Sam Gibson Photography

Laura & Rich
Laura & Rich
Mr & Mrs Photography outside their barn venue
Peach & Pink Rose Bouquets
Bridesmaids in navy blue dresses with peach & pink rose posey's
Place your weddings cards here; vintage suitcase
L&R Lights
L&R Lights
DIY letter and ampersand marquee lights
Almonry Barn
Almonry Barn
Almonry Barn with beautiful fairy lights strung from the beams
Order of the Day written on an ornate mirror
Leg Guitar
Leg Guitar
Bride & Groom have fun on the dance floor
Mr & Mrs shake their tale feathers on the dance floor
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Laura & Rich

I am so in love with the blooms at this wedding, they are simply breathtaking; soft peachy & pink tones complimenting the dark navy dresses of the bridesmaids perfectly, but we wouldn’t expect anything less from one of our very own member’s of The Love Lust List The Wilde Bunch

As much as I love the flowers I have to say I love this Bride & Groom a little bit more, you can just tell they are hopelessly in love, but also that they had an absolute blast on their wedding day; The image of Laura the Bride using Rich’s leg as a guitar is AMAZING & I know I’ll be stealing her dance moves on my next night out!

This wedding is rustic glamour at it’s best, their venue Almonry Barn is simply breathtaking and was decorated beautifully with lots of DIY goodies to inspire you.

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Left Of Centre.

Wedding Centrepieces Table Settings Inspiration


It’s been a while since I last shared some floral inspiration with you gorgeous lot, particularly of the table centrepiece variety. So it seemed right, fitting even, to share some flowery delights with you given that it’s summer.

Or at least it’s supposed to be. At least with this plethora of gorgeous blooms we can pretend that summer is actually here instead of staring pitifully out of the window at yet another downpour.

Just how important to you lovelies are the florals at a wedding – be it your own or one you’ve attended as a guest? From a personal perspective, big day blooms are a real highlight and a table doesn’t quite seem complete without a floral centrepiece sitting prettily amongst the place settings. I wonder why that is…

And so I couldn’t resist peddling my current favourite styles and inspiration this afternoon in the hope that some of you will opt for said trends on your big day.

Please say you will…

Smelling Of Roses

I love roses. Particularly the old garden varieties that are so intoxicating that you can literally get drunk on their heady perfume. In fact I love them so much that I’d choose them over peonies any day.

I know…controversial!

I’ve noticed, of late, a swing back to rose-based centrepieces which have been rejected in recent years in favour of less traditional blooms such as tulips, daffodils, dahlias and hydrangea and it’s so easy to see why.

Perfect for the summer bride who wants an extra dose of romance, I love how rosy centrepieces can look both traditional or ultra modern depending on how they’re styled and what containers are used.

Roses Wedding Centerpieces Centrepieces Romantic

If you’re searching for a romantic, otherworldly, midsummer night’s dream vibe then Damasks are your man, whereas Centifolias or ‘Provence Roses’ are just the ticket for ultra glamorous affairs.

Think about the colour palettes that you’re using too. Peachy pink hues compliment those nuptials held in the great outdoors from Summer through to Autumn whereas paler shades look fantastic in modern settings at colder times of the year.

Message In A Bottle

Milk bottles, medicine bottles, old jam jars and even beer bottles. This type of arrangement exudes style whilst being super kind on the pocket too!

Whilst combinations of different sized bottles have been popular for the last couple of years or so, it’s blue and green bottles – particularly old medicine and tonic bottles – that are experiencing a bit of a renaissance at the moment and it’s easy to see why. Their muted tones are the perfect backdrop for soft blooms and lush foliage making them pop against them.

Bottle Wedding Centrepiece Table Centerpiece Green Blue Organic Rustic

Simplicity is key to this look – single flower heads or branches and foliage look exquisite popped into a bottle or two. Remember to create interest by using vessels of different shapes and heights and then collate them together to create a single centrepiece. Don’t be afraid to use a restricted colour palette – says shades of blush or of greens as this only helps to create a more intense display.

