The ‘undone’ pink, lilac, blue and mint colour palette for the flowers literally looks good enough! I love the cascading blooms in open lanterns as centrepieces along with milk churns full to the brim of flowers instead of traditional pedestals. They fit in with the country barn aesthetic perfectly.
Our gorgeous Bride & Groom both look the picture of elegance in their sartorial attire. Alex’s navy traditional morning suit is both dapper and stylish and Steph’s Augusta Jones lace gown is simply stunning. Her look (and her Bridesmaids) was complted with yet more amazing blooms in her (their) hair. If you love flowers as I do, you’re going to LOVE this wedding….
Steph The Bride: When I first starting looking for dresses, I thought I wanted something beaded and silky but when I tried on a beautiful silky evening dress it fell flat, it just didn’t feel like a wedding dress. I visited a local bridal boutique and tried on every size and shape of dress they had in the shop before eventually deciding I wanted something in the middle, lacy and structured but without the princess-sized skirt. As much as I loved trying on the huge princess dress (and I did love it!), I wanted something lower maintenance so I could really enjoy my day.
Ellie Sanderson was recommended to me by a family friend, Steve Bishop (who supplied the men’s suits). Ellie’s shop is in Beaconsfield, which was about an hour from me but it was undoubtedly worth the journey. I had a dress in mind when I visited Ellie, which she arranged to have brought to the store before my appointment. At the store Ellie had also chosen another dress for me, one that I was dubious about on the hanger, but after some persuading from Ellie I tried it on (she wasn’t taking no for an answer) and I fell in love. I knew it was ‘the one’!
My dress was very detailed so I chose a plain, floor length veil and simple accessories, diamond stud earrings and an antique diamond bracelet, borrowed from my Mum that I had always loved. I had been given another bracelet by my Sister, who was also my Maid of Honour. In order to include this in the wedding, I swapped bracelets in the evening.
The Grooms Attire
There was no question about where Alex would go for suiting as Stephen Bishop is a family friend. Alex knew he wanted tails and cravats for him and his Groomsmen. We were really stuck on colour and neither of us had considered navy until it was suggested by Steve, it looked perfect on Alex and made a great alternative to grey. Steve went on to suggest we have a variety of cravat colours to match my Bridesmaids’ dresses. He even took samples of the dress fabrics to match them. Steve made it so easy and was instrumental in the overall look.
I always had The Barn at Bury Court in mind for our venue as I grew up in Bentley and had visited the venue a number of times but I still had to convince Alex. We booked to look at a couple of other places for comparison but they just didn’t measure up, when I eventually took him to the barn, he loved it as much as I did and cancelled our remaining appointments at other venues.
The Barn is beautiful, it has a lovely rustic exterior but inside its light and airy. When renting the Barn, we also had run of the show gardens for drinks and there was a gravelled area with picnic tables for later in the evening. It was perfect for our relaxed country wedding and, as it is out in the fields, you can’t disturb anyone else (perfect for my big noisy family).
Colour Scheme and Décor
When we first started to plan the wedding, we knew we would have a soft pastel coloured theme and an ‘undone’ style to the wedding but settling on one colour was really difficult so we decided instead on a colour palette of pink, lilac, blue and mint.
The venue décor was all DIY (except the flowers) and was a family effort. For our table names we chose our favourite children’s book titles, I have a love of antique books so the idea developed into having a book on each table. Suzanne, from Pretty Wild, embraced this idea completely and created a bespoke seating chart designed to look like a bookshelf and menus printed on bookmarks for the tables. We went on to decorate the tables with homemade favours of pastel coloured bonbons in miniature jars and a gold ‘Mr and Mrs’ for the top table.
We wanted a new twist on the traditional wedding post box and guest book so after a little (a lot) of online research, we settled on marital advice cards from our friends and an American mailbox for our wedding post. The cards were embraced by our guests and we keep them in a big jar at home, which is a lovely reminder of the day.
