With elegance by the shed load, a very pretty white sailcloth tent and a clean colour palette of greys and greens – this wedding is completely enchanting and beautiful from start to finish. This gorgeous, but shy, couple very nearly didn’t book a photographer, which makes my heart sink – it really doesn’t matter how you feel about having your photograph taken, there’s a photographer out there for you. I promise! Just look how wonderful these images are of Lindsay & Will…Julie Michaelsen’s fine art style captures them and their wedding to perfection. They both look utterly happy, utterly relaxed and completely in love…
Lindsay The Bride: I had always envisaged getting married at home with our local church a stone’s throw away from our garden. But after much discussion and lots of encouragement from my Dad, we decided it might be less stressful to try and emulate a country house garden marquee wedding somewhere nearby. Cue Wickham House…5 minutes up the road and the most perfect venue we could ever have hoped for. With a beautiful church on site, a stunning walled garden for drinks and a perfect garden for a marquee, we were smitten at first sight! And I could still get ready at home with my girls which fit the original dream perfectly! The owners of Wickham House, Philippa and James D’Arcy, worked so hard to make sure the venue was perfect on the day; with a new swing, renovated ha-ha with bridge across to the marquee site, and the flowers in the walled garden were just beautiful. Everyone commented on how amazing the venue was and we honestly couldn’t have been happier. Plus, the sun shone all day. A dream come true.
We met one total disaster wedding planner right at the beginning of the planning process and were worried we might never find someone right to help us plan the big day. But then we met Jeni…fun, energetic and super organised; this was the woman for us! I am also super organised, but her to-do lists (always written on the snazziest stationery) put me to shame! From the get-go, she totally understood what we wanted and despite me being a bit of a control-freak at times, I was more than happy to let Jeni do her thing. The day was totally stress-free, all thanks to Jeni. What an absolute star!
We were both a bit apathetic about photos at the beginning because I think we’re not that photogenic. However, everyone stressed that the photographer should be up there at the top of our list of priorities. So we were recommended Julie by Jeni, as they had worked together before. She was local to us in London and we met for a coffee, loved her and her work, and so the deal was done. We LOVED the photos. Every single one. I literally look through them every day still. And it turns out, with the right photographer, we can look fab!!
I probably tried loads on, but quite quickly figured out the style I wanted. And then I happened to be home for the weekend when my step-mum suggested we try a tiny shop in one of the local villages. They had one dress I had seen and wanted to try but the one I ended up with was a serendipitous meeting in the shop that I thought looked interesting on the hanger…! Pockets, amazing beading on the bodice, a low back, buttons down the back of the amazing train…and then a matching veil which I LOVED. I just wish I could wear it everyday! My shoes were a comfy and cute pair of flats from French Sole (I’m super tall already…!) and I had the BEST make up and hair to top it all off. Katie-Jane styled my hair at a friends wedding and I met Birute as a Bridesmaid a few months before my wedding and she happened to be free for our big day. So I knew they were amazing already. There is nothing these two can’t do; 7 bridesmaids, one mother of the bride and me (and my hair is super difficult) – they didn’t even break a sweat!
With such a beautiful venue and sail-tent marquee, we really didn’t need to do too much. I wanted to go for a traditional, natural feel with lots of foliage and white flowers and nothing too fussy. Jeni had some amazing ideas – like the incredible mirror table plan – and we did some DIY with scrabble letters for table names and various pieces of signage. My step-mum hand cut and dried lavender sprigs from our garden for each place setting, and her Dad designed our beautiful stationery. I tried to teach myself some basic calligraphy to do the place names on little grey envelopes containing Macmillan donations as wedding favours but we left it to the professionals to write the seating plan.
My amazing friend Alice from Forage and Blossom created our flowers. It certainly helps knowing the best in the business…! The bouquets contained mint and marjoram and smelt amazing. The hanging branch over the Top Table in the marquee was totally mind-blowing. Alice came down to the venue with the flowers from her (then) Yorkshire base, was busy all day on the Friday and up at 4am on the Saturday and still partying with us into the wee hours!
The Wedding Party
The gorgeous Groom and Groomsmen got their suits from Moss Bros. Very traditional tails which I loved! I chose to have 7 (!) bridesmaids which made dresses really challenging (definitely the most stressful bit) as they varied from 13 to 29 in age and height and shape too. I also didn’t know what I wanted apart from them all to be happy, but we quickly realised that high street wasn’t going to work due to some of us being too tall. In the end, we got lucky and found these gorgeous Dessy dresses which everyone loved and suited everyone. And the colour was amazing – “lime-ade” – which fit the theme perfectly! We ordered them from a lovely boutique in a tiny hamlet near my Dad’s home to then find out they had stopped making the colour which was devastating. But Sass and Grace persevered and had them sent over from America. Phew!
We had a very traditional church ceremony with some beautiful readings – including one surprise from one of my best friends all the way from New York! We walked back down the aisle to ‘Local Hero’ by Mark Knopfler, which made our guests laugh as that’s the Newcastle United football song. His choice, of course!
We had an acoustic guitarist at our drinks reception – the perfect background music to drinking champagne in the sun. In the evening we had an amazing covers/indie band. We had a few dance lessons in the lead up to our wedding, and I think we totally nailed a Dirty dancing-esque first dance – lift and all (!) – to our favourite Pete Doherty song, ‘For Lovers.’ We also had marshmallows to toast, a sweets table and home-made photo booth, with delicious after-dinner cocktails to keep us all going. The Espresso Martinis went down particularly well!
Spook were recommended to us by the venue and they were outstanding. We wanted fun and original but tasty food and cocktails, as well as some flexibility to provide our own wines and cheeses and for us to make our own cake. And they did just that. The canapés were delicious – to-die-for scallops – and every plate of food brought out was perfect. The service from Spook was truly amazing and everyone loved the cocktails…maybe a little too much in some cases…!
All in all, a totally relaxed, sunny, stress-free weekend and we enjoyed every minute of the planning.