Gemma and Jack were looking for the perfect place to hold a summer wedding that was personal and private, as well as allowing for plenty of fun for them and all of their guests. They found the ideal setting in Frensham Heights, a remarkable private school and wedding venue in Surrey. We asked the happy couple why they said ‘I do' to this magnificent setting.
"There's a practical reason and a completely superstitious reason!" explains Gemma. The practical reasons were that I'm a teacher, so the fact that Frensham Heights is a school made it quite personal. It was also full of character and had the most beautiful ballroom."
"The superstitious reason was really quite wonderful! When looking around the venue, I was happily snapping photos to show my Dad when we got home. In the corner of one of the photos of the garden was a cloud in the perfect shape of a heart! It was so amazing I decided there and then that it must be a sign that this was the venue for us!"
Styling The Venue
The couple were keen to put their own stamp on the place and have a strong style running throughout the whole wedding day.
"I am a huge fan of old Hollywood films and the art deco era, so without going too over the top with a theme, I wanted the day to have touches of this sort of style," says Gemma. "My friend is a graphic designer so he designed the stationery in a subtle art deco style."
Gemma and Jack got creative and made most of their decorations themselves, giving their day a wonderful personal feel.
"My favourite decoration also doubled up as the table plan. I made a huge flower curtain of white carnations and hanging between all the flowers were photos of all my guests. I also made a gallery of photos of Jack and me and put up wedding photos of our parents and grandparents. I used all the Champagne bottles that we had been given as gifts and put candles in them to make a really effective and impactful display."
With an emphasis on a fun-filled day, the happy couple had plenty of garden games to enjoy on the lawns of the venue. With giant kerplunk, Jenga and even crazy golf, it was safe to say that everyone had a great time playing and soaking up the sun!
The Perfect Look
When it came to finding a stunning dress, Gemma struggled to find ‘the one'. She didn't let that stop her though, and took matters into her own hands to get the perfect look.
"It took me a long time to find a dress that I felt happy in, and even then I wanted to change it to make it my own!" explains Gemma. "I found a dress by Essence of Australia that almost fit the bill. It had the art deco beading that I wanted and a gorgeous fit and flare tulle skirt. Then I took it to a dressmaker who added spaghetti straps and three strands of pearls to the back. It then became the vintage Hollywood dress that I had dreamed of."
"Jack and his ushers wore Ted Baker navy morning suits. My dad accessorised with his grandfather's pocket watch, and Jack wore the cufflinks that I had given him as a wedding gift. As his father had died several years before the wedding, I wanted his dad to be with him on the day, so one cufflink had a picture of us, and the other had a picture of Jack's parents on their wedding day."
Hitting All The Right Notes
Music played a big part throughout this couple's big day, from the ceremony right through to the end of the night.
"I walked down the aisle to them playing a classical version of George Harrison's ‘Here Comes The Sun'. The first time I heard it as a teenager I knew it was what I wanted to walk down the aisle to," smiles Gemma. "During the ceremony, the musicians accompanied my friend Adam who sang ‘Danny Boy' as a tribute to Jack's dad and ‘Being Alive' from the musical ‘Company'. At the venue, my parents surprised us with a jazz trio during the drinks reception. They were fabulous and really added to the atmosphere! After dinner, we had a band called Superspokes and my friend Ben DJ'd."
A Memorable Day
The day went off without a hitch and the happy couple shared an unforgettable wedding with their guests.
"It's hard to choose one standout moment, the whole day was perfect from start to finish but I'd probably say that the ceremony was my favourite part," smiles Gemma. "Having readings delivered by our best friends and having such special music performed, not to mention getting married to the love of my life; nothing can really top that!
"If I could give any advice, it would be to organise things as you go along and don't do things at the last minute. I wasn't stressed at all as I did little bits throughout the year, but be decisive. Make it personal and special to the both of you. It's the warmth, personality and generosity of spirit that makes a day special.”
Images © Married to my Camera
To find out more about this incredible wedding venue in Surrey, take a look at their listing page.