Beautiful Bride Becky had a stunning customised Ellis Bridals gown from Love Lust List member Fairytale Weddings which was the perfect choice for a country classic spring wedding at Kelmarsh Hall. And along with that gorgeous gown there was an equally beautiful bouquet, full of the most perfect peach David Austin roses.
The ceremony looks full of emotion and the couples portraits around the grounds are simply breathtaking. I honestly feel as though I’ve been transported into a wonderfully refined Jane Austen period drama.
But this is where traditions end as as Becky & Antony didn’t fancy cutting the cake or having a first dance. This certainly didn’t stop all their guests dancing the night away and enjoying all the cake they’d loving baked for the couple. In fact there was a whole table jam packed full of yummy treats to be enjoyed.
What started out as the vision of a rustic barn wedding ended up being a very classically elegant affair. And it was perfect.
When Sarah and Andy came across Kelmarsh Hall they fell in love and it is very easy to see why. The exterior is utterly divine, lavish gardens and a gorgeous building and then there’s the inside. My word. It is simply stunning. The thing that sealed it most for Sarah was that the ceremony room looks out over a lake, a la Pride and Prejudice where Mr Darcy climbs out from the lake.
An absolute win of a venue and wedding.
Sarah The Bride: I have long hair that I very rarely wear up and it was important to me that I looked like me on the day so I decided to wear it down and curly. To give it some extra ‘va va voom’ I purchased some clip in natural hair extensions which matched my hair colour and finished it off with a head piece and a simple edged veil.
I wanted to keep my make-up natural and my friend Elle, who is a beautician, did a great job at making sure I had enough coverage without it looking too much. The Make-up I wore was purchased from Clinique and I was wearing ‘the one’ from Dolce and Gabbana as my wedding perfume.
Simple And Elegant
I would say the overall look I was going for was timeless and classic. I was very particular about the style of dress that I wanted and after trying on numerous dresses, that I instantly hated, I started to worry that the dress I had in my mind wasn’t actually out there. I then stumbled across a beautiful bridal shop in Teddington called The Dress. Oh, how I love this shop and honestly, nearly every dress in there was to die for! I picked a stunning Suzanne Neville dress called Besotted and true to it’s name I couldn’t take my eyes off it. It was the only dress that I didn’t want to take off so that’s how I knew it was the one for me. It was a simple, elegant, A-line, laced backed dress with an extremely fitted and structured bodice which Suzanne Neville is famous for.
My peep toe shoes were from Rachel Simpson and they were a soft silk with a pretty floral lining, finished off with a large crystal detail.
I didn’t wear much jewellery on the day as I didn’t want to take the attention away from the frock and I felt the head piece gave it all the ‘bling’ I needed, however Andy gave the bridesmaids some Tiffany pearl earrings along with a beautiful poem to surprise me with on the day – and who doesn’t love a bit of Tiffany!
I had four gorgeous girls as my bridesmaids and they were truly amazing leading up to and on the big day. They all wore After Six dresses which is part of the Dessy Collection. I picked a sage green colour to tie in with the ribbon on the invites and it also had the old English/vintage feel that we were aiming for.
The three ushers wore rented three piece grey suits from Moss Bros and Andy, his best man Matt and my stepdad all brought a slightly darker grey three piece suit that were also from Moss Bros. It was important to Andy that he felt comfortable in his suit and as he is 6ft 5 and slim, the hire suits, which are not very fitted, didn’t really hang all that well on him. They all hired sage green handkerchiefs and cravats (my step dad had a tie) which couldn’t have been a better match to the girls dresses.
A Few Personal Touches
Although we had hints of sage green throughout, our overall theme was vintage/old English. What was so great about Kelmarsh Hall was that the venue was already stunning, with its grand entrance hall, open fire and the all the breath taking paintings on the walls, all we all we needed were some flowers and a few bits here and there to make it our own. Vintage style frames, a large birdcage as our seating plan, old boxes, one for our cards and another for our best wishes notes and a cast iron easel which held a welcome sign, were just a few of things we used to add our own personal touches to the venue.
I love roses and especially the Juliette rose from David Austin and as it is such a beautiful classic flower and smells amazing. I knew from the start that I wanted it to be the main flower in my bouquet. My florist Anna from Julie-Anna Flowers did a fantastic job and in the morning when I saw it for the first time it brought a tear to my eye as it was exactly what I wanted. It was a simple hand tied bouquet with David Austen Juleitte roses, seasonal flowers of ivory ranunculus, ivory freesia, dark peach spray roses and a small amount of cinera eucalyptus foliage.
The girls had smaller hand tied bouquets of pale peach talea roses, soft pink sweet avalanche roses muted purple memory lane roses, ivory ranunculus and freesia with a small amount of eucalyptus. Andy had a buttonhole of ivory ranunculus with eucalyptus foliage to coordinate with my bouquet and the rest of the men had pale peach talea rose buttonholes with eucalyptus.
