Those of you planning your summer nuptials take note. This sunny happy day is sure to give you so many ideas this afternoon.
WWW readers Luke and Alice tied the knot on the 18th July 2015 at The Powder Mills Hotel in Sussex. They hoped to create a country day to reflect themselves and their backgrounds perfectly. Their wedding theme flowed once Luke sourced the quirky green tweed bow ties, the rest of their day came together just perfectly. Think custom made polka dot bridesmaid frocks, dapper gents in tweed and the prettiest pink florals.
In attendance were 2 of the cutest little ones I’ve ever seen. With a page boy donning a sweet waistcoat and boat shoes and the flower girl in pink with a flower crown. Adorable. Speaking of attire, how utterly gorgeous did bride Alice look?!
White Stag Weddings Photography, many thanks for sharing your exquisite imagery with us here today.
THE PROPOSAL | Luke and I had a tradition of going away somewhere in England every anniversary, trouble is, being that it was February it was always freezing! The year we got engaged we decided to head to Cheltenham, being that the Cotswolds are so beautiful any time of year! Luke decided that we should do the “Romantic Road” drive through the Cotswolds, so that’s what we headed off to do. He was acting strange all day, being very particular about his coat, not letting me put his arms around him and put my hands in his pocket to warm up! Mean! I was starting to wonder what was going on… Anyway, on one particular beautiful stop off in Broadway, we climbed to the top of this ancient tower, surrounded by beautiful views wherever you looked, and red deer grazing in the surrounding countryside. Luke told me to look the other way, at something in the distance, and as I turned around irritably not being able to see what he was pointing at, he was on one knee! I was speechless (for once) and cried my eyes out, eventually saying yes! That evening we preceded to ring around our families, but most of them already knew!
THE VISION | Luke found these amazing tweed bow ties not long after we got engaged, and then the wedding theme just seemed to stem from there. Luke is a countryman through and through, so to have anything remotely un-countrylike seemed wrong! We wanted it to be very formal but in the same breath a relaxed vintage vibe. We also just wanted to reflect our personalities in our day.
THE PLANNING PROCESS | We worked out our budget first, and set a date so that we could save up for it, so we planned for two years! Our wedding was a long time coming! First, we worked out what type of venue we wanted and also needed, knowing family were coming from all over England, and friends coming from abroad we decided we needed somewhere with accommodation. After confirming with my family church what date we could get married on we started our search for the reception venue. That narrowed down the searches, and when we drove over the picturesque bridge at The Powder Mills Hotel we instantly knew it was very us! I think what cemented our decision was the resident peacock, George, as well as the beautiful grounds and lake. Once the venue was booked, we began going to wedding fairs, and slowly but surely we found our cars, cake maker, make up artist, photo booth and so on. We struggled so much to find suits to match Luke’s bow ties, he was adamant he wanted grey suits for the men! After A LOT of suit shopping, we went together, and randomly picked out chinos and the tweed jacket and waistcoat. As soon as he tried it on, we knew we had found the men’s outfits. A friend of a friend recommended the dressmaker of the bridesmaid dresses to us, and she turned out to be an absolute godsend. She did mood boards for us, with material swatches and even sketches, to
make sure that the dresses matched the bow ties exactly right and were truly what I wanted. She came over to our house countless times to measure the girls, to make sure that the dresses were exactly to the knee of each girl, she was just fantastic. A week before we had my brother chopping down a huge tree to make the wood slabs for the centre pieces! I think he probably had the most gruelling tasks given to him out of most of the groomsmen!!!
BUDGET | £25,000
THE VENUE | The Powder Mills Hotel, Battle. We absolutely loved it here the grounds were just perfect. They let us set up hay bales on one end of the swimming pool area and Bows Hire draped bunting all around it! You can tell (I think) how beautiful it is there in all of the pictures. They were also very patient about everyone deciding, on the wedding night, when the music stopped, jumping in the pool! They just sent lots of staff out with towels!! The food was delicious, and I absolutely cannot fault any of it.
THE DRESS & ACCESSORIES | My dress was my favourite thing that we bought for the wedding, along with my wedding ring I guess ;-) It was the “Hartley” gown from the Sottero and Midgley collection. I did have the corset removed and buttons put in, as it was my absolute dream dress but I was set on having buttons! The sash I felt just completed the dress! For my wedding gift from Luke, in the morning was a beautiful pearl necklace with matching pearl earrings. What made it more special was that he had designed it and chosen the pearls and had my friends company make it. My underwear was all by Gossard, it is such a beautiful make, it feels so luxurious, and being made in England somehow made me love it even more! My shoes came from a private seller on Etsy (love that site) and you basically email her what you think you want and she creates the most incredible shoes!!! Plus she was based in Paris… I couldn’t resist!
FINDING THE DRESS | I was absolutely set on having the huge princess dress! It was all I would try on, until the lovely ladies at Brides of Tenterden suggested something else. I tried on a few La Sposa dresses and loved them, but felt something was missing. A fishtail wasn’t big enough, and there wasn’t enough shimmer! I wanted to feel like a bride. As soon as I put on the ‘Hartley’ I knew it was the one! It was perfect. It felt big enough but also classy, and really grown up.
GROOM’S ATTIRE | Luke and all the groomsmen wore stone/beige chinos, and brown tweed waistcoat and jacket, all by Racing Green. White shirts by Next, signature collection. They all wore coloured socks; it was just another different touch to our day. Their shoes were from Samuel Windsor, prestige collection. The page boy’s attire was all bought from H&M, which came up brilliantly, I think!
