Real Wedding: A Romantic Day in Derbyshire with Copper Touches and a Hayley Paige Wedding Dress
Jess's breathtaking Hayley Paige wedding dress stole the show on the day, with an elegant illusion neckline and an open back creating a truly flawless look.
Jess' family pulled together to create a striking copper arch, which added the finishing touch to a wonderfully romantic day.
Photographer | Holly Rattray of Belle and Beau Photography
How they met
Jess and Aaron met in their final year at Oxford University, in their tax class, with Aaron taking five weeks to pluck up the courage to speak to Jess.<br /><br />Where tax class is lacking in romance, the proposal more than made up for it.<br /><br />"The proposal was perfect," says Jess.<br /><br />"We were in Paris and Aaron took me to Parc Des Buttes Chaumont before dinner. It was freezing and pitch black and I will admit I was less than impressed at being traipsed around the park when I was hungry and cold. But we eventually got to a bridge and Aaron told me to close my eyes. When I opened them, he was projecting a video with all of my friends in it explaining why I should marry him."
Aaron and Jess held their wedding at <a href="https://www.hitched.co.uk/wedding-venues/the-west-mill_6263.htm" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">The West Mill</a>, in Derbyshire. <br /><br />"We found the venue really early on in our search but back then it was still a building site! We went and saw other places but in the end the owner sold his vision to us, of what he wanted the West Mill to become. He didn’t disappoint," says Aaron.<br /><br />The couple went for a timeless decor for the big day, with touches of copper, culminating in a copper arch, created by Jess' dad and brother.
"We went copper mad," admits Jess.<br /><br />"We had tons of copper lanterns from big glass ones to much smaller ones that sat of the tables. There were copper plates, trays and bowls. Copper candle holders and candelabras. We thought we’d have too much by the time the day came but can you ever have too much 'shiny'?"<br /><br />They filled copper lanterns with candles, which creating a lovely ambience on the day.<br /><br />"There's something magical and atmospheric about candlelight even on a beautiful summer's day," says Jess. <br /><br /><a href="http://www.youandyourwedding.co.uk/planning/venues/best-wedding-lighting-inspiration-on-pinterest/20421.html" target="_self">READ MORE: Best wedding lighting inspiration on Pinterest</a>
The white wedding flowers
Florist <a href="https://nadiaditullio.com" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Nadia di Tullio</a> worked with the venue before designing the flowers. "I think it was a real help because it meant that she knew the space and knew what would really work and bring our ideas to life," explains Jess.<br /><br />The floral arrangements included hydrangeas, ranunculus, freesias and roses, all in white.<br /><br />"We wanted an opulent, crisp and beautiful look, and the flowers added texture and softened the architectural details of the venue."
Copper table decorations
"The tables were decorated as everything else had been that day, with lots of white flowers, plenty of green foliage and copper lanterns," says Aaron.<br /><br />READ MORE:<a href="http://www.youandyourwedding.co.uk/planning/essentials/wedding-table-decorations-and-centre-pieces-25-interesting-ways-to-dress-up-your-tables/22128.html" target="_self"> Wedding table decorations and centre pieces: 25 interesting ways to dress up your tables</a>
The table names
"The table names and place cards were created using calligraphy and copper foil," says Aaron.<br /><br />"I remember visiting Jess and she was covered in tiny pieces of copper foil and foil adhesive."<br /><br />"Each table was a place that meant something to us, such as the Parc des Buttes Chamont where we got engaged or Christ Church – Peckwater Quad where we spent a fair amount of our time together in our last year of university," he continues.<br /><br />"We liked the idea of giving our guests something to talk about when they came in for dinner so we included a little bio on the back of each table name and it worked a treat as a conversation starter."<br /><br /><a href="http://www.youandyourwedding.co.uk/planning/essentials/24-unique-wedding-table-name-ideas/22479.html" target="_self">READ MORE: 24 Unique Wedding Table Name Ideas</a>
"We had fun building the A & J sign," shares Jess.<br /><br />"We went and bought some wooden letters, chalk paint, moss and some other bits and pieces and then we just threw it all together. It was really fun getting to take the time to make something together and just having a bit of a mess around. We wired the letters to a copper pipe frame and hung it behind us during the wedding breakfast."<br /><br /><a href="http://www.youandyourwedding.co.uk/ideas/diy-and-craft/20-creative-ways-to-diy-your-wedding/20789.html" target="_self">READ MORE: 20 creative ways to DIY your wedding</a>
Copper wedding stationery
"Jess' brother designed the invites under Jess' watchful eye," says Aaron.<br /><br />"They used the muted greys and copper tones that we had used in the rest of the décor. The foil lettering really caught people's attention as it wasn't a typical invite."
The wedding cake
Aaron and Jess' wedding cake was created by Sophie from <a href="http://www.theconfetticakery.co.uk" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Confetti Cakery</a>.<br /><br />"The cake was incredible," enthuses Jess.<br /><br />"We had seen some designs that had elements of what we wanted but nothing that combined them all. Sophie who was so open to trying to combine the elements. It was a huge talking point with the guests and we couldn’t recommend anyone more highly. Cake hadn't been a priority but ended up being one of our favourite elements because Sophie did an amazing job."<br /><br />
A sweet touch
"The cake was set in the middle of a huge sweet table that had all kinds of different sweets from jelly beans to choccies to bon bons to macarons," says Jess.<br /><br />"We laid out copper foiled bags and had personalised A & J stickers printed so that people could come and help themselves to take some home. It went down really well with the guests. People often forget favours when they are on the table but people rarely pass up on sweets."<br /><br /><a href="http://www.youandyourwedding.co.uk/planning/favours-and-thank-yous/best-ways-to-display-your-wedding-sweets-and-edible-favours/21424.html" target="_self">READ MORE: Best ways to display your wedding sweets and edible favours</a>
The wedding dress
Jess and her parents travelled up and down the country in search of her perfect wedding dress, and eventually found her <a href="https://www.jlmcouture.com/Hayley-Paige" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Hayley Paige</a> Elysia dress at <a href="http://www.cocoandkate.co.uk" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Coco and Kate</a> in Warwickshire.<br /><br />"My Dad found the dress," Jess shares.<br /><br />"I’d been to Coco and Kate with mum a few weeks before and tried on the Elysia dress but hadn’t loved it. I wanted to bring Dad back to get his opinion (what he thinks will always mean the world to me and he insisted that the dress was the one thing he wanted me to include him in). He pointed out the dress, I came out in it and he cried. It is a done deal when your dad cries."
The veil and accessories
"I had a cathedral length silk veil with Swarovski crystal embellishment (again dad liked the crystals). I kept my jewellery simple as my dress had so many beautiful details," explains Jess.<br /><br />"I wanted to look glamorous and elegant. In all honesty, I just wanted Aaron to think I looked great and I think he did so it was a success."<br /><br /><a href="http://www.youandyourwedding.co.uk/dresses-and-style/shoes-and-accessories/how-to-choose-your-wedding-veil/21449.html" target="_self">READ MORE: How to choose your wedding veil</a>
The most memorable moment
"Seeing Jess walk down the aisle was the most memorable moment for me," reveals Aaron.<br /><br />"There was a lot of fanfare throughout the day; lots of things to look at and do, as well as entertaining guests and having photos taken etc. But when Jess was walking down the aisle it was the only moment where things didn’t seem busy. Time could have stopped completely and I wouldn’t have known."