I am so in love with this afternoon’s gloriously charming wedding day, described by the bride Johanna as being “Utilitarian Bling”… love it!
Johanna and Neil were married in October, on a sublime autumnal day with the most gorgeous sunshine which was captured magically by their photographer.
Johanna and Neil, chose a Neo Gothic building for their venue, and so suit it decorated it in a “1960’s filmic interpretation of the Edwardian era”, with brightly coloured florals, vintage book favours and the most scrumptious looking dessert table… wow!! How beautiful does this couple look?! Le sigh…..
Thanks so much to the amazing UK based wedding photographer, Ann-Kathrin Koch Photography for sharing her work with us, here is what she had to say about the day;
“Jo and Neil are a very special couple to me. They booked me via email, which is not unusual for my couples, but it takes a certain amount of trust to go ahead and book their photographer without meeting the person. So the last thing I wanted was to disappoint them. Throughout lots of emails that were exchanged by Jo and me I got a sense of someone with an eclectic taste not dissimilar from my own and knowing of her passion for film photography I knew we would be getting along just fine. And we did! These two are truly a very special couple and anyone would be lucky to count them amongst their friends, let alone be able to spend their wedding day with them. I am very grateful we met and this beautiful late October wedding will always have a special place in my heart.
Arriving at the most beautiful venue Ettington Park on the morning of their wedding there was a dense fog hanging in between the trees. While I loved this from a photographic point of view (nice moody shots of twiggly branches in the fog = good) I was happy to see the sun burning away the haze by lunch time – just in time for everyone to enjoy the warm late Autumn weather outside after the ceremony (warm, golden rays of sun for portraits = better). We had almost an entire hour scheduled to take the couple portraits. Due to the falconry bird display going on for the rest of the guests on the lawn no one got bored as we made our way around the grounds taking some special Hasselblad medium format portraits. The whole day went by like a whirlwind of fabulousness, Jo and Neil’s guests and family were every bit as wonderful as them, the speeches were a success, the staff of Ettington Park did an amazing job and the band played a great set that had everyone out on the dance floor in no time. “
Names: Neil & Johanna
Wedding Date: 28th October 2011
The Proposal: In the comfort of our own home, we decided together to get married and the proposal and probably the best bottle of champagne came from Neil.
The Vision for the day: We wanted simple… It became grander than we had first planned. It could be described as “utilitarian bling”.
The Planning process: I am a compulsive researcher so I looked at every possible option and read endless reviews. I will not bore you.
The Venue: After a lot of looking on the Internet and after discounting every venue in the neighbouring 3 counties we visited Ettington Park Hotel in Warwickshire. I had high hopes and it lived up to every one of them. They know how to do weddings and its haunted!
The Dress + Accessories: Dress by David Fielding bought from Nobel and Wright atelier in Leicestershire. Shoes by Alexander McQueen. I bought an array of fabulous vintage accessories all of which I forgot to wear. This is my only wedding regret!
Finding the dress: I love fashion. But the thought of going into a bridal shop put the fear into me. I was adamant that I didn’t want a white strapless dress. For months I looked for alternative options. I wanted something really different but it wasn’t forthcoming. With 2 months to go I gave in and stepped into a bridal shop. I booked an appointment with Hannah at Nobel & Wright Atelier (to be honest I wasn’t feeling hopeful that any dresses would fit me and I expected it to end in tears). The first dress was a slinky Jenny Packham Gown, it fitted and was lovely. Hanna and my mother encouraged me to try lots of gowns on just in case… It was more fun than I thought! The last dress I tried on was my Dress… a gigantic David Fielden peony of a gown. The dress rocked. David’s background is as a ballet dancer and the construction and the yards of fabric and crinoline tape is pure theatre. It made me feel like I was on stage at the Royal Opera House. I had so much fun spinning and flopping dancing and throwing it over my head. I felt I kept true to my own style despite it being bridal white and strapless. The dress is called Crazy Couture and it certainly lived up to its name. It felt like vintage Dior.
