So many personal touches and family tradition’s at this beautiful classic wedding in Suffolk where do I begin!
Let’s start with that sweetie house, which was lovingly made by Matt’s sister Mimi as a surprise. It’s an impressive replica of their reception venue Woolverstone Hall where bride Lizzy went to school, and I would have loved to tuck in. Mmm yum!
This is not where the traditions end though, oh no! The church they were married in, is the family church with the same priest who christened and confirmed Lizzy and also married her parents! There’s a funny story there but I’ll let Lizzy tell you that bit; tee hee!
The impressive vintage car you see, well that had belonged to Matt’s Grandfather! I could go on, there are literally so many more borrowed items, talented family members and helpful friends, this is truly a wonderful wedding bursting with sentiment.
The Bride’s Fashion & Accessories
Lizzy The Bride: I was convinced that I wanted a lace wedding dress, but after trying a few I decided that none of them suited me as much as I wanted them to. Keeping an open mind, I tried lots of different dresses and I very quickly learnt I was favouring the more simple styles. I ended up choosing a San Patrick dress as I loved the beading detail, low back and train with the simplicity of the ivory silk. I bought the dress and had my fittings at Daisy’s Bridal Boutique in Raynes Park, and can’t recommend it enough – the owner, Sam is lovely and the seamstress, Shamali is amazing – my dress fitted me perfectly, and I absolutely loved wearing it.
For jewellery I wore some ivory and gold earrings from Accessorize and my necklace was a beautiful pearl drop necklace that Matt had given me as a wedding present. For the ceremony I also wore a plain ivory full length veil.
It was unseasonably cold for August which meant I was also able to wear my Granny’s vintage white fur stole when I was getting a little chilly later in the day.
The bridesmaids wore full length dresses from Two Birds in Covent Garden in ‘blush’, having fallen in love with them after trying them on.
We hired tails for Matt and his ushers and chose navy instead of black as it seemed a better colour for a Summer wedding. I gave Matt a watch for his wedding present which he also wore on the day.
I was raised a catholic and the wedding took place in the family church with the same priest who christened and confirmed me and also married my parents.
Until I arrived at the church I had been extremely calm, but as my father walked me down the aisle I was incredibly nervous and rather overwhelmed with emotion – I cried before I had even reached the altar!
The ceremony ended up being quite an amusing affair; despite knowing me all my life, the priest started off calling me my mother’s name, then he was calling Matt ‘Phillip’ (his surname is Phillips) and was also mispronouncing my surname. We both had to try very hard not to get the giggles, which distracted me from my nerves and helped me to relax.
Three of my cousins sang during the signing of the register and the organ was played by my childhood piano teacher – it was so nice to have friends and family all contributing towards making our day so special.
There was only ever one venue we wanted for our reception, and that was Woolverstone Hall which is my old school. Not only is it a gorgeous mansion house with stunning grounds and views over the river, it also holds so many happy memories for me and I feel very at home there. Because it is a school and not a full time wedding venue, we had to source the caterers, drinks and decorations ourselves but we saw that as an added advantage as it allowed us to make the day exactly what we wanted it to be.
We had a loose theme of grey and peach/pinks. The tables were decorated with grey and white chevron table runners bought off Etsy, peach napkins and a large candelabra. All our wedding stationery was DIY – we hand wrote the seating cards on luggage tags which were accompanied with instructions for our sparkler send-off at the end of the evening; our table numbers were home- printed; we designed the menu ourselves and displayed them in spray-painted silver frames. I also created the table plan myself as well as the bar menu blackboard.
We had a professional florist Helen Newman create my bouquet, the buttonholes and the pedestals for the church. The rest of the flowers – for the venue and the bridesmaid’s bouquets – were all bought from Covent Garden Flower market and assembled by myself and my lovely bridesmaids the day before the wedding. I really recommend this approach, as not only can you save a lot of money, it was actually really great fun creating the jam jars/vases and decorating the venue with them.
Our food was created and served by The Main Ingredient catering. We had a delicious array of canapés with the drinks reception upon arrival, followed by a sit-down meal with slow cooked lamb for main course followed by white chocolate pannacotta. Later in the evening we also had a delicious hog roast to keep people fuelled for the dancing.
Another bonus to our venue was that there was no corkage charge. Matt’s parents kindly went on a booze cruise to Calais on our behalf to buy the wine and bubbly and we also had 3 large glass drinks dispensers full of Pimms, Gin & Tonic and Vodka & Apple for the evening, as well as a large keg of beer – which all went down very well!
Matt’s Mum kindly made the cake for us. Two of the layers were vanilla sponge with blueberries and raspberries – which meant the inside of the cake was a burst of colour against the white icing – and the third layer was orange and almond cake.
There is a tradition amongst Matt’s family to make a sweetie house for celebrations and parties. As a surprise present to us, Matt’s sister Mimi had created a rather impressive sweetie house replica of our reception venue – it looked incredible! It was a centre piece in the entrance hall, and as people walked past it throughout the day they would help themselves to a treat – and by the end of the day it had more or less been demolished!
Matt’s cousins and one of their girlfriends are all very talented musicians/ singers and put together a 5 piece band, keeping the guests dancing all night with their live sets and playlists. Again, it was so lovely to have family members contributing towards making our day so unforgettable.