Doesn’t Ellie look so elegant? Her Maggie Sottero gown with those pretty little capped sleeves, her gorgeous glitzy hair piece and those Emmy shoes are all giving me a serious case of the swoons. As is her wild unstructured bouquet in pastel tones, which is just bursting with dahlias and roses.
And wait until you see inside the marquee – if you like blush and gold, you’re going to love it! There’s lots of details to behold, so I’ll pass you over to Ellie to explain exactly how her and James created such a lovely look…
Possibly because in nearly every single image of this gorgeous pair they are laughing, smiling and clasping each other so tightly that you can’t help but be swept up by the love they have for one another.
And then there’s the horse.
Yes folks, the day has arrived. I finally get to blog a wedding with one of our equine friends making an appearance. Frankly any couple that chooses to have some of their portrait shots alongside this most noble of creatures are heroes in my book.
I’m also lusting after Denise’s gorgeous bonce which is exactly how I would have liked my barnet to have looked on my own wedding day except that my hair isn’t a) as luscious or b) as thick. There’s a serious case of the green-eyed monster from over this side of the screen.
Why not check it out for yourself…
Denise The Bride:We chose Nurstead Court as we had come across it whilst walking our dogs! It is set in amazing grounds and the bonus was that we were able to marry at St Mildred’s which is the church attached to Nurstead. An even bigger plus was that it’s only 5 minutes from where we live and extremely pretty!
The old house and grounds were great for photos and there is a permanent marquee which was ideal for the evening reception. I wanted to keep everyone in one room and as the weather on our day was so beautiful, the side walls were brought back to let the amazing countryside in.
I wanted to look like me but a bit better! I didn’t want to go overboard with the make up, but wanted a more natural look and found a lovely lady, Carla Nicholls who has worked for 10 years in the beauty industry, mainly with MAC and Christian Dior.
She knew exactly what I was looking for and made me look and feel brilliant. The make up lasted all day even though the day was pretty warm with lots of dancing in the evening! I wore Givency Dahlia Noir perfume.
My hair was done by my best friend, Sophie Marks, a senior stylist at Stephen Casali Hairdressing Salon in Sloane Square. We had a bit of a play around, going from massive hair to something a little more restrained! I also had a headpiece that I had bought which was very 1920s but when I put it on I felt more like Wonder Woman than a 1920s goddess, so opted for something less flashy!
A Last Minute Swop
The dress was a bit of a nightmare! I had originally visited a few shops where I’d tried on various styles and whilst feeling a little jaded tried on, and then ordered!, a Benjamin Roberts dress from Bride And Groom in Gravesend. It was fishtail, tulle and a bit of bling and, although very pretty, I always knew it wasn’t ‘The One’.
After fretting for a couple of months myself and Chris’ mum went back to the bridal shop and found the Justin Alexander dress, and luckily I was able to swap it! Although the timing was pretty tight as the dress only turned up two weeks before the wedding! The dress did come with a beautiful veil, but I thought at the grand old age of 43 I may be pushing the veil thing a little bit! Linda, the lovely owner of Bride & Groom also made me a lovely satin belt with crystals to finish the look off.
My shoes were a bit of a bargain from the Next sale – at only £12! My only jewellery was my nan’s pearl bracelet, which I know she would’ve been thrilled to know I was wearing. My hair accessory was a rushed, day before purchase in Claire’s Accessories for the grand price of £6!
He Did It His Way
My bridesmaids were my best friend, Sophie and my niece Becky. We had decided pretty early on that we wanted a navy and ivory colour theme and I also didn’t want strapless dresses. By chance I stumbled across some midnight blue chiffon dresses in Coast at House of Fraser and made the rash decision (without them present!) that they would be perfect. Jessica, our flower girl, and Chris’ daughter, had an ivory lace dress and matching shoes from BHS.
The suits were solely Chris’ domain and whilst I was very clear that I didn’t want traditional tails, this is exactly what he got from the lovely folks at Well Suited! I guess I wanted him to go down the retro-vintage vibe, but at the end of the day they all looked great and I think I may have had to admit that he was right!
