This wedding has such a warm, homely and loving feeling. I put it down to the considerable DIY efforts made by the couple and their family, from the beautiful floral arrangements to the iced cake and home made marmalade favours. It was gorgeous through and through.
Matt and Beth were married on the 4th August 2016 and chose the stunning Moggerhanger Park in Bedfordshire to host their classic country reception. It fitted their pastel theme perfectly, with a blank canvas for the pretty tones and touches they incorporated. I especially love Beth’s hydrangea and rose bouquet, such a delight.
I have to shout out about Beth’s gown too. Isn’t it a stunner? She chose a bow back and beaded number by Rosa Clara and teamed the dress with loose waves in her hair. Matt chose a navy suit with pale blue tie, which coordinated perfectly with the bridesmaid’s lovely attire.
Many thanks to Cat Lane Photography for sharing these wonderful images.
THE PROPOSAL | Battersea Park 09/01/16 – We went for an early morning walk through Battersea Park, where we had come to on our first date.
Matt: We stopped at the spot where we had sat on our date, I was so nervous as I was trying to work out exactly how to get the ring out of my backpack without Beth working out was going on! I put the bag on the floor and went to get the ring out. When I finally stopped panicking I got down on one knee and held the ring out, when Beth had finished laughing she said yes!
Beth: The proposal was perfect for us as a couple. It was something special with no one around as it was first thing in the morning and it meant something to us personally as it was where we had our first date. It’s my favourite place in London, and now I have special memories associated with it too! When Matt got down on one knee I was so surprised! He had seemed so calm and I had no idea he was planning to propose that morning!
THE VISION | Our vision for the wedding was to try to get everyone who we loved all together to celebrate our wedding day with us. We wanted something quite relaxed and a little bit different. I’ve always loved old buildings and knew I wanted at least part of the day to be somewhere with some history. The colour scheme emerged naturally through the choice of Beth’s favourite flowers and the bridesmaids dresses, keeping to a pastel theme to complement summer.
THE PLANNING PROCESS | The plans for the wedding had to come together quite quickly as we were hoping to get married in the August following the proposal. However, everything seemed to fall into place quite quickly, with our preferred date available at both the church and the reception venue, as well as our amazing photographer Cat Lane being free that day! Planning the main aspects was actually relatively stress free, which is amazing and is all down to the helpfulness and support of our vendors.
BUDGET | We kept our budget to just under £10,000 as we had the wedding on a week day, which helped to cut costs and meant we could have the wedding that we had both dreamed of. Also a lot of our decorations as well as the cake and the flowers were all done at home.
THE VENUE | The church was Woodside Church where Beth grew up and her parents are still active members. The reception venue was the beautiful Moggerhanger Park, which is a Grade 1 listed building designed by the architect Sir John Soane, that has been beautifully and lovingly restored having been a hospital during the first part of the 20th Century and then fallen into disrepair.
THE DRESS & ACCESSORIES | Beth got her dress and veil from Golden Sash Bridal in Fulham. She got her shoes from BHS. The dress is a Rosa Clara Dress from the Aire Barcelona collection.
FINDING THE DRESS | Beth knew she wanted something a little bit different and not off the shoulder and she thought she wanted something lacy with a small train. The dress she found was amazingly the first dress she tried on and was nothing like what she thought she wanted with beaded detail on the bodice and bows on the back with a long train. The amazing ladies at Golden Sash Bridal brought out some suggestions and the first one was perfect!, and despite being current season Beth managed to get it off the rack at a discount. She added a sash, which Ilona did such a beautiful job on and the beaded detail was so unique. While the dress was big it was comfortable to wear and Beth looked amazing.
Matt: I was completely blown away when I saw Beth walking down the aisle, the dress was absolutely stunning and looked perfect on her. It was completely unexpected as it was so different from the vision she had of her perfect dress. When she got to the front of the church she turned to me and said “I’ve got such a massive dress!”.
GROOM’S ATTIRE | Dark Navy Blue suit hired from Moss Bros. With a silver scroll waist coat, light blue paisley tie and pocket square. The black shoes were from Clarks.
