“The bride found me (Eve Dunlop Photography) on RMW and immediately new what she wanted for her day, stunning florals and a beautifully styled wedding with coolness as standard. From her personalized leather Jacket to the couples pimped up french bull dog. This party was like no other. They rocked it!”
With a wedding synopsis like that you know you’re in for a treat, but I have to say it has still managed to surpass my expectations. There are so many fabulous features you’ll want to swoon over and pin, probably none more so than the whiskey bar, and all helped to make possible using SO many of our talented recommended suppliers.
The fashion is literally to die for too. All coming from he high street but looking like a million dollars. Now are you ready for this immense country wedding? Then I shall keep you no longer, enjoy.
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…
One of the best things about this job is discovering new super talented and creative people who work in the wedding industry and then getting to share their work with you. This breathtaking shoot is from a host of lovely Cornwall based creatives who are all at the beginning of their careers and who we think are set for big things. Olivia is clearly a very talented photographer, you can see her background in fashion photography in these images. The way she has captured skin tones and the gorgeous light is just beautiful.
And Caerhays Castle looks like a magical venue. Imagine getting married with the ocean as your backdrop? It never feels like a reality for UK Brides, but these images just show that it can be…
OMG this wedding! It ticks all of the boxes on my list of things I love at a wedding. Gorgeous dress, outdoor ceremony, amazing florals, a big old party in a tipi AND stunning photography. I lost count of the amount of times an image from Lucy Little made me do a little gasp. For starters there’s the image above of Jayne just looking SO happy and beautiful, which is exactly how every Bride should feel on her wedding day. Then there’s the image of Jayne giving her Dad a huge hug. And then the image of her and Bobby walking along in the sunset…
You need to savour each and every one. Oh and Jayne’s hair?! Serious hair envy going on at RMW HQ!
I’ll let you enjoy it, but please don’t read the text if you haven’t already eaten, as the food sounds utterly delicious and will make you want to do so immediately – you have been warned…
Sometimes we feature weddings with minimal details, and sometimes we feature weddings where the carefully thought about decor is just endless, and this morning’s wedding definitely falls into the camp of the latter. Wonderfully named Bride, Kiki-Sunshine, works in the wedding industry, so her big day to the lovely Stu was always going to be super pretty. But also important to the couple was to include nods to their heritage, so the day is bursting with details that are Burmese, Thai, Buddhist and British inspired!
If you checked into RMW for yesterday’s wedding, you’ll know how useful I think it is to see weddings held at your venue of choice…well this wedding, like yesterdays, was held at The Matara Centre – if you compare the two, you can see how differently it has been styled and you can also see the photographers differing style too. It’s such a helpful way for you to decide on suppliers once your venue is booked.
Anyway, I’ll stop with my wedding planning tips now, and let you enjoy this really pretty wedding, with stunning images from the lovely Holly at Belle and Beau…enjoy!
As soon as May rolls around, we get really, really, REALLY excited because it means the start of peony season here in the UK is imminent! We LOVE this flower, it’s bold, it’s beautiful, and as you’ll see from our mood boards below, can be used in lots of different ways to make your wedding decor look incredible. There are numerous varieties of peony and we’ve included a handy guide to the most popular varieties for weddings, so that you can ask your florist for the particular type of peony you’ve fallen for.
Also, I’d like to thank the lovely florists from The Love Lust List, who kindly sent lots of images for this feature – in fact they sent so many that my inbox practically crashed and we just couldn’t use them all! So if you’re looking for a florist I urge you to check out our recommended suppliers, as I honestly have never come across such a helpful, kind and talented group of people before.
Get ready to immerse yourself in a world of gorgeous peonies…
Yes – that’s right…this wedding has horses. I can virtually hear the ooohs and awwws from here. I think Steph and Tom’s venue may be one of the most idyllic I’ve ever seen and luckily the British weather held out for their ceremony. Everything just looks so beautiful bathed in the Spring sunshine.
