I’m aware that quite a few of you have been waiting in anticipation for this post. Admittedly we’ve been a bit mean what with our sneak-peeking here and there but finally it’s here.
Blimey, it’s nerve-racking I tell you.
But here goes…today I’m sharing my big day with you lovely lot.
I’m married!!! I’m actually blinking married. Nearly three months in and it feels like it was yesterday yet eons ago all at the same time. We’ve rifled through the photos over and over again, watched our video a zillion times and I’m currently knee-high in thank you cards.
And you know what… I LOVE being married. An exhilarated thrill runs down the length of my spine every time his ring catches the light or when he introduces me as his wife. I still manage to surprise myself when I call him my husband but I’m so proud…so privileged to be his.
But you want to see the pictures right? So let’s get on with it.
I should probably say at this stage that this wedding report is going to assume a slightly different structure to our usual format. I’ll be taking you through all the nitty-gritty details in a three-part saga over the next three days so stay tuned.
It Started With Iscoyd Park…
Iscoyd Park was the first and only wedding venue I visited.
I say ‘I’ because the boy was at home in bed with man-flu on the day I ventured to Iscoyd with my parents.
And I fell in love.
Head over heels with the place. Because it is perfect and I wish it was mine. The grounds stretch for miles and the place is the size of a small palace yet somehow it feels homely and comforting and warm.
Sweet cottages on the grounds, weathered floorboards, the most delicious entrance you’ve ever seen and centuries of history kickstarted my passion for the place. And then I saw the ceremony room and it was sure as sure a done deal.
Just wait until you see part two folks!
Phil Godsal owns Iscoyd and is one of the most genuine, kindhearted and easy-going gentlemen you could meet. Frankly anyone that opens his gorgeous home to hundreds of strangers every year is a hero in my book.
Within 15 minutes of seeing Iscoyd, we had booked the last available weekend of 2012, secured a registrar and texted friends and family to save the date. I still hadn’t quite got round to telling the boy at this stage which meant that he found out via an over-enthusiastic friend of ours.
He didn’t really mind…
It was Iscoyd Park that inspired the theme for the day. Within minutes of savouring the atmosphere in the entrance hall I was transported back to times past, of jolly hockey sticks, polo players, gentlemen’s clubs, elegance and sophistication. Where girls wore long silk dresses for dinner, champagne saucers in hand clutching the arms of their cigar smoking, tweed-wearing other halves.
It was to be a very English Affair.
I’m not going to lie to you.
I found shopping for my wedding dress overwhelming and all-consuming. Granted time was not our side so I really felt the pressure to choose something quickly.
Despite the quick turnaround on the venue front, I really don’t like being rushed. I’m usually pretty definite about my fashion choices, what I like and what I detest but I’d succumbed to a serious case of wedding-dress blindness.
I instantly felt like me. It was light and airy – a complete relief from some of the heavier dresses that drowned me – whilst being ultra fitted too. But it was the French lace that the dress was made from that blew me away.
And I was sold.
Shoes, Stoles and Sapphires
Whilst hunting for my dress threw me into a confused tangle of nerves, choosing my accessories was easy as lemon pie.
I coveted a cathedral length veil left untrimmed at the edges; I’ve waxed lyrical about this in several posts so when I found ‘the one’ at The Bridal Room I leapt about the room in glee. I paired this with a pearl hairband also from the same boutique.
My mum bought both my ‘something blue’ – an antique blue sapphire necklace and my ‘something old’ – a Victorian diamond cluster ring both of which I wear daily. My ‘something new’ was a glitzy pair of Jimmy’s that I’d popped on my wedding wish list about a year before the boy proposed.
I know! How organised am I!
Lastly my ‘something borrowed’ was the gorgeous ‘Verity’ Stole from Hope and Grace in antique pink. Perfect for keeping me warm during the outdoors portrait shots; I felt like a glamorous movie star and didn’t want to give it back!
Au Naturale…Well Nearly
Originally I wanted to braid and pin up my unruly mane. If I’m honest this was for the boy more than anything as he’s particularly smitten with my neck.
Who knew…boys are funny creatures aren’t they.
After a couple of trials experimenting with various up-dos, I just felt old and not really…well…me. For some reason I couldn’t channel the ethereal, fairytale look that I’d envisioned in my head. Wearing my bonce down and curly felt right – probably because this is actually what I’ve been blessed with so it seemed daft to fight it. I enlisted the skills of my trusty hairdresser Bex from James Bushell who styled and rollered me to perfection along with the bridesmaids and my mum.
If there’s one woman that I trust implicitly then it’s Jodie. One of the sweetest, most down-to-earth folks you could meet, I’ve been lucky enough to work with this make-up genius on several occasions.
