Whilst the vintage gramophone played a chilled out 1930s soundtrack for Emma & Paul’s wedding day, guests sipped cider, relaxed on hay bales and enjoyed the English country garden at Stoke Place. They were even treated to a fabulous garden fete including games such as welly throwing, a tin can alley and more. How fabulous!
Emma looked absolutely stunning in her Pronovias ‘Lary’ wedding gown with crystal detailing and mermaid tulle skirt. I love all the embellishment on the dress and it fits in with the vintage theme perfectly. Infact the whole bridal party look pretty stylish in their attire and the shot of them in the shades is so cool and playful all at the same time!
Emma & Paul had so much fun designing, styling and doing all the DIY for their day, they’ve decided to set up their own hire business including the props used at their wedding. Well done guys I think you’ll be fab at it as your day is Pin-tastic!
Emma The Bride: Before trying on any dresses I had my heart set on a vintage style dress, I wanted something soft, feminine and flowing. When I actually went dress shopping these kinds of dresses looked terrible on me. Luckily I had my bridesmaids with me who picked a few dresses out for me to try. I soon found that fishtail dresses suited me best and made me feel special – even sexy! The dress I finally choose was “Lary’ by Pronovias, recommended to me by the owner of Windsor and Eton Brides and I loved it as soon as I tried it on. It felt like the best of both worlds – as it was fishtail so made me feel amazing and also has a nod to vintage fashion with lovely lace embellishments.
The Grooms Attire
I wanted a modern slim fitting suit with nods to vintage tailoring. I knew from the outset that I definitely didn’t want top hat and tails, yet a style that complimented our theme of an English country fete.
I am a designer and so the quirky details are very important me, to include bowties and pocket watches. I also knew that my groomsmen would love the style and I bought the suits for them to say Thank You.
The reception venue immediately captured our imagination about the kind of day we wanted. It was the first venue we saw and nowhere else had the character of Stoke Place. We wanted an intimate wedding breakfast, which the Howard Vyse room with its French doors leading out onto the gardens allowed. We knew we wanted to invite a lot more guests for the evening reception and wanted a venue with the bar and dance floor in the same room, which the Lakeside room had. It felt simply perfect for our theme, a lovely large estate house, with gorgeous gardens complete with a lake.
Once we had decided on the reception venue we then looked for a church that would marry us on the special date for us of Sunday 27th July. We were extremely lucky that the closest church to the reception venue was not only one of the most beautiful churches we had seen in a long time but they also agreed to marry us on a Sunday.
The colours needed to compliment our vintage theme. Because of this we chose colours that were soft and textured – hessian and lace coupled with vintage pink and ivory roses. It was our aim to take our guests and ourselves on a trip back to the romantic times of the 1930’s.
We wanted a homemade vintage look to our wedding and we were also on a tight budget. We couldn’t believe how expensive all the extras are, so we decided from the outset to make all of the decorations and flowers ourselves. Paul and I are both creative in our jobs and so loved the idea of putting our own style and stamp on the day. We trawled the carboot sales every weekend for vintage items such as milk bottles, vases and candelabras as well as the trusted online auction sites!
Paul proposed to me in Dorset, so we named each table after a favorite place of ours which we visit each time we go there. As an extra detail, we collected vintage ‘Famous Five’ books (each set in Dorset) by Enid Blyton, which we also used for the centrepieces.
We asked all our friends and family to collect as many jam jars as possible. In the end we had nearly 200, which we used to line the path and decorate the gardens for our evening guests. They looked simply stunning and the extras we used as vases for flowers!
The Wedding Party Fashion
The bridesmaid dresses were chosen for their colour and fabric. I wanted them to be soft, romantic and neutral to complement our theme. They originally had big cream flowers on the strap, which I really didn’t like so I decided to try to remove them to create the perfect dresses for my three best friends.
The groomsmen all has exactly the same suit as Paul with bowties and pocket-handkerchief’s that matched the bridesmaids.
We wanted a traditional COE service including an organist and bell-ringers. We had readings from Paul’s Dad and from Hakeem, my mentor and friend. The hymns we chose were ‘Morning Has Broken’ (my Dad’s favourite hymn) and ‘Lord of the Dance’ (a reference to my job as a dancer and choreographer).
The church only allowed real flower petals to be used in the church yard. These can be very expensive so we made cones out of dollies each one with a tiny wooden heart button and bought the petals in bulk from an online seller. Another very cheap but effective way we decorated the church yard was by using flour and a cardboard template to create hearts all the way along the path.
To entertain our guests and to deliver on our theme for a country fete; that is exactly what we made. Paul and his Bestman (twin brother Mark) built a garden fete.
We took influence from old garden games to include a tin can alley, welly tossing, darts on a card and ball in a bucket. We even made our own photo station complete with props. I made over 100m of bunting from hessian and old vintage curtains. We also bought hay stacks from the local farm to complete the look. We had 8 haystacks crammed into a tiny van, with me pinned up against the car window!
To complete the theme, we bought an old gramophone and played 1930’s music to set the scene – it was fantastic and so many people from our party and even hotel guests asked us where we hired it from. We did it all ourselves and have since been inspired to set up our own hire business including some of the props we used at our wedding.
Upon arrival from the church each guest received a glass of Pimms! The canapés were part of the package and were delicious. For the main menu, we chose soup to start and roast lamb, being a Sunday – both of which were simply amazing! For desert we served lemon tart – light for the summer!
We found our photographer Lola Rose at a wedding open day at Stoke Place (our wedding venue). We instantly loved her portfolio and when we learned she used to be a designer we knew that she would deliver the attention to detail and creative eye that we were looking for from our wedding photographer.
Photography by Lola Rose Photography
- Dress Designer Pronovias – ‘Lary’
- Bridal Boutique Windsor and Eton Brides
- Hair Comb N.O.T.H.S – Vintage Styler
- Bridal Shoes Faith at Debenhams
- Church Stoke Poges Church
- Reception Venue Stoke Place
- Florist Long Acres
- Cake Kilshaws Cakes
- 1940’s Jaguar Mk5 Berkshire Classic Wedding Cars
- Bridesmaid Dresses Jane Norman at House of Fraser
- Groomsmen Next
- Decor/Styling Bride & Groom – firstname.lastname@example.org