Jade and Steve's gorgeously bright and happy summer wedding is a glorious reminder that PEONY SEASON is coming. Peonies are some of the most beautiful blooms and brides who are lucky enough to be getting married when they are in season should be using them in abundance, just like the lovely Jade, whose floral arrangements are just bursting with this striking flower. This is such a pretty wedding and one I just know you'll love, so I'm going to hand you over to Jade, who will tell you all about her and Steve's day. Along with the images from Helen Cawte, you feel as if you're there with them! Enjoy!

The Bride

Jade The Bride: Picking my dress felt like one of the hardest decisions of my life and working in fashion there was a lot of expectation and excitement around what it’d be. In my mind I had a pretty clear idea of the style I was after: minimalist, slinky, quite plain and fashion forward – obviously the complete opposite of what I ended up going with! After trying on the dress I’d liked in the boutique, my bridesmaids asked the assistant to bring me something “completely different” to try on for fun, and in she came with this humongous, peach coloured thing which of course, we all fell in love with. It was fun, so comfortable and was like nothing I’d ever wear again. It got the MOB seal of approval and then several months of “have I made the right decision?” worrying but I can say whole-heartedly I can’t imagine looking back on the day and seeing myself wearing anything else.

The Groom

Steve is a classic dresser so a morning suit seemed the perfect option for him and his groomsmen to dress up to their dapper best. As we were in the middle of June he went for a warmer navy over black, finished with a Powder Blue tie for him and Blush ties for his groomsmen.

The Venue

The Tithe Barn was a dream of a venue. It’s in such a gorgeous setting within the greenery of the South Downs and is surrounded by wonderful little lanes and walkways, giving us our private photo moments as well. It was a wonderfully sunny day so the field and seating outside provided a great communal setting for the first drinks and canapes after the ceremony. We also chucked some space hoppers onto the field to entertain the kids which worked brilliantly! Inside, its high vaulted ceilings have such a dramatic and ecclesiastical look which was the perfect back drop for the ceremony. In the Barn’s mezzanine level we also set up our own home-made photo booth area: Steve’s own SLR camera, a big leather sofa, remote control and multiple props!

The Colour Scheme/Décor

We never had a theme or, to be honest, colour scheme when we planned the wedding but one thing we were set on was lots of flowers and lots of candles. We filled the Barn’s window alcoves with greenery and church candles and Lucy sourced some gorgeous large copper lanterns for the table settings, surrounding them with a very loose wreath with those deep pink flowers. Helen at Mrs K Designs provided us with gorgeous bespoke stationery including menus, table plan and table names which were based around our favourite fictional places. We brought personal touches to the table like our Wedding Quiz and photos of Steve and I with each guest on their setting for them to find when they sat down. It took us quite a bit of time to dredge up the most embarrassing photos from years gone by but it was well worth it for the shock and horror on their faces, and was also a great ice-breaker.

The Flowers

After the dress the hardest decision in wedding planning was the flowers, because we knew absolutely nothing about them. In an effort to bring my dress back from being overly traditional, I wanted something contemporary and colourful without being gaudy. Luckily a family friend recommended the wonderful Lucy at The Floral Artisan who helped turn a few Pinterest pictures and an hour discussion over coffee into the sensational flowers she created on the day. They really were the star of the show (and I now at least I know what a peony is).

The Wedding Party

My 4 bridesmaids wore a gorgeous full length dress from Coast in a very pale blush colour with a multi-way top half, allowing them to choose which style was most flattering for them. The neutral colour really suited their varying skin-tones and worked beautifully with their bouquets. Our make up was done by the talented Rosie who is a bundle of laughs and great to have around during a quite stressful couple of hours! She even obliged my request to change my make up 2 weeks before the day without a trial, which shows just how much I trusted her. Because my dress was layers of tulle and lacked any embellishment I felt that I needed quite an intricate up-do to give a bit of focus at the back. Sasha created a really beautiful style that lasted me all day and night. I actually felt bad covering up with a veil!

The Ceremony

The ceremony was one of my favourite moments of the day and I have such a vivid memory of walking down the aisle to Steve. I was accompanied by my Dad, my bridesmaids and the music of Jose Gonzalez and I remember going from a complete nervous wreck to the happiest person alive within the space of about 5 seconds. After a morning of grooming and waiting and counting down, there’s no better feeling than seeing the face of your friends and family, and of course your future husband, at the end of that aisle. Relish it!

The Entertainment

Our band Breakthrough were brilliant and such good fun. We love karaoke so a couple of weeks before the wedding we decided to add in a “band-e-oke” set. This was kicked off by Steve’s ushers with a near-perfect rendition of ‘Don’t let the sun go down on me’ and we were totally surprised at how keen everybody else was to get up on stage and have their moment! Another great memory.

The Food

We chose to have a sit down 3-course meal so everybody could really kick back and relax. After my Dad’s speech we tucked into a crab and avocado starter, followed by our main of Spanish-style chicken. Another interlude for Steve and Tom’s (Best Man) speeches and we were ready for the chocolate dessert. Our caterers were wonderful all day: as well as cooking delicious food, they were so slick and professional and super helpful to everybody there. Our friend Beth, a baking whizz, made our wedding cake for us; a gorgeous, tiered sponge cake which looked beautiful decorated with our wedding flowers.

The Photography

We couldn’t have asked for more in a photographer than Helen. Her photos show so much light and romance and that is exactly what our wedding day was to us. She was such a key part of the day and felt more like a friend with an added talent for photography than anything else. I think her calm way of working really shows in the photos; everybody relaxed, natural and having a great time! Rock My Wedding Planning & Inspiration Book: Your Day Your Way
Fern Godfrey

Written by Fern Godfrey

Bride: Pronovias | Shoes: Jimmy Choo | Flowers: The Floral Artisan | Venue: The Tithe Barn | Catering: Vanilla | Bridesmaids: Coast | Groom & Groomsmen: John Goodridge | Stationery: Mrs K Design | Band: Breakthrough | Transport: Amazing Grace Wedding Cars | Dream Day Campers | Make Up: Rosie Lee | Hair: Sasha Kate

Inspirational articles you may also find useful