This wedding at Elmley Nature Reserve just screams family and love and will make you smile from ear to ear. Starting with Bride Bex’s beautiful bouquet of sunflowers. Then there is ALL the adorable DIY decor covering the outdoor ceremony and indoor rustic barn. From pom poms to bunting and handmade tablecloths, giving the venue a wonderful vintage vibe.
RMW favourites McKinley Rodgers Photography always manage to capture weddings in such an artistic, emotive way and it’s been a real pleasure putting this wedding together for you all. So sit back relax and enjoy all the inspiration, details, smiles and fabulous fashion.
Bex the Bride: I had always wanted a lace dress with straps and I went out one day with my mum to just get a taste of what I liked. I tried on my dress and knew it was perfect! I hadn’t really thought about a train, but this one had it so I went with it and it worked out really well. I didn’t want a traditional veil so I looked at some headpieces, but when I saw the birdcage veil I knew that it would suit the style of the day. I actually ended up buying it twice as Drew threw the first one away thinking it was just tissue!
The Grooms Fashion
We had wanted the day to be quite informal, but this didn’t translate into Drew’s outfit! When he told me he wanted to wear a velour Dinner Jacket I said of course and trusted him 100%. He made all the bow ties by hand which gave the outfit a personal touch. Drew loves Gucinari shoes (he has about 5 pairs!) so I knew he would need some for the wedding day.
We looked at lots of venues! I was quite fussy; I didn’t want a marquee, nor a church. Quite quickly we agreed a barn would be perfect, but then finding the perfect barn took a while! When we first saw Elmley it was freezing cold January and the whole venue had been battered by some awful weather. Despite this we instantly knew it was the place for us. We loved the space and the opportunity to get married outside. Plus, Gareth and Georgina were the nicest people you could wish for, and really laid back about whatever we wanted to do. We loved the idea of decorating it all ourselves, and this gave us the perfect opportunity to do so. On the day the venue looked amazing and we are still so happy we decided to have the wedding there. We also stayed in a Shepherd’s Hut on the reserve, which was magical. We opened our wedding cards in the morning looking at the fields and marshes and it felt very special.
We knew right away we didn’t want a colour scheme as we didn’t want the hassle of trying to match everything. We went for quite an eclectic mix of décor that I (and a few amazing friends) put together over a series of months. Everything we included was personalised, including framed lyrics from our favourite songs, pompoms made by my nan and Drew’s mum made each table cloth by hand with matching napkins. She also made an array of bunting, which gave the place a vintage party feel.
I always wanted a big bunch of sunflowers as they are so bright and always make me smile. I chose yellow gerberas for the bridesmaids as they were similar but not quite as large! The people at Canterbury college were amazing and I can’t recommend them enough. The centre pieces were a collection of jars from all of our friends and families and origami tulips, both from my hen party in London and a present from my lovely form at school, who made them every day in the lead up to my wedding.
The Wedding Party Fashion
I’m not really sure how this came about; way too many hours on Pinterest and ASOS and it all fell into place!
Drew proposed to me using my favourite book, The Time Traveller’s Wife, so we knew that a reading from that had to be in the ceremony. We chose a poem, actually written by A S Byatt, called Possession, particulary “This is where I have always been coming to. Since my time began. And when I go away from here, this will be the mid-point, to which everything ran, before, and from which everything will run. But now, my love, we are here, we are now, and those other times are running elsewhere.” We also had the owl and the pussycat as a light-hearted reading, which Mark, our usher, read very well and gave us the book after.
We made lots of playlists for the day and the in the evening we had a local band, Baxter, play who were amazing and really got everyone dancing. We followed it by another brilliant playlist, which we worked on together.
Food was (and is) important to us, so we wanted to make sure everyone enjoyed their food. Our caterer was fantastic and he allowed us to taste bits and pieces before the day. We had some amazing canapés after the ceremony and we made cocktails in kilner jars, along with a whole trough of beers. We wanted the relaxed theme to flow into the rest of the day so we had afternoon tea in the middle of the table, meaning everyone could pick what they wanted and hopefully everyone would chat. We insisted on only having round tables so everyone could see everyone. For the cake we had cheese – lots of layers of different cheeses (although this proved rather difficult to cut for the photos!). This then became the evening buffet. We went on honeymoon the next day and didn’t want lots of left over cake to sort out!
Before we had decided on anything else we knew who we wanted as our photographers. I saw Pen and Cam’s photos of a venue we visited and I was moved. I decided to contact them and it was the best thing I did. I don’t think I even spoke to anyone else. We met them for a beloved shoot at Whitstable and we instantly clicked; two of the nicest people you will ever meet. They were so genuine and normal and understood without me saying my fear of cheesy photos. There isn’t a photo from the Wedding, nor the beloved shoot that we don’t both love. They are not only the best photographers ever, but also the nicest people. Our wedding guests were asking us if they were our family. It didn’t feel like we had photographers like it usually does at weddings. There wasn’t a single awkward moment and they were so friendly to everyone.