We love featuring weddings at recommended venue Preston Court. The couples are always full of smiles, the grounds are gorgeous and the guests absolutely love riding the carousel. Plus the barn reception complete with its vintage organ always looks absolutely immense. Such an impressive location requires equally show stopping gowns, and bride Giselle's Riki Dalal couture gown definitely does not disappoint. The lace and intricate beading are truly exquisite. I absolutely adore the chain detail across the back of the gown as I do the bridal party in their all white separates from the high street. As well as all the gorgeous couples portraits my favourite images captured by Sarah-Jane Ethan just have to be of all the girls together. There's more close ups of their delicious outfits and genuine happiness and emotion. Come see...
The WeddingGiselle the Bride: First things first I must admit I was not your typical organised bride. Yes I booked the venue, food, photographer, DJ and flowers in advance and then all planning came to a halt for about a year. I found it quite daunting wandering where to even start to put our own stamp on it. The biggest help I had in planning the wedding was my maid of honour and best friend Ellie who is a bossy control freak PA. She would literally hassle me until I did something, so if you have one of those as a friend make her your maid of honour! I also had a wedding planner on hand which was a lifesaver. She gave me so many ideas and knew exactly what she was doing. She even helped set up the day before.
Bridal LookI must have tried over 15 dresses on and every one I stepped into it never felt like my dress. That was until I discovered Dress Dreams and their collection of Israeli Haute Couture Dresses. I fell in love when I saw the dress that was all lace with long sleeves and a low back, I knew straight away it was the one. The dress originally had a two tone effect the ends of the sleeves and the front lace appliqué were originally ivory. As it was Haute Couture I was able to change this so that all of the dress was white, I also changed the nude under slip to white which I felt made the dress stand out even more. My biggest advice when shopping for you dress is look out for trunk sales! I managed to get an incredible 30% off. This obviously made the now husband very happy. The veil was also from Dress Dreams which was custom made as I wanted it as long as possible, it had gorgeous lace detail all around the edges which really complimented the dress. My dreams shoes have always been Carrie Bradshaws Manolos from Sex and the City, I had to have them. Luckily I have a Mum and Dad who understood this and bought me them for the day (Thank you Mum and Dad!!). Not only were they my something blue but I now have a pair of my favourite shoes for special occasions such as our first wedding anniversary. A great investment! Jewellery wise I only wore earrings as I felt the dress said it all. I found a stunning vintage style pair on Liberty in Love however they were out of stock. I emailed Liberty in Love and asked whether they would have more available, they were so helpful and managed to get more in stock and send them out to me in time for the big day! They really were stunning.
BeautyMake-up was done by the incredible Lucy Jayne. She used airbrush foundation which i highly recommend my make up did not budge one bit all day even after spilling some bubbles down my chin in the back of the wedding car on the way to the church. I had individual eyelashes, a contour eye and contour on my face. I feel like brides should always go glam. I felt like a movie star. Lucy Jayne also did the bridesmaids make up and my Mums and everybody looked stunning. She truly is amazing at what she does. I had my hair styled by the fabulous Vicki Lord who nailed it on the first go at the trial. I had a small beehive, loose waves and up out of the way in a ponytail, it was both glamorous and convenient to not have to worry about re-styling my hair. Vicki has incredible style and made me feel so comfortable, she attended to every detail and even sewed my veil in as the clip would not go with my hairstyle and place a hair vine once she had finished my hair as I completely forgot about it. Thank you Vicki! My friend did the bridesmaids hair, Megan. She is incredible as she had travelled from New Zealand a few days before with a newborn baby. She managed to do the girls hair, get herself sorted and look after the baby. Talk about super woman!
Grooms AttireMy now Husband wore a gorgeous Ted Baker 3 piece suit. It was a blue suit which he wore with a white shirt from TM Lewin and a pale blush tie from Reiss. He found his shoes from Barkers which were very stylish brogues. The Groomsmen also wore a 3 piece suit in a darker blue with a very faint check pattern, we got them from Slaters who are just brilliant. All the Grooms party could go in individually once we had picked the suit and have them tailored to their measurements and then collect them once they were ready. This was helpful as it was one less thing we had to organise.
