It all began with a sweet forest proposal. Cue the rustic, natural woodland theme to this couple’s gorgeous nuptials.
WWW readers Russ and Helen tied the knot on the 15th May 2015 at Cain Manor. Their wedding had an earthy yet pretty feel with the most divine wild feel blooms. There were many hand made touches and décor crafted from hessian, wood and moss. I especially love the pops of pale blue in the bridesmaid dresses, Russ’ tie and the florals.
Helen looked lovely in lace, she donned Britannia by Maggie Sottero which was so elegant. You are really going to enjoy this super happy day folks.
Ria Mishaal, thank you so much for sharing your exquisite imagery today.
THE PROPOSAL | Russ proposed in the New Forest on the 23rd March 2014. He had sneakily visited one of our favourite places in the Forest the day before the proposal and laid out stones spelling ‘Marry me’ on the ground on the other side of a stream. We went for a walk there the following morning and Russ led me through the Forest to the stones and got down on one knee. I have never be more surprised or excited!
THE VISION | We wanted to reflect as many aspects of the proposal into our wedding as possible. We love being in the Forest so a woodland theme was perfect for us. We wanted to keep things as rustic and natural as possible.
THE PLANNING PROCESS | We were really lucky in that our planning went relatively smoothly. We had a very clear idea of the type of wedding we wanted which made things a lot easier. We had seen our venue (Cain Manor) online quite a while before the proposal so we arranged to go and view it ASAP. As soon as we arrived we knew it was perfect! It was everything we wanted and more! After booking the venue, everything else just fell into place and we had most major elements booked with 4 months. The only slight but very exciting interruption to our planning came in February 2015 when we discovered we were expecting our first baby. This caused some slight hiccups with my dress fitting but it all worked out perfectly in the end and we cannot wait to welcome Baby Barrett in October.
THE VENUE | We chose Cain Manor on the Hampshire-Surrey border. Cain is a gorgeous country manor house with the most beautiful oak beams and wooden floors. It has such a homely feel but still provides lots of space. It is so light and bright with such stunning features. We fell in love with the venue as soon as we saw it and knew that we couldn’t get married anywhere else.
The staff at Cain were also amazing! Nothing was too much trouble and our personal wedding planner (provided by Cain) was always on hand to answer any questions we had.
THE DRESS & ACCESSORIES | My dress was Britannia by Maggie Sottero from Wedded Bliss in Dibden Purlieu. I fell in love with the two tone lace that changed from ivory at the top to a pale gold at the bottom. My veil and hair accessory were from the same bridal shop. The ladies there were so lovely! I cannot recommend them highly enough!
My shoes were Louise by Jimmy Choo. I didn’t want anything too high and they were so comfy!
Hair: We used the ladies from Image Hairdressing in Alton which was relatively close to the venue. Emma and her team came to Cain and did a fab job of all our hairs! Everyone had a slightly different style and was really pleased with the results.
Make-up: I’ve been going to The Beauty Retreat in Portsmouth for many years and the ladies there are great! I knew they would do an amazing job with our make-up and they by far exceeded expectations. The make-up lasted all day and looked fab!
FINDING THE DRESS | I went shopping with my Mum to look at dresses initially. I wanted to have this time with just her before inviting bridesmaids and other close family. We had a great time trying lots of different styles on but it wasn’t until our final shop visit for the day that we found ‘the’ dress. As soon as I put it on I knew it was the one. I loved its unique colouring and the sweetheart neckline with low back was just what I wanted.
GROOM’S ATTIRE | Suit: Tailor made three-piece blue tweed suit from Victor Valentine. Shoes: Paul Smith Cufflinks: Paul Smith.
THE READINGS & MUSIC | Entrance music: John Legend ‘All of me’.
Exit Music: Elvis Presley ‘All Shook up’.
Readings: ‘A Lovely Love Story’ Edward Monkton read by my Uncle John and ‘The One’ read by our close friend Amy Gould.
Day Band: Kaleidoscope Jazz Band dressed in stripes and boaters.
Evening Band: Penfold (a 4 piece pop/rock band).
BEAUTIFUL BRIDESMAIDS | I had five adult bridesmaids and one flowergirl. My bridesmaids were my sister (Sarah), my cousin (Rachel Sawbridge who is just like a sister to me) and my three best friends Laura Waller, Rebecca Green and Sarah Bamford. They all know me so well and I couldn’t have asked for better bridesmaids! Our flowergirl was our beautiful niece Sophie. She looked adorable!!
Dresses: Dessy dresses (each bridesmaid chose their own style) in ‘cloudy’. All of the dress were full length, chiffon.
Sophie’s flowergirl dress was ivory lace with matching shoes from Marks and Spencer.
THE FLOWERS | We went for natural looking handtied bouquets with pale peach roses and blue nigella in my bouquet. Bridesmaids had smaller versions of mine but minus the hints of blue. All were tied with hessian ribbon.
