As marriage proposals go, Johnathon Lawton set a high bar when he popped the question to Jenna Bennett. He dived out of an aeroplane, wearing a shirt saying “will you marry me?” It was a perfect match, says Jenna. She is a personal trainer and Johnny is a physio-therapist.
The first element of the wedding they planned was the theme, which was “enchanted garden”.
“We wanted to create a one-of-a-kind entrance,” says Jenna. “For a magical effect we had lanterns of candles either side of the aisle. Everywhere was bursting with flowers. There was not a bit of foliage in sight. It was totally whimsical and full of fantasy.”
The chupah was round, with guests seated on all sides. The flowers were designed and created by Liz Finney at Funky Flowers in Barnet, Hertfordshire. “She understood our theatrical idiom and nailed it,” says Jenna.
“The chupah was created with a thick luscious band of blush pink and white fluffy hydrangeas. The perspex legs were wrapped in painted white contorted willow, studded with blush-pink avalanche roses and iridescent butterflies. The aisle consisted of perspex plinths with uplighters, topped with white tall manzanita trees dripping with crystal strands and flower heads and clouds of blush pink Keira David Austin roses, ranunculus, bombastic roses and pink and white hydrangeas, again studded with butterflies and all dusted with iridescent glitter. Large 7ft white-painted maple trees were placed around the room.
The venue was Sopwell House, in Hertfordshire: “Johnny and his family and friends are from Manchester, so we had to make sure everyone was accommodated,” says Jenna. “And the house is surrounded by stunning grounds, which were perfect for photographs.”
Catering was by Phillip Small.
In keeping with the colour theme, Jenna wore a blush pearl- and-crystal-encrusted corset with a separate silk handkerchief skirt, embellished with pure silk blush flowers. The bridesmaids, Joanna Moscow and Kelsey Ainhorn, were also in blush pink.
Johnny wore a Hugo Boss black velvet dinner jacket with blush-pink rose buttonhole and matching kipah.
Helene West, mother of the bride, wore coffee beaded lace over orange silk, while Geraldine Lawton, mother of the groom, wore a dark grey beaded dress by Amanda Wakeley.
Photographer David Pullum captured the story of the day.
“I remember loving every aspect of it,” says Jenna. “Our rabbi — Dovid Lewis from Bowdon Shul in Manchester was so amazing. He totally got us as a couple and, when talking under the chupah, I felt he made our service so personal. He really listened to us, as did our chazan, Michael Isdale, also from Bowdon Shul. ”
The band, Musika, ensured a packed dance floor all night.
“I remember being in the middle of the floor with Johnny and seeing everyone jumping up and down to the song Jump Around [by House of Pain],” says Jenna. It was a totally surreal moment. There was so much love in the room, we were utterly overwhelmed.”