I really REALLY love this morning’s wedding. I mean how can you not like a wedding that comes complete with cones of chips around a bonfire, accompanied by a lot of sparklers, marshmallows and homemade toffee apples for the evening festivities. In all seriousness though Gemma and Alfie’s wedding comes with bags of personality and Autumnal flavour.
There are so many gorgeous touches that I don’t know what to pick out first; there’s Gemma’s oh so pretty floral crown and the fact that the Groom and Groomsmen wore tweed paired with burgundy trousers (they look flipping ACE!), the rustically styled tables (proof that you don’t need to go overboard to make something look absolutely phenomenal) and the breakdancing and the coral and pink bouquets and OH I could go on and on and on.
I’ll stop waffling and you can take a look for yourselves.
Gemma The Bride: From the day we got engaged we knew we wanted a traditional wedding with elements of fun, ease, good company and of course an epic party! I had just finished a Jewellery Design degree the same year Alfie proposed, so our wedding was the perfect opportunity to put my artistic skills to the test! Pretty much everything was thought up and made by ourselves, family and friends, we are so lucky to have such amazing friends and family! I can probably say that we are now pros when it comes to cutting, ripping, sticking, gluing, sewing, painting, baking and hammering!
I went wedding dress shopping with my sister. We only went to one boutique, White Minx in Hereford, Lucy and Charlie where amazing, I felt so nervous going dress shopping as it was only a little while after the birth of my son, so I was not feeling at all confident with my appearance at that moment in time, the girls however made me feel so at ease. I knew that I wanted something elegant, timeless and most importantly comfortable! After trying on a few vintage inspired gowns, I finally found THE ONE! When seeing it on the hanger I wasn’t convinced it was for me, I was so glad I agreed to try it on though.
I went with a Justin Alexander gown, light airy chiffon, with a high neck lace bodice which was complimented with beautiful back detail and short train, it was perfect! I wanted to stay true to my English countryside upbringing, so instead of a veil I decided to go with a delicate handmade flower crown, which my hairdresser didn’t know about till the morning of the wedding! Erica was amazing, made me feel so calm and relaxed and didn’t batter an eyelid when given a floral crown to add at the last minute!
For the shoes, I chose a pale mint pair of Rachel Simpson heels, I wouldn’t say that I am a shoe loving kind of girl but they were possibly the most gorgeous pair of shoes I had ever laid eyes on! The weeks leading up to the wedding I would waltz around the house in these shoes, “wearing them in”!
The Groom and the Bear
Alfie decided pretty early on that he wanted to wear a navy suit. As it was an Autumn wedding we decided that tweed would be a good fabric to work with, and go well with our English country style theme. After a few months of searching the internet for ideas, we decided to take a trip to Symonds of Hereford Ltd, a small independent business, located in the town we live in!
Visiting here was the best thing we ever did; within a few hours Alfie had been kitted out head to toe! He wore a Magee Herringbone jacket, matching waistcoat and burgundy chinos. The Bear (Henry, our son) wore matching chinos and tweed jacket, both purchased from John Lewis, along with a bow tie which I made for him out of vintage fabric. The same fabric was used to make the cake topper for the wedding cake!
We both wanted a space where we would be able to have the freedom to do whatever we wanted; we didn’t feel that specific wedding venues and hotels would allow us to do this. So a blank canvas was what we needed to find. Lyde Court was that canvas. It was the very first venue we went to visit and we both fell in love with it straight away! The barn was beautiful, with its rustic charm, character and stunning grounds we both knew this was the one.
The Jewellery and Decor
Now for the jewellery, being a jewellery designer for my own small business Gemma Gough Jewellery, this was my opportunity to get to work and but all my creative flare to good use! The designing and tinkering of our wedding bands really helped me relaxed and stay focused during the lead up to the big day.
As well as the wedding rings, I also surprised Alfred by making him a personalised pair of cufflinks. The groomsmen also had matching pairs of cufflinks which Alfred gave to them on the morning of the wedding, (along with a few cheeky bottles of port!) All five of my bridesmaids wore handmade charm necklaces, with their initials embroidered and attached. The piece I had the most fun making though was for our little boy, Henry Bear. Making something for a 1 year old out of precious metal was tricky and somewhat daring, but I was so pleased with the outcome.
I made him a little silver pocket watch pin, to attach to his braces. For myself, shockingly I didn’t wear much jewellery at all! The day before the wedding my grandmother presented me with a beautiful locket that my grandfather had bought for her many years ago. Inside I placed a picture of my dad. It was a very emotional day for me, obviously I was getting married, but sadly the one person I really wish could have been there to give me away was my dad, who passed away three years ago. He was and still is my hero! Truly amazing man who would have been all over the dance floor pulling some crazy dad moves! I wrapped the locket with him inside around my bouquet so that he could be with me all the way.
I wanted to give our family and friends something special too, so they were all given a spoon with their name stamped onto them, I loved this idea and was so glad I went through with it! When we first met, Alfie would refer to me as, “Gemma the spoon maker!” (Don’t ask!) I also hid a few hand stamped pieces of cutlery in flower pots and flower arrangements, stamped with song lyrics and meaningful quotes, all showing a little part of our love story.
I LOVE FLOWERS! What girl doesn’t?! At first I had decided that I would do the entire flower arranging myself, thankfully I had a rethink and left it to the professionals – Louise and her mum Maggie at The Hereford Flower Studio. I knew Louise from school so it was lovely having her help me decide on the gorgeous blooms that helped prettify our day! I decided on pastel pinks and peaches for the bouquets, accompanied by delicate typical country blooms and herbs, such as daisies, heather and rosemary. The girls wore flowers in their hair and the blokes wore buttonholes of rosemary and heather.
Initially I envisioned afternoon tea being served at your wedding, with dainty sandwiches, little cakes and finger foods! Perfect for a lovely summer/ outdoorsy wedding. In reality we were getting wed in November, with the weather being a little on the cold side and not very predictable, we decided that we needed something that would warm up the tummies of our guests! So instead of canapés on arrival, I came up with the idea of having homemade hot soup served in vintage tea cups, perfect for Autumn! Homemade Herefordshire beef and Butty Bach pie was served as our main and for desert (Alfie’s choice!) we stuffed ourselves full of mile high chocolate gateau!
Now the cake, the cake was BEAUTIFUL! Made from scratch by my Auntie Caroline and Nanny Pat, I asked for a naked sponge cake decorated with fresh blooms, it was sooo scrummy! I remember going over to my nans as a little girl and baking cakes with her, so having my family help with something like this was so lovely, they really should start up a business….watch this space!
For the evening we had cones of chips around the bonfire, accompanied by a lot of sparklers, marshmallows and my homemade toffee apples! Yes, I stupidly decided to make 100 toffee apples the day before the wedding, well worth it though, nothing beats a scrumptious toffee apple around a roaring bonfire in November.
I met the lovely Lucy Greenhill at a friend’s wedding, and loved what I saw straight away, I just knew I wanted her at our big day! Her style is so what we were looking for, relaxed, quirky, romantic, and unique. The quality and vibrancy of her pictures is incredible.
Lucy came over to Lyde in the morning to take pictures of me and the girls getting ready, I was so glad she was there. She definitely helped keep my nerves at bay, so relaxed and friendly, making me feel so at ease. She was equally as incredible during the entire day, capturing every moment in her relaxed, vibrant style. The photos are everything and more than me and Alfie ever expected, she captured those memories so beautifully and we will treasure them forever.