In the venue we had two large vases in the entrance hall filled with seasonal flowers that matched our colours/theme and in the ceremony room we had two smaller vases filled with similar flowers to the girls’ bouquets. We also had pink roses tied to the pew ends down the aisle.
For the center pieces we had white buckets filled with a mix of roses and David Austen roses and other mixed flowers and foliage in peaches, pinks and muted purples/mauvs. The top table had 5 vases to put mine and the girls’ bouquets in after the ceremony and different height bud vases of flowers were placed in between.
All You Need Is Love
The girls walked in ahead of me and my stepdad and we walked down to Eva Cassidy Fields of Gold played by our harpist.
We had three lovely readings; Captain Corelli’s Mandolin was read by my bridesmaid Philippa, On Your Wedding Day read by our good friend Ben and It Takes Two was read by another dear friend and our witness Kirsty. She did really well not burst into song! Apart from a few stumbles over our vows (which actually brought some realness to the occasion), the rest of the ceremony went without a hitch.
We signed the register to Pachelbel’s Canon which was also played at my parents wedding and we walked out as a married couple to All you need is love.
Our first dance was Better Together by Jack Johnson. We picked this for two reasons. Firstly, it reminded us of when we used to play it to each other back when we first got together and were doing long distance. Secondly; we are absolutely terrible at dancing so we wanted something a bit more upbeat to spin around to. Both Andy and I love live music and enjoy going to see gigs so we decided to have a live band. We picked the Blue Skies as they had a great sound and had a fantastic repertoire. They had everyone up dancing and by the end of the night all the guests were shouting ‘one more, one more!!’ – it was like having our own personal rock concert and still months after our guests are still talking about how great the party was (the free bar may have also helped).
Food Glorious Food
We had a lot of yummy food provided by a local caterer called Emerson and West. Starting with delicious canapés which included mini fish n’ chips in cute little cones and a selection of won tons. All the canepes were washed down with the flowing champagne. The staff did a great job at making sure everyone’s glasses were topped up!
For our wedding breakfast we had a goats cheese and Mediterranean vegetable tart for starter. A choice of either herb crusted lamb with red current jue with dauphinoise potatoes or guinea fowl with a tarragon sauce and roasted new potatoes. Both were served with seasonal vegetables. For desert we had strawberry cheesecake.
On the table we had our homemade favours which were small jars of homemade chilli jam. We brought some lovely fabric from Selfridges that has a sage green floral pattern on it, finished off with a ribbon bow to cover the lid. We made labels which read ‘Made with Love…’ and had our names and the date of the wedding on them. The food didn’t end there… we had a hog roast in the evening and cheese platters which all went down extremely well. All the food was locally sourced and made fresh that day.
We got our stunning cake called Valencia from Hockleys in Northampton. It had four tiers; 2 chocolate fudge, 1 sponge and 1 fruit. It had elegant piped detailing on every layer and a beautifully crafted topper of sugar roses and leaves.
It was important to me that we did/made as much stuff as possible ourselves so we made all of our wedding stationary, from the invites, order of the days, menus, to the table plan. For our table plan we brought a large rectangle birdcage form TK Max which we spray painted ivory. We wrapped a paper flower wire garland around it and using ivory heart clips we attached the seating arrangements to it. Our table numbers were printed onto card and put into small vintage style fames and our place names were printed onto tags. We asked to have the napkins in advance from our caterers so that we could tie a bow, with the name tag around them. We then placed a small bunch of lavender on to each one. We made our own photo booth by buying a selection of moustaches and glasses on sticks from eBay and found a large frame from TK Max for people to pose behind. We also printed a sign that read ‘pick a prop and strike a pose’.
Feeling So Special
When I look back at our wedding day the part that I will never forget is the speeches. Both Andy and my stepdad did such an amazing job at making me feel so special (I didn’t know Andy had it in him!!) and they had the whole party in tears, including me, as they spoke about my late father.
• Pick a good photographer! We were so lucky when we found Kate and Kevin from Depict. Not only did they have the exact style
that we were after but they made us feel so at ease in front of the camera. I would definitely recommend having an engagement
shoot beforehand. This helps build up a good relationship with your photographer which is very important on your big day. We
will always have memories of the day but the way that Kate and Kevin captured our wedding was so beautifully done it will
help us remember all feeling and the finer details forever.
• Don’t wear toeless hold up’s! These were a nightmare and kept falling down which wasn’t the classy look I was going for, and
needless to say, they didn’t last long.
Enjoy it, everyone said how quickly the day will go and it is true! The day flew by.
Now I don’t know about you but I’m suddenly very hungry. The food sounds absolutely immense. And how great it was all fresh from local suppliers.
I’m in love with the flowers as well and now even happier that I know what they are all called! I can see some serious pinterest happening with these beauties.
It makes me happy to think about the readings at the ceremony. A lot of the time I hear brides saying that they’re only going to have one reading because they don’t want to bore people and other weddings they’ve been to have only had one reading so thats what they think they should do. But I am all for the readings! Get in as many as you can. If they mean something to you and the words are beautiful, your guests will enjoy sitting through them and absorbing the the words.