Navy And Ivory
We never had a theme but always wanted a navy blue and ivory colour – more I think because of Chris’ love for Tottenham Hotspur but as an Arsenal fan I was never going to have any football themed wedding cake – which he wanted! A lovely lady called Maria from Bridal Wonderland decorated the marquee – with the ivory chair covers and navy tie-backs. We also opted for ivory and navy feather centrepieces – as we wanted some height to them and flowers, although gorgeous, are expensive! The look was exactly what we wanted!
The gorgeous church pew ends, bouquets, button-holes and top table arrangements were all produced by my friend Louise Barnard, together with Rachel who together run Heavenly Scent, a workshop based florist in Gravesend.
I wanted something very wild, not too structured and both my own and the bridesmaids’ flowers were full of roses, peonies, freesias and gypsophila and looked and smelled amazing! The pew ends in the church were kept simple using gypsophilia tied with a blue satin ribbon and twine. Louise and Rachel did such an fantastic job, I absolutely loved the flowers and had many comments from guests about them.
I was totally calm before walking into the church, something I never thought I would be. I imagined sweating, fainting, crying, but no, I just wanted to get in! Both our sons read gorgeous readings (John 15:9-12) and a poem “God binding you together, love for each other. Love in your thinking. Love in your actions. Love in your home. Love in your lives. Love sustain you in sorrow. Love shine in your joy. God binding you together. Love for each other.”
I walked down the aisle to Pachelbel in Canon D and we sung three hymns – Morning Has Broken, Lord of Hopefulness and Give Me Joy in My Heart. I was impressed with the gusto of the congregation!
After the meal Chris Till took to the floor and belted out a blinding set (including Frank Sinatra and Michael Buble). DJ Alan Howard had provided uplighters for the marquee which set the mood and also a white LED dance floor, which I had coveted since falling in love with one at a previous wedding! He kept the party going with a mixture of both reggae (Chris’ favourite) and my love of old school rave (“On a Ragga Tip” will live long in the memory!)
Our first dance was to Ali Campbell’s “Happiness” which proved hard to come by as it was from a 1995 album which was no longer available to download! Luckily one of Alan’s DJ pals came to our rescue!
Food, Drink & Treats
We choose Bite-Me Catering to produce our wedding breakfast and in order to keep our costs down we decided to have canapes with bucks fizz on arrival at Nurstead Court followed by a carvery.
The amazing cake was made by a friend of mine, Sarah Tuttlebury. It consisted of two deep tiers – the bottom layer being chocolate and the top vanilla which were iced with small sugar flowers and was delicious. The guests’ favours were made by my Mum and Dad, who put a Ferrero Rocher on a stick and wrapped a blue ribbon around them! Cost effective but time consuming!
Take One DIY Phobic Bride
Being a complete DIY phobic I managed to avoid doing anything creative! Instead by using Facebook and Ebay we managed to buy a lot of things for significantly less – although not skimping on quality in the least. We had a bit of a last minute hiccup with our original table plan (getting lost in the post!) but with a day to go, Carol of Wedding-Belles stepped in and saved the day – and I could not have been happier with the table plan – totally gorgeous!
Enjoy And Savour
Don’t have a spray tan the night before the wedding – I ended up with orange hands! It didn’t really bother me, I was surprised how calm and laid back I was on the day and I managed to enjoy every second! The fact that the sun shone and everything went to plan helped too! Always try to get personal recommendations for suppliers and always negotiate!
I would recommend investing in a videographer – my husband did an amazing speech and we both can’t wait to see it again as I can’t remember half of it! We’re so looking forward to seeing it and our amazing videographer Tim Griffiths. Secondly it’s true when they say it goes so fast so enjoy and savour as much as you can!!
When Denise talked about the gusto with which her nearest and dearest sang the hymn ‘give me joy in my heart’ it bought a huge smile to my face. I adore weddings where every single guest embraces the spirit of the day and really gets involved.
After all that’s what it’s all about isn’t it…love, family, friends and joyful hearts.