A Berkshire Garden Party.

Siobhan and Dave married in June 2011 on what turned out to be a very hot and sunny day. This led to some last minute changes of plan to accomodate the weather conditions. On the plus side, all that light has had a part to play in the creation of this stunning set of photographs from Source Images.

Prepare yourself for mismatched furniture, glassware used as bud vases, dusty pink hues and slim fit navy suits. Our bride Siobhan looks stunning in Pronovias and her Ted Baker shoes are show stoppers.

Let’s join the party.

Local Suppliers

We got married at St Nicolas Church Taplow then had our reception at The White Oak in Cookham. We wanted local venues and suppliers so our wedding was a reflection of the community we lived in. It makes me smile every time someone says they’ve been to dinner at the White Oak. We’ve inspired a few of our friends to pop the question there and then go on to get married there too.

The Only Bride In The World

My dress was a nightmare to find, I must have tried at least 100 dresses on before deciding on the one, it was starting to become a chore and I was worried I’d never love any of them. I decided on a Pronovias dress from a little wedding dress shop in Chepstow Wales. The women made me feel like I was the only bride in the world and the feeling I got from the dress was magical.

The style was simple which I think Dave was surprised about as I normally have to be ‘fashion’ with all my outfits. The dress was strapless with a sweet heart shaped bust, it was ivory in colour and was fitted to the hips and then fish tailed out.

Traditional Security

I knew before I’d picked the dress I’d have a veil, I saw it as a security thing for walking down the isle as I wore it traditionally. It was full length, trimmed with a scalloped edge.

For jewellery I wanted to be myself and wear my much loved Siobhan necklace but my mum presented me with beautiful antique pearls which I loved. Diamond stud earrings and the engagement ring Dave designed for me finished off the look.

Superstition

During the wedding planning I found out that I am a traditional and superstitious girl at heart. Shoes are what I am known for and I didn’t let the side down! Royal blue peep toes with blue bows on the peep. I searched high a low for blue shoes and put more effort into finding the shoes than the dress or the accessories. They came from Ted Baker and I love them. Jordan did an amazing job picking them out in the photos because he knew they were my pride and joy.

I danced away all night without any pain, but the next day OMG!

A Natural Look

I wanted to be natural on my wedding day, I went for simple and softly swept back hair, dewy skin and rose cheeks. I think this was for the best as the day was so sunny and hot – heavy make up wouldn’t of been appropriate. Dave always prefers when I go for a more natural look and I was conscious that when he turned round to meet me at the aisle that he would think I was beautiful and that he was making the right choice in marrying me 🙂

I did my own make up as I am lucky enough to have a make artist mum and have always dabbled in make up and all girly things.

Fleurs de la Maison

I wanted beautiful summer aromas to be the first thing my guests picked up on so went for my favourite freesias. As the reception was in a country style restaurant I wanted the decoration to be in keeping with the surroundings which is why we said no to table cloths and clinical chair covers and went with mismatch furniture and crystal cut glasses to bounce the candle light off.

Sherry, champagne flutes and other ornate drinking glasses held white and hypnosis pink roses and the freesias. No two tables were decorated the same. The guys at Fleurs de la Maison in Cookham did an amazing job delivering the relaxed and informal brief we gave them. It helped that they were locals of the White Oak and really reflected the personality of both us and the venue.

Navy And Pink

The bridesmaid wore silk knee length Karen Millen dresses, I wanted to make sure they looked elegant and grown up and that the dresses were comfortable enough and fashionable enough to party hard. Hopefully they’ll wear them again. Deciding on knee length was another blessing in disguise due to the amazing sunshine we were blessed with.

The groomsmen wore hired suits – a gift from Dave’s fantastic brother and best man. The navy and pink came from the wedding invite – a very talented friend of mine designed them for us and it all started from there.

Hollywood

We went for navy 3 piece slim fit suits instead of the classic morning suits. I was conscious that because we had chosen an informal venue we should reflect that in all the extras. All the boys blew me away on the day – but I have never seen Dave look as handsome as when I saw him at the alter. It’s meant to be the bride’s big moment but he looked Hollywood.