THE READINGS & MUSIC | The readings were really special to us, my brother, who was also an usher, did one called “The Bridge Across Forever” by Richard Bach. Luke and I decided on this one as it is all about soul mates, and finding the keys to locks, with Luke being a locksmith it seemed relevant, and maybe a bit corny! My maid of honour did the bible reading “Genesis 1:26-28, 31” The hymns we chose were, “Give me Joy in my Heart” an old childhood favourite, “The Lord’s My Shepherd, I’ll Not Want” which is an old family favourite, at all the family weddings on my side, and last but not least “We Plough the Fields and Scatter” which is very relevant as I come from a farming family.
BEAUTIFUL BRIDESMAIDS | We had three bridesmaids, an old school friend, my cousin and Luke’s sister. They were brilliant at helping me go to the toilet on the day, and of course they all looked beautiful! As my hair was down we had their hair done as an up do, with a side plait and then a bun on the other side. The hairstyle really suited the amazing dresses that I paired with ridiculously high heels! (Sorry girls!!) We had one flower girl, well two unofficially, but only one walked down the aisle. Being Luke’s niece it was so important to us that she was involved. The unofficial one was the niece’s baby sister, but we still really wanted to involve her!
THE FLOWERS | My bouquet was just beautiful. I had so many compliments on the day about them! There was a mixture of peonies, roses, gyp, and all sorts! I had fresh flowers in my hair, and I think that was one of my favourite additions to the day. The flower girl had the cutest flower crown; it just completed her look completely!! The bridesmaids and the ushers just had mass gyp, which I thought
looked super effective, and didn’t take the attention away from those beautiful dresses!
THE CAKE | We had a vision about roses cascading down the cake, and we certainly didn’t want a wedding cake like anything we had ever seen before! We wanted it green, with lace, and flowers, and each tier a different flavour. Surely not too much to ask!!! The poor baker, Anita, probably thought we were crazy! But I have to say, she came up trumps and we have saved the top tier ready for first baby’s christening!
YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER | We had Catherine and Andy from White Stag Photography, and wow, what a fantastic choice we made! They were so patient, so kind, and the happiest people I think I have
ever had the pleasure of coming across!! The pictures that they took have just captured the day so well; we really will be forever indebted to them!!
THE DETAILS & DÉCOR | At the church we had jam jars with beautiful flowers in, matching my bouquet, and also gyp hearts, hung on the pew ends. We put in the back of our order of services that people were free to take them afterwards and apparently there was a mad dash for them as soon as we left the church. We had birdcages at Powder Mills on the tables, placed on tree stumps made by my brother. We had little wooden hearts around the birdcages, and tiny birds with our details on them around the birdcages. We had a candy cart, borrowed from the best man’s farm and decorated by the boys the day before!! We had apple crates stacked up on the side of the dance floor with flip flops in for the ladies, and I actually saw a few men wearing them by the end of the night!! We had homemade jam for the evening guests to take as favours; my godmother made it so another unique family touch there!!
THE HONEYMOON | We went to Borneo, as we wanted a real adventure, plus to go somewhere that no one we knew had ever been too!! We spent a week on an island called Gaya Island, and there was wild pigs running up and down the beaches, turtles swimming freely, monkeys swinging from tree to tree and we even saw Orang-utans! It was pure paradise and luxury, something that we will remember
forever. The second week we went trekking in the jungle, stayed with a tribe where they got us drunk on their special home made rice wine! They live off the land, it was totally incredible! We saw proboscis monkeys that only live in Borneo, so it was a real treat to see them in their own habitat!
MEMORABLE MOMENTS | Luke’s memorable moment on our wedding day was saying our vows in church, he says he has never felt so connected to me before and that was his favourite part of the entire day. Mine was walking into the church on my dad’s arm, and making myself look up, I have never been so overwhelmed in my life as I was at that moment. It was absolutely magical, knowing that all of those people were there for us.
ADVICE FOR OTHER COUPLES | Do what you want to do, don’t let tradition or family and friends tell you how it is “supposed” to be done. Also, so cliché, but enjoy every moment. It does go so fast.
CREDIT WHERE CREDIT IS DUE |
Bow Ties | Mary’s Collection UK on Etsy
Bridesmaid Dresses | Kiera Elysia Designs
Luciano from Dogorse Design Invite Designs and Signage
Printing | Tom Johnson at The Wealden Printers
Bunting | Bows Hire
Photography | Catherine and Andy from White Stag Weddings Photography
Ceremony | The Reverend Jeremy James, Organist and Bell Ringers at St Peter and St Paul Church in Wadhurst
Venue | The Powder Mills Hotel
Car | Jollies Wedding Cars
Dress | Brides of Tenterden
Signs | Mike John from Mike’s Fine Designs
George Heath from Heath Gardens and Landscapes
Shirt | Next Signature Collection
Cake | Carry On Cake Company
Flowers | The Nodding Violet
Stationery | Joanne from Elegant Stationery
Make Up | Grace Benson Make Up Artist
Hair | Caisters Hair Lounge
Disco | Justin Burley from Crystal Beats Disco
Photo Booth | Giggle Booth Photo
Perfection. Such a joyous celebration.
Huge thanks goes to Luke and Alice for sharing their wedding today xo Lou