How insanely gorgeous is the decor in this evening's real wedding? Whenever we feature jam jar flowers and log slice centrepieces they always prove popular, but these ones are particularly lovely! I have a new florist crush on Wildflower, Liz's bouquet is something special too. Anyone thinking about purchasing their dress from the high street should observe how lovely Liz looks in her Phase Eight number. She describes it as simple and non-fussy, which makes it perfect for her and Patrick's relaxed but oh-so pretty wedding day. There's also an Edison Bulb installation that will knock your socks off - you'll want one for your own wedding day. Every detail and special moment has been captured by the lovely Sarah Jane Ethan, whose light and bright style always puts a smile on my face.
The BrideLiz The Bride: I always wanted something relaxed and leant towards the boho bride as I've never really been one for formal up dos or the pristine bridal look. I wouldn't have described myself as being a high maintenance bride! We wanted a relaxed feeling to our wedding and were planning on creating this with beautiful flowers, straw bales and a BBQ. The type of dress that I loved on Pinterest was found on the High Street and my dress was one I found on Pinterest and after an initial disappointment in non-availability became available in my size online. Ordered to my local Phase Eight store and once it was on, I did not want to take it off. I loved the capped sleeves and the way it flowed and aside from the sparkle, was simple and not fussy. I've got naturally curly hair as seen in the pictures and always wanted to make a feature of this. Daniel Benson of Mops Hairdressers did my hair in the way he would every time I go to the hairdressers and I would not have had anyone else as he has been doing my hair for over 7 years now! The curls were topped off with a beautiful flower crown made by Hannah of Wildflower Florist and simple jewellery, pearl earrings I already owned from Oliver Bonas and a single pearl necklace from AllthingsBAB on Etsy. My shoes had a gorgeous sparkle at the back and were high street again, this time from Monsoon's collection. My makeup, along with that of Jen and my Mam, was done by Amy of Rose and Bird who was an SJ recommendation. We had a relaxed trial and she created a really natural look which is exactly what I wanted and was a calming influence on the morning. My perfume was choice was the somewhat inappropriately named "Illicit" by Jimmy Choo.
The GroomTying in again with the more relaxed feeling, we chose to forgo more formal suits and I (Patrick) wore a slim fit Ted Baker suit with waistcoat and a lilac tie. Shoes were also Ted Baker. I confess that I wasn't a fan of the ties but quickly realised upon arrival at the venue that my wife to be was right and it was a perfect fit. This was a good lesson for marriage! Penguin socks, Givenchy True Gentleman and a twinkle in my eye and I was set.
The VenueWe came across Hexham Winter Gardens while researching venues that were a bit different and fell in love with it after seeing SJ's beautiful pictures from previous weddings. After looking round the decision was easily made and it was the only venue we looked at. We just knew it was perfect. It has a grandness but alongside it the simplicity and the beautiful feeling of having the outside really close which is really pertinent when you can see the trees outside when we are in the ceremony and signing the register. It was wonderfully light and airy and there was scope to use the outside lawn area for games and straw bales which all came together perfectly to create a gorgeous ambiance. We still wouldn't change the decision on the venue as it was beautiful. The walled gardens were an excellent addition for photographs and some of my favourite photographs are from in there as it was a stunning backdrop of flowers and colours (I like flowers!)
The DecorI (Liz) have always been partial to purple and had seen lovely lavender bouquets on Pinterest. With purple as a base we used lots of other soft colours round it without it being such that there was a colour scheme. My Mam is in the Embroiderers' Guild and created the bunting herself alongside the Mr and Mrs that was on our sweetheart table. She also put together the details on the jars on the tables and with Patrick's Mum, put together the table flowers. Favours of dried lavender in bags tapped into the colour and flowers and fitted in nicely. We are both tennis fans and Patrick is a tennis coach and this was how we met. We had borrowed some wooden tennis racquets which formed a subtle part of the décor. The colours of flowers with the greenery even tapped into Wimbledon colours. We did the on the day stationery ourselves to include table plans and place names with rosemary from my Mam's garden.
