Jennina Taylor-Wells and Dan Magrath, first met in Oxford back in 2011, whilst Jennina was studying and Dan was posted to an RAF base in the area. Dan organised some very special dates, including a trip to Hampton Court Palace to skate on a romantically-lit outdoor ice rink. After their romance blossomed, Dan proposed at home, with a beautiful ring that he designed himself. “We were about to embark on a period apart, me in the USA and Dan posted to the Middle East, so it was extra special to go our separate ways knowing that we were engaged!” recalls Jennina.
The big date was set for the 30th June, 2018, with Pimhill Barn, Harmer Hill, Shropshire, setting the backdrop to their Alice in Wonderland-themed day. “We wanted the theme to be subtle and the imagery to be traditional; with the original artwork throughout,” shares the bride. “It was also important to us both to support local vendors and sustainable local produce where we could, bringing a touch of the English countryside to our wedding. But above all, we wanted a casual, down to earth ceremony that matched our personalities, with little thoughtful touches that would make our guests feel part of our special day.”
Here, Jennina tells us all about the finer details...
Seeing my dad for the first time in his smart suit, ready to take me down the aisle was also truly special. As was walking out of the barn into the sunshine to The Beatles, Here Comes the Sun, played by the string trio. The whole day was fun and relaxed, it all turned out exactly as we'd hoped.
We kept the barn rustic, with the addition of drapes, fairy and festoon lighting across the beams. These along with a lace arch, wooden ladders and a vintage bike etc were supplied by Love Me Do.
The bridal party had English flowers that came from The Shropshire Field; Kath, the florist, grew the flowers behind her house. She also provided dried rose petals and eucalyptus foliage for the tables. The stunning pots and baskets of vibrant flowers placed in around the barn were grown by Dan's grandmother, Joan.
Dan visited Pimhill Barn while I was in the USA, I only saw photos! We loved the rustic yet authentic feel and Ginny and Ian who own the barn were very helpful and welcoming. We liked that the barn has remained with the family and part of a working Shropshire farm; Pimhill Farm. They also recently renovated a nearby cottage called the Court House, where I stayed with one of my bridesmaids the night before and Dan and I stayed on our wedding night.
We wanted the Alice in Wonderland theme to be fun and quirky, with a whole mix of lovely bright colours.
The theme was present in the favours, which were 'Eat Me' red chocolate hearts on luggage tags.
The table centrepieces had willow branches in tall vases, hardback books, teacups and saucers. Our rose petal confetti was real Alice in Wonderland book pages, made into cones.
And our table plan consisted of hand-stamped name tags attached to vintage brass keys (that were also bottle openers!). The place names were hand-written by Dan's mum on Alice-illustrated cards and my mum hand-stitched Alicethemed bunting to hang from the beams. We also had a DIY photo booth with props.
With the help of our friends we also cut up some pallet wood and stained it before writing our signs, including the 'this way that way' classic signs!
For our catering we hired locally based Oak Apple Catering, who provided a wonderful service and excellent food in the way of canapés and a sit-down three-course meal.
Our cake was the pièce de résistance! A wonderful topsy turvy four-tier cake by local boutique cake maker Sharon Stinton. She let us choose the colours to suit our theme and even the flavours of each tier! It tasted just as amazing as well.
The weather on the day just made it for us, it was wonderfully relaxed sitting outside with our closest friends and family – and made the Pimms taste even better! All of our local Shropshire suppliers were fantastic, we were bowled over by their professionalism and the tailored service they provided.
My bridesmaids wore dove grey embellished cap sleeved floor length dresses from Little Mistress, with their own shoes.
I got my wedding dress from Wedding World in Shrewsbury; a Maggie Sottero gown called Melia. I loved the vintage feel of the dress and the intricate detail of the lace and beading. I added a back chain to the straps and wore a headband, both from a local Shrewsbury designer, and added a long veil. I wore my grandmother's ring on my other hand, a lovely item to remember her by on my special day.
Dan wore a Harris Tweed wool suit from Noose and Monkey, tailored by Nimble Thimble in Shrewsbury. His tan brogues were from Paul Smith. I bought him a Tissot watch to wear on the day.
The groomsmen wore blue lounge suits that matched the groom's, hired from Martin David in Shrewsbury. Both Dan and the groomsmen wore pink satin ties. Both Wedding World and Martin David provided a wonderful personal service that were second to none.
We had a string trio for our ceremony and for our postceremony drinks. The music was very atmospheric, and they allowed us to choose the entire set list. In the evening we had a great DJ called Mister Fox, who was very accommodating, let us play any or all of the songs we wanted and even met us for a coffee before the big day to get to know us!