Steph and Tom seemed to keep the music pumping, the food coming and the drink flowing all day long – they even had a late-night campfire with marshmallow toasting. I know. AMAZING.
I’ll pass you over to Steph who makes a very stylish Bride in her fitted lace gown – which by the way she rocks in the unusual champagne tone. It works so perfectly with her skin tone. AND it was the first dress she tried on!
Winding Country Roads
Steph the Bride: The perfect venue was at Clavelshay Barn, North Petherton near Taunton. Tom and I had spotted it online and thought it was worth a visit and were definitely not disappointed. We knew on the first visit that it would be perfect. Winding country roads, humming birds, sweeping hills, cows and quaint country houses , beautiful gardens … and a chance to make something truly our own. Sue who owns the venue was also a lovely and very genuine host who went above and beyond to help us create our special day.
Hair and makeup wise I was inspired by 1950’s classic glamour as for me it’s timeless and would really compliment my dress. My makeup was very simple, just a simple black eye flick, false lashes and a touch of Bobbi Brown’s Plum Rose lipstick which is a fabulous colour that I would definitely recommend.
Mine and my bridesmaids makeup was done by the very talented Lucy Davis. I had hair extensions for the day to add thickness to my hair which were perfectly coloured matched and put in by my wonderful mother Loraine Williams put in a few weeks before, she is an absolute pro and has her own business from home doing this. To compliment my hair Louise Alway (available through Lucy) beautifully styled and curled my hair to have luscious volume and bouncy waves. I also wore Chanel Chance on the wedding day which was a classic scent.
Classic, Fitted Lace
My dress was from the Carina Baverstock Couture Boutique in Bradford-on-Avon and is named ‘Mystere’ by Claire Pettibone. I’ve always been into fashion and classic lace fitted styles and fell in love with Claire Pettibone’s original designs the moment I spotted them online. I discussed my day and theme with the boutique owner and she just knew. It was the first dress I tried on and I never looked back! My dress was champagne coloured, fitted, had capped short sleeves, features intricate beaded detailing and a stunning vintage lilac flower on the lower back which was absolutely stunning. I loved every minute wearing it and felt extremely glamorous.
Tom looked very dapper on our special day and had his bespoke air force blue three piece suit and white shirt handmade by the very-talented P J Robinson and Sons tailor in Alcester. They are a proper old-school four generation tailors and he knew immediately after meeting Lawrence that this was the place for him. His shoes and socks were from Reiss and the groomsmen’s ties were from TM Lewin.
Cute Kitten Heels
I wore a gorgeous Jenny Packham headpiece that complemented the colours and design of my dress. Otherwise I am pretty tall so couldn’t really go for a high heel but found some cute jewelled kitten heels from Nine West online on sale for a bargain of £19. I was really pleased about that, what bride doesn’t like a bargain?
I actually brought the bridesmaid dresses before I had brought my own which was risky, but we were having a Spring wedding and I thought the colour and style would suit everyone’s body shapes and skin tones perfectly. All the bridesmaids wore a nude / pink dress from Fever Designs and accessorised as they liked with beautiful headbands and netted underskirts. The flower girl Elsie’s (my niece) dress was from Monsoon whilst the pageboy’s suit was from Marks and Spencer’s.
A Country Tea Party
Once our venue was sorted everything else sort of came together. We did most of our research on Pinterest and fell in love with the idea of a country tea party style wedding. The colour scheme naturally progressed after purchasing the bridesmaid dresses and my own.
Decor-wise we knew we were having a marquee so wanted to spruce it up a bit and make it a bit country glam. We had fantastic hand-made table-clothes by Tom’s mum Barbara with lace runners hand-stitched along them; old bottles and jam jars lined the table centres, whilst shattered glass and gold tea lights set the mode. We also had beautiful splashes of colour in our flower displays and home-made jam with luggage labels as our guest’s favours.
