Well this is a wedding and a half!! Full of beautiful handcrafted details, outrageously girly flowers, the prettiest Naomi Neoh dress (‘Marianne’ if you’re wondering) and the boys looking handsome in tails…it’s just an absolute extravaganza of pretty!
Bride Rozie clearly put her absolute heart and soul into her wedding and the result is just stunning. She’s chosen suppliers who have understood her vision perfectly and the whole day has come together with a truly magical feel to it. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen a completely hand-sewn table plan before and I’m sure it won’t be the last, as once you’ve seem how effective it is I can guarantee lots of you will want to recreate it!
I’ve included a longer wedding film for you too – as it’s just such fun. I love how White Star Pictures have ‘interviewed’ the couple and it gives you a lovely insight into their characters, and both seem totally lovely and made for each other. Congratulations Rozie and Tom, we’re thrilled to be sharing your wedding today.
Rozie The Bride: I was set on a Naomi Neoh dress from the moment I saw her designs – and was pretty much convinced from day one that I would always go for one of hers. But me being me (little miss indecisive), I felt I had to try on a load of other dresses before I made my final decision. The whole dress shopping experience was something I had always looked forward to, and I wanted to lap up every moment in every boutique I went to.
I always wanted my Mum to be with me when I found my dress. She is my world, and I ask her advice on literally everything. It made complete sense to have her with me at each appointment. We found there was a Naomi Neoh stockist right around the corner from work, and booked an appointment with Jean Jackson Couture in the heart of Manchester’s Northern Quarter. I hit it off with the owners Rebecka and Felicity as soon as I walked in. After trying on every dress in the shop (bar one) I felt pretty despondent that I had not found “the one”. Rebecka convinced me to try the last dress on the rail – “Marianne” and it was just perfect. The delicate French lace bodice and dreamy blush pink silk chiffon skirt gave it such a romantic floaty feel, but still tucked me in in all the right places. It had the most stunning lace ‘v’ back, finished off with a beautiful pink rose which I wore on the back. I never thought I would go for a pink dress, but the colour was so subtle it really complimented my skin tone – I am pretty pasty white! (or an English Rose as my Mum calls me).
I asked Rebekca at Jean Jackson Couture to make my veil for me as she is a very talented dress maker. She sourced some extra French lace from Naomi Neoh and hand sewed delicate Swarovski crystals along the edge which perfectly caught the light as I walked down the aisle.
In my hair I wore a bespoke version of the Ginnie Headdress by Hermione Harbutt. I met Hermione at a wedding show in London a few months before the wedding and fell in love with her incredibly intricate designs. The delicate crystals and tiny pearls really set off the blush pink in my dress and added a tiny bit of sparkle as I walked down the aisle.
My parents treated me to a beautiful pair of pearl and diamond earrings from Mappin & Webb as my ‘something new’, and I paired them with a stunning diamond tennis bracelet that Tom sent over to our hotel on the morning of the wedding.
As Tom is very tall at 6ft 6, it meant I had free reign on my shoes – and I couldn’t help myself but get a pair of gold Jimmy Choos. I always wanted to have a pair of shoes that I could wear again and would remind me of my wedding day – and I don’t regret it one bit!
Our wedding was full of personal touches, and I wanted to include those closest to me in every aspect of our day. I had a small piece of my Mum’s wedding dress sewn to the inside of mine, and within that I sewed a small pouch which held rings belonging to my grandmother, grandfather and auntie. It was so important to have them with me on the day as they were no longer with us in person. My Dad gave me a silver sixpence, and Tom’s mum a gold sovereign to wear in my shoe, a tradition many brides in the family have worn in the past.
Tom had always wanted to keep things traditional when it came to his wedding attire. We found Neal & Palmer in London who were fantastic from start to finish. The manager Paresh knew Tom’s precise measurements just by taking one look at him – apparently the sign of a true tailor! He chose a black herringbone wool morning coat with grey striped trousers and a double breasted buff coloured waistcoat. His crisp white shirt and navy blue polka dot tie came from Thomas Pink, which he teamed with some black brogues from Church’s at Mr Porter.
