Happy New Year everyone! We hope you had a fabulous festive time with loved ones and are feeling utterly refreshed and ready to throw yourselves back into wedding planning. For those of you who got engaged over the Christmas break, massive congratulations and a warm welcome to RMW. Now we may be biased, but we firmly believe that we feature the most lovely weddings with the most wonderful Brides and we hope that you'll visit these pages every day to help you plan your own wedding day. We've got tonnes of stunning weddings for you this year, along with lots of advice and inspiration posts too. This morning's wedding will have you smiling from ear to ear. Sophie and Ross are teenage sweethearts with two adorable little girls. They held their rustic glam wedding at Sophie's parents farm (which you can hire for your own big day) and Sophie looked seriously beautiful in a frothy ruffled tulle gown, accessorised with an old favourite Topshop necklace and a pair of pimped-up leather ankle boots. She's totally our kind of Bride and I just know you'll love her too. Images come from the wonderful Claire Penn, who always gets it right and I promise you that if you book her for your own wedding day, you'll end up with not only the most incredible set of images, but a friend for life too...
The BrideSophie The Bride: My little sister organised for us to go to a wedding dress shop as it was May and I hadn’t chosen a dress. She made sure my parents were there too. I was extremely late to the appointment, so the fitter had already picked out dresses for me to try. I tried on 4 – none of which I liked - and the 5th and final on the pile was one my mother had picked out. I put it on and loved it. It was THE dress. Better yet – it was already my size, AND in the sale. I was undecided on jewellery. I took my Topshop necklace as I consider it my ‘old faithful’ and everyone agreed it went with the dress. Ross then gave me the pearl earrings which were antique. I really wanted to wear flat leather boots but wanted to decorate them to give them a bit of individuality – feathers were from online, necklaces from Topshop, feather chains from Primark, a scarf one of my best friends gave me a long time ago. I used different things and put them together the night before the wedding – which one of my best friends mothers then very kindly sewed into place for me.
The GroomRoss never wears a suit and although he tried a couple on for the wedding really wanted to wear something he felt comfortable in. We were in Moss Bros when he tried on a velvet jacket - which he loved. He wore it with an old pair of Diesel jeans. Ross and all his ushers wore skull cufflinks from Butler and Wilson.
The VenueWe’re very lucky as my parents have a farm in Surrey with lots of beautiful fields and land. We organised a tipi tent to be put up in one of the fields, where there is a stone circle, my father built some toilets with the idea that I have three other sisters...;) It is the perfect setting for weddings – they now rent the venue out for weddings.
The TransportI was driven to the church by my uncle in his vintage Bentley. We stayed at the venue in a yurt so didn’t have any transport away from the venue.
The FlowersI love peonies and big bloomy garden roses. I had a strong idea of the colours and style of flowers that I wanted for the wedding. I looked at several florists and fell in love with Miranda Hackett's wild, bohemian, romantic style. She understood exactly what I wanted to achieve and the look I was going for.
The DecorRoss and I have two little girls and have been together since we were about 17. We wanted the day to be a big celebration of love. Our over all vision for the wedding was it being really relaxed, really fun, lots of laughter, love and for our children to feel that this was for us as a family – ‘we’re getting married’ rather than ‘mummy and daddy getting married’. I used lots of strong pink and bright blue alongside pale pink and cream to create pops of colour without it becoming too OTT. I used ribbons a lot throughout the decoration, lots of flowers, fake pearls, loads of greenery to bulk out and then as many twinkly lights and candles that I could squeeze in. We had a children's table set up under a tree with arts and crafts and games that they could dip in and out of as they wanted to as well as a little tipi with DVDs, television and lots of pillows and blankets to get snuggly with when they needed a rest. I knew the overall look of the stationery I wanted, but couldn’t find it. So I showed my father, Tom, some examples, and he drew them up using InDesign. I had them printed at a local printer. Overall we wanted the wedding to be very relaxed and bohemian feeling, with some added glamour. The children were very important so we also wanted the whole day to be geared up towards them.
