A Winter proposal on Clifton suspension bridge lead to a superb Summer Wedding!
Tell us about the proposal – how and where did it happen?
It was November 2016. After a day out in Bristol we went for a walk along the Clifton suspension bridge, it was dark so the bridge was all lit up and looked beautiful! We went to the top of the hill overlooking the bridge and were looking at how pretty the city looked, the next thing I turn around Hayley is holding a ring box. I can’t remember exactly what she said but I felt like the luckiest girl in the world.
What was your first step in planning your wedding?
I’ve dreamt of getting married for as long as I can remember and have always wanted a big countryside venue so that was very high up the list. Hayley was the one who found St Audries Park. We came to look around and I fell in love! We didn’t need to look anywhere else.
What were your wedding “must have’s”?
Our must haves were a Disney theme, the venue, great photographs and being inclusive for all of the children we invited.
Wedding venue: how did you search for a wedding venue?
Hayley found St Audries Park online, she had a short list of places and we chose to see St Audries Park first as the tower at the front made it my favorite. We didn’t need to look at any others, we booked the venue the day we looked around.
What made you choose your wedding venue?
Driving round the corner and seeing the rooftops, the church, the deer, the long driveway, it was magical! We loved it from the moment we saw it. I wanted to feel like a princess on my wedding day and the tower at St Audries Park together with the big fireplace and four-poster beds made that possible. When we looked around the grounds I could imagine all of the kids running around (we have 7 nieces and nephews between us as well as cousins and close friends kids so they were a massive part of our big day and keeping them happy and occupied was very important to us).
Styling your wedding: how did you personalise your big day?
Our favorite trip together was to Walt Disney World, so we had a subtle Disney theme from Hayley’s wedding shoes to the Cinderella carriages on the tables. Our favorite way to spend a night with friends is board games night so we made our seating plan and name places out of scrabble pieces. Our favorite animal is a lion and we love Harry potter so we chose these two combined to create our cake. We gave our guests little wedding day scented candles as favours and we personalized them with “Mrs and Mrs Bidgood” stickers.
Wedding photographer: how did you choose your photographer?
When we looked around the venue there were lots of portfolios to look through, but Ben Simmonds really stood out to us. I loved the way he was creative with his shots, he knows the venue so he knows how to use it to its best and he knows where he can post his subjects to best catch the light. I love the shots he took of us in the front doorway.
Wedding suppliers: how did you choose your suppliers?
We tried to do a lot of things ourselves, we did attend a few wedding fairs to get ideas and when we tasted Holly’s cakes we were sold! Holly is very talented; the cakes look stunning and taste amazing.
Describe your wedding attire.
I have always wanted a Cinderella moment, I knew I would wear a ball gown; I always expected Hayley to wear something simple, elegant and form fitting so to see her standing at the bottom of the aisle wearing an Aline gown I was blown away.
What accessories did you wear on the day?
I wore a tiara and a sparkly belt to add some bling to my dress, I wore my late grandmothers pearl necklace and earrings, a bracelet from a close friend and I had a photograph of my dad on my bouquet so he could be with me to walk down the aisle. I had a sneaky wedding present from a very good friend, she had lace wedding day knickers made for me with “Mrs. Bidgood” written across the bum! They were brilliant! Hayley wore diamond studs from a close friend in her ears and a beautiful necklace that was a gift from her mum and dad and flat white shoes that we personalized with an antique gold mickey head.
What did your partner wear?
Hayley looked so beautiful. She wore a dropped waist Aline gown with a lace top and satin skirt. I never in a million years would have picked this dress for her, she hates dresses and our wedding day was maybe the third time in 6 years I’ve seen her in a dress; that being said the dress was so perfect on her, she’s got a gorgeous figure and the dress really showed it off.
Tell us about your Bridesmaids, Groomsmen and their outfits?
