Why hello their you lovely lot. I hope you had a sunshine filled weekend. Today i have the prettiest sunny Spring wedding to share and i am feeling like a really rather lucky blogger.
Conal and Tamsin held their April wedding in Oundle, Northamptonshire. They had a meaningful church service followed by a reception at Oundle School. They wanted a fun country wedding sourcing everything they needed for their day locally. With the flowers arranged by a friend, the local pub providing the food and a local farm the hog roast. It really was all hands on deck, and i just love this approach to wedding planning.
They had the most beautiful floral arrangements, with peonies, cherry blossom and hydrangeas in fresh Spring colours. The bridesmaids looked pretty in mocha dresses, the boys looked dashing in tails and Tamsin looked stunning in lace. Perfect.
Thanks so much to the incredible Danielle Benbow for sharing her images with us today.
The Proposal… On the day after my finals finished Conal planned a full day out in some hills just to the south of Birmingham. It was as if Summer decided today was the day it was going to arrive – it was a scorcher! We walked, climbed (breaked a lot!!) Con pulled out a full shebang picnic with champagne and the works and asked if I would let him love me for the rest of my life… He then follwed that with a full bling bling mock zebra engagement ring he had bought as a joke (but thankfully he had arranged an appointment at an amazing jewellery designers the following week)!
The Vision for the Day… A fun country wedding with something for everyone. We were really keen to use friends and local contacts for as much of the day as we possible could! From the flowers in the church all done by a friend of my mums to the local pub for the catering at the sit down meal, and a local farm for the hog roast. We also had crazy golf at the evening do (fun for everyone) and an open log burning fire inside for those that just wanted to put their feet up!
The Planning Process… We were engaged for just under a year, moved four times between us and both started new jobs so it was very manic in lots of ways. But my mum was a bit of a rock and coordinated with a lot of the local people because I had moved down to Kent/Surrey way to be closer to Conal. We trawled through loads of wedding blogs saved hundreds of pictures that I liked the look of and slowly but surely the main ideas (and the little bits of detail that I so loved) all came together!!
The Venue… the church service was held at Oundle School Chapel – because it’s situated in some stunning grounds, and the building itself is just beautiful! And added bonus was that it was about a 100m walk from my parents house so transport was definitely easy!!
The Dress + Accessories… The dress was straight off the shelf and really didn’t need anything doing to it. I really wanted a touch of lace so my mother and I went to an old lace factory in Nottingham, took the dress with us and picked out the lace we absolutely loved with the dress. Then we went to a lace specialist seamstress who worked her magic! Having that bit of the dress that was totally me was really important and I loved it!! The accessories were simple and pearl – I love pearl drop earrings and didn’t want to wear a necklace to distract from the lace – so a simple earring/bracelet combo it was!
Finding the Dress… First dress shop we went in to! It was recommended by a friend. Tried this dress on and it just fit so well… the lace then was an add on!
Groom’s Attire… grey tails – which he loved! He was also the only one in brown shoes… after he found out not a single member of the grooms party owned brown shoes – ridiculous! But he loved being ‘quirky’.
The Readings + Music… We are both fully involved with church life – a friend came and led the worship -a mixture between modern worship somgs we love and the old classics! The last song was ‘before the throne of God above’ which is a beautiful song, and I distinctly remember the volume in the chapel trebled when people started singing this – the atmosphere was incredible! We had some verses from the Bible read (Colossians) all about unity being founded in love. The speaker then spoke to us about ‘Building with Love’ and the importance of being unified in love. While we were signing the register two friends sang their own version of amazing grace – you could hear a pin drop apparently!
Beautiful Bridesmaids… came from far and wide!! I had four – and they travelled from Australia, New Zealand, France and Hereford!! It was SUCH a privilege and a joy to have such special people coming all that way to share the day and support us. We really were blown away by them! They arrived a few days early and didn’t stop doing ‘little jobs’ from the moment they arrived until the moment they left. They were absolutely rock solid and I love them all so much.
The Flowers… Peonies!! I love peonies! The were the church pew ends mixed with lots of local foliage. My mum actually went driving down all the local country roads in the week leading up to the wedding and picked an entire 4×4 boot full of blossom, pusseywillow and local flowers in bloom – she was an absolute hero!
The Cake… My mum made it!! It was a chocolate cakey-taute thing and it tasted absolutely lush!! My mum and godmother also decorated the cake (having never done anything like it before) and did an incredible effort – they really did nail it! Everyone said how amazing it tasted – and they even saved us a piece so we could have some the next day! The recipe was one that could be frozen for up to 3 months which meant she was able to make it in advance – but you could never tell – it was amazing!!
Your Photographer… Dani – well what can you say! Just soo sooo soo friendly, amazing fun and just makes everything so easy. She is never bossy, or fussy, just goes into stealth mode and potters around! We had so many comments about how friendly she was to all the guests and how much everyone else liked her!! We did an ‘pre-wedding’ shoot with her in the snow which was such such fun and the pictures were just fabulous so we had lots of faith in her going in to the big day! She was completely chilled out and totally happy to just go with the flow which suited us perfectly!!
The Details + Decor… I had made all the little pots of jam for the favors. Conal and I actually went and picked all the fruit for it to from pick your own farm in the summer – so it really was a homepicked homemade raspberry and rhubarb jam! We also had little jam jars of sweets for the little ones. We had facts for the tables – for the people that didn’t know each other in particular. Everyone RSVP’d with a random fact about themselves, so we matched up and formed the tables – printed them out on tags and it was a little ice-breaker for tables to work out ‘who on their table did a great Elvis impression’ or ‘whose thighs were bigger than his wife’s waist’. Good fun way for people to open up on the tables. We also had ‘5 things his side should know about her’ and ‘5 things her side should know about him’.
The Honeymoon… Sri Lanka – a chance to catch up on some MUCH needed sleep! It’s the one holiday you have every excuse to just chill. We loved and needed every minute of it!!
Memorable Moments… the speeches… they really were something – genuinely not a dry eye in the house – especially from the groom. Having all your favourite people all together for one day really is one of the most overwhelming and incredible honors. We just had such a blast! My little cousins had been practising their dancemoves to ‘gangam style’ for weeks because they had heard we were going to have a juke box so they could pick the songs!!
Advice for Other Couples… someone told me to make sure that I was the one that gave the signal for the music to start when I was at the top of the aisle and I was so grateful. It meant we had a minute to compose ourselves, have a quick prayer huddle and the timings was then in my hands, I was completely ready and had had the all important moment to collect myself! Also – if you get a chance write all the little bits, how you felt etc, on honeymoon, then you’ll have a reference that’s totally fresh to always look back upon!!
Credit Where Credit is Due…
The Crazy Golf – http://urbancrazy.com/portable/
Danielle Benbow – http://www.daniellebenbow.co.uk/
The Juke Box – http://www.jukeboxhire.co.uk/index.html
Dressmaker – http://www.rmaycouture.co.uk/index
Hog Roast – http://www.newlodgefarm.com/