This gorgeous pastel wedding at Gaynes Park in Essex makes me want to hang on to the last of the lighter evenings with all my might. The gorgeous country gardens and dreamy sunset portraits by Anneli Marinovich Photography warm the heart and fill you with romance.
Also making my heart skip a beat are the gorgeous florals by Sweet Pea Flowers, filling the spectacular barn reception and adorning all those pin-worthy details, including the hoop table plan and ‘Pimp your Prosecco’ bar.
Both bride Katie and groom Josh look incredible in their wedding attire with Katie proving that you should try on all bridal styles, because you might just be pleasantly surprised by what you fall in love with.
Katie The Bride: Initially I said I would have a lace dress but in the first shop I visited the dress I was most drawn to was completely plain. That wasn’t quite ‘the one’ but it certainly made me consider a different style to what I originally thought I would go for. I then visited The Bride in St Albans who were amazing. Here I found the Bryony dress by Sassi Halford. I loved the simplicity but teamed with the really cute bow – and of course the pockets! Having these actually helped me relax in the photos so much as I had something to do with my hands!
I always thoughts I would have a long veil, but the short, full one suggested by the girls in The Bride worked so perfectly that I immediately loved it.
I defiantly had several ‘wobble’ moments, wondering if I had made the right decision with my dress and needed reassuring many time from my bridesmaids and Mum. I think if you’re a bit (read very!) indecisive like me, that’s totally natural as it’s such a big focus of the day. I felt incredible on the day and love it looking back at pictures!
I had quite a few different hair accessorises across the day! Initially I had the veil, which I took out half way through the meal and replaced with a cute little velvet bow that I asked Britten Weddings to design for me. Then in the evening I changed this for a large jewelled piece which was custom made by Botias, who also did my hair and make up. I knew early on after choosing the dress that I wanted a big necklace for the evening to add a bit more interest from the front once the veil had gone – I spent a long time saucing this and eventually the ideal shape and size popped up on my Etsy home page – it was by a company called OrinCraftAccessories and came from Israel, working out much cheaper than the options I could find in the UK!
My shoes were Kate Spade – being the same height as Josh I wanted flat peep toe, which were harder to find then I though as all flats seem to be sandals or a pointed toe. The Kate Spade ones were perfect as whilst being practical they were equally beautiful!
The Grooms Fashion
The Groom, best men, groomsmen and Dad’s suits all came from Anthony Formal Wear. Josh and I always wanted a navy 3 piece and went to try a variety of different options, finally settling on the different colour waist coat. We hired everything except from Josh’s trousers, which we had tailor made as standard trousers don’t tend to fit him very well. The guys at Anthony Formal Wear were great at arranging this quite last minute as Josh couldn’t decide if he was happy with the standard size or not! Josh wore Paul Smith shoes from ASOS and a TAG watch which I bought him as a wedding gift.
The men in the bridal party all had rose gold cufflinks. The groom and 4 best men (!) had a rose gold tie clip as an extra way of making them stand out, these all came from ASOS.
When looking for somewhere to get married I really wanted to find somewhere where no one I knew had got married, and I set about an hour’s travel limit when googling! Before visiting, Gaynes Park was actually the bottom of my list from those we were visiting – I knew quite a lot of people who had had barn style weddings and worried I wouldn’t be able to do it differently! As soon as we arrived at Gaynes Park and they started the tour, I completely feel in love! It has so many different elements, all so beautifully thought-out. I loved the idea of the long walk and the fact the ceremony took place in a different area to the wedding breakfast so the styling in there could be kept a surprise for later in the day.
Colour Scheme & Decor
I always said I didn’t really have a theme, I wanted a collections of lovely things that went well together. This was the same with the colours, just a soft palette that blended together, this did however filter down into mainly mint green, soft nude’y pinks and purples, with a bit of gold thrown in!
My flowers were always a really important aspect for me, and it took a while to speak to a florist who I thought ‘got’ my vision. As soon as I spoke to Marianna at Sweet Pea Flowers it just clicked and I felt like she totally understood what I was looking for.
They definitely evolved over the planning process and the tall table centres actually changed quite significantly about 4 weeks before hand. The main flowers were hydrangeas, roses, café late dahlias and blushing brides (my favourites!) mixed in with this was foliage that we decided to introduce last minute!
