Chicheley Hall wedding | Paul & Helena
Paul and Helena live and work in Thailand. Jealous much? But the world is a small place in so many ways and we did all the planning via phone and email. So by the time we met for their pre-wedding shoot and final planning meeting just a week or so before their wedding at Chicheley Hall, it felt like we already knew each other.
Helena got ready with her bridesmaids at her parents’ house.
They married at St Lawrence church on the Chicheley Hall estate. This church doesn’t allow any photography once the Bride enters until after the registers have been signed but I managed to negotiate one during the first hymn and stole a photo of the first kiss as everyone clapped. No-one would hear a camera shutter under all that noise. shhhh!
Their reception was at Chicheley Hall which is a fabulous wedding venue near Newport Pagnell / Milton Keynes. It has stunning architecture and beautiful grounds but has a relaxed, intimate feel too.
There were nuances of Thailand through the day with Helena’s gorgeous dress being made made there, the Groomsmen’s cravats and Bridesmaids’ dresses were made by the same designer from Thai silk, chopstick favours and useful Thai phrases on the table names, such as ‘Kor Perm Ee Neung Beer My Kup’ (I want one more beer please). In Thailand you can pick your own name and it’s usually associated with something about you. So for example mine might be ‘camera’. Or ‘shoes’. And if you have bad luck, you just change your name. Paul & Helena had chosen a name for each guest which became their place-card. Such a fun thing to do.
The speeches were really fun too. I especially enjoyed the Best Men’s speech by Paul’s three brothers. It was split into three sections: see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil. To give you a feel: Paul was blind-folded for ‘see no evil’ whilst his brothers showed photos of him which were described in an over-the-top way so that Paul would imagine the photos to be far worse than they actually were! The whole thing was a really caring wind-up that finished with a ‘speak no evil’ sincere, heartfelt and very touching tribute to Paul and Helena.
All the guests enjoyed coffee on the lawn after dinner before heading back inside for the first dance, which was a mighty fine choreographed number that no-one was expecting. It was great to see the reaction on everyone’s faces. It clearly put everyone in the mood for dancing as there were some great shapes being thrown on the dancefloor as I left!