There was no doubt then that Miss Hazlewood would preen, moisturise and prime my face to perfection on my big day. And she did just that…
I wanted a luminous, fresh look suggestive of an English Rose but with special attention paid to my eyes. They’re my best asset after all 😉
To the soundtrack of ‘Allo Darlin’, Jodie worked her magic on me and the girls whilst simultaneously preventing me from zoning out from the mania that was taking place around me.
Now that’s talent!
Men In Blue
Mismatched country squires in keeping with our wider wedding theme was our original brief for the usher’s outfits. We were keen to avoid the traditional morning suits and black tie attire in favour of a more tailored eclectic look.
Think striped blazers, brogues and chinos in a blue through to brown colour spectrum accessorised with bowties and beautiful pocket squares.
Yeah…ummm, it didn’t quite turn out that way.
With Mother Time snapping at our heels we were forced to compromise and the boys ended up wearing identical outfits that we assembled in Zara Men.
That said they still looked gorgeously dapper in navy chinos, herringbone patterned shirts, black velvet bowties and blue blazers complete with suede elbow pads. A pair of brown brogues also from Zara was a subtle nod to the initial ‘country squire’ inspiration.
My maids or the flower fairies as I called them on the day consisted of my two sisters – Imogen and Thomasin and the boy’s brother’s girlfriend – Laura. Still with me…?
It was important that my maids embody the spirit of Ralph Lauren girls – sophisticated, glossy and refined. I’d already half-jokingly explained at length to my genius of a photographerAnn (Kathrin Koch) that my wedding photos should look something like an ad campaign. Yes because we’re so model-esque aren’t we?!
Aside from these quixotic demands I was pretty laid back about the girls’ appearance. All I asked was that they looked H.O.T.
Surprisingly it was Tom that took the lead; she hated what she called the conventional bridesmaid dress and schemed and dreamed up a design with a dressmaker she’d known from her fashion days to produce a silky, sexy dress complete with covered buttons and a slit half way up the thigh.
It was important that the girls retained some semblance of individuality so I suggested they each sport a different colour – we chose grey, dirty peach and a very very light smokey green. The silk was purchased from The Clothhouse in London on an immense trip that might have ended up in quaffing copious amounts of champagne in The Wolseley.
Lastly dreamy hydrangea and eucalyptus crowns and ample corsages finished their look off perfectly.
A True Gent
Ste maintained that if my outfit was to be a complete surprise then he was going to have fun playing that game too. It didn’t stop him asking for my mum’s sartorial expertise though.
During the run-up to the wedding, several friends asked if I was nervous about being left out of the loop, but hand on heart I can honestly say that this was one area that I didn’t fret about. Ste has a classic yet modern style of his own (ok I’m biased!) but I knew he’d look gorgeous in whatever he wore.
In the end he opted for a chequered blue three-piece from Tiger of Sweden paired with oxblood Paul Smith brogues topped off with a baby blue shirt also from Tiger, a spotted cashmere pocket square and a crocheted navy bow-tie both from Reiss.
Endearingly, he accessorised his outfit with an antique Victorian pocket watch which he whispered to me later was going to be our family heirloom to pass onto our children and theirs too.
It was clear that my mum had cast her fashionista influence over the boy when he appeared for the evening entertainment in a change of outfit.
Yes you heard me – the groom actually had more outfits than the bride.
Summer’s Last Hurrah
I remember Selina’s slightly bemused look when I shared my vision for the wedding flowers with her…
‘Old garden roses thick with aroma, berries and foliage scooped into old kitchen jugs and trophy cups.’
…but she rose to the task admirably.
Based at Iscoyd, Selina knows the house intimately so it made complete sense to enlist her floral expertise in dressing each room and creating my bouquet, the buttonholes and the girls’ flower accessories.
Instinctively she knew that I was keen to avoid anything that appeared overly engineered or too stylised and produced the most wonderful organic and unruly arrangements. I may have actually squealed at her when she bought my bouquet to me on the morning of my wedding.
I wanted the boys to have masculine buttonholes so Selina pulled together a clutch of thistles,berries, catkins and foliage tied with burnt orange ribbon that I’d found in VV Rouleaux. Being a feather fanatic I couldn’t resist adding some pheasant tail feathers into the mix either.
They looked delicious.
And guess what…that’s not all…
No I have not one, not two but three videos from the immense Shutterbox Films to share with you lovely lot over the next three days too…
Selina also integrated ‘Irish Bells’ into some of her floral masterpieces which was especially poignant for me.
Why you might ask?
Well you’ll have to wait until tomorrow won’t you.