There is SO MUCH GORGEOUSNESS in today’s wedding my head almost exploded putting it together.
The gold accents throughout the marquee, the wild flowers, the cuter-than-cute flower girl and page boys, Hannah’s earrings and hair slides, the Vintage Land Rover covered in roses…I could go on and on.
The wedding party look very Kate-Moss-and-Jamie-Hince-Wedding inspired and the images of everyone basking in the setting sun are literally idyllic. Get ready for some serious inspiration!
Enjoying the views
My parents live on a farm in Hertfordshire, so there was never any doubt where we would hold our reception. We never wanted a particularly traditional wedding, more a relaxed summer garden party so the farm really was the most perfect location for this. My parents are lucky enough to have quite a large garden to hold a marquee, with enough space for people to stand around sipping champers and enjoy the views.
Natural And Relaxed
I don’t tend to wear a lot of make up and always wear my hair up and out of the way but I wanted a casual and relaxed hair style so I opted to wear it down. I’ve been going to the same hair dresser for about eight years, where we’d constantly discuss each others love lives so I always knew I’d ask the lovely Dino to do my hair on the day.
He was so calming and I was thrilled with my natural tousled look. My make up was done by the amazing make up artist Emma who is a friend of one of my best mates. She did a fantastic job in making me look half decent and without the caked effect!
An Easy Dress Hunt
I’m a womenswear buyer for a UK retailer so I always though finding a dress would be quite stressful. In actual fact it was a breeze! I lined up three appointments in London about eight months before the wedding and took both Mums, my Sister and Sister in law with me to help me make a decision.
At my second appointment I fell in love with Jenny Packham Eden dress in platinum, it was exactly what I’d dreamed of wearing – unconventional and with a bit of bling. I’ve never felt more amazing in a dress before and I’m sure I’ll be able to wear it again one day.
The Only Chance To Wear A Veil
I only decided on the shoes I was going to wear as I was putting on the dress. For me, shoes weren’t hugely important – no one even sees them! I ended up wearing a pair I’d worn as a bridesmaid for my friends wedding, I’d only worn them once before and they were a perfect match to the dress. I bought some pretty hair clips from Anthropologie and borrowed some gorgeous earrings from my sister which she’d wore on her wedding day. I wore a veil too because I knew it would be my only chance!
My job takes me to India regularly and it was on a trip there to see one of my suppliers that I saw a beautiful dress that I knew would be perfect for my three grown up bridesmaids to wear. They very kindly said they would make the dresses for me, so I changed the colour and embroidery so the dresses were off white with a tarnished gold hand embroidery. They only arrived a week before the wedding, luckily they were fab and only needed a few tweaks.
Boys In Blue
The flower girls wore white cotton broderie dresses and the page boys bright blue chinos, stripy shirts and converse style trainers, all from Gap and John Lewis. Despite not wanting a too traditional wedding, James, his best men and ushers all wore morning suits which I loved and James bought the ties himself. An avid fan of the Wimbledon football team he wanted a blue and yellow combo which was fine by me.
I didn’t have a particular colour scheme but if i had to pin point it then I guess it was neutral and gold with accents of all colors! The theme was rural, rustic and fuss free.
Informal And Pretty Flowers
My gorgeous Aunt has always been interested in flowers and flower arranging so it was only natural that I would call on her for help! I found a few images of what I wanted and she helped me to create that natural, ‘just picked’ look I was after. The table arrangements were colorful, informal and pretty in simple Kilner jars.
She did various other arrangements with the help of my Mum, other Aunt and Mother in law – a large pedestal in the church and a gorgeous one in an old metal milk churn. The bouquets were done through a recommendation, the very lovely Ellie. She came to meet with me to go through my ideas and I was so thrilled with what she did for us. They smelt just as good as they looked!
Many generations of my family have been married at one particular church near home so it really was the only place we had in mind. Everyone says the most nerve racking bit is walking down the aisle but I really loved it, seeing all my family and friends with my father by my side and most importantly James waiting for me at the front. We had two readings read by close friends and family and pretty lively hymns to get everyone in the mood.
Sun Shining Down
We’d had such a cold and miserable summer so far this year and I was so amazed and happy that the sun shone and it was warm, everyone could stand outside and enjoy the views and our homemade coconut shy! I always wanted an interesting and different marquee and was very excited to find The Raj Tent Club on-line which had traditional pole, Indian inspired tents with pretty linings.
