This wedding is the embodiment of the classic, English country garden theme – light, bright, full of gorgeous flowers, beautiful food, Champagne on tap, gents looking smart and ladies looking chic. And you’d expect no less really, given that Bride Hattie is a freelance writer who has worked with Condé Nast Publications and now runs her own successful fashion blog. Naturally, like every stylish English lady, she looked to France for some dress inspiration and wore Rime Arodaky, who is literally killing it in the Bridal stakes at the moment. (If this sounds like the approach you want to take – you need The Mews Bridal in your life).
The dog lovers among us can rejoice too – as Hattie and Olly’s gorgeous pup Luna features heavily in the images from Helen Abraham…
Hattie the Bride: My dress was by brilliant French designer Rime Arodaky, who gives bridal gowns a modern edge whilst still keeping styles classic. She also has an adorable dog. (I think she’s my spirit animal). My dress featured a separate lace skirt overlay (this is what really sold it to me) which I removed later for dancing. (The lace is made in the same place as Chanel). My shoes were a low-heeled, peep- toe design in ivory satin with a cutaway side by Freya Rose. My veil was handmade in the softest tulle by The Mews which I wore with fresh gypsophila in my hair. I initially had a two-tiered veil with a very long train but ditched this two weeks before the wedding during my final dress fitting in favour of a short one since I thought it obscured the back of my dress. The shorter one suited by style a lot better too — I’m so glad I did it, I felt a lot more ‘me’.
I wore diamond star earrings and a silver bracelet with Luna engraved on it by Tada and Toy (since Luna our puppy couldn’t come to the church with us) and a Jenny Packham necklace. We had the silver Tada & Toy bracelets engraved with names and our wedding date made for all our bridesmaids and my Mum too. I changed into hand-painted Custom Converse for dancing later, which I’m still wearing all the time now. Also plotting when I can wear my dress again…but there have been suggestions that the beautiful lace could be used at a Christening…
The wedding was at my family home in Sussex in July. We were completely blessed with the weather – it was 25 degrees and beautifully sunny.
We’re big on flowers! We went for a Midsummer Night’s Dream-esque feel – a wild, undone country, summer vibe. The church was full of flowers – large arrangements at the alter, font and around the side, displays on window sills, lavender lining the entrance, gyp and lavender pew ends, milk churns at the entrance overflowing with pale pinks, blues, whites – nothing strong – all light and feminine. I wore gyp in my hair, bridesmaids wore flower garlands, groom and ushers wore cornflower buttonholes. The ushers brought the milk churns arrangements and a few others back to the reception. We had high and low table centrepieces, ivy around walls, trees up poles in marquee, lavender on each table place setting, bridesmaids bouquets and lavender around cheese cake and strawberries and cream cake. Our flowers were by Simply Wonderful Flowers.
Menus and order of service both featured illustration of our puppy Luna (drawn by Olivia Huntingford). Our tables were named after tennis players, cricketers and babes like Jane Birkin. Our stationery was done by Danewood Press – they were brilliant. I was able to work very closely with them and walk in amongst the printing presses! We were keen to use local vendors where possible.
The Wedding Party
I had four bridesmaids – my sister Polly, two of my best friends who I’ve grown up with Lottie and Celeste, Olly’s cousin Fleur who’s 12 – and Page Boy Otto (aged 4) who was styled by his fashion designer Mum – they made the most gorgeous bridal squad. The girls wore pale blue dresses with a knot detail at the waist, nude heels (or ballet flats for Fleur) and fresh flower head garlands. The Best Man and Ushers wore Morning Suits (everyone did!) with cornflower buttonholes.
Olly fluffed his vows which broke the ice early (the laughing from the congregation felt like it went on forever in our heads!) Olly’s sister read Uncommon Love by Terah Cox and our Sky News Presenter friend TC read our biblical reading – despite his profession I think he was still nervous! Thankfully there was a lot of hearty singing – there’s nothing worse than people mumbling their way through hymns!
We had a steel band during the reception – something Olly and I had always said we’d have if we ever got married due to the lovely relaxed, summer feeling it creates and it also reminds us of cricket, which is a passion of both of ours. After dinner we had a BRILLIANT band who were rockier than your average wedding band – they played Arctic Monkeys, Razorlight, Fleetwood Mac, The Stones, Stevie Wonder, Oasis and a few mash-ups. Everyone was on each others shoulders by the end of the night, or dancing barefoot in the garden. Because it was still so warm we were able to have the marquee sides off all the way through the day which really incorporated all the flowers in the garden.
Canapes – Portland crab crostini, Asian marinated tiger prawns with guacamole, Parma fam, figs & black pepper mascarpone, Teriyaki yellow fin tuna skewer with wasabi & pickled ginger, Pakora spiced vegetables with ginger & tamarind sauce, Quail egg scotch eggs with saffron aioli, Spiced butternut squash, caramelised red onion, spinach & goat’s cheese tartlet, Fillet of beef with rocket, truffle oil & parmesan biscuit
Amuse Bouche – Shot of Gazpacho Andaluz
Followed by – Guinea fowl stuffed with mascarpone, lemon and thyme (for veggies filo parcel of slow-roasted red peppers, red onion, spinach and mozzarella) served with Puy lentils, spiced squash, spinach and tarragon oil
Followed by – Vanilla panna cotta with raspberries, coulis & almond biscotti.
Cakes – Two! Cheese cake – a tower of delicious cheeses decorated with lavender (Olly’s family works in cheese)
A big strawberries & cream cake with H & O on it.
We met with a few photographers beforehand and decided to go with Helen as we loved the relaxed and natural style of her photography. Olly and I both have a very keen eye for this kind of thing (I shoot a lot for my blog HattieWest.com and external projects with other brands and magazines) and we loved the pictures Helen delivered – they make us happy every time we look at them. She captured some beautiful shots of the two of us in a field at sunset after convincing me to climb over a five-bar gate in my dress and heels…
Powell & Creasy shot our video which we adore – while it is an extra, I can’t recommend getting a video enough as it’s an amazing way to relive the day. We went back and forth with the team a lot beforehand to make sure they knew the exact style we were after (upbeat/natural/fly-on-the-wall) and selecting music. The team fitted in seamlessly and delivered exactly what we were looking for.