Get ready for some serious wedding goals. A dreamy castle venue - check. A swoon worthy bridal gown - check. The man of your dreams and all your family and friends their to celebrate your love - check - check. Plus crisp white, greenery & copper wedding decor that just oozes style - a big fat huge check! Honestly take your time over this one lovelies as there are so many delicious details and wonderful moments to swoon over and pin. Luckily Michelle Cordner Photography captured all the pretty and love to perfection so you can savour every moment. Right, lets get stuck in.


Kelly the Bride: Think rustic Italy, handmade, natural wood, chapel candles, eucalyptus, white flowers, soft mauves & festoon lights. We wanted the day to be represent everything Luca and I enjoy & love and share it with people we care about dearly. Luca, my groom is half Italian so we really wanted to introduce the Italian vibe all the way through the wedding from the food, the style, the language & even their traditions.

Brides Fashion & Accessories

I wore a Mori Lee ivory lace detailed floor length dress with scalloped lace neckline from Bellisima Bridal in South Woodham Ferrers, I always knew I wanted something quite simple and traditional. When I put on my dress the morning of the wedding I loved it even more than the first time I found it. With my hair and make up, I decided to have it the way I would usually style it myself, so I looked like me. It was just more of a glam version of myself & I loved it. Emma & Leanne from Team Glam were brilliant!

Grooms Fashion & Accessories

My groom, Luca, wore an Italian inspired 3-piece navy blue Ted Baker suit with an ivory paisley tie and a silver pocket watch & tie pin with brown Italian leather shoes. Luca is a die hard West Ham fan and the only element we agreed on that could be “West Ham” related was his socks, which were claret! (his groomsmen, also West Ham supporters, wore claret & blue socks too.

Venue & Food

We visited a handful of wedding venue, but as soon as we stepped inside Cooling Castle Barn we totally fell in love with the place. Its wooden beams, high ceilings, exposed brick and perfectly kept lawns were exactly what we’d been looking for. It gave our day such a wonderfully relaxed atmosphere and that’s all we wanted. The venue also catered our wedding breakfast, unlike most venues we were able to chose a menu for our guest. So to keep the Italian theme consistent we selected an antipasti starter which was beautifully presented, the mains were an option of lamb or chicken both of which were wholesome and delicious, then for dessert you could chose from a raspberry and white chocolate Mille-foglie or chocolate and pistachio tart. For our evening guest we wanted to make sure they would be full so opted for a BBQ, everyone loves a BBQ!

Colour Scheme/Decor

We used nature, Italy and romance as a source of inspiration, and decided to use simple materials such as craft-paper, cardboard, twine, jute, glass, candles, eucalyptus, rosemary and wood. We tried to keep colours to a minimum and used natural greens, soft pinks, whites along with accents of copper and mauve. For our table decorations we had very simple centerpieces which were 3 different level glass vases filled with hand tied white flowers with candles surrounding them which gave the room a romantic setting which all sat on a sequin copper runner. We used the beautiful chiavari chairs which looked stunning in the venue. We had festoon lighting across the barn and fairy lights around the beams either side of the barn which gave the place that alfresco feel that we wanted. Being a graphic designer I was adamant I wanted to put my stamp of the over all look and feel of the day, it took a lot of blood, sweat and sleep-less nights but I was over the moon that my vision totally come to life on the day. I had made everything from my table name signs, table plan, card box, signage around the bar/barn and place settings, to my welcome signage & display. I took a lot of inspiration from the likes of Pinterest, Instagram and blogs like the fabulous RMW.


We knew that we wanted a lot of foliage in the venue & in my bouquet so we went with gorgeous white flowers and a whole host of different types of eucalyptus. I had a gorgeous loose hand-tied textural bouquet with silver dollar eucalyptus, white stocks, Norma jean roses tied with an ivory ribbon, my bridesmaid had a smaller version of that too. The men wore button holes that complimented the bouquets. The centrepieces were very simple, 3 tiered glass vases with small hand tied bouquets of white flowers and then a copper sequin runner going down each table with small votive candles to give a lovely romantic feel. My florist Karen, The Flower Mill, did an absolutely fantastic job in understanding and creating mine and Luca’s vision. We worked closely together with her on what would/wouldn’t work well in the venue and I trusted her 100%. The venue was such a stunning place it really didn’t need a lot doing to it and Karen did the place justice and seemed to enhance its beauty! A close university friend of mine also helped with some additional flowers displays, she is incredibly talented and created a flower frame for my table place made of eucalyptus, white and soft pink flowers. She also made some eucalyptus wreaths that were attached to the front of the sweetie table & guestbook/cards table. They both looked fab, and better than I could have ever imagined.

