Regular readers will know that at RMW towers we have a soft spot for an Autumn wedding. And today’s beautiful wedding will show you exactly why that is…the soft light and the arrival of more muted tones provides a gorgeous palette on which to base your decor, and an incredible backdrop for your photos.
Tijen and Ross were lucky – their October wedding was bathed in sunlight and so photographer Katherine Ashdown was able to capture those lovely images of the couple sitting under the changing trees outside Leez Priory. Just beautiful.
You’re going to particularly love the flowers from this wedding too – the bouquets and the flowers worn by Tijen in her hair are just sublime.
Tijen The Bride: I always knew in my mind that I wanted a lace dress with sleeves and subtle embellishment, a classic and timeless dress that wasn’t too fussy. Trying on lots of pretty dresses was my favourite part of wedding planning and although I never had that ‘The One’ moment (all of the dresses at Bellissima Weddings were so pretty that I could have quite easily walked away with numerous dresses!) as soon as I tried on the Enzoani gown it felt very ‘me’ and ticked all my boxes. The dress wasn’t structured and felt so comfortable to wear which is what I ultimately wanted in order to be able to eat drink get merry and dance the night away without any worries of feeling restricted.
I replaced the belt which came with the dress with a sparkly belt also from Bellissima, which really complimented the pretty embellished sleeves. I decided to keep my jewellery minimal and wore just a single plain Swarovski ring on my right hand and a pair of stud earrings.
I wore a gorgeous pair of Jimmy Choo shoes which my Mum bought me as a wedding present. I chose the Allure shoe from their Bridal range which I felt were something a bit different and also something that I would be able to wear on other occasions.
As with my dress I wanted a timeless perfume for the wedding day and something different to what I usually wear so I would always associate the smell with the day. I opted for the classic Chanel Chance purfume and body lotion.
My hairdresser was Annoshka from Caramel Browne who I have known for years and trusted to create a hairstyle that I would love. I decided to have my hair up as my hair is very thick and curly and whilst we were blessed with glorious sunshine all day, I didn’t want to be left with frizzy disaster if the weather did turn. Annoshka created a relaxed up-do and although I did try on lots of veils these all felt very bridal to me. I love the casual boho look and so I opted for a pretty flower slide which was handmade from the flowers in my bouquet by my florist Daisy.
My engagement ring dates back to 1860 and is an old family heirloom which belonged to my great grandmother. Unbeknownst to me, Ross had the ring restored at a jewellers in Hatton Garden called A R Ullmann who specialise in antique jewellery and did a fantastic job of restoring the ring. Me and Ross are both big fans of all things vintage and I knew I wanted a wedding band in keeping with the time period of my ring. We decided to go to A R Ullmann to purchase our wedding bands and both found beautiful gold antique bands.
Ross wanted a nice fitting suit but like me, nothing too fussy or formal. Ross’s suit was from Reiss and was fitted and altered in store using their excellent tailoring service. Ross purchased his shoes from Charles Tyrwhitt and wore a wine coloured bow tie from Moss Bros. Ross had his beard groomed and reshaped a few days before the wedding at his favourite barbers Murdock London. He used their products to groom his beard and hair on the day and specially picked a scent from their cologne range called Murdock Napier.
After looking at several wedding venues, Leez Priory was the last one we had to view. We fell in love with the venue straight away with its stunning and exclusive grounds and cute touches such as its separate honeymoon cottage, as well as a place for all our guests to stay and the fairytale wedding tower where we said our I do’s. Whilst looking around we were informed that there was a date that had become available in ten weeks time and we decided to spontaneously book it there and then! We both knew we wanted to get married and so we just thought why delay it.
Our wedding planner Sue at Leez Priory was incredible at assisting us and helping make sure we had everything in place before the big day. She made sure that the wedding day itself took place without a single glitch and the whole day run smoothly as if years of planning had gone into it.
Although we never set out to have a theme as such, as lovers of the season Autumn and being married in October we knew we wanted an autumnal rustic feel to the day. We were so lucky to be blessed with glorious sunshine and uncharacteristically warm weather for October, which excitedly for us had been reported as a heat wave in the news, leading up to the day.
Given the timescale to plan the wedding there was a mix of both hired and handmade things. Whilst it is nice to make things yourself I would say don’t be afraid of hiring things too which really does help with the burden of planning. We hired the log centrepieces through ‘Chair Covers for Celebrations’ and the decorated jam jars which we placed on the tables and filled with flowers. Not being a fan of the usual chair ties, we also hired hessian ties for each of the chairs and put a sprig of Gypsophilia in the back, which fitted the autumnal rustic theme perfectly.
