bespoke birdcage veil."

Couple pose on bus The men looked dashing in blue suits with purple accessories – the purple shirts were tricky to find, but they finally located some from Charles Tyrwhitt. They looked great alongside the bridesmaids, who wore tea-length dresses in purple, green and grey with coordinating succulent earrings. The flowergirl was super-cute in an aqua floral-patterned dress.

Wedding guests The day was all about creating memories and everyone enjoying themselves. "We had outside games, board games and a live band," Jess tells us. "The weather was wonderful, so people loved getting out into the grounds to mingle and play games. The live band were a huge hit too – everyone was asking where we'd found them!"So how did the newlyweds feel on the day? "We both felt like we were in a dream and had to pinch ourselves to check it was happening," Jess smiles. "There were definitely some nerves at the church though!"

Jess and David's contact book