The men also hired their suits from Neal & Palmer and they all wore plain navy blue ties that we found in Marks and Spencer. We even managed to find a perfect matching suit for our 3 year old nephew Max from Peter Posh in Birmingham – except he wore Spiderman socks which he was very proud of. We gave all the men initialed leather hip flasks from Aspinal of London on the morning of the wedding, and the best men wore engraved collar stiffeners from Links of London.
Oh our beautiful venue – what a find! I always knew I wanted to get married close to where I grew up as a little girl, and we came across The Tithe Barn in Petersfield on our hunt for a barn venue, which suited us perfectly. Set in the heart of the South Downs, the barn sits right in the middle of a beautiful meadow with views stretching beyond the eye can see. The barn itself is stunning. With 6 giant arches gracing the full length of the barn, you could mistake it for a church.
Tithe Barn is a completely empty room – you hire the space on its own, and everything from the chairs to the tablecloths you hire in yourself. This gave us the perfect blank canvas that we could really make our own. Challenge accepted! We weren’t restricted to a preferred supplier list so we were really able to put together a dream team who made our day perfect. The girls at the barn were absolutely fantastic, putting up with my rather ambitious ideas and requests pretty much for 18 months solid (thank you ladies!) With the venue being so far away from where we live, my parents were our eyes and ears throughout the whole process, and we truly couldn’t have done it without them.
We never wanted to have a ‘themed’ wedding as such, but we wanted to create a day that all our family and friends would enjoy and remember for years to come. We didn’t set out to have a particular colour scheme, although over time pale spring shades of blush and dusky pinks, dove greys, creams and, palest greens started to emerge. We wanted to create a really romantic intimate feel, which was no easy feat with such a large space to work with.
First stop for me was candles. Candles candles candles – 295 to be exact! I love candles and when the barn was full of them it was just magical.
We hired four 14ft blossom trees from Palmbrokers which we uplit with some stunning lighting effects that were designed to look as though the sun was shining through them. Matt at Cinnemattag also rigged some large white lanterns and festoon lights at the dancing end of the barn, which made for a great party feel as the night went on.
We made a lot of things ourselves to decorate the venue. We bought a rusty vintage ladder from ebay, sanded it down and painted it white, and decorated it with our initials in white wooden letters, rose petals, foliage tealight candles and bud vases. We placed it next to a white wheelbarrow full of fragrant lavender. Both provided a beautiful focal point as guests entered the barn. We sourced old planks of wood from our local reclamation yard, and made welcome signs for our guests as they arrived to the main entrance. My bridesmaids and I made hundreds of paper hearts to hang across the trees outside – but it was so windy on the day they all bunched together and didn’t look quite so elegant as I had hoped – but still lovely nonetheless.
A Personal Stamp
It was really important for us to put our own personal stamp on the wedding. I have always had a creative streak in me, but never really had the chance to express it. As a child I used to sew a lot and my Grandfather would buy me cross stitch samples which I used to spend hours on end making. As soon as we got engaged I decided I wanted to incorporate my sewing into the wedding somehow so I came up with the slightly outlandish idea of hand sewing the table plan and all the place names (!). With 140 guests, that meant I had 280 names to sew in total. So with about 12 months to go I set to work. I sewed whenever I had a spare moment, usually on the train home from work or when Tom was watching something boring on TV! Even he got involved too – as a surgeon he prides himself on a steady hand and the ability to stitch in a straight line! We tied each name tag to a ribbon around the napkins with a single rose placed delicately behind it. For the table plan we mounted each name on a pink wooden heart, which we hung from ribbon on a white garden trellis decorated with fairy lights and foliage. The finished product was beautiful, and was the perfect little nod to my Grandfather who used to love watching me sew as a little girl. We have since made all the individual hearts into magnets that we are sending out with our thank you cards.
Tom was always set on having letterpressed invitations, but the costs involved for a fairly large wedding were extortionate. I stumbled across Jupiter and Juno online – an American company who were fantastic and so much cheaper than the UK. They had such a big range of designs and colours we were able to find the perfect match for our wedding. We had so many wonderful compliments on the invitations that we went back to them for our menus, charity favour cards and orders of service.
Oh my, I could write an entire blog on this woman alone! You meet lots of talented people when you are planning a wedding, ridiculously talented people who genuinely put every ounce of their being into their work. But then there is Jay Archer. This girl is exceptionally gifted and we owe our entire wedding to her.
