It’s Monday again already, but fear not i have a super beautiful wedding day to share to brighten your morning no end.
Neil and Sophie married back in March at Gate Street Barn, Surrey. They wanted a country fete feel to their wedding day, which included getting creative and DIYing many of their details and decor.
Sophie looked incredible in a dress she designed herself, which she teamed with delicate accessories and loose waves. I so love the boys outfits, who wore a mishmash of H&M, Topman, Next and Aldo. They looked so cool! I have to mention the beautiful delicate mint lace bridesmaids dresses that Sophie designed, the girls looked very pretty indeed.
There are so many things i adore about this wedding, the wild look flowers, the bunting table names and that multicoloured pastel rustic wedding cake. WOW.
Thanks so much to the fabulous Laura McCluskey for sharing her photography with us today.
The Proposal… Neil asked me in Antigua on the beach under the stars…
The Vision for the Day… Country Fete.
The Planning Process… We had over 15 months to plan. Because we wanted to make so much ourselves it was nice not to have to rush, and to gather and design at our leisure. Finding the venue took around 4 months – GSB was actually the first place I found but I dismissed it because it looked too expensive… (I’ve found out a lot of brides do this!) after visiting around 5-6 venues, and not getting ‘that’ feeling I came back to Gate Street Barn as I was running out of Barns close to where we live. It was perfect and the blank beautiful canvas we wanted. Ticked our 3 main boxes – 1.) Ceremony/wedding Breakfast/evening party all in one place – 2.) Natural rural setting 3.) No corkage fee,
The Venue… Gate Street Barn, Bramley, Guilford, Surrey (GSB)
The Dress + Accessories… Design – All over beaded lace fish tail dress with sweet heart bodice, very low V back, and Vintage skirt seams/train/sash bow back. Colour – Antique Ivory. Accessories – Inspired by a pearl bracelet Neil bought for me a couple of years ago which I wore on the day… I had pearl and diamanté hair piece, Necklace and earrings – all from Ebay. Shoes £9.99 from Ebay were very simple and very comfortable. Both our mums and my Gran wore pearls too which looked lovely in the photos.
Finding the Dress… I designed and patterned my dress. I had help with the fittings and a machinist sewed up the final. I work in the fashion industry as a designer so I was in the best place possible to create exactly what I wanted. A LOT of late nights, and worry (didn’t finish my dress until Tuesday 12thMarch and I started it in July 2012!!) but it was worth it on the day. I did go to a few wedding dress shops in the beginning just to try on every shape to get a good idea of what suited me and have a sneaky peak at how they were constructed ;)
Groom’s Attire… Neil knew exactly what he didn’t want…TOP HAT AND TAILS! He went round the high-street with the Best-man, usher and father of the Bride and looked around for a smart fitted look. He got the suit jackets from H&M, Shirt from Next, Shoes from Aldo and Trousers from Topman…It did take a couple of trips to find all the pieces to match each other but the look was completely right for him and felt very comfortable on the day…cuff links/tie pin Ebay! H&M did boys waistcoats in the same fabric as the men’s suit jackets, which was a great find and tied the younger boys in brilliantly.
The Readings + Music… We had close family find readings for us to choose from and we had 2x Readings – opening up the ceremony, Brides Aunt, ‘Soul Mates’ –from ‘now we are Six.’ Then ending the ceremony, Grooms mother, an Apache Blessing ‘Author Unknown’.
Music – My entrance we had, Wedding March on Piano, Signing of the Register, ‘Beach Song,’ from our favourite film, ‘True Romance.’, For the Exit of the Bride and Groom we had ‘Then he kissed me,’ by ‘The Crystals’ and everyone was smiling and having a little dance!
Beautiful Bridesmaids… I also designed and fitted my 4x bridesmaid’ dresses and work colleagues patterned and sewed them. Neil choose green as ‘our colour’ early on in the planning and I’d gone too far when it came to buying the bridesmaids fabric to change – Please Note…green lace is really hard to find! I’m sure I’ll keep seeing green lace forever now the weddings done, but we got there in the end and they looked beautiful on the day.
Hair/make-up – natural flawless makeup with soft curls ‘some up, some down’ – paper cream roses (eBay) in their hair. Flat Shoes (Faith), because I had a mother of 6month old baby Amber, 13 year old, 6ft gal and a sister who wanted wedges! So this was the best option for everyone and the skirts covered them anyway. Pearl Earrings and Necklace given as little keepsakes on the morning to finish off the outfit (eBay).
