Maddie The Bride:
When planning our wedding, we wanted it to reflect us as a couple – rather than a formal affair it was really important to us that it felt relaxed and fun. Instead of filling the space with certain décor and features, we wanted it to be all about the love and laughter shared by all our guests. That’s why it was such a testament that, when catching up with everyone after the big day, so many people commented on how - no matter where you looked - people were smiling. That’s what we wanted and the photos from the amazing Hollie Carlin
show just how much fun it was.
That’s why we chose Northbrook Park
. It was the first venue we looked at and instantly captured what we wanted – light, simple and modern but with a classic twist. The orangery was beautifully natural and we loved how it brought outside and inside together. The Vine Room was ideal for our ceremony – bringing just the right level of formality to reflect the importance of the marriage itself. Plus the free-roaming peacocks gave the whole place a unique touch - they ended up featuring heavily in some of our favourite photos!
For our wedding pictures, we wanted very simple, natural photography. We wanted reportage shots documenting the day like a fly on the wall with very few formal set ups. As we searched, Hollie Carlin
was recommended to us by Patrick’s colleague and when we met her we instantly knew she shared our vision. We were overwhelmed by the final pictures. She had captured everything we wanted and more – loads of laughter and everyone having fun.
I always wanted a fishtail dress and fell in love with the Atelier Pronovias
gown I tried on at The Wedding Dress Shop
in Wimbledon. As with many other parts of our wedding, I wanted the dress to be unusual – not a traditional style - but elegant – which is why the illusion lace detail and enormous train on the Pronovias gown caught my eye. Katie at the Wedding Dress Shop was amazing. I had about 5 fittings and each time she tweaked my dress so that the train was manageable and the illusion lace covered me enough to feel confident walking down the aisle. I kept accessories to a minimum to fit the simple style and keep the attention on the dress: platinum Jimmy Choos
, pearl studs and a simple silver bangle. I agonised over whether to wear a veil as I my favourite part of my dress was the back with its millions of tiny buttons. My incredibly talented mother ended up hand-making me a cathedral length veil so that I could decide on the day whether to wear it or not without having to think about the cost if I didn’t. In the end I chose to wear it, it added such drama to the outfit and I’m so glad I did. My bridesmaids had to talk me out of taking it off just before I walked down the aisle! The hair and make-up was simple and informal – my maids wore soft, loose side-buns and I wanted mine to look ‘undone’ – so my hair was loosely tied with sprigs of gypsophila.
The flowers were one of my highlights on the day. We chose Gabi from The Fine Flower Company
. She sold me a beautiful vision of the ceremony room where gorgeous blossom trees and fresh flowers would line the aisle and make it look like Spring in full bloom. I knew I wanted eucalyptus, because of its beautiful silver colour so we built the soft blush colour scheme around that for the bouquets, centre pieces and urns at the end of the aisle. When I walked down the aisle the flowers took my breath away. The venue manager said they’d never seen the Vine Room look so beautiful! Gabi did an absolutely fantastic job.
The Wedding Party
I found it harder to choose my bridesmaids’ dresses than my own dress! I wanted dresses for my maids that didn’t look too traditional – just like my own - and it was hard to find something simple without it looking too formal. The blue lace dresses I eventually chose from ASOS
were perfect – they flattered each of my maids, and even accommodated the 7 month bump on my pregnant best friend!
The groom’s suit was tailor made by Cad & The Dandy
. Patrick wanted a mid blue suit with Italian touches so he wore it with long black pointy shoes. As our colour scheme was soft blush and silver, all the groomsmen were kitted out in soft grey ties and button holes with blush roses and eucalyptus to match the bouquets. Patrick is a massive rugby fan, and so as we were getting hitched in the year of the Lions tour, Patrick bought his seven groomsmen brightly striped official Lions socks to wear under their blue lounge suits.
My amazingly talented mother made our cake. She is no baker and had never attempted one before but she loves a challenge and practised solidly for 6 months! I didn’t give her a brief – I wanted her to do what she wanted but I did say I didn’t want anything too traditional. The result was incredible – she took inspiration from Jackson Pollock and created a delicious chocolate orange four-layer cake with a crisp chocolate shell. It was stunning!
We chose Caper & Berry
as our caterers as we were blown away by their cooking and they shared our vision of simple, elegant food. We didn’t want too much formality so we opted to serve our food family-style. We wanted everyone on the tables to get talking so following the starter of red pepper tarte tatin, we served lamb with chimichurri and served with sharing platters of potatoes and rocket. Dessert was a chocolate mocha tart.
We chose Quattro
, a string quartet, to play at the ceremony music and the reception. We agonised over the key song (for when the bridal party comes down the aisle) but then we hit on INXS Never Tear Us Apart. We asked Quattro to play this – it was off their playlist but the moment I heard them start playing on the day I burst into the first tears of the day. It was just beautiful and perfect to start off our wedding.
When we were planning our wedding there was one thing that we said we wouldn’t compromise on – the party! We wanted a big soul/funk band that could play lots modern tunes as well as the classics and Sono Show Band
did not disappoint! They provided a DJ in between sets and Farnham Sound and Light decked out the venue to bring the club vibe to the dancefloor. The dancefloor was packed all night by all ages and generations – the mother of the bride and her sisters put the younger guests to shame with their moves!