Every Day Lives And Locations

Both Dave and I hate having our photo taken and made the decision early on that we wanted a relaxed and intimate wedding so we wouldn’t have a photographer. We were planning on recruiting a few family members to snap candid moments throughout the day. This didn’t go down well with everyone who we causally mentioned it to and so reluctantly we decided to get a professional. It was a good friend of mine who got married a few weeks after us that recommended Jordan from Source Images.

We loved the fact that weddings were something he did outside of this travel and journalist photography and there was one shot in his portfolio which made us say yes straight away – the groom and his best man, cigars and sunnies. At that moment we knew he was the best man for the job and would capture the day as it unveiled its self – rather than taking us away from our guests for the standard wedding shots!

After a beer with Jordan at the White Oak we knew we were making the right choice! The beautiful lighting in our wedding pictures came as a result of it being too hot and sunny to take photographs after the church service. Jordan waited until after dinner so we went out as the sun was setting to have all our pictures in Cookham’s streets and fields (and even in someones front garden). I love that our photos show the countryside and our everyday lives and locations in a very special way. I can’t tell you how many compliments we’ve had over the Cookham bridge shot and the antique chairs.

The Uncut Cake

The cake wasn’t something we were overly worried about so we went to M&S and got a tasty chocolate covered sponge. My roots are Irish and I always remember my family telling me that if everyone at your wedding has a piece of the cake then you’ll have a long and happy marriage. With this in mind I totally ruled out fruit cake and played the percentage odds on that everyone likes sponge. Every little bit of good luck helps!

We totally forgot to cut the cake and it was only at 10pm when we were doing shots at the bar with family and friends that the restaurant manager put the cake in front of us for cutting.

Causing A Stir

The White Oak doesn’t cater for weddings as its main business and the space wasn’t suitable for a band. We had a DJ who played every song requested and we danced well into the early hours of the morning. As it was such a hot day all the windows were open and as it got dark we had the locals of Cookham walking past the party, looking into the windows and wishing us luck.

Last Chance

Our first dance was to Paolo Nutini Last chance, Dave hates dancing so gave strict instructions to the groomsmen to join in after a minute or so. The song has a sad meaning but I loved it because the words summed up how much I missed and longed to be with Dave when we had a bit of a break after university.

Childhood Memories

I grew up in Wales and wanted to bring in elements of my childhood, so we picked Bread of Heaven as one of the hymns in church. For those who don’t know it’s a classic Welsh rugby song and made me feel at home. The favours were also a flash from our childhoods – personalised bags of haribo!

We were worried about everyone filling up before the meal but once the food was served the haribo didn’t get a look in. We gave our guests a choice of 3 starters, mains and deserts, which they selected when returning their R.S.V.P – a sure fire way to ensure that you get 100% of your invites back before the deadline. Fish and Chips, Pork Belly and Steak were all on offer.

Garden Party Vibe

Dave and I tried to keep the whole wedding informal and relaxed. We had handmade signs asking our guests to ‘join Siobhan & Dave for a party’. With only 75 guests for the reception we made sure we sat and talked with all of our guests. Everyone who made up our lives was there to share our day. We didn’t have standard sized tables so they ranged from a table for 4 to 6 and even 11. Our top table was opened up to grandparents and second mums. The garden was filled with dressed trees and crisp white bunting which captured the garden party vibe we longed for.

A Goovy Kind of Love

A family friend played the piano while we signed the register – hits from The Beatles, Elton John and the classic A Goovy Kind of Love by Phil Collins. Our wedding was a real family and friends affair, so much so that our MC (a close university friend of mine and Dave’s oldest school friend) turned up in the red tails, kane and cravat – much to our surprise and delight. We knew all about the little surprises the guests could expect but this was something we were as elated by.

White London Cabs

I was adamant that an informal venue and setting would not sit comfortably with big and imposing classic cars like Bentleys and Rollers – these are lovely but wouldn’t have been right! We went for white London cabs to take dad and I, mum and the bridesmaids to church. They looked fantastic against the sunshine and green field back drop. The driver even came with his cabbies badge.

All these small elements complimented the day, I tried to avoid a ‘theme’ as such but the more I avoided it the more the theme became apparent – classic English Garden Party!

