What a delight it is to be featuring a wedding in my home county this morning. If you’ve never visited Woburn, I highly recommend it. It’s a treat of a village with a stunning estate (and zoo), where today’s lovely couple tied the knot.
WWW readers Antonia and James were married on the 24th September 2016 at The Sculpture Gallery at Woburn Abbey in Bedfordshire. The house and grounds are just stunning, perfect for a classic and romantic wedding then! The vision was clear, a pretty and elegant day with a pale pink colour scheme. The flowers in particular were so divine, with blush and cream roses taking centre stage throughout. The bridesmaids’ multi way dresses, were too, just gorgeous and fitted in perfectly.
Antonia found her dream gown in Maggie Sottero‘s Caitlyn, which she found in Morgan Davies in Hitchin. Teamed with a sparkly veil and peep toe heels, she looked sensational. James was the dapper groom in a pale grey suit, blush tie and tan shoes. What a stunning pair and you’re going to love their dreamy nuptials.
Thanks so much to Rebecca Wedding Photography for sharing these incredible images.
THE PROPOSAL | We got engaged in the courtyard of the Louvre, in Paris, at the end of October 2015. We had arrived in the city for a long weekend and had spent the earlier part of the evening wandering around the museum during one of its late night openings, before going for cocktails at Le Fumoir.
Later that night, James asked me if I’d like to walk back through the grounds of the museum and it was there that he asked me to marry him. It was surprisingly quiet in the courtyard, so we basically had the place to ourselves and it felt so exciting and surreal in the best way possible!
Paris is, of course, romantic and beautiful, especially at night – but the location of the proposal was extra special because it was where we had gone on our first ever holiday together.
THE VISION | Both of us wanted a fairly traditional affair, but for our wedding day to feel relaxed, fun, and full of love. We also knew that we wanted to get married within a year if possible. After arriving back from Paris, I wrote down four words in the notes section on my phone – “simple”, “elegant”, romantic”, “pretty” – and these informed all of our planning. We felt that our wedding day should include a nod to Paris too.
THE PLANNING PROCESS | We were married almost exactly 11 months after James proposed, which felt like the perfect amount of time. We didn’t feel rushed during the planning process, but we also had to make decisions fairly quickly. Before Christmas, we had booked the church, our reception venue and our amazing photographer, Rebecca, and everything ran fairly smoothly from thereon (although that’s not to say I didn’t have a few stressed-out moments along the way!).
THE VENUE | I’m from an Irish-Catholic background, so we got married in our local Catholic church, which is wonderfully light and airy. Our priest, Father Kenneth, had everyone laughing and added a really human touch to our ceremony.
We then had our reception at The Sculpture Gallery at Woburn Abbey. It’s such a stunning room and we both knew it was “the venue” as soon as we stepped into it. We were lucky enough to have beautiful weather on our wedding day, so we could take full advantage of the large outside terrace as well. The staff at Woburn Abbey are exceptional – they were always willing to answer any questions, however trivial, during the planning process, and they ensured that our wedding day went off without a hitch.
THE DRESS & ACCESSORIES | I chose my dress in a single day, after spending lots of time on Pinterest and wedding blogs looking for ideas. I knew I wanted something traditional but with a modern twist, with an embellished bodice and open back. After trying on a handful of dresses and not finding anything that grabbed me, Maggie Sottero’s “Caitlyn”, in ivory and pewter, fit the bill immediately (and my mum instantly loved it too, which is always a plus!). My dress was so light and comfortable and I absolutely loved wearing it.
I found my dress at Morgan Davies in Hitchin, which was the second shop I visited and has such a beautiful selection and lovely, friendly staff. I got my veil there too – a chapel-length, two-tiered, tulle number, with scattered Swarovski crystals. It was quite windy on our wedding day, so we got some great photos of my veil fluttering in the air!
My hair vine was Ivory and Co.’s “Fairytale”, which I ordered online, and I found my shoes in Monsoon. I also wore a pair of crystal drop earrings from Swarovski.