The Wedding Party fashion

My four beautiful bridesmaids wore a full length one shoulder dress, in mauve from Davids Bridal, Stratford. The style suited every single one of them and they looked gorgeous. It was the very first dress they tried on which I was so happy about, they made it so easy for me. Luca’s groomsmen wore a similar suit to him, but wore a navy blue tie. Our little pageboy, our godson Jayden wore a kids version of the suit with his white converse trainers and looked adorable! All of them wearing either claret and blue socks.


Our ceremony was a short but sweet affair, we had the string quartet play while the guests waited for the bridal party to arrive. The general manager of cooling castle barn arranged everything and was a dream, he made sure Luca and the boys knew what they were doing and he also helped me and girls with our ordering and gave us the queue of when to walk. Estillo played me and my girls down the aisle. When I walked down the strair and faced the aisle and saw Luca I just had the biggest smile on my face, It was and always will be the best moment of my life. We had an aunty from either side do our reading for us, they were both special in their own way. After the ceremony Luca and I were whisked away in our vintage rolls Royce that waited for us outside, it was the perfect opportunity to take in what just happened and that we actually just GOT MARRIED. This was probably my favourite moment of the day.


We decided on a string quartet for the arrival of our guest, ceremony & reception drinks which went down a storm, Estilo absolutely nailed it and were so friendly. They played me down the aisle to Christina Perri’s – A Thousands Years and I had to fight back the tears, they played it beautifully. For our evening entertainment we hired Party Up! through function central. They played everything from Marvin Gay, to Craig David! We love our garage so when we read up about them and saw they do a garage medal, we were sold! Everyone mentioned how amazing they were! Our first dance was so special; my cousin Jordan sang our favourite song which made it so personal. After all the formal dances had finished Luca and I called everyone up to join us in the Candy Dance, it was a mazing to be able to dance with everyone we love as a untraditional first dance with them all. Even my nan got involved!


Our cake was a beautiful four tiered rough iced cake made up of; Carrot cake (Lucas favourite), Lemon, Black Forest Gateaux and Victoria sponge. Katherine, from The Bluebird Bakehouse, dressed the cake in beautiful sugar icing flowers to match my bouquet and eucalyptus. It was a perfect to with the theme!


Well our photographer, Michelle Cordner, was just out of this world. We had originally booked another photographer but just didn’t click… as soon as we met Michelle and I saw her work I just knew she was the perfect person to shot our wedding and she got what we wanted. She captured it all, the emotions, the laughter, the details! I couldn’t have asked for more from her.


Our videographer was Dan Li, we randomly came across his website, The Captured Picture Company, whilst looking for suppliers on google. We weren’t always set on having a videographer but my god am I glad we booked him now, thanks to Luca’s mum who gifted this as a wedding present to us. He captured some absolutely wonderful moments, ones that I can now treasure always, the best thing is I get to replay the video and relive the day all over again. His style was very discreet, so caught some great spontaneous and natural moments.
Lorna Shaw

Written by Lorna Shaw

Dress Designer: Mori Lee | Bridal Boutique: Bellissima Bridal | Bridal Shoes: Benjamin Adams | Grooms Suit: Ted Baker | Bridesmaids: Davids Bridal | Venue: Cooling Castle Barn | Florist: The Flower Mill | Decor/Styling: Sashes and Centrepieces | Cake : The Bluebirds Bake House | String Quartet: Estilo | Band: Party Up! | Stationery: Kelly De Andreis | Transport: Odds Cars | Toastmaster: Toast Masters Kent | Videographer: The Captured Picture Company | Second Shooter: Sabrina Stockwell Photography

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