I love Lillie & Chris’s vision of a forest festival style wedding. It looks both classic, rustic and quite frankly heavenly. Using their talents and those of their family and friends they add a real DIY, homemade touch to their reception.
Just wait until you see the fabulous marquee draped in foliage & blooms, you are literally going to gasp it’s so pretty. Then there’s the pastel pretty cake, chalkboards, and how can I forget the floral arch at the church ceremony and the ladies truly gorgeous peony, rose & gypsophila bouquets.
Both Lillie and Chris look like they are having the time of their lives dressed head to toe in lace and tweed. Simple perfect attire for their country wedding, and all captured beautifully by Chris Scuffins Photography.
Lillie the Bride: Chris and I have been together since we were teenagers and after 6 years together he finally popped the question. He proposed on his parents’ front door step after a wonderful evening out in London. We decided pretty quickly that we wanted to get married as soon as we could so we set a date for June leaving ourselves just 10 months to plan the day of our dreams.
We live in the New Forest and for us the British countryside was always going to be at the heart of our wedding as we adore where we live. I’m pretty creative and all of my family are amazing at crafting so I knew there was a lot of potential for DIY bits! I instantly got on Pinterest and blogs for inspiration and thanks to the love and hard work of our friends and family many inspired ideas became a reality, I think we managed to pull off a truly hand-crafted wedding.
We stayed at the stunning 5* country house hotel Limewood in the New Forest the night before and the night of the wedding. It really was the most gorgeous place I have ever stayed! Our ceremony was held at St Michael and All Angels church in Lyndhurst, New Forest, the beautiful church on top of the hill in our village. We followed it by a vintage style petal marquee in the field of New Park, Brockenhurst. Surrounded by forest and with lots of lovely open space to play with!
It meant a lot to us to have the ceremony in our local church and conducted by our vicar whom we know well. We wrote a prayer for our future which my bridesmaids read and was very moving and definitely a highlight. After the ceremony we had tea and cake in the church for all of the guests not going to the reception. My favourite bit was the bells ringing out through the village as it reminded me of being a little girl and dreaming of my wedding day.
My wedding dress was a lace shoe string strap dress by Sottero and Midgely that I found at “a Bride-2-Bee”in Warsash. I looked in a couple of shops before seeing my dress being tried on by another bride in their…I stopped everything and knew instantly I had to have it! It was elegant but slightly boho and could be dressed up for the church and dressed down for the reception, just perfect!
I loved my vintage style shoes and the great thing is I can wear them again because they were mint green with gold! They were handmade by Rachel Simpson and I found them on notonthehighstreet.com.
I always knew I wanted to wear a veil in the church but having been inspired by a few weddings online I decided I would also love a floral crown for the countryside festival style reception. My florist Krissie created the most beautiful simple floral crown from rose buds, parvi and gypsophila. It tied in so perfectly with the flowers at the reception and the foliage matched my wellies! The veil I chose was a ¾ length simple net veil which allowed the back of my dress to be seen which I found when I bought my dress.
Chris wore a grey suit from Hackett in London. He chose a flat wool check waistcoat to wear underneath from J.Crew and some amazing suede and leather shoes from Barker. We allowed the groomsmen to buy their own suits we only specified they had to be dark grey as Chris wore light grey. We bought the ties which were from Dessy to match the bridesmaid dresses.
I decided for bridesmaid dresses I wanted the same colour but different styles. I had 6 beautiful bridesmaids all slightly different heights and shapes so it worked that each picked a style that suited them. We went with Dessy dresses which come in an array of styles and we chose a gorgeous blush pink.
Hair and Makeup
My make-up and hair artist Sarah (Sarah Elizabeth Bridal) did such an amazing job! So much so that my bridesmaid Lexie actually booked her instantly for her wedding next year! She did all the bridesmaids hair in slightly different up do’s with beautiful braids going into them. My hair was half up and half down, again featuring braids and allowing me the freedom of having the veil in the church followed by the floral crown at the reception. I really wanted my make-up to be natural and just enhance everything which she did to perfection!
I went to my local florist shop which is about 4 doors down from our house. Krissie and her team seemed to see my “vision” from day one and the flowers on the day only exceeded my expectations. We went for blush pink peonies and roses with lots of beautiful grey and green foliage and gyp to create a natural feel. My bouquet and the boys button holes were wrapped in twine to add to the country feel. Krissie supplied us with lots of foliage for the marquee ceiling and we spend hours wrapping it around wire to create our false ceiling effect. I bought around 150 artificial peonies and roses to add some colour to the ceiling and on the day we got some amazing feedback, I think this may have been my best idea of the day!
My sister is a designer and has all the skills we needed to create amazing save-the-dates and invitations. We followed our colour scheme and found fonts online that were a bit different! Adding in floral décor we printed them on matt textured card at a local printer. Another hand crafted element of our day.
My lovely Aunt Debbie made our cake and it was 100% baked with love. We went for 3 different layers (Fruit, Lemon and Red Velvet) and decoration to match the floristry. She even added a couple of minions hidden amongst the flowers because it is a running joke that Chris and I love minions!
We had a pretty blank canvas in the marquee, although the shape was beautiful we had to think hard about how to really bring it to life. I really wanted vintage country furniture which I scoured the internet for and finally found at Virginias Vintage hire in Devon. We hired beautiful wooden trestles and chairs, several easels and amazing old wine barrels to create a bar and a table for the cake! The floristry ceiling added colour and really brought the outside in! On the tables we had a mixture of jars and wine bottles lovingly hand wound in twine and filled with flowers. We handmade lots of chalkboards and painted signs and I practiced my calligraphy for the bar menus and the days programme of events! The whole thing took a huge amount of effort by all our friends and family on the Friday so thank-you so much to them.
We chose the very talented Scuffins Photography (Chris and Helen). They stood out because their style was so natural and fitted our wedding theme perfectly. Most of the photographs we love were just moments perfectly captured by Chris and Helen, it seems like they were always in the right place at the right time!
Food & Drink
We chose a local caterer, a chef with a small company called “Chef Gary”. He gave us complete flexibility in what we ate and so we really created the menu ourselves. We had a lot of sharing style food with tapas to start, followed by belly of pork which was carved by the head of each table and accompanied by an array of salads and sides. I love puddings and I couldn’t pick one so instead we had a dessert table with 3 desserts (Salted caramel chocolate brownies, mini meringue nests and lemon tarts) which meant everyone could have as much or as little as they wanted. It also gave everyone a chance to move around and chat to other people not on their tables!
Having live music at our reception was really important to us as it was a festival themed event and we were lucky enough to have 3 live bands during the day! Our wonderful church band played during the ceremony and at the reception our friends “Daughters of Davis” played during the drinks and ice creams. In the evening we had a 1950’s rock and roll band called “The Flip Top Floozies” – we never saw them live before the wedding but they definitely did not disappoint and the rock n roll music got everyone of all generations up on the dance floor! My 86 year old grandad was dancing until 1am!
Photography by Chris Scuffins
- Dress Designer Sottero & Midgley
- Bridal Boutique A Bride 2 Bee
- Bridal Shoes Rachel Simpson
- Hair & Makeup Sarah Elizabeth Abbott
- Bridesmaids Dessy
- Groomsmen Suits Hackett in London
- Grooms Shoes Barker
- Waistcoat J.Crew
- Florist Florality
- Catering Chef Gary
- Table Hire Virginia’s Vintage Hire
- Entertainment Bands for Hire