Autumn weddings always make me smile. Granted they're always going to occupy a special place in my heart for selfish reasons but I don't think anyone can deny that florals at this time of year are sublime! From Café au lait dahlias, hydrangeas, ranunculus' and chocolate cosmos' there's a plethora to choose from...all of which Sam included in her exquisite bouquet made by her florist sister! I particularly love how the colours have been carried through in groom Simon's accessories and in the colour of the bridesmaid dresses too. This beautiful duo married at Gate Street Barn in Bramley under huge chandelier candelabras strewn with foliage garlands and fairy lights galore. It's utterly dreamy. Lucy of Lucy Davenport Photography captured all the action.
Sam The Bride: Six years into our relationship (almost a year after the arrival of our daughter) Simon proposed on a late night stroll at the foot of the Eiffel tower. Seven years, two house moves and the arrival of our son later we were finally able to have the wedding of our dreams.
The DressI was open to trying on a variety of styles and it really helped to show what looked good on my figure and also what shades of white looked complemented my complexion (something I had not even considered). I visited Miss Bush Bridal in Ripley with my mum, mother- in-law and two sisters. The staff were just brilliant, they really made the day feel special. I tried on half a dozen dresses, all of which were stunning but one stood out the most for me. It was Suzanne Neville’s Cherish dress, with its exquisite beading, corseted top and silk chiffon fabric, I was in love. I was so lucky to have my hair and makeup done by friends. My hair was coiffed by Aston Burrows who I’ve known since school. My makeup was expertly applied by my gorgeous friend Amy Lacey who just so happens to be a wedding hair and makeup artist from Be Dazzling. It was lovely having them both with me on the morning and make me feel so relaxed (the prosecco breakfast also helped).
The SuitSimon The Groom: Wearing a suit every day to work made me quite specific about what I wanted to wear. Being more contemporary/sartorial in taste, I did not want traditional “Top hat and tails” but rather something that would be a bit special, a more modern and fitted cut but not too over the top on close inspection. I looked at a number of designers to have something tailor made specifically for the day, but still couldn’t come up with the perfect suit. After looking online and in many shops I decided to visit Vivienne Westwood where I found an amazing jacket/waistcoat in a herringbone grey. Sam has always liked grey on me and so this coupled with the gold chain link across the jacket was just the ticket. I opted for matching trousers (rather than the red/green tartan kilt they had matched it with) and bought some complementary gold cufflinks too. I bought burgundy ties for my groomsmen along with matching white pocket hankies. I coupled this with a pair of burgundy brogues and I was set. The groomsman and ushers all wore blue suits with the same white shirt, hanky and burgundy ties. The contrast worked excellently, allowing me stand out without being too ostentatious.
The VenueSam The Bride: For us Gate Street Barn in Bramley was the perfect venue. It wasn’t overly formal, we could have our ceremony and reception all in one place and there was plenty of outside space for the kids (all 29 of them). Not to mention the rustic charm, beautiful garden and the view of the surrounding fields. The staff there were amazing and on the day made everything run so smoothly. The catering was supplied by Kalm Kitchen Ltd (recommended by Gate Street), we chose them for their quirky styling which fitted in very well with our rustic theme and the food was fabulous. They too helped in the organisation of the day making it feel effortless.
The Bridal PartyBoth of my sisters are fair skinned and bright blonde, I initially wanted them in a dark Bordeaux colour but when they tried it, the colour really washed them out. I found their dresses on ASOS in a colour I least expected to suit them but the warm blush worked really well with their complexion and really complemented the flower choice. Olivia’s flower girl dress, shrug and shoes were all from Monsoon and she wore a flower crown made by my sister. Freddie’s pageboy suit was from Next. He also wore a bowtie in the Hamilton tartan that my mother-in-law had especially made.
The CeremonyOur ceremony was performed by my step-cousin, we managed to keep this secret from all of our family (which I still can’t believe) which made for a lovely surprise for everyone on the day.
The FlowersThe flowers were the easiest part of the wedding planning for us, as my sister created them from her own florist's shop in Twickenham called The Bloomery. We have very similar taste and we were both very excited it was an autumn wedding, because we could use those rich warm colours you get from the Dahlias (some of which were grown in our grandmother's garden, including the magnificent Café au lait), Hydrangea, Ranunculus and chocolate Cosmos mixed with the more delicate blush roses of Early Grey, Quicksand and David Austin’s Juliet. We wanted to use a mixture of copper, brass and china vessels to add to the rustic theme of the wedding, which we had fun sourcing from Antique fairs, car boot sales and charity shops.
PhotographyLucy of Lucy Davenport Photography was very warm and friendly from the offset and her primary objective was to always give us very personal photographs. It never felt overly staged and she has some very creative ways of bringing people together and creating very natural pictures which appealed to us. She was able to be everywhere without ever being noticed and captured the story of our day brilliantly. Lucy’s mix of traditional film and digital photography really appealed to me as I have a love of traditional photography and the images we were able to get because of this were fantastic.
EntertainmentHaving two children of our own and another 27 children attending we knew we were going to need some serious kids' entertainment. We bought some coffee bean sacks for sack racing, hoola hoops and various other lawn games. For after dinner we hired a children’s entertainer ‘Fred in the shed’, which allowed the parents to have a couple of hours off. In the evening they had sparklers, a sweetie table (also enjoyed by the adults) and toasted marshmallows. We had a DJ on hand for the day, manning the music whilst people waited for the ceremony to start, during the signing of the register and on into the night. Chris Haslam of Chess Disco was excellent. His warm persona and excellent music choice (having asked us extensively to provide him lists and themes of how we would like the day to go and what tracks could not be left out) was excellent. We were not planning on having a videographer, but late one evening of the week leading up to the wedding, my mum and sister came round to say they had treated us to Marryoke. The only thing we needed to do was pick a song for the day. We decided on “Shut up and dance with me” by Walk the Moon. It was great, it incorporated a bit of a love theme as well as being something everyone could get involved in as the day went on and the drinks flowed. The mixture of props and groups of people taking part throughout the day made for a great alternative to a traditional wedding video. We hired a photo-booth from GoGo photo. This was positioned just outside of the main room and was a constant attraction for everyone throughout the evening. It was great to get so many spontaneous group pictures.
Bridal Gown: Cherish by Suzanne Neville | Venue: Gate Street Barn | Groom's Suit: Vivienne Westwood | Florist: The Bloomery | Catering: Kalm Kitchen | Children's Entertainer: Fred In The Shed | Make-up: Be Dazzling | Page Boy Suit: Next | Videography: Marryoke | DJ: Chess Disco | Photo Booth: GoGo Photo