There’s something infinity calming about a blue colour scheme at a wedding especially when it’s set amongst a beautiful countryside setting like that of Ross and Nikki’s big day. The pair spent precious hours carefully folding one thousand origami cranes which they later hung in the marquee as part of their wedding decor. Time well spent in my opinion as the finished result looks fantastic!
Looking at Nikki’s beautiful bridal gown you’d never know that she struggled to find her perfect dress. It’s quite clear that the pleated, floaty light creation she chose from Theia was waiting for her all along.
And her bouquet of creamy peonies and roses? Yep I could bury my nose in that all day long.
Nikki The Bride: From when we first started planning we knew that we wanted a really relaxed and informal day and absolutely loved the idea of staying at the venue for the whole weekend with our families. We found Chaucer Barn online and were blown away by it. We viewed it on a very cold bleak winter’s day and thought if it could look that good then, it would be stunning in the summer. It is such a unique venue and has been so lovingly decorated with some really quirky furniture. The gardens are simply stunning too, we knew they would provide some amazing backdrops for our photos. We only looked at one other venue but quite frankly we had already made our minds up, we just went somewhere else to confirm that nothing else would come close!
I don’t normally wear that much makeup so I wanted a really natural look that emphasized my eyes as I have quite long eyelashes. This was achieved by the amazing Emily Turnbull from LoveMoi Make-up. She was incredible, not only was my makeup flawless but she was so lovely on the morning and kept me really relaxed. I knew that I wanted my hair up as it is really thick and I get hot too easily when it is down! Laura Hughes was the lovely lady who created the look; she was so patient and helpful when trialling different styles in the salon and then achieved the lovely elegant look on the day.
I really struggled finding my dress. I’m quite petite so I knew that I wanted something really light and elegant and I couldn’t find anything when I went shopping. Even the smallest dresses in each shop felt huge on me, the fabrics all felt really stiff and heavy and were too white for my skin. I eventually found my dress, by Theia after weeks of trawling the internet. It was a big risk ordering online but I just loved the soft, floaty pleats, the creamy tone and all the detail on the bodice. I had the delicate sleeves added to soften the neckline.
As there was so much detail on the neckline of the dress I decided against a necklace. I did have some stunning pearl earrings from Sarah Hickey to go with the pearls on the bodice of my dress. It took me ages to find a comb for my hair. Everything was covered in crystals and sparkles which really didn’t fit my look. I found a beautiful vintage handmade come on Etsy that had little cream and silver flowers that matched my dress perfectly. The shoes were another challenge as I wanted silver shoes but I couldn’t find any that looked right until I found a pair by No1 Jenny Packham, in Debenhams.
To keep the day really relaxed and informal we decided against bridesmaids, though Ross did have two best men, his two brothers. They are all really close and have a great sense of humour. Their best man speech ended up being a bit of a comedy double act complete with a personalised Fresh Prince of Bel-Air rap! The men all wore unmatching suits to keep the look smart but informal. I made paper flowers for their boutonnieres; Ross’ was made out of pages from his favourite book, Timeline by Michael Crichton.
We never really started out with a theme but in the end we kept describing it as paper and maths. The main feature of our décor was the 1000 origami cranes which Ross and I made and hung in the marquee. I love origami and we thought the meaning behind making 1000, being granted a wish, was really special for our wedding day. Although they took a very long time to make (I have estimated about 70 or 80 hours between us!) we were really pleased with how they looked and the atmosphere they created, we had so many lovely comments about them. We also put lots of origami paper out on the tables with instructions on the placemats for our guests to have a play.
My mum painstakingly handmade 60 beautiful lace hearts for the guests’ favours which also doubled up as a pretty decoration for each chair.
All of our flower decorations were hand made by us out of paper. We made 20 small vases of paper flowers on real twigs for the tables which became gifts for the ladies that came. We made two floor standing vases of larger flowers which were the gifts for our mothers. Finally we had giant paper roses that lined the staircase in the ceremony room. I decided to have a real flower bouquet though of peonies and roses all in whites and cream.
I was really nervous about making my entrance with my dad down the staircase into the ceremony room and luckily we made it down without any problems! As soon as I saw Ross I became really calm and happy. We had some really touching yet amusing readings read by our mums during the ceremony; Ross’ mum had a reading that started with, ‘He’s not perfect… and neither are you’ and my mum had a romantic quote from Einstein!
In the evening we had a DJ in the main room where we had our ceremony, a photo booth in the lounge and then the pizza and bar set up in the gardens. The photo booth was really popular with all of our guests, everyone likes to dress up! Our first dance was to Jason Mraz, I won’t give up, a special song to us and one of the few artists we both like to listen to!
We served crisps and nibbles in individual origami boxes that we made for a small canapé with the reception drinks. We then had an amazing selection of tapas for our starter, followed by a posh version of bangers and mash, then a lovely summer fruits Eton mess. In the evening we had a wood fired pizza company. They cooked outside and it was a real hit with our guests! Both our caterers for the day and evening were superb – genuinely lovely people who dish up some scrummy food too!
My mum’s best friend made our delicious wedding cake including the stunning sugar flower spray of freesias, carnations and eucalyptus leaves. Her work is so delicate and beautiful the flowers ended up looking so real.
We made all our own stationery from the invitations to the menus, the order of the day and the placemats. As I am a maths teacher and Ross is an engineer we decided to give every guest a personalised maths question for the seating plan, the answer was then the position of their seat. The place names were made from scrabble tiles and also formed part of the favours – it took a lot of charity shop searching to get enough tiles. Lots got rearranged on the day to make some rather amusing names!
Lots of people warned me about how quick the day goes (it really does!) and to try and find time to stop and take in the special moments. We did this together quite a few times and these are some of my clearest and most treasured memories of the day. One of our favourites was during the meal, we watched all of our guests having fun struggling to make origami cranes, pigs and many other improvised creations!
We still can’t believe how lucky we were with our photographer. Katherine was recommended to us by our venue and after a few clicks on her website we had made our minds up, we didn’t even meet with any other photographers! Not only are her photos all absolutely beautiful but her attention to detail is faultless. She captured so many precious moments and different emotions throughout the day. She was also such a great support in the lead up to the wedding via a facebook group and was like a wedding planner in helping us get all of the timings right on the day.