The FlowersWhere to start. Hannah of Wildflower Florist had done a beautiful natural meadow flower bouquet for one of my friends so I was always knew I would go to her. I do not have the words to describe how much the flowers were appreciated. The bouquets for myself and bridesmaid Jen, the buttonholes and corsages, hairbands, register table flowers and my now framed flower crown were perfect. As Reed of Festoon Lighting said "she doesn't know how good she is". I think the photographs of the flowers do the talking. I've run out of superlatives. Hannah also put us in contact with Festoon Lighting who put together the Cognac Chandelier that was filled with Hannah's flowers. This was a fairly late decision about 3 weeks before the wedding when we knew we were well within budget. The Chandelier was a magnificent centrepiece that we can't imagine not having. Reed was so helpful and efficient and we can't recommend Hannah and Reed enough. They are both so professional and friendly and put a lot of care and love into the job they do for you.
The Wedding PartyBridesmaid- this was something left quite late due to the increasing bump which made this side of things a bit more difficult to plan ahead. Different options were tried but the final choice was ASOS with a maternity dress in grey that had a hint of pink in the detail in the top half. Flower girls - looked adorable in Next, the dresses being picked out by their Mum. Again, I did not want something that was overly "bridesmaid" but something relaxed and floaty which they were. Another nod to the high street for the Groomsmen who were in Next. The best man sported a jacket with the ushers in waistcoats to help create the relaxed feel.
The CeremonyThere are loads of ideas online for readings and we used a quote from The Bridge Across Forever by Richard Bach and another by Bob Marley which included two sections from a longer quote fitted together. We wrote our own vows and we would wholeheartedly recommend doing this. It felt like we were the only people in the room and you could have heard a pin drop. They were our vows and meant a lot to us. Patrick's cousin Nia sang Kodaline's The One which went down well as it was personal and her version was delicate.
The EntertainmentHelena Pearson of Harp Events played the harp at the ceremony and during the reception. This was an ideal backdrop and the sound of the harp sounded light and fitting for the venue. A friend's daughter, Evie Lake, then played acoustic guitar on the straw bales before the Wedding Breakfast. Our evening band was 11am Somewhere. People were on the dancefloor from start to finish, the Britpop section was hugely popular with shouts of "again" for Blur's Parklife and "ten more songs" at the end of the night. They did their own spin of Tom Odell's Grow Old with Me for our first dance. People do still comment on the band.
The FoodWe had a range of locally sourced canapés (the coconut prawns were very popular) provided by Epicurus alongside Pimm's and lemonade in another nod to tennis. This was followed by the Wedding Breakfast of a BBQ and salads followed by the highly obvious strawberries and cream for dessert! Our semi naked cake was provided by The Great British Cupcakery who made a lot of people happy with cake! The semi naked cake is perfect if you don't like fruit cake and it certainly catches the eye and again fits the relaxed and natural feel we were looking for. Evening food was a Marks and Spencer cheese cake topped with figs and grapes by Epicurus.
The PhotographyWhere do we start? SJ's photos were the reason we fell in love with Hexham Winter Gardens and they were soft and light. It was so difficult trying to decide which photos to put into frames. I (Liz) felt like an ethereal boho bride and the photos captured that perfectly. SJ was super helpful and extremely friendly. She blended in with the wedding and never felt intrusive but was there to capture moments that you wouldn't think of. She also knows the venue well and where to catch light at the right times to create magical photos. The ones of the flower girls playing are beautiful.
AdviceGet recommendations from suppliers - so many of our suppliers (although that seems too detached for the lovely people who helped make our day so special) knew each other so it created the feeling that you had a team behind you. Look at similar weddings - many will use similar suppliers. Etsy is also a fantastic app with lots of small companies producing lots of wedding accessories eg petal confetti, chalkboards, table name holders and stamps. We would recommend getting family involved in putting pieces together for the wedding, my Mam detailed jars (it's amazing how you can stain scraps of cloths in tea bags!) and grew flowers, Patrick's Dad produced the table name places, the table flowers were put together by the parents, my Stepdad helped with printing table plans and place names. Take time out for each other during the day - we opted for a sweetheart table so had the time over the wedding breakfast to each other.
Bride: Phase Eight | Shoes: Monsoon | Necklace: All Things B&B | Groom: Ted Baker | Bridesmaid: ASOS | Groomsmen: Next | Ties: French Connection | Flower Girls: Next | Florist: WildFlower | Cognac Plank: Festoon Lighting Hire | Make Up: Rose & Bird | Hair: Mops Gallowgate | Catering: Epicuris | Cake: The Great British Cupcakery | Cheese : M&S | Harpist: Helena Pearson | Guitarist: Evie Lake | Band: 11am Somewhere | Car Hire: AVL Leasing