Paul and Victoria were married in May at the Preston Priory Barn in Suffolk. They had a wonderfully rustic feel to their day with a Midsummer Night’s Dream feel. They wanted a relaxed feel to their wedding without a colour scheme, but to just let things flow and go together.
Victoria designed her own dress and helped her mum to make it, isn’t it incredible? The cake and sweet table deserves a mention too, as do the flowers… swoon.
Thanks so much to the fabulous Lola Rose Photography for sharing her beautiful images with us today.
Names…. Paul and Victoria
Wedding Date…. 26th May 2012
The Proposal…. A week after my birthday Paul took me away for a surprise weekend at a gorgeous little B & B in Brighton. I assumed it was just a birthday treat and was absolutely stunned when he got down on one knee in the afternoon when we were walking along the beach. He had seemed so quiet before he proposed that I was starting to worry that he was going to tell me he was emigrating or something! We had been together for over 5 years at this point and so friends had asked if we would be the next to get married but I really couldn’t see it happening so I was really shocked and burst into tears. He knows how fussy I am and so pulled out an empty ring box and said that if I said yes we would go to the lanes and pick me the perfect ring which I thought was really sweet and perfect for me….turns out I am even fussier than I knew and we ended up getting a ring made for me by a family friend who works as a jeweller for Garrards…very handy!
The Vision for the day…. We wanted to have a really fun relaxed day but also very romantic and special. As both Paul and I are designers I knew that I wanted to make a lot of the details ourselves to make it personal. We didn’t have any particular colour scheme in mind however it just kind of evolved when the dress was decided on.
The Planning process…. We decided we would like a spring wedding and so we decided to look for a venue first and work around that. We wanted a civil ceremony and ideally a corkage free venue so that we could hopefully save a bit of money on the wine and champagne.
Budget…. Approximately £18/20,000 although we didn’t really have a budget – this is just what it ended up costing
The Venue… We had been to my cousins wedding a few years ago at a beautiful converted barn and decided that we would like something similar… we found Preston Priory barn in Suffolk online and I almost dismissed it as it was far more rustic than my cousin had however we went to visit and we just fell in love! It was really rustic and at a working farm but the beams and the country setting were just perfect! We saw the venue in December on a wet and miserable day but could imagine it would be beautiful in the spring/summer months….it didn’t disappoint and the wall of wisteria on the day was just beautiful!
The Dress + Accessories….. I wanted a romantic vintage feel but with some structure as I am a size 12 and 5ft 2 so I knew that a lovely slinky bias cut number probably wasn’t for me and a full on princess gown would probably make me look a bit like a cupcake! I have made lots of hair accessories and jewellery for my friends weddings and so I decided to tackle my own as I hadn’t been able to find what I wanted. I made a hairband/circlet out of tiny Swarovski crystal and pearls moulded into leaves and added some little chiffon flower details that matched my dress.
Finding the dress…. I started looking at wedding dresses but had a really specific idea in my head of what I wanted. I am a fashion designer for a high street supplier and have known for years exactly the kind of dress I would want if I ever got married. Sadly I couldn’t find the dress of my dreams in any of the shops or magazines and so I asked my mum if she would help me to make my dream dress. In the end she ended up making about 99% of it!!! Because the fabric that we found was a gorgeous ivory lace with little nude coloured chiffon flowers allover we decided to put it over a nude/blush coloured silk underlay as it suited my very pale skintone better than ivory or white. I didn’t want a big dress but I knew that I wanted a small train and to have full tulle godets (seams with an insert) at the hem to create a romantic frothy feel. I also knew that I didn’t want the dress to be completely strapless as I didn’t feel very confident about my upper arms and so I incorporated little lace cap sleeves.
Groom’s attire… Paul wore a mid grey 3 piece suit from Reiss. He is 6ft 3 and slim so we knew that a more modern slim fit cut would be more suited to his frame…also he is a very casual kind of guy so he wasn’t really into the more formal tails or morning suits as he wouldn’t have felt comfortable. We spent ages trying to find the perfect tie and in the end went for a quirky pinky red slub with white Polka Dots from Ted Baker and some snazzy striped socks from Paul Smith.
The Readings + Music…. My brother Jason played the wedding March on his acoustic guitar as I walked down the aisle and then his own arrangements of Take That’s a million love Songs and Desree’s I’m kissing you when we signed the register. We had a fantastic 13 piece motown band called Jackie Wilson Says in the evening and our first Dance was Otis Reading’s ‘Try a Little Tenderness’. My Brother Richard did a reading from Captain Corellis Mandolin and Paul’s Grandfather read the Art of Marriage which was really lovely (and after 58 years together they should know!)
