There are less than 100 days until Christmas people. I'm sorry to use the C word this early in the year, but this wedding is giving me ALL THE FESTIVE FEELS. The mist, the florals, the tweed, the CHRISTMAS TREE!!!!! Ahhhhhhh it's just all so magical. Natalia & David chose the amazing Hyde House as their venue, and what a choice...everything looks perfect and I love the fact that the whole wedding party could crash there in the 20 stunning bedrooms. (Shot gun the one with the pink chesterfield). I'm also loving that they served their stunning cake along with the bubbles and canapes before the wedding breakfast. This is such a good idea! Especially for a Winter wedding where a mid afternoon piece of cake is exactly what the doctor ordered. Enjoy lovelies - but be prepared to get excited for Christmas!!!
Our StoryWe met at Secondary school and had been friends for years before getting together in our early twenties. We ended up getting married a week before Christmas on the weekend of our 8 year anniversary.
The Photography & VideographyNatalia The Bride: We chose husband and wife duo Kate and Jon Gray who came recommended by a work friend. They were both so warm, friendly and lovely to be around. I wasn’t the most relaxed bride when it came to having my photo taken (!) but Kate was really accommodating. Kate and Jon hadn’t been to our venue before but were able to suggest lots of lovely spots for photos on the day. We were also delighted that they could provide a ‘digital highlights’ video – it’s just a few minutes long but really captures the essence of the day and was so much more affordable vs hiring a separate videographer.
The BrideI must have tried on around 100 dresses. I knew exactly the type of dress I wanted but really struggled to find it. I tried to keep an open mind by trying on other styles but found this process really disheartening. I love dresses so didn’t expect finding one to be so difficult. In the end I saw the perfect dress on the front of a magazine and tracked it down at Boa in Richmond. The dress was by Lyn Ashworth with a round neck, short sleeves, nipped in at waist with lots of pretty embroidery / embellishment on the top half. I loved all the little buttons down the back and added a jewelled belt I found online from Liberty in Love. The dress originally came in more of an antique champagne but I wanted a more crisp ivory look which luckily the designer was able to provide. I also asked for a lot of the petty coat to be removed during the fittings as I didn’t want it to be difficult to move in. The dress was actually double my original budget but so worth it. The whole team at Boa are fantastic and it was such a relaxing environment. I’ve been to A LOT of bridal stores and this was the best by far. They have an amazing choice of gowns and a very experienced team. I work for Nails Inc head office so my polish colour was a big deal. I went for Kensington High Street – a dark berry shade. For hair and make up I booked Portraits Bridal. Zara was amazing on the day and created soft curls which stayed in all night. I went for quite a natural make up look but with a bold lip – Love Liberty by Charlotte Tilbury is the perfect berry shade.
The GroomDavid wanted something a bit different from what he would normally wear to a wedding which would have been a blue or grey suit. We thought tweed would work especially for Winter but in reality the suits were all quite bulky. The light bulb moment came on a trip to Bicester Village – mid week the place is fab and quiet. I spotted the perfect berry coloured suit on a mannequin which was luckily Dave’s size. The shop assistant was so helpful and even gave us a special wedding discount. Dave had always wanted a pair of Churches and we found a great pair of chocolate brown brogues also at Bicester. I was so pleased as I’d gone so crazy with blowing the budget for my own outfit and now I knew Dave also had something special. Dave teamed his suit with a waistcoat he already owned from River Island and an ASOS tie.
The FlowersWe worked with Rachel from The Rose Shed. We wanted a mix of blooms and foliage. I loved the floral circlet that Rachel made – it was so delicate and made my hair more interesting (I only like wearing it down). I was worried it might only work for a Summer/festival style wedding but was so pleased with the end result. The ceremony room was quite plain, a blank canvas, so we asked The Rose Shed to create a flower arch for the top of the aisle. For the tables I bought littles vases and jars in different heights – we didn’t want the display to be too big so that our guests couldn’t chat across the table.
The VenueWe both fell in love with the Cotswolds. It’s such a ridicously pretty area and not too far from where we live in London. We decided on Hyde House in Stow on the Wold and couldn’t be more pleased with our choice. Hyde House came with a number of different spaces including a barn on site which meant that the day would have an amazing flow regardless of the weather. It was also really private since the whole venue was hired for exclusive use. We chose to have our reception in the house which hadn’t done before but the team were so flexible. The food that the in-house catering team was incredible on the day and exceeded all of our expectations. The staff were so organised, friendly and really took care of us on the day. We loved that there were 20 rooms on site so all of the wedding party could stay the night. On top of everything, we were also very lucky to take advantage of a special package so the value was brilliant. If you are thinking about booking this venue, go ahead and you won’t regret it!