Keep things loose and organic and don’t be afraid to be unconventional. I adore the fern fronds in the clear bottles in the middle of this board; elegant and chic you can guarantee that this particular arrangement won’t have broken the bank.

From The Garden

These arrangements are all about the organic, anything goes approach. Using greater amounts of foliage than the other styles and fewer blooms, these centrepieces are no less beautiful and perfect for romantic summertime nuptials.

Queen Anne’s Lace, Lamb’s Ear, trailing herbs such as Thyme and Rosemary, Limelight Hydrangea, Clematis, Wallflowers and Gardenias, Olive leaves, Mint and Poppies are just some of the gorgeous plants that suit this style perfectly.

Organic Wedding Centrepiece Table Centerpiece Wild Unruly Natural

‘From The Garden’ arrangements tend to be fairly substantial in size – it’s all about building one centrepiece up and out rather than displaying multiple smaller arrangements. Creating a sense of height is the key to this look, however it’s worth being conscious of about how you position these centrepieces on your tables for fear of blocking guests’ lines of sight.

Lastly I’d suggest paying attention to the vessels in which you’re placing your wild and unruly blooms. This style calls for vases with history and character – think trophy cups, antique urns, mercuried glass and textured porcelain and you’re onto a winner.

The Unexpected

And then there’s the unexpected. Think unusual containers and captivating vessels, natural elements and splashes of gold, even centrepieces that dress the entire length of the table and flow down the sides.

These are arrangements with the wow factor.

If you’ve decided to channel a particular theme on your big day then this style is for you. Accessorising your table settings with centrepieces that reflect your overall concept is both effective and savvy and caters for all tastes and budgets too.

Having a coastal beachside theme? Why not replace traditional florals with vases of beautifully coloured shells, arrangements of driftwood or even perfect pieces of coral. I love how this arrangement at the top also incorporates candles for the softest of illumination.

Unusual Wedding Centrepiece Table Centerpiece Pumpkins Succulents Coral Coastal

t’s worth thinking outside the box about seasonality too; for example groupings of gourds and pumpkins or spray-painted gilt leaves are perfect for Autumn weddings. Equally, I love couples who utilise everyday objects in different ways – the succulents planted in these silverplated candlesticks not only look fresh and vibrant but double up as the sweetest favours and the watering can centrepiece is simply genius.

I’ve yet to attend a wedding that has trailing foliage down the centre of the tables but lovelies this is on my wishlist for sure!

So does ‘Smelling Of Roses’ float your boat or are you more of a ‘From The Garden’ kind of gal?

Whilst roses tug at my heartstrings my inner magpie can’t help but be captivated by the glass beakers full of oversized sequins at the bottom here. Just perfect for New Year’s Eve festivities don’t you think?

Perhaps you’ve chosen not to have any florals at all, what will you be opting for instead? I have to say that the coral and candlelit creation near the bottom here has my heart aflutter. What do you think?

And I’d love to hear more about your big day themes. Anyone care to share?

All my love Lolly xxx

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A Raspberry Romance.

Red Wedding Theme Inspiration

Much like the Purple Rain inspiration post we showcased a couple of weeks back, red themed weddings seemed, up until recently, to have fallen out of favour with you lovely lot.

And it’s a blinking shame, because approached in the right way an all-red colour scheme can look nothing short of spectacular. And you needn’t be marrying near Valentine’s nor Christmas to utilise such a vibrant palette either.

In actual fact, using cherry and berry hues in your wedding decor is fresh, exhilarating and invigorating; there’s nothing quite like a bold colour statement to say the party starts here.

And so I am determined to prove to you just how wonderful this shade can look…after all red is the colour of love is it not…

Potent Posies

Nothing quite packs a punch as a fistful of crimson blooms. Romantic and eye-catching a raspberry bouquet just screams love and romance.

Don’t necessarily think that you have to opt for thick heads of red roses if you’re going down this colour route however. The beauty with red flowers is that there’s just so many varieties to choose from – from anemones, tulips, dahlias to ranunculus, clematis and even poppies.