A Perfect Splash Of Colour
My flowers were absolutely stunning and beautifully arranged by one of my best friends and very talented florist Christiane Simmons. The flowers were the perfect splash of colour for our country themed day and were vintage lilac, purple, pastel pink, cream, blue and yellow. I had English garden roses, roses, peonies, muscari and ranunculus in my bouquet.
On the day we also had beautiful bright bouquets lining the chairs down the aisle, finishing with two olive trees tied with lilac ribbon. Tripods dotted around the garden, whilst other cute arrangements filled jam jars and bottles down the centres of all the tables.
A Very Moving Ceremony
Tom and I had a humanist ceremony outside as our venue wasn’t licensed for our big day. The ceremony was conducted by Jennifer Constant at Tailor Made Ceremonies and felt really special for the both of us as we had a lot of personal input. Jennifer had asked us to fill in a questionnaire about the two of us, how we met and why we loved each other and brought it all together in a very moving ceremony. I had two of my dearest friends Bryony and Nat do a reading which they very kindly wrote for us and was touching to the point of tears. Tom’s friend Darren also read a reading about Relativity from Albert Einstein which was beautiful.
Music For Everyone
We had two bands for the day. During guests arrival, my entrance and the afternoon tea reception we had a funky three-piece gypsy jazz band called Barnone play which really set the mood for the day. During dinner we just had motown songs from our iPod playing until our first dance which was my dad’s song Wonderful Wonderful by The Tymes (He was in this famous motown band in the 60s and passed away 9 years ago). It was beautiful and extremely sentimental.
This followed by live music from our evening band Snappa and some fun DJ sets. Their live music was incredible and would definitely be recommended for any wedding! They had everyone including my granddad up on the floor dancing the night away!
Locally Sourced Food
All the food barring the cake was lovingly cooked up and created in house at Clavelshay Barn. Tom and I are big into locally sourced foods and were delighted that Clavelshay take such pride in where they source their food and the high quality they provide. Reception was a bite size take on afternoon tea, cucumber sandwiches, cheese bites, scones and jam, éclairs and smoked salmon blinis served with Pimms. This was followed by a huge hog roast buffet with served with stuffing, braised red cabbage, seasonal vegetables, dauphinoise potatoes and scrumpy sauce. After there was fresh fruit and cream, coffee, a selection of loose leaf teas and heart shaped chocolates. In the evening the yummy five tiered Victoria sponge cake was served with a selection of cheeses, bread, grapes and chutneys. The cake was made by Kate at Living Pretty a local tea shop in Somerset.
A Helping Hand
What would I do without my best friend Gem? She designed everything from the cute forget-me-not Save the Date seed envelopes, to the invites and the seating plan. We told her about our day and she created this whole tea thing which completely stuck with us for the whole day. The colours were in keeping with the day, creams, lilacs, pinks, blues and pale greens.
We also had a lot of help from Tom’s sister Al and his mum Barbara. Allison hand wrote all the name places on the favours and lined the old suitcase (for cards) in old vintage map paper which looked fabulous. She also wrote the menu for the evening meal and painted the wooden Wedding sign we had at the venue entrance.
Barbara with the help of her husband Martin made all the tablecloths as well as all the jam favours which were delicious. We’d also like to thank David and Richard for making the easel for the seating plan and the wooden sign, it looked great!
Everything Will Fall Into Place
My advice to Brides is to relax, enjoy and make the most of every second. The last days before the wedding are so stressful organising all those last minute touches but your wedding day is just about you and your husband to be and how much you love each other, everything will fall into place.
Also make sure you book time off after the wedding even if you’re not going on honeymoon straight away as you’ll be shattered and will be grateful for the time together to reflect on your special day.
We would also like to thank the fabulous and ridiculously talented Rachel Hudson our photographer. She captured our day so beautifully and was an absolute pleasure to work with. Our photos our stunning and something we know we’ll cherish forever!
