Be prepared for some serious pretty people, the wedding of Alex and Andy is full of love, laughter and an abundance of feminine touches.
Alex actually has her very own soft furnishings and gift company and put together many of the decor details herself including the unique fabric bouquets.
I am particularly loving the ceremony ribbons and Alex’s Claire Pettibone dress with the delicious lace back detail. Oh and did I mention the nude blush maids and Alex’s immense braided hair-do?
All of the lovely images are by Emma Lucy Photography , Enjoy you gorgeous lot.
Outside The Box
Neither myself or Andy are religious so really wanted a wedding that reflected us and didn’t just follow the traditional route of a church wedding. This wasn’t important to us and getting married in a church felt quite hypercritical as attending church is not something we ever do, and would never intend in doing after the wedding either. So we needed an alternative idea.
We were quite ‘budget aware’ and getting married in a hotel or licenced venue was also proving to be an expensive option, what with venue fees and ‘wedding packages’ it was incredibly easy to see how the budget can be blown without much effort. So with all these factors in mind we both needed to think outside of the box.
Both of us wanted a small, intimate wedding and something that we could celebrate over a weekend and make a real celebration of. After looking at various wedding venues and all the restrictive elements that you had to adhere to, we decided to look at holiday homes. We wanted something that we could hire and have all to ourselves, but was big enough to have about 50 guests for the day. We found a beautiful farm house in the Cotswolds that well and truly ticked every box. It had 7 bedrooms, so we could accommodate our family, beautiful gardens and the perfect barn in the garden that would be ideal for our reception. Our venue was found!
As our venue was not a ‘typical’ wedding venue, it was a holiday home, it wasn’t licensed for weddings, so we decided to look into a Humanist ceremony and found the amazing Zena Birch who is a humanist celebrant. A humanist ceremony really appealed to us as we arent religious, so it gave us an alternative ceremony, without the religion and we were able to make it completely personal to us as well as get married outside in the grounds of the property. Zena was incredible. She put both of us completely at ease and made our wedding all about us. We had met with her on a few occasions before the wedding to discuss ideas and the ceremony itself and she was perfect. I loved the ceremony and it was without a doubt my favourite part of the day. So many of our guests have also commented on how much they enjoyed it. Thankyou Zena!
Lovely In Lace
My dress was by Claire Pettibone. I enjoyed the process of looking for my dress. However, I did find it a little stressful. Before setting up my company I had previously worked in Fashion so knew exactly what I didn’t want in a dress. From my background in fashion and from my job now, I work with fabric and good quality, natural fabrics are important to me. I didn’t want man made fabrics, a dress that had ‘noisey’ fabrics such as silk taffeta or satins so you could hear me coming before I actually came into view. I didn’t want anything too big and meringue like, I didn’t want a corset/strapless number and I didn’t want anything to formal with a big train…….a big list of ‘I don’t wants’. The problem was I knew what I didn’t want, I just didn’t know what I did want! Nightmare! The only thing I did know I wanted was something lace. However, I tried on a few lace dresses and felt they made me look a bit too ‘grown up’. I then fell in love with Eden from Jenny Packham, but just couldn’t justify the price tag to myself, even though it was just beautiful in every way. I then found the Queen Annes lace by Claire Pettibone in Morgan Davies in Hitchin. It was a calico type cotton base layer with a silk tulle netting over the top which has a lace trim bottom and lace detailing on the bust and back. It was cream/oyster colour and I totally fell in love! It had the lace I was looking for and was a simple, bohemian styled dress perfect for our venue and garden wedding……
That was until about 3 weeks before the wedding when it started to rain and didn’t stop!!! Total stress. I have never checked the weather forecast so much in my life as I did in the run up to the wedding. There was a problem. My dress was suitable for a beach wedding and the typical british springtime weather was about 9 degrees…….FREEZING!!!!
I am a person who feels the cold…always! 3 days before the wedding and in serious meltdown about the arctic spring we were having I found a true gem of a shop called Vintage Mishka near where I live and the amazing owner had a mink fur stol that she lent to me for the wedding. The colour went perfect with my dress and being fur it kept me warm! Thank god, as it was super chilly on the day and without it I would have been so uncomfortable. A true wardrobe saviour at the 11th hour!
We were trying to make our wedding personal to us but be careful with the budget at the same time. After doing a bit of research on flowers I quickly realised this is where a lot of money gets spent! I love flowers and love to receive flowers, however flowers die quite quickly and I couldn’t bring myself to spend loads of my budget on these. So I decided to buy the flowers for the tables and the ceremony from Tesco the day before and arrange them myself. Its amazing what you can get for £50! I displayed them in jugs and teapots and collected baked bean tins, took the labels off them and tied some ribbon round them……super diy vases! I also bought some mini daffodils from Ikea (an amazing £1.99 for 7 flowers) and planted them in an old tin bath and floral tin pots. I love Daffodils and being the flower that reminds me of spring and having our wedding in Spring it was perfect timing. I have kept the bulbs and I am going to plant them in the garden, so every year they pop up they will be a perfect little reminder of our day.