Potent Posies

I’d recommend using a spectrum of red hues rather than colour blocking with a single shade. This breaks up floral arrangements bringing them slap bang up to date with the 21st century. Add foliage for a wistful feel or if you’re looking for something more contemporary stick with thick heads of roses and peonies albeit in different tones.

I particularly love the pop of the splashes of purple of the grape hyacinths against these scarlet peonies at the top here. You wouldn’t think such a colour combination would work but it so does. Equally the contrast of pink hues against red tones looks equally gorgeous too.

Scarlet Ladies

Yes, yes and more yes.

Nothing warms my heart more than seeing a bevy of beautiful maids dressed in scarlet frocks. Be they mismatched or coordinating there’s a real wow factor associated with such bold shades.

I’ve yet to see a maid dressed in red lace but I’m desperate to see a bride use this material in such a modern way. Opting for frocks in shorter lengths looks more contemporary than longer versions too. If you’re choosing to dress your girls in cherry hues then let the dress do the talking and opt for nude shoes and subtle bouquets as a finishing touch.

Scarlet Ladies

It’s worth bearing in mind that red gowns which err on the pinkier side rather than at the orange end of the spectrum suit a wider range of skin tones. It’s something to remember particularly if your best girls don’t look alike; this way you can be sure that they all look beautiful.

Whilst most brides won’t probably want to sport a red frock themselves, there’s no reason why you can’t dash on a slick of pillarbox red lippy or the sweetest strawberry heels as the perfect nod to the wider colour theme. Finish off with lashings of the blackest mascara.

Patisserie & Paper

When I was pulling together the inspiration for this post, I got more than a little peckish. It’s surprising just how many of our favourite fruits (and sweet treats) happen to be red so it was only fair that I shared this plethora of goodies with you too.

We’ve seen the popularity of layered Victoria sponges increase lately and it’s no wonder. They look beautiful and taste just as gorgeous to boot. If you’re looking for a subtle twist on this classic why not serve up individual portions in sweet glass jars for guests as dessert.

Patisserie and Paper

For a healthy alternative, why not offer bowls of luscious cherries and fecund berries in large bowls to be passed between guests – perfect for a rustic summertime wedding. Think about how you serve your sweet treats too – presentation is always key and a neutral background will always make your red delicacies pop against it.

And I couldn’t resist throwing some paper pretty into the mix as well – choose luxurious cardstock in pale hues and literally let the ruby toned calligraphy do the talking.

Titian Touches

This plethora of titian delights firmly proves that an all-red colour scheme can look breathtaking gorgeous whilst ultra modern too.

Why not serve bespoke raspberry or cherry cocktails with customised napkins in the same shade? You could add a monogram or a favourite saying of yours and your beau’s to make it a little bit more special.

Grey and red table settings are perfect for a chic, city soiree whereas distressed wood and soft cotton red and white striped napkins complete with soft strawberry coloured napkins is a wonderful combination for more rustic settings.

Titian Touches

Finish the look with a red bloom at each table setting or a sequinned heart for those of you after a more girly touch.

So are you feeling inspired? Will you be using red in your wedding decor?

I’m off to munch on some delicious strawberries…maybe just maybe Spring has arrived.

All my love Lolly xxx

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The Girl Of My Dreams

The girl of my dreams

Are you holding on to your hats? If you’re not, this is your warning to do so, for this morning I am bringing you not only one, but two stunning brides.

Yep, two. That means two dresses, two bouquets, two beautiful hairstyles to drool over and an unimaginable amount of love and happiness.

Vikki never thought she’d get married. She never pictured a big day, a big dress or a colour theme. But when she was 12, she did start to picture the girl of her dreams. That girl materialised 7 years later in the form of Lou. 11 years later, Lou popped the question on Vikki’s 30th birthday. The rest as they say is history.

You can hear the pride in Vikki’s narrative as she tells us all about her magical day which took place on September 8th 2012 at Muddifords Court Country House in East Devon…

The girl of my dreams

Vikki The Bride: From the moment we got engaged we realised, despite never having ‘pictured our day’, we were definitely going to love planning it! I work in television as a producer, Lou in advertising, so we both knew we’d relish organising a huge party for all the people we love most in the world. There were definitely times when we treated it like a job – my family still laughs at my 8-page wedding day schedule! I’m from Somerset, Lou’s from Scotland, so we set about planning a day that would combine the best of both worlds – cider, cheese and scones combined with whisky, kilts and a ceilidh… the theme was set!

