Are you sitting comfortably? Good, because this fun country wedding is about to knock your socks off. Featuring many of our very talented The List recommended suppliers, which makes our hearts burst with pride.
Set at the truly gorgeous Cripps Stone Barn in Cheltenham and full to the brim with gorgeous florals from Juliet Glaves and balloons, peg board signs and other eclectic props from Hey Style, you won’t be able to resist pinning more than a few inspiring ideas for your own big day. I just LOVE the bright balloons, such a simple touch, but so inviting and effective.
One of the most amazing things about Cripps Stone Barn is the surrounding picturesque countryside. RMW fave Samuel Docker took Emmalene & Ben on a gorgeous stroll amongst the pretty, and has captured some truly romantic portraits for them to treasure. It also shows off Emmalene’s stunning Jesús Peiró dress to perfection, which she chose from Miss Bush Bridal, but was a million miles away from what she originally envisioned she’d wear.
Emmalene the Bride: While some of the traditional elements of our wedding day were very important to us, we were certain we didn’t want it to feel formal. We wanted a celebration. Overall we wanted our day to feel bright and happy, and most importantly personal to us. Ultimately that became our theme and those three words informed most of our decisions.
I initially set out to find a slinky, lace, boho-style dress. Before even stepping foot into a bridal boutique I had ruled out a full skirted dress because I felt the ones I’d seen online had an overly traditional feel to them. While I wanted to feel very bridal on the day, I was after a fresh and modern take on a traditional gown. Not an easy brief, but one that Emma Meek at Miss Bush took in her stride!
When Emma introduced me to the designer Jesús Peiró I realised how wrong I had been to hastily rule out a big skirt. Their skirts are utterly cool and their use of lace feels unique and current. I was smitten. My gown was actually a top and a skirt that we decided to sow together to make one beautiful dress.
To say Emma and her team know their stuff about wedding dresses is an understatement. Not only are they a lovely bunch of ladies to hang out with, they are highly professional and completely unflappable. They even custom made a last minute petticoat for me after I decided two weeks before the wedding day that my skirt absolutely needed to be bigger!
Ben chose to have a tailored suit and waistcoat made at Suit Supply in London. It was such a fun and special experience building each element of his suit together. I loved it just as much as my dress hunt! We were even able to have a personal message sown into the lining. He wore dark brown Paul Smith shoes and I bought him a watch to match as a surprise to wear on the day.
Groomsmen & Bridesmaids Attire
Ben found some great quality, yet reasonably priced, dark blue suits in John Lewis for the groomsmen. We gifted each of the boys a handmade checked grey tie by designer Kate Temple, which complemented Ben’s waistcoat.
For our bridesmaids, the most important thing for me was that they each felt totally comfortable in their dresses. I found some wonderful beaded, blush full length dresses on ASOS. I loved them and kept my fingers tightly crossed that the girls did too – success, they all did! I think we may have even set a new record for the quickest bridesmaid dress decision ever in the process.
Ceremony & Venue
We got married in a lovely little church in The Cotswolds and we kept that part of the day very simple, pared back and personal. It was just perfect.
Our confetti was natural petals from Shropshire Petals; we picked the brightest and most colourful ones they had.
Just down the road was the amazing Cripps Stone Barn. It has classic Cotswolds charm, mixed with laid back, cool modern features. Not to mention THAT impressive indoor barbecue. It’s a totally private venue, surrounded completely by fields, and there’s plenty of scope to add your own personal touches too.
The reception went without a hitch and we have our events manager at Cripps, Clayton, to thank for that. He was completely ‘on it’ from start to finish!
We wanted to keep the food relaxed and tasty. Cripps take care of all the catering in-house and they specialise in delicious sharing-style dishes – perfect for the relaxed vibe we wanted.
We made sure we put the huge barbecue to good use with BBQ triple thickness sirloin steak bricks and chips! For each table we nominated a guest to take the job of ‘table chef’ to carve and serve the steak. We wanted it to be a surprise during the meal so we wrapped up aprons and chef hats and taped them to the underside of the tables for our guests to discover at the right moment.
At the end of the wedding breakfast we organised a raffle. Not the most conventional game to play at a wedding I know, but it went down a storm and created some hilarious moments. My mum painstakingly glued raffle tickets onto the back of everyone’s place names and our groomsmen did a fantastic job at introducing it and calling the numbers. The grand prize was a bar tab.
Our evening food was pizza by Baz and Fred. They brought their own pizza ovens to the venue and served up delicious pizza slices canapé-style. It was fun and delicious and our guests loved it.
Cake and Dessert Table
Our unbelievably talented sister-in-law made our wedding cake. It was a naked chocolate cake with cream cheese icing, and it was utterly delicious! Our florist decorated it with big, bright peonies and it formed the centre piece of our dessert table.
Dessert is always my favourite part of any meal so I knew I would have more than one cake at our wedding! In fact I wanted an entire table dedicated to desserts.
There was a food market round the corner from my old office in Soho and I stumbled upon a wonderful little cake stall there from The Red Gingham Bakery. They have incredible bite-sized cakes with the most unique toppings I have ever seen, including full size Kinder Eggs! We also had a crate of colourful Meringue Girls meringue kisses, complete with Unicorn Poo flavour.