We kept the other venue flowers quite simple and Kay (our amazing florist Pomp and Petals) provided lots of natural clusters of flowers to be placed around the venue in glass jars that we had decorated ourselves.
THE CAKE | We wanted to keep the cake quite simple so opted for a Marks and Spencer 4 tier celebration cake with ivory icing. We then decorated the cake ourselves using ivory lace, hessian and ivory ribbon. A friend made our cake topper from wooden pegs. We displayed the cake on a personalised log round surrounded by bark heart confetti and candles.
YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER | Our photographer was Ria Mishaal – we first met Ria at one of my best friends weddings in 2012 when I was bridesmaid. She did such a beautiful job and captured the most fantastic images I knew that she had to be the one to photograph our day. Ria captured our day perfectly and every time I look back at the images it takes me right back to the day and I can’t stop smiling. We wanted lots of natural shots that captured the whole atmosphere of the day and Ria definitely exceeded our expectations. We couldn’t have wished for a more friendly, helpful, passionate and overall amazing photographer!
THE DETAILS & DÉCOR | We wanted to reflect as many elements of Russ’ woodland proposal as possible into our day. We had the actual proposal stones on display in a large vintage pickling jar surrounded by pictures of the proposal. We used pebbles as name cards and used pebbles and wildflowers around bay trees to mark the aisle in the ceremony room. The rest of the venue was decorated with glass jars that we tied with lace, burlap, jute-string and ribbon filled with candles and wild flowers.
Hessian bunting, table runners and vintage wooden signs were placed around the venue with lanterns and bark tee-light holders placed on the outdoor tables.
We continued with the woodland theme for our centrepieces which were two stacked wooden log rounds with some of the decorated glass jars and bark heart table confetti. We finished off the table decorations with handmade moss table numbers.
An added detail that our guests loved were the baskets of toiletries that we put in the male and female toilets. The baskets including items like deodorant, body spray, nail files, hair grips, dry shampoo, paracetamol, handcream, sweets and chewing gum. There were also flip flops available for the ladies which went down a storm!
During the evening reception, guests had a great time in the photobooth provided by Lilybean booths. Everyone got involved from our niece and twin nephews who are just 1 year old to my Grandparents who are in their 80’s!
We were both so happy with the overall look and feel of all the décor and wouldn’t change anything about the day!
THE HONEYMOON | We booked through Turquoise and they were absolutely fab!! We decided on a multi-centre trip to Singapore and Bali. We stayed in Singapore for 3 nights and then headed to jungle in Bali for 4 nights and then on to a beach resort for a week total relaxation. Truly amazing!!!!!!!!!
MEMORABLE MOMENTS | It’s so hard to pick just one or two moments from the day. One very unexpected moment from the morning was when I saw my Dad throw a coin into the well and make a wish. He was on his own and I just caught a glimpse of him from the window of the bridal suite. He doesn’t know that I saw him but it really was so special.
Another moment was with my Mum. I’m really close to my Mum and we were able to grab 5 minutes during the morning together when she gave me a beautiful pearl horseshoe with something old, new, borrowed and blue attached to it. There was even a silver sixpence that we fixed to my shoe. The day was so hectic and I’m so pleased that I had that time with her.
Seeing Russ when I walked down the aisle was also amazing. It had been so hard not being able to see or speak to him during the morning especially when I knew he would be as nervous as me. When I saw him looking so handsome in his suit I got really emotional but was so excited at the same time. I couldn’t stop smiling throughout the ceremony. I will never forget that feeling.
Having some time just the two of us immediately after the ceremony gave us the perfect opportunity to take everything in and talk about everything that had happened during the morning. It was only 5-10minutes but it was such a special time.
ADVICE FOR OTHER COUPLES | There are so many options out there for weddings now and my advice would be to spend time thinking about what YOU want for the day and don’t be drawn in to things that you are ‘supposed to’ or are ‘expected’ to have. Try and have a clear idea of the look/feel you are trying to achieve before rushing into anything.
Some of the best advice we were given was to make sure we took time during the day to step back and take everything in. It was really surreal sitting back and watching all our guests; seeing people smiling and laughing and knowing that they were all there for us.
CREDIT WHERE CREDIT IS DUE |
Venue | Cain Manor
Dress | Maggie Sottero – Britannia from Wedded Bliss, Dibden Purlieu
Veil and hair slide | Wedded Bliss, Dibden Purlieu
Suit | Victor Valentine
Bridesmaid dresses | Dessy dresses in ‘cloudy’ from Bespoke Brides
Photographer | Ria Mishaal
Florist | Kay Murrant, Pomp and Petals
Hair | Emma and Team from Image Hair dressing in Alton
Make up | Lindsay and Mollie from The Beauty Retreat
Cake | Marks and Spencer and then decorated by the bride and Mother of the Bride
Day Band | K Music
Evening Band | Penfold
Photo Booth | Lily Bean Booths
Wedding Stationery | Claire Hawkes Design
Honeymoon | Turquoise Holidays
Thanks so much to Russ and Helen for sharing their beautiful story with us today xo Lou