Natalie and Jay Redbond celebrated with a springtime wedding in Gloucestershire
Kanye West’s dulcet tones provided the backdrop for their first meeting 12 years ago, but it wasn’t until six years on from then that Natalie and Jay started dating. As their early relationship was punctuated by visits to different zoos, and Jay works with animals, it was only natural that he popped the question to Natalie in the maze at Longleat Safari Park. “I had no idea how Jay would propose and it came completely out of the blue,” says Natalie. “I knew he had been acting strangely for a few weeks, especially the day he proposed!”
Their May wedding started out with a ceremony at St James the Great Church in Cranham, which has special significance for Natalie. “My parents and sister got married at Cranham Church, and we were all christened there too. My mother grew up in Cranham and my grandparents still live there, so it has a lot of memories.” For the reception, the party moved to the stunning venue of Elmore Court in Gloucestershire, a stately home that also has a stylish modern function room, the Gillyflower, which is made of rammed earth and beautifully complements the house and grounds. The couple were thrilled with their choice, especially since one of Natalie’s wants for the wedding was to be able to relax and let someone else take control while she enjoyed the day. “Team E were amazing and couldn’t do enough to make the day run smoothly. We never worried that they wouldn’t deliver and they were great to work with. Everything about Elmore was perfect!”
Natalie wore a gorgeous Suzanne Neville dress that was bought from The Mews in Clifton, as were the two bridesmaids’ Maid to Measure dresses. “The Mews team were brilliant,” enthuses Natalie. “From the moment I walked in I was put at ease, and they knew exactly what would best suit my shape. They got to know you and made the experience really personal.” She accessorised the dress with earrings by Sarah Hickey and her Pandora charm bracelet. “The earrings were unique and worked beautifully with the dress. Jay gave me my Pandora bracelet for a 30th birthday present, and then he gave me another charm on our wedding day with a blue bead in it, so it worked well as my something new and blue!” The groom, best men and fathers all wore grey three-piece suits from Moss Bros, complete with a special tie pin that Jay made himself. This featured a tiny salamander to reference the research trip to China that he’d undertaken the previous year to study these animals.
As well as the delicious food provided by the team at Elmore Court, the cakes from Nom Nom Cupcakery were also a highlight. “We knew Emily made good cakes but these were perfect. People couldn’t get enough of them!” Natalie also loved her bouquet made by Alison Goulding at Wild About Flowers. “We went for a very natural arrangement with some Memory Lane roses. They looked beautiful and smelt lovely because of the sweet peas and lavender mixed in.” All of these details and the rest of the day were expertly captured by Martin Dabek Photography. “It’s great that Martin gets to know you before the wedding by doing an engagement shoot, as this means that on the wedding day you’re already at ease. He has a good eye and came up with some great ideas.”
With the only tiny hitch being Jay’s speech not going completely to plan – “he’d had a few too many glasses of Champagne, but as he was talking about me, most people thought that he was either nervous or emotional!” – the couple were thrilled at how perfectly their wedding day went. “We had all of our friends and family around us to share the day and we couldn’t have asked for it to have been any better. When can we do it again?”