I absolutely adore flowers. They were such a vital part of our day and I knew they would be the perfect way to bring our bright and happy theme to life.
My ambition was to have a colourful mismatch of flowers, and to have them in abundance! We didn’t want usual wedding floristry. Our flowers were wild, rustic and beautifully unstructured. They were undoubtedly one of my favourite things about our wedding.
Our florist, Juliet Glaves, is wonderfully talented and has her own flower garden in Shropshire. Her natural approach to flowers was perfect for the look we were after. Nothing was uniform, each floral display and vase of flowers was individually created by Juliet. She used large peonies, anemones, sweet peas, foliages and lots of other lovely things to create a vibrant, fresh feel.
The backdrop to our top table was a stunning display of pink blossom tree branches. We also had a large wild overhead flower ball suspended in the centre of the stone barn, it was breathtaking.
My loose and natural style bridal bouquet was floral and gorgeous, not to mention enormous – even more beautiful than I imagined it to be! I also had delicate white flowers dropped into my hair and our lovely flower girl had a cute little daisy flower crown.
We enlisted the help of Laura Ellis from Hey Style to style the venue. Laura is super creative and instantly understood the look and feel we wanted to create. We decked the venue out with fun (and of course colourful) balloons, deck chairs, ladders, crates and a vintage bike. We also rented a number of pin boards and cool light up cinema signs to display personalised messages that we changed throughout the day and evening.
We also added some extra personal touches like our cute Mr & Mrs Bear cake topper, vintage luggage tags and our ‘Charlie’s Bar’ sign. We also collected our favourite gin bottles for flowers. They were just small details but they really helped to make the day feel special to us.
For the evening we created a DIY photo station using a vintage polaroid camera, a colourful ribbon backdrop and plenty of props. Everyone got involved!
We wanted to tie all elements of our wedding together with one striking, floral design. The more colour the better to help set the tone for the day! Everything from our save the dates and invites, to menus and thank you cards followed the same design, created by the extraordinarily talented Kitty McCall.
For our thank you cards, rather than sending our guests a photo of us, we printed polaroid style photos of them from the day instead and stuck them into their cards. The funnier the better! It was a personal touch that people really noticed.
Our all-girl band, Festival Foxes, was such a fantastic find. They played a chilled acoustic set during the afternoon drinks reception and for the evening they played three more sets, one vintage folk style and a couple of upbeat electric sets.
Our photographer was Sam Docker. He is nothing short of amazing. We’re not fans of posed photos so we loved Sam’s relaxed, documentary style. He captured some truly brilliant moments that really told a story of our day. A lot of the time we didn’t even realise he was there snapping away like some kind of stealthy photo ninja! He’s not only brilliantly talented, but an all round great guy to have around! Every wedding needs a Sam.
Hair & Makeup
Katie Aldridge was my makeup artist and Vicky Stanley from Goldsworthy’s in Cirencester styled my hair. They work together regularly which meant the morning ran like clockwork.
I didn’t want traditional ‘English rose’ bridal makeup, I love my liquid eyeliner and bronzer far too much! Katie created the best smokey eye I have ever seen. I also did lots of research in the run up to find the perfect nude pink lip colour and ultimately landed on Sandwash Pink from Bobbi Brown. I also bought a bright pink shade to wear for the evening, but I was far too busy dancing and having fun to remember to put it on!
For my hair I had gorgeous loose ‘beachy’ curls, down and pulled to one side. Again I wanted to steer away from anything too ‘done’ and bridal. For balance the bridesmaids had their hair styled up in a loose, messy bun.
Our wedding was two years in the making so we had plenty of time to think about the personal elements and details we wanted to bring to the day. I’m so glad we did because it’s those little touches that people remember. Oh and our flowers, we’re still getting comments about how amazing they were!
We also took the time to carefully research suppliers to ensure we had the best possible crack team of wedding experts there on the day. I cannot recommend doing this enough. It meant I had such a relaxing and enjoyable wedding eve and morning because I had total reassurance everything was in hand. On the day we were both able switch off from the logistics side of things and truly enjoy being in the moment.
Photography by Samuel Docker Photography
- Dress Designer Jesús Peiró
- Bridal Boutique Miss Bush
- Bridal Shoes Jimmy Choo
- Jewellery Alex Monroe
- Makeup Katie Aldridge
- Hair Goldworthy’s
- Groom Suit & Tie Suit Supply
- Grooms Shoes Paul Smith
- Groomsmen Suits John Lewis
- Groomsmen Ties Kate Temple
- Bridesmaid Dresses ASOS
- Venue Cripps Stone Barn
- Flowers Juliet Glaves
- Styling & Props Hey Style
- Pizza Baz and Fred
- Mini Cakes Red Gingham Bakery
- Meringues Meringue Girls
- Favours Little Lollipop Shop
- Entertainment Festival Foxes Band via Tailored Entertainment
- Accommodation The Wheatsheaf Inn
- Cats Abbey