Sam and Sophie, your wedding today took me to wedded heaven and back. Think dreamy, light, Autumnal wedding goodness folks, it’s a stunner.
Sam and Sophie were married on the 28th October 2016 at Stratton Court Barn in Oxfordshire. They totally made the venue their own thanks to their personalities and oodles of style to boot. Think garlands of fairy lights festooning the barn alongside the most swoon worthy rich florals. Sophie’s bouquet and the striking arrangements made such impact, with Dahlias, Roses, berries and foliage all making an apparence. Not to mention a naked cake to end all naked cakes, with towers of sponge and lashings of fruit perched upon a log stand. Amaze!
Sophie chose a romantic tulle gown with delicate straps and a cathedral length veil in which she looked utterly beautiful. Sam and the boys all wore blue suits, burgundy ties and tan shoes. The bridesmaids meanwhile wore coordinating long lace blue frocks with their hair in waves. So very gorgeous.
Thanks so much to White Stag Wedding Photography for sharing these exquisite images with us.
THE PROPOSAL | 1am on October 16th Sam proposed in our bedroom with a retro Pokemon ball. It had been a particularly stressful day at work, we got home really late and Sam said he had bought me a present. He gave me a box and in it was a retro Pokemon ball with a gold Mew two card in it, I opened the ball and inside was a ring. My reaction was ‘oh its just a ring’ and then it hit me what this was, it was his proposal, not a retro toy he wanted to give me :-)
THE VISION | Footloose, we wanted a lot of lights, warmth and fun like the party at the end of Footloose. We really wanted everyone to have a good time, a few laughs, good food and drink and to spend time with the new family they were joining.
THE PLANNING PROCESS | As soon as Sam proposed we started the planning process, we both have extremely busy jobs working in Visual effects for film and we knew our wedding day was going to be surrounded by deadlines. The wedding was the one we could control and make sure everything was done ahead of time so we could enjoy it. I had a google doc with everything in it, I also had a LOT of lists in a notebook. I’m a Producer so organisation comes naturally to me, thankfully!
BUDGET | Like a lot of bride and grooms we started by saying we won’t go over £10k, as we got started we were lucky enough to have help from both sets of parents and I (the bride) went a bit mad and our budget soon ballooned to £25k which is what we ended up spending, Honeymoon included though, so really about £20k in total.
THE VENUE | We found Stratton Court Barn online, well my mum found it and after looking at some bigger barns we fell in love with how family orientated it was, it’s the perfect size and a blank canvas. Karin the wedding coordinator is fantastic she is so friendly and knows amazing suppliers, some of which she suggested and are listed below.
THE DRESS & ACCESSORIES | The dress came from Butterfly Brides in Poundbury, Dorset where my parents live. Shoes from Monsoon Bridal, earrings from a small boutique in Dorchester, Dorset. My grandparents commissioned a diamond necklace to be made for me and it was the most exquisite diamond that sparkled under the light perfectly. My dad also bought me a Pandora charm bracelet with a blue charm on for my something blue.
Hair and make up was done by Louise Seymour, she is my next door neighbour and amazing at what she does. I heard about her through a friend that was getting married, until then I didn’t know she was a make up artist.
FINDING THE DRESS | I think I was lucky with my dress, I thought I knew what I wanted and after trying on the classic lace fitted dress, the ‘Kate Middleton’ dress I soon realised I didn’t suit it at all! The one I finally fell in love with was the second to last dress I tried on. We went to 2 dress shops and by this point I must have tried on about 30 dresses. I was dead set on the last one I tried on but my sister, being the sensible one took hundreds of photos on her phone for me. When we got home all I did was look through them, that night I couldn’t sleep because I was thinking about this second to last dress I tried on. The next morning I jumped out of bed and asked my mum to ring the dress shop, they said if I could pop in the next 15 minutes I could try it on again, so we rushed in the car with soaking wet hair to get there. I put it on for the second time and I knew then ‘this is the dress I’m going to get married in’ it was a moment I never thought I would have in my life.
GROOM’S ATTIRE | Sam’s attire was very much a relaxed affair, we knew we wanted navy blue suits, we knew we wanted winter fabric, and we knew we had to wait until September to get it. Come Sept we went into Next and chose the suit, it was easier to find his outfit than it was mine, buying all the ushers and best mens suits was a nightmare to get them all in the right size, if I could give any advice to anyone it would be to do this sooner rather than later. It was one of the only things we left to later on.