The girl of my dreams

For most of our guests, our civil partnership was their first “gay wedding”. We lost count of the number of people who asked: “So how exactly are you going to do it? Are you both going to walk down the aisle? Are you both going to wear a dress? What about the Best Man? Or the Best Woman? Who’s going to make a speech?” We wanted our day, our way. No set rules, no traditions. However, after lots of soul searching, it turns out we’re more traditional than we thought – we wanted to keep a lot of the conventions designed for your classic wedding. So, we had two wedding dresses, two brides walking down the aisle with their dads, lots of bridesmaids, two bridal bouquets, loads of speeches and a first dance. I think our friends thought we were disappointingly conventional!!

Beautiful, Relaxes And Fun

Picking the perfect venue was the biggest and most time consuming decision we made. We wanted somewhere beautiful, relaxed and fun, somewhere that gave us the freedom to have the Big Day that we wanted, and somewhere in glorious Devon or Cornwall. Muddifords Court Country House in rural East Devon ticked all the boxes and we feel very lucky to have found it. The owners Pip and Nicky had only just received their wedding license when we made the initial contact, and were putting the finishing touches to their venue. It’s a gorgeous house and B&B, with two beautifully restored barns, set around a Victorian courtyard. As a Somerset girl, the original cider press in the Cider Barn swung it for me and Lou fell in love with the chickens (I promised I wouldn’t insert a “she’s always loved birds” joke here. So I won’t).

The girl of my dreams

Two Girls = Two Dresses

The joy of two brides was the joint obsession with all things pretty. We researched and obsessed over every tiny detail, and loved every minute! However, the dresses became a bit of a drama. We always knew we would both wear a dress of some kind on our big day, although we both felt terrified about the actual wedding dress shopping experience. Although we do both wear dresses occasionally in our normal lives, for some reason we expected wedding dresses to look ridiculous on us. What about if we chose dresses that didn’t co-ordinate? Or one of us looked like the bride, the other like the bridesmaid? Or what if we chose the same dress? Imagine that, brides-to-be…!

The girl of my dreams

We enlisted the help of various go-betweeners who came to see both dresses to ensure they would complement each other on the big day. In the end we also decided to give each other a few hints as to our wedding ‘look’; it’s really hard keeping such an important decision so secret, although I think our parents would be horrified if they knew! The dress I decided on was a very simple, silk Charlotte Balbier (Isabelle) – ivory and fitted, with a minimal train, but beautiful crystal buttons down the back. I had short listed my dress choices down to two Charlotte dresses, and my mum came with me to help make the final decision. I knew from the big smile on her face that the Silk One was The One. Lou’s gorgeous dress was a chiffon, Grecian creation from Amanda Wyatt called Riviera. I’ll never forget how beautiful she looked in it!

The girl of my dreams

The Bling

Despite always wanting something simple, I had the clichéd ‘first-fitting panic’ that it was just too plain, so I added a sparkly brooch, bought from Liberty in Love. I then splurged on a Jenny Packham Acacia side tiara. Worth every penny! Lou bought me the most gorgeous pair of earrings to match (I’m a lucky girl!), also from Jenny Packham. They really added to the glamour! I also wore a bracelet that was my granny’s.

The girl of my dreams

My wedding heels were the peep toe, ivory leather ‘Eva’ shoes from Rachel Simpson, with some pearl and crystal gorgeous shoe clips – however sadly the clips were relegated to my dad’s pocket after one flew off, just as I was about to walk down the aisle! Oops. I didn’t want anything too high, as I was determined to keep them on all night – even during the enthusiastic Ceilidh! And it worked: my shoes stayed on! They’re beautiful and I’ll definitely wear them again.

