We love hearing that RMW was inspiration for this vintage wedding at Kew Gardens. And that our very own hand picked wedding supplier directory The List was the source for finding their florist Flowers by Eve. It's no mean feat to produce such wonderful blooms when you're in such an iconic botanical location. But Nicola certainly delivered, producing truly stunning white on white bouquets and centrepieces mixed with delicate grey foliage. Talking of delicate, the lace overlay on Tamsin's Charlie Brear Catroux separates is divine. So feminine, so pretty and just wonderful. I am also in love with her bridesmaids pastel pink multiway dresses. The perfect spring palette against all the greenery of the gardens and those getting ready portraits captured by Razia N. Jukes are so adorable. Each lady helping the other to twist and tie the dresses to their personal style. It's what weddings are all about.
Wedding InspirationTamsin the Bride: Before we got married Dave and I had been together for 11 years, and we had never once talked about what the day would be like. But once we started talking about what we thought made a great wedding, we were on the same page; amazing food, a flowing bar and a meaningful venue. The whole process took about 18 months from his initial proposal (on our 10y anniversary in Australia) and mostly involved a lot of RMW browsing, a healthy Pinterest addiction and a very hefty spreadsheet. Then two months before the big day we found out we were pregnant; it was a crazy mix of emotions but ultimately brilliant – I can’t wait to tell our son that he was there on our big day – and it was pure luck the dress still fitted!
DressI was utterly surprised to fall in love with a dress so quickly, but the expert eye of the team at The Secret Dress House helped me find The One, the second dress in. I did try a few more on just to be sure, but ultimately Charlie Brear's gorgeous lace Catroux separates were the ones for me. I discovered her simple silhouette on one of many feverish Pinterest searches but it was only once I put it on, I realised it was right for me. It was elegant yet comfortable, classic yet modern and by the time I was ready for fittings, I was relieved that it was able to accommodate my 18 week bump.
The BoysDave works in the creative industry, so doesn't really wear suits. In fact I think he only owns the one! He was clear from the start he didn't want the typical black or grey get up you typically see when you hire men's formal wear, so we were pleased to find that Moss Bros" target="_blank">Moss Bros had just started a new range of Ted Baker" target="_blank">Ted Baker formal wear; the mid-blue colour was perfect for the Spring vibe and a more modern twist on the typical tail suit.
Our VenueWhen it came out picking our venue, we were certain we wanted it to be in a venue that meant something to us, not just another pretty hotel. Plus keeping it local wedding meant most of our friends and family, who live in London, were spared the usual wedding hotel costs etc. We visited a number of sites across the city, and struggled to find somewhere that was both special to us, and not budget-busting. It was my Mum who suggested The Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew; I grew up down the road so it felt like a great place to celebrate and fortunately it was just in budget. Cambridge Cottage is nestled in a corner of Kew Gardens; it was small and able to cater for our intimate wedding within a pretty walled garden and the rest of the Gardens beyond.
Colour Scheme/DecorWe didn't have a particular colour scheme that we stuck to, but more of a fresh Spring vibe with some interesting creative touches. Dave is a graphic designer so he created all the print work which meant we could try tonnes of different ideas and make changes right up until the final few days. I love the end result, but had a mild panic the week before we were due to print the invites, when Dave said he wanted to start from scratch, again! On our tables we intertwined two of our passions: books and photography. I trawled eBay and found lots of classic Penguin novels which were piled under and against the flowers; I created the table numbers by carving out the numbers from book pages and framed in see through glass frames. I also found some great vintage cameras on eBay which we also added to the tables along with some unusual name cards I found on Etsy; the safari animals a light nod to my Dad’s African routes. Dave and I are both really tall, so naturally we were giraffe!
FloristI found Flowers by Eve on The List, not only were they local to me but Nicola totally understood my aesthetic and was very up for the (rather daunting!) challenge of arranging flowers at Kew Gardens! I wanted a bouquet of mainly white flowers with greens and greys throughout, roses and peonies gave it a really soft unstructured look, and they were offset by sage and other bits of greenery. On the tables we went for lots of little arrangements includIng herbs which smelled gorgeous.