Hazel from Eden Blooms was a dream to work with and was as enthusiastic about my ideas as I was! I wanted the flowers to be big, colourful and undone, to fit our theme. Hazel also included herbs in our flowers which added to the country feel and made them smell amazing! I fell in love with the storm lanterns for the table centre pieces but was not happy with the ring of flowers around the lantern, I asked Hazel if we could put the flowers in the lanterns. To give it a more rustic feel Hazel left the lantern doors open with the flowers tumbling out, they were so much better than I ever imagined! Hazel had so many amazing ideas, I didn’t want traditional pedestal flowers so Hazel designed milk churns on fruit crates instead and instead of a traditional church arch we had one piece hanging over the door.
Hazel created beautiful bouquets for me and all my Bridesmaids, including a small posey of roses for my 2-year-old Cousin to hold. I decided to make the flower crowns myself with faux flowers and a few (loads) trips to Hobbycraft. It was a time comsuming project but the girls loved them and they were more durable than real flowers.
My wedding party consisted of my Sister, Eleanor, my oldest friend, Alice and five of my Cousins, Bella, Karis, Lily, Nicole and Teddy. Bella, Karis, Lilly an Nicole were all aged 9-12 and I found it really hard to find dresses for them, most dresses were white Flower Girl dresses which were both too white and too young for them. Twobirds were my saviour as they offered beautiful, simple tunic dresses in a range of colours which were age appropriate for the girls and even Teddy, who was only 2, could have a matching dress. Eleanor and Alice had the floor length Twobirds dresses and tied them slightly different ways, we chose three colours, heather, pink and grey. We were then able to match the heather and pink to Alex’s Groomsmen’s Cravats to bring the party together.
The ceremony took place in St Mary’s Church, Bentley which is a special place to me as it is the centre of the village in which I grew up and the place my Granddad and I would walk to almost everyday when I was a child. We decided we wanted a traditional service and include our families as much as possible, Alex’s Mum, Elaine and my Sister Eleanor did the readings and my Brother William provided the music whilst we signed the register. He surprised us with a piece he had written himself which made it incredibly special.
I was brought up on Motown and music from the 60s so I created a playlist to fit our vintage theme which was played during the drinks reception and our wedding breakfast. In the evening we had Anthem, who we had seen at another wedding a year earlier. They were brilliant and got the whole party dancing. They DJ during their breaks and for a little while after and even stayed on late when the wedding party wanted to carry on dancing.
Our venue uses Jacaranda for food and they provided an amazing three course menu. We had local English sparkling wine from Jenkin Place, down the road from the church but we both love a good cocktail and wanted to offer an alternative for our drinks reception so we had mojitos and blackberry Pimms to welcome people. The added stripy straws made for great photos in the garden!
Our cake was three flavours, chocolate, carrot and lemon. All three were so yummy and the whole lot went on the night.. probably because my Nana had a piece of each! We were really lucky that The Cake Parlour were available to step in when our original bakery let us down. In the evening we wanted something really different and something we had never seen before so we had Chinese noodle boxes, ‘street food style’ which were really popular.
We chose Cotton Candy for our photographers after seeing beautiful examples of their work online. It was great to have two photographers as it meant we caught so many more moments during the day. We had a few formal shots but we wanted to relax and enjoy our day so chose a more informal style. Gemma really made the most of the beautiful setting for our couple shots and we are both really thrilled with the photos! We’ve already been asked for Gemma’s details for a friends upcoming wedding.
Photography by Cotton Candy Photography
- Dress Designer Augusta Jones ‘Belle’
- Bridal Boutique Ellie Sanderson
- Bridal Shoes Upper Street
- Bridesmaid Dresses Twobirds
- Miss Bush
- Groomsmen Stephen Bishop Suiting
- Venue Bury Court Barn
- Catering Jacaranda Catering
- Cake The Cake Parlour
- Florist Eden Blooms
- Stationery Pretty Wild
- Entertainment Anthem Band