An all white colour scheme for a wedding never fails to look chic and I'm absolutely loving how Olivia and Will have managed to add a little bit of rustic-ness and some vintage details to their big day, while still keeping things elegant. The sperry tent from members of The List, Papakata, is the ideal blank canvas for this too. Olivia wore a family heirloom tiara, which meant that she wanted to keep her gown very minimal and the 'garbo' gown by Johanna Johnson was perfect. Her write up about choosing the dress made me chuckle, so make sure you have a good read of that as well as enjoying the images from John Day. It'll resonate with any of you lovely lot looking for a demure, church friendly dress!
The BrideOlivia The Bride: I had always known I didn’t want a dress with any lace or any “puff”. I also knew I was going to have to wear the Unwin’s family tiara and there is a fine line between looking like you're wearing an heirloom and looking like Jordan when it comes to tiaras so I the dress had to be chic and minimal. I looked at pictures of my grandmothers and my husbands grandmothers dresses and I loved the 1930’s slender and elegant silhouettes that the dresses created then. As soon as I saw a catwalk photograph of my dress I booked a flight to Dublin and bought it as soon as I tried it on. At first I thought I was mad flying somewhere to try on a dress but I had been to all the big boutiques in London, went to the Brides show...everything and nothing was quite right. The hardest thing I found about dress shopping in London was that even though I consistently explained I was having a Catholic wedding women kept forcing dresses with slashed necklines and one with nothing but a piece of lace blossom covering my nipple! Everything went from the sublime to the ridiculous in terms of being too covered up and boring to looking cheap and tarty. The girls in Dublin immediately ‘got it’ I think they were more used to dressing brides for church weddings, particularly Catholic ones. Accessories wise, again, everything evolved around the tiara. I chose simple nude Nicholas Kirkwood sandals and borrowed a pair of my mothers diamond earrings, nothing else was needed!
The GroomMy Husband went to Barrington Ayre in Cirencester and had a bespoke suit made. He wanted something traditional but shunned the cravat and piped waistcoat for a slim silk tie from The Kooples and simple dove grey wool waistcoat. I bought him his wedding brogues as a gift from Church’s shoes, they make the best brogues in the world in my opinion!
The VenueWe were extremely honoured to be allowed to use the Bromesberrow Estate gardens for our wedding. Doctor Greenall, the owner is a very kind and generous man indeed. My husband grew up on his Estate and when we got engaged and asked if we could use a field he insisted we use his garden. The setting was breathtakingly beautiful and meant so much to my husband who had spent all his life there.
The DecorMy husband is a designer and I previously worked in fashion so we generally agreed from the start the colour scheme would be white! We favoured a minimal Scandinavian feel. All bunting, hearts and anything from Etsy was forbidden. Early on my friend Jo Rowlandson from art college who now designs interiors got on board...she was amazing and helped guide Will and I through the pitfalls of decorating large spaces and sticking to a strong theme. She made all the linen tablecloths herself and kindly lent us a lot of her props such as vintage crystal vases and brass candle sticks. Will’s father made these incredible steel spheres which we used as sculptures on the lawn and filled with flowers and hung from the roof of the sperry tent.
The FlowersFlowers were by far the most important thing to me I think. It might have been a mistake but I wanted to have a go at doing them myself! It really was a labour of love...I basically had to teach myself floristry which is more than just arranging flowers. I spent months researching species and what would be available during July, how to cut, store and most crucially work out how to bring the flowers on so they are in perfect bloom for the day, not closed buds or dead! It was a huge stress but it meant I had all my dream flowers in abundance! I adore David Austin roses and peonies mixed with delicate asparagus ferns, I would never have been able to afford species such as these if we’d employed a florist to decorate the marquee and church. The smell of the church and the marquee, the overall look of the tumbling sphere chandeliers and fragrant roses, peonies and lilies in crystal vases everywhere made it worth all the pain! My actual bouquet was mastered by a florist. I wanted the same bouquet my great grandmother had had with a trailing corsage. The olive branches were a nod to my Italian side and the David Austin Roses to the English. Our florist loved the challenge and the fact she’d never made a bouquet like it before!
The Wedding PartyOriginally I had wanted all my Bridesmaids in white, this morphed into white and flesh coloured...with adult Bridesmaids you can’t force them into something that doesn’t suit them at the end of the day. I wanted them to feel comfortable and more importantly look good!
The CeremonyThe ceremony was very personal as our priest knew us his homily wasn’t just one he rolled out at every wedding and that meant the world to us. A soloist sung Ave Maria as I walked down the aisle and it reduced the whole congregation to tears...even the priest! After the speeches the best man sung and played our first dance. He’s a handsome and talented chap so at least most of the female guests were staring at him and not our awful dancing! We hadn’t had a single chance to practise before hand!
The FoodWe decided on an Argentinian Asado as Will and I have both spent time in South America (and we're going back for honeymoon) We used a local lady who was great, I told her a lot of my family were Italian and coming to the UK especially for our wedding so the food element of the day was pretty important! She totally got it. The salads, lamb and homemade Chimicurri were all wonderful. All our wine and champagne had come from a vineyard in the Hyere and matched the food perfectly. The cake was made by Will’s fabulous cousin, Phoebe. The first 3 layers were chocolate Guinness cake which we served with local strawberries and mascarpone and the top layer was a fruit cake which will be stored and saved as a christening cake (when the time comes!)
The PhotographyJohn Day...What a legend! All his photos were exquisite and he made me feel so at ease the entire time I was with him. I never felt like I had to stand and pose which I would have hated!
The VideographyWe have to thank our friend Rob Regan who did such a wonderful job catching some incredible memories. He used a drone to get a bird eye view of the venue which was pretty special!
Bride: Garbo by Johanna Johnson | Boutique: Knightsbridge Boutique | Shoes: Nicholas Kirkwood | Veil: As You Like It Wedding Veils | Bouquet: Rose Hamson | Sperry Tent: Papakata | Catering : Cotswolds Cooks | Bridesmaids: Proenza Schouler | BCBG Maxazria | Joseph | Max & Co. | Flower Girl: Jacadi | Groom & Groomsmen: Barrington Ayre | Stationery: Lizzie Unwin | DJ: Pete Stead | Videography: Robert Regan