Josephine and Alex thought they wanted a big beautiful wedding, but instead realised an intimate family affair with lots of personal details and DIY was more them. They held their ceremony at the incredibly gorgeous Archbishop's Palace in Kent, followed by a couples portrait session at Thurnham Keep, which along with Josephine's Eliza Jane Howell Sibella gown you can be forgiven for thinking you've stepped into a period drama. She looks the picture of elegance in her embellished gown, and I simply adore her faux fur stole. Frances Sales has captured their style and grace beautifully, as well as their overwhelming love for one another. Their gorgeous Winter wedding culminated in a relaxed pub reception adorned with dried flowers in milk churns and a fabulous sparkler exit to warm the soul.


Josephine the Bride: I wore an Eliza Jane Howell number called Sibella, but bought this second hand off eBay for a bargain price. My Aunty was meant to be altering it for me 2 weeks before the wedding, and we had a planned trip up to Derby to go and visit. But my appendix decided to erupt (it obviously didn't love my husband to be as much as I did and jumped ship!). Luckily a local lady called Maureen saved the day, and did such an incredible job  last minute of tailoring it to fit me perfectly. I wore Rachel Simpson shoes & hair vine, and after trawling the highstreet for a semi decent vintage shrug for what seemed like months I found the perfect one on etsy for a fraction of the price.  Makeup and hairstyling by Extraordinary Bride, a small business launching soon. 

Grooms Attire

Alex wore a gorgeous wool Ted Baker suit, with a pin bar shirt from Moss Bros and a white textured silk tie. He looked incredible. Styled with some lovely brown brogues from Next.


We originally had a large venue  booked in Northamptonshire but realised how unsuited we were to it and it's price tag, we cancelled and went for a registry office, the Archbishops Palace in Maidstone, and followed with a 3 course meal in a intimate rustic pub called The Horseshoes in Hunton, Kent. 

Colour Scheme & Decor

Our colour scheme entirely stemmed from the flowers. I hate the idea of spending £100's of pounds on something that will die, so I decided to buy lots of dried flowers in an array of vintage, muted blues and purples from Winter Flora, and DIY the arrangements myself. I bought some vintage milk churns off eBay and hand painted the table numbers. I love the idea that I could give the flowers away at the end of the day as a wedding momentum to family, and they will always have it as a decorative piece in their house. We loved the soft wood and raw rustic feel of the pubs decor too. I also hand wrote all the table places and created the hessian napkin covers with a small floral arrangement on each place to tie everything together. 


I've never had it in me to be a BRIDZILLA, and the reason behind having Bridesmaids was to show how much they mean to me. I didn't want to force them into monstrosities that's didn't suit, so I gave them free reign to buy a dress in a shade of dove grey, so they were still coordinated, but felt comfortable on the day. One of the Bridesmaids had a small mishap with her dress, but they were such good friends they completely hid it from me to save me any worry! I did hand crafted bouqets for them, to tie in with my DIY pin holes I made for the Groomsmen (again a dried flower creation with some uhu and a ton of patience!) all to tie in to the centrepieces. I did hand crafted survival kit tote bags for each of the girls as a little thank you, including hand cream and lip balm (key essential for a nippy winter day) a navy satin robe, nail files and safety pins (which came in handy!). 


We kept the ceremony as brief as legally possible! I walked down the isle to 'At last' by Etta James, to keep with the old fashioned time less feel to the day. We had a few classics from Doris day and frank Sinatra while we signed the register. For our rings, Alex had been given a gold chain by his Grandad when he was a young boy. As this was definitely not his style and he had never worn it, we had it melted down and made into our wedding rings. This had so much sentiment behind it on the day, as we'd found out 2 days before the wedding that he had a terminal illness and wouldn't be able to attend. A funny moment was when I got carried away and shouted we made it after the registra announced us man and wife! With the uncontrollable life mishaps, getting down the isle was such a wonderful beautiful, moment.


We kept the entertainment light as I'm not sure I could have danced! We had a few traditional speeches, and a wonderful sparkler send off. I also did a surprise speech solely for the Groom, as nobody ever really appreciates the Groom in a wedding, and I wanted to give him a thankyou, and a testament to friends and family on how truly a incredible person he is.


The food was rustic pub grub, from pork belly to amoretti pasta. We got our wedding cake from Patisserie Valerie, which was super delicious... So delicious the staff were eyeing up the leftovers! 


Our wedding photographer was Frances Sales, and I couldn't recommend her enough. We both aren't big selfie lovers and look a bit like Chandler trying to smile on camera but she caught us so naturally and unaware the end result was truly fantastic.
Lorna Shaw

Written by Lorna Shaw

Dress Designer: Eliza Jane Howell - Sibella | Bridal Shoes: Rachel Simpson | Shrug: Etsy | Makeup : ExtraOrdinary Bride | Grooms Suit: Ted Baker at Moss Bro | Grooms Shoes: Next | Venue: Archbishop's Palace | Flowers: Winter Flora Dried Flowers | Cake: Patisserie Valerie

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