Well there isn’t is there?
And that’s why Laura and Ben decided to hold their W-day reception celebrations in their own back garden…..well if it was this pretty you would wouldn’t you.
I’ll be honest, sometimes I fail to feature the “dress hanging” image because there are usually so many more pictures I prefer however, it appears Liam Crawley sure knows what to do with one – it is almost atmospheric, I could feel the “I am going to put that beauty on soon” anticipation of it.
And then there are the blooms – lots and lots of colourful florals everywhere, I am particularly loving the hanging candelabra’s in the marquee and the delicious array of pinks and purples in the Church (which dates all the way back to 1308 I might add…)
Summer’s finally here lovelies.
No Place Like Home
Our home is the most special place in the world to us so to be able to celebrate our marriage there was just wonderful. All we wanted was a relaxed, fun day where everyone that we cared about was there and they were well fed and watered. Ben worked so hard on the garden in the months leading up to the big day so I was thrilled for him that the rain stayed away in the afternoon and we all got to enjoy it.
My shoes were actually my “something old”. They were a pair of shoes I wore when I was a bridesmaid for one of my bridesmaids, Sarah. They were still immaculate and a perfect match for my dress – they even had the bow on to go with the bow around my waist. It was nice to be able to get another wear out of them, especially seeing as they had some lovely memories from Sarah’s wedding associated with them.
The Only Bride
My dress was Lusan Mandongus, style L1913B and I bought it from the wonderful bridal shop in Nantwich, Amy Louise Bridal. It is a beautiful shop and it was such a special experience getting my dress from there. Sheila, Amy and all the team made me feel like I was the only bride in the world! My mum even got her outfit from there from the Ian Stuart mother of the bride range.
I wore a Ronald Joyce veil, again from Amy Louise, and jewellery from the vintage range of Jon Richards at Debenhams.
The Perfect Combination
When I walked through the door of the church I was desperate to see Ben and wished he would just turn around, but he said it took him a few moments to compose himself. When he did and I saw him smile, it was all I could do to stop myself galloping down that aisle!! I loved the morningsuits he and the groomsmen wore, I thought they were the perfect combination of traditional and modern.
Dusky Pink And Pretty
The week after we got engaged I had my nails done and fell in love with the soft dusty pink colour the manicurist used. That was the colour theme then sorted for the entire wedding! A couple of weeks later I was walking past Mango and saw the perfect dress in the window – it was just the colour and material I had imagined. I added a couple of bits to make them more bridesmaid-like, such as a cream sash and pearl accessories.
The colour of the dresses was then used to tie everything else in, from the ribbons on the orders of service and cake, to the table plan and accessories. My mum’s amazing Ian Stuart outfit was even chosen with that colour in mind!
Marilyn And Mary
The two ladies who did my flowers were wonderful! We couldn’t have been happier with what they produced. All I asked for was wild types of flowers in various shades of soft pinks, creams and green loosely tied together with hessian to keep with the wild country garden vibe. I love astromeria and other very natural and unstructured flowers like cowslips.
Marilyn and Mary did a perfect job translating the style I’d explained we were going for. They are based in Market Drayton and have done the flowers at so many our of friends’ weddings that we had every confidence in them.
As for the button holes…Ben is quite traditional so wanted something smart. Marilyn and Mary put together very simple but elegant buttonholes of a single cream rose for him and the men.
I really wanted to keep things natural and look myself, so I used all my usual stuff from Bobbi Brown, Guerlain and so on. The last thing I wanted was to be made up like a drag queen or buy all new stuff that went terribly wrong on the day!
We had the help of two fabulous hairdressers who came to our house on the morning of the wedding and did my, my mum’s and the bridesmaid’s hair. I wanted to wear my hair up so that the detail on the back of my dress could be seen, but also wanted something that was natural and loose to fit with the relaxed style of the day. I bought a beautiful hair piece from Glitzy Secrets which tied in nicely with my and the bridesmaids jewellery.
A Chance Meeting
We found Liam Crawley by chance on the web and went to meet him at his studio to watch some slide shows of his work and get a feel for his style. We obviously made enquiries with numerous photographers, but Liam was the only one who took the time to meet with us and listen to what we wanted. He and his wife Bee were wonderful, even offering tips on planning and useful websites.
We are lucky enough to have a professional cake maker in the family… Lizzie Clubbe from Lizzie’s Lovely Cakes! Her cakes are AMAZING! Hands down the most tasty and beautifully decorated we have ever tried. Between ideas Lizzie gave us and things we’d seen in magazines, the three of us came up with the design – a simple but elegant three tiered cake, with different icing design on each tier.
We had two tiers of fruit (so we could keep some for Christmas!) and one of victoria sponge (because that’s my favourite!). Lizzie is on Facebook – have a look at her page and the genius cakes she makes!
Amanda Cross from Tent and Garden, our marquee provider, was such a huge help with ideas and planning. Amongst many things, she provided us with the huge candelabra which Marilyn and Mary covered with flowers and hung over the top table. She also sourced the fab archway we had leading from the garden to the marquee and all the beautiful furniture on the marquee veranda, which we decorated with accessories from our house.
Rose Heywood from Lightech, the company that provided all of the lighting inside and outside of the marquee, was also superb. She and Amanda worked brilliantly together to get the lighting style absolutely perfect, from the spot lights focussing on each table arrangement and the soft uplighters around the sides of the marquee to the wax flares lighting the way to and from the marquee and the uplighters in the trees. With the help of Amanda and Rose, everything just fell into place to create the relaxed country garden vibe we were hoping for!
Special Moments And Advice
Driving to the church was a chance for me to steal a few precious moments with my dad, I really enjoyed that part. Plus we all really enjoyed the speeches at the reception, they were excellent!
However, the most memorable part of the day for us both was undoubtedly being in church and saying our vows. It was very special (and emotional!) and the part I had been anticipating the most!
The more relaxed you are the more fun you and your guests will have. Remember it is a party, not a magazine shoot, and if something goes wrong or not quite to plan who cares?! No one will even notice! Yes be ultra organised and multiple lists are essential, but don’t try and micro manage – delegation is key! Your family and friends are a great source of help. We certainly wouldn’t have been able to pull all the tiny details together without the help of ours!
Photographer – Liam Crawley
Venue – Home!
Brides Gown – Amy Louise Bridal
Brides Headpiece – Glitzy Secrets
Bridesmaids Dresses – Mango
Marquee – Tent and Garden
What a dress.
And what flowers….love.
Anyone else considering having the big day in your own abode?
Big Home Love