Beautiful bridesmaids….. The blush colour from the dress kind of spilled over into other elements of the day such as the bridesmaid dresses and the invitations/wedding website which Paul designed (he is a graphic designer). My maid of honour wore a blush tulle maxi dress from Debenhams and the flower girls wore ivory tulle dresses from monsoon kids with little rose coloured silk corsages that I made them on the belts.
The Flowers… We wanted the flowers to have a natural country garden feel rather than a very formal style with a strict colour palette. Susan the florist used blush and lilac hued roses with hydrangeas, daisy like little asters and nigella which I love as my gran grows it in her garden and would always cut me little bunches as child. For the venue I had seen a photo in a magazine of little crystals hanging from willow branches and asked my florist if she would be able to interpret this into her arrangements in the venue to catch the light from the candles and fairy lights on the barns beams. The arrangements she did were stunning! As for the floral centrepieces my mum and I did those ourselves using a mix of wildflowers, roses and gypsophila in little votives and jars that I had collected.
The Cake… Paul and I love Victoria sponge and I don’t really like icing and marzipan on traditional wedding cake so we decided to have a giant Victoria sponge instead. We found a gorgeous and unusual cake stand at a shopin Leigh on Sea and that made it look even more special. It really suited the rustic barn!
Your Photographer…. Kelly from Lola Rose photography was fantastic. She was really calm and really understanding that I don’t feel very confident in front of a camera. She wasn’t bossy or obtrusive and the pictures she took were really natural and personal. She also really knew which light was good and managed to capture all of the details that we had spent so long planning perfectly! She really was absolutely perfect and we are so delighted with the memories she has captured for us!
The Details + Decor…. Because the barn was quite dark inside we decided to go for a really twinkly midsummer night’s dream feel by collecting hundreds of jars and Moroccan lanterns and filling them with candles and tea lights. We used wildflowers and pots of hydrangeas to complement the stunning urn arrangements that Susan the florist created for us and customised a big pinboard in the corner of the venue with a love sign and wicker hearts that we decorated with lavender and raffia.
Paul designed the invitations and wedding website (Elless.co.uk is his company) and went for a kind of vintage sweet label look which was so pretty! We picked up on this with the favours and tied luggage labels with sweet inspired nametags to heart shaped lollipops with ribbons. We also continued this with pastel coloured flags on the stripy straws that went in the pimms.
The Honeymoon…. We had a minimoon in Santorini (a small greek Island) eE stayed at Astra suites and got upgraded to a gorgeous suite with a private acuzzi. The service was incredible and the view were absolutely breathtaking!
Memorable moments… There really were just so many … Paul made the most romantic speech and I was just blown away. It was so unexpected as he is so shy with things like that and so I was expecting him just to thank our friend and family for coming but he was absolutely fantastic…a real dark horse everbody said… even the 2 bestmen who were just as shocked as me!
Advice for other couples… Everyone always says the obvious things such as … you just have to enjoy the day and make sure you take a moment to remember it, and to not sweat the small stuff which are all great words of wisdom! As well as this I would say just make sure that the day really reflects what the two of you like as a couple and to be yourselves…you can make your day as personal as you want it and it’s those little things that will really make your day special, unique to you and memorable for everyone!
Credit where credit is due…
Florist: Susan Jane May http://www.susanjanemay.co.uk/
Photographer: Kelly Green @ Lola Rose Photography http://www.lolarosephotography.com/
Invitations and wedding website: Elless http://elless.co.uk/
Shoes: Rachel Simpson http://rachelsimpsonshoes.co.uk/
Venue: Preston Priory Barn http://www.prestonpriorybarn.co.uk/
Cake: Petite Patisserie by Anthony http://www.petitepatisserie.co.uk/
Thanks so so much to Paul and Victoria for sharing their gorgeous day with us today. I’d love to hear your thoughts below :-) XOXO Lou
Tags: Barn Wedding, Cake Table, Homemade Wedding Dress, Lola Rose Photography, Midsummer Night's Dream, Monsoon Bridesmaids, Multicolour Wedding Ideas, Preston Priory Barn, Rachel Simpson, Real Weddings, Reiss Groom, Suffolk Wedding, Sweetie Table
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