When this beauty of a wedding hit our inboxes, there were collective squeals at RMW HQ and I'm pretty certain that you're going to love it too. Firstly, the images come from Jason Mark Harris, so you just know everything will have been captured to perfection and there will be some dusky couple shots to-die-for. Mai is wearing Hermione De Paula, whose bespoke floral creations are captivating - honestly that lady knows how to create a stunning dress. Not only is Mai's day time dress utterly beautiful, but our stylish bride changed into a slinky Reformation number for the evening. And let's just say SLAY is the only appropriate word. Mai looks incredible. I haven't even mentioned the epic peony filled bouquet, square shaped concrete look cake, the incredible woodland setting or caravan photo booth (!) Every aspect of this wedding is fabulously stylish and brilliantly fun. So grab a cup of tea, get comfy and enjoy...
The BrideMai the Bride: The dress was a custom gown from Hermione de Paula. I went to a wedding show and saw this amazing beaded floral embroidered cape and fell in love instantly. As I’m not a huge fan of the traditional wedding dress with a long train and veils, I thought a cape would be perfect. I went in for a consultation at her studio in seven sisters and saw all the bespoke dresses; the intricate hand embroidery and I knew this was it. The custom with Lucy was the best part of the process, they embroidered a song lyric from our first dance onto the bottom of the cape to surprise Tristan with on the day and also have the wedding date in Thai on the sleeve of the dress. The dress itself was like a delicate piece of art. It had an open back and a puddle train with matching wild roses embroidery to the cape and we added some feathers around the bottom as a last minute idea and it worked great in the breezy outdoors. The hairpiece was from Etsy, Be something New, earrings were mismatched from Luna Bea (floral earcuff) and Dior pearl earrings. Shoes were satin pink Miu Miu platforms.
The GroomTristan’s suit was from Hugo Boss, as the wedding was in the woods in early June and the weather could go either way so he choose a brown tweed suit. It fitted him perfectly, which was lucky as it was a last minute purchase. He’s a relaxed guy so this was comfortable and durable material. The buttonholes were handmade dried flowers from Etsy, Florence And Flowers, matching with all his ushers/groomsmen.
The VenueTristan had an idea for wedding the woods, which both being city people it would give us a chance to get away for the weekend with friends and family and spend time in the outdoors where kids and adults can play around. Woodland Weddings in Hertfordshire were the only venue we went to see and luckily they only had one date left in the year so we decided the day after that this was it. It is in a small town, Tring, only 45min on the train from London. It had an open field when you drive up to the land, guest could camp over night and a small, almost secret path into the woods and a wooden gate at the end of the trail that opens into the venue. It was like something out of a fairy tail, small tipis dotted around, a tree house, which Sam, Faye’s (our venue owner) husband built, a wishing pond, hammocks, caravan truck that open into a gin bar, festoon lights hanging from trees. It was simple, relaxed and romantic all rolled into one.
The DécorWe didn’t really have a theme and thought that the setting in the woods was enough. The woodland had so many beautiful features already so there weren’t much we needed to do. Our giant hat tipi added the extra drama we needed and protection in case of rain, it’s England in June, so we were prepared. The area has different sections so people can scatter around; people were sitting on hay bails for the ceremony in front of the tree house and willow arch. There were benches in front of a fire pit, area to play games, chill-out tipis and hammocks. It was our own mini fun fair festival. I was at a flea market and found these old bride and groom Troll dolls (being from the 80’s they brought back nostalgic vibes), at the time newly engaged I brought them as a joke saying to Tristan I wanted them as a cake topper at our wedding, he was horrified. But somehow because of the venue in the woods and we didn't want anything seriously theme-y they seem to fit in and ironically made a feature on the invites and at the tables. Though they did not make it on top of the cake, for hygiene reasons.
The FlowersAs the woods were already so luscious we wanted the flowers to compliment that. We wanted in season flowers, foliage and herbs. Our tables had gin and amber bottles as vases dotted around for a little masculine touch, small meadows type flowers and lots of greens. All the escort cards were mini trolls on wooden slices, which matched the table settings. Joules from Willow and Thyme, made all our ideas happen. I wanted a bright bouquet and she made the most beautiful peonies, roses and ferns bouquet. I didn't want to put it down, though it weighed about 3kg so eventually I had to give my wrist a break!
