I really do love a unique wedding venue and a vineyard in the UK is pretty unusual by my book. It made the perfect setting for this couple’s outdoor ceremony and their dreamy portraits.
WWW readers Kirstie and James were hitched on the 3rd September 2016 at West Street Vineyard in Essex. Their day was all about celebrating their love with a relaxed do, complete with mingling and a big party. Think skipping the starters, live band and no cake cutting to maximise the socialising.
Kirstie looked the perfect bohemian bride in ‘Torum’ by Charlie Brear; a simple and elegant gown which fitted her like a glove. She teamed her frock with a statement flower crown and a foliage filled bouquet. Talking of the blooms, they were used everywhere for a real floral extravaganza. The bridesmaids also wore sweet flower crowns with their pink dresses, while James donned a mix and match look for a casual feel. Didn’t they look stunning?
Thanks so much to Gemma Giorgio Photography for sharing these exquisite images here today.
THE PROPOSAL |It was on a ski trip to Val Thorens, France with 10 of our friends. We went to a Scandinavian ski lodge bar on the 4th night of the holiday, James was really nervous and I was tired from a big day skiing! But the night got a lot better after the proposal, all of our friends were there and we went on to a meal in a little French restaurant where it was a really celebratory night, even the staff in the restaurant were cheering.
THE VISION | A really relaxed vibe, we didn’t want the formality of weddings, we don’t like themes and wanted the day to have maximum time socialising and not doing anything because we had to, for example we didn’t cut the cake, we had a lot of canapes and then went straight into the mains and desserts when we sat down so that we wouldn’t spend hours of our day sitting down. I wanted everyone to be able to mingle. We had a band in the early evening to entertain everyone and get the party going after dinner and then a DJ later in the evening to have a real party.
THE PLANNING PROCESS | We had 18months, it took us ages to find a wedding venue, we looked at Vineyards/chateaus in France, Ibiza, London warehouses, country houses were we could all stay the weekend but when we found this vineyard it was perfect!
James was quite involved as he is very creative, he came up with lots of ideas and visions and I then tended to carry out the actual booking and making sure things were in place!
I had not ever thought about what I’d like for a wedding and as the proposal came as a surprise I wasn’t prepared to plan a wedding, I didn’t know anything about anything to do with weddings! So every component that we booked and organised was completely new to us!
We’re not the most organised people so nothing was really booked that far in advance, but we were open minded for what we were looking for and were really happy with every component.
BUDGET | Around £15,000
THE VENUE | West Street Vineyard, we were starting to get disheartened thinking we’d never find a venue! One Sunday we went to a food and wine festival at a Vineyard we had never heard of before and loved the venue and the feel. It was like a vineyard in France but local so easy for all our guests. It just seemed perfect that it was a combination of all the things we wanted in a venue.
The venue offers a completely bespoke wedding so we gave a list of things we wanted and they priced it up for us, which was great as we were really trying to steer away from classic wedding venues and packages.
THE DRESS & ACCESSORIES | Charlie Brear Torum dress, from Bespoke Wardrobe, Ingatestone, Essex.
Veil was from Bespoke Wardobe.
Shoes – Wallis
Flower Crown – Stock Florist, Stock, Essex.
Bracelets – Accessorize
FINDING THE DRESS | It was actually the first dress I liked and tried on in the first shop, but I obviously took another 2 months going round every other shop and dress before settling on the first one!
It was quite a simple design but I liked that as I knew I wanted to wear a flower crown and emphasise accessories so it didn’t want it to look too much.
GROOM’S ATTIRE | James hates wearing suits and anything too formal, he wanted to look trendy and casual but still smart.
So he bought blazers from Red Herring Debenhams, button down shirts from Ben Sherman, waistcoat and skinny chinos from Next, shoes from Office. There were 2 best men, 2 groomsmen and the 2 dads also wore the same.
THE READINGS & MUSIC | To walk down the aisle: Elbow – One Day Like This.