THE READINGS & MUSIC | The music was Pachabels cannon in D, played by my step grandad who I call grumps and my brother on acoustic guitars, it was very emotional and special to me that they played, I was honoured that they agreed to do it and it was a highlight of our day.
The readings were ‘your story’ written and read by my older Sister and ‘Us Two’ by AA Milne from Winnie the Pooh read by a close friend.
BEAUTIFUL BRIDESMAIDS | My bridesmaids were a mixture of family and best friends.
Maid of honour was my oldest and best friend Stephanie Hobbs, My other adult bridesmaid was my very close friend Colette Murray.
The 3 youngest bridesmaids were my cousins, Rosie 15, Lily 14 and Daisy 12. They loved every minute!
THE FLOWERS | Karin the wedding coordinator at Stratton Court Barn also posts wonderful blog pieces on Facebook where we found Joules Wrigley at Willow & Thyme where our beautiful flowers came from. Joules is an inspiration her work is beautiful and the flowers were absolutely stunning on the day, she is so creative and we had the same vision. I cried when I first saw the flowers, I was blown away with how beautiful they were. I still miss them now.
THE CAKE | SandJcuisine were our caterer made up of Sally and Jasmine, Sally does the main food and Jasmine makes the cakes, the food was beyond delicious and they had a real family round a dinner table feel we wanted. The cake was a masterpiece and perfect.
YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER | White Stag Wedding Photography, Catherine and Andy are the nicest people you will ever meet. They are so creative and the photos they take are out of this world beautiful. I look back at our photos now and I can’t believe it was our wedding day, its a wedding I dreamt of my whole life and it was ours. The photos capture every perfect moment of it. We found White Stag Wedding Photography through a friend of my bridesmaid who got married in July.
THE DETAILS & DÉCOR | We kept the décor within the theme, we mainly focussed on the flowers they were a huge part of the day for me in particular.
We had lighting by Oakwood Events, they string up the most amazing fairy light canopies and twisted lights around beams. We had a lot of tea lights and flowers placed around the venue. There was fruit on the tables as part of the flower arrangements as well.
In the evening 1 Entertainments supplied us with a Photo Booth, which went down a storm and a DJ who did a brilliant job of keeping the dance floor filled.
In the bathroom was a basket full of beauty products for the ladies, so they could freshen up.
As we are artists and have a history of being creative all paper decorations (guest book, card box, table plan, name tags) were designed by ourselves.
We had a guest book that was thumb prints and hand drawn by Sam, it was balloons carrying myself and Sam and our 2 cats onto our next journey.
Our table plan was a map of ‘Dawesneyland’ and we pinpointed locations on the map with where you were sitting, all of which were places from films.
Our table favours were bottles of coke or diet coke, we asked each guest on our invite which they preferred then made sure we got the right ones. On the bottle was a swing tag with the guests name and a free drinks token for the bar. Underneath this was a Macmillan cancer support pin badge, for every guest at our wedding we donated to Macmillan, this was for those of our family that couldn’t make the day and for those of us that are going through it. It touched a lot of peoples hearts on the day and we wanted to give something back to those who help so many people.
THE HONEYMOON | We went to Disneyworld Florida on our honeymoon, it was the most magical 2 weeks of our lives and carried on our magical wedding day for 2 more weeks, the bump back into reality was a hard one. Our wedding had subtle hints of Disney throughout and I’m so glad we got to go to Disneyworld for our honeymoon, its been a lifelong wish and it came true.
MEMORABLE MOMENTS | Its so hard to pinpoint particular moments because we loved every minute of it. For me (the bride) it was looking at Sam when he said his vows, there could have been a riot going on but in that moment it was just us and no one else.
ADVICE FOR OTHER COUPLES | Plan in advance, don’t leave everything to the last minute because you wont enjoy the day for what it is.
Don’t stress, on the day ‘what will be will be’.
Don’t worry about going to see everyone, its your day and they will come to you, enjoy every minute and do what you want to do, not what you think should be done.
CREDIT WHERE CREDIT IS DUE |
Photography | White Stag Wedding Photography
Dress | Butterfly Brides
Hair & Make Up | Lousie Seymour
Venue | Stratton Court Barn
Lighting | Oakwood Events
Caterer | sanjcuisine
Flowers | Willow & Thyme
Entertainment | 1 Entertainments
Sam and Sophie, thank you both so much for sharing your divine wedding story here at WWW xo Lou