The Wedding PartyWe let our wedding party choose what they wanted to wear, Tristan’s two brothers wore traditional Austrian lederhosen, I gave my brides gang suggestions of some dresses and they all had a pastel long floaty theme throughout. Dresses from Rewritten, Reformation and ASOS. Flowers in their hair were matching buttonholes with the groom’s party. The talented Gemma Sutton and her team did all our hair and makeup. Who not also work miracles but a great laugh too.
The CeremonyWe both weren’t the romantic or the traditional church type so we asked our friend Sariel to be our celebrant, he did a brilliant job, and we both said our own vows (I printed mine on a hanky) we exchanged rings and everyone got up to sing, Baby I Love Your Way by Peter Frampton, played on acoustic guitars by Tristan’s brother Finn and cousin Ciaran. During dinner the bestman, Nick, made a hilarious speech and my brides gang all got up and did their speeches, it was very touching and one of the best part of the day.
The EntertainmentAfter the ceremony we had reception drinks and games, skittles, hula-hoops, giant Jenga and connect 4’s. We also had a vintage theme photo booth caravan, which was a big hit with guests. We wanted a fun day where children can run around and play, adults and chat and chill and older folks can sit in front of the fire. We also had summer cocktails in glass Kilners with fun names like, Trisgin cooler and Strawberry Mai-gerita. The evening after we cut the cake and did our first dance the weather was great so everyone danced out side instead of in the tipis and lit sparklers as we left for the night.
The FoodWe opted for a sit down dinner as we are both foodies and being from Thailand having a meal with your friends and family is a treasured tradition. Carte Blanche, our caterers were very creative, nothing was ever impossible and even though the site was more suited for BBQ’s and not fine dining, somehow they made it work. We had a bit of an oriental theme throughout out but mainly they were simply food we love to eat. Canapés were, seared scallop, mushroom gyoza, Vietnamese chicken salad etc. all served on spoons and mini cups. Main meal starter was a choice of Crab avocado mouse with sweet corn sorbet or asparagus tart. Main courses were, summer risotto, cod miso with sticky rice or Chinese braised pork belly in black vinegar. Dessert was sticky toffee pudding or Eton mess. Miranda the owner of Carte Blanche was also a foodie so we had great fun creating the menu together. The cake was by Little Bear Cakery based in Homerton, I wanted something in contrast of the woods, as we met in London and lived here for many years we wanted it to represent us, so I gave her the brief of an industrial non-traditional cake. We were please to see the square off set stacked cake, which looked like concrete with corroded edges and 3D printed figurine of us at the top. Some friends thought they were weird but we loved it. The cake was a layer of victoria sponge, blueberry and lavender and Belgian chocolate.
The PhotographyWe really lucked out having Jason Mark Harris as our photographer. His photos were dynamic and really interesting with lots of emotion. At the beginning of the day I was quite nervous getting ready and he was professional but at the same time gave us lots of space to relax. On the day he was like a friend throughout the process. He had some nice suggestions for different backgrounds and poses (but not pose-y) because we are such awkward posers it was not easy I’m sure. He captured many moments that we have missed and was so grateful that he got so many shots of our friends and family all have a wonderful time. The lighting must have been quite tricky as the woods were quite shaded and the tipis too.
AdviceTo sum up the wedding it was a combination of a country fair and Sundays with your family and friends. It was romantic and causal and we had smiles on our faces all day. The weather was perfect, not too hot and was the only day without rain for ages, we were so lucky, though I don't think it would have made much of a difference. We had the whole woods to ourselves and it was so magical. The advice I would give is don’t spend a lot of time thinking about what others might like - at the end of the day the people are there to celebrate you. Spend what you think you will regret not having and the rest is a bonus. Try to calm your nerves, don't stress about the small things and enjoy every part of the day. And don't be put off by the weather, as you never know, you might get lucky.
Bride: Hermione De Paula | Evening Dress: Reformation | Ear Cuff: Luna Bea | Florist: Willow & Thyme | Groom: Hugo Boss | Venue: Woodland Weddings | Bridesmaids: Rewritten | Reformation | Hair & Make Up: Gemma Sutton | Catering: Carte Blanche | Cake: Little Bear Cakery | Stationery: Avenue Litho | Photo Booth: Photo Booth Trailer Company