I am a huge lover of candles so we purchased pretty white candle holders from The Range for the tables and also what felt like thousands of metres of rustic string to tie the napkins with and to hang photos of me and Ross through the years (and highlight some very dodgy hairstyles). We also purchased various sized frames and painted the inside with chalkboard paint for our homemade signs and we made our own dress up beards, to embrace The Beards getting married, which everyone loved on the day.
My florist was Daisy from Daisy May’s Florist who I knew through one of the bridesmaids. I met with Daisy for a free consultation where we picked some specific flowers for my bouquet that I loved and scrolled through Pinterest together to get an idea of what I wanted and then Daisy created the rest. I knew that I wanted them to be rustic and informal and as flowers are my most favourite thing I wanted them to be a focal point. I was so overwhelmed with my flowers as they turned out to be exactly what I envisaged and more.
The Wedding Party
The bridesmaids dresses were all from Ghost. I knew that I didn’t want typical bridesmaids dresses and I have always adored the style of Ghost dresses. The bridesmaids hair was kept simple and my hairdresser put fresh floral slides in the back which were made by Daisy to match my floral hair piece. The girls wore pink sparkly shoes from Next and I also bought them matching Swarovski bracelets to wear on the day.
For the ceremony we had a reading from Captain Corelli’s Mandolin by Louis de Bernieres as we just love the words. I walked down the aisle to one of my favourite pieces of music called a River Flows in You originally by Yiruma which was played by my sister on the piano and recorded at Pioneer Music Recording Studio in Colchester a few weeks before the day as a wedding present. It was so special for me to walk down the aisle hearing my sister playing the piano which I will always remember. We picked Pachelbel’s Cannon in D Major and some Franz Schubert Impromptu pieces to play whilst we signed the register and we left the ceremony to Bloc Party So Here We Are which is a song Ross and I love.
We are huge lovers of jazz music and so we booked Matt Hodges Jazz Band from Norwich to play in the afternoon who had everyone dancing whilst eating canapes and drinking champagne. In the evening we had a Turkish money pinning ceremony and all our guests joined in for some traditional Turkish dancing. Leez Priory also provided us with blankets for our guests in the evening and we surprised everyone with a fireworks display outside, which was a real highlight.
We used the wonderful caterers at Leez Priory and picked all our favourite foods for the afternoon canapes and wedding breakfast and we opted for a hog roast outside in the evening with all the trimmings! However, the downside of being the Bride and Groom at a wedding, and which no one warned us of, is that you spend time picking your most favourite food and drink only to not be able to eat much on the day because you have no appetite at all! Leez Priory did also put on an amazing buffet style fry up the next morning for all our staying guests which was the best hangover cure for everyone!
Our wedding cake was made by the talented Emily from The Little Dunmow Cake Company who I spotted on Facebook. We are huge lovers of chocolate and so the wedding cake was always going to be a chocolate one! We couldn’t have been happier with the cake Emily created and as well as looking spectacular it also tasted amazing too.
Our wonderful photographer was Katherine Ashdown who lucky for us was free on the day of our wedding and agreed to shoot at short notice. Katherine has a relaxed, natural and fun style and this is something I knew I wanted for our day. Katherine made us feel at ease and was a joy to have around. We are so happy with the images we have and really feel that they capture the relaxed, happy and truly perfect day that it was.
The one piece of advice I would give couples planning a wedding is to not get too bogged down or stressed over the little details of the day as they really won’t matter on the day itself. So many brides feel down after their wedding because they spend so much time planning the little details that it can take over. Planning can be stressful, so make sure you split the decisions and jobs between you and your partner which will really help. And also don’t feel like you are crazy if you aren’t enjoying the planning. Both myself and Ross did have fun planning our day but mostly we were kind of happy when it was all over and we could just start to enjoy married life.
Photography by Katherine Ashdown
- Dress Blue by Enzoani
- Boutique Bellissima Weddings
- Shoes Allure by Jimmy Choo
- Hair Caramel Browne
- Groom Reiss
- Venue Leez Priory
- Flowers Daisy May Florists
- Bridesmaids Ghost
- Groomsmen Moss Bros.
- Entertainment Matt Hodges Jazz Band
- Cake The Little Dunmow Cake Company
- Decor Hire Chair Covers For Celebrations