Groom’s attire: Neil is very tall (6foot 7 inches) we thought we would have to get a made to measure suit, luckily we found an off the peg suit from Suit Austen Reed. The shoes are by Churches, he is very proud of his shoes
The Readings + Music: As we were in Stratford Upon Avon we had Shakespeare ‘Sonnet 116’ and Douglas Adams an extract from ‘So Long and Thanks For All The Fish’. I walked down the isle to Patsy Cline and our first dance was The Cure ‘Love Song’ which was written by Robert Smith as a love song to his wife on the day of their wedding.
Beautiful bridesmaids: My bridesmaids were truly beautiful and helped me immensely by picking their own dresses. I would recommend this.
The Flowers: Seasonal wild garden flowers by Charlie of The real Cut Flower Garden.
The Cake: Our many cakes… My mum made a beautiful traditional fruitcake. The 12-inch sponge cakes and meringue are made by a great little cafe in Cirencester called Jacks. My brother’s girlfriend made the scrummy Eaton-mess cupcakes. We were left with far too much cake. The leftovers were taken back to my brothers retrospective universities and enjoyed by many.
Your Photographer: The magnificent Ann-Kathrin Koch. Who had to be our photographer. She is as far as I’m aware the only wedding photographer who uses medium format. She also takes great photos and was the only photographer for me. I think she did her job well!!! She’s also lovely.
The Details + Décor: The look was based on 1960’s filmic interpretation of the Edwardian era (e.g. ‘Mary Poppins’ and ‘My Fair Lady’), which fitted the Victorian neo gothic building perfectly. I didn’t have a colour theme but the guests and venue brought their own of reds, oranges and greens that really come through in the photos. We love books so Neil and I spent hours trawling bookshops. Each guest was given a book that I hoped they would enjoy. Not one book was left behind which made us very happy. Where possible, I tried to make sure that suppliers were local and all my flowers were seasonal.
The Honeymoon: We have just booked our Honeymoon for next year. We will be spending 5 nights in Barcelona at the hotel 1903 then flying to Palma de Mallorca where we are staying in a remote beach side villa just outside the lovely old town of Deia.
Memorable moments: The morning was beautiful with fog so thick it looked as if I had woken up in the clouds, so pretty I would have been happy if it was like that all day. An hour before the ceremony the sky opened to reveal the most perfect light. The moment my dress was on I let go of any worries. Dragging my mother behind me I marched down the isle to Patsy Cline. Outside we drank prosecco and watched birds, it felt like an Italian Autumn. Later the band got everyone kicking up their heels to dance and I fell over repeatedly tripping over my train a result of spinning around too enthusiastically. Many memorable moments, it was great!
Advice for other couples: My advice for other brides would be DON’T do an Internet search on’ dealing with wedding stress’. The sites just highlight how many things there are to get stressed about. What worked for me was always thinking about it as if it was far far away in the future. This worked until the morning of the wedding day when it hit me like a lead pipe. I combated this blow with the great people around me, and a large glass of white wine.
Hair and Make-up: The morning of the wedding I felt very scared. Within 10 minutes of Shell getting to my door I was feeling much calmer. Not only is she very talented lady, she is a joy to have around and a lovely person to boot. Shell made sure to schedule in time for me to have a stiff drink before the ceremony, and dealt with my hair’s indecisiveness with great success.
Credit where credit’s due…
Venue: Ettington Park Hotel, Stratford-Upon-Avon http://www.handpickedhotels.co.uk/hotels/ettington-park-hotel/
Photographer: Ann-Kathrin Koch Photography www.annkathrinkoch.com
Hair and Make-Up: Shell Edwards www.shelledwardsmakeupartistry.co.uk
Dress: David Fielden via Noble and Wright (contact: Hannah) www.Nobleandwrightatelier.co.uk
Band: The CoverUps www.thecoverups.co.uk
Flowers: Charlie Ryrie at The Real Cut Flower Garden http://www.cutflowergarden.co.uk/
Thanks so very much to Neil and Johanna for sharing their sumptuously beautiful wedding with us today xoxo
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