The Flowers… http://www.rosieorr.co.uk/ I Love Flowers! The film, ‘The secret garden’ was my vision – wild, spring feel. As green was ‘our theme colour,’ I wanted lots of ivy, berries and other foliage with hints of white, pink and copper. When we visited Rosie Orr, we were very prepared with moodboards and lists of the types of flowers we wanted from pinterest and other wedding blogs… I had to be this precise because I did the ceremony and table flowers with a family friend and my mum to save money and they needed to match Rosie’s. Also I designed and printed all my ‘save the date,’ Invites, Order of service, table name cards, table plan (and recently ‘Thankyou’s’) in keeping with the flowers so it all had to match. Rosie did an incredible job and I’m glad I got a professional to do the BIG arrangements as they really set the scene and we’re my main decoration.
The Cake… My Cousin, Kirsty who is the creator of HappyGoblinCakes! http://www.happygoblincakes.co.uk/Welcome.html Made my fabulous cake!! I sent her photos and we chatted on the phone, she made it a fun and easy experience, working out with her knowledge how to make my ideas possible. EVERYONE was raving about how moist and tasty the 3 tiers were (Fruit cake, Chocolate cake and Carrot Cake) for the evening, I had a real ‘cheesecake’ (by our caterers JUSTJANE http://www.justjane.info/), olives, ham, bread and crackers etc… But no pudding because I wanted people to eat the cake and I nearly didn’t have a piece myself it went so fast! Rosie Orr did the lovely floral topper and I made a ‘love heart’ banner out of a valentine card I made in 2011 of all our favourite things!
Your Photographer… Laura McCluskey! From the moment Laura came into my parent’s home she made me feel beautiful and relaxed. She was very efficient at getting family and friends together for the group shoots – even putting up with a heckling Aunt!! ..But the most important thing that I wanted was for the Groom to feel calm and to capture his ‘true’ smile as he hates posing! And she did that and more, she captured the whole day!
The Details + Decor… DIY all the way! We wanted a relaxed, country fete feel and there was an abundance of ideas on the internet to help create that. In the beginning I was always searching images on the internet and saving them to my ‘wedding’ file! After a couple of months I put all the photos together and started imagining the day. It’s amazing how naturally you can piece together your favourite flowers, favourite film/music, favourite colours etc… And before you know it the whole day is ready to show florist, cake maker, caterers etc… Personal to you. Also, the time of year and venue was a great inspiration to me, and helped me not going off on a tangent..
My tables cost hardly anything! Lots of wine bottles, jars from car boot sales and tin cans with punch-hole hearts shape drilled in…Sounds a bit rubbish but once you have the flowers and the candles it all comes alive! My table numbers were miniature banners which was a running fete theme for the cake topper and table plan too. Neil made some lovely wooden crates for the barn entrance and table plan. Making all the stationery and décor ourselves made sure everything matched and was personal and it didn’t cost very much! Even the bunting was stitched by my friends and me out of the off-cuts of bridesmaid’s fabric!
The Honeymoon… Mini-moon – a couple of days in Dorset, just to get away and relax in a little self-catered cottage. The honeymoon will be in Vietnam, which we still need to plan CANT WAIT!
Memorable Moments… SO MANY! My lovely friend Liam, doing my hair perfectly in the morning after many months of trials, the car ride with my dad, Neil and me leaving the ceremony to ‘the crystals,’ having 2x 10-15mins ‘out’ time during the day with my friends in the bridal room (touching up my makeup/hair and getting out of my dress), DANCING A LOT!! —With Neil and everyone, and the arch everyone formed as we left!
Advice for Other Couples… If you can, a great toastmaster is a must for me. I cannot explain, how relaxed it made me feel to know that Brian Belton (http://www.toastmasterbrianbelton.co.uk/) was in charge, because the Bride and Groom need to sit back and relax on the day and not worry about a thing… Brian ran the day smoothly, helping with every aspect, nothing ran over time, Group photos (which can go on a bit) were fast and it just made our, confetti shot, entrance into the barn for the wedding breakfast, speeches and cutting the cake extra special.
Also, make sure its personal, little touches make all the difference. Don’t ever feel like you can’t DIY it yourself, the internet has the best tutorial for everything! For example, we couldn’t afford a photo booth so my Dad made a frame and my Aunts brought some funny hats and everyone had just as much fun!
Get as many people to help out! This is advice aimed at myself as I always think, ‘no I’ll do that,’ luckily we had enough time for me to do a lot myself but if you don’t, know your friends and families strengths and USE THEM!
Definitely involve your man! It’s his day to and even if he says ‘oh just do it how you want,’ the day is even more personal and special when they’ve had a helping hand. Also if the Groom know the running of the day you can tell the caterers and the venue to phone him on the morning of the wedding if they have any last questions…leaving you to sit back and get pampered!!! ;)
Credit Where Credit is Due…
Cheese cake: http://www.justjane.info/
I love that Neil and Sophie got their family and friends involved in helping to organise their day. Thanks so much to Neil and Sophie for sharing their beautiful wedding with us today XOXO Lou