GROOM’S ATTIRE | James’ suit was made-to-order in grey, Prince of Wales check. The groom’s party’s ties were a near-perfect match to our bridesmaids’ dresses.
THE READINGS & MUSIC | As we had a Catholic ceremony, our readings were traditional and focused on the themes of love, unity and joy. They included the famous 1 Corinthians reading, which we decided is a popular choice for a reason! I walked down the aisle to Canon in D and we left the church as a married couple to Wedding March. Our ceremony music was played by a local organist, and friends of ours also sang and played the keyboard during the signing of the register.
During our reception, the lovely duo known as Sax and Honey played a mixture of jazz and contemporary numbers, which took us from the end of our wedding breakfast, through to our first dance and just beyond. Then we had a DJ, who kept the dancefloor rocking for the rest of the night.
BEAUTIFUL BRIDESMAIDS | I had four bridesmaids: my younger sister, Sasha, and three friends, Rachel, Samantha and Orlagh. They were wonderful people to have around me on the day – calm, supportive and lots of fun. My bridesmaids wore Eliza and Ethan wrap dresses in dusty rose, which we found at Woburn Bridal. Joanna was so helpful, letting us all come into the shop one Saturday afternoon in July and teaching us how to wrap the dresses properly.
THE FLOWERS | Our flowers were provided by Jemma at The Country Flower Company and were just stunning. We asked for romantic, billowy blooms – lots of roses and hydrangeas – in white, ivory and light pinks, with foliage. Jemma took our brief and ran with it and we were thrilled with the results.
THE CAKE | Our cake was crafted by Colin at The Cake Hole in Hitchin. It consisted of three tiers – Belgian chocolate, lemon and champagne, and fruit – and was covered in white chocolate, and decorated with pink roses. Most importantly of all, it tasted delicious.
YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER | Rebecca, of Rebecca Wedding Photography, who was brilliant from start to finish. She made everyone feel relaxed on our wedding day and captured so many perfect moments.
THE DETAILS & DÉCOR | Both the church and The Sculpture Gallery are lovely in themselves, so we felt that flowers and candles were enough to set them off.
We added a Parisian touch to our reception through both our handmade table plan, which was based on famous landmarks in the city, and our favours – the men received Cognac miniatures and the women were given rose and white chocolate macarons, which were made by Anne-Louise at Sugar Blossom Cakes Co.
James designed all of our stationery and we also had a pick ‘n’ mix table – we ordered the sweets in bulk online and shopped around for mismatched glass jars.
We didn’t have a videographer, so we asked my uncle to film the day on our GoPro, which made for some cool, candid footage.
THE HONEYMOON | We jetted off on the Monday after our wedding day to spend two weeks in Mauritius. We spent lots of time relaxing and unwinding, and watching the amazing sunsets on the beach at our hotel, with a drink in hand – but we also took some time to explore what is a truly beautiful island.
MEMORABLE MOMENTS | Our church ceremony; being alone for the first time as a married couple in the car on our way to the reception; the speeches; seeing all our favourite people in one place; everyone dancing to an encore of Bohemian Rhapsody at the end of the night.
ADVICE FOR OTHER COUPLES | Be as organised as you can during the planning process – it’s a cliché, but it’s true! We relied on spreadsheets and lists to ensure we didn’t feel overwhelmed. Also, try not to second-guess yourself once you’ve made a decision – trust your instincts and move on to the next thing on your to-do list. On the day itself, just enjoy yourself and take it all in. I’m a natural worrier, but we both had the most perfect wedding day because we just forgot everything else and savoured every second.
CREDIT WHERE CREDIT IS DUE |
Photographer | Rebecca Wedding Photography
Reception venue | The Sculpture Gallery at Woburn Abbey
Hair vine | Ivory and Co.
Hair | Vicky Brown
Make-up | Juliet Cunnington
Flowers | The Country Flower Company
Cars | Allerston Taylor and Regency Carriages
Cake | The Cake Hole
Macaron favours | Sugar Blossom Cakes Co.
Band | Sax and Honey
DJ | Platinum DJs
Many thanks to Antonia and James for sharing their wonderful wedding story with us today xo Lou