A Pretty & Stylish Country Garden Wedding

James Christie-0022


Happy Monday WWWers, are you ready to start the week in style?

Christie and James were married at Homewood Park House, Bath. They wanted their wedding to have an English country garden feel with a dash of Hong Kong to represent them as a couple. Christie chose the most beautiful Jenny Packham dress and kept her accessories simple, while James wore a light grey tailored suit with skinny tie and tan shoes… amazing.

There are so many lovely ideas and elements in their wedding, from the gorgeous florals to the hanging printed lampshades, i love them all.

Thanks so much to the amazing Helen Cawte Photography for sharing her images with us today, here is what she had to say about the day;

“Christie & James married at the Homewood Park Hotel & Spa in Bath on a beautifully sunny day back in July. They had actually already done the legal deed in Hong Kong, which allowed them to have a stunning blessing outside in the gorgeous gardens – a real treat for Camilla and I to photograph. I think you’ll all agree that the details and styling at this wedding were just amazing, but as Christie’s a renowned Stylist out in Hong Kong I was always expecting big things!

From the intricately detailed Jenny Packham gown, stunning bridesmaids, amazing flowers, hilarious speeches and just to-die-for cupcakes this wedding was an absolute corker and so so easy to photograph. The boys made Camilla feel so welcome and were all keen for a cheesey photo or two (as I think you can tell)! We both drove home absolutely buzzing from an amazing day and amazingly friendly people. Or was it just a sugar overload from the cupcakes?!

Thank you to Christie and James – you guys put on one hell of a wedding! Helen x”


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Names…. Christie and James

Wedding Date…. Friday 20th July 2012

The Proposal…. James proposed to me on Christmas Eve 2010, on Surin Beach, Phuket. It was all very romantic and the perfect start to Christmas.. which we then spent drinking champagne, eating great food and celebrating with friends! He had spent all day secretly prepping fireworks on the beach for the big surprise, only to see them get ruined by a freak rain storm as he was about to do the deed! In the end however, he pulled off a text book proposal that had me beaming for months!

The Vision for the day…. As myself and James are based in Hong Kong for work we wanted to celebrate our wedding day with a truly English Country Garden feel. The idea was to find a venue that had a lovely garden where we could have our ceremony. We wanted to keep the day relaxed, fun and a true celebration of our love – without too many complicated traditions! The Great Gatsby was a great inspiration starting point for the idea visually.

The Planning process… After visiting numerous places around the West Country we settled on a boutique hotel that is set in a beautiful old country house on the outskirts of bath. From here we discussed the logistics of a garden ceremony, outdoor wedding drinks and dinner in a marquee – one of the key aspects was to embrace the beauty of the garden into every area including the marquee – this acted as more of a structure to host than being the main host. It is easy to get inspiration from wedding magazines, blogs, pininterest and build up mood boards before starting to source exactly what you’d like etc… James took more of a back seat here because he trusted my judgment and (mostly!) agreed with my vision!

The Venue… Homewood Park House, Hinton Charter House, Bath – this a beautiful country mansion that has been turned into a boutique hotel and spa with 21 rooms – we had exclusive use so our guests had rooms to stay in.

The Dress + Accessories….. I work as a Fashion stylist so I knew immediately I didn’t want a traditional style dress and I also wasn’t getting married in a church so I wanted something softer, more romantic looking that would flow beautifully in a garden… My designer choices were Alice Temperly and Jenny Packham as I loved their bohemian luxurious approach to wedding dresses – I settled on a one shoulder dress from Jenny Packham called Gaia – the thing I loved most about this dress was all the beading it had at the back and how comfortable I felt when I tried it on – I then chose a pair of rose pink Sergio Rossi shoes as I wanted to add a dash of colour… I normally wear very bold statement pieces of jewellery but for my wedding day I wanted my dress to be the main focus so I kept it simple with a customized diamond bracelet that was made in the same setting as my wedding ring (this was given to me as a surprise present from James!) I think he nailed it! Simple but beautiful.

Finding the dress…. I had looked at the Jenny Packham’s collection and knew instantly that I wanted Gaia as my dress(I suppose being a stylist helps!) so I insisted on the wedding shop in Hong Kong that stocked some of her dresses to have it sent over for me and I was right it was the one! I did try on lots of other styles prior to that which I think is important as sometimes what you have in your head is not always the style that works best…

Groom’s attire… James had a suit tailored out in Hong Kong …. He opted for light grey Eremendigildo Zegna material, 3 piece suit and teamed it with a white shirt and skinny grey tie. Tan brown leather shoes from Bally – our ushers suits were in different shades of grey  – we wanted to keep the look very modern but classic at the same time.

The Readings + Music…. James’s brother Tom is an amazing musician so he played Eva Cassidy’s ‘SongBird’ and my school friend Thomasin sang the words whilst I walked down the aisle, then as we walked back up the aisle as MR+MRS, Tom played a lovely original piece of music on guitar that he wrote especially for us. We had two readings which were both chosen by our friends, Kate read a piece from Captain Correllis Madalin and Felicity read Carrie’s Poem which was very romantic and beautiful and we both felt the reading fitted us and our day perfectly.