I still can’t believe that Mystere was the first dress Steph tried on.
Great advice from Steph too about post-wedding time off. Even if you’re not going on honeymoon straight away, I think time together to chill out and reflect would be exactly what the doctor ordered.
Granted I was stood about 3 feet away from her and she more or less handed it to me rather than tossing it over her shoulder. I should mention here that there was also an absence of overexcited females jostling for prime catching position in case you’re picturing me as a miniature Vinnie Jones having elbowed my way to the front.
Nonetheless for the rest of that day I felt special, like I’d been given access to an exclusive club because I’d caught the bouquet. Not even going home in my M&S vest and pants, having been divested of my bridesmaid dress because it was rented could tarnish my little glow of glory.
That was the best day.
I’ve always believed that my triumphant catch was the catalyst for my life-long obsession with beautiful blooms and especially with wedding day bouquets.
So allow me to indulge this weakness of mine and let me show you lovelies some of the best arrangements out there in wedding land (in my humble opinion).
I want to hear about which ones are your favourites.
Which style pulls at your heartstrings?
What colour scheme have you selected for your big W-Day?
I’m all ears…
There’s something beautifully exquisite about white blooms. Elegant in their simplicity, they possess a sophistication that is hard to surpass. Milky-white flowers are usually heavily fragranced too providing you with a double whammy sensory experience.
White bouquets are wonderfully versatile in several ways. Not only can you guarantee that they will perfectly complement your gorgeous gown – chalky-white flowers are also more or less available any time of the year which means that you should nearly always be able to find a blossom to suit your purposes.
Choosing alabaster-toned garlands also gives you the freedom to play with texture and composition safe in the knowledge that no two flowers will clash nor will it appear like you’ve gone overboard in the floral department.
If you do want to inject a bit of colour into your neutral palette, green is perfect accent tone because it allows the blooms to shine without overpowering them.
That Mother Nature… she knows a thing or two.
Berry Fest is a contemporary interpretation of the more classic Rose bouquet. It is utterly romantic without being saccharine sweet therefore perfect for those brides who want something edgier without losing sight of more traditional wedding themes and flavours.
This type of bouquet is perfect for weddings between June to September because of the availability of local materials. Queen Anne’s Lace, Dahlias, Clematis, Black Basil, Stocks, Snapdragons, Amaranth, Peonies and Delphiniums are fantastically versatile blooms and can be paired together in all number of combinations.
There’s nothing quite as sublime as an Autumn berry rich bouquet bespeckled with seedheads and the last hurrrah of summer. If you’re going for this type of feel with your own posies then I’d recommend pairing lighter shades with darker ones as the contrast makes each colour pop.
Lastly try echoing the trailing tendrils of the bouquet with some velvet ribbon around the stems in a similar colour scheme for extra drama.
I ADORE this trend with a great big dollop of LOVE on top because it’s just one of the many signs of how modern brides are becoming more and more creative with their big day.
‘Handpicked’ bouquets have an ethereal, just picked from the hedgerows quality about them. Wild and overgrown, these posies feel wholesome and organic and are especially beautiful when paired with a soft simple gown and bare feet.
Not that I’m saying you should all go barefoot or anything.
Any decent florist can recreate this concept easily for you; equally choosing this more relaxed style is perfect for the artistic bride as well as for those on a budget who want to take up those horticultural reins and produce their own floral arrangements.
My personal preference is to keep the hues in an handpicked bouquet within the same colour spectrum but using as many as six or seven different colours is just as effective. Secondly remember to include a little bit of everything so that you capture that unruly essence and prevent your posy from appearing too ‘done’.
It’s A Wrap
When we think about bouquets, we tend to think about the profusion of blooms and the colours of the delicate tendrils rather than the twiggy base. But, whilst I was writing this post, I found it hard to pass up the opportunity to show you lovelies how beautifully your floral accessory can be finished.