The girl of my dreams

Lou’s shoes were also Rachel Simpson – I think between us we must have ordered about 8 different pairs from Rachel in the run up to the wedding! Lou wore a soft grey and silver strappy pair from her bridesmaid range. Lou spends her life in trainers and flats, so wearing heels for 12 hours was true commitment to bridal style! (Although there were a pair of sparkly dancing flats on standby!) She had a beautiful bejewelled comb for her hair, bought from Glitzy Secrets, and I gave her a 3-strand pear necklace from Queens and Bowl to wear on the day.

The Beautifying

Our hair was styled by the lovely Amy Stuart. She knew exactly what look we wanted, and convinced me to curl my normally poker straight hair. We went to the hair trial together, so had a sneak preview of our wedding day look (shh… don’t tell the parents!), but we resisted the temptation to take a peak at each others’ dresses, even when they were hanging up next to each other at the venue the night before the big day! Luckily for me, my gorgeous sister Anna is a qualified make-up artist. She really is brilliant and my makeup was exactly what I wanted, and stayed put all day, despite all the drinking and dancing! Sticking to convention, we got ready separately (though just across the corridor from each other!) and one of Lou’s best friends, also an Anna, did her make-up, and did a fantastic job. Lou rarely wears any makeup, so Anna gave her an incredibly natural look.

The girl of my dreams

The Bloom

Flowers were really important to us and we spent ages looking at blogs, magazines and photos to work out what we wanted. We made mood boards for our wonderful florist Sharon at Interiors and Flowers in Wellington, Somerset, and she created the exact look we were after. We had colourful, natural looking, hand-tied bouquets filled with blue hydrangeas, dahlias, pink roses, daisies, sweet Williams, thistles and stocks, along with eucalyptus, rosemary and mint. As well as looking beautiful, they smelt amazing, and I have vowed to recreate them both for every anniversary! Because we had two big bridal bouquets, we kept the bridesmaids really simple with bunches of white gypsophila tied with lace. On the tables we had pots of Somerset lavender in white washed terracotta pots, as well as jam jars full of colourful country style blooms.

The girl of my dreams

My Beautiful Wife

I was so excited about marrying the woman of my dreams! We had breakfast together (although neither of us could eat!) and put the finishing touches to the decoration, before retreating to separate rooms to make the transformation into brides. Our dads, who would both be walking us down the aisle, also had the tricky task of co-ordinating our exit from the house and into the cider barn without us seeing each other. This involved a lot of “Wait there”, and “OK, start walking”! The TV producer in me wanted them armed with radios and Madonna-style head-sets… they sadly declined, but it was well choreographed nonetheless.

The girl of my dreams

My bridesmaids walked down the aisle first, followed by my dad and me. I was so nervous, I think I was shaking! We had both worried about how the ‘aisle-bit’ would work – with two brides walking down one after the other – whoever went first might feel, and look, like the groom! However none of this mattered on the day. When I turned around and saw Lou walking in with her dad, she completely took my breath away. She looked absolutely amazing and I don’t think either of us stopped grinning at each other from that point on!

The girl of my dreams

The ceremony was beautiful. We walked down the aisle to Songbird (The All Angels version), had Elbow’s One Day Like This during the signing of the register, and walked back up the aisle to Hopipolla. We agonised over the music, but not as much as we did over the readings! Two of our closest friends read poems; my Granddad read a beautiful passage from Captain Corelli’s Mandolin, and Lou’s mum read the Celtic Blessing. There wasn’t a dry eye in the house / barn! Lou is Scottish, so it was important to us to have some Celtic touches throughout the day – from the kilts on the men, to the thistles in the bouquets; from our favourite whisky served after dinner, to the very energetic Ceilidh!

A Total Joy

From getting ready in the morning, until last thing at night, Sam Gibson was an absolute joy to have around! We loved sharing our day with him and are thrilled with the photos. We wanted a documentary feel to the pictures and I think he captured the day perfectly. We renamed him the wedding oracle because of all the brilliant hints and tips he dispensed in between taking the photos! He received so many compliments from our friends and family… I would highly recommend him.