The DécorOne of the best and last things we did when planning our wedding was book Hollie from Daisy Says I Do to decorate the barn. I sourced tissue paper Pom Poms from Etsy and totally underestimated how much time and work it would be to hang them on the day (we could only access the venue that morning). Luckily Hollie was available and was happy to help. Hollie also sourced ribbons for the chairs in the ceremony room. Hollie was a joy to work with – super helpful and responsive. We are so glad we decided on this route. We created the table plan ourselves using an old gold frame bought at a charity shop, string, mini pegs and photos of all of our guests. I took this idea from Pinterest – we thought it was fun and added a personal touch. We both love films and named each table after a movie we love to watch together. We had a head table for just us two which we called ‘When Harry Met Sally’. We created the table names with DVD covers which we put in metallic frames from Tiger. We created little confetti pouches which we put on every chair at the ceremony so that everyone could join in afterwards.
The CakeI found Yolk on the Most Curious Wedding Fair website. I was busy the weekend of the show so checked out their suppliers online. I loved the pretty naked cakes on Laura’s Instagram. We met up at a café in Dalston and got to try a range of flavours which was one of the most fun parts of the planning process. We chose a three tiered semi naked cake with a couple of different flavours – coffee (I’m obsessed) and Victoria sponge with raspberry jam. It was so delicious that we wanted to serve it at a time when our guests could enjoy it the most so we cut the cake during the reception when we were serving Processo and canapes. We’ve been to lots of weddings ourselves and think this is the time when guests are hungriest plus it felt fun and different. Laura really went the extra mile. Living in Hackney at the time, Laura drove all the way to the Cotswolds to deliver our cake on the day. We have an in-joke with our friends which involves combining our names (Davalia) so we decided to feature this on a personalised cake topper from Not On The High Street.
The Wedding PartyI got very lucky with the bridesmaid dresses. I was scrolling through ASOS (which I do far too often) and spotted an embellished maxi dress. It had sleeves which I thought was ideal for a December wedding and was a delicate, dusky shade of mink which was really chic and unique. I didn’t want anything too bold and prefer a muted palette. I ordered a bunch of sizes and luckily everyone has happy. We worked out that we could buy a decent suit for almost the same price as hiring them. We chose dark navy slim fit suits from Next in a textured fabric that I thought felt quite luxe. We teamed these with ties from ASOS – they were exactly the shade I was after and a massive bargain which was a happy bonus.
The StationeryWe chose postcards from the Gustav Klimt museum in Vienna featuring ‘The Kiss’ (one of my favourite paintings) as our save the dates. We had customised invitations from the talented The Invite Guy who I found online – he does very pretty and modern designs - and my sister Maria designed our Welcome Sign, Menus and Thank You cards which we printed via printed.com (really cheap and fast).
The EntertainmentThe band was the first decision we made when planning our wedding. We had seen Junior Guevarra play before and always said we’d book them if we ever got married. Even though this booking took up a significant chunk of our budget, we were so happy with our choice. The band were fantastic – amazing sound, great choice of songs and kept everyone dancing the whole night. We booked the guys via Eight Ray Music who also provided us with a fantastic DJ – Jamie Taylor. We both love a quiz (I am horribly competitive) so we created one for guests to complete during dinner – the questions were about us as a couple.
FavoursWe chose our favours from the Cotswold Chocolate Company which we stumbled upon in Stow on the Wold around the corner from our venue. We liked the idea of supporting a local business plus giving our guests a yummy treat. My gift from Dave on the morning of the wedding was a beautiful dress that he made himself. He taught himself to sew, chose the pattern and fabric and bought a sewing machine – all in secret. I was so shocked! Dave is really creative but definitely excelled himself this time. The dress is stunning and exactly my style. I bought Dave a vintage compass from Etsy that I had engraved.
The CeremonyWe had three readings during the ceremony – I Wanna Grow Old With You (Adam Sandler as we love The Wedding Singer), The Future (Emma Salmon) which I adapted and then my sister Maria wrote a poem especially for the occasion which we’ve just found out is going to be published. I walked down the aisle with my dad to The Book of Love by Peter Gabriel and walked out to You Make My Dreams by Hall & Oates (we love the scene in 500 Days of Summer when this song is played).
AdviceDon’t be scared to make your own rules. We wanted an intimate day so chose not to have any evening guests. Dave chose two best men, one of my best friends Sophie also did a speech, we served the cake in the middle of the day and had a top table for two!
Bride: Lyn Ashworth | Boutique: Boa Richmond | Belt: Liberty In Love | Nails: Nails Inc | Hair & Make Up: Portraits Bridal | Groom: Bicester Village | Flowers: The Rose Shed | Venue: Hyde House | Styling: Daisy Says I Do | Cake: Yolk | Bridesmaids: ASOS | Groomsmen: Next | Stationery: The Invite Guy | Entertainment: Eight Ray Music | Favours: The Cotswold Chocolate Company