Jeni Savage and Michael Bennett had always dreamed of having a wedding abroad —but changed their plans when they fell in love with Tamworth’s historic Middleton Hall.
“Myself and Michael had always wanted a wedding abroad in Hawaii with the reception then back in the UK. But once I had stepped into Middleton Hall I fell in love with the building instantly. I loved the fact it had a beautiful staircase to make a grand entrance on and that there was a raised platform which we would get married on.”
Michael had popped the question after the couple had spent the night relaxing and stargazing from their family farmhouse.
Jeni said: “It had been a beautiful day of blue skies and we had enjoyed a gorgeous BBQ during the evening.
“After this Michael pointed out the plough star constellation across the sky then showed me the North Star, before turning me around to ask me to marry him. It was just so lovely.”
The couple chose to ring shop together in Birmingham’s Jewellery quarter. Jeni laughs: “I think Michael needed to make sure I actually liked the rings!”
The couple, again, fell in love instantly with the first rings they set their eyes on.
For Jeni both the engagement and wedding ring were set together, both white gold with diamond detailing, on a square base. Michael also had white gold to match but with less diamond detail.
For the wedding day Jeni, along with her 3 bridesmaids chose to get ready for the big day at the Chapel House hotel in Atherstone. Michael otherwise opting for a pre-wedding pint with his best man at the Red Lion pub.
From here, Michael arrived in style to the ceremony in an American style, bright red pick up truck, courtesy of a family friend. With added romantic detail the truck door read ‘The wedding of Jeni Savage and Michael Bennett, 24th September 2011, Middleton Hall.’
The bride and her father followed in a beautiful Daimler and after a nerve-wracking wait for the arrival of the three bridesmaids who had got lost on the way, they eventually joined in a Mercedes.
Jeni laughed: “Everyone was at the ceremony apart from my bridesmaids, they had ending up taking a wrong turning on the way to the wedding.
“It was getting so close to having the ceremony without them, the registrar was telling me how they could not wait any longer than 10 minutes! Thankfully they made it just in time”
As the bride made her entrance she looked stunning in a strapless white dress designed by bridal couture company, Sacha James. The dress was white with beautiful black patterned detailing around the basque and a little detail around the skirt.
Jeni said: I was not sure at first what type of dress I was looking for, I knew I didn’t want a fish tail type dress that is in fashion at the moment. I just wanted something with a bit of body.”
Again, following suite with the venue and rings, this dress was the first dress Jeni tried on and after that no other dress she tried could compare.
“I tried several other dresses on over the next few weeks but I couldn’t forget this one, it was just gorgeous.
“It is actually a basque and skirt, so I plan to wear the basque again, maybe with jeans, for our first wedding anniversary,” Jeni added.
The bridesmaids looked gorgeous in three purple dresses that tied in the colour theme all with crystal details. These were all from the evening wear section of House of Fraser.
As a small tweak of tradition the couple opted for feathers over flowers. Admitting she was ‘not really a flower lady’ the bride decided on the slightly vintage styled feather bouquet and buttonhole instead. These were all purple with crystal details to tie in the purple colour theme.
After the ceremony the party of guests moved into the stunning walled gardens of Middleton Hall for champagne, canapes and photographs. The couple chose to have mainly impromptu pictures taken to make the finished products ‘that extra bit special.’ The photographers for the special day were taken by Warwickshire-based company, GJM Images.
The new husband and wife danced into the night with their first dance being to ‘Is this Love’ by Bob Marley.
Jeni said: “We wanted a song that we both liked, something special that we also liked the lyrics to as well. As soon as Bob Marley came on we were both like, that’s the one!”
The evening was catered by Lichfield Company, Perry’s Fine Foods, and the wedding cake made by family member Emma Savage.
The cake carried out the purple and silver theme of the day and was made up of seven tiers of individual cupcakes. Sat proudly on top of the the cleverly crafted cake were characters of the wedding couple.
To round off their special day the happy couple jetted off to San Francisco for three nights then on to spend the remainder of their honeymoon in Hawaii.
Jeni said: “San Francisco was just wonderful, such an amazing place.
“There was so much to see and do. We went along Lombard Street — famous for its long twisty roads — and we also went to see the Golden Gate Bridge.
“Maui in Hawaii was such a beautiful place, we did lots of touring and even stood at the top of a volcano. It was amazing,”
For any perspective brides the one piece of advice Jeni would give after her special day would be to watch what you drink during your wedding day and to not start to early.
She said: “If you start drinking too soon by 9 o’clock you won’t remember much after. I did well at my wedding and although I felt boring it meant I could remember every part of my special day.”
Photography by GJM Images.