When this wedding popped into my inbox I squealed with excitement. Joe the Groom used to work with my boyfriend you see. At one particular work event I was rabbiting away about weddings to Joe. Banging on about how much I wanted to work for this AMAZING blog called Rock My Wedding. At this stage, Joe and Sophie weren’t even engaged and we were all laughing about us ladies putting the pressure on our lovely boys to bite the bullet. Matt and I were thrilled when we heard that Joe had proposed. (Don’t worry lovelies, Sophie will tell you the proposal story).
Fast forward a few months; Joe and Sophie are a married couple and I’m putting together their wedding post for that AMAZING blog. It’s a small world.
Sophie and Joe’s day is just lovely. The flowers are a simple combination of white roses and gypsophila. The colour scheme of gold, white and ivy green is beautiful and Sophie’s dress fits her like a glove. They married at the family church and had a marquee reception filled with fairy lights and dancing. Never in a million years would you be able to tell that they planned their wedding in just six months!
You will also probably be surprised to know that this is a winter wedding! Joe and Sophie lucked out and got one of those crystal-clear-blue-sky winter days that I love.
Down Our Lane
Sophie The Bride: We got married in Bishopstone village church – just steps away from my parent’s house in the heart of the Wiltshire countryside. My elder sister also got married here and it was really special to spend the morning of the wedding in my family home and be able to walk down the lane for the ceremony with my Dad and bridesmaids. The sun even came out for us and Lydia, our photographer, got some amazing snaps!
For the reception we hired the grounds of Burcombe Manor, a very short drive away in the neighbouring valley. The manor house itself is beautiful and made a lovely backdrop for some of our couple shots on the day. My favourites were of us in front of the stone wall, and against the copper hedge with its amazing view. The grounds of Burcombe Manor are also lovely and the perfect location for a large marquee (even though a lot of people thought this was risky for a December wedding!!)
My mum has been getting her hair done by a friend in the village for years – Jayne, who runs a salon called Escape. She used to do my hair too when I lived at home so it felt lovely to ask her to style my hair on the day! By flicking through plenty of wedding mags I knew that I wanted a simple up do, and she came up trumps. My hair was actually above shoulder length but she managed to make it look really long which was brilliant.
Jayne’s friend is a makeup artist so I decided to book her for the day as well, to do make-up for me and my mum. She did a great job of keeping it simple, but applying everything so that it looked fresh and lasted all day. I went for a gold shimmer on the eyes and just some gloss on my lips. I also have a friend who is brilliant at hair and makeup so I asked her to come along and help with the bridesmaids. She did a beautiful job and they looked stunning. It was lovely to have Lydia there all day to capture us getting ready and setting up some pre-wedding shots.
No Rushing The Dress Decision
My dress was by Annasul Y and I got it from Teokath in Wimbledon. The only thing I knew was that I didn’t want strapless, and I was immediately drawn to all the lacy dresses in the store. I loved that I hadn’t seen anyone wear a dress like mine, and the key-hole detail in the back was gorgeous. I also loved the puddle train and the bow detail around the waist. It was actually one of the first dresses I tried on but I had to go back three times before I made my order. I was under quite a lot of pressure to make quick decisions (as we planned the whole wedding in less than six months) but this was one decision I wasn’t going to rush!
A Very Special Diamond Bracelet
I borrowed my sister’s veil and hair piece on the day (my something borrowed). The veil was very plain so didn’t detract from the detail on my dress and trailed out right down past the train. I had to wear flat shoes as the dress wasn’t long enough for heels (which I was fine with – I don’t often wear heels anyway) and choose a very simple pair from Debenhams wedding collection. Sadly my Granny passed away less than a month before the wedding day but I was able to wear a diamond bracelet of hers which was very special.
A Large Wedding Party
We had a lot of people that we wanted to include in our day so we had quite a large wedding party! I had my younger sister, and three of my best friends as bridesmaids; Joe had his oldest friend Jon as best man and five ushers; and we had two of our nieces as flower girls.
The bridesmaid dresses were from Jane Norman (which everyone was really shocked about – they looked a lot more expensive than they were!) and we hired the groomsmen outfits from Moss Bros. They had a great deal on which meant that we got Joe’s entire outfit for free as we ordered more than four groomsmen suits.
The flower girl dresses were from Roco Clothing which has a great selection and they are all very reasonably priced.
Seasonal And Festive
Because it was a winter wedding, we wanted to keep the colours in keeping with the season but NOT Christmassy at all (red was banned from all decor!) The colours we choose were pale gold, white and deep ivy green and we stuck to these for everything – the flowers, the decor and the outfits.
The bridesmaids wore a gorgeous champagne colour and the groomsmen incorporated the green in their outfits. Joe wore a traditional mourning suit but kept it simple in just black and white. We also had lots of candles in the church, and fairy lights at the venue to give the day a cosy festive feel.