We had 4 bridesmaids each. Hayley had her two sisters (one being maid of honor) her cousin and her best friend. I had my three cousins and my eldest niece who is 11. The bridesmaids all wore the same dress. It was a teal “infinity dress” it’s one of those dresses where one size fits all and they can be worn about a million different ways, they came with a boob tube so there were no bras needed! We also had 4 flower girls who were our 9 year old, 7 year old, 4 year old and 10 month old nieces. They wore ivory dresses with a satin top and tulle skirt and a bow on the back. We had 2 page boys and a ring bearer 9, 7 and 5 years old, these were two nephews and one friend close enough he may as well be family. The two younger boys wore dark teal suits with white shirts and grey bow tie and braces, the older nephew wore a suit to match Hayley’s dad, a grey tweed suit with a white shirt and teal tie.
What was your ceremony like?
We walked down the aisle to “a whole new world” from Aladdin, its Hayley’s favorite Disney film and I was happy with any Disney addition to the wedding! Hayley’s dad Perry walked her down the aisle; I walked down the aisle with my mum as sadly my dad passed away when I was young. I was so happy, I’ve always joked with Hayley that If she didn’t cry when she saw me walk down the aisle that I was going to turn around and walk out… Luckily I didn’t need to as it turns out she had been really emotional all day and she had tears in her eyes when she saw me. We had a reading from Captain Corelli’s mandolin in our service. “Love is a temporary madness.”
Tell us about your drinks reception and wedding breakfast
The food was brilliant! Everyone enjoyed it and all the plates were empty! We had risotto to start, then lamb shank and then Crème Brule for pudding all washed down by some lovely wine choices. Hayley’s dad gave a short and sweet speech, my mum gave a slightly longer speech; but most memorable by far was the speech by Hayley’s sisters, Abbie and Stacey. Memorable for all of the wrong reasons! One line in particular had the whole room in hysterics apart from our grandparents who were mortified and confused to say the least!
Did you have a band or DJ for your evening reception?
We used St Audries Park resident DJ, he was an absolute delight! He was kind and helpful and nothing was too much to ask of him. He put on songs to make everyone happy.
Tell us about your first dance – what song did you chose and why?
Our first dance was to a song called Bubbly by Colby Calla, we chose this song because when we first started dating at uni this is the first song we ever danced to and the lyrics are perfect, they describe us as a couple.
What was the most memorable moment of the day?
I have a couple of favorite moments, sitting in the bridal suite getting ready with my girls watching all of our friends and family going into the orangery and thinking how beautiful everything was and how lucky I am, then seeing my beautiful wife standing at the end of the aisle waiting for me, looking as beautiful as she did; her squeezing my hand when I reached her. Finally, sitting at the top table during the wedding breakfast and people watching and seeing the happiness on everyone’s faces and being able to feel the love in the room.
Did any members of staff stand out to you in particular?
All of the staff were amazing! I could not fault a single one of them. Courtney our wedding planner was fantastic, she dealt with me stressing over the decorations and dealt with Hayley being an emotional mess all morning running between the two of us.
What did you enjoy the most about St Audries Park?
The venue is perfect! We wouldn’t change a thing. We still have guests telling us how well we did choosing the venue and how beautiful it was. My personal favorite thing was being able to spend the night before in the cottages so our bridal parties could be relaxed and as calm as could be on the wedding morning.
Based on your own experience, give us some top tips.
Don’t rush the wedding planning, don’t rush the day and think of all the pictures you want in advance. We had 2 years to plan and a two day wedding and it was all over so quickly!
“If we could do it all again, we…” wouldn’t change a thing! We can’t wait to come back again soon.”
Did you go on a honeymoon or mini-moon?
We had a mini moon up the side of a mountain in the Brecon Beacons in a tiny cottage with our puppy for a few nights.
Our honeymoon is in August 2019 and we are off to Disney in Florida for 2 weeks with our wonderful family!
Purchase & Hire – Tell us who your suppliers were:
Photographer: Ben Simmonds
Wedding Attire : Wed2be
Boy’s Suits: Next Boy’s Suits
Flower Girl’s Dresses: Matalan
Wedding Rings: Ernest Jones
Wedding Cake: Holly Miller
Invitations: Hobby Craft