THE READINGS & MUSIC | The readings we had were Ecclesiates 4: 9-12 and Song of Songs 8: 6-7. We had a full worship band made up of Musicians from Woodside Church and led by Emma Romano who is a part of a local church in Bedford and is a friend of the family. We had a mixture of modern and traditional hymns.
Later in the evening we had Matt’s Uncle Ian Bennett play a solo acoustic session of covers to get everyone on the dance floor. He plays as part of a band ‘Wing It’ regularly. Once he had finished his set we used a Spotify playlist that we had put together that kept everyone dancing. It was exactly what we had wanted, it was great for all ages and was just relaxed and informal.
BEAUTIFUL BRIDESMAIDS | The Maid of Honour was Beth’s friend from school, a couple of her friends from University and her new sister in law. They wore multi strap dresses in either a midi or maxi length in an ice blue colour from ASOS. The dresses were perfect because each of the bridesmaids was a different shape and the multi strap meant they could suit the dress to them and each look was unique. The colour matched the scheme beautifully as it was an unusual pastel shade and it suited all of them.
THE FLOWERS | The flowers were done by the Mother of the Bride Bernice and a team of her friends. They were ordered from Savins the local wholesaler a few days prior to the wedding and picked up the day before. We used the ‘Flowerbook’ app to give us an idea of what was in season and what colours the different varieties of each flower was so that we could match them to the theme.
The bouquets were made up of: hydrangeas, which were ordered to match the bridesmaids dresses, and were a pastel blue called “lollipop”. There were also pink “Heidi” roses and “Odelia” spray roses along with gypsophila and white Lysianthus.
The table arrangements were in simple jam jars decorated with gysophila, pink gerbera in 3 different shades and chrysanthemums.
On the stage at the church were large white daisies from Beth’s Grandmas garden in jam jars.
The Grooms buttonholes were the “Heidi” pink rose, gypsophila and ivy.
The flower boxes that were at the church and then transported to Moggerhanger Park for the evening were made up of Gerbera “Alydia” and “Plot”, Chyrsanthamum bloom “Antanov White” and gypsophila.
The big vases in the dancing room at Moggerhanger had large pink hydrangeas.
THE CAKE | The cake was also amazingly created by Beth’s mum and had 3 tiers, one fruit cake, one lemon drizzle and one rich dark chocolate with a simple fondant icing. The design of the cake was after Beth’s dress, with bows between each tier and a beaded top tier and flowers at the top and bottom. Bernice got the recipe from the BBC Good Food website. The top fruit tier was a recipe kindly donated from a family friend.
YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER | Where do we start! Cat Lane of Cat Lane Photography was the most incredible wedding photographer we ever could have asked for. Her non-intrusive relaxed style was perfect for us as we both hate having formal photos taken! Actually having our photos taken as a couple is one of our favourite memories of the day, just because Cat was such a joy to work with and just kept us so relaxed. We have the most beautiful pictures of the day to remember it by. She also managed to make the formal family photos such a painless and quick affair when usually it can be a bit of a nightmare organising our mad families! She was such a delight to work with and every single guest has commented on how wonderful she was. She is just so passionate about what she does and it’s just like having your closest friend with you throughout the whole day capturing your happiest moments. We honestly can’t recommend her enough she was one of the highlights of our day!
THE DETAILS & DÉCOR | Woodside Church is a modern building so we wanted to dress it with flowers to give it more of a “weddingy” feel. Alongside all the beautiful flowers that are listed above we also had crushed rose petals sprinkled down the aisle, and gerbera and gypsophila at each aisle end. We used ivory organza sashes ordered from ebay and tied them around each chair with a bow. We dressed the registry table with some bunting that Beth’s mum made using material from Beth’s late Grandma, and we hung paper pom-pom’s and bunting from the ceiling in the reception room and dressed the tables with beautiful cake stands lent to us by a variety of very kind people. We had an informal reception for those just attending the ceremony with homemade cakes from guests and cut a mini wedding cake there.
