There is just so much I love about this wedding I’m not sure where to begin. For starters, there is Kate’s bespoke Bridal gown – the relaxed fit, the fabric, the cowl neckline all have me swooning AND Kate took a total leap of faith in her dress maker and family friend Jenni, only trying the dress on a week before the big day! There’s also the gorgeous selection of white boho Bridesmaids dresses, the wild meadow style flowers (arranged by Kate and her friends), the adorable flower girls, the fabulous tent from the Arabian Tent Company and the epic Pimms bar.
This is English Country Wedding at it’s absolute finest and the whole glorious garden party has been captured beautifully by lovely lady Krishanthi.
Kate The Bride: There was never any question about where I would get my dress. Jenni is an old family friend and made my Mum’s wedding dress and my Aunt’s dress, so I always knew I wanted her to make mine. It was really important to me to feel comfortable and relaxed. I wanted a dress that I could wear all day and all night and that I felt myself in.
As Jack and I live in Australia and Jenni is in England, I didn’t get to see or try the dress on until a week before the wedding! But I had complete faith in Jenni and the dress was perfect. I didn’t wear a lot of jewellery, but I was lucky enough to be given pieces that meant a lot to me. My Mum gave me earrings that she has had since she met my Dad. Mum also gave me a beautiful gold and pearl bangle that my Great Aunt had worn on her wedding day and that my Grandmother gave to Mum on her wedding day.
Jack had a very clear idea of what he wanted his suit to look like. Luckily we found just what he was after in the first shop we went into and he bought the first suit he tried on!
We both knew we wanted an outdoor wedding, with a relaxed garden party atmosphere. I was lucky enough to grow up in a pretty spectacular place, so we felt incredibly grateful when my parents suggested we have the wedding at home. My parents had their wedding reception there almost 30 years ago, so it was really special to also be able to have our celebration there. I looked at a lot of marquee companies, but kept coming back to Arabian Tent Company. Their tents are unique and incredibly beautiful and just fit perfectly with the setting.
We didn’t have a colour scheme as such. We wanted to keep everything looking simple, elegant and relaxed, with lots of blues, whites and creams. My dad and Jack built the bar and we were kindly given William Morris wallpaper to decorate it with, which tied in with the interior of the tents. Jack’s brother’s girlfriend did an amazing job at designing and making all of our signage, including our initials on the bar. My godmother did all of the place settings and the table plan. Jack’s mum, Anne, made the favours, (bottles of Limoncello). We have to say an enormous thank you to our family friend Matthew, who knocked up the incredible Pimms bar in a matter of days. It was amazing that so many people chipped in and made it possible to DIY so much, it meant the day had exactly the feel and look that we wanted and imagined.
I love fresh flowers and wanted as many flowers as possible, but without having big centrepieces. We did all of the arrangements and bouquets ourselves, (my bridesmaids were amazing!). Mum madly collected jam jars and bottles for a year and we were able to get the flowers from a wholesale market. It was important to me to have British flowers, with a wildflower look. I wanted to the arrangements to look like they had just been scooped from a hedgerow.
As with everything on the day, it was important to us that our wedding party felt comfortable, happy and relaxed. All of the bridesmaids wore white with a little bit of detail, (lace, embroidery, crochet). They chose the dresses themselves and I didn’t see them all together until the wedding day, as the bridesmaids live in 3 different countries. But they all chose fantastically and they fitted perfectly together. The girls wore the same shoes, from Faith, just to tie the dresses together. Jenni made the flower girls’ dresses. They are the same design as the flower girl dress that I wore at my Aunt’s wedding.
We chose to have a Humanist ceremony, as neither of us are religious. We wanted the ceremony to celebrate our love for one another and also the people that are important in our life. We also wanted it to reflect us and our values. We found a wonderful celebrant, Diane Tusker, who wrote and conducted a ceremony that did exactly that. There was the perfect mix of laughter and tears throughout. A highlight of the ceremony was my brother, Josh, reading an extract from my favourite childhood book, The Velveteen Rabbit.
We wanted our guests to dance the night away, so finding a great band was a priority for us. The Capricorns were fantastic. They had everyone up and dancing for hours, which was exactly what we wanted! During the day we had garden games on the lawn and Table Tennis in the field.
The Flavour Kitchen were fantastic, we were blown away by their creativity, professionalism and service. We were welcomed into Sinead’s home for an utterly extravagant and completely delicious tasting about a year before the wedding, so we were looking forward to the wedding meal for a long time! Rather than having starters, we had relaxed canapés in the garden with bubbles and Pimms.
We chose to have a feasting style menu, with large sharing platters on tables. We love nothing more than sharing our table with friends and we wanted our day, and the meal, to reflect this. Jack is Australian and we live in Oz, so it was an obvious choice to have BBQ’s! We wanted to bring a bit of Australia to our Surrey garden! We wanted to make the most of the sun and the garden so, rather than having sit down desserts, we had dessert pots that guests could take into the garden and fields.
For evening food we had mini hot dogs and sliders – delicious and a great way to soak up the booze! One of my favourite foods is my mum’s carrot cake and she completely indulged me making us a beautiful, naked carrot wedding cake. The cream cheese icing didn’t quite survive the heat and the cake ended up looking a little like the leaning tower of Pisa, but it was absolutely delicious and no one missed the cutting!
I saw Krishanthi’s work on a blog and immediately loved it. We loved the natural, candid style of her photography. All we wanted from our day was for people to be happy, relaxed and have a good time and we wanted our photos to capture that. Krish did exactly that. The photos absolutely capture the atmosphere of the day. We didn’t meet Krish in person until the day, (but a long Skype call had reassured us that we would get on just fine!) and when we did finally meet it was like greeting an old friend. Krish was an absolute pleasure to be around and I think this is reflected in the photos.
Lots of family and friends travelled from Australia to come to the wedding, which we were incredibly grateful for. It was really special for me to be able have all of my friends and family in my home and special for both of us to have our friends and families in one place together. Our day felt so full of love and joy, and really that is all that was important to us.
Most of our day was DIY, including the save the dates and invitations; place settings, table plan, flowers and decor. Although it was a lot of work, it was well worth it. I would recommend DIYing as much as you feel able to. It allowed us to have exactly what we wanted and meant that the day felt completely our own. We were so lucky and had lots of family and friends help us and I think this made the day feel even more filled with love.
We organised the wedding from Australia, so it was important to have suppliers that we trusted and that were good at communicating. All of our suppliers made it (almost!) easy to organise from the other side of the world. They were always only ever an email away and were so understanding of the stresses of organising from afar.