Jennifer and Peter’s New Year’s Eve Tipi wedding, with Black Tie and DIY details

Todays wedding is a rather special one, as it is a wedding and a New Years Eve party all rolled into one! It was sent into me by Rebecca Goddard who’s work I am a big fan of!

Jennifer  & Peter Squelch were married on 31st December at St Mary’s Church, Stamford, with 135 day time guests and another 40 invited to the new year’s eve party They describe their day as ‘The wedding was a cohesion of tradition, quirky DIY and black tie glamour. Topped off by an unforgettable new  years eve party.’

Jennifer and Peter certainly know how to throw a party, It’s clear that the guests had loads of fun and they were really looked after. Jennifer spent a lot of time thinking about the smaller details that all go towards making a wedding and party that bit extra special for the guests. I’m a big fan of a Tipi tents and it’s great to see one used in the winter, the fires make them so warm and cozy!

How they met
Peter and I met on a random Wednesday night in a local night club. I made him dance, he looked slightly uncomfortable. I thought his name was Dave until he called to arrange a first date the next day. The rest is history.
We’ve been together for 5 years, we bought our first house together, around the corner from our business, two weeks before the wedding. Moving, Christmas and wedding organisation, it was a testing time! I think that is why we look so relaxed in the pictures taken during the evening. It was our first opportunity to let our hair down in months. It really felt like Yes We Did It!

The Proposal
Peter is totally unable to contain a surprise. The proposal was no exception. He had booked a suite in a swanky hotel in Barcelona (one of my favourite cities) for my thirtieth birthday. However, once he had picked up the ring he couldn’t resist. It was a Tuesday night in December, we’d gone out for dinner. When we got home he was acting very strangely, following me around the house. I seem to remember telling him to go and make a cup of tea, at which point he got down on one knee.
The ring blew me away. A couple of years before he proposed I’d seen an antique ring that I loved. Unbeknown to me, Peter had taken a picture of the ring and had it made for me. It is my most precious thing. Not only because I think its so beautiful but because Peter put so much effort into getting me something he knew that I would love. How could I say anything but yes, immediately! Pleased to say, I still got my trip to Barcelona for my birthday!

Planning the wedding
The total planning time was almost exactly a year. We did our own catering so it was slightly more involved. I loved the planning, didn’t like the budgeting as much though! In the end we went over by about £1000. I’d recommend adding in a contingency into any budget. Especially for winter weddings as you don’t know what problems the weather will cause.

The Venue
Peter and I own a coffee shop and bistro on St Mary’s Street in the heart of Stamford. Over the years we have become part of the local community. There really was no other choice but to get married in Stamford. The church is just a few doors away from the shop and the choir drink coffee with us every Sunday between services.
The reception venue took us a little while to pinpoint. Peter found the teepees from papa kata  and once we’d seen them there was no going back. Finding a piece of land within walking distance of the church was slightly more complicated. During one of our many dog walks around Burghley park we saw a marquee on the ground and booked it there and then. I’m so glad that we did. During that last week, walking up to the ground every morning and hearing the birds singing in the park was a great healer!

The Dress
My dress was by Sassi Holford, I loved both Sassi Holford and Suzanne Neville when I first started looking for a dress. I found both designers at The bridal gallery. Lauren and her Mum were absolutely outstanding. I had no idea of the style of dress that I wanted until Lauren began to pick dress after dress that I fell in love with. They went above and beyond to ensure that my dress was perfect. I loved wearing it.
The shoes, I fell in love with a pair of Jimmy Choos. However, I couldn’t justify the cost as I knew I’d probably ruin them by walking through a muddy field in them. I settled for a pair of nude silk Kurt Geiger’s. I also bought a pair of red hunter wellies just in case.
My bracelet was a necklace that belongs to my Granny, my earrings were from Black Orchid, who are based opposite my shop in Stamford. My headdress was a last minute impulse buy from The Bridal Gallery, Finedon.

The Bridesmaids
The bridesmaids wore black silk strapless evening dresses that were made by Helen Kirkwood, an extremely talented dressmaker based in Stamford 07877169614. The shrugs were bought on line. The paige boy wore a tuxedo from Marks and Spencers. The flower girls wore ivory silk dresses from Next. I added some bulk to the skirts to give them a Nicky McFarlane feel by buying them some underskirts online. Their fur jackets were bought from faux-play. Their little gold shoes and hair clips were from Accessorise.

The wedding was black tie as it was new years eve. I wanted to throw in a splash of festive colour. There was plenty of greenery inside the teepees, including a metre wide ball of mistletoe. The flowers were simply red roses that added to the glamour of the occasion. My florist was patricia, from Oakham. Patricia is truly gifted, she has created some magnificent designs that generally have a vintage feel to them. When I got to the church it looked so beautiful, she really went above and beyond the call of duty.  Patricia Roberts on 07724687614

We had a mass of warm canapés, washed down with mulled cider or mulled wine. Bangers and mash for mains and Wellington Fudge for pudding. This was a firm favourite at school. Each guest who attended school in Stamford received a copy of the recipe that we managed to track down from a retired dinner lady. In the evening we served hog roast and cheese.

The teepees are so beautiful they called for careful decoration. We had to have the giant mirror ball, and it was truly magnificent. The guy in charge of hanging it compared it to “hanging the moon”. Patricia made some stunning pew ends for the church and attached them to the beams after the service. We hired the crystal they looked magnificent. The church looked beautiful, filled with candles and greenery. The flower ladies did us proud, complementing our colour scheme brilliantly.

