Do walled garden weddings get any more beautiful than this? Woah!
Rosie and Stace were wed on the 1st July 2017 at the Walled Gardens at Cowdray in East Sussex on a glorious summers day. They were engaged overlooking Machu Picchu and so a Latin American and Mexican theme was inter-weaved into their celebrations. This of course meant vibrant colours, fun cacti and a llama decorated cake hand made by the couple themselves.
One of the stand out elements to their day for me has to be the blousy blooms. Alongside a peony laden whimsy bouquet there was a floral arch as a backdrop to their ceremony, which really lent itself perfectly to the garden setting. A lovely moment was when their cute pup cockapoo Leo joined them for their photos with Jennifer Smith Photography. Too sweet!
Didn’t this pair look ever so lovely? Rosie fell for Keira by Augusta Jones and wore flowers in her hair. While Stace looked dapper in a navy suit and yellow tie for a pop of colour! Thanks goes to Jennifer for sharing these sensational shots…
THE PROPOSAL | On an Incan terrace overlooking Machu Picchu, as the site emptied out (Stace carried the ring in his belt that Rosie had given him for 3 months).
THE VISION | A colourful, relaxed and fun wedding with a theme that related to the exciting journey that led up to our engagement in Machu Picchu. The theme was Latin American, we wanted this to be obvious, but tasteful.
THE PLANNING PROCESS | This was a very long process. We had a 2.5 year engagement. 1.5 years of this was spent planning the wedding, after about 3 months of weekends filled with venue visits, we chose The Walled Garden at Cowdray for its spacious garden and what we felt was quite a blank canvas inside with character. We chose our venue in December 2015, as we didn’t want to have to plan our wedding too intensely. We started by booking our venue and the photographer, who unfortunately broke her leg 3 months before the wedding, but this was a blessing in disguise, as Jen was amazing and we were so lucky to find her!
We were limited to five caterers by our venue, which made choosing the caterer a very easy decision. We made this based on flexibility and price. Lottie from Buns to Banquets was really helpful throughout the whole planning process and went above and beyond on the day.
We went through periods of intense planning followed by times when we took a break from everything wedding related.
The last few weeks were really busy bringing everything together, with Stace constructing the cake at the last minute on the day!
BUDGET | £19,000 approx.
THE VENUE | Walled Garden at Cowdray. Absolutely beautiful garden, with rows of roses and lavender and a Rose Pavilion, which is where our ceremony was held. The two main rooms inside are simple with plenty of character. It’s not too big, so it didn’t swallow up our 70 day guests, but the different rooms meant that people were not stuck in the same room all day. We were really lucky with the weather, so we got to enjoy the garden into the evening. It was lovely to see all our guests enjoying the outdoor space too.
THE DRESS & ACCESSORIES | Dress: Keira, Augusta Jones. Accessories: Flowers in hair by The Cadogan Flower Company, Bracelet and Necklace from NotOnTheHighStreet.
FINDING THE DRESS | After visiting four or five different shops, I came across White Mischief while looking through a list of suppliers online for Augusta Jones dresses. They were really helpful and asked that I selected some dresses that I wanted to try on from their website beforehand, so that they were prepared when I got there. The shop is located in Henfield, West Sussex, it has a very light and airy feel and as it is appointment only, so you have their full attention whilst you’re there, unlike some of the other shops that I visited. I chose my dress for its flattering outline and the beautiful lace flower detail around the skirt and bodice.
GROOM’S ATTIRE | Alexandre of England from SuitsDirect. Blue three piece suit, orange tie, brown shoes. Stace found the suit by chance on a work trip to Doncaster. After multiple hurried pictures to Rosie I bought it and luckily it turned out really well.
THE READINGS & MUSIC | We chose two different styles of reading, one more lighthearted – How Falling in Love is Like Owning a Dog by Taylor Mali – we chose this because we felt we could really relate to it, having our own 18 month old cockapoo, and a more sincere and serious reading – I Will Be Here by Steven Curtis Chapman.