Beautiful bridesmaids….. I had 4 bridesmaids, Sally, Helen, Louise and Jo – they all wore a dress from Hoss. The feel and colour reflected the relaxed garden party feel of the wedding – I really liked the twisted detail under the bust. I also had necklaces with each girls first name initial made for them as a thank you. As the wedding was in a garden in summer they had a collection of daisies threaded into their hair

The Flowers… The flowers were done  by  Grace and Laura at Young Blooms  – I passed them on mood-boards and had meetings showing the style I wanted and they replicated this perfectly… the idea was to use wild flowers and embrace what was in season and available in an English garden – for the aisle we had sweetpea and lavender tied at the end of each row, we also had big lanterns with flowers and candles… My bouquet was a mix of purples and creams… For the tables I split the style in half – we had 5 tables with birdcages and flowers displayed inside and spiralling out, I really wanted to keep a vintage feel going, the other 6 tables had a collection of different style jars and placed on books to give different height and dimensions to the displays – the colours of the flowers were a real mix of styles so it really was like having the best groomed garden inside! I also had spray roses placed into my hair rather than wearing a veil.

The Cake… We had a tower of cup-cakes created by Alison at Beach House Bakery, they weren’t like your normal fluffy cup-cakes but were mini cakes with fillings  and ridiculously yummy! Some of the choices we had were lemon merigne, Eton Mess, Red Velvet – We wanted to inject some colour so Alison did coloured frosting and multi-coloured cases – we also thought it would be fun to add a J and C candle at the top so we could both make a wish together on our wedding day!

Your Photographer…. The wonderful Helen Cawte did the day justice with her photography skills and great assistant Camilla Arnold who had the pleasure (or pain!) of spending the morning with James and his ushers! We didn’t want to spend too much time doing the traditional family photos and instead wanted more natural ones so Helen had her work cut out managing this on a short time frame! (We only booked her up a few weeks before!) We wanted our main focus to be on capturing the mood, the experience of us and our guests and the décor. We are delighted with the results and must say, their ability to capture the essence of the day was fantastic. Add to that their fun and friendly nature and we would not hesitate to recommend them to others.

The Details + Decor…. Obviously being a stylist helps in this department! Not only did we want to illustrate a typical English Country Garden feel we wanted to tie in aspects of Hong Kong as this is James’s childhood home as well as where we both live now.

Dance floor – we had parasols and chinese lanterns hanging at different lengths over this area so it separated it from the rest of the marque and made a feature for the evening entertainment where we had a live band playing. Over each table we had printed lampshades – they had a vintage shabby chic feel. For reception drinks we wanted everyone to drink champagne from saucers rather than normal flutes and also had jugs of pimms for guests to celebrate summer! As our table favours we had fortune cookies and had funny customized fortunes printed. Everyones place names were stamped on luggage labels with printed ribbon tied at the ends. Our table names were named after different beaches in Hong Kong. To greet the guests were a pair of pink hunter wellies with flowers and a sign pointing to the wedding. We had a special cocktail made called ‘the Awesome’ for later in the evening which judging by our bill was a huge hit! We created our own photo-booth by searching for a large vintage gold picture frame and we had fun props for the guests to play with – plus a Polaroid camera so they could leave us the pictures for our guest book. The table settings were a mix of vintage mason jars, coloured bottles that I spent a while sourcing from all over and then filled with wild flowers, the other tables were birdcages with wild flower displays – we really liked this mis-match feel. The menus were written on mini-blackboards that we made ourselves.

The Honeymoon…. We spent 10 days exploring Italy. Eating and drinking wine in Chianti – we stayed in a wonderful Tuscan Farm House then we travelled down to the Almafi coast where we lay by the sea, relaxed on boats, ate the most delicious food and drank the area dry of prossecco !

Memorable moments… As I walked down the aisle the clouds parted and the sun shone directly on me which was magical in a ‘that couldn’t have been timed any better’ type of way! Having my brother Tom walk me down the aisle. ..If I could just go with the whole day, I’ll stick with that!

Advice for other couples… Just enjoy your day and smile even when things you may have planned might not of gone 100% according to your plan – you’re the only one who knows this anyway! Also be true to both of your personalities… if you don’t like something don’t say yes to it just because your mum or your wedding planner wants you too, it’s your day not theirs and this should be reflected in your styling of the day. Keep it relaxed, it’s a celebration that you and your guess will cherish so take the pressure off yourself and have fun!

Credit where credit is due…

Photographer – www.helencawtephotography.com
Hair – Shaun at The Courtyard, Bath
Venue – www.homewoodpark.co.uk
Flowers – www.youngblooms.co.uk
Cup-cakes – www.beachhousebakery.co.uk
Band – www.vegaslive.co.uk
2nd shooter – www.camillaarnholdphotography.com


Just gorgeous. Thanks so much to Christie and James for sharing their beautiful wedding with us today XOXO Lou

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