This beautiful and traditional spring wedding at Braxted Park is just pure eye candy. Soft pink floral arrangements including peonies, ranunculus and David Austin roses make for the most dreamy centrepieces and bouquets and the ‘boudoir’ pink Ghost bridesmaid gowns are just pure heaven.
I also can’t stop ogling our Brides gorgeous Pronovias fishtail gown, the ruffles just scream fairytale princess which our Bride Lucy is every bit the leading lady, and of course every princess needs a pair of glass slippers don’t they or should I say epic sparkly Jimmy Choo‘s!
Everything is SO sophisticated and SO romantic and none more than the tender moment cleverly captured by Studio Rochford of the Groom snuggling into his Bride during the speeches that will literally make your heart skip a beat it’s so adorable. Enjoy every detail of this glorious wedding and prepare to swoon. ALOT!
Lucy The Bride: From the moment I got engaged I knew that the style of wedding dress I wanted was a big fishtail gown, but that didn’t stop me from trying every other style from princess gowns to slinky separates just to be sure! My wedding dress, ‘Olate’ from Pronovias in Bond Street, was actually the first wedding dress I ever tried on and I just kept comparing every other dress I tried on to it and it didn’t match up. I called the store around Christmas to make an appointment to try it on again and found that there was a 10% off sale on the 2014 collection which was ending that day – I ran out of work at lunchtime, tried it on again and went for it – every little saving helps! Choosing a veil was much more difficult than choosing a dress; at first I thought I was a ‘no veil’ bride, but the closer and closer the day got I kept thinking of how a veil is the embodiment of being ‘bridal’, especially given that I wasn’t having a traditional princess gown but a more fashion-focused dress. I knew I wanted something long and dramatic, as I thought if I was going to do it, I’d go the whole way with it!! Finding something long which didn’t drown my small frame or weigh down on my hair too much as I was wearing it down however was so much more difficult, but eventually after ordering about 10 veils online and trying the same number in different stores, one of the veils I had ordered online came up trumps – it was delicate and long, so dramatic, but it was very sheer so would show all the detailing of my dress and was incredibly light.
I chose very high and sparkly champagne Jimmy Choo’s for the wedding day with a matching Jimmy Choo bag, both of which I am ashamed to admit I used a few times before the wedding day! It did mean I wasn’t too precious about them on the wedding day and didn’t mind trekking through grass to get some good photos though!
The Grooms Attire
Given that our venue was quite traditional, Anthony and I thought his and his Usher’s attire should reflect that. As such, we knew he would go for tails and it was just a matter of choosing a colour and fit to suit him and the rest of the boys. Anthony tried a few hire shops (as it seemed a bit mad to buy tails for all the boys) and went with the shop which provided the best service, Anthony’s (!) Formal Wear. He chose a lovely navy tails which complemented the pinks in our colour scheme very well and brought out his blue eyes. I bought his brown shoes which had blue laces for him as a present from Ted Baker. His cufflinks were from Tiffany & Co. (one of his wedding day presents from me) and the Usher’s were given Paul Smith cufflinks as their thank you presents from us both.
When we visited Braxted Park for an open day, we were blown away. We both had butterflies as we drove up the long winding tree lined driveway, and felt the venue had real ‘wow’ factor on arrival. We loved that there was a Church within the grounds, which meant I could have the Church wedding I had always wanted without a big gap in the wedding day transporting people from a church to a reception venue. There is also an option to hold wedding receptions in the main house, which we just fell in love with the idea of, as the house is so beautiful and has a stunning green and gold ballroom where the wedding breakfast can be held. The team on the open day were so professional and experienced we felt we could rely on them implicitly so we booked the wedding there and then on the open day. On the day having such big grounds and rooms meant the wedding day felt like it was taking place in three different venues as we went from the Church to Ballroom to Pavilion. I was also lucky enough to get ready in a gorgeous suite in the house which meant that whilst I was getting ready I could look out from the front of the house at the grounds and see suppliers coming and going in their vans. And the boys got ready in a cottage within the grounds (far enough away from me not to cause any concerns).
The colour theme was a mixture of pinks, varying from soft pink to a darker pink. As the venue was so beautiful we didn’t feel that we needed much more to add to the decor apart from flowers.