The Wedding PartyThe flower girl skirts were ordered from an American Etsy shop. They had sparkly shoes from next and little ballet leotards. I brought a whole load of head pieces and bangles from the high street which I let people choose from. We all did each others hair and makeup rather than having a stylist. My little nephew wore an adorable little suit from Marks & Spencer that tied in beautifully with the ushers but was a linen material so a little bit more relaxed. We had a bit of a disaster with Moss Bros sending us a completely random selection of suits for the Groomsmen – hilarious ties and pocket squares – jackets which didn’t match. We ended up on the morning of the wedding doing a mad dash round various shops trying to get correct sized trousers and jackets. We ended up without ties which actually worked really well as it kept in theme with the relaxed style of the wedding.
The CeremonyI think the ceremony might have been my favourite part of the day. It was so much fun. Both of our girls decided to join us at the front of the church and got really involved. The church was tiny and we ended up with people standing everywhere – wherever they could squeeze in – it gave it such a buzzy atmosphere. My older sister read a beautiful love poem I found on the internet – by an unknown author - about when a boy meets a girl and how they go through life hand in hand always side by side. The whole church was in tears. One of my best friends read an extract from Winnie the Pooh – which she had chosen but had a huge amount of sentimental value to both me and Ross. When Ross was at University he was in a band. We asked a few of his band mates if they could play some music during the signing of the register. We asked them to play a tribal funk style song – they came back with a 7 minute compilation with full drum kit, saxophone, bass and trumpet which they played at the front of the church. It had everybody dancing – my favourite moment was seeing Bluebell and my niece Hunter hand in hand at the very front of the church swinging each other round.
The EntertainmentI saw Red Jackson busking in Guildford when my sister had been getting married about 8 years before - they had been fully booked for her wedding date but had been in my mind ever since as being a great band to kick off reception drinks. Ze Trio are just great fun and I knew the guests would love them. We also had pony rides, a bouncy castle, a photo booth and an ice cream van.
The FoodI cheated with the cake a little bit. I made the bottom layer myself. I then brought the top two layers which I then re-iced to have the look I wanted. I put the cake together on floating layers the morning of the wedding, which Miranda then decorated with flowers. The bottom layer was triple chocolate, middle layer raspberry ripple, top layer lemon meringue pie. No one ended up eating the cake on the night but we continued the party the next day and everyone ate it then. Being an events planner, I organised the food — including recipes, purchases and pre-preparing what could be done in advance. I then organised a couple of chefs and a prep team. We wanted the food to be super casual with no formal sit down. We made a big BBQ out of an oil drum and served Cote du Bouef, Persian chicken, Persian salad, fries and salad with different sauces. We served it up in brown kraft boxes and brown wooden forks. Vegetarian pies for the vegetarians and roasted vegetables for the Vegans. People went and helped themselves as they wanted it. Canapés - Salt and pepper squid on large plates, Asparagus with creme fraiche and parmesan, Different bruschetta, Salmon filo tartlets, Honey and mustard chipolatas. We also had an oyster bar.
The PhotographyWe looked at a few photographers with different styles. When we saw Claire's photos we noticed how she captured everyones expressions within each shot. She seemed to always get ‘the whole moment’ – which we didn’t see in any other photographers work. Claire works with you so that rather than having lots of stagnant, posed images you end up with these fun filled joyous moments that have been captured at the perfect time - getting our photos back there was everything I remembered the day being and then all these sneak peaks of other elements. Her second shooter for the day was Nicola from Icon Photography Studios. We didn't have an official video, but Ross’s cousin Joey kindly shot video throughout the day and gave us a video as a surprise wedding gift.
Bride: London Bride Couture | Necklace: Topshop | Cufflinks: Butler & Wilson | Bridesmaids: Debenhams | Floral Design: Miranda Hackett | Venue: High Billinghurst Farm | Groom's Jeans: Diesel | Groom's Jacket: Moss Bros. | Groomsmen: Moss Bros. | Entertainment: Red Jackson | Ze Trio | Planning & Stying: Gordon Malone | Second Shooter: Nicola from Icon Photography Studios