WWW readers Matt and Emma married at The Priory Barn, Hertfordshire, they wanted their day to be a great party. They took elements from the festive season, with twinkling lights, amazing red and green stationery and gorgeous seasonal blooms. I so love the giant illuminated initials, they look brilliant.
Emma donned a lovely tea length dress by Enzoani with her hair in a romantic up do, while Matt wore a dashing tweed suit with blue accessories. How beautiful do they look?! Ohh and look out for the sweetest nephew :-) Ekkk!
Thanks so much to the wonderful Milkbottle Photography for sharing their images with us today.
The Proposal…. Was v. cute, I was totally taken by surprise, we were out walking in the woods (bluebell season) and it all got a bit Disney between the scenery and the rabbits & deer that were wandering about (I’d pretty sure he didn’t organise those though!). Matt was taking pictures, as he usually does, I sat down to admire the view, he came over to show me the latest close up – he then said, ‘actually take a look at the next one, I think it’s better’ I pressed the button on the camera and the next picture was one he’d taken of a sign he’d made that said – I love you with all my heart, will you be my wife?. It was only then that I clocked the fact he was on one knee! I cried and eventually squeaked ‘yes!’
The Vision for the day…. Was easy – have a great party!
The Planning process…. We decided that we wanted things to be as stress free as possible and so opted to keep things very simple.
The Venue… we were pretty pragmatic about the venue process, we wanted to get married sooner rather than later, so venues were quickly narrowed down on availability and also having a good deal on – there’s a lot to be said for only giving yourself 6 months to plan – you can save a LOT.
We opted for The Priory Barn, because it has character of its own, so no need to worry about lots of décor etc., they look after the whole lot, they’re licensed for civil ceremonies, catering is in house, so no extra organising there (also the food is AMAZING, we’ve had loads of compliments on that!) and because they’ve been doing it for years, they pretty much know the answers to questions before you’ve even thought of them and even though they have been doing it for years, it didn’t really feel like they had a ‘one size fits all approach’.
The Dress + Accessories….. I only went to 2 shops in the end – and very quickly narrowed it down to 2 dresses, I was pretty convinced that I would go for a shorter length dress, but I tried on a bit of everything to be sure, and when I tried on the Elkedra from Blue by Enzoani, my Mum and I both knew, the 2 things I loved most, the hemline and the optional ‘jacket’.
Groom’s attire… ooh he looked so handsome in his tweedy number I did a little cry when we were shopping for it!
The Readings + Music…. I walked down the aisle to the them music from The Princess Bride – it’s a little bit magical and in the end was the only nod to one of my all time favourite films, having spent my formative years convinced that my whole wedding would be themed on it!
Our readings were fab and everyone loved them, we went for To Love is Not to Possess, James Kavanaugh, A slightly edited version of I like you – Sandol Stoddard Warburg, which is actually a chioldrens book, but is SO lovely and felt so right. And then we had A lovely love story – Edward Monkton.
Beautiful bridesmaids….. The bridesmaids dresses were the first thing I bought, I knew I didn’t want to have a plain colour and when I saw the dresses in Ted Baker (when I wasn’t out shopping for Bridesmaids dresses) I decided instantly that they were the ones. Plus I thought the girls could genuinely wear them again. The for the 2 littlies, we found some complimentary fabric and my clever Mum made those!
The Flowers… We had a great florist – who I go on really well with and understood exactly what I wanted. I’d collected lots of pics of things that I liked (bless pinterest!) and she identified the all the flowers that repeated in all my selections – Silver Brunia was my mystery pompom like obsession, that sat really nicely on Matt’s lapel.
The Gypsophila was an easy choice for the girls, it’s really economical, really pretty and really good for littlies to carry too! Plus I didn’t want anything competing with the floral dresses.
The Cake… Was cheese. We organized this through our venue’s usual cheese supplier so it was really reasonably priced and just ordered some extras flowers form the florist to serve as decoration,. Then the fantastic chef put it together for us. I wanted cheese because I’ve never actually eaten a slice of cake at a wedding, usually by the time it comes round you’re just not interested. It then went on to form part of the evening buffet so was multi-functional. A talented friend made the lovely peg people to go on top.
Your Photographer…. Finding a photographer was tricky on 2 levels, the venue and Matt’s profession, he directs a lot of photo shoots and is semi-professional himself so it was always going to be a difficult choice for him. Our venue was quite dark, so I spent quite a bit of time researching pictures taken at weddings in the venue and was able to find quite a lot of bad ones! When I found Ben & Tim from Milkbottle I liked their style, their blog and ultimately their personalities when we met – thank goodness so did Matt! And in the end we were delighted.
The Details + Decor…. The only thing we added décor wise were the big illuminated letters on stage – these were then the inspiration for stationery etc. Matt’s a designer so he looked after creating the invitations etc. and we were very lucky to have a friend who is a printer and took care of all the printing as a gift to us. The green & red’s of the stationery were taken from the bridesmaids dresses. I hand finished them myself and now have boy-scout like skills and tying figure 8 knots!
I made the centerpieces very cheaply (after getting a quote for floral ones!) I made pom poms, which we popped onto sticks that we collected.
As favours, we also called a favour and sent everyone home with a heart shaped vinyl with our first & second dances on them!
I made name badges with a little fact about each person, to act as an ice breaker during the drinks reception, weddings bring together a bonkers mix of people from various periods in life and it gave everyone something to talk about – an ice breaker if you will.
The tables all had a silly name taken from the ‘dictionary of Matt & Emma’, you know those sayings you end up having that mean nothing to anyone else? Well we used those and gave a very useful example of how to use it in conversation.
The Honeymoon…. Was AMAZING! We went to Sri Lanka and then The Maldives – bliss.
Memorable moments… Walking down the aisle and seeing a sea of faces absolutely beaming at me and then standing with man I really really love. A good friend took his turn as DJ for the last 2 hours and made it the most amazing party – music is very important. An overwhelming sense of love from everyone in the room – it really is the best day of my life.
Advice for other couples… Always remember that the thing you are organizing is about being married to the person you love more than anyone – if you always keep your eye on the prize it helps to keep things in perspective. It’s very easy to get a bit competitive or top want to do too many different things, keep it simple don’t create stress and just have an amazing party!
Oh and rent a photobooth – definitely the best money we spent and the only thing I had foot-stomping ‘but I want it’ moment over. Going through the disc of pictures the following day had us in absolute stitches and pretty much everyone from the wedding now has one as their profile picture on Facebook!
Credit where credit is due…
Wow so lovely, i am actually attending a special wedding at this venue in the summer and now i am even more excited :-)
Thanks so much to Matt and Emma for sharing their wedding with us today XOXO Lou