We stumbled across her work purely by chance by recommendation from another florist, and thank goodness we did. If you could bottle up her creativity, sparkle and sheer passion for all things flowers – it would be priceless. We worked together solidly for 18 months, and grew such a bond I can now call her a genuine friend. When I saw her on the morning of the wedding we both burst into tears (a lot!) I adore flowers, and I love all things British, so when Jay told me she likes to use English grown flowers in her arrangements, I knew this was going to work. We gave her a brief of “flower-rich, abundant, sunbleached and romantic” and what she created was nothing short of breathtaking. She used SEVEN different types of roses, as well as English scented stocks, lily of the valley, dicentra, white lilac, rosemary, lambs ear, spirea and imported peonies, hydrangea, viburnum, astilbe, ranunculus, astrantia. Oh… and olive, pieris, hyacinths, rosemary, anemones, clematis, tuberose, catkins, brunia, jasmine and weeping pear (and…breathe!).
Our bouquets were just beautiful. All in dreamy spring shades of dusky and blush pinks, dove greys, and pale greens. Mine a larger version of the bridesmaids, each tied with blush pink ribbon trailing to the floor. Our niece Grace wore a flower garland in her hair and the older girls had fresh roses. The buttonholes were made up of ranunculus, lavender, astilbe, olive and pieris, and we had larger corsages made for the mums and my grandma.
Large white hydrangea were tied to the chair ends tied with smokey blue ribbons to match the bridesmaids dresses. At the end of the aisle a stunning 6ft flower runner framed our ceremony table which we later split into separate arrangements which we used elsewhere throughout the day. The table centres were a mix of high arrangements in tall candleabras and low arrangements in white ceramic stands and compote bowls, all teamed with tealight candles and tiny bud vases around the base, giving the tables depth and added elegance. What made Jay so special was her attention to detail. In the smallest of nooks and crannies you would find a crystal vase here or a bud vase there, no corner was left empty. It was flower heaven!
The Wedding Party
My girls wore strapless full length dresses by Jasmine from Bride to Be in Manchester. They looked absolutely beautiful. The smokey blue of their dresses really complemented the blush pink in my dress and we were also able to get a perfectly matching miniature version for my youngest bridesmaid who is nine. All the girls wore nude shoes from Marks and Spencer, and we bought them pearl drop necklaces from Links of London as their thank you gifts.
I have to give special mention to our mum’s outfits – they both stole the show. Tom’s Mum looked beautiful in a navy blue dress and matching hat that she found with a personal shopping service at John Lewis, and my Mum found her dream outfit at Ian Stuart’s brand new Blewcoat store. She was the first mother of the bride to be dressed there, and she even met Ian Stuart himself who was just fabulous. Two very happy and beautiful Mums, and they graced the day beautifully.
I really struggled to decide what style I wanted to go for when it came to my hair and makeup. Gemma Sutton was recommended to me and I hired two of her gold team to come and make us all look beautiful for the day. I wore my hair in a low twisted bun, and kept my makeup to my usual style, just a slightly more glammed up version! Charlotte and Amy were fantastic and I would highly recommend them.
My Dad walked me up the aisle which was a hugely emotional moment for us both. I am only child so this was his big moment as much as it was mine. We both cried as we walked into the venue – we couldn’t help it, I’ll always be his little girl.
Our ceremony was the most special part of the day for us both as it was the moment Tom and I could stand up in front of those closest to us and say our vows. We decided to write some personal vows which signified exactly what we wanted to say to each other. In that moment it felt like we were the only two people there. We were so fortunate to have a family friend conduct our ceremony for us who is a registrar. She made it wonderfully personal, and offered so much more to the ceremony than we could have ever imagined. She also made our ceremony into a beautiful book that she presented to us after the ceremony which we will treasure forever.
Tom and I love live lounge music. We buy each other the Radio 1 Live Lounge CD every Christmas and so when I googled “live lounge style band” up came The Live Lounge Band! We hired them through Tailored Entertainment and they played throughout our ceremony and for the drinks reception on the meadow. Sarah and the band were just amazing we had so many compliments about them people were asking to buy their CD. She sang “Marry Me” by Train as I walked up the aisle and “Best Day of Our Lives” by American Authors as we walked back down. They were just amazing – we can’t recommend them enough.