We chose a duck egg blue lining with tiny gold stars and in the dance floor and bar area the lining was navy blue with gold stars which gave you this nightclub feel. James and I love Snow Patrol and chose their more up beat and well known track ‘Just Say Yes’ for our first dance. This got everyone in the mood for a boogie and the dance floor remained packed until the bitter end. We chose a DJ because there’s more choice of the different types of music you can have. Our friend Richard did an amazing job of the music and lighting, everyone commented on the brilliant playlist.
Steak And Chips
We always wanted simple food done really well. My parents are farmers as our most of their friends so steak & chips was a natural choice. Our caterer was a lovely local lady called Sarah who created the most amazing menu for us. A large selection of yummy canapés, tender and delicious medium-rare fillet steak served with chunky chips and a green salad. This followed with treacle tart and whiskey cream.
My mum had made raspberry gin for all the tables and this was perfect to wash it all down and get you in the mood for a dance! It probably made the hangovers even worse the next day though!! Our table names were large Kilner jars full of old school type sweets which also helped when people got a bit peckish later.
My sister in law is a saint for saying she would design our invites and order of service, she’s a graphic designer and did an amazing job. The invites were unconventional and fitted with the theme perfectly. We used large slate hearts to write the table plan on. These were made by a friend of ours. Each table was named after a sweet and to find your table you had to find the Kilner jar of sweets. I bought wooden stamps in India and stamped brown luggage labels with birds and elephants. My amazing friend Henny has lovely handwriting and she wrote them for me.
The luggage labels were wrapped round the napkins with brown string and we popped a sprig of rosemary and lavender on them. We didn’t do favors as such but we hired a photo booth through Say Fromage which allows you to print your photos, either in singles or fours. This went down really well and whenever we see our friends we notice the pics stuck on their fridges or propped up on their fireplaces. The company also sends you the photos on a USB stick so you can arrange a collage.
Embrace The Spread Sheets
I have to say that we found planning the wedding pretty stress free. You need to sort out all the big and most important things first – venue, photographer, caterer and dress. If you’re particularly keen on a specific caterer or photographer then check what dates they are free before you confirm your date – that way you won’t be disappointed if you can’t get them. Planning a wedding goes in peaks and troughs, one minute you’re really busy trying to confirm things, the next you’re not really doing much until a few months before the wedding – that’s completely normal.
Set up a spread sheet to track your spending against your budget. I’m really not into spreadsheets but it’s a must if you want to keep your spending under control and your stress levels low. Shop around and negotiate early on because nearer the time you won’t have the time or the will to do it. Delegate as much as you can, everyone will be happy to help and if the going gets tough try not to argue with those closest to you – this is the happiest, best day of your life and everyone’s there to make it perfect for you both.
Capturing The Most Precious Day
Last but by no means least, a huge, huge thank you to the amazingly talented Annamarie. Anna was recommended to us by my friend at work who had used her for her wedding a few years ago. My friends photos were exquisite – they both looked so happy and loved-up plus the colour of the photos was amazing. You really want to like your photographer and get on well with them as you will spend a lot of time with them and they will be capturing the most precious day of your life.
Anna was kind, considerate, caring and genuinely happy to share in our day. We did an engagement shoot with her first – which was a great way to get to know Anna and try to relax in front of the camera. Thinking about it, it would have been so weird for her to just turn up on the day, take some photos and not know anything about each other. Other special mentions go to my family, James family, the Bridesmaids, Best Men and Ushers – we couldn’t have done it without you!!!
Dress and Veil – Jenny Packham
Hair Clips – Anthropologie
Make-up artist – Emma White Turle
Bouquets, Button holes and Flower girls Headdress – Ellie Goode
Flower Girls Dresses – John Lewis and Baby Gap
Catering – Sarah Williams
Marquee Hire – Raj Tent Club
DJ / Lighting – Richard Bowden
Photo Booth – Say Fromage
Videographer – Ral Gilmour at Sugar and Rose
Photographer – Annamarie Stepney
See what I mean about Kate Moss-esque?
I love Bridesmaids in white and those gold embroidered gowns are particularly lovely.
Brilliant planning advice from Hannah as well – spread sheets are definitely where it’s at.
Lots of love,