FlowersI changed my mind several times on colours for the flowers eventually deciding on a very light blush pink and greenery theme. I wanted peonies originally however they're not in season in July so my florist Emily & Me suggested David Austin roses in Keira. They were absolutely stunning. I had a hand tie full of David Austin's and the bridesmaids had three each in theirs. We had pew ends in the church which looked stunning along with two arrangements on the bridge.
VenueWe looked at around seven venues before we found Preston Court. As soon as we got there we knew it was the one. They have such quirky details everywhere so much so that I barely needed to decorate. We fell in love with the venue which included a carousel that our guests adults and children loved.
DecorationsWe wanted to keep decorations to a minimum as the venue was already stunning enough. We had a mix of colours of pom poms which we hung on the barn ceiling with some fishing wire. A big tip here is to start fluffing those pom pons up a few days before the wedding. I learnt this the hard way when I started to do it the day before and realised how long they took. We put warm white fairy lights on every available beam, tree and plant. This looked incredible in the evening. We also had some lanterns and pom pons outside.
CeremonyWe got married in a church which is on the same land as Preston Court. This was great as after the wedding we only had to walk to the venue. it saved on taxis and organising lifts. We had a close friend, uncle and grandad do the readings. Only one was religious the others we let them pick. Our friends music student played our favourite songs on guitar instead of signing hymns, it was beautiful. He has the most incredible voice and we actually prefer his version of the aisle song than the original.
FoodWe had a traditional 3 course sit down menu. We were really happy we chose to do this as the guests seemed to really enjoy it. We saved on the evening food and served scampi and chips and chicken and chips which everybody seemed to love as much as the sit down meal. We had canapés at the drinks reception after the wedding and a sweet cart full of the old traditional sweets. The cake was made by my husbands Nan’s friend. We had a naked cake with three different flavours. One was plain sponge with buttercream and raspberry, red velvet with a cream cheese frosting and the top layer was a lemon cake. We also had some cupcakes in 3 different flavours with jam fillings. If you know someone who can bake then you can save a lot of money asking them to do it for you.
PhotographerIt took me a while to find our photographer I searched through many websites and spoke to several people before I found Sarah-Jane. Her style is light and natural which creates the most stunning photos. After speaking to SJ I felt even more confident that she was the one. I dont think I've ever met somebody so nice. All the guests even commented about how lovely she was and more importantly how beautiful our wedding photos are. We honestly couldn't have asked for anything better. This is such an important thing to get right and make sure you find somebody who suits your style.
VideographerOur wedding video was made by a friend of ours William Graham who is already an expert in this department so that was lucky. He filmed all the key moments and produced an incredible wedding video for us with the song I walked down the aisle too. It made both of us cry along with many of our friends. This is one of my most cherished things about the whole wedding its such a lovely keepsake to have and I cant stop watching it.
AdviceThe biggest thing I learned was that organisation is key. Do not leave things last minute as they add unnecessary stress and worry. And if organisation is your weak point then call in the troops AKA The Bride Squad.
Dress Designer: Riki Dalal Haute Couture | Bridal Boutique: Dress Dreams | Bridal Shoes: Manolo Blahnik - Hangisi | Jewellery: Ivory & Co from Liberty in Love | Makeup: Lucy Jane | Hair Stylist: Vicki Lord | Venue: Preston Court | Florist: Emily & Me | Catering: Scott Anderson Ltd | Wedding Planner & Stationery: Loubear and Tops | Day Music: Sam Easton Music | Evening Music: Choice DJ | Transport: Aarion Wedding Cars | Videographer: I Will Videos | Grooms Suit: Ted Baker | Grooms Shirt: TM Lewin | Grooms Shoes: Barker | Ties: Reiss | Groomsmen Suits: Slaters | Bridesmaid Skirt: ASOS | Bridesmaid Top: New Look