The girl of my dreams

The Feast

After the ceremony we headed round to the front of the house by the lake and the boathouse, where a jazz band and some fairground games entertained our guests. They were served prosecco, sparkling rose cider, and scones with jam and cream. I made the scones myself and I can safely say, after baking approximately 200 of the Devonshire delicacies, I will be happy not to see another one for quite a long time!

Lou on the other hand baked over 200 shortbread hearts, to a family recipe. These were packed into organza bags and given as favours. We wanted our day to be fun, relaxed, and a real reflection of us. This also included all of our favourite food! We started our wedding feast with antipasti sharing platters for each table, followed by a huge BBQ and some amazing salads. Dessert was a cake stand of delicious home made treats that our guests had baked and brought with them. Dessert also included one of my favourite foods of all time: meringue filled with fresh fruit and cream. The Cake! My brilliant mum offered to make the meringue for our wedding cake and it was a four-tiered masterpiece! It was also my dream wedding cake. She actually made two of them – one to be the wedding cake and one to keep in the back kitchen to serve up as dessert! It was a hot day, and had melted a little bit. I know my mum was worried that it looked lopsided, despite hours of baking and assembling, but we didn’t even notice. It was perfect!

The girl of my dreams

The Dad-Off And The Advice

Both our dads love to talk, so we had been expecting a bit of a Dad-Off during the speeches. We were also hoping that their dad jokes would compensate for the lack of best man speech, and they didn’t disappoint. Turns out they had indeed conspired, the night before, to do a bit of a double act. They performed a scripted argument about who was really the Father of the Bride… “I’m the father of the bride”… “No, I am”…”No, I think you’ll find I am….” Etc. You get the gist! It was very funny. We were very nervous about our own speeches, but on the day I think we both just said what came naturally to us and, true to form, we both cried.

My biggest piece of advice to other brides (and grooms!) is to take the time early on to list the most important elements of your day, and what you don’t want to compromise on – whether that’s the number of people, the location, the food or the time of year. And don’t get too bogged down with a fixed theme, it’s really just about combining all your favourite things, and all your favourite people, to create the best day of your lives! You’ll love it. And if the government ever passes the Gay Marriage bill, then we may just do it all over again. Without getting too political, saying “we’re married” would be a lot less of a mouthful than explaining that, technically speaking, we’re just “civilly partnered”… Here’s hoping!

The girl of my dreams

Click here & view all images from this wedding

Reception: Muddifords Court Country House
Make-up: Anna Kate
Photography: Sam Gibson
Boutique: The Brides Room
Vickki’s Dress: Charlotte Balbier
Lou’s Dress: Amanda Wyatt
Hair: Amy Stuart
Flowers: Interiors and Flowers by Design
DJ: Stylish Entertainment
Jazz Band: Panama Jazz Band
Catering: Antonias Kitchen
Lighting: Party Lights
Shoes: Rachel Simpson
Maids: Coast

How super gorgeous was that! I can completely identify with Vikki when she says how hard she found it to not discuss her dress with Lou. It feels like such a massive epic decision… the type of decision you would always normally discuss with your other half before going ahead and purchasing but I’m sure you will agree with me when I say they both picked gorgeous gowns that were perfect for them and totally complimented each other.

One of my favourite things about Vikki’s story is how she has vowed to recreate their bouquets on each anniversary. What a lovely lovely idea.

I want to go and find a coconut shy to play right about now. O, and how about that cake! I’e never seen one quite like it.

Congratulations ladies. Just gorgeous.


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Stand By Me.


I love an outdoor wedding. And I love it even more when an outdoor wedding shines through a drizzly day. Umbrellas are a serious wedding accessory and Rachel’s is a beauty.

This wedding seriously pops with colour and the venue is stunning.

I also love a groom who won’t stop until he’s found the perfect suit. It was definitely worth the hunt because Al looks super dapper.

David Fielden Dress

Rachel The Bride: Al and I got married at Barnsley House at the end of May this year. We chose Barnsley House because of the elegant but relaxed feeling and the stunning gardens. We wanted to get married outside and we chose the Temple as our perfect setting. The rooms were incredible and all the staff were professional but friendly. The food was absolutely wonderful too and we had a perfect day.