During the signing of the register: The Beatles – Here Comes the Sun, The Naked and Famous – Rolling Waves, Fleetood Mac – Everywhere.
To leave – during the confetti shot: The Verve – Bittersweet Symphony.
James made his own playlist for the reception drinks and dinner.
No readings during ceremony.
BEAUTIFUL BRIDESMAIDS | My sister, 2 sister in laws and 3 friends. Dresses were from Oh My Love, Topshop.
Their hair was done by Lynnette Chasmer, and make up by Emma Foley.
Emma Foley did my hair and make up.
THE FLOWERS | Hannah Emery, Stock Florist, Stock, Essex.
Stock Florist provided 6 bridesmaid bouquets, bridal bouquet, buttonholes, corsages, and 7 flower crowns for the bridesmaids and I, plus an abundance of eucalyptus the day before for the aisle petals and lots of decorations!
Beehive Florist in Chelmsford supplied all of the gypsophila to decorate the aisle.
My mum potted 10 pots of lavender to go as the centre pieces.
The main flowers I used throughout the day for bouquets and decorations were peach roses, lavender, gypsophila, eucalyptus, lots of foliage, I liked plants more than flowers so I wanted lots of greenery.
THE CAKE | Home made by my friend Benjamin Gibbons from A Bakers Bee – Instagram benjamins101.
YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER | Gemma Giorgio Photography
THE DETAILS & DÉCOR | I arrived at the venue in a cream VW Beetle Convertible which I booked through V-DUB Rides, based in Chelmsford Essex.
The ceremony was held outside in a wooden pagoda, located in the vineyard. I decorated the aisle with gypsophila and eucalyptus petals. We had the confetti shot as we walked back down the aisle (confetti from Shropshire Petals). Reception drinks were outside in the vineyard with canapes.
The table plan was a cork board made by me out of wine corks and the table names were pinned on.
We had our favourite countries/places we’d travelled to together as the table names.
The centre pieces were made by my mum and I, we had a real tree log (cut by my friend) with potted lavender and a candle on each table.
Around the venue were lots of flowers, I wanted it to look very floral, like bringing the outside in, so there were lots of vases, jugs, eucalyptus petals and candles.
We had an awning fitted over part of the terrace in case of rain and because it wasn’t cold we had some of the tables outside underneath that, which created a lot more space and allowed us to have everyone on our guest list as our numbers were more than the venue could really hold in the restaurant.
In the evening we had a band which played outside on the terrace under the awning so to utilise the outside areas as much as possible as the vineyards are so beautiful.
Later on in the evening we had a DJ in the wine cellar in the basement, which has an underground industrial feel to it, which we decorated with lanterns and candles. There is also a bar down there so it was like a secret rave.
THE HONEYMOON | Road trip around France, Switzerland and Italy.
MEMORABLE MOMENTS | The ceremony was everything I wanted, the weather was lovely so we were able to have it outside and I loved the aisle decorations. The speeches, the party.
ADVICE FOR OTHER COUPLES | Don’t get caught up in doing things the way you think they should be done, everyone kept asking us had we done this and that and when we hadn’t it made me worry but there was no need. We didn’t cut the cake because I generally don’t like that part of the day!
Take a few moments throughout the day to process everything and soak everything in, as I felt like it was a bit of a blur and I can’t remember anything!
CREDIT WHERE CREDIT IS DUE |
Photographer | Gemma Giorgio Photography
Venue | West Street Vineyard
Wedding Co-ordinator | Rock The Day Styling
Bridal Hair and Make-up Artist | Emma Foley
Bridesmaid Hairdresser | Lynnette Chasmer
Cake | Benjamin Gibbons from A Bakers Bee – Instagram benjamins101
Band | Wesley – Ridealgh and Joe Garner (Island City)
DJ | Leo Wilcox
Wedding Car | VDub Rides
Utter perfection. And how tall is that cake?! Woah.
Thanks so much to Kirstie and James for sharing their super special nuptials with us xo Lou