We were incredibly lucky with our stationery; I entered a competition on Facebook to win a framed table plan and 10% discount on stationery and won! This was incredible given how expensive quality stationery is. We chose hammered ivory card invitations in a cheque book style with pink ribbons to match our colour scheme with menus and table numbers to match. Our table plan was ivory with pink ribbons; and a ivory carved frame.
I wanted romantic fluffy beautiful flowers to fill our venue! For the bouquets we had an abundance of roses and peonies broken up with astible and sweetpeas. We chose pink peonies, David Austin roses (Miranda and Kate), Sweet Avalanche Roses, Splash Sensation Spray Roses, Ranunculus, pale pink Sweetpeas, Pale pink Astilbe.
We chose large tall centerpieces for the tables, in tall silver conical vases. We wanted the arrangements to be full and blousey, and they included Hydrangeas, Roses (spray, garden), Peonies and Astilbe along with hanging Amaranths in green. We were thrilled with the final look on the day and all of our guests said how beautifully the pinks of the arrangements looked against the green of the Ballroom where we held our wedding breakfast.
The Wedding Party Fashion
I chose long Ghost gowns for the girls in a pale blush pink; I wanted them to feel fantastic and glamorous. I said the girls could wear whatever shoes they found most comfortable on the day because the gowns were full length anyway. I got them both Alex Monroe forget me knot bracelets to wear on the wedding day and as their present for helping us. Finding a little flower girl outfit was the most fun! I love little girls cute dresses and it took me a while to choose, but in the end I decided to get Abigail a fluffy little dress to match the bottom half of my skirt and our floral scheme so I chose an ivory Monsoon dress with roses all over it and some light pink accessories for her hair.
The Groomsmen wore navy tails to match Anthony and had light blush pink ties to match the colour of the bridesmaids gowns.
The moment when I walked down the aisle and saw Anthony was amazing. I am a cryaholic, and can cry at a soppy film within moments, but in the eight years that Anthony and I have been together I have only seen him cry a handful of times. To see him sobbing when I walked down the aisle was so touching, and made the moment feel so real and special.
Our church wasn’t in our parish so we attended monthly in the run up to the wedding; it was great to build that connection with the church and reminded us every month of the big day that was approaching.
Our readings were given by two of our friends. My friend read the song of Solomon from the bible, and Anthony’s friend read the bridge across forever and personalized it to us which we heard for the first time on our wedding day which was truly touching. Both of them did an amazing job, we were so impressed.
A really special moment for me in the morning was opening a letter from Anthony with one of his wedding presents to me (a beautiful diamond necklace he had custom made by our jeweller who made our wedding rings; he asked that the ring reflect my wedding set, and what was designed was a solitaire (like my engagement ring) enclosed by a halo band (like my diamond band wedding ring)). For Anthony’s presents, I made him a “Groom survival kit” which had little personalized tags on them and consisted of cufflinks (“to help keep it together”), tissues (“to wipe your tears when I walk down the aisle”), mints (“to ensure a fresh kiss”), a half bottle of bollinger (“to steady your nerves”), socks (“to keep the cold feet away”), together with a book on “don’ts for husbands”!
For the ceremony we booked a string quartet to play our processional and recessional and the signing of the register, and the string quartet also played for our drinks reception back at the main house before the wedding breakfast. During the drinks reception we also had a magician, Oliver, walking around and entertaining the guests while the formal family photos were taken. For the evening in addition to having the magician, Oliver, we booked a band in addition to the Braxted park house DJ; finding a band was so difficult! We listened to tons of bands online, and then went to listen to them in person so it was time consuming. We heard Mansfield Avenue at a party in Surrey and just loved the amount of genres they could cover so well; the dance floor was packed all of the wedding night due to them!
Attending cake tastings were one of the best parts of wedding planning!! We loved the idea of a traditional wedding cake, and I wanted sugar icing flowers to decorate it and themed with our wedding flowers. Cynthia instantly understood the type of style I wanted, and created the most beautiful sugar icing peonies and roses with petals to cascade down the cake. The tiers were filled with red velvet, vanilla and lemon. I was so greedy I asked for the top tier to be retained, not to be frozen as tradition dictates, but so I could eat it to myself while packing for honeymoon!
