A cherry blossom wedding theme in Viva Bride
Our bouncy princess ballgown was the perfect choice for this fun celebration
These delightful newlyweds combined all their favourite things, including one of our glittering designs, for a fabulously fun big day on the edge of the Peak District.
Hayley and Jonathan were friends for around eight years before Hayley finally convinced him to go on a date.
“Our first official date took place in a little Italian restaurant,” says Hayley.
“I knew he was the one for me when he tried to melt some butter by balancing it on a knife over the romantic candle on the table. It dropped straight in, creating a plume of black smoke at the back of the restaurant! Surprisingly, they did actually let us back in for a second date!”
A birthday proposal
The couple had been together for nine years and lived together for six when Jonathan proposed. “The original proposal (unbeknown to me) was meant to be during a trip to Japan in cherry blossom season,” says Hayley. “However, the pandemic meant our romantic holiday was cancelled two weeks before we were due to fly."
"Jonathan then kept the ring hidden under the bed for another year, in the hope that we would still get out there.”
“He finally gave up on that plan and decided on a romantic birthday walk around one of our favourite local spots. However, he didn’t count on the amount of visitors we would get as we tried to leave the house. People kept turning up with birthday cake (which I kept wanting to dish out and couldn't understand why he was in such a hurry to go for this walk)."
"After almost caving several times and secretly scaring off our visitors with menacing looks, we went on our walk. He proposed and I said thank you and almost dropped the ring in the lake!"
"I'm not sure at that point why he didn't change his mind!"
Shopping for the dress
“I'd heard about wed2b and liked how relaxed it sounded,” says Hayley. “I went to the Derby store with my mum and sister for our first browse, but had no intention of buying my dress that day. We were greeted by a lovely assistant who spent lots of time getting to know what sort of dress I wanted. She offered lots of advice and we didn't feel rushed at all. We ended up buying the dress, veil and accessories that day.”
Discovering Viva Bride…
“My dress turned out to be nothing like what I initially thought I wanted, but our assistant knew exactly what looked right. I’m so pleased with the finished result."
"I'm in love with my dress and have had so many lovely compliments about it." "
I recommend wed2b to anyone I know who is planning a wedding!"
Hayley chose Maison, a modern princess ballgown with a fabulous keyhole back. “I originally said I wouldn't have a princess dress but I fell in love as soon as I put Maison on. I knew it was the right one. We added a belt, a glittering hair clip and a cathedral-length veil. If I could get away with it, I'd wear it all the time!”
A grand venue
The couple married at Shottle Hall, a beautiful country estate on the edge of the Peak District in Derbyshire. “My husband is a videographer and had filmed weddings here before,” says Hayley. “So, we knew it always ran smoothly and the staff were excellent. We also loved the character of the hall and its eight rooms meant we could have breakfast with our wedding party the following day."
"The wedding was on the 18th April, which is also my mum and dad's wedding anniversary."
The big day
“The girls all got ready together at my house,” says Hayley. “It was such a chilled morning, enjoying a glass of wine while we had our hair and makeup done. We had photos in the garden and then the car came to take my Dad and I to the hall. The bridesmaids followed behind in my sister's car. We had such lovely weather and, quite by chance, Shottle has a large cherry tree in the grounds, so we got our cherry blossom in the end!”
“My Dad walked me down the aisle to ‘A Thousand Years’ by Christina Perri and the whole room was full of smiles. The ceremony was very relaxed and there were lots of little giggles. A close mutual friend of ours read 'He Never Leaves The Seat Up' by Pam Ayres. After we were married, we left the room to ‘You're My Best Friend’ by Queen. It was my favourite moment. The moment we both just looked at each other and said, ‘Yes, we did it!'. We were so happy.”
After the ceremony, the couple mingled as guests enjoyed some drinks. "It was lovely to see people chatting and getting to know each other,” says Hayley. “My husband and some of his friends also do parkour, so they were having a handstand competition."
"We had speeches before dinner, so that people could relax and enjoy their meal. Our first dance song was ‘We Have All The Time In The World’ by Louis Armstrong, as Jonathan is a big James Bond fan and it’s a beautiful song."
A cherry blossom wedding theme
“We started with a general cherry blossom wedding theme, as that was the original proposal idea."
"My new mother-in-law made our centrepieces,” says Hayley.
“We also added some Easter treats, as it was Easter Monday, and scattered origami cranes on the tables to link to Japan.”
Movies, dinosaurs and... carrots
“We’re also big movie fans, so my husband made our table signs in the style of postcards of different movie locations. I love dinosaurs, so my shoes and my sister's were hand painted with dinosaur designs."
"My dad had a dinosaur shirt and Converse trainers and my mum wore dinosaur jewellery."
"Jonathan loves Kevin the carrot from the Aldi adverts, so he had Kevin cufflinks. Our very talented cousin also hand-make our cake toppers, which were a fox groom and dinosaur bride."
The couple served a traditional three-course dinner with roast turkey. "We also had a lovely lady make three classic ‘tea room’ style cakes; Victoria sponge, lemon drizzle and chocolate orange," says Hayley. "They were delicious. Then our good friend, Andy, was the DJ for the evening and we had the best time!”
The best bits…
“There are so many highlights, it's hard to choose the best bits,” says Hayley. “My favourite moment was coming back down the aisle to Queen and just being so happy that we had finally done it. My husband says seeing me walk down the aisle was his most memorable moment. I think, after Covid, it was just lovely to have everyone together and see them all enjoying themselves.”
And for other Viva brides…
"Don't get wrapped up in the little stuff and remember what's important about your wedding day.”
If you’ve enjoyed Hayley and Jonathan’s picturesque cherry blossom wedding theme as much as we have, then please share your big day pictures too. We honestly can’t get enough of your fabulous weddings and love seeing you in your gorgeous dresses! Just click here to share your story and photos with us and we’ll be in touch.
The Viva Bride team
Hayley and Jonathan’s Dream Team
Photographer: Jacqueline Stanley at Ivory and Blush Photography
Venue: Shottle Hall
Wedding dresses Derby: wed2b
Florist: Kathryn Anne
Hair: Alison at A&J
Shoes: Inanna Bespoke Shoes
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