Robert and Bryony were married in March at the beautiful Anglesey Abbey, Cambridgeshire. They wanted their wedding to be meaningful and low key, whist filled with their favourite things.
Bryony wore a stunning vintage frock, and i adore her trailing yellow bouquet. Their family and friends pulled together to craft all the lovely details to help stay within budget. I love these two for their wedding philosophy and their budget priorities, it was all about their love.
Thanks so much to the brilliant Daffodil Waves Photography for sharing her gorgeous images with us today:
Names…. Robert & Bryony
Wedding Date…. Friday 30th March 2012
The Proposal…. Rob told me he was planning a special Valentines weekend away for me in 2009. We went to London, staying in an amazing hotel and went to see the Phantom of the Opera. The next day we went on a shopping trip and then off to Hyde Park for lunch – where he got down on one knee right next to our park bench in the drizzle! I had been a little hopeful but wasn’t really expecting it!
The Vision for the day…. The wedding industry can be so commercialised and far removed from the actual meaning of the day sometimes – we really wanted to avoid this and have a very ‘us’, low key day with all of our favourite things. We already knew we wanted our wedding in a National Trust house so we went from there…
The Planning process…. We started planning about a year before – we had been thinking about doing it after I had finished my degree but we didn’t want to wait that long. It was interesting balancing wedding planning with my university work, and the fact that our wedding was to be back home 100 miles away didn’t help either! Luckily Rob’s parents were brilliant at sorting things out back home when needed. As our wedding was a Friday, in an off peak season, we were able to be a bit more relaxed with booking suppliers so had plenty of time.
Budget…. We didn’t initially set a budget – we worked out the things that were most important to us, such as rings, photographs, and the venue and set the budget around those. When circumstances changed during the year we were able to see the low priority things and reduce the budget for them. We still ended up with everything that was most important to us.
The Venue… The beautiful Anglesey Abbey near Cambridge was a perfect venue. We’d visited the house ever since we got together 5 years ago and it had always been our favourite National Trust house. We also really loved the fact that the money we were spending went back into the upkeep of the house.
For the evening, we didn’t have a huge budget. We found a lovely village hall about a mile away from the house and it was perfect for what we wanted. It was also quite neutrally decorated so we could put our own stamp on it (and certainly not like a ‘typical’ old village hall!)
The Dress + Accessories….. My dress was a vintage Mori Lee design and I absolutely loved it. The detailing was amazing and the train was lovely. As the house was open to other National Trust visitors, there was a lot of people waving at me in the car, and admiring the dress – it was so nice to feel special. I even had one comment from a lady that it was the prettiest dress she had ever seen which was lovely!
I wanted quite a simple design for my hair to have my curls down, so I just put a flower in it and swept it slightly to one side. I wore a pearl bracelet that my lovely husband to be had given as a present a couple of hours before.
Finding the dress…. The way I found my dress was partly by accident and definitely not a conventional way of wedding dress searching! I started to have a look at what sort of styles I would like as soon as we started to plan the wedding, but I felt that all the dresses in magazines just weren’t ‘me’. I liked the look of vintage style dresses, so took to the internet to find some ideas.
I saw my dress on Oxfam bridal – a complete bargain – and was hooked the moment I saw it. It looked perfectly ‘me’. I ordered it and when it arrived opened the box with shaking hands… it really was perfect. However, looked like I had forgotten to read the description properly – it had a huge train! Luckily my seamstress was very good and managed to give it a proper hook up for the evening so it wasn’t a problem! I missed some girly days out looking for dresses in bridal shops but this dress was so perfect, I didn’t mind.
Groom’s attire… Being tall and having broad shoulders, we knew that finding Rob a suit that fit him, but didn’t break the bank, was going to be a challenge! We wanted to buy rather than hire, so after trying on many suits, he finally found one that was a pretty decent fit. After taking it to a tailor though, it fit perfectly and he looked amazing. The Best Man and Man of Honour wore slightly different suits but had the same shirts and ties.
The Readings + Music…. We had “A Blessing for a Marriage” by James Dillet Freeman which was a really lovely poem (with some good advice in it too!) read beautifully by my friend, and “A Lovely Love Story” by Edward Monkton, read by my little brother. He was very brave to stand up and read it and it was really touching.
The music was probably the part of the ceremony I was looking forward to most! There was a beautiful old grand piano in the ceremony room, and as soon as we first heard it, we knew we wanted it to be played. We found an experienced pianist and chose our songs – I had “Romantic Wedding March” to walk down the aisle to, “Marry Me” by Train, and “All I Ask of You” from the Phantom of the Opera for register signing, and “One Day Like This” by Elbow to walk back down together. They sounded perfect on the lovely old piano.
Our first dance was “All I Ask of You” again, which was lovely because we’d seen the Phantom of the Opera on our engagement weekend. We attempted a waltz for it which was very difficult as, although my train was bustled up, it was very heavy!
Beautiful bridesmaids….. I had a good friend from school and my brother in law’s fiancée as my bridesmaids. However, I didn’t want to leave out my closest (male!) friend; we’d shared so many times together. So I decided to give him the title of Man of Honour, and promised him it would involve no dresses or bouquets – he wore a suit! Although, in the ceremony, I had forgotten I had to pass my bouquet to someone – and he ended up having to hold it!
After not managing to find cornflower blue dresses to suit both girls, and probably leaving it a little too late, Rob’s aunt offered to make some for us. I don’t know how she managed it, especially with such short notice, but they were beautiful and really suited them both!