Bruno Mars – Just the Way you are (played on the harp).
BEAUTIFUL BRIDESMAIDS | The bride’s sister (Katie) and best friend from uni (Bonitta). After a very long and arduous search for what were originally going to be fuchsia dresses, we chose orange dresses from the last place we looked – Marks and Spencer!
THE FLOWERS | The Cadogan Flower Company. We heard about Holly through an old schoolmate and were impressed by her style and the unusual flowers that she used in her designs. We sent our ideas to Holly through Pinterest and she created some really beautiful pieces for the day, from hair flowers and buttonholes to arches and table décor.
THE CAKE | We had said from the start that it would be great if we could make a part of our wedding, and for us, the cake seemed like the most obvious choice! After two cake decorating lessons, a couple of practice runs and many hours trying to perfect Swiss Meringue Buttercream Icing (not possible), we made and decorated our cake with royal icing, llamas and flowers! No regrets!
YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER | Jennifer Smith was our photographer. She did such a great job. We really couldn’t have asked for more. Throughout the whole process everything was so easy, with a pre-wedding shoot to familiarise us with being in front of the camera. We are really not “photo people”, but somehow Jen managed to take great photos during the shoot and wedding day. We barely noticed the camera during the day (a definite bonus). We’ve had a lot of comments on how lovely Jen is, as well as how well the photos have come out, of course! She really captured the colours and feel that we wanted for our wedding, relaxed and vibrant.
THE DETAILS & DÉCOR | Succulents were used as favours with coloured ribbons and Guatemalan worry dolls around their ceramic pots. For those travelling a long way, we ordered small jars with a Mexican spice mix. Cactuses in Mexican style cans. Each table also had advice cards, an origami challenge and an “I spy” game, so we could break the ice on tables with guests who had never met and get some fun photos from the day! The table cloths were lengths of traditional fabric from Mexico that were Mayan style and very bright.
THE HONEYMOON | One week in Andalucia, we first visited when we were 21 and unfortunately crashed our hire car. This was a chance to go back and visit the places we missed the first time! We visited Malaga, Cordoba, Ronda and Cadiz. We enjoyed a bit of culture, a bit of adventure, some nice beaches and a lot of walking! Cordoba is a beautiful city, full of history and interest. We stayed at Patio del Posadero, a boutique bed and breakfast. Each room has a theme, our room was Laçur meaning blue, which ran through the room, with an intricate wooden frame around the bed, carved out with stars, which twinkled when the light was turned on.
We are planning a three week trip to Asia over Christmas, but haven’t decided exactly where we this will be yet.
MEMORABLE MOMENTS | We wanted to make sure that our cockapoo, Leo, could be a part of our big day. It was great when Carla from Dogvision brought him in to mingle with everyone and have photos taken, he was very well-behaved. It’s as though he knew!
Exchanging our vows, we kept our vows a secret from one another and it was worth the wait to hear each other’s promises.
Walking out of the garden after the ceremony and coming back through the wrong door, it gave us a long walk all the way round the venue and some time to ourselves between the ceremony and the drinks reception. We came back in through the back doorway. With all the guests waiting to throw confetti, everyone was very confused, but it all worked out…
ADVICE FOR OTHER COUPLES | Be a team, take your time, don’t sweat the small stuff. Something will always go wrong but it will still be the best day of your life. Don’t worry too much about everyone else’s opinions, do what feels right for you.
CREDIT WHERE CREDIT IS DUE |
Photographer | Jennifer Smith Photography
Venue | Walled Garden Cowdray
Flowers | The Cadogan Flower Company
Caterers | Buns To Banquets
Dog Carer | Dog Vision
DJ | AM Celebrations
Dress | White Mischief Bridal
Rosie and Stace, huge thanks for sharing your brilliant wedding story with us xo Lou