Hessian, lace, wool, twine and even brown paper and string can be artfully wrapped around your bouquets for the pièce de résistance. I especially love the idea of a bride wrapping a piece of material that her gown is made from around her posy. Talk about matching your outfit to your accessories!
But ribbons are my vice – yes girls I actually have a ribbon box and have also been known to filch ribbons from other people’s presents (once opened of course!) to keep it fully stocked up.
So for me a beribboned garland steals the day and frankly the more the better.
Why have one glitzy strand when you can look like a haberdashery shop and have three or even five.
Big And Blousey
If these blooms were a woman, they’d be a medieval buxom wench winking saucily at any hot-blooded male from the other side of the bar. These sultry beauties vie for your attention flaunting their silky soft petals and their heavy aroma unrelentingly at you.
Peonies and large garden roses are most commonly used in these types of bouquets and are frequently supplemented by soft green foliage and succulents of late. Because of the sheer size of the flowers there really is no need for anything extra.
Trust me, adding too much to a ‘big and blowsy’ bouquet would result in a serious case of ‘over-egging the pudding’ and ladies I say that as a self-confessed flower addict.
For the modern bride, who wants both drama and simplicity, a single huge bloom is your answer; it is unbeatably chic. And that bloom that the bride and groom are hiding behind is made of…wait for it…paper.
How wonderful is that?!
One last thing worth mentioning is that these types of arrangements are often really heavy – it’s just something to be conscious of when posing for your photographs in case you get arm ache (is that even a condition?).
So what do you think?
Are fresh flowers the order of the day or have you set your heart on something with a little more longevity like those bouquets made from antique brooches for example.
And I NEED to hear your thoughts on tossing the bouquet. Is this a tradition that you can’t pass up or can you not bear to throw your blooms into a gaggle of hopeful ladies in case it gets damaged?
More and more florists claim that they are creating additional ‘tossing’ bouquets for precisely this purpose. Is this something that interests you girls or does it defeat the whole point?
How I love thee capped sleeve….especially when you are semi transparent and embroidered with delicate lace and beads… Not only did Rachel have a fabulous (and bargainous) frock for W-day, she also accessorised with delicious jewellery and the perfect D.I.Y floral hair piece.
And not to be outdone by his bride, Tom is one super stylish groom. The 3-piece slim fit deep blue suit with paisley print tie and top-pocket handkerchief is both contemporary and timeless.
And don’t even get me started on the florals, a sumptuous selection of blooms that completely epitomises summertime.
Oh, and although I’m not usually one to include a whole bunch of images on the transport, this cherry red MGBGT is so darn cool I made an exception.
My usual hairdresser, Jamie at Peter Wilcox in Didsbury did my hair along with my mum and my bridesmaids. I wanted to wear my hair down and not have anything too “done” – I never wear my hair up and wasn’t about to change that just because I was getting married. My hair was lovely when I left the hairdressers, but unfortunately, because it as about 30 degrees celsius and I had a journey in an open top car it was pretty much a sweaty mess by the time I got to the reception venue!
My shoes were pretty sensible mid heels from Schuh – they had quite a chunky heel – I didn’t want to be tottering around in stilettos all day.
A Bespoke Sample
My dress was Charlotte Balbier Pixie and I bought it off Ebay for £300. I hadn’t even tried it on before I bought it – I won it on the auction and then my mum went to collect it from Bristol to check it was in good condition. It was actually from a bridal shop and was the shop sample, so hadn’t been worn by a bride before. Luckily it was is great condition, but was too big for me, and I wanted to make it my own with lots of other changes.
I got in touch with an amazing seamstress called Erica Stacy firstname.lastname@example.org who altered the dress to fit. She took the rosettes of the shoulders and made me this lovely thick sash to wear round the waist – much nicer than the small belt it had on before. The dress now had a 1940s feel and felt much more like me.