We’d had a lovely day before the wedding – they took me to a spa for a relaxing massage and final chill out! It must have worked because I was very calm the next morning – rather unlike me! The b&b we were staying at was amazing, and had a huge balcony to look over the car park and watch our lovely car drive in!
The Flowers… I always thought that I wasn’t too bothered with the bouquet and wanted something fairly simple. After one meeting with a supplier, I realised 1) I really know nothing about flowers, and 2) Having blue flowers at the end of March is probably not possible. I spoke to a different supplier who managed to convert my very vague requirements (very natural, no huge flowers, not gerberas, would like some blue flowers) into something I was happy with. When I saw them on the morning, they were just perfect – exactly to my description. They even came with me on honeymoon afterwards as I didn’t want to part with them.
The Cake… The cake was another part I didn’t want to spend too much on. I found one supplier who was brilliant, and again, was able to use my vague ideas creatively and come up with something amazing. I loved the lacy effect on the icing and it matched my dress very nicely. It was also delicious too!
Your Photographer…. As the photographs form one the main things you take away from a wedding, we really wanted to get this right, especially after hearing different horror stories! I spent a long time searching for different photographers, getting quotes and looking at portfolios. Nicola from Daffodil Waves Photography was the one we picked in the end. Throughout the planning stage she was very friendly and helpful, and on the day, she was fantastic. I’ve never really felt the most photogenic person but she was so good at giving us natural poses. We’re so happy with the photos and I’m glad we picked right for them!
The Details + Decor…. Our invitations were printed in Rob’s home village on an old printing press by a family friend (the funeral director’s hobby), and were very simple and pretty, and they meant a lot more than being printed commercially.
Anglesey Abbey was so beautiful itself, it hardly needed anything extra. We wanted to make some Order of Service booklets as a keepsake for our guests, and spent hours putting these together. The wedding breakfast tables had simple table names that we also made, and a small vase of flowers. I didn’t want everything to be matching, so stayed away from things like chair covers, or flower arrangements that were all the same.
We had a lot of help from family to decorate the village hall. My mum, along with others, spent ages making up metres and metres bunting for us from old fabrics, my dad made a beautiful wishing well for guest messages, and Rob’s parents made us a beautiful archway to stand outside the door. It looked lovely next to the old style village hall sign. At the beginning of the planning process, I’d also mentioned I liked the look of LED lit dancefloors – which were quickly discounted by the budget – so they made us an LED lit wall hanging instead!
The Honeymoon…. We went to Scotland for 2 weeks – the first week was spent in Edinburgh and the Black Isle, and the second was spent near Aviemore in a gorgeous lodge. It had a hot tub in a little conservatory off the bedroom looking out over the Cairngorms and a pretty river. We spent some lovely evenings cuddled up on the sofa with the wood burning stove going and a game of scrabble! We fed some reindeers on the Cairngorms and watched dolphins on the Black Isle – it really was perfect!
Memorable moments… The day didn’t completely go to plan – 15 minutes before the ceremony when we were just about to go up the driveway down to the house, my bridesmaid got a call from the best man, and just said “the pianist isn’t here?!” Cue my mini-meltdown and attempts not to ruin my make up, and I was assured that there were lots of other things in place just in case. Just before I was about to walk down the aisle, I heard someone say “the pianist is here!” and he was! The walk down the spiral staircase and aisle was made so much more special and I appreciated the music so much more. Turns out there had been a diary mix up, and he had realised last minute, drove to the venue and put on some running shoes to get down to the house from the car park!
The ceremony was just like a dream; I had a massive grin on the whole time and savoured every moment. Saying the vows and exchanging the rings was amazing – it really made it all real.
Advice for other couples… On the advice of a friend, last minute, we got a video camera sorted and Rob’s uncle ready to video the ceremony and speeches. By the end of the day, we could hardly remember what had happened in the ceremony at all – it went in such a flash. Now watching it back, it’s amazing to relive the moment and I’m so glad we made that choice. Everyone said it to us, and we didn’t really believe it, but honestly, the day goes so quickly! Make sure your day is about you. It’s very easy to get caught up in something that isn’t really what you want or to let an over keen friend or relative do something that isn’t ‘you’. Our day was perfectly ‘us’ as we made sure everyone understand what we wanted for it.
Credit where credit is due…
Anglesey Abbey, Cambridgeshire – http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/anglesey-abbey/hire-this-venue/weddings/
Oxfam Bridal – http://www.oxfam.org.uk/shop/
Nicola at Daffodil Waves Photography – http://www.daffodilwaves.co.uk/
Julie at The Shropshire Cake Company – website will soon be up!
Classic Limousines – http://www.classic-limousine.co.uk/
Barrie John Roadshow – he was brilliant and played the songs that got everyone dancing! – http://www.sallenent.co.uk/featured/DISCOS/Barrie%20John/barrie_john.htm
All Seasons Bars – a very well-priced mobile bar, or at least, went down well with our guests! – http://www.allseasonsbars.co.uk/the_bar_in_the_box.asp
Otter Pool Lodge from Great North Lodges, Aviemore – A beautiful piece of luxury – http://www.greatnorthlodges.co.uk/otterpool.htm
The Meadow House B&B, Burwell – http://www.themeadowhouse.co.uk/bed-and-breakfast/room-2/
Smooch Rings – they were really great and had a huge choice of wedding rings for us when they came for the appointment – http://www.smoochrings.co.uk/
Thanks so much for sharing you two :-) XOXO Lou
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