WWW readers Nick and Emily followed their church ceremony with a beautifully atmospheric and fairy lit reception at Dorset House on Saturday 13th August 2016. Their day was filled with the most stunning florals, from the bouquets to the jam jars on tables and the wreath over the fireplace. Just feast your eyes on the roses and dahlias all combined with berries and greenery resulting in such sumptuous arrangements.
Our couple were in fact the winners of our The Real Flower Petal Confetti Company confetti competition we hosted with The Real Flower Petal Confetti Company and you can see the incredible petals in action!
Emily looks wonderful in her low v back gown with a sweetheart neckline and I love that the lace jacket she chose to go with it just looks like part of the dress. Nick finally settled on a Moss Bros suit in just the right shade of navy and the beautiful bridesmaids, also in navy look fabulous in their ASOS bandeau dresses.
Emily has some great planning advice for you, especially for those of you who have a fairly short planning period. The pair were also lucky enough to be able to take advantage of Emily’s talented sister who made lots of the super handmade details you see here.
Thank you Olivia Judah for sharing these wonderful images with us today.
THE PROPOSAL | After almost 5 years of dating, Nick proposed to me in one of our favourite places. We had obviously talked about getting married at some point (I was hoping for sooner rather than later) but it still came as a complete surprise. He had even asked for my Dad’s permission, which was really important to me.
THE VISION | Our main vision for the day was fairly traditional whilst being relaxed and personal. We both love spending time outdoors so it was important to us to have a venue with plenty of outdoor space.
THE PLANNING PROCESS | We got engaged at the end of October and married in August, which didn’t leave us loads of time to get everything sorted. The venue was one of the most difficult things to organise, as they often get booked up years in advance. Luckily though, everything seemed to fall into place and we didn’t feel at all rushed towards the end. It is really important to designate jobs to friends and family, otherwise it can get a bit overwhelming. I struggled to relinquish control over any aspect of the day but I couldn’t have done it on my own.
BUDGET | We were very lucky to have help from both sets of parents.
THE VENUE | Our ceremony was held at our church in Worthing, and the reception venue was in Bury at Dorset House. With a mixture of old barns, lovely gardens and views onto rolling countryside it really was the perfect place for a summer wedding!
THE DRESS & ACCESSORIES | I opted for a lace fishtail dress with a sweetheart neckline. I accessorised it with a lace jacket, embellished sash and a fingertip veil. I also wore a pair of small diamond drop earrings, which I designed to match my engagement ring and wedding band (bit of an extravagance but you only get married once!).
FINDING THE DRESS | I knew exactly what I didn’t like but didn’t have a very good idea of the style I actually wanted (not so helpful!). The ladies at Whyte Weddings were fantastic and helped me in and out of loads of dresses until I eventually ended up right where we started and decided on the very first dress I tried! I adored the very low v back and lace train.
GROOM’S ATTIRE | Nick didn’t want to go down the traditional top and tails route, and after what felt like a lifetime of searching for the right shade of navy, we eventually bought a three piece suit from Moss Bros. He teamed it with a grey tie and leather brogues to complement the colours of his groomsmen. He looked so dapper in it and jumps at the chance to wear it again (unfortunately, I’m yet to find a socially acceptable situation which means I can wear my dress again ☹).
THE READINGS & MUSIC | I walked down the aisle to ‘Turning Page’ by Sleeping At Last, every time I hear it now I’m close to tears. As Christians, it was really important to us that our ceremony was centered on God. We chose two readings from the Bible, 1 Corinthians 13:1-8 and 1 John 4:10-19, and asked our friend and Nick’s sister to read them during the service. Lastly, we walked back up the aisle (some of us danced) to ‘On Top of the World’ by Imagine Dragons.
BEAUTIFUL BRIDESMAIDS | I asked my sister and some of my life long friends to be my bridesmaids. They were absolutely amazing and looked incredible! They each wore a navy bandeau dress from ASOS and nude heels.
THE FLOWERS | We decorated the church with floral arrangements for the pew ends and a wreath for the wooden cross that was standing at the front. My bouquet was a slightly larger version of the bridesmaids’ bouquets, which were bursting with dahlias, roses, berries and greenery. Peonies are my absolute favourites but unfortunately we couldn’t get hold of them at that time of year. We used piano roses as a similar alternative. All the flowers at the reception were put into jam jars by my bridesmaids.
THE CAKE | A yummy three tiered lemon sponge cake with raspberry jam and buttercream icing.
YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER | We met Olivia Judah through my sister as they are good friends. She really understood what we wanted and I had no doubts that she would capture our day perfectly. I honestly still don’t understand how she managed to get so many wonderful shots whilst being so unobtrusive.
We also had Ian Coulson filming the day, and have lost count at how many times we’ve watched our highlights video through over and over. Booking a videographer was quite a last minute decision but we’re so pleased we did.
THE DETAILS & DÉCOR | Dorset House is such a stunning venue that we didn’t need to go overboard with the decorations…which was good because neither of us are particularly crafty. We used fairy lights to wrap around the beams, trailed festoon lights along the black wooden doors and used strings of paper cones to form the backdrop for the top table. My lovely sister, Amy, is AMAZINGLY creative and made the welcome signs, order of the day and table names for us. The tables were named after places Nick and I had been on holiday and our top table was named after our honeymoon destination. One of my favourite details was a photo timeline, which included loads of old family pictures and pictures of us together over the years. My sneaky mum, sister and mother-in-law had kept it all a secret, which made for a lovely surprise on the day.
THE HONEYMOON | We went to Iceland for a week straight after the wedding which is exactly what we needed. Waterfalls, whale watching and the compulsory visit to Blue Lagoon are some of the many highlights. It was great not to have think about last minute changes to table plans and endless obsessing about the weather.
MEMORABLE MOMENTS | Seeing my Dad waiting for me at the bottom of the stairs with the biggest smile. I found getting ready in the morning felt quite stressful as there were so many people at our house, but as soon as I saw my Dad I relaxed. Walking down the aisle was the single most nerve wracking yet exciting thing I’ve ever done. Despite practicing all the timings at the rehearsal the day before, I ended up racing down to be with Nick as quickly as possible. In a little nod to my Irish family members and Irish heritage, we booked a ceilidh band for the evening reception. So many of our guests got involved in the dancing and had an absolute blast.
ADVICE FOR OTHER COUPLES | Decide what aspects of the day are particularly important to you and focus most of your energy on those. In the run up to the wedding, enjoy spending time together doing ‘non-wedding’ activities, otherwise wedding planning can consume your whole life which takes all the fun out of it. Lastly, don’t underestimate how quickly it will all be over (it’s such a cliché but it’s so true).
CREDIT WHERE CREDIT IS DUE |
Photography | Olivia Judah Photography
Venue | Dorset House, Bury
Food | Quinns Catering
Videographer | Ian Coulson Media
Dress | Whyte Weddings
Suits | Moss Bros
Flowers | My Bouquet Day
Ceilidh band | Blackthorn
Thank you so much Nick and Emily for sharing your beautiful atmospheric day with us. Rachel x