This afternoon’s country club wedding in Berkshire has just the right amount of classic beauty and contemporary twists to have you gushing; with a blush pink, soft grey and white colour scheme coupled with modern chevron prints and lots of sparkle!.
Bride Tara continued her traditional theme with a beautiful full wedding dress from Maggie Sottero and her Bridesmaid’s gowns from No.1 by Jenny Packham complimented it perfectly.
Bride & Groom Tara & Mark really worked their socks off to ensure everybody had an amazing time at their wedding, incorporating both sides heritage from a Steel Band to Irish dancers and compiling quizzes and games for their guests during the drinks reception and wedding breakfast.
The Brides Fashion & Accessories
Tara The Bride: Before we were engaged, I had never imagined getting married, or what I would wear, so I tried on every silhouette, in every fabric I could find, but quickly knew a big romantic style dress was for me – nothing else quite made me feel like a bride. My dress was by Maggie Sottero, it had a dropped waist and just the right amount of puffiness! I had a few problems with the dress when it arrived resulting in Windsor and Eton Brides ordering a new one – this made me so glad I purchased the dress through a reputable company, they went out of their way to reassure me and make sure my dress was just perfect on the day – I cannot thank them enough!
The dress was very plain, so we added some subtle sparkle with a headpiece and a cathedral length veil. All of which came from Windsor and Eton Brides. I also swapped the belt that originally came with the dress for a slightly daintier one.
Being short I needed a good size heel, so I went with traditional bridal shoes from Rainbow Club – they were very comfortable and I managed to dance the night away in them.
The Grooms Fashion & Accessories
Mark went for navy tails from Black Tie Hire, which we matched with a light silver cravat and waistcoat. He wears a suit most days for work so he wanted something that made him feel a bit more special. I also got him some Links of London cuff links as a gift.
We looked at a lot of venues, from village halls to pig farms! None of which quite clicked with us for some reason. We then went to see Bearwood Lakes Golf Club which happened to be on the same road as the church. The thought of being able to play a round of golf at this rather nice private club sealed the deal for Mark. It had the most beautiful views and wonderful staff. Our wedding guests are still talking about how amazing the food was – hats off to Stuart the Chef.
We wanted our wedding to be a mix of modern and traditional; we did this by using lots of soft romantic colours, blush pinks, light greys and whites, and lots of chevron pattern to give it a bit of a twist. Sophie from Magpie Décor managed to source some great chevron sequin table linens for us.
We hired giant LOVE letters from Doris Loves, these were battery powered so could be moved around; we even took them outside for photographs.
Our florist Tarnia spent a lot of time talking through ideas and reassuring us that she understood our vision. I had very specific ideas on what I wanted and Tarnia did an amazing job at interpreting them. Tarnia’s Flowers were truly beautiful. When I walked into the reception I couldn’t believe they were mine!
We had a mix of carnations, hydrangeas, roses and eucalyptus foliage. At the church we gave out white carnations for the guests to wear. The centerpieces where a mixture of candelabras with flowers down the stems and balls of flowers.
After Christmas all the supermarkets where selling off lots of mercury glass vases and candle holders so I bought a load of these for the fireplace in the venue which Tarnia filled with stems of roses and gypsophila.
My bouquet was a mix of white carnations and roses including David Austin roses, with trailing silver ribbon.
The Wedding Party Fashion
The bridesmaid’s dresses were No.1 by Jenny Packham – which I think they looked absolutely stunning in. They were a great find; they suited all of them, they had a lovely cut to them, and the colour was perfect. I got them Jenny Packham earrings to match and as a gift on the day I brought them each a silver Links of London bracelet.
The ushers and bestmen wore navy tails to match Mark, but instead of a silver waistcoat they had a navy version, and they all had matching pink socks.
The ceremony took place at St Catherine Bearwood. We didn’t want to spend on flowers here; instead we used feather hearts from John Lewis as pew ends. I painted an easel grey and made a large welcome sign, this stood outside the church along with two giant balloons that had long tassel tales in our wedding colours. All these items where then taken to our reception venue. I designed the order of service, and inside it we put a couple of pictures from our engagement shoot. We also had a basket full of 100 white rain macs – but luckily we didn’t need to use them.
I sprayed some metal buckets with silver glitter spray and tied ribbons on them; I then filled them with confetti from Shropshire Petals Confetti which the bridesmaids handed out after the ceremony.
