In true British style, Laura & Chris didn’t let rain put a damper on proceedings – they just gave everyone a jolly yellow brolly and they all got on with it. They held their ceremony outside in the gorgeous grounds at Hatch House, guests sat in deckchairs and then drank whisky cocktails from pineapples. It all sounds rather fabulous doesn’t it?! I’ve not even mentioned the dried flower details, embellished bridesmaids dresses and whimsical daisy flower crowns…
Luckily Siobhan Amy was there to capture all of the magic for Laura & Chris to cherish and for us to share with you today.
Laura The Bride: It was important to me that I felt relaxed on the day, I’m not a ball gown kind of girl and knew I’d want to move around talking to people, dancing and was adamant I wouldn’t need the girls to help me go to the toilet! The dress was actually found by accident. My mum was over-excited and managed to persuade me to look at dresses after a wine filled
lunch. I caved in and felt safe taking her into David’s Bridal as I didn’t think I see anything in there I liked – how wrong I was. I fell in love with the gold lace, the capped sleeves and beautiful detail on the back and it just felt ‘right’ as soon as I put it on.
Chris The Groom: I spent a long time looking at buying a bespoke suit, but, in the end I felt it was more important to put the money elsewhere. Although it would have been great to have the experience of something being made especially for me, and craftsmanship that goes into it, I don’t regret the decision. Mr Start had a suit that fitted me almost perfectly straight off the peg. Very simple in a beautiful Italian wool, fine enough for a summers day. The simplicity allowed the complexity of the girl’s outfits to shine through, whilst I think my suit looked refined and elegant.
The main event, a walled garden, a microcosm for beautiful plants kept in a private world that, for a day, was our very own. We didn’t need any flowers other than the bouquets as the flowers were already there in all their glory, why pick them for a day when they will last the whole season and come back again next year?
Allow the flowers and garden to sing, I love all the colours so we added in ‘pops’ of yellow rather than a colour theme as such. Using umbrellas instead of hiring a marquee allowed the garden to be seen without any obstructions, and as it was on two different levels we treated it like an outdoor cinema and installed some deck chairs for people to relax in whilst they watched the show.
For the reception, in a walled vegetable garden, we made a dried flower sculpture from flowers we had collected ourselves from various locations including our own garden. Again, we didn’t want to compete with the living flowers but we love the muted tones and browns of dried flowers. When hung together on mass they really made an impact.
As we’ve said before we tried to let the venues speak for themselves in terms of decorations, but added a bit of fun at the ceremony with striped deckchairs, an aisle made of bright yellow brollies and canary yellow pom poms floating along the avenue of trees between the two venues. The sit down meal was served inside a beautiful Victorian glass house looking out onto a lush kitchen garden so again we didn’t try and compete with what we had in front of us. The food was served on one long convivial table, decorated with a mish mash of flowers cut form the kitchen garden. Chris’ mum had grown individual pots of rosemary for each guest as a place holder and for the favour Laura’s Auntie Anne knitted gorgeous flower pots, which we then hid inside kinder eggs as an unexpected surprise for guests. Overhead hung our handmade sculpture of dried flowers.
We went for a local florist who only used blooms that were in season. Given all the flowers at both the ceremony and reception venue we went for simply relaxed bouquets, button holes and flower crowns. We had included seeds in our hand designed wedding invitations and so went with some of the flowers that had been sent to guests. The bouquets were mainly whites, with a little bit of purple form echinops, a pop of yellow from daisy’s and lots of green. The flowers were absolutely beautiful stood on their own rather than being lost in the gardens.
The Wedding Party
I’m not a fan of traditional bridesmaid’s dresses and they aren’t the kind of thing my bridesmaids would go for usually so why make them something that isn’t them. We had the slight complication of one bridesmaid becoming pregnant but luckily before we’d chosen the dresses so were able to find a dress that would look gorgeous on her when she was 7 months pregnant. Luckily we found the same beautiful embroidered floral mesh material in H&M in a style that would fit a bump and the same material on ASOS which suited the girls without bumps.
Our wedding was personal form start to finish and so we felt it only right to write our own vows, adapting the ceremony as much as we could. This made it more emotional so increased the tears but it’s lovely to look back on. During the ceremony Chris surprised me by producing a bespoke sapphire encrusted wedding ring when I thought I was getting married with the ring we’d chosen together as an engagement ring. Apparently I made a huge gasp and my face was a picture – I am very spoilt!
Following the ceremony we went for a celebratory drinks reception, with whiskey cocktails served in pineapples and Sri Lankan street food all made by our own fair hands and inspired by an amazing trip that we went on together the week after Chris proposed. In celebration of our Irish heritage and to force guests up from the table after dinner we asked one of our guests, who happens to be an ex-World Champion Irish dancer to organise a ceilidh, this ended up happening in dark, was complete chaos and brilliant fun! Another guest is a great DJ so we asked him to put on a lively set of funk and soul to keep guests dancing after the ceilidh, we only wish the venue had a later licence so this part of
the evening could have gone on longer.
Canapes: We served Sri Lankan street food in paper bags with chilli sauce including Kottu Roti, Fish Buns and Spiced doughnuts.
Main meal: A three course meal which was fresh, seasonal and sourced from the Kitchen Garden where possible.
Cakes – Chris’ mum made a lovely 3 tiered fruit cake decorated with crystallised edible petals and we served this up after the ceilidh alongside a tiered cheese cake form Neal’s Yard.
I hate having my photo taken and it’s a running joke amongst friends how un-photogenic I am so I was looking for a photographer who wasn’t in my face and made me feel relaxed. I found Siobhan on Rock My Wedding and from our first conversation where she described herself as a ‘ninja photographer’ I knew she was going to be perfect! Siobhan was absolutely that, super organised and easy to work with and the images she produced are just gorgeous. A lovely mix of intimate moments and capturing the whole atmosphere of the day.
Our whole day was full of DIY touches as it was important to us that everyone that wanted to be involved felt they had contributed. One of my favourite DIY aspects was the order of service which Chris designed, it included a hand drawn map of the two venues and a seating plan that was inspired by planting plans. On the last page we said a small thank you to each and every guest and I loved that we kept it intimate enough to be able to that.
The more you do the more personal it feels. Giving everyone jobs brings people together.