wedding photography dorton house

A Kentish Ceremony Magazine - Winter 2014

Amanda & Jeremy's Wedding Story

The Bride & Groom

Amanda Ballard and Jeremy Gill, 29th August 2009, Church – Tonbridge Parish Church and Dorton House for the reception in Seal, Nr Sevenoaks

The proposal

Jeremy proposed in Santorini on our holiday in September 2007.  We had a lovely dinner watching the sun set over the harbour and then he proposed after dinner.

Planning the day

We booked the church and venue quite early as everyone we spoke to said we had to book things up quickly, although as we found out throughout the following two years there isn’t quite as much urgency.

It was nice to know though that the 2 most important parts of the wedding day that would dictate everything else were booked early. We just took our time booking everything else as we didn’t want to leave it to the last minute.

The venue

We chose Dorton house as we fell in love with the grand sweeping staircase in the main hall – I could just picture us walking down the staircase as we entered the wedding breakfast.

We also liked the venue as it is owned by the Royal London Society for the Blind, so by holding out wedding there we were also helping to contribute to a charitable organisation.

The hen and stag nights

Jeremy went to Edinburgh for the weekend and they participated in a few highland games.

I went up to York with my friends for Ladies day at the races.  We all dressed up in our lovely outfits and spent the day drinking Pimms and losing money!   My sisters (also my bridesmaids) arranged the weekend and made sure there was plenty to do whilst we were up in York.

The wedding

The weather was perfect with lovely blue skies.  I felt slightly nervous but excited.  It all seemed so surreal!

The transport

We had a beautiful 1953 black Rolls Royce Limousine.  It looked fantastic in the sunshine.  My dad also decorated his black Audi as he was transporting the rest of the wedding party.

The outfits

The bridal dress was ivory with a silk bodice and skirt layered with organza.  I loved the subtle diamante detail on the organza skirt.  I had a removable halter neck which I wore for the evening.  The dress was from Justin Alexander.  I borrowed my tiara and veil off friends.

The bridesmaids wore dresses which had bright layer of pink/lilac under a pale chiffon top layers. The flower girls wore ivory dresses from Debenhams with cute butterfly detail.

The men wore grey morning suits.  The groom wore an ivory waistcoat and the best man, ushers and fathers wore grey waistcoats.  All wore cravats which matched the colour theme of the wedding.  The page boys wore similar outfits to the men, but without the jackets.

The flowers and table decorations

I had a lovely bouquet of lilac, pink and purple flowers including roses and freesias.  My bridesmaids had similar bouquets but they were slightly smaller.

The men wore a button hole of a lilac rose.

The table decorations were simple yet elegant with 3 cerise pink gerberas in tall vases in the centre of every table.  We also used different foil covered chocolates of pink, lilac and silver scattered over the tables as decorations but also as favours.

The cake

Neither of us like fruit cake so we went for a 3 tiered white chocolate cake from M&S.  It was simple, but delicious!

The first dance

We danced to Stevie Wonders ‘You are the sunshine of my life’.  We didn’t have dance lessons, but had a couple of trial runs in the lounge the week before the wedding.

The entertainment

We had a fantastic band in the evening and they also played an acoustic set at the start of the reception before the wedding breakfast.  They atmosphere when we arrived at the reception with them singing was amazing.  They learnt some of our favourite songs as well to make the evening even more special for us.

The memorable moments

I remember the journey in the car to church with so many people wishing me luck as we drive past.  The day just felt so special – We both smiled for the whole day!  Just seeing all of our friends and family made the day fantastic.

The honeymoon

We went on safari in Kenya for 3 nights and then we headed over to Zanzibar for 10 nights to relax.


Don’t get caught up in the small things that no-one else will notice.  Just remember that everyone is there to see their sister/brother/son/daughter/friend get married and that its your day and everyone will have an amazing day!  Enjoy the planning and excitement leading up to the day and take a few days off before the wedding to give you enough time to relax and complete any final finishing touches.  Just enjoy the day – its all about you!

The on-line table planner we used was a godsend as we had a few family members drop out the week of the wedding and re-arranging the tables would have been a nightmare without it!


Venue – Dorton House, nr Seal, Sevenoaks, Kent

Brides dress – Go Bridal, Tunbridge Wells for both the brides and bridesmaids dresses.

Grooms suit – Moss Bros, Tonbridge

Flowers – Nicola Hodge (sisters friend)

Entertainment – YES - Your Entertainment Solution

Transport – E.R Hickmott and Sons, 41 Grove Hill Road, Tunbridge Wells, Kent TN1 1SD

Amanda & Jerry's Wedding Album

Examples of Amanda & Jerry's wedding images from Tonbridge Parish Church, and Dorton House, Sevenoaks.