Step Back And Watch

The best piece of advice I can offer is to invest in good food, photography, booze and music!! These are the elements that your guests will enjoy most, happy guests = fun times and amazing memories!

Your wedding should reflect your and your partners personalities, don’t let anyone convince you that your way is the wrong way. Spare five minutes on the day to step back and watch everyone celebrate you and your partners big day and success, it’s the best feeling to know that everyone is there for you.

It’s the one day in your life that you won’t need to have a phone, a watch or money in your pocket!

Photographer – Source Images

Dress – Pronovias

Shoes – Ted Baker

Blooms – Fleurs de la Maison

Bridesmaid Dresses – Karen Millen

Thanks to Siobhan and Dave for letting us have a peek at their amazing garden party.

A little while ago Jordan from Source Images wrote a post for us tackling the issue of the group shot and how to keep them fresh and interesting, you can read the article here. And as you can see his is a master of the art form.

A great balance of clever composition, an unusal environment and a subtle injection of humour has made the collection of shots taken on the driveway on Siobhan and Dave’s big day completely priceless.

Adam.

Author: Adam Crohill
Adam likes Pina Coladas and getting caught in the rain.

14 thoughts on “A Berkshire Garden Party.

  1. The shot where Siobhan is putting on her wedding dress…MAJOR back envy…please could someone buff mine to perfection, just like that one please – slim, toned and tanned…

    I also have;

    – Ankle envy
    – Group shot envy
    – Chanel bag envy

    And possibly a slight bit of groom envy – he is just lovely!

    xoxo

  2. Those shoes are amazing!

    The group shots are definitely immense – I would never think of bringing chairs all the way out to a field! May have to pin that onto pinterest for our photographer to see… 🙂

    I also like the growing trend in using restaurants instead of traditional wedding venues. It means you can go back there too, which is doubly nice!

    Anyways, i’m digressing – congratulations to Siobhan and Dave! You clearly had an absolutely fabulous time 🙂

    xxx

  3. I have been looking for some blue shoes everywhere, they are either too expensive or not right! these would be perfect but I bet they don’t do them anymore 🙁

  4. @LouiseT – I think they’re called Philesia, but they seem to only be available in coral and nude/ pink now, not blue (they are very nice in those colours!)

    Good luck!

  5. @LouiseT – I have to say both colours are gorgeous. I’m having a serious coral moment but I think the nude look timeless.

    L K Bennett are a bit more expensive but they have some cool dark blue patent shoes called Pandora (I think) that have a bit of a similar feel.

    Ahhhh shoes. I could spend my entire salary on shoes…. xx

  6. @Lucy T…it might also be worth trying a Ted Baker outlet…my nearest one is at Cheshire Oaks and it isn’t a normal outlet style store (full of c*ap that nobody wanted the first time round!) but actually has fairly recent pieces in there…I had seen a dress that I wanted that was no longer in the mainstream stores, gave them a ring and ta-dah! Although in the end it did turn out that I am a size smaller in TB than expected but hey, it’s always worth a punt…

    There is also a lovely Mulberry store at ‘the oaks’….ahhhhh Mulberry.

    xo

  7. Love the shoes – that dress fits her perfectly! Absolutely gorgeous day. The group shots are fantastic, and definitely a good idea to wait till after dinner for the photos, I went to a very sunny wedding last year and the piccies are filled with lots and lots of squinting! Not ideal (and causes wrinkles! :))

  8. What a lovely, laid back, stunning wedding! Considering the couple ‘dont like being photographed’ – the pictures are glorious! What a testament to both the couple and the photographer! Like Celine, I’ve pinned a few of these shots to show to my photographer. Lots of wedding envy here!
    xxx

  9. This is one of my favourite weddings that I have seen! It looks like so much fun, the photos are stunning and I love that Pronovias dress!

    I agree on the food, photography, booze and music front too – wedding day would not be complete without some amazing nosh!

    Congratulations to a beautiful couple on your day! xxx

  10. Hi All,

    thank you for all your lovely comments, you’ve really given me a reason to smile on a wet and windy Monday morning. good luck with all your planning x

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