Mark and I love a party, so it was only natural for music and dancing to be a big part of our wedding, with Marks Dad being from St Vincent and my Mum from Ireland; it was an obvious choice to base our entertainment around them. We had steel drummers for the drinks reception which was perfect for a summer’s day and after dinner we surprised our guests with some adorable and very talented Irish dancers.
For the evening party we had an incredible DJ who did a great job judging what to play for the crowd, we also had an amazing funk / soul band called Groove Republic – our dance floor was packed all night! We hired a photo booth which was great fun; I designed my own signs to go inside it and the background that the photographs were printed on.
The cake was made by our family friend Mary, and was decorated with flowers by our florist, Tarnia. It tasted as good as it looked; Mary did a fantastic job, especially with the silver leaf which I think was quite tricky to put on.
I’m not a fan of traditional canapés and we didn’t have a big budget for this, so the chef came up with a great idea to do ‘sweet’ canapés. We had mini glasses filled with Neapolitan ice-creams, brownies, chocolate covered strawberries and mini banana splits on ceramic spoons to name a few. They went down a treat!
In the evening the venue put on egg and bacon rolls and chips, we also had a fresh popcorn cart and a sweet bar.
I thought finding a photographer would be difficult but it turned out to be one of the easiest tasks that we had to do. My friend sent me a link to a Rock My Wedding blog post which featured a wedding she thought I would like. I immediately fell in love with the beautiful imagery by Hayley Savage I couldn’t believe my luck when she was available on our date! Hayley’s photographs capture the exact feel of the day, and I will treasure them forever. Hayley also did the most incredible engagement shoot for us at Brighton Beach; the pictures are stunning (a credit to Hayley’s photography as we certainly aren’t naturals in front of the camera!) It also helped relax us ready for our wedding photos; I would definitely recommend doing this.
I am so glad we filmed our wedding, its true what people say, you really don’t remember it all, the day goes by so quickly. We haven’t seen our film yet, they take quite a while to edit, but I am sure I won’t be disappointed if Unique Visuals website is anything to go by!
They were very professional on the day, and I truly did not notice them, they were very discreet and respectful of our guests. I can’t wait to see the finished film as I can’t even remember the speeches!
I did quite a lot of DIY – I have listed below the things that our guests seemed to comment on…
We made bunny rabbit place card holders for the tables, I couldn’t find the bunnies anywhere in this country – but after finding an American tutorial on making bunny candle holders, I emailed the company Darby Smart who sent me over a box of them. We sawed the backs of 100 bunny rabbits, sprayed them silver and then inserted each guests name into the back. The actual name cards where printed on our home printer and then stamped out using a craft punch.
Instead of a traditional guestbook, I designed a spiral bound booklet which had prompt boxes for people to fill in, such as ‘Remember to always….’ it also had space to draw a picture of themselves and an area for ‘creative space’ where they could write or doodle whatever they liked.
With each place setting we put a little pack. Each one contained a menu, a link to our WedPics photo sharing app (this worked great, lots of our guests uploaded their photos which was nice to look at on honeymoon) and a ‘test your table’ game – each person on the table had a different question about Mark and I which they had to get the rest of the table to answer, for example, ‘What does Mark have an unusual fear of?’. This worked great as an icebreaker for the tables; you could certainly hear a lot of people having fun playing it!
Our table numbers where all dates which were important to us, we wrote out the number, and then the reason why that date was important, I then printed them off and put them inside photo frames for each table.
Mark made a game called cornhole which seems to be on a lot of American wedding blogs. It’s basically some raised wood with a hole in which you need to try and throw a bean bag into. It was meant to be a drinks reception game, but we left it out and people were playing it all night. We coloured it in grey and pink stripes to match our wedding theme.
I made all my own stationery. One thing I loved about my invitations were the boxes I put them in, these were actually jewellery boxes which I had printed at Potters. I put my invitations and some silver and white tissue paper inside them, then wrapped the whole box in pink ribbon – it looked very pretty.
Photography by Hayley Savage Photography
- Wedding Dress Maggie Sottero
- Venue Bearwood Lakes Golf Club
- Earrings Ivory & Co
- Bridal Shoes Rainbow Club
- Florist Tarnia Williams Flowers for Weddings
- Groomsmen Suits Black Tie
- LOVE Letters Doris Loves
- Popcorn Cart Berkshire Wedding & Event Hire
- Giant Balloons & Tassel Tails Bubblegum Balloons
- Sequin Tablecloths Magpie Decor
- Band & DJ Groove Republic
- Steel Band CultureMix
- Irish Dancers The O’Gara School of Irish Dance
- Videographer Unique Visuals