This is just one of those weddings where everything, and I mean everything, is dripping with cool. Harriet looks gorgeous in a bridal gown she designed and made herself from six and half metres of oyster sequins (!), her Bridesmaids are owning their white gowns too (again designed by Harriet). Their venue, Maxim's parent's garden, is stunning - the perfect secluded spot for a raucous party and every single person in attendance is just fabulously dressed. Even the little ones! There are succulent favours in cute pots from Swallows and Damsons, a delicious looking spread of food from cool Sheffield hang out Bragazzis and the photography by India Hobson is ethereal and has captured the glowing, golden light beautifully. We think Harriet Holling is most definitely one to watch, and we're thrilled to be sharing her wedding with you this morning...

Our Wedding

Harriet the Bride: Our summer wedding took place in Max’s parents back garden among manicured lawns against a backdrop of oak and cherry trees. The reception was held beneath the shade of a stretch tent, with an indoor basketball court providing a dance floor. My father and one of our best men built the bar from reclaimed wood and my mother and now mother-in-law both grew the flowers from seeds the previous summer.

The Fashion

I designed, pattern cut and created my wedding dress, which was hand sewn from 6 and a half meters of oyster sequins. After over 40 hours of hand sewing I felt very proud to wear my one of a kind dress. I also made the five bridesmaid dresses, which reflected the girls’ different personalities. The tablecloths were made from lawn cotton with centrepieces of terracotta pot plants, jars of gypsophila and candles. My grandmother made cushions from our family’s vintage tablecloths and the seating plan was handwritten and displayed against the glow of a light box. I printed the signage for guests, which consisted of white banners and chalkboard arrows inscribed with Best Day Ever. My Friday dress: Galvan Grey pearl nightgown; I wanted to feel more 70’s Hollywood Glamour than bridal. My shoes were rose Gold 70’s disco from Topshop. Something old - A beautiful mirrored bag of my mums. Something new - My rose gold 70’s disco shoes. Something Borrowed - Elaine’s (Max’s Mum) Diamond earrings Something Blue - A little blue embroidered flower sewn into the label of both my wedding dresses, which my mum had sewed into the label of her wedding dress. On the Friday Max wore: Our Legacy Black Linen Suit with a Dark green Our Legacy Tee. Sat: Paul Smith Navy Suit with a raspberry linen Our Legacy Shirt.

The Inspiration

Our inspiration for the day came from a combination of our love for Italy and the English garden setting. Aperol Spritz, antipasti and pizza were served on handmade pizza boards, whilst the flowers and open sided stretch tent allowed the garden to infiltrate the day. We tried to stick to natural whites, terracotta and lightwood to ensure a fresh up lifting vibe. The Stretch Tent allowed the garden to infiltrate the décor, which was our ultimate desire. The beauty of the garden speaks for itself. We gave each guest a succulent as a thank you gift, which were all displayed on a table in the entrance creating a wonderful decoration. I created the table settings from one of India Hobson’s photographs and Elaine (Max’s mum) hand wrote each name in rose gold to add a personal touch.

A Wedding Weekend

We enjoyed our wedding over two days, the ceremony took place on Friday with our closest family members and the blessing was held on Saturday with all our family and friends. I feel especially lucky to have been able to walk down the aisle hand in hand with my dad on Friday and Maxim on Saturday. The vicar who performed the blessing is a close family friend and the service and readings felt very personal. As the Desiderata was read by my childhood friend Penny, two butterflies danced above our heads.

The Engagement

We got engaged in the rock face of the Tuscan hills. I proposed by writing a note to Maxim, which read “will you marry me? We will have a party and good times.” I threw the note at him and then ran away! He said, “yeah ok” and we laughed a lot. I think our engagement reflects our relationship; the most romantic of moments filled with laughter and silliness.

The Music

Our music choices were in our opinion pretty great: Walking Down The isle- Nick Cave ‘ Into My Arms’ After Ceremony – Oasis ‘Slide Away’ First Dance – Ramones ‘ Baby I Love You’ We had three DJ’s throughout the day and a playlist that reflected our musical taste through our years together. D.J’s: Ashley Plenty Owen me Owen you Darren Topliss

The Flowers

My wonderful mother Fiona grew, foraged and sourced all of the flowers for the arrangements for the entire wedding. We had two archways, bouquets and buttonholes for both days and many potted, hung, planted and arranged flowers humbly scattered around the garden. On top of this Elaine, Max’s mum has nurtured, planted and manicured the garden, which looked exquisite.

The Wedding Party

We are both so lucky to have so many close friends, so it was especially hard to choose a best man for our wedding so we had a casual six. With Max’s brother being the ‘Best, Best Man’ as he is just that little bit more responsible. Each of the guys have their own style so we thought the best option would be to let them free style their look. I made the four Bridesmaid’s and one flower girl dresses. Which reflected the girls’ different personalities. As a designer I think it’s really important for the wearer to feel confident and stylish. In my opinion the wearer makes the dress so it was extremely important that the girls loved what they were wearing. Thankfully they did. The fact they are all incredibly beautiful helped. Fabrics: Crepe, Silk, Tulle and Lace. To help the bridal party relax and relieve any tensions or nerves a good friend, and wedding yoga instructor provided us with the most incredible yoga session to kick start out morning. This was no average yoga session; there was beautiful humming music, relaxing candles and a tension relieving head massage.

The Ceremony

The vicar who performed the blessing is a close family friend and the service and readings felt very personal. As the Desiderata was read by my childhood friend Penny, two butterflies danced above our heads. That is one of the most incredible things about life; it’s the moments you can’t possibly plan for that are the most amazing.

The Food

The aim of our day was to have a chilled out relaxing vibe. Our food choices fit with this perfectly. Antipasti from Bragazzis in Sheffield to start; followed by stone baked pizzas from Sheffield’s Kiln Pizza Company which were accompanied by the best salads in the world, also by Bragazzis.

The Photography & Film

The super talented India Hobson was our photographer. Polaroid’s were taken by Jacob Lillis. I seem to remember one of the best men Andy Welch videoing a lot of the wedding on a go-pro. I have yet to see this secret footage. I’m not sure if that’s exciting or scary.


I would advise brides find as many ways to personalise your day as possible. It’s the little personal touches that you and your guests will remember.
Fern Godfrey

Written by Fern Godfrey

Bride: Harriet Holling | Polaroid Photographer: Jacob Lillis | Stretch Tent: White Rose Tents | Pizza: Kiln Pizza | Food : Bragazzis | Cake: The Depot Bakery | Invitations: Nick Deakin | Succulents: Swallows & Damsons

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