I then made my own bouquet, bridesmaid posies and buttonholes from various fabrics in various pastel colours. They turned out really well and unlike flowers that die after a while, my bouquet has taken pride of place in my house and is still as fresh today as it was on my wedding day! My bridal bouquet consisted of 12 flowers in various pastel shades and patterns of cotton fabrics. I also hung one of my bouquet tokens from the bouquet which was personalised with our wedding date on. The bridesmaid posies also looked really lovely. I designed two different colours for my four bridesmaids and they were half the size of my bridal bouquet and also made a perfect gift for my amazing maids to take away as a reminder of the day.
I made the buttonholes to match the bouquets with small mini versions of the flowers attached to a badge pin. My gorgeous groom, his best man, ushers and the guys from the bridal party all had a buttonhole in different colours. I have since found out that all of them have kept their buttonhole, which is really lovely as you don’t expect the boys to bother with things like that!! Thanks boys!!
I’m not a massive fan of tiaras or veils and the type of informal wedding we were having I didn’t feel it suited a veil and I wanted my dress to speak for itself. For my jewellery I kept it really simple. Im not known for wearing a lot of jewellery anyway, so I wore my engagement ring on my other hand and my something borrowed were my pearl earrings of my nans. She passed away quite a few years ago, so it was nice to have something of hers there on the day. Andy bought me a beautiful diamond necklace as my wedding gift, that one of my bridesmaids gave to me on the morning of the wedding. It was so perfect, almost as if it was made to go with my dress! My something new!
For my hair I took some photos from Pinterest that I had collected and went to a local salon in the next village from the house. To match the informal feel to the day I didn’t want anything too glamorous or over worked. I wanted more of a looser bohemian style to my hair. I really love plaits, however my hair is not the longest, despite growing it all year! So I ended up with a plait that ran around the back of my head and was pinned in place. Hayley at Tabitha Khaan did a fantastic job. I loved it and it worked perfectly with my dress.
The Bridesmaids outfits were such a great find. I had four bridesmaids and the dress suited all of them. I didn’t want traditional bridemaids dresses, but something that the girls would like and wear again. I also didn’t have a theme, or a particular colour in mind. My decorations were pastel coloured, so this was where we started. I thought all of them looked so beautiful in the dress we chose. We bought them from Dorothy Perkins. I absolutely loved the colour and the style. Each of them looked so elegant and it flattered all of them perfectly. One of my bridesmaids works for the NHS so we got a discount on the dresses.
I also bought the nude blush pink bow belt from Dorothy Perkins in the sale separately and the whole outfit came in at £26 each!! What a bargain! The lace on the dress tied in beautifully with my dress and the nude, blush pink colour worked perfectly with the colours of the day. The girls then chose their own shoes and jewellery.
I met my gorgeous husband whilst working at Paul Smith and he now works for Hackett. He is a bit of clothes snob my husband, so there was never any doubt that a designer label was going to make an appearance!! His suit, shirt, socks and bow tie were from Hackett and his shoes were from Paul Smith. Wow, did he look super handsome. Anyone who knows Andy has very rarely seen him out of jeans, so to see him in a suit looking so smart was really wonderful. He really did take my breathe away. He wears a suit very well!!! Working in the fashion industry he chose his own suit. My only request was the bow tie and he just looked gorgeous!!
Sunshine Through Clouds
We chose Emma Lucy as our photographer. Almost by accident we came across Emma, as we had originally enquired about somebody else and they were booked up on our day and recommended Emma to us. How lucky were we?! We definitely struck gold with Emma!
We both met a few photographers during our search and Emma was the only one who really stuck in our minds and had a little something about her. Apart from her beautiful photography she is a lovely person. So with that in mind we booked her. She arrived on the day, I was worried about the weather and our outdoors ceremony and she totally put me at ease. She captured everything so beautifully. It’s wonderful looking at the photos of all the little snapshots of our wedding that she has captured that maybe we missed.
It was the happiest day of our lives and this radiates throughout the images, despite the cloudy skies above. Both myself and Andy cannot recommend her enough. Emma wasn’t just a photographer, she became one of the guests and hopefully a friend for many years to come!