Stand By Me

Decisions Decisions

When I first got engaged my mum very kindly offered to buy my wedding dress for me – I am so grateful to her for that and we had lots of fun going shopping to find ‘the one’. My dress was by David Fielden and I found it in a beautiful boutique in Bradford-on-Avon, Carina Baverstock Couture. Carina was amazing the first time I went in and sat us (my Mum, Sister and I) down with a cup of tea and talked about how I wanted to look on the day before I tried any dresses on. Then she showed us lots of dresses and I started trying on the ones that I liked. I was convinced that I wanted a dress with lots of lace but as soon as tried one on it just seemed a little too much.

Stand By Me

It wasn’t an easy decision for me as the dress in the shop was a sample dress so it was a bit big and a different colour. I’m so glad that I had my mum and sister with me to help with the decision. I wanted something that I would look elegant in and when I finally visited the boutique to try on my dress I was absolutely stunned. I couldn’t have been happier with it.

Just Perfect

My only piece of jewellery was a pair of pearl and diamond drop earrings. I wanted something simple and elegant and as I was wearing my hair up I knew they would fit perfectly. The earrings were bought for me by my Aunty Sue (a very close family friend) as she wanted me to wear something on the day that was a gift from her. My hair piece was by Polly Edwards and I found it at the same boutique as my dress along with my veil. I was certain that I didn’t want a veil when I began my dress search but when I tried it on with the dress it just made it all the more perfect.

Marks and Spencer Brogues

A Wedding Angel

My sister had worked for Clinique for a number of years and so she was the natural choice to do my make-up. I don’t wear a lot of make-up on a day to day basis and I knew that Soph would make sure I looked like myself on the day. We did a couple of trials before the big day and spent quite a lot of time and money shopping for make-up but that was all part of the fun.

I had always wanted our family hairdresser Liz Shipton to do my wedding hair. I went to her home in Wales to have a trial and took all my bits and bobs with me. Liz was amazing. On the day she didn’t leave until she was sure I was ready to go with my hair piece and veil securely attached and she helped me getting in to my dress too. She definitely is a wedding angel!

Stand By Me

Sweet Smells

Claire from The Wilde Bunch did our flowers. We discussed the flowers for the table centrepieces and wanted something very natural with greens, whites and some pink peonies. Al then left Claire and I to discuss the bouquet, bridesmaid’s posies and button holes so that I could describe my dress to her. When I explained that I wanted to look very elegant and told Claire about the fit of the dress, she said she knew the perfect flower and showed me a picture of the ‘Gloriosa Lily’ which I loved. From there we built up my bouquet with beautiful peonies and red roses, the ‘Black Baccara’ and the sweet smelling ‘Ecstasy’ rose. When Claire delivered the flowers to our room on the day I was stunned at how beautiful they looked, as a bride in the planning stages it’s so hard to picture everything together but I think the flowers complimented the bridal party perfectly.

Barnsley House

Quite Quaint

As we were having a very small wedding (only 13 guests) it was a very small bridal party. I had two bridesmaids, my sister and Al’s sister. I took the bridesmaids shopping a couple of times for dresses before we found some simple navy blue dresses with a detailed drop waist and cowl neck in Monsoon and they looked stunning. The shoes were from H&M but they matched the style of the dresses perfectly and the gold picked up on the small gold beads around the waistlines. I gave each of the girls their jewellery for the day as gifts. I chose different pieces that would suit each of the girls but they were all delicate gold pieces.

Reiss Suit

A Few Finishing Touches

Al had very definite ideas about what he wanted and he felt that the relaxed feeling around Barnsley House needed to be reflected in the clothing as much as anything else. His suit was from Reiss and the colour was ‘air force blue’, he looked very smart and I knew that with a few finishing touches it would be the perfect suit for him to get married in. We finished the suit off with some tan brogue style shoes from Marks and Spencer, a tan belt, a crisp white hanky placed in the top pocket and a lovely blue Hugo Boss tie. He looked incredibly handsome standing waiting for me outside and I was the happiest bride in the world walking down the aisle to meet him.

