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Samantha + Asa Part I

As featured in ‘White Weddings’ Spring 2011 Issue

When you wake up at 5am ready to go to a wedding and you already feel the warm air outside, it’s a beautiful sign! That was exactly what I felt on the day Samantha and Asa became man and wife. I remember the morning very clearly. I had already packed everything the day before ready to set off for my drive to Holdsworth House. Sat in my garden with a cup of latte, I began wondering whether the bride was awake. Of course I had absolutely no reason to be calling Sam {besides, it was far too early!} but you cannot help but think if she was already awake. What is she feeling right now? Is she excited? Calm? Nervous?…

Big thanks to their brilliant photographers, Sean and Sam from Angel Images and the planning details from the bride. This is the wedding of Samantha and Asa, with Wedding Day Co-Ordination by Carmen Weddings

wedding love sign


Wedding Attire

I knew from the beginning that I wouldn’t get a big princess style gown and I wanted something elegant but created an impact which suited my petite frame. My chosen wedding dress was Ashten from Augusta Jones. The shape was an empire line with a sweetheart neckline. It was quite fitted with a gorgeous tulle overlay which had intricate lace and beading detail at the bottom of the overlay that created a train.

For Asa and his groomsman and ushers ~ We decided to hire their outfits from Alan Lund who was brilliant! Asa wore a slate grey herringbone 3 piece suit with an ivory tie whilst the rest of the male party wore a slate grey herringbone 2 piece suit with an ivory waistcoat and a Cadbury purple cravat.

For the bridesmaids, I had chose Alfred Angelo for their dresses – I wanted dresses that all the girls would be able to wear again if they wanted to so I chose something a bit more modern to keep in the same style as my dress – it was an empire line dress with a halterneck in Cadbury purple which suited every single bridesmaid!

Blooming Amazing

For my flowers, I knew that I wanted orchids. I wanted an oriental flower in my bouquet to go with the theme but I also wanted to keep the purple theme consistent so I went to the local florist in my little village called A Little Bit of Eden to see what ideas she could come up with. With my florist, Bev – we looked at different options and I eventually decided on three large purple hydrangea heads bound together with a trail of orchids running down it and sparkles added to the hydrangeas which gave the bouquet a very unique & funky twist but also creating impact! For my centrepieces, Bev put several hydrangea heads together in a low glass bowl with clear gel balls at the base with green foliage and she added in some butterflies to keep with the theme! For my bridesmaids, they had orchid and hydrangea wrist corsages whilst the groom and the male party all had orchid buttonholes which tied it all together.

Carms : Sam’s bouquet stood out so much for me. With a little bit of glam, a little bit of style and a little bit of the Oriental touch, making it one very gorgeous and unique bridal bouquet

hydrangea and orchid bouquet

orchid buttonhole


Location, Location, Location

I had always envisaged getting married in a gorgeous manor house with stunning gardens to get lots of beautiful pictures. We wanted to have our wedding close to where we live to ensure all our family & friends could be there to share our special day with us! On our search for our perfect venue, we came acrossHoldsworth House in the gorgeous Pennines where we live. We decided to have a look and were totally blown away as it was so secluded and it was beautiful! It was a mixture of vintage and traditional with the option of making it modern and it had the most beautiful gardens.

This is also where we had our engagement shoot where we decided to go for a more natural shoot – it was also a chance for Asa and I to get used to our photographer Sean and being photographed a lot in preparation for the big day!


Carms : On the day, the weather was gorgeous. So lovely and warm, in fact, make it hot!

Holdsworth House

The pretty bridesmaids with the Chinese fans

I loved the little Chinese touches to their wedding!

bridesmaids and fans


Fusion of Cultures

As it was a fusion between English and Chinese – I wanted to include traditions from both cultures so that all our guests could experience both our heritages. On the English side, I followed certain traditions such as the groom not seeing the dress before the day, the groom & bride to spend the night before the wedding apart, ‘something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue’ and wedding speeches and toast after the wedding reception. Whilst on the Chinese side, I wanted to incorporate the Double Happiness Symbol so I had these on our invitations, order of the day, menu cards to the Double Happiness cushions for the Chinese wedding Tea Ceremony and hung red Chinese lanterns around the rooms. For my bridesmaid, instead of traditional bouquets – I gave them all a Chinese paper fan to hold whilst going down the aisle to inject another little Chinese touch!

Chinese wedding tea and lanterns

chinese bride and parasols

Carms : When I saw Sam, I thought ‘Wow you look absolutely stunning’.  Her dress was gorgeous – she looked so elegant

chinese bride


Understanding the Chinese Heritage

As I had a mixture of English and Chinese guests, I created an order of the day booklet which not only had the running order of the day, I also created for the English guests a guide to the history behind the Double Happiness symbol, the history and reason behind the Tea Ceremony and what actually happened, so when they came to witness the ceremony, the guests would then understand what was involved

This was such a beautiful and emotional moment for their family and friends… and me included

Sam adds “When it came to the actual Chinese Tea ceremony, we invited all guests to view the ceremony if they wanted and I changed into a traditional Qipao so guests could see the wedding attire involved in Chinese weddings”

“As a tribute to the Chinese heritage, I also wore a traditional qipao for the Chinese tea ceremony. I matched this with some red heels and a gorgeous cream flower for my hair”


Carms: As the Chinese Tea Ceremony was really important to both Sam and Asa, it was important that everything was laid out in it’s correct place, with red dates, lotus seeds and Chinese tea ready and of course, on time! I had to ensure the layout of the room gave as much room as possible for both family and guests to witness and Sam and Asa will be faced in a good position for both their photographers and videographers.

I adore these Chinese parasol shots of Sam and her bridesmaids!

chinese wedding parasols

fun chinese wedding parasols

chinese wedding parasols

chinese bride qipao

bride with chinese fan

Brotherly Love

Part II of Sam and Asa’s beautiful wedding will be right here tomorrow! Come back for the reception details and evening fun! Carms Xx

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  • Sam - Aw, thanks so much for featuring our wedding! It looks fab on your blog..!!! Makes me want to do it all again! Can’t wait to see Part 2…..!! 🙂

    xxOctober 7, 2010 – 12:47 pm

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