My first wedding for the blog is a great example of how to use a theme subtly but still create a stunning day. In fact, it’s the simplicity of Steph and Russell’s decor that makes it so elegant. A look they even manage to pull off behind a cow shed!
A ‘vintage’ theme can be overwhelming, but the touches of vintage styling in the 20s style Jenny Packham dress, the delicate scalloped hems of the Bridesmaids dresses, the combination of roses, ranunculas, tulips and peonies in pinks and creams, along with the beautifully cut glassware combine to make a wedding that Steph should be very proud of putting together.
Look out for the amazing giant pink tasselled balloon – I really wish it were socially acceptable to carry one of these around with you everywhere you went.
Enjoy the elegance lovelies!
Steph the Bride: I choose to get married at Farbridge in West Sussex, not too far from where we live in Brighton. We were drawn to the fact that Farbridge is located in the heart of the beautiful Sussex countryside and yet is elegantly restored with a neutral palette, very ‘rustic-chic’. We actually ruled out a number of possible venues because of an aversion to garish carpets!
Glam for my Wedding Day
The wonderful Kaz Fernando created my wedding day look, I enjoy wearing and experimenting with make-up and decided to go for a more glam rather than natural look so opted for smoky eyes and a nude lip. After having a trial with Kaz I knew I could trust her to create an amazing look with both my hair and make-up which meant that I could sit back and relax (and drink champagne!) on the wedding morning letting Kaz do all the hard work.
Elegant in Eden
I loved the whole process of selecting a wedding dress although it was not a quick one and I tried on about 40 dresses! Needless to say I have very patient bridesmaids. I knew that I preferred the idea of a fabulous gown, reminiscent of an era gone by rather than a traditional wedding dress but when visiting bridal shops I ended up trying on a huge variety of styles and slightly lost my focus.
That was until I tried on Eden by Jenny Packham which not only was beautifully elegant with intricate beading detail but felt like a dream to wear and gave a nod to the 1920’s/30’s which I loved. I purchased Eden from Jenny Packham’s flagship store in London which is where I also made a last minute purchase of an ostrich feather wrap one week before the wedding – this was a (very fabulous) life saver as it was freezing on our wedding day!
A Justified Splurge
Whilst on a girl’s holiday to Vegas I spotted Luna by Jimmy Choo which I thought would team well with my dress, plus being a classic peep toe I know I will wear them again lots – not that I need to justify a splurge on a pair of Choo’s!
I kept the rest of my accessories simple, a pair of diamante drop earrings and my Nan’s emerald and diamond ring (which was also my something old). I struggled to find a headpiece that I liked but two weeks before the wedding I finally sourced an amazing hair band from Jennifer Behr based in NYC.
Embellished Gowns and Smart Suits
It was really important to me that my three bridesmaids not only looked stunning but felt happy in their outfits. We came across their dresses in Hobbs, as soon as they tried them on I knew we had to have them, they all looked AMAZE. The vintage feel, neutral colour with the stunning embellishment and scalloped hem totally worked with my dress too.
Russ invested in a blue three piece suit with a navy polka dot tie from Reiss, brown Hugo Boss Shoes and he accessorised with his uncle’s gold pocket watch and gold cufflinks which were a wedding gift from me. I thought he looked so very handsome. We intended to hire blue suits for the Groomsmen but struggled to find any that were a decent cut so opted to buy their suits from Marks and Spencer’s, along with a champagne coloured spotty tie from Charles Tyrwhitt.
Blousy Spring Blooms
Flowers were an important aspect of our wedding décor and Spriggs did a fantastic job. I was quite particular about how I wanted the flowers to look – romantic, pretty with a vintage elegance.
My bouquet was softly trailing with big and blousy spring blooms in muted shades of pinks and creams including a variety of roses, ranunculas, tulips and peonies. We decided that a duskier pink along with creams would work best against the pewter beading detail of the bridesmaids’ dresses. When I first saw the bouquets I was bowled over, particularly because Spriggs had managed to source peonies (my fave flower) which were only just coming into season.
The beams in the barn were adorned with trailing foliage with clusters of gypsophilia and the table centres alternated between birdcages and pressed glass vases filled with spring flowers in greens and pinks.
Luckily for us my brother runs a company specialising in printing bespoke stationery. After designing our own save the date cards and invitations Phil took care of the rest. We turned to eBay to find framed chalkboards for both the seating plan and order of service as well as our white washed wooden table numbers. I hand printed luggage tags to be used as place settings. Our photographer, Lisa Devlin brought a beautiful paper bloom parasol and giant tassel balloon from Pearl and Earl in Sussex to our photo session which was a lot of fun.
Decadence Of Days Gone By
Russ & I did not want to follow a colour scheme per se. Our styling for the day definitely had a vintage influence, I love the romance, decadence and glamour of different eras and so choose details such as cut glassware to reflect this.
A Sea Of Smiling Faces
Without a doubt the ceremony was my favourite part of the wedding day. My twin brother escorted me down the aisle and I was overwhelmed by a sea of smiling faces and a feeling of love. It was truly a very special moment which I will treasure forever, I could not stop smiling.
Having live music for the ceremony was important to us so we choose to have a string trio Reflection Strings who played Pachelbel, Canon in D for my entrance and The Beatles, All You Need Is Love for our exit as well as playing for the guests arrival and whilst we signed the register.
I asked one of my oldest friends, Caroline to choose a reading and she selected an excerpt from Captain Corelli’s Mandolin – Caroline studied this book for A-Level English which is at the same time that aged 17 Russ & I got together, Caz felt it reminded her of us from those early days.
Fresh Air To Clear The Mind
My first piece of advice would be to invest in a photographer. After booking the venue the next thing we did was book Lisa Devlin. Lisa is not only extremely talented and creative but is a wonderful person to spend time with. We had an engagement shoot in Brighton before the wedding which not only helped Russell and I feel more comfortable in front of the camera but gave us some fantastic images which we used to make a photo guest book for the wedding. On the day Lisa and her second shooter David McNeil were amazing and Russ and I were blown away by the images.
When planning your wedding I think it is important to stay true to yourself and your tastes and style and your day will then reflect your personality as a couple. On the day relax, cherish every moment and have fun. If on the day you wake up feeling nervous or stressed try and go for a walk, I did this and the fresh air totally cleared my mind allowing me to focus on enjoying the day and all the bridal preparations.
My wedding day really was the happiest day of my life, marrying Russell surrounded by all our friends and family was amazing – a day full of laughter, joy and love.
Venue – Farbridge Barn, West Sussex
Dress – Eden, Jenny Packham
Shoes – Luna, Jimmy Choo
Headpiece – Jennifer Behr
Hair and Make Up – Kaz Fernando
Bridesmaids – Hobbs
Groom – Reiss
Groom’s Shoes – Hugo Boss
Groomsmen – Marks and Spencer
String Quartet – Reflection Springs
Florist – Spriggs
Balloon and parasol – Pearl and Earl
Photographer – Lisa Devlin
See what I mean about a subtle theme being unbelievably elegant? ‘Romantic, pretty with a vintage elegance’ done perfectly!
And I think it’s fair to say that it wasn’t just Steph who had a day full of laughter, joy and love.
Lots and lots of love,