We always wanted a live band at night. I used to be a band myself (back in the day – ahem) and there is nothing better than live music. We hired Mister Kanish – a band that offer two styles – a vintage Mumford and Sons-esque style, and a traditional wedding band style that had the dance floor full all night. They were fantastic, and catered for everyone young and old. Seeing my 82 and 86 year old aunties dancing the night away was a special highlight.
We hired a vintage photo booth to keep guests entertained between band sets – it was full all night! Vintage photo booth me are an alternative take on the traditional photo booth, but without the inflatable guitars. The photos are all black and white and we pegged them all along the back wall of the barn – they have certainly kept us chuckling watching people get progressively more tipsy throughout the evening!
Food was big on our agenda and we are firm believers that food can make a wedding! We wanted a caterer who knew the venue well as they would effectively be running our day. Vanilla do numerous weddings at Tithe and boy did they do us proud. We had smoked duck to start, followed by beef filet and a chocolate tear drop desert – beyond delicious! All washed down with beautiful wines from our local vineyard in Wickham. We had a lot of dietary requirements to cater for, and no job was too small. The alterations to the menu were dealt with effortlessly and above all discretely.
Sally and her team were faultless and went above and beyond to cater our every need. Sally even came to the rescue with emergency bacon sarnies for Tom and his boys in the morning after a 5 minute job moving the blossom trees turned into a 4 hour trauma (sorry boys, that may have been my fault!).
Our cake was made by the hugely talented Emma at Gifted Heart Cakes. I wanted something really unusual. When I came across Emma’s “hanging cake” we just had to meet her and talk through ideas. We had different flavours in each of the five tiers, and my goodness it tasted incredible. I think it was the most photographed bit of the entire wedding! She managed to incorporate a gold ring that has been placed on every family wedding, christening and anniversary cake through the generations. The detail was spectacular. Cakes are so often wasted at weddings, but most of ours went! We even squished some in our suitcase when we went on honeymoon.
We were conscious not everyone likes cake, and so we had a cheese table upstairs, and we also bought a few bottles of port which went down really well.
We hit the jackpot with our photographer. We found Guy Collier through The Tithe Barn as he had worked there before on many occasions and knew the venue inside out. We were set on finding a documentary style photographer, who tells a story through their photography, and this was Guy. We went to meet him long before the wedding, which we would strongly recommend doing if you can. It is quite a strange feeling having someone you have never met before taking photos of you – let alone all day! We hit it off with Guy immediately, and knew straight away he was going to do us proud. From the beginning of the day to the very end, he was with us every step of the way. He is a hugely talented chap, who captured our day with such effortless style. We have a huge amount to thank him for.
I grew up with Russell from White Star Pictures. He was my neighbour when I was little and our parents still live only a few doors away from eachother. Before I even met Tom, I told Russ I wanted him to film my wedding! Each of his films I have ever seen have been so beautiful and full of emotion, that there was no one else we would have wanted to capture our day on film. He and Andrew worked tirelessly from morning until night, and we were so grateful to them both.
Advice & Special Moments
Oh my goodness there are so many! I think I would say, source source source! If you want something for your day, keep going until you find it – it is out there somewhere. Pick a team that will bring your dreams to life – no dream is too big. When you say your vows, it should feel like there is no one else there but the two of you. When you dance…dance like no one is watching.
And finally…stand back, take a breath in and look around you – all these people are gathered here in the same room, just for you. There is no feeling like it x
Photography by Guy Collier Photography
- Dress Naomi Neoh
- Boutique Jean Jackson Couture
- Headpiece Hermione Harbutt
- Earrings Mappin & Webb
- Shoes Jimmy Choo
- Suits Neal & Palmer
- Venue The Tithe Barn
- Tree Hire Palmbrokers
- Lighting CineMATTaG
- Stationery Jupiter & Juno
- Florist Jay Archer Floral Design
- Bridesmaids Bride to Be
- Hair & Make Up Gemma Sutton
- Entertainment The Live Lounge Band
- Mister Kanish
- Catering Vanilla
- Cake Gifted Heart Cakes
- Videography White Star Pictures
- Cutlery Hire Couvert
- Photo Booth Vintage Booth
- Car Hire Country Style Cars