Photographers and RMW sponsors Kevin and Kate from Depict do classic elegant romance effortlessly, even the way they capture shoes sitting on a chest of drawers is like something out of a modern fairytale.
Of course it helps when you are presented with an affair such as Anna and Stuart’s, a secret garden filled with lavender, an abundance of sunshine and a bride and groom that positively exude the whole happy-ever-after.
Anna’s hair do is to die for, I am expecting plenty of pintrest action for the soft waves and fresh floral accessories.
And talking of florals….the blooms in general are deliciously dreamy lovelies.
Small In The Sunshine
We got married in June 2012 at The Manor House Hotel in Moreton-in-Marsh. The Cotswolds are so pretty and we both fell in love with the country cottage feel of The Manor House. We had a small wedding with just 40 guests and we felt that this cosy, intimate setting was perfect for us. We also had the option of having the ceremony outside if the sun was shining, which we both loved the idea of.
As well as the main garden, there is the ‘Secret Garden’; a beautiful walled garden with lavender and a water fountain.
Lace Is The One
My dress was by Pronovias and it was from Eternal Bride in Warwick. I knew from the very beginning that I wanted lace; I think it is just so beautiful and romantic. In the first shop we went to I followed my friends’ instructions and was open minded, trying on many different styles. But this just confirmed what I already knew; lace was the one for me.
I booked an appointment with Eternal Bride and from the moment we walked through the door we were made to feel so welcome and as if nothing was too much trouble. All of the dresses I tried on were beautiful, but the very first one was particularly dreamy. I had booked appointments at two other bridal shops in Warwick that afternoon where I picked out a few dresses, but none of them compared to the Pronovias dress. Two hot chocolates later, we went back to Eternal bride and I became the proud owner of ‘the one’.
I knew I would struggle with shoes. Even though I am tiny, I very rarely wear heels. I toyed with the idea of wearing flats, but was told that heels make you walk more elegantly, and I definitely wanted to look elegant on my wedding day… So the search began.
A pair of classic ivory kitten heels, a quirky patterned pair and some gold Jimmy Choos all purchased and promptly returned, I was beginning to think that walking bare foot down the aisle was my only option. Thankfully, with just a few weeks to go, Next came to the rescue with a pair of silver, sling back kitten heels.
Peach And Pearls
I wore a simple pearl and crystal bracelet which was handmade by Petals and Pearls and peach and cream roses in my hair. I wanted something quite simple and have never gone in for anything with a lot of sparkle. I also bought a beautiful vintage, beaded bag from Etsy, which my sister carried for me.
The Flutter Effect
Bryony Eaves styled my hair and I asked for soft, natural curls. I had a trial with her a couple of months before the wedding and she was very patient with this supremely fussy bride to be! Bryony also did my bridemaids’ and my mum’s hair, and organised us all with military precision on the day. Bryony also does wedding make-up, but I decided I would feel more comfortable doing this myself.
I went for a make-up lesson at the Mac counter in Selfridges and came away armed with some nice new brushes and some pink lip gloss. I did, however, ask Bryony if she would do my eye make-up and my lovely beautician friend applied some fluttery eyelashes the day before the wedding.
Blue And Grey
I had two bridesmaids; my sister Rachel and my oldest and dearest friend Emma. I love the colour blue and I think it is such a flattering colour, so was very excited when I came across some gorgeous tiffany blue dresses in Coast. I took my sister to try it on, and she loved it.
We hired suits for the Groomsmen from Black Tie in Stratford-upon-Avon. Stu was very keen on wearing a traditional morning suit. We ummed and ahhed about a coloured cravat, but in the end decided to keep it simple with ivory. We didn’t want everything to look too matchy and we had never set out with a particular colour scheme.
The Cottage Garden
I adore flowers. If budget had allowed I think I would have squeezed blooms into every spare inch of the venue. Sally Gill was recommended to us by The Manor House and I’m so glad that we chose her as our florist. She instantly understood what we were after and her passion for her work was obvious. We asked for flowers that looked like they might have been growing in a cottage garden and for nothing too formal or structured.
