Ally and Pat’s wedding is just gorgeous. The pair were really lucky with the weather, even needing parasols to keep guests cool – and this meant they could also have their humanist ceremony outdoors, making for some stunning photographs. Michelle Wood (along with Ania Ames as second shooter) captured everything beautifully that I’m pretty sure Ally and Pat will be poring over for years and years to come.
The florals for this wedding are just dreamy and it came as no surprise to me that this is the work of the lovely Gemma from The Country Flower Company – one of our favourite florists and a member of our handpicked supplier directory – The List. Look out for the hand illustrated stationery from The Wildflower Illustration Co. too! Rebecca is another of our recommended suppliers, her work is just so pretty.
Ally the Bride: Patrick and I have been together for years and I thought he was never going to propose but eventually he popped the question while we were on safari in South Africa for my 30th birthday, and we set his birthday as our special day – which turned out to be one of the hottest days of the year! I planned and coordinated the whole day myself so I was especially nervous, even on top of the normal bridal wedding day stresses!
I knew I was going to struggle picking out my wedding dress as soon as I tried the first one on I realised I was going to love them all! I wanted my look to be glamorous and I knew I wanted to sparkle, and after narrowing it down to three potential dresses I chose one from Jenny Packham’s flagship boutique in Mayfair. Our rings (including my engagement ring) are gold which paired well with some earrings I spotted at Jenny Packham and a hair comb from Liberty in Love. My pal Helen did my hair and makeup on the day in an intricate up do with a smokey eyes and berry lips.
Patrick is easy to describe as traditional with a twist – he wanted to get married in a hat but wouldn’t wear a black morning coat with a dove grey waistcoat. He headed to Dressed2Kill in Waterloo picking out a midnight blue morning coat and a gold waistcoat (under my watchful eye!) and he even managed to keep it on all day on one of the hottest days of the year!
Patrick and I searched high and low for a venue that was perfect for us as we only knew what we didn’t want, but didn’t have any idea exactly what we did want. We knew we wanted something chic, slightly unconventional but also relaxed and intimate that we could personalise. Our search led us to Lizzie and her beautiful collection of wedding yurts – with a rustic bar and gorgeous tea yurt, we were sold.
That decided, we needed to find the perfect setting for our wedding yurt! As we both come from Bedfordshire, we wanted to have the wedding close to home. Step forward a family friend who luckily lent us the use of his field in the village where Patrick grew up.
In addition to decorating the yurt and surroundings with things that are personal to Patrick and I (like our table names which were places we’ve been on holiday together), we enlisted the help of Gemma at The White Emporium who added her beautiful typography to some key pieces: milk churns used as planters which I bought at an antiques fair (which I made Patrick get out of bed at 4:30 to drive me to), the chalkboard globe we brought from our home, and the watering can I use to grow flowers in on our balcony.
I love flowers and this was the only area I really didn’t want to hold back. Jemma at The Country Flower Company produced some breath-taking blooms for our day – the giant ceiling ring, a breath-taking flower arch (a nod to my Jewish Heritage) and my stunning teardrop bouquet– all brimming with peonies, hydrangeas and quicksand roses.
Patrick’s mum had grown us flowers in pots and planters that we could scatter around, helping us create a relaxed country meadow feel. She’d also been collecting petals for us all year to use as confetti – some of the best things in life are free!
The Wedding Party
For the bridesmaid’s outfits I opted for a delicate sage green shade for all the dresses but I picked different styles for each to suit their figure; pulling the look together making sure each bridesmaid had a bit of sparkle. The Groomsmen were unfortunately stuck in their morning coats in the baking sun!
We kept things simple with a warm humanist ceremony, having legally tied the knot a few days before in Islington town hall. Keeping with our relaxed vibe we walked down the aisle together and had two readings – Winnie the Pooh by AA Milne and an extract from Farewell to Arms by Earnest Hemmingway.
The Vents were absolutely brilliant as a wedding band – starting the day as an acoustic duo playing live music as guests arrived, they played us down the aisle and through the drinks reception. Later on in the evening the duo was joined by the full band and we took to the dancefloor with a mash-up of “You Shook Me All Night Long” by AC/DC and “Remix to Ignition” by R Kelly as our first dance – everybody loved it and the dancefloor stayed full all evening.
Patrick and I think food is made for sharing and we wanted to keep things informal – enter Eat Wild and their rustic BBQ canapes included a venison Yorkshire pudding and our wedding breakfast was platters of BBQ lamb, chicken and beef which the guests needed to dish out once the platters arrived at each table all followed up with a decadent Oreo cheesecake.
My friend Alex made a stunning 16 tier naked cake and another close friend Tracy provided jars of sweets. For those without a sweet tooth, there was a cake of cheese and paired chutneys too from the Cheese Plate.
We served wine that Patrick had bought on his stag do to the south of France with his dad and brother, adding to the personal touches that were important to us. Eat Wild returned later in the evening, finishing the food service off with generous plates of fish and chips at the end of the night!
The Photography & Videography
People always say that the day flies by but I never really appreciated how true this was until our day was over! Luckily I’d always been set on having beautiful pictures and I actually started the hunt for a photographer even before I started looking for my dress! Michelle was great – from the moment of our first Skype call and then our engagement shoot on a cold March morning we really knew we’d picked a winner.
Michelle also pointed us in the direction of Jade our videographer who really helped capture the dynamics of the how the day unfolded. My day just wouldn’t have been as special without these two beautiful creatures keeping me calm and relaxed – both deserve a special mention for being able to coordinate Patrick’s family into the same place at the same time!