We wanted to let the beautiful Moggerhanger Park really speak for itself and didn’t want to overdress it. Along with the simple table flowers we had some tea lights and arranged this all on mirror plates in the centre of the table along with some pale pink confetti. We also used the box of flowers that Beth’s mum created as our centrepiece on the head table along with more bunting kindly made by the Mother of the Bride
We used the large vases of flowers in the dancing room on stands that Moggerhanger provided and Beth’s brother blew up over 100 balloons the night before! Some were helium but by the time the dancing came around they had all pretty much fallen to the floor, so even the best laid plans on a wedding day can go awry!
The confetti was made from crushed and dried rose petals in a variety of colours from Beth’s Grandma’s garden and placed in clear confetti bags tied with ribbon.
On the stair case we wrapped Virginia Creeper around the bannister interspersed roses.
We also had a pick and mix table using mason jars filled with various sweets bought from Costco and scoops and bags bought from ebay along with yet MORE bunting made by Beth’s mum (she was incredibly busy in the run up to the wedding!)
The wedding favours on the tables at the reception venue were little homemade marmalades in gift bags with each persons name card attached to it.
The seating arrangement was the original Harry Beck 1931 tube map ordered from the Transport Museum placed on some foam backing and with luggage tags with each table handwritten and attached with string. The tables were named after major train stations in London with the head table being Battersea Park where we first met, and the table name cards were ordered from a designer from Etsy depicting the London Underground Logo.
THE HONEYMOON | We went to Cornwall for a week, near Lands End as this area is quite special to us. We stayed in a beautiful Airbnb property that was MASSIVE! We definitely didn’t need that much room for the 2 of us but it was so nice being in the middle of nowhere. We are also planning a ‘full moon’ in America next year when Beth’s studies are over.
MEMORABLE MOMENTS | Some of our most memorable moments are when Matt saw Beth coming down the aisle for the first time.
Matt: I was blown away by how beautiful she looked and I was so choked up. I looked over and saw Beth’s Mum go “oh wow!” and my Dad whispered “turn around” and there she was, with a great big smile on her face and looking stunning, it was impossible to fight back the tears, I was so happy!
Another of our favourite memories is the shots of just the two of us when we had a moment to breathe and just chat to each other (thanks to Cat Lane!).
Beth: It was the chance to hear about all the dramas of the morning (Matt had forgotten his shoes! And my brother discovered he was too large for his dress shirt … a bit embarrassingly). We just got to relax and chat while Cat snapped away, we barely knew she was there unless she was making us laugh.
The speeches are another favourite for us, Beth’s Dad did an incredible job with some heartfelt advice and a lot of laughs. Matt doesn’t remember much of it because he was absolutely terrified about his speech but he had nothing to worry about, there wasn’t a dry eye in the house when he was finished, it was such a beautiful speech that honoured Beth and his family as well as making everyone cry with laughter. Matt’s sister did the best mans speech as they have such a wonderful relationship and are so close, she was absolutely hilarious and there could have been no better ‘man’.
ADVICE FOR OTHER COUPLES | Nothing ever quite goes exactly to plan, however organised you are. But you won’t even notice on the day or care! All those small details that seem to matter so much before, you probably won’t even notice so our advice would be to just let it go and just completely enjoy the day. There is no other experience quite like it where all your loved ones and favourite people are in one place just supporting you two together, and the joy you feel will be unlike anything you’ve ever experienced before. We would also recommend escaping just for 5 minutes to take stock of the day and take a moment to enjoy the fact that you are MARRIED! We snuck out for 5 minutes in the fresh air when everyone was dancing and it is such a precious memory.
Also we would say having an excellent photographer is one of the most important investments you can make on your wedding day, they can make or break a day as they organise so much of what happens from arranging guests to throw confetti, to ensuring everyone is in the right place for formal photographs and giving you as a couple the experience that you always dreamed of. The photographs are also the memories that you treasure for ever. Even though we were on a budget we made sure this wasn’t something that we DIY’d and we are so thankful for it.
CREDIT WHERE CREDIT IS DUE |
Photography | Cat Lane Photography
Flowers | Savins Wholesaler
Wedding Car | Pearl Wedding Car Hire
Caterers | Hart
Venue | Moggerhanger Park
Table name cards | Happywhale
Suite Hire | Moss
Wedding Dress | Golden Sash Bridal
The Honeymoon | AirBnB
Matt and Beth, thanks so much to you both for sharing your lovely story here on WWW xo Lou