Clare The Bride:
We had a relaxed and rustic affair set in the beautiful British countryside. Chris and I were married in St Leonard’s Church, a stone’s throw away from the homes that we grew up in, surrounded by friends and family.
I walked down the aisle to an instrumental version of ‘A Thousand Years’ played by String Quartet, Alive (Chris also chose this as the first dance, which was a surprise to me on the day)
My pretty, romantic Buttercup dress was designed by Diane Harbridge
and purchased through mother and daughter business, Brides of Berkhamsted
. I got ready at my family home, surrounded by my parents, two younger sisters, step daughter/flowergirl and best friends.
Make up was done by Lauren Oslar
, an ex-colleague and now good friend. Lauren was fantastic, I gave her a photo from a holiday in Turkey a few years ago and she recreated the look. She also listened to all of my requirements in terms of make up and came up with a look that I loved – it was the best version of me. She must also be credited for converting my mum (someone who never wears make up!) to a make-up lover. Lauren’s artistry and expertise on the day made us both feel so special – we were glowing!
The groom and groomsmen wore classic, blue suits from Marks and Spencer
with pastel pink ties
to coordinate with the bridesmaids’ dresses.
Chris gifted his best men Luke and Dave with a sterling silver tie clip, engraved with the eternity symbol. He told them they’d be his friends forever. I gifted my bridesmaids with pearl bracelets from Not On The High Street
The venue was suggested by local deli owner, Andrew Fleming. We loved the idea of having a marquee, especially in the summer, but we couldn’t find the ideal location. After lots of research and help from our catering company, Seasons, we found Hastoe Village Hall
– it was the perfect solution – it was so light and airy (like a marquee) and it offered a blank canvas for us to decorate with our own touches. We knew it was perfect as soon as we walked in. The drive through the countryside to get there was also just breath-taking.
With Andrew and his team of committed food and event specialists at Season’s Deli
, we brainstormed ideas for a shabby chic, country wedding – from selecting the right menu, to spraying lavender in the room before the guests entered for the breakfast, Season’s ‘got us’ and delivered impeccable service, day and night!
The naked cake was designed by local cake maker, Bun Einchcombe. She crafted chocolate and vanilla sponge layers and decorated with white and pink roses – it really was a masterpiece!
Colour Scheme & Decor
Chris installed round paper lanterns on the ceiling and I borrowed a LOVE sign (each letter was over 5ft tall!). The prep was very much a family affair with everyone chipping in the day before!
We have always liked the shabby chic, rustic look – you should see our house! – so we always knew that this would be the style of our wedding. The pastel colours, white roses and lavender, as well as the venue, bridesmaid dresses and church all tied together to make it the most beautiful, rustic day.
Having been to plenty of beautiful weddings, we really wanted ours to be different and to incorporate touches that people may not have necessarily seen before. Having spent most nights on Pinterest
, Rock My Wedding etc., we went about sourcing items to upcycle. We purchased an old ladder from eBay and upcycled it into a table plan and we made a sign directing people to the hall using the same floral motif as we used on the save the dates. My parents also painted some old wooden crates to create a box for gifts/ cards and a crate to hold the children’s games. We also stripped our house bare of trinkets and we made our own name places, menus and orders of service using Kraft paper.
The flowers comprised of Norma Jean roses, Avalanche roses and lavender, all organised by Floral Creations
. My mum organised the flowers on the tables and window sills at the reception venue following the same colours but adding thistles for an extra splash of purple – she spent hours at Covent Garden Market
, a place that has deep family ties.
My parents also celebrated their 30th wedding anniversary a couple of days after the wedding, so we wanted to have something that acknowledged this. We therefore tracked down the same printers that created their wedding invitations 30 years ago and re-created them for our wedding. We really loved this touch!
This was one of the best decisions we made. Anne
blended into the day, capturing shots of everyone and at perfect moments. We knew from the second that she came to our house for the initial meeting that she was right. Nothing was too staged and everything seemed seamless!
Our recommendation would be to get on eBay, people are selling items that have only been used for one day so they are in perfect condition! There are also items that you can upcycle for very little money and you feel so proud to see them dotted around the wedding on the day. We would also say that getting friends and family involved as much as possible is lovely, so on the day you can see the look of pride on everyone’s faces.