I have serious hair envy. The fact that Bride Alice can pull off a top knot on her wedding day is giving me major green eyes. I wish I looked that cool with my hair piled on top of my head!!! And while we’re on the subject, I have serious dress envy too. Inbal Dror gowns are the stuff of Bridal dreams and Alice totally owns hers.
The whole day is so effortlessly stylish, but looks really fun too – which is obviously just the best combination for a wedding day. Alice & Steven have known each other since they were tiny and so their families have been in each others lives for a long time too and I think you can see that from the photographs. Plus the couple held their wedding at Alice’s parents stunning barn, so naturally things felt like home.
Alice The Bride: Steven and I have known each other since we were four years old, we went to the same primary school and our parents would wait outside the gates for us to finish class every afternoon. Whilst we didn’t become a couple until we reconnected many years later, it’s always lovely knowing that our families and pasts are so intertwined.
When we got engaged, we both knew that our wedding was going to be one big party. We wanted good wine, great food and the best music to celebrate with our guests. We had friends and family coming from all over the world to share the day, so keeping the whole event as home-grown as possible was really important to us.
Dressing for the wedding was always going to be fun, we knew the ball gown and morning suit look wasn’t what we wanted…I was keen for something a little more contemporary whilst Steven was eyeing up something bespoke, too. A breathtaking Inbal Dror couture gown I’d seen on Pinterest just happened to be waiting for me at Morgan Davies in London on the day I went dress shopping, I firmly believe it was meant to be! I added a pair of dark gold pointed heels (I love wearing them now to remind me of the day), a gorgeous Etsy veil that was trimmed with lace and I was so lucky to wear a pair of beautiful diamond earrings lent to me by a close girlfriend. Steven suited up in a bespoke three-piece Hackett design in a dark grey check, with a burgundy tie and classic black loafers.
We got married in Oundle School Chapel, where Steven and my sister went to school and our mothers had both taught over the years. One of our favourite parts of the ceremony – aside from having it in a Chapel we both know and loved – was a reading done by one of my closest school friends. It was an excerpt from ‘A History Of Love’ by Nicole Kraus, and meant so much to us. After the ceremony, Steven drove the two of us 10 minutes down the country lanes to our reception venue…my parents farm!
A beautiful old barn next to the farmhouse had been given months of TLC, decorated with miles of fairy lights and pillar candles, and it even had a reclaimed wood bar that Steven and his dad built. It was wonderful to feel so comfortable at home, having champagne and canapés in the garden (although we did nearly get blown away by the summer wind!) and taking a walk down to the old tree-lined chicken huts where our incredibly talented photographer Gem and wonderful videographers, Gary and Brendan, got some beautiful shots. The photos and video we have of the day remind us just how lucky we were to be able to spend our wedding day where we grew up.
For supper, each of our tables shared a sirloin beef carvery, with all our favourite summertime salads that were made as much as possible with local ingredients. We were so pleased to have a local business, Beetroot Catering, create the menu for us – it was so fresh, full of flavour and wonderfully different to other wedding meals we’ve enjoyed before.
We also had a fantastic time deciding on wines to suit our menu a few months beforehand, with a night spent doing tastings with the brilliant Ben from Coe Vintners wine merchants taking us through several bottles. On the big day, it meant we enjoyed a tailor-made menu that suited our venue perfectly, and then danced the night away until 2am to the sounds of soul and funk from the sensational Low Riders. With a midnight hog roast and fabulous photo booth stationed next to the bar, the whole day and evening were exactly what we’d wanted – an excuse to have an incredible party with all the people we love in one room.
We loved the organic, homely feel every part of our wedding had, from the bespoke invitations ringed with garlands of flowers, to the mason jar sweet favours, wild flower planters, and local food and ales we served. As we had the reception in a barn previously used to store animals and grain, it was a huge, communal DIY effort – everyone pitching in to help paint, build, clean and organise a hundred different things. But that’s a part of what made the whole process so special, it really was a shared labour of love for both our families…We couldn’t have asked for more, and the day itself was everything we’d hoped it would be – incredible fun!