Personal Touches

  • I sometimes get myself into a bit of a pickle with my over ambitious grand designs and the wedding was no exception. It began with the invitations that we created ourselves. A good friend drew our illustrations for us. Creative Design printed them for us and designed the folders. Abbey, my bridesmaid and I spent an entire weekend wax sealing each invite. In total they cost is £120.
  • We also wax sealed the orders of service. Unfortunately this resulted in a couple of minor burns to my hands, not what you want the week before the wedding.
  • I spent some time looking through blogs like this one to get some ideas. The photobooth was one such idea. I bought the bureau from ebay and Peter lovingly restored it for the big day.  We bought a few bits and pieces, including the guest book and the bridesmaid’s presents from www.notonthehighstreet.com. I bought Peter a pair of cufflinks with “see you” and “at 2.30” engraved on them. He loved them.
  • We are lucky enough to have several friends in the motoring industry. They took it upon themselves to organise the cars. They rocked up in three brand new Jaguar XJ’s. It was a complete surprise.
  • We wanted people to enter the tepee and begin to explore. The first thing that they came across was the cake. My Mum owns a cake business, she is so amazingly talented. Her present to us was a magnificent 5 tier fruit cake decorated with every member of the bridal party. Each figure, she had hand made to capture their personality exactly.
  • We had a vintage sweet stall supplied by Bronia Gardner [email protected]. This got everyone talking about memories from their childhoods.
  • The photobooth was kitted out with moustaches from etsy.com, hats, and disposable cameras.
  • We had three open fires inside the teepees. By the side of each fire we placed marshmellows and chestnuts for roasting.
  • When the band played in the New Year we bought confetti cannons. Due to the windy conditions we couldn’t have fireworks. However, the confetti cannons were the perfect alternative.

The band made the evening party. They were absolutely fantastic. We literally danced all night

Special Moments
There were so many highlights of the day.

  • My sister and her husband couldn’t come to the wedding as they are currently walking across America. However, we skyped her throughout the morning and she was in the room with my Mum and my sister whilst I put my dress on.
  • The church service was intimate despite the fact that it was packed with all of our loved ones. I remember every bit of this very clearly. Singing Jerusalem with the choir with their robes behind us as husband and wife was a very proud moment for us both.
  • One of the biggest surprises came when we came out of the church to see a crowd of customers outside wishing us well. It was so lovely to see so many familiar faces.
  • Pete’s speech was absolutely hilarious and had everyone in fits of laughter. Favourite quote “Ladies and Gentlemen, you don’t know true love until you’ve shared a parasite”. I did a stint of volunteer work in Nepal two years ago and came back quite ill, Pete had to nurse me back to health as I was quarantined for a couple of weeks .
  • I think one of the biggest surprises for me was the way in which Beccy, our photographer, captured the day. I expressly said that I didn’t want any posed shots. I hate having my photograph taken and standing in a field for an hour in various line ups had zero appeal. She got this and her pictures are absolutely sensational. Looking at them brings back all of the emotions of the day. I love each and every one. Thank you Beccy.

The biggest surprise of the day.
The feeling when the clock struck twelve of all of our friends and family having the time of their lives on the dancefloor.

Supplier shout outs


For more infomration on Rebecca’s work go to:
Website:  http://rebeccagoddardphotography.com
Blog address: http://blog.rebeccagoddardphotography.com/
Email: [email protected]
Phone: 07540 224 249 / 01664 840 044

For me wedding photography is all about observing the day as it unfold.  Capturing two people in love, enjoying their special day with friends and family to help them celebrate.  The romance, laughter, fun, the tearful moments, the joyful moments and everything in between that will give the couple beautiful images to remember their amazing day.  I am based in Leicestershire, so I’m slap, bang in the middle of the country and get to travel all over and see some beautiful places.  Most of my bookings have been made by guests who have been at a wedding I’ve shot and one of the first things they say to me is ‘you just mingled in, we didn’t even know you were there!’  That is a huge compliment for me and it allows me to capture people naturally, resulting in beautiful pictures for the bride and groom.

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    Amazing, beautiful pictures Beccy! I was a guest at this wedding and you’ve captured everything so perfectly, especially Jen and Pete…fabulous! X


    Yet another wedding I love to look of. It looks like a great day and the toasted marshmallows are a great idea!

    Jenni Bush

    The attention to detail is superb! There are so many fabulous touches from the red hunter wellies to the masks. I would have loved to have been a guest at this wedding.

    Anne Brassier

    I have attended many weddings in my time (as a photographer) but this one looks very gorgeous from location to theme; there are so many lovely details and I like how they’ve really made the most of it being a winter wedding. Hat off to Jennifer & Peter!

    Delia Holland-Jones

    I had a wonderful time at the wedding, The tepees, The detail in the decorations, the photos are all amazing, I agree with you Jenny the informal approach is far better. l I had my Aunt from Switzerland do mine and the informality captures the moment far better.
    See you both when I am next in Stamford.
    Love Aunty Delia x

    Kathryn allen

    What a stunning wedding, I have tried to convince many a friend into considering a new years wedding before but they always go for summer, seeing this just proves how beautiful it can be!


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