This wedding has it all. Wonderfully classic, gorgeously chic and fabulously rustic. The blue and white colour scheme is utterly divine too, being picked up in the bridesmaids stunning For Her and For Him gowns, not to mention the bloomsey cornflower hydrangeas in the centrepieces, church floral arch and bouquets. It's no wonder Bride Caroline kept hers so near as you'll see from all the heartfelt moments captured by Frances Sales Photography. Also, Caroline in her Ingrida Bridal gown has to be one of the smiliest brides we've featured, instantly lifting your spirits and seriously making you re-think your bridal look. Her chic chignon bridal up do with flower crown looks SO beautiful, do you think we could get away with this for everyday?
The DressCaroline the Bride: I didn’t want to spend a fortune on my dress but of course wanted to feel amazing! We visited quite a few different bridal boutiques and I was beginning to feel a little fed up when I stumbled across Ingrida Bridal on Instagram. The shop was in a lovely quiet street in Pimlico and I visited on one quiet afternoon after work. At first I had picked a different dress to try on but they recommended a different dress for me and they were so right! I fell in love with the unusual floral lace and floaty skirt. To top it off, it was half price and as it was made especially for me, I got to make slight adjustments to the design including slightly lowering the neckline and choosing a softer bow at the back. I paired this with a floral chapel length veil from David’s Bridal (found by my mum), a removable train (found on ebay) and flat satin peep toe shoes which were an absolute bargain at £28 from ASOS. My mother-in-law bought me a pair of dangly gold pearl earrings which I paired with her pearl and diamond bracelet – my something borrowed, this perfectly complimented my necklace with my birthstone which my mum had given me for my birthday. Michelle Lacey from Bumblebee Bridal complemented this all with vintage style hair and make-up. I felt amazing on the day and absolutely loved the mix of vintage, new, gifted and borrowed.
The Grooms FashionOur best man Patrick Barker runs Crichton Bespoke tailoring based in Chester so it was an easy choice to have him make Ed’s gorgeous morning suit and monogrammed shirt. We wanted a traditional yet modern style which would suit our summery blue colour scheme. Patrick matched the perfect cloths and colours and we couldn’t have been happier. It meant so much to have a bespoke suit made by one of our best friends and the personalised touches made it even more special. We paired this with black Oxfords shoes from Loake and a beautiful silk tie from Sergio Ferragamo. As well as fitting the colour scheme perfectly, the tie was patterned with small elephants which acted as a nod to our African theme. This was paired with a vintage gold pocket-watch which had been in Ed’s family for generations. This finished his outfit perfectly and it was so meaningful to have this with him on the day.
The VenueIt was really important to me to get married at St Mary’s Church in Woodham Ferrers Essex. It is a beautiful 10th century church and is within a couple of miles of my parents’ home. We struggled to find a venue nearby as we wanted somewhere within a 15 minute drive with lots of outdoor space and which was a bit of a blank canvas for our décor. We found High House Weddings before it was even open for business and loved it – even when it was a building site! We wanted somewhere that could be both formal and informal and from the different outdoor spaces, the barn, the marquee and the bridal cottage, it was perfect.
Colour Scheme/DecorMy favourite colour is blue so I knew that this would be a big part of the décor, but I also loved the rustic shabby chic look. In addition to this, Ed and I met in South Africa on our gap years so we wanted this to be incorporated into our theme. Therefore, we decided to do an amalgamation of all three and somehow it worked! We had rustic stationery from Project Pretty complimented by signs, a ladder photo display, a wishing well and a guestbook all from ebay. We then had all of our table names as places we had visited in South Africa and African design on our table plan which was drawn by our talented friend and usher Andy. We also spray painted over 150 plastic African animals and had them dotted around on the tables. Our guests loved these and many took them home with them as a keepsake!
FloristOur rustic blue flowers were designed by Caroline at The Orchid Room. We fell in love with Caroline’s designs from the moment we saw her website and she did an amazing job for us! Hydrangreas are my favourite flowers, and I love blue ones so I was so happy to have them as our main flower complimented by roses, stocks, gypsophelia and loads of foliage. I absolutely loved my bouquet with its trailing ribbons and Caroline at The Orchid Room even incorporated an orchid into Ed’s buttonhole for his grandfather who used to breed orchids.
The Wedding Party FashionThe bridesmaids dresses were from ForHimandForHer as they had so many colours, we could match it to the blue perfectly. I was a bit worried about ordering the dresses online as I had heard horror stories, but their multiway dresses were perfect. The dresses meant that whilst wearing the same dress, each bridesmaid could have an individual style that suited them as it was so important that they each felt happy, gorgeous and comfortable. The junior bridesmaid’s dress was from Monsoon. We hired the ushers suits from Neal & Palmer and bought their ties from TM Lewin which matched the bridesmaid’s dresses perfectly.
CeremonyThree weeks before our wedding our vicar was unfortunately taken ill, luckily the wonderful Jane who was the church Curate stepped in and officiated the most wonderful ceremony for us. It was absolutely perfect – neither of us could stop smiling the whole time. Our readings were Corinthians read by our friend Andreas, Winnie the Pooh read by Ed’s godmother and Mark Twain – this I can promise, read by Caroline’s godmother and aunt. Although these were slightly unusual readings we loved them. The best bit of the whole ceremony was once we had been announced as husband and wife, kissed, we then high fived! It felt really ‘us’ and all our guests laughed, luckily Jane didn’t mind! The church organised a soloist for us whilst we were signing the register, she sung Ave Maria and was amazing.
EntertainmentDuring the day we had garden games laid out for the children – although these seemed to be enjoyed equally by the grown ups! In the evening we had the band Wildcard play. They played a collection of rock classics and got everyone up dancing by the end of the night.
FoodHigh House Wedding’s recommended caterer was Valentine Cuisine and they were great. They provided scrummy canapes which went down well. We love food so it was really important to do this as well as we could. We gave our guests a choice menu based on our favourite dishes as well as some crowd pleasers. Our particular favourite was the tian of avocado and crab starter. The food was excellent and everyone commented on how yummy it was! Neither of us love icing so we chose to have a naked cake from Sugar and Spice Cake Company. We couldn’t decide between victoria sponge and lemon so had 2 layers of each! In the evening we had a BBQ from Valentine cuisine which went down very well and soaked up some of the champagne and wine which had been flowing all day!
PhotographerWe found our photographer Frances Sales on Rock My Wedding! And as soon as we saw her portfolio we knew that she was for us. We had an engagement shoot with her which very much put us at ease on the day as we’d had a practice beforehand! We love all the reportage photos that she took of us with our friends and family enjoying the day.
Dress Designer: Ingrida Bridal | Veil: David's Bridal | Bridal Shoes: ASOS | Makeup: Bumblebee Bridal | Bridesmaid Dresses: For Her and For Him | Grooms Suit: Crichton Bespoke | Grooms Shoes: Loake | Tie: Ferragamo | Groomsmen Suits: Meal & Palmer | Venue: High House Weddings | Catering : Valentines Cuisine | Florist: The Orchid Room Weddings | Cake: Sugar and Spice Cake Company | Band: Wildcard | DJ: Chelmsford Wedding Disco | Stationery: Project Pretty | Transport: Arrow Vintage Cars | Venue Set Up: Glamorous Touch Weddings