I know we're in the middle of a heat wave in the uk at the moment, but if there are any brides and grooms out there planning an Autumn wedding you are absolutely going to love this feature full of rich colours and dreamy light; all captured beautifully by Tony Hart Photo I might add. The confetti shot in particular couldn't be more picturesque, and the bush outside the Ramster Hall venue perfectly replicates the Bentley wedding car, Routemaster bus, bridesmaids gowns and florals. If I could describe this wedding with one emoji, I'd fail miserable because this adorable country wedding deserves multiple love heart eyes #allthehearteyes. Enjoy.
VenueAli the Bride: We chose Ramster Hall for our reception; a fabulous beamed long-hall with tonnes of character and set in the most amazing gardens. It could also importantly house everyone indoors throughout the day, key factor given the weather risk of an October wedding! It doesn’t charge corkage either which is increasingly rare and meant we could easily afford to put on a free bar, which was really important for us. There is a gorgeous little village called Chiddingfold just 5 mins down the road, so we had great accommodation on the doorstop as well as St Mary’s, a stunning and very welcoming church, where we held our ceremony.
TransportThe Church was across the road from our hotel, so we escorted ourselves over the road for the ceremony (queue fun/awkward road crossing in a big white dress), but we had a fab vintage burgundy Bentley to take us from the ceremony to the reception, via a longer than necessary route so we could have some alone time after the ceremony which was great. We hired a vintage Routemaster to transport the guests to Rasmter which looked so much fun. They also amazingly came back at midnight to collect us and take us back to the village… the ensuing unexpected ‘disco bus’ was a real highlight!!!
Colour Scheme, Flowers & DecorWe love autumnal colours so this was central to our theme for the day, focusing on the deep reds and oranges of the season, accompanied by soft pinks with tonnes of greenery to ensure it didn’t get too dark. The flowers were arranged by the amazing team at Spriggs and looked like soft, wild bunches that had just been gathered (though of course were meticulously arranged!). We also had flower crowns for the bridal party, made up with lots of greenery and small roses all on a soft line of straight wire which was then woven into our hair. Whilst we did joke this may have given us all a ‘drunk festival’ vibe, we absolutely loved them as the garlands kept the fabulous autumnal colours central throughout the day and in all the pictures. We topped the tables off with a mix and match range of antique brass candle sticks I had collected from car boot sales and eBay to complement the character of the long hall at Ramster, and used photos of us with each of the guests as the place names (this took quite a while to collect pictures & write personalised notes, but was really fun and definitely worth it).
PhotographerOne of our first and easiest decisions was securing our wedding photographer, Tony Hart. He had gone to university with a friend, and had photographed both her and her sister’s weddings SO beautifully it was a no brainer. He is a master at capturing the story of the day, all very naturally but in the most beautiful, flattering pictures so everyone looked fantastic. He was also total photo-ninja on the day, somehow getting around at the speed of light to capture all that was going on, without ever being in the way, and remaining a general pleasure to have around.
DressI bought my dress from Emma Elizabeth Bridal in Twickenham; I only actually tried the dress on as a favour to my mum as she had loved it, but I instantly felt great in it. I was pretty anxious about the dress shopping, assuming I would be a size 12 being squeezed into size 2 samples, but was totally not the case and was so fun and easy. I ordered Rainbow Club satin shoes to go with the dress and threw in some diamanté clips for fun. I added the beaded overlay which I found as an ex-sample from a small village shop in Oxfordshire. Luckily the team at Emma Elizabeth could take it in so it fit perfectly over the dress.
Grooms AttireNic got his beautiful navy suit from Suit Supply just off Regent Street, where they tailor off the rack, so it fit perfectly but didn’t come with the price tag of a custom made piece. He got really into the accessorizing side of things, adding a paisley tie from Drake’s (a recommendation from our friend who is tie-obsessed), a silk pocket square from Rampley & Co (depicting a story from Greek mythology?!) and classic brown brogues from Churches. We hired suits for the best men from Youngs Hire, and added simple silk ties from John Lewis.
BridesmaidsThe Bridesmaids dresses were a steal from Warehouse at ASOS in the sale; I had planned to have the girls wear different dresses so everyone was comfortable and but I found these and all were keen. They each accessorised with their own jewellery and shoes. The flower girls, our niece and our god-daughter, wore dresses from Next and were so cute to have with us on the day – they took their entrance into the church very seriously.
Hair and Make upOn recommendation from our photographer, we booked Alison Smith and Louise for hair and make-up on the day; they were such a fun and calming presence for us all in the morning as we got ready, loved having them there, and everyone looked and felt great the whole day!
FoodRamster Hall only works with Jacaranda Catering, but we couldn’t have been happier with the food and the incredible staff. Not only do Jacaranda do all the food and serve the drinks, but they also manage the whole day which isn’t something I had thought of; it was such a relief not to must worry about a thing and Minty who ran our day was amazing. We welcomed everyone to Ramster Hall with cocktails and canapés in the courtyard, followed by baked Camembert, chicken in pancetta and sticky toffee pudding. And just in case people were still hungry, we had a hog roast for later in the evening… we may have gone too big on food. We also slightly over catered on the drinks (2+ bottles of wine per head, plus prosecco, plus beer, plus cocktails, plus full bar….) and it has become a bit of a joke as we still plough through the remaining wine, but it certainly helped the flow of the day, made it feel as relaxed as we wanted and got the dancing off very quickly, helped along by a few espresso martinis after the meal. The bar/waiting staff were also amazing throughout, and paid special attention to all the most minor details. They even went as far as making a special ‘mother of the bride cocktail’ for my mother who has very specific tastes when it comes to alcohol; they ensured she was straight to the front of the queue whenever she went to the bar!
The EntertainmentOur fabulous friend Tim took on tole of MC which gave the movements of the day a very personal feel. For the evening, we had an incredible band called Northern Quarter who were so much fun (think Mumford & Sons vibe who also do So Solid Crew and Backstreet Boys – what more do you need?). They got the party going with our first dance (‘you can call me Al’ by Paul Simon – which they nailed) and the dance floor was full all night! Our friends who were there have even decided to book them for their wedding later this year.
Overall…We absolutely loved planning the wedding and the day was everything and more we had hoped for. My only tip would be to ask for recommendations; writing this up has reminded me just how many elements of our day were sourced from recommendations from friends, from the venue and from other suppliers. There are just so many options out there it was so much easier to take great suggestions from people in the know. Also being as relaxed as you can on the day definitely helped, everyone follows suit and we had such an amazing time!
Dres Designer: Watters | Boutique: Ema Elizabeth Bridal | Bridal Shoes: Rainbow Club | Grooms Suit: Suit Supply | Tie: Drakes | Pocket Square: Rampley and Co | Shoes: Church's | Best Men Suits: Youngs Hire | Bridesmaid Dresses: Warehouse via ASOS | Flower Girls: Next | Venue: St Mary's Church | Ramster Hall | Florist: Spriggs | Catering: Jacaranda | CAtering: Pudding Fairy | Transport: Classic and Vintage | British Red Bus