The grandeur of Stowe House captured Bride Lyndsay’s imagination from when she was a little girl. From her very first sight of it, nothing else would ever compare.
And I can completely understand why. It is such a striking and solid building.
Walking down the steps in a gorgeous Bridal gown and gazing over the beautiful grounds would truly make you feel like a princess.
Her simple décor choices are perfect too. When your surroundings are marble and gold leaf there is really no need for lavish details. A touch of gypsophila in dusky pink vases was enough.
Disney Princess Dreams
Lyndsay The Bride: The conversation went a little like this:
Mat: “You really want to get married at Stowe don’t you?” Lyndsay: “I REALLY do!” M: “I think we’d be silly not to look at some other venues to compare prices and packages.” L: “You’re probably right”
Half an hour of Internet searching ensues…
M: “Found anything” L: “Ummmmm not really” M: “We’re getting married at Stowe aren’t we?” L: “I don’t mind searching a bit more” (I did)
M: “Come on, we both know we’re going to book Stowe so let’s just go for it!”
Without wishing to sound like something from Disney, I have wanted to get married at Stowe since I was a little girl. I used to spend every Saturday horse riding round the grounds where you get the most magnificent view of Stowe House.
So, long before boys were even in the picture, I’d found where I wanted to get married. The date was an easy decision too as our wedding day was also our ten year anniversary!
Spoilt For Choice
Luckily working in television I get to work with very talented make-up artists so I didn’t have to look too far when choosing someone for the day. And it was The Great British Bake Off’s very own Jo Penford who did my hair and make-up. If she’s good enough for Mary Berry…!
I wanted to go for a fairly relaxed look with my hair and pretty natural make up. That was the extent of my brief for Jo and I couldn’t be happier with the results, I had so many nice comments on the day with all my friends wanting to book her now.
Romantic And Glamorous
My dress came from Charlie Brear in Central London and I was lucky enough to buy it in their sample sale. I had tried the 1920’s dropped waist style on a few weeks before so it wasn’t an impulse buy in the sale, although I did pop there and make a purchase in my lunch break. I knew that I wanted a unique style to my dress and I love the romance and glamour of 1920’s fashion.
Like A Fairy With No Wings
I absolutely loved wearing a veil, without it I think I’d have been like a fairy with no wings! My dress barely had a train so I was keen to get some length from a veil and it was the lace trim on the Rainbow Club, Spellbinder that sold it to me.
My hair comb was actually a panic buy two days before the wedding, from Accessorize UK, as I felt the need to add a bit more glitz! I wore my mother’s Rolex watch as my ‘something borrowed’ as the vintage look really complimented the dress (and I was hoping she wouldn’t ask for it back – no such luck).
Small And Select
We had a fairly small wedding party, as we wanted to keep a relaxed and informal feel to the day. I had one bridesmaid – my gorgeous little cousin, Honey. Her dress came from Monsoon UK and ballet pumps from Zara.
Mat had a best man and one usher, their suits both came from Topman along with Mat’s tie. Mat’s navy suit came from The Kooples. There was no colour theme to the outfits, it was more important to us that the styles complimented each other, so slim fit for the boys and ethereal for Honey.
It’s Dusky Rose, Not Pink!
Overall there was a very unofficial colour scheme as early on in the planning Mat did say to me “I’m hearing the word pink quite a lot, not everything’s going to be pink is it?” So from that moment I started calling it dusky rose 😉
Although to be honest Stowe House is so beautiful both inside and out that we really didn’t need to have a theme or scheme. We kept any touches of colour quite understated so that we weren’t battling with Stowe’s décor – you just can’t compete with the gold leaf of the music room. We did have ‘dusky pink’ vases and giant balloons though.
Inspired By Lovely RMW Brides
Amanda Thirlby who owns Moss of Buckingham is such a wonderful florist (Chelsea Flower Show winner!) and was brilliant at dealing with my very limited knowledge of flowers and a groom who was reluctant to have a buttonhole.
All of my initial bouquet ideas were generated from other RMW brides – thank you! We went for gyp in the (Ikea) vases, which my mother in law kindly arranged for us. My ‘something blue’ was also incorporated in the bouquet with Agapanthus. Turns out Mat loved his buttonhole too!
Keeping Things Simple
Our ceremony started with the registrar reading a brief history of Stowe House to the guests which I thought was a really nice way to set the scene and gave me a few minutes to calm down and take it all in after the overwhelming walk down the aisle. We decided against having any readings during the ceremony, we read so many and none felt quite right so we decided to keep things simple.
Mat and I have never had a song that we’d call ours but we both have a whole lot of love for music so deciding on a first dance was tricky. We decided on Noel Gallagher’s acoustic version of Slide Away. We saw him perform it live at the Albert Hall a few years ago and have loved it ever since. Getting cramp in my calf half way through the dance was not part of the plan though!
Fish And Chips
We decided to go off Stowe’s usual menu for our main course and chose traditional fish and chips, which went down a real treat, it’s a great meal to suit all ages. Our cake came from Konditor & Cook in London and I think everyone should experience their Curly Wurly cake once in their lifetime!
There was a slight mishap with the icing melting a little so it didn’t look it’s best come cake cutting time but it still tasted amazing, with one guest confessing to eating four slices!
A DIY Job
All of our stationery was very much a DIY effort and we absolutely loved doing it – you get a real sense of pride doing things yourself and I’m a big fan of things looking a little homemade. We made our invites on Powerpoint using a RMW top tip of importing fonts from Dafont.
We also bought mini alphabet letter stamps to address each invite and place setting. We’ve lived in London for six years too so wanted to bring a little bit of London to Stowe and we did that with our table plan and names. Mat had a lot of fun with the table plan, finding the funniest pic he could of each guest. On the day guests had to find their photo to find their place.
Didn’t Stop Smiling
ENJOY YOURSELVES! From day one we both wanted to have a fun, relaxed wedding and every decision we made was right for us. That would be my biggest piece of advice to any bride planning a wedding; do what will make you happy as a couple. Mat and I did and we did not stop smiling all day.
Photos Will Last Forever
There are wedding photographers and then there is Matt Parry… honestly he is something else! Matt’s style is so unique and if I had a pound for every time someone said to me “your wedding photos are amazing” I’d be a very rich bride right now. When budgeting your wedding do bear in mind that photos last forever and lots of the little things you can spend plenty of time and money on won’t. Photos were at the top of our priority list, we even booked Matt booked before the venue!
I must also give a shout out to our wonderful wedding co coordinator Becky Maclean at Stowe as she was fab, nothing was too much trouble and she did a great job of making the day run like a dream!
Venue – Stowe House
Florist – Moss Of Buckingham
Hair & Make Up – Jo Penford
Bride’s Gown – Charlie Brear
Bride’s Veil – Rainbow Club
Bridesmaid Dresses – Monsoon UK
Groom’s Suit – The Kooples
Groomsmen’s Outfits – Topman
Cake – Konditor And Cook
Photography – Matt Parry
Don’t Mat and Lyndsay look like film stars?
There was a moment when I was putting this wedding together that I had to remind myself that this was a real wedding, not a Bridal editorial shoot!
And I really wish I was 12 again so I could wear the pink sparkly flower girl dress from Monsoon UK.
Lots of love,