We hired the wedding house for 3 days. The Friday, Saturday and Sunday over the May day bank holiday. The Friday was a fantastic day, everybody staying at the house helped us build our wedding! With the house not being a wedding venue we had to start from scratch on turning it into what we had imagined. The Friday was spent transforming the barn from a spider webbed games area, into our reception that would comfortably sit 55 people. The spider webbed walls were brushed down, calico curtains were made to fit the doorway, festoon lighting and heaters were set up, miles of bunting was hung from the beams in the roof, paper bunting and stag and hen do photo bunting was made and hung on the walls and the tables and chairs were positioned and laid out with all my handmade bits and bobs. I also prepared all the flowers and made an alternative alter for the ceremony. A fairly tiring day!!
On the Saturday of the wedding, being the bride, I took it a little easy and let my groom and the family finish off the preparations!! A perk of being the bride! The weather had been terrible for the whole of April and the beginning of May, so the ceremony area in the garden could not be set up until the morning as the threat of rain was always close by. The boys set up the alter the chairs and the flowers and did a fantastic job! Andy proposed to me under a tree so it made perfect sense to get married under a big tree in the garden.
Being a textile designer and having my own business, designing and making gifts, I definitely wanted to make the decorations for my wedding. I loved making so many elements of our day. To sit back at the wedding and look at everything that I had made was a real sense of achievement. It made our day all the more special to us and transformed a tired looking barn into the perfect wedding venue for us. I made the bunting in the barn and outside the house, the alter, the chair bows, the bouquets, buttonholes, wedding favours for the girls and the place names on the tables. It took a lot of time to make everything and at times was slightly stressful, but I wouldn’t have changed a thing. For family who stayed over in the house, they were given some of the bunting after the wedding. Which was nice, as it will now be used again for further celebrations to come! Brilliant!!
My Auntie is an amazing cook. You know whenever you go around for dinner you will enjoy it. So it was a natural choice to ask my auntie to make our wedding cake. Neither of us like fruit cake or marzipan or royal icing and I wanted a cake that matched the relaxed, informal garden party theme to our wedding. I gave her a picture of a stacked victoria sponge cake and she produced an exact replica!! It was amazing and was exactly what we wanted. It tasted absolutely delicious and every tiny crumb was eaten!!!
Andy is less of a cake person, so we also had a cheese stack cake of various rounds of local Cotswold cheeses and one of my lovely bridesmaids made us a couple of batches of chutneys to serve with them. Carrot and Garlic and Beetroot. Delicious!
The house spoke for itself really in terms of entertainment. The reception areas of the house were home to a beautiful big fireplace and there were large comfy sofas everywhere where people could sit and chat and laugh. It was lovely. The fire also made it a warm and inviting place as it had been a cold day! It became a bit of a posh house party!
We also transformed the barn into a dj dance booth. One of Andys friends is a dj, so add the music, some good old disco lights and candles and we danced the night away! A perfect end to a perfect day.
You Give Me Pleasure
Our first dance was to Josh Rouse – Nothing gives me pleasure (like you do)
Andy introduced me to this album when we first got together and it was an album we played when we drove up to Scotland whilst visiting Andys dad many years ago. It became the soundtrack to our trip and has also become the soundtrack of us. So this was an easy choice to make. We didn’t think we were going to have a first dance….but to have a few wedding traditions was actually really nice and Im glad we did it.
Love And Kisses
Being a designer I definitely wanted to make my wedding favours for the girls. I made each of them a small love heart with the words ‘love & Kisses’ printed on and I wrapped them in tissue paper. I also free-hand machine embroidered each guest their own place name and every single person took theirs home with them, which is a really lovely feeling, as I didn’t think people would. So these actually became unofficial wedding favours!
When we lived in Northamptonshire we lived in a lovely village surrounded by beautiful countryside walks and on one of these walks was a sloe tree and every year we picked them and made sloe gin. Andy made up mini bottles of sloe gin for all the boys as their wedding favour…..the majority of which were drunk straight away! It was very delicious.
Creating your own DIY wedding is definatley not an easy task. As many a bride on these polka dot pages will agree, it is time consuming and does tend to take over in the final months before your wedding…..however, I would never have changed a thing. Everything was perfect. From the venue to the food, the décor, the dress, the guests and even the groom!
Our wedding was very much about our families and friends. So many of them helped in so many ways, we were actually blown away by peoples generosity. The build up to the wedding was at the time my most stressful, but looking back was so memorable. We took our own photos of this day, as a before and after and all the stages of the wedding build inbetween and everyone mucking in and helping to create our wedding. Our families and friends are priceless.
Brides Gown – Claire Pettibone at Morgan Davies
Fabric Bouquets – By Alex
Brides Hair – Tabitha Khaan
Grooms Suit – Hackett
Bridesmaids Dresses – Dorothy Perkins
Photography – Emma Lucy
Ahem. How pretty?
I want my hair just like Alex’s please……
Big Fabric Love