I actually started off the process not wanting any foliage at all, but in the lead up the wedding I found that all the pictures of flowers I was falling in love with had a wilder feel with lots of foliage. I am so glad I made the decision to change this element, as the tall table centres along with my bouquet were some of my favourite things from the day! A big thank you to Marianne for her patience and help in getting to the final vision!
My bridesmaid dresses were one of the only bargains of the wedding! I had an appointment booked to go and design our own dresses as I couldn’t find what I wanted, here I was expecting to pay over £250 a dress! A couple of weekends before the appointment these gorgeous dresses came onto ASOS, in the perfect colour! I ordered one to try, half expecting it to not be a great fit, but it fitted and suited all of the girls perfectly! Even better they then did a flash 30% off offer so I manager to get them for around £60 each!
Our ceremony was actually really short – we aren’t very good at public displays of affection so kept it short and sweet with the necessary bits only, ready to let everyone get on an enjoy themselves! It was actually really lovely as the registrar made a joke about it being the shortest ceremony she had every done, and this set the really relaxed, light heart feel of the day perfectly – on the wedding video people are laughing which is exactly what we wanted.
In the day we had Lucas from POP (London) playing the piano, and in the evening the rest of the band joined him. All I can say really is that they were incredible from start to finish!
The food was amazing and being a big eater I am still to this day a little disappointed I was to overwhelmed / busy to really enjoy it and taste everything! The on-site cateres are amazing and super helpful throughout the whole process.
Our evening food was pizzas and one of my favourite DIY elements were defiantly the ‘YOU’VE GOT A PIZZA MY HEART’ pizza boxes for this. It was an idea I spotted on Instagram (it wasn’t actually a wedding related page!) and loved straight away – it took me a while to figure out how to do it as I’m defiantly not a nature crafter, but with a good old stencil and the man power of a bridesmaid and mother of the bride I was so happy with the result.
Our cake was made by Lynne at Butterlicious Cake Company, who’s daughter I went to primary school with which added a lovely personal touch to the beautiful cakes. I knew I always wanted more than one cake so opted for 3! The semi naked cake was vanilla sponge with a variety of different flavoured buttercreams across the different tiers, including raspberry ripple and cherry bakewell. The smaller 2 tiered cake was chocolate with salted caramel and the single tier was carrot cake (a personal favourite!)
Our photographer Anneli was just incredible, not only did she take the most beautiful photos which we will treasure forever but was just a joy to work with, both on the day, during the build-up and since! I am so glad we found her.
I think like a lot of brides I hadn’t originally planned on have a videographer, but as the wedding drew nearer I just didn’t want to be left with the regret. We booked Callum from Tim Spatz Films and he was great on the day and just really merged into the background. We forgot he was there most of the time but were really pleased with the video and were amazed with what he had captured without us even realising!
DIY projects and crafting aren’t really a strong point of my, but luckily my bridesmaids where great at it! Some of my favourite bits we made together, aside from the pizza boxes were. . .
– the table plan hoop, this was just a children’s hoola hoop striped back and sprayed gold, we used ribbon to display the place name cards, Marianne the florist then added some beautiful flowers for me!
– the straw flags and bows myself and my bridesmaids made – they were super easy and worked out so much cheaper than buying them pre-done.
– The gold glitter table numbers. I order wooden number from ebay, spray painted them gold and then covered with glitter. Really easy and actually good fun to do on a sunny afternoon!
Another aspect I did consider doing DIY was the ribbon backdrop. However, in the end I decided to ask Mediterranean Occasions to do this as the thought of hanging it on the morning of the wedding was too stressful. I am so glad I did as it looked exactly as I imagined in my head – I loved it!
Advise wise, I am not sure what to add that isn’t a little cliché! I think mainly enjoy the whole process of being engaged and planning the wedding. The whole build up is so lovely and everyone wants to be involved and help so you get to spend some lovely days out with those closest to you. My mum, mother in law and bridesmaids always managed to fit lunch and a bit of cake in to any appointments we went to!
I stayed with close family and friend in a hotel the evening before, as did Josh and we went out for lovely meals. We also planned a smaller get together the Sunday after the wedding which helped to extend the excitement. If you can do a bit of a ‘wedding weekend’ to make it not so much about that one day I think that works really well!