I wanted to keep the flowers simple. My bouquet was made up of white roses and gypsophila. The church and venue were decorated with white flowers and green ivy – with some gold spray painted twigs entwined throughout. My mum’s friend Daphne is an amazing florist and she did all the arrangements in the church (some huge pedestals as well as smaller arrangements on all the window sills) and wedding party bouquets/button holes and head wreaths (for the flower girls).
The venue was decorated by the local village flower club who were amazing and only asked that we pay for the flowers themselves and make a donation to charity. They sourced some amazing flowers for the table decorations (again, all white and green) and some beautiful tall vases that made up our centre pieces.
And What Of Marriage, Master?
We had a traditional church ceremony which was important to me, and kept the hymns and readings in keeping with that. Two of our readings were biblical, and the third was The Prophet on Marriage by Kahlil Gibran which was beautiful (and we still quote bits of it to each other now!) Saying our vows to each other was definitely the most special part of the day, but it was also nice to disappear into the vestry to sign the register and have a moment in private with our parents.
This was the only time we could take photos in the church but Lydia took some beautiful shots and the sunlight coming in through the windows was gorgeous. After the service all our guests lined up outside the church and threw confetti on us as we left to get in our car – it made for some more great pics, although my dress was completely filled with coloured paper!
A Traditional Ceilidh
It’s a family tradition to have a Ceilidh dance at a wedding, and we stuck with it! It’s an amazing way of getting everybody up and dancing together and it’s SO much fun. Joe’s sister acted as DJ for us towards the end of the night and the first song she played was Everything by Michael Bublé which is special to Joe and I.
At one point in the evening Joe also took me for a walk outside so that we could have a couple of minutes on our own together and reflect on the day and the fact that it was our wedding!! That was a really special moment and one I’ll always remember – I’m glad we had a chance to step back from the craziness of the day and just be with each other.
Keeping The Guests Entertained
We set up a photo corner in the marquee where guests could pose with fancy dress hats and take some snaps on disposable cameras. Joe loves novelty hats (all of the ones we supplied were his!) and it was fun to be able to capture some relaxed / silly photos of everyone on the day.
We also provided a pic n mix table which people could help themselves to throughout the reception. When Joe proposed he did it in the middle of a maze, where he had left a hand-made story book hidden within a massive box of marshmallows, so we had to find a way to incorporate them somehow! (And we both have very sweet tooth!) I would say that the children enjoyed the sweets the most, but I definitely saw the grownups getting involved as well….
Seconds All Round
Forking Out were our caterers and they provided a mass of canapés for the champagne reception, as well as two courses for the meal; a mushroom starter and pork loin with assorted veg for the main. Everyone complimented the food and there was plenty for everyone to have seconds which was amazing.
They also provided a cheese board later in the evening which went down brilliantly and revived all our guests for round two of the dancing! Our cake was made by the Salisbury Chocolate Bar & Patisserie and was a three tiered delicious Belgian chocolate creation decorated with fresh flowers. We cut it before the meal and ate it as our dessert, served with raspberry coulis and cream. Amazing!
Hand Stamped Luggage Labels
One of our good friends is a graphic designer and his gift to us was to design and print all of our wedding invitations which was really fantastic. We kept the invites quite traditional but included an RSVP postcard and an information card to try and make life easier for guests. I made the name places myself out of luggage labels (which we tied to the napkins on the table) and hand stamped all the names using an old alphabet stamping kit I had. It took quite a long time but I did a table a night while I was away on a family holiday and actually found it very therapeutic!
We named our tables after halls of residence at Loughborough Uni (where Joe and I met) and for the table plan we stamped out the names again and used pegs and an easel to display it all – and then decorated with fresh flowers.
Take A Moment
Going for an engagement shoot with Lydia was brilliant as it gave Joe and I a chance to get comfortable in front of the camera and try out some poses. We had lots of fun and got some great shots out of it too. In fact all the photos of the day were brilliant – we were so pleased – and Lydia was really great to work with. She comes highly recommended!
As I’ve mentioned, taking some time alone with Joe and going for a quick walk on our own was really special. I would definitely recommend couples to take a moment on their wedding day to step back and reflect on what a huge and amazing day they are having.
We also loved being able to include so many of our friends and family in the wedding planning. It made the whole day feel personal to us and all the more special.
Brides Gown – Annasul Y at Teokath of London
Bridesmaids Dresses – Jane Norman
Flower Girls – Roco Clothing
Groom and Groomsmen – Moss Bros. Suit Hire
Caterers – Forking Out
Cake – The Salisbury Chocolate Bar And Patisserie
Venue – Burcombe Manor
Photography – Lydia Stamps Photography
It’s hard to believe this is a December wedding, isn’t it?
I’m in love with the table plan.
Weddings should be about family and friends and it’s great that Sophie and Joe included so many of theirs in their big day.
Massive congratulations both!!
Lots of love,