The Wedding Party FashionWe ended up having quite a large bridal party, which we were quite surprised by as we hadn't expected to have quite such a big entourage! However they are all such special friends, we couldn't miss anyone out. The boys wore the same mid-blue Ted Baker dinner jacket to match Dave, and my Bridesmaids looked gorgeous in a fresh peach number which we found on Etsy. My budget couldn't quite stretch to the real Twobirds deal, but this replica came up trumps.
CeremonyWe were married a short walk from Kew Gardens at the Barn Church, an old Tudor barn that’s been lovingly restored and has been used as a church for 200 years. Inside it’s perfectly simple; floor to ceiling wood and you can still see the tool marks from where it was originally made. For our readings I really struggled to decide. In the end we settled on Song of Soloman, which my Mum read, and I found the Apache Wedding Blessing, which is really simple but captured exactly the essence of how we want our marriage to be, for Dave school mate Lee to read.
EntertainmentWe really wanted to make sure our guests had a good party, so a good friend recommended Wedding Smasher who kept the dance floor filled from the moment we had our first dance (Bob Marley’s Is the Love). When not dancing, our guests posed up a storm in the photo booth (by The Big Booth) –it was nestled between the bar and evening buffet table so it got plenty of footfall! However before the evening kicked off, after the meal, we sent all our guests on the Kew Explorer train for a tour around the Gardens whilst the room was set up for the party. I was really worried that sending the guests away from the venue would disperse the atmosphere that had build during the meal, and would be too ‘forced fun’. But we plied everyone with bottles of beer and mini bottles of Prossecco, and have since been told that it was one of the highlights of the wedding! Whist they were explorer-ing Dave and I went off and to have some dusk photos taken, and all we could hear were shrieks and singing as our revellers went spinning round the Garden. So much for our private time alone; Dave has since revealed that he wishes he went on the ride instead!!
FoodThe way to Dave’s heart is definitely through his stomach, luckily Create came up trumps. One of the preferred Kew suppliers they made fabulous canapés and wedding breakfast, and Rhi was the most attentive and helpful planner/organiser/advice giver I could have ever hoped for! For the meal we chose Spring lamb (with white bean mash and 3 colour carrots) but dessert was a harder choice, so we ended up settling on two and gave them to alternate guests. Some people got (my fave!) raspberry soufflé, whilst others had Dave’s dark chocolate and hazelnut viennetta. From day 1 we knew we wanted a cake of cheese that could be nibbled throughout the night and would (hopefully) leave us plenty of leftovers! Unfortunately this wasn't to be as Teddington Cheese laid on the most delicious selection of cheese, and our guests scoffed the lot! It was served in the evening alongside a grazing table of chutneys, antipasti and pork pie which we bought from Chatsworth House farm shop, down the road from where Dave’s family live.
PhotographerMy Dad is a photographer by profession, and Dave is also very keen, so this was one of the most important and hardest things to plan. After hours of searching, and a few meetings, we found Razia and we clicked instantly. We completely fell in love with her style – she makes weddings look like the most perfect dream – and her attitude; in every photo you can tell that she utterly loves weddings and cares about the couples she shoots. Dave is more used to being behind the lens than in front, so Razia met us at Kew before the big day to scope out a few locations, and to give us a test run. We found a couple of great spots, but none more so than a huge eucalyptus tree, where we had our group photos, and reminded us of our trip to Australia where we got engaged. A very special moment.
Dress Designer: Charlie Brear - Catroux Separates | Bridal Boutique: The Secret Dress House | Bridesmaid Dresses: Etsy - The Daintyard | Hair Pins: Etsy - Roslyn Harris Designs | Shoes: Etsy - Ammie Joyce | Groomsmen: Ted Baker Suits from Moss Bros | Venue: Kew Gardens Cambridge Cottage | Caterer: Create | Florist: Flowers by Eve | Cheese Tower: Teddington Cheese | Photo Booth: The Big Booth | Entertainment: Wedding Smashers | Safari Animal Place Names: Etsy - KLEPAC & Co