Stand By Me

Couldn’t Be Happier

Our photographer was Sam Gibson and we found his website one evening after despairing that we would never be able to find ‘the one’. We wanted relaxed wedding photos, a photographer who could tell the story of our special day and not bark orders at our guests trying to take the perfect group shot. We met with Sam at our home and felt relaxed in his company. We looked through some albums of other weddings he had photographed and felt that he was the right photographer for us. Sam met with us at Barnsley House once before the wedding to get a feel for the place and to familiarise himself with the layout of the venue. On the day, he arrived at 12 noon to take some pictures of the bridesmaids and I getting ready for the 4pm ceremony. I hardly noticed Sam snapping away and felt completely relaxed with him in the room. He disappeared a few times to get some shots of the venue and of Al arriving but was there to capture the moment that I put my dress on.

Barnsley House

Sam was so wonderful and stayed later than we’d thought he would to get some wonderful photos during the speeches and some photos of Al and I outside at the Temple after the sun had gone down. We’ve just received our amazing Wedding album as well as the slideshow that Sam created and couldn’t be happier with the results. I would recommend Sam to anyone as a truly gifted photographer.

Carrying On The Celebrations

I made the cake for the wedding day, a Chocolate Guinness cake (I made two and left one with my mum just in case we had an accident with the first one), which is one of Al’s favourites, presented on a floral cake stand. A couple of days later, we had a wedding reception locally to where we live with approximately 100 guests. We settled on a BBQ for the event and had a Marks and Spencer three tiered sponge with white icing and white ribbon. It was simple but effective and tasted good too!

As Al’s family, on his mum’s side are Welsh so we decided to have Welsh cakes as our favours. We ordered them from a company that we found in Mermaid Quay in Cardiff, Fabulous Welsh Cakes. We had ours shaped as little hearts with navy ribbon tied round the top to match the bridesmaids’ dresses. They were delicious and were a perfect touch.

Barnsley House

Creating Havoc

At the reception we hired a band called The Dukes of Havoc. They played two sets and really got the party started. Everyone was impressed with them and had a great time dancing the night away. We wanted more of a party atmosphere at the reception with lots more guests there and The Dukes were perfect.

Our first dance was to ‘Stand by Me’ by Ben. E. King. In 2009 we spent six months travelling around the world together, listening to music on various road trips and we’re both musical people so there are lots of songs that are special to us. We didn’t want a song that was too slow or too traditional and both love the lyrics to this song.

David Fielden Dress


I found a circular wooden wreath in a discount shop and hung a small white heart I had found in the centre of it and tied some ribbon onto the top. We hung it from a tree in the garden where we got married. At the reception, instead of a guest book, we left out disposable cameras for people to take their photo and then left out a pile of brown paper luggage tags with little hearts punched into them for people to leave us a message. I kept all our engagement and wedding cards too so that I can make up a book full of cards, hand written tags and photos as an alternative to a guest book.

It was all far more stressful than I thought it would be and it’s hard to please all of the people all of the time. I would say definitely have a think about the things that are most important to you both and then compromise on smaller things that you don’t mind as much about. I’m also really bad at making decisions and there are so many things to choose when it comes to a wedding so always keep your groom, a bridesmaid or mum close at hand to give you a second opinion.

Barnsley House

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Venue: Barnsley House
Brides Dress: David Fielden
Boutique: Carina Couture
Hair: Wedding Angel
Groom: Reiss
Flowers: The Wilde Bunch
Maids: Monsoon
Photography: Sam Gibson

How unbelievably stunning is Rachel?!

I love the flowers on the tables and the simplicity of it all. And how much do you want to try and Chocolate Guiness cake?… Sounds incredible.

I really like the thought of a small intimate ceremony. Something so personal to just share with those nearest and dearest to you. It was something we had discussed about our very own wedding but we really found it hard to be ruthless and cut the guest list, so massive props to Rachel and Al for being able to do it and have their day their way. I bet the party a few days later was equally as immense.

So tell me, are any of you having smaller weddings this year? and I KNOW you love Rachel’s bouquet.