Our caterer, Milsoms Catering, was excellent. Tasting is a wonderful experience at the Talbooth Restaurant, where the meal is served properly as it would be on the wedding day (but rather than just having one main, starter and desert, we obviously had multiples!).
Trio of Duck with Plum Sauce, smoked, rillettes and roll, pickled cucumber Cumin roasted butternut squash spring roll, tabbouleh, mint yoghurt and pomegranate (v)
Rack of English lamb with Dijon and herb crumb, roasted cherry vine tomatoes fondant potato, spinach and tarragon jus Baked gnocchi layered with courgette and mushroom, tomato sauce and cheese glaze, served with endive, tomato, pine nut radish and red onion salad (v)
Salted caramel chocolate brownie served with caramel ice-cream, Hazelnut Brittle Strawberry pavlova with Passion fruit and raspberry sauce.
We served canapés during the drink reception including:
Parma ham, melon and soft goats cheese, Roast beef and Yorkshire pudding, creamed horseradish, Fish and Chips in paper cones, and spinach and onion pakora (v)
In the evening we served a buffet selection of:
Wraps, A charcuterie board Finger food consisting of chicken satay with dipping sauce, Schezuan peppered squid tempura with coriander and lime salsa, Mini pizza (v), Cranberry and brie wonton (v), Chicken samosa and Vegetable spring roll (v).
I ordered heart shaped cookies covered in ivory icing and personalized for each guest. These doubled up as favours and as placecards so I thought it was a great idea. I didn’t quite think the same thing when two days before the wedding when they were due to arrive, they didn’t because the mailing company had made a mess up and they had ended up in an alternative delivery stream and no one could locate them!! However after frustrated tear filled phone calls, we had our cookies delivered the day before the wedding and they were laid out at the last minute the night before (phew!).
We met lots of photographers whose work we loved, but it really came down to personality for us. Jo was so warm and professional, which was so important so we felt at ease during the day. In the morning we had 2 photographers, Jo with me and the girls in the main house and Denise with the boys in the garden cottage in the grounds. I really wanted to make sure that both of our mornings getting ready were documented, and that we could get extra shots in the church from two angles as it is the most important part of the wedding day after all!
After the ceremony, Jo was seen clambering out of windows, lying on the ground and trekking through grassy fields; all in the name of getting us the perfect pictures! She really was relentless and captured moments we didn’t even see or couldn’t fully appreciate at the time. When it came to the unveiling of our photos I couldn’t wait to Jo shared a sneak peak with us quite soon after the wedding which was lovely. We spent over three hours with her when all of them had been edited, watching them all on a big projector and then selecting our favourites to make the album.
Some people choose not to have a videographer, but for us it was really essential. I knew the day would fly by and wanted to document as much of it as was possible!
We loved Toby’s work and like Jo, really warmed to his personality. It was so important to us to have people around us who felt like friends and got us. He was so professional and calm, I barely saw him all day but he captured everything! Toby put together a three minute highlight of our day which we watched on our honeymoon cruise so many times, I ended up using all my internet allowance on the cruise watching it!
Not withstanding the small saving I made on my wedding dress, I would actually advise brides against rushing the decision on their wedding dress and to make sure they try every style they conceivably think they are interested in. I ordered mine with a year to go until the wedding which meant that I had a lot of time to doubt my decision.
Photography by Studio Rochford
- Dress Designer Pronovias – Olate
- Bridal Boutique Pronovias Bond Street
- Bridal Shoes Jimmy Choo
- Veil Rainbow Club – Celeste
- Headpiece Grace and Lace
- Bridesmaid Dresses Ghost
- Bridesmaid Accessories Alex Monroe
- Flower Girl Monsoon
- Grooms Suit Anthony’s Formal Wear
- Grooms Shoes Ted Baker
- Venue Braxted Park
- Caterer Milsom Catering
- Cake Pretty Gorgeous Cake Company
- Florist The Flower Mill
- Stationery Inspired by Lisa
- Transport Nixons
- String Quartet Sole Bay Strings
- Magician Oliver Ward Magic
- Band Mansfield Avenue
- Videographer TSJ Films