Pretty, sparkles and Springtime loveliness to end the week. YAY.
Heidi and Matt tied the knot on the 11th April 2015 and chose to hold their marquee reception at The Perch in Oxfordshire. They envisioned a relaxed home made wedding which turned out to be a day full of happiness.
Let’s start with Heidi’s dress, which was all gold sequins and glamour. She accessioned her gown with a hand made feather brooch and dark green wedges. Gorgeous!
The boys donned quirky jackets with chinos and DIY buttonholes which looked just awesome. The florals have to be one of my stand out details, they were stunning and really pulled the whole Spring feel together.
Many thanks today goes to the ever wonderful Cotton Candy Photography for sharing these amazing images.
THE PROPOSAL | After a long Christmas holiday visiting friends and family, we were finally on the way home; however Matt insisted that we went for a walk to the White Horse in Uffington. It is a special place for us as it is where we had one of our first dates, but it was cold and I was keen to get home. In addition I lost my sock in my welly and all in all I was quite a grump! This didn’t seem to bother Matt who when we got to the top popped the question. Needless to say I forgot all about my sock and the cold and said yes!
It turns out that Matt had been carrying the ring around loose (!!!) in his jacket pocket for the whole Christmas asking my mum and dad for their blessings. We had met earlier that year, and moved in together in November, so Matt had wanted to end a special year with something extra special!
THE VISION | It is hard to explain our vision as it seemed to evolve as we got close to the day. When we ask people how they found the day they say relaxed, homemade countryside, spring, warm and fun.
THE PLANNING PROCESS | I love organising, so had multiple spreadsheets and kept a track on everything. We are lucky in that we are fairly creative people, and we enjoying trying new things, so were able to make many things in advance and store them. We had a rough schedule of when we would do things too. It was great to tick things off the list.
BUDGET | We agreed a budget straight way as we were self funding our wedding, however we were so lucky to have contributions from our families too. I kept a track of our actually spending against the budget. This was really helpful as I felt in control (most of the time!), and could see the impact of any over/ under spend helping to made some decision making easier. We also spent a lot of time making things by hand too. However, this didn’t always work out cheaper, but we enjoyed the process. A few of the things we made were:
Button holes – We spent many hours collecting feathers to make into unique buttonholes for Matt and the bridal party. We liked the idea that they could also service as little keepsakes too. We made them almost a year in advance and kept them safe till the day. I also made a matching brooch for my dress too with feathers a button and some jade.
Table numbers – Collecting corks was great fun and gave us the excuse to drink bubbles and celebrate, and spraying them gold was suitably messy!
Table plan, Menu and Photo booth – Matt hand drew everything! He spent ages making sure he had things just right.
Rings – My sister is a silversmith so we spent a day hand making our rings under the tuition of the very talented silversmith Chris Perry and my sister who works for him, so it was extra special to finally place them on to each other’s hands when we finally got married.
Orders of Service – We had a lovely stamp made from Bloomfield and Rolfe that we used for the front cover and spent hours tying them together with gold and white baker twine. We also made little pockets at the front and slide in some tissues with hearts on too!
Elderflower Cordial – We spent the previous spring making elderflower cordial to add to the welcome fizz, which was just perfect in the warm sunny spring day.
THE VENUE | We looked at so many venues all had a twist that would have made for complex logistics or organisation, so we were struggling. One night we had a brain wave. We love The Perch in Binsey Oxford it is beautiful and we often spend time over the summers enjoying the beer garden, great food and events. So it made perfect sense to have our wedding reception there too. It was a gamble as the perch were ordering a new marquee and undergoing renovations. They pulled it off though and we were their first event in the new venue. It looked stunning.
The food was delicious. We had goats cheese with edible flowers to start, a sharing platter hog roast for main and salted panacotta for desert (one of Matts favourites).
THE DRESS & ACCESSORIES | I wanted a dress that made me feel special and reflected my personality too. I loved the sequins! It was so comfortable and easy to wear too. I love the look of heels, but can barely walk in them so I found some sturdy comfortable wedges. I choose some stunning dark green ones from Modcloth. I borrowed a beautiful gold bracelet from a friend and purchased some drop jade earrings from eBay. I fell in love with feathers when making the boys button holes, so hand made myself a little broach to attached to the dress too.
