Jenny and Sam met at sixth form college, with the shy duo realising how much they had in common after a first date at Pizza Hut. “It wasn't the most glamorous of dates but Sam was a true gentleman and the rest is history,” says Jenny.
The proposal came on Easter Sunday in 2011 and Sam, being aware of Jenny's dislike of being in the limelight, prepared a perfect proposal, “I hate being the centre of attention so one night at home, Sam took me completely by surprise. He got down on one knee and asked me to marry him with a Haribo ring. We went to London the following day to choose my engagement band – after 14 years, he knew better than to pick one for me just in case I didn't like it,” she recalls.
The pair decided on an east-meets-west theme to incorporate their Chinese heritage. “We had two different ceremonies, including a traditional Chinese tea ceremony as well as the English service. This made our wedding a little different and also meant I got to wear two dresses,” says Jenny. Here she tells us more about planning the big day...
Trying on dresses was my favourite part of the process. I was particular about the style I wanted for the traditionally English part of the day, so I tried on no fewer than 20 in total. My dress made me feel like a princess and suited my figure as it hugged in at the hips and made my waist look tiny.
I'd researched hair styles and Tammi, my stylist also had a few suggestions. As we were also having a Chinese tea ceremony, I decided on a low side bun for this and a messy bun for my white dress.
Sam didn't want to change suits for the two ceremonies, so we decided to change the accessories instead. Our colour scheme was red, which is lucky in Chinese culture, so for the Chinese tea element he wore a red patterned bow tie with a matching pocket square. For the civil ceremony, he changed into a red tie and pocket square.
I knew I wanted to wear a veil and decided on a simple one. It was elbow length, with diamanté crystals dotted throughout. I also wore a hairpiece, which had a double clip and was hooked together with a crystal chain.
My bouquet was made up of calla lilies, grand prix roses, carnations, spray roses and dahlia bound together with red ribbon.
Offley Place is grand without being pretentious. The selling point for us was the beautiful large conservatory. We tied the knot there with natural light beaming through the glass.
Sam made paper pinwheels to put into milk bottles, which we used on each table.
On arrival at the reception, we had a table that had a wishing tree where people could write messages, and mini jam jars as favours.
In the evening, Sam and I changed into superhero Converse trainers so we'd be more comfortable. I had Wonder Woman ones and Sam wore the Superman version. I guess this displayed more of our fun and playful personality and added a bit of humour to the day.
“I was really pleased we incorporated our Chinese heritage into our wedding day, as this meant we could involve the traditional element as well as being a little different.” – Jenny
We wanted a three-tier cake with fresh fruit throughout, as is traditional in Chinese weddings. The cake itself is a sponge cake, made with fresh fruit and very light cream. I don't like icing so I always wanted something a bit unusual.
I was really pleased we incorporated our Chinese heritage into our wedding day as this meant we could embrace the traditional element.
We had a sweet and savoury buffet, which included sweets, popcorn, pretzels and crackers. We ordered special paper bags with our names and wedding information on, so guests could take them home as mementos if they wanted to.
We always wanted a relaxed and informal day, where people could meet and make new acquaintances. I know everyone says their wedding day was perfect, but ours truly was flawless.
Our initial colour choices for the chair covers and bouquets were low key and muted shades of red and gold. We changed our minds and worked with the suppliers to go for bold, summery bright shades. I'm so pleased we did – the colours were so vibrant and stood out in the sunshine and the natural glow of the conservatory.
One of the best choices we made was our photographer, Julia. She made us feel comfortable and very natural in all our shots.
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