A Team Triumph
I had 2 bridesmaids and 2 flower girls – the flower girls wore dresses from Debenhams which was one of the first things I found after we got engaged – I just loved the sea-green colour of the dresses and they were supposed to be the colour of my “theme” – didn’t really work out like that though as I kept getting distracted by other things. My mum did an amazing job of tracking down the same fabric from the flower girl dresses and a dressmaker used this fabric to make dresses for my two bridesmaids Yasmin and Alice – who both looked perfect. Because I’ve got so many cousins and children in my family I always wanted young bridesmaids, but I needed some grown-up help as well. So my five best friends were made “best women” and helped out enormously with everything, not least organising my hen do. I asked them all to wear dresses in the hues of blue so they would stand out as important people – it just so happened that they all chose nearly exactly the same shade of royal blue but still in styles which they suited.
They looked so brilliant, I was so chuffed when I saw them all together – looking good ladies!
The Finishing Touches
I looked at absolutely loads of tiaras, hairbands, beads, flowers, crowns, feathers for my head and didn’t like anything. The only thing I kind of liked was this dead cheap hairband from Oasis, but it was too casual as it was for the dress. So Erica made me a comb to wear in my hair from some of the material from my dress that was left over and of the dress and bits of the hairband – it was exactly what I was looking for. I decided against a veil as my dress was quite detailed.
For jewellery I wore a bracelet and earrings from Mikey – again I looked at millions of really expensive to really cheap jewellery and struggled to find anything I liked.
Fresh Faced And Lovely
My friend Lucy is an actress and is really great at make-up so she did my face. I loved doing all the shopping for make-up, I’ve got about 5 years worth of supplies left still. She kept make-up all quite fresh and went for a pinky colour on eyelids – sounds gross but it really worked.
Summer In Bloom
Another one of my best friends, Ashlyn is a really skilled florist and works at Blossom, a florists in Chorlton. She did an amazing job of the flowers, they really were the star of the show. I wanted something quite countryside like, with lots of different shades of blue and yellow in them. My bouquet was a mix of loads of different flowers and my two little bridesmaids had smaller versions of this. For table centres, we collected loads of different vases, kilner jars and jam jars and had quite a haphazard display of the flowers.
The best thing about the flowers was a beautiful archway that Ashlyn built using willow and then threaded in loads of different types of flowers. We had this instead of a guest book and people wrote messages on little cut-out shapes for us and tied them to the archway – a bit like a wishing tree. It was definitely one of my favourite things.
The full list of flowers Ashlyn used are Camomile, Dill, Stock, Larkspur, Peonies, Veronica, Freesia, Cornflower, Achillea, Lisianthus, Thlaspi, Hydrangea and Delphinium. Muscari
Right In The Middle
We had the ceremony at St. Johns Church in Chorlton, Manchester which is where we both live. We then had the reception at the Inn at Whitewell, in the beautiful Trough of Bowland in Lancashire. We have family all over the UK (and Ireland) Tom’s family is from Northumberland, and a lot of my family now live down south, so it made sense to have the wedding in the middle of the country.
We met in Chorlton and both really love this suburb of Manchester, so it made sense for us to get married in our local church, even though the reception venue was a good 1hr ½ away. We only looked at 2 venues before we chose the Inn at Whitewell – we both wanted to have the reception at a laid back, “pub” style venue in the countryside and the Inn at Whitewell is the absolute essence of this.
Tom wore a bespoke 3 piece suit from A Suit That Fits in a dark blue colour. It was a really good service and he managed to get exactly what he wanted. He had a tie and matching handkerchief in his top pocket from Reiss and brown boots from Selfridges. He looked the absolute business. A key part of Tom’s outfit was the wedding car…..his dream car is a MGBGT and we aren’t going to be getting one of them anytime soon so we hired one for our wedding car. It was great driving round in such a lovely car and arriving at the Inn at Whitewell in the car was definitely one of my best memories of the day.