We chose English garden roses, peonies, blue hydrangeas, sweet peas and lisianthus. For the table centres Sally arranged flowers in vintage teapots standing on top of cut glass cake stands. On the top table we had vintage style bird cages, cut glass vases and teacups all filled with different blooms.
You’re Worth It
Kate and Kev from Depict were our photographers. I first met them when my sister and I went to The National Wedding Show in Birmingham. The choice of photographers was overwhelming, but Depict’s photographs were the ones that stood out to both of us. It also helped that they are both really lovely. We had an engagement shoot with them, and although Stu wasn’t keen on this to begin with, we both felt that it helped us to feel much more relaxed in front of the camera.
We were thrilled with the results and felt confident that we would have some beautiful images to remember wedding our day. I love all of the natural shots and happy moments that Kate and Kev managed to capture. They were absolutely worth every penny.
As the guests arrived until the end of the drinks reception we had a string duet playing violin and cello in the garden. We initially wanted a string quartet, until we realised that half the people meant half the price! The music played by Midsummer Music was beautiful. Stu and I walked back up the aisle to one of Stu’s favourite songs; ‘Louisiana 1929’ by Randy Newman.
We wanted the party to carry on into the night and as much as we love our music, we knew we didn’t want dancing to be the main focus of the evening. A friend suggested hiring a casino, and Stu jumped at the idea! I was a little concerned that it wouldn’t be to everyone’s taste, but all of our guests loved it! As prizes we bought some wicker hampers from Ebay and filled them with jam, tea and chocolates.
For the two young girls (and the young at heart) we also bought Giant Jenga, although they absolutely loved joining in with the casino too!
Treats On A Budget
Stu and I both love cake. Much of our time is spent either baking cakes at home or going out for a cup of tea and a slice of cake. But with our modest budget we just couldn’t justify spending a large portion of it on a cake. So instead we looked into what the supermarkets had on offer.
At just over £100 for four tiers, our Marks and Spencers cake was a fraction of the cost we had been quoted to have one proffessionally made. We had all butter fruit cake for the bottom tier, and sponge cake with buttercream and raspberry jam for the other three. Our florist decorated it with fresh flowers inbetween each tier and on top of the cake. It looked beautiful and tasted delicious.
Memories By Candlelight
I think candles create a lovely atmosphere. We had cut glass tealight holders on each of the tables and fresh rose petals which our florist provided. The napkins were tied with ivory lace.
Sadly, my dad, Stu’s mum and our grandparents are no longer with us. We would have so dearly loved to have shared our special day with all of them. In their memory, we displayed our parents’ and our grandparents’ wedding photographs as it was important to both of us that they were there with us in some way.
We made all of the stationary ourselves using various bits of lace, ribbon and buttons that I had collected over the years. Our table names were old fashioned proverbs that my grandma used to say to my mum, and my mum now says to me, such as ‘A stitch in time saves nine’ and ‘The early bird catches the worm’.
Instead of favours we made little drinks tokens for each guest and placed them inside envelopes. Stu and I had the ‘Free Bar or No Free Bar’ debate, and reached a compromise by giving each of our guests two drinks tokens. For the two young girls we filled jam jars with old fashioned sweets and made lids out of pretty floral fabric.
A week before the wedding I got so nervous about saying my vows that I began to wish we hadn’t invited any guests! Planning a wedding does peculiar things to a woman’s brain. On the day I realised that having our closest friends and family around us is what made our wedding feel so special.
There are so many decisions to make and it is easy to feel overwhelmed by all of the choices available. But the most important thing about your wedding day isn’t the cake or the flowers or the invitations, but the two of you, and the love you have for one another. It was Oscar Wilde that said ” The consciousness of loving and being loved brings a warmth and richness to life that nothing else can bring“. This is, quite simply, what it is all about.
Venue – The Manor House Hotel
Brides Dress – Pronovias at Eternal Bride
Brides Shoes – Next
Hair and Make-up – Bryony Eaves
Maids Dresses – Coast
Blooms – Sally Gill
Cake – M&S
Photography – Depict
I know what you are all thinking….you want a lavender filled secret garden for W-day right?
Big Effortless Love