How gorgeous are these two?! Heather & Leo literally beamed from ear to ear all day long. I'm pleased to report that the sun shone down on their outdoor wedding (for the most part) and so truly got to enjoy their stunning setting. The whole thing looks idyllic - setting up the ceremony and tipi right next to the water is such a lovely idea. Guests could even take to the canal boat for a sail! I've never seen that at a wedding before. Heather's bespoke dress is simply stunning, there's just something so lovely and joyful about a floral print and the colours suit her perfectly. The pair revealed some wonderful news during the ceremony which made everyone cry - I won't ruin the surprise for you, but it's left me feeling all warm and fuzzy inside. Enjoy this wedding gorgeous ones, it was a happy occasion indeed.
The ProposalHeather the Bride: It was beautiful...as if it was inspired by a fairy-tale! We had decided to drive down to Cornwall for a bank holiday weekend away from the big smoke of London, stayed in a log cabin in the bottom of a garden belonging to a farmhouse. Unfortunately that weekend was one of torrential rain! And huge storms! We spent most of the weekend indoors, either pub crawling or tucked up inside the cabin reading ghost stories to each other! So on the Monday late morning we decided to call it a day and take the long drive back to London (via a Cornish pasty shop of course and a cup of tea to take the edge off!) When the clouds miraculously started to clear and we could see the sun was attempting to peak through, Leo much to my surprise, suggested going for a walk in a place that his Cornish friend recommended we visit before we leave. We parked up by a beautiful stone church, in a very small village called Zennor and embarked on what was such a perfectly, picturesque walk along the coast. We walked through fields of flowers, archways of honeysuckle that smelt delicious and petals blowing in the wind. The sun was shining and reflecting on the turquoise sea below. It was stunning! Leo stopped me for a second and asked to take my photo – he loves his old cameras. I sat on a rock with the sea behind me and a little stream by my feet. After taking my picture he came over, and asked if I was happy. I said, ‘yeah I’m great! I have my pasty and my cup of tea!’ He said ‘no, are you are really happy? With how life is panning out and with us?’ And I said ‘yes I am!’ He then gave me this lovely speech and went down on one knee (which ended up being very soggy!) Needless to say I cried with happiness!
The VenueWe both love water and the outdoors, and decided early on that we wanted to get married outside, ideally with a river as a backdrop. After a lot of trips and searching our venue ended up being in a pretty Cotswold village called Lechlade which was a few miles from where I grew up. This made a perfect setting for our Brazilian, festival feel – we also hired Maka Tipi’s three large Giant Hat white wedding tipis for our guests seating and band with a fire pit for marshmallows! We also hired a 12 seater boat that chartered our guests up and down the Thames all day.
The BrideSince the beginning, I knew that I wanted a non-traditional dress, certainly a dress that wasn’t white or satin! So I began researching. I couldn’t quite find anything that was what I wanted. I wanted my dress to be long sleeved, low backed and floral with lace. It wasn’t until Leo and I travelled to Thailand to an incredible tailor to make his suit, and we watched it come together from various rolls of fabric that I had the confidence of having my dress made in the same way. We bought three different layers of floral fabric, all very delicate! And I was lucky enough to find an incredible seamstress called ZigZag in Cheam. She was very excited about the project and she created my design for me, with a few alterations to make it a perfect fit. I wore a small pearl necklace with it that my dad had bought me.
The GroomLeo wanted a suit that was a rustic with a vintage feel to it, but also one that felt comfortable. He wanted a deep green rather than a blue or grey that you often see for weddings. Using tailors called Empire Tailors in Bangkok, they cut, measured and created his suit from Italian cotton, with Leo’s chosen vintage paisley silk lining so it’s completely unique to his taste!
The FlowersWe had bouquets of pale pink peonies, eucalyptus, rosemary, white freesia and pink eustoma all hand tied with green string. My floral crown was an asymmetric crown, using eucalyptus, pink eustomas and all white freesias with a small amount of gypsophila. Everything smelt amazing! The table decorations were all created by my mum and I! We used green and white porcelain pots with flowers that represented the typical ‘english garden’, coupled with more exotic, colourful plants to represent Leo’s Brazilian tropical background!
The Wedding PartyMy two bridesmaids wore a pink and white dress from Coast which had gorgeous textured roses, a pink floral skirt and a white top with a Peter-Pan collar. We then used some of the fabric from my dress round the waist to tie all styling together.
The CeremonyOur ceremony was a humanist ceremony that was written by our celebrant Jenna Catley Richardson, along with our input. Our vows were written by ourselves and read to each other during our outdoor ceremony underneath an archway. We had two readings – ‘The Art of Marriage, Anon’ and He’s Not Perfect” by Bob Marley. As I walked down the aisle my bridesmaids handed out little linen keep sake bags out. Everyone was told not to peek until we told them too. When Leo and I were standing together, holding hands we told them we had a little surprise for them inside. When they looked inside they found a poem that talked about a baby girl that would be joining them six months from today. Watching everyone reading the poem and their faces when the penny dropped was priceless. It was such a wonderful and memorable way to share our special news with all our loved ones. The day became a double celebration and we couldn’t have been happier in that moment.
The EntertainmentWe’re both big fans of live music and especially rock from the 1960s/1970s and wanted a lively band who were great at covers. After much searching we came across The Thamesmen who were fantastic and said that they had never experienced so many guests wanting to dance in their sound check!
The FoodAs Leo is Brazilian we wanted to include food famous from his region of Minas Gerais, Brazil. Our caterers Café Brazil were outstanding! Firstly canapes of Brazilian style snacks called pastels, kibi, and coxinhas, followed by a full Brazilian BBQ cooked on a Rotisserie serving the finest Brazilian steak called ‘picanha’ with sausage and chicken on skewers. Accompanied by ‘Feijão’ which is a black bean stew and six huge bowls of salad! In the evening we had a delicious Hog Roast by the award winning butcher ‘Walter and Rose’, again with lots of fresh sauces and salads. For dessert we hosted a ‘wedding bake off’ and invited guests to bake a variety of goodies – we had people come from all over the world but the traditional chocolate brownies still won!
The PhotographyLeo and I both work in a visual industry and enjoy taking photographs of our own, so it was important to both of us to agree on a photographer whos style reflected our taste. We found Daniella through RMW and both agreed straight away that she was the one! We both liked her composition and creative framing and treatment she applies so rang her and booked her the same week.
Special MomentsThis is hard to describe but the feeling and vibe of our day – I had an intense feeling that everyone there was so happy for us and supporting us that the day glided by. Our ceremony was very personal and unique to us, and many of our guests wanted a copy of it to keep as they said it was so magical.
AdviceIf you’re planning an outdoor wedding – make a plan B if the weather turns out to be rubbish! We got rained on during our ceremony but luckily bought large dome transparent umbrellas for all our guests and made sure their seating on haybales were dry by having covers and blankets inside the tipi so the guests could grab them! If it’s possible try and have a day or two the week beforehand staying somewhere else; we took our family to stay in a wooden lodge cabin near some beautiful lakes and it really helped our state of mind as you just worry so much about all the little things!
Bride: Bespoke by Zig Zig Tailoring | Jewellery: Cabouxon | Make Up: Katie Aldridge | Hair: Karoliina Saunders | Flowers: All About Flowers | Venue: The New Inn Hotel | Tipis: Maka Tipi | Cake: Kim's Cake Creations | Catering: Cafe Brazil | Bridesmaids: Coast | Groom & Groomsmen: Empire Tailors | Band: The Thamesmen | Celebrant: Jenna Catley Richardson | Canal Boats: Cotswold Canals