FINDING THE DRESS | Oh my. I had purchased a wedding dress from a lovely shop but had a sudden change of heart. I am a little quirky and just didn’t feel quite right in any traditional wedding dresses. So after much deliberation I decided that I would order a dress I had seen online. Quite a risk, but it paid off. When it finally arrived it needed a few nip and tucks to make it right, but the lovely Anna Fink was able to help make it perfect. I am so pleased that I changed my mind. I felt like the 1000dollar version of me on the day. The only regret is that it was a bit too tricky to do our first dance in. I found a beautiful but simple dress in Miss Selfridge that I switched into for the first dance.
GROOM’S ATTIRE | Matt chose a 3 piece Quacker Twill grey suit from the Hammond & Co. at Debenhams and treated himself to some gorgeous tan Brogues from Russell and Bromely, along with a matching belt. He looked so dapper. He had a tie pin from his grandfather and I stuck a little broach inside before the wedding too! The groomsmen had the same jackets, but wore their own chinos.
THE READINGS & MUSIC | We got married in our local church of St Mary and St John, Oxford. The vicar has recently left, so a neighbouring vicar kindly volunteered to take the service. We got to know Rob over a series of dinners. It made the service so special as Rob was able to tailor it to us.
The church was a huge space and would have cost a lot to decorate it. So we chose to purchase two olive trees that flanked the altar. It is lovely that we can now enjoy the trees in our garden.
My mum walked me down the aisle to Spring, from Vivaldi’s four seasons. We had three hymns Morning has Broken, Jerusalem and Love Divine. Not only do we love those ones, they seemed easy enough to follow. My brother read the Song of Solomon and Matt’s sister read Elton John, Your Song! Both read them so beautifully. When were signing the register our wonderful friends got together and performed “I would walk” an acoustic version of 500 miles by The Proclaimers and “All I Want Is You” from Juno. They were fantastic!
For the reception we hired the Jets. Just like their web site says they are explosive! Lots of energy and a really nice mix of music to keep folk on the dance floor too.
BEAUTIFUL BRIDESMAIDS | My bridesmaids have been there for me through thick and thin. They are incredible ladies that I am so lucky to have in my life. My chief bridesmaid Hannah even flew in all the way from Manila. I was lucky that they all liked the dress that I chose for them! I loved the soft green colour and gentle pleats. I never normally shop there but Miss Selfridge dresses were perfect. I wanted my ladies to retain a sense of self on the day and feel conformable so they did their own make up and then chose what style they wanted their hair. George and her team were excellent. They made everyone feel really relaxed and special.
THE FLOWERS | Since Matt has known me he has brought me the most beautiful flowers from Joe Austin in Oxford, so it felt right to ask them to do our wedding flowers. We wanted flowers to feel relaxed and soft, with hues of peach and cream and green. Marisa at Joe Austin proved to be as patient as she is creative. We had purchased 50 small Victorian flowers pots from ebay that we wanted to use for cut flowers. At home Matt and I potted up lots of herbs into other 50 or so pots. They were mixed up and clustered on the tables in the marquee. My bouquet and the bridesmaids were larger versions of these. The flowers completely surpassed my expectations. Simply beautiful.
THE CAKE | We didn’t want a traditional cake so we opted for a lemon polenta cake. This was expertly made my Matt’s mum. She is an exceptionally skilled cook and baker, so we were privileged to have her make our cake. It was a beautiful creation and tasted magnificent. She even made a separate gluten free cake too which many of our guests really appreciated.
YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER | Cotton Candy were fantastic and captured our day in their special style. We loved their Polaroid and vintage camera short too. We were made to feel calm and relaxed in their presence when doing our couple shots and for the rest of the time they were very discreet. They captured so many special moments.
THE DETAILS & DÉCOR | The Perch marquee was already well dressed with willows covered in fairy lights, piano, bar and fantastic carpets on the floor so we didn’t need to do too much.
We brought in our home made hand written table plan and menu that Matt had made. We gave the adults premixed gin and tonics as favours, they also doubled up as place names. The children got bