Today we are sharing the wedding of gorgeous couple Tessa & George, whose engagement shoot we featured earlier in the year. As soon as I saw the stylish pair I just knew their wedding was going to be spectacular and I’m pleased to report it most definitely is!
Tessa mentioned that she was painting the invites and that they were making litres of elderflower cordial and sloe gin for favours, and it’s just lovely to see them in action. I’m blown away by Tessa’s work and the dinky bottles of drink are just so sweet. (George’s Marvellous Medicine is the PERFECT name for George’s sloe gin). We are all swooning over the outfits too – Tessa took a chance on her Rue de Seine gown and ordered ‘Chloe’ as a sample dress from a Sydney based boutique. What a fantastic decision that turned out to be! And as for George? We think he looks like the perfect Gentlemen in a chalk pink suit by Paul Smith…and his words about his outfit choice did make us chuckle.
The gorgeous images are from M&J Photography, whose work never fails to capture our hearts and we’ve also got the wedding film from Clark and Palmer for you, which includes some of George’s speech on the audio. It’ll have you all in tears – it’s just lovely.
Tessa The Bride: I really enjoyed trying on different wedding dresses but found picking the perfect dress a complete nightmare! I kept hoping I might be gripped by a ‘the dress’ moment but it never seemed to come. In the end I got a good feeling about an Alice Temperley dress I found on an online sample sale and bought it without trying it on. I thought it ticked all my boxes – British, bohemian and pretty. As time passed, doubt set in and I endlessly looked for an alternative. I wasted hours on Pinterest and bored my bridesmaids to tears! I think trying the dress on after a nightshift was the straw that broke the camel’s back as I looked absolutely dreadful! Not long before the wedding I saw a Rue de Seine wedding dress on RMW.
After much frantic googling I found the Chloe and I was in business. It was classic but whimsical and the large scale sixties-style lace suited my botanical gold headpiece. My family thought I was mad when yet again, I bought a sample dress without ever trying it on! It arrived from Australia seven weeks before the wedding and thankfully it was perfect! I completely got that ‘this is it’ feeling and once a few minor alterations were done it fitted like a glove. A huge relief!
I commissioned my headpiece from the talented Sofia of Lila. It was made by hand out of delicate clay flowers, leaves and acorns and covered in antiqued gold leaf. It was so comfortable to wear and was absolutely stunning, it must have taken Sofia hours. The gold really tied together my entire outfit as my veil had tiny gold beads sewn down the trim and I wore pale gold T-bar shoes from Rachel Simpson (without doubt the most comfortable shoes ever and the heel height was perfect too!)
George the Groom: Tweed suits and fly-fishing are two of my passions in life so I was really keen to have something representing both of these on the day. Having spent quite a portion of my latter years in 3-piece tweed suits north of the border in cooler climes I thought that on an English summers day I may end up a sweaty mess at the altar. Instead Tess sourced a chalk pink Paul Smith suit going begging in the sale, which perhaps no one else was foolish enough to buy (!) but for us it was a no-brainer! To get my tweed fix we found the perfect cloth and commissioned a waistcoat to be made. Hackett’s service was first class. My godfather sadly passed away last June, he was also a keen fisherman and tied his own fishing flies. I was lucky enough to inherit his incredible collection of feathers, from which my brother carefully fashioned into the stunning fishing fly broaches sported by all groomsmen and the Dads.
With one family residing in Yorkshire and the other in Edinburgh, Northumberland seemed like a reasonable geographic compromise. We had looked round a lot of lovely venues but a real attraction of Eshott was being able to accommodate over fifty folk on site for the whole weekend. The house is beautiful with stunning surrounding grounds.
Tessa the Bride: I absolutely loved the decorative aspect of the wedding and I hoped to achieve a fun, dreamy, romantic, ‘Britishy’ and bohemian day. In another life I would be an event stylist! With just over a year to plan, I had plenty of time to sort the décor. I spent the year collecting tin cans, painting signs, designing and painting our stationery and searching for props that didn’t break the bank! I sourced antique cream posy vases and pink 1920s glass candlesticks for the tables. I also bought loads of mercury glass (from TK Maxx of all places!), which cast a lovely golden candlelight over everything. Charity shops and car boot sales were rummaged through and Etsy and eBay were also explored. At one stage we were getting parcels most days – I think our neighbour thought I had developed a problem!
We wanted to have as many personal touches as possible as we really didn’t want to have a cookie-cutter wedding. I painted all our stationery using our initials ‘G&T’ as a running theme. They were a real labour of love but I was really thrilled about how they turned out. The ushers held George’s Grandfather’s antique fishing rods in salute outside the church, and the arch created made such a lovely statement. George decorated my vintage bike for outside the reception with flowers and personalised tin cans. The car (Beryl) was borrowed from our very generous friends, Richard and Kirsty. It was a real giggle watching my 6ft 3 Dad squeezing into such a small sports car and then having to negotiate the choke! Whizzing back through the countryside as husband and wife was such a highlight. Kirsty and I decorated Beryl with flowers, tin cans and my ‘Just Married’ sign and she looked really smart!
My brother-in-law Dan helped us with our photobooth. He is incredibly gifted in all things technological and managed to set up his very posh camera to operate via remote control. I bought a photo booth backdrop from BHLDN and then sourced props from antique junk shops, our parents’ attics and eBay. We wanted it to have a Colonial British Disco vibe and I managed to find some really great stuff! We had pith helmets, scarlet army jackets, sailor hats, brown leather boxing gloves, union jack flags and of course huge disco balls! They looked fantastic falling out of my father in law’s old school leather trunk. The props inevitable made their way onto the dance floor later in the evening – the photos are hilarious!
It was wonderful seeing everything come together on the day as a whole year’s worth of projects were suddenly being displayed. However, I had massively underestimated how long it would take to set everything up and our family and friends were a complete Godsend. I had imagined the day before was going to be pretty chilled with plenty of time for catch-ups, pampering and glasses of fizz. In reality we were terribly late, our meetings with the venue and church rehearsal ran on and I was completely frantic! I was still attaching the table plan onto our orchard ladder at the eleventh hour and couldn’t unwind to go to sleep until 2am! Fortunately the chaos subsided and calm reigned the morning of the wedding.
My mother-in-law Helen is a fantastic gardener and flower-arranger extraordinaire and was in charge of all things flower. I was keen for a just-gathered meadow look in blush, apricot and pink. She was an absolutely star, growing almost every bloom in her garden and transporting them to the church and venue. She made a stunning flower arch at the church and she oversaw Team Flower – made up of a group of enthusiastic friends and relatives. The results were absolutely fantastic and the scent was wonderful.
In order to free up Helen the morning of the wedding, we had our bouquets made by Wildflower Florist in Newcastle. Hannah did a wonderful job, sourcing seasonal and special British flowers that blended perfectly with the feel of the wedding.
The Wedding Party
I think bridesmaid dresses are often pretty expensive and rather unflattering. I was keen that the girls looked awesome and felt comfortable. I got the dresses at the end of the Malene Birger sale, sourcing them from all over the UK and Denmark. It was well worth the effort as they totally rocked them! My sister Alice had only given birth 4 days before the wedding, it was a huge relief that she could make it and she looked incredible! Her two blond little boys were our pageboys. They are utterly charming and looked super cute in summery preppy blue suits and peach bowties.
Tessa the Bride: The ceremony was without doubt my favourite part of the day. The atmosphere in the church seemed to be radiating warmth and I was completely elated seeing the smiling faces of so many friends and family. I felt so happy and relaxed joining George at the altar.
One of my favourite parts of a wedding is immediately after the service. The beaming couple exit the church to the sound of the bells and the congregation shower them in confetti. It’s always such a celebratory atmosphere and a lovely tradition. To ensure we had our confetti moment I bought some petal confetti online. Having no idea how many litres would be appropriate I decided to put in a generous order to ensure everybody got some. When it arrived it was clear I had gone way overboard!
George the Groom: Felton church is a beautiful and welcoming little place, which Team Flower decorated artfully. The ceremony was undoubtedly our highlight. Tess walked into Handels ‘Zadok The Priest’, I defy anyone not to shed a tear to this tune…Our vicar was absolutely fantastic and his sermon really set an informal tone for the rest of the day. He even made us a gin and tonic to symbolise the different ingredients of a healthy marriage – it was brilliant! I certainly never imagined that we would be sipping an aperitif as part of our wedding ceremony!
Tessa the Bride: Finding our evening entertainment was easy! We found the 8-piece band at our friends’ wedding and they created a fantastic party atmosphere. The dance floor was crammed full all night and the lead singer Graham is a genius, being able to sing anything from Stevie Wonder through to Mark Ronson. I would highly recommend them and definitely go for the brass section!
George the Groom: My sister Philippa is a Michelin star dessert chef who has spent time working in some of Europe’s top restaurants. It was therefore a privilege having her on hand to make a cake more fantastic and delicious than we could have imagined. She had incorporated many of our favourite flavours and the different layers of sponge were all subtly different in colour, creating a delicate ombre effect. It was a work of art.
Our evening buffet was also a homemade affair. We have a small farm down in Yorkshire and my Dad turns out quite a lot of charcuterie. His pork pies in particular are to die for. As a treat he created half a dozen mammoth pork pies, which was served with homemade chutneys. After a couple of hours dancing they went down like a home-sick mole!
Tessa the Bride: Morgane and Jonny were a pleasure to work and I absolutely love their ethereal style and soft use of colour and light. They are brilliant observers and have captured so many special moments in a very natural way. Our photographs really tell the story of our day and we have looked at them obsessively since Jonny sent them through! Morgane and Jonny are completely discrete and I think that many of our friends assumed that they were a couple of particularly stylish guests!
We were really in two minds about having a videographer. George hated the idea of being filmed and I was worried they would use really big cameras and it would all become quite impersonal and awkward. In the end we took the plunge and I spent ages searching for the right videographer. After spending an afternoon crying to strangers’ wedding films on Clark and Palmer’s vimeo account I knew I had found what I was looking for! Their films are so beautiful, moving and personal. On the day they were wholly unobtrusive, using compact equipment and we cannot wait to see the results.