You may recognise this morning's bride from Instagram, Rey, aka The Willis Home has such a pretty feed, full of homeware and high street fashion buys, so naturally her wedding was styled to perfection with a rustic luxe theme and lots of decor ideas you'll love. When photography is such a big part of your lives, you want your wedding photographs to be off the chart, and so Rey and Todd opted for Jen Marino to take their pictures. And wow - aren't they gorgeous? I think this wedding is going to go down a treat, so sit back, relax and enjoy!

Our Wedding

Rey The Bride: We got married on the island at Ardington House on the 25th August 2017. It was a beautiful summer’s day and we were extremely thankful as we could have our outdoors ceremony that we always wanted. The theme of our day was a bit of a mish mash, we wanted predominately green colours as we thought this would best compliment the gorgeous surroundings of the Ardington House grounds, and we wanted the feel to be a relaxed garden party / English country wedding. We like both glamour and rustic styles so we thought we would just bring the two together and see how it ended up on the day. We did this by having a lot of gold mixed with rustic features to make them look a bit grander, for example, gold table numbers, large frames, lanterns and lighting, mixed with wooden materials and decorations.

The Bride

I wanted a dress that was both modern but timeless, so I opted for an off the shoulder wedding dress that was made from lace, and was both fashionable but timeless, I want to be able to look back in years to come and still love my dress. The dress was from Mae Bridal, in Witney, and it began as a boob tube dress, the designer was White Rose, an American company, I tried on 13 dresses before Andrea, the owner of Mae Bridal offered me a wild card dress, I hadn’t been trying on boob tubes, I wanted sleeves and had been trying on quite tight fitting dresses, she showed me the lace white rose number and I instantly fell in love with the fit and the lace, it was like there was a thousand roses sewn onto the dress it was such a lovely lace. I then began typically asking for a thousand adjustments such as a lower neckline, the dress to be tighter, bardot sleeves to be added and the sash to be changed to a jewelled belt. I teamed it with a veil that I had edges with the extra scalloped material from my dress adjustments. My shoes were the valentine mimics that Kurt Geiger had made and my scent was Jo Malone. My hair was by Lauren Poar, I had an LA weave fitted a few days before and I just wanted a natural curl with a little bit pinned back for my veil to sit in. My makeup artist was Victoria from the Flawless Face Studio, I opted for a smoky brown eye and a nude lip. Velvet teddy by MAC to be precise.

The Groom

Todd had his suit tailor made by Jake Thompson from Oxford Clements and Church, what he loves about their company is that when you buy an item from their stores they will tailor it as many times as you like. By having this suit tailor made he could wear it again and again and get his money’s worth. We opted for a large window pane checked three piece, it was so hot he only ended up wearing his waist coat. We wanted navy in the suit so that it would be easier to match up the groomsmen, but our main colour being greens and natural colours we also had the green running through the suit. He had “Willis Wedding” and our initials sewn into his jacket, as we love a bit of sentimentality. All the groomsmen wore brown brogues from ASOS, we wanted them to be able to wear them again and again. I bought Todd a pocket watch from The Watch Shop as he has always wanted one, I got this engraved and Todd’s mum made him two charms of both his Grandad’s who had passed away. Gareth Clark, who has cut Todd’s hair for years, did Todd’s hair on the morning.

The Venue

We got married and had our reception at Ardington House, I had been planning our wedding long before Todd proposed, in my mind, and when searching through blogs and online I came across Ardington house, I had to double take, I couldn’t believe such a beautiful venue was 16 minutes away from our house! We loved the idea of the beautiful island in the grounds, surrounded by a lake and an old bridge to get there, I always envisioned myself getting married under that dome surrounded by swans, wildlife and the weeping willows that fall into the lake underneath them. The house itself is so grand and beautiful; it’s a Georgian manor with two gardens, tennis court, pool and 9 big bedrooms. Driving into the venue just felt right, driving through the quirky little village, through the big gates and along the gravelled drive to the house, with stables on your right and a small car park, we were both just so mesmerised. We loved the idea of a marquee reception, something we could really make our own and the venue just fit our wedding plans perfectly.

The Decor

We wanted a natural rustic vibe, so we went for soft pinks, golds and beige tones with a lot of greenery, the bridesmaids wore lace to match my dress and they were in a pink/taupe sort of colour, we wanted a lot of wood at our wedding so we mixed glamour with natural materials so this colour scheme worked well for us. We originally wanted a wedding on a budget and so started making a lot of our decorations ourselves, we had a big wire wheel as our cake table, my step dad’s friend carved and made us all of our table centre pieces which were wooden oiled discs with jugs of pretty flowers in, a tiered cake stand for our brownies and doughnuts and large cake stands from the wood with our initials carved in. We made a polaroid, lit up, pallet which was a timeline of our relationship filled with all of our favourite memories in photos, we had lanterns in the marquee on the ceiling, both lace and plain to add a touch of glamour, they were from the Hanging Lantern Company and was very fairly priced. Todd’s mum made a hanging decoration for the front of the marquee filled with flowers and tea lights, our guest “book” was a big wooden W from The Coach House Woodworks, we wanted something that we could hang in our house and smile at daily with all the lovely names and messages on. We had hay bales and pallets for seating areas in front of the house with baskets and balloons; we wanted to create a picnic feel as we got engaged by a romantic picnic. I made lots of prints for the wedding to cut costs and paired them with gold antique frames.

The Flowers

Our florist was Nicola Roberton from Foxgloves and Roses. I adore eucalyptus, so I wanted it everywhere on the wedding day, our table flowers were eucalyptus, white wax flowers and roses. We wanted it to resemble what we usually opt for at home and something we would always love. Our bridesmaids carried one single large rose; we wanted it to look effective as there dresses were so beautiful they didn’t need large bouquets. My bouquet was a larger version of the table flowers, pinned with a charm of my Nanny made by Todd’s mum, who sadly passed away, so that she would be there in spirit on the wedding day. With the extra lace from my wedding dress this was tied around my bouquet, which just finished them off beautifully. We had a lot of gypsophila dotted around the marquee; it’s such a simple but elegant flower that fills places quite nicely. I bought some faux peonies and also scattered them around. We had eucalyptus and gypsophila on our wedding cake too. The groomsmen had a white rose and some gypsophila as their button holes. Todd’s mum made our flower girl a floral headband which was filled with gypsophila and it really set off our theme just right. Our confetti was from The Confetti Company, we went for a mixture of white, ivory and pale pink rose petals.

The Wedding Party

The bridesmaids dresses were from ASOS by the TFNC range which were £70 each, they are stunning! And great value for money. I wanted the bridesmaid’s dresses to compliment my own dress and so we went for a lacey, keyhole back number. They also got their clutch bags from ASOS which were £12 each and their shoes which were nude mid heel sandals. Our flower girl wore a white and gold lace dress from Monsoon, again to complement each other and to match the colour scheme perfectly. I bought her flower girl basket from Hobby Craft for £2. Our flower boy, because he’s a bit too little to be a ring bearer, wore a navy waistcoat set with brown sandals to match the rest of the groomsmen, this was from Next and I don’t think it cost much more than £30 for his entire outfit. Our groomsmen wore an M&S waistcoat set which was navy, with navy bow ties and brown brogues from ASOS.

The Ceremony

We personalised our ceremony, firstly we liked the American idea of having the bridesmaids and groomsmen walk down the aisle together so we paired them all up, we wanted to really drag this part out haha! They then stood for a second until we all had to be seated at the end of the aisle. We personalised our promises to each other and read them aloud to our family and friends. Our readings were read by my brother and brother in law. My favourite film is Moulin Rouge and for our honeymoon we went to Paris, so our first reading was “Your Song” by Elton John, which was so tricky for my brother to read without signing! The second was a poem by Lemony Snicket. We lit a candle for our grandparents who couldn’t be with us at the end of our ceremony. We had a string quartet playing our favourite music and the song I walked down the aisle too was “Don’t Wanna Miss a Thing” by Aerosmith, this was both sentimental to my family and I but also sounded so gorgeous played by the string quartet.

The Entertainment

Our entertainment throughout the day was garden games on the lawn, giant jenga, bowls etc. We also had a string quartet throughout the day – The Oxford Philharmonic String Quartet; it was so difficult picking our song choices as they have such a large set list! They were so good and played really modern music on their instruments, which helped contribute towards our relaxed garden party theme. In the evening we had Matt, from Visually Sound Events on the DJ and Todd’s uncle’s band C.U.Tuesday Indie who played live music for us for just over an hour – this was so special to us and really got the guests on the dance floor. We had a photo booth to keep the guests giggling and kept us giggling viewing the photos in the guestbook provided by Visually Sound Events, the day after the wedding!

The Food

Again, we wanted a relaxed laid back wedding, so we opted for a Hog Roast! It was delicious! Our food was by Barton Events Catering, rather than a starter we had a lot of canapes, which were mini beef burgers, satay chicken skewers, and bruschetta and cheese tartlets. The hog roast was served to the tables once carved in front of the guests and it was accompanied by summer side dishes such as coleslaw, potatoes, bread, salad etc. The pudding was Eton mess, served in a martini glass – again anything we could contradict glamour with basic-ness, we went for! In the evening we wanted something simple but yummy so we had large rustic pizza’s and wedges. We also had lots of sweet treats for the guests such as a large fudge cake and a lemon drizzle cake. Doughnuts and brownies, lots of jars of sweets for the guests to make themselves a pick and mix and then the most perfect wedding cake made by Bella, at CinderBella Bakes. We went for a semi naked, three tiered Victoria sponge, filled with vanilla buttercream and decorated with meringues, white roses, gypsophila and eucalyptus!

The Photography & Film

The AMAZING Jen Marino, from Jen Marino Photography, luckily my mother in law knows Jen’s mum, so it was a no brainer who our photographer would be, we’ve since become friends and we LOVE Jen’s work. She is so talented and our ideas of weddings match perfectly. We had an engagement shoot with Jen and just knew that she was everything we wanted in a photographer, to capture our special day. Everything was so laid back, and we have some really amazing pictures to last us a lifetime. Videographer – Dan from DSBVideography. We hit the jackpot here, I was so mopey that we didn’t have room in the budget for a videographer but one of my dear friends suggested her brother (Dan) video our wedding for his portfolio, and I nearly snatched her hand off! Dan is so chilled; he really is such a lovely guy and captured everything we wanted and more. He was so happy to work with my ideas and we didn’t even notice him filming around us. He captured everything we wanted from happy guests to precious moments. I think the video will speak for itself.
{Watch The Film}
Rock My Wedding Planning & Inspiration Book: Your Day Your Way
Fern Godfrey

Written by Fern Godfrey

Venue: Ardington House | Bride: White Rose Bridal | Boutique: Mae Bridal | Make Up : Flawless Faces Studio | Groom: Clements & Church | Wooden Letters: The Coach House Woodworks | Flowers: Foxgloves & Roses | Bridesmaids: ASOS | String Quartet: Oxford Philharmonic String Quartet | DJ: Visually Sound | Cake: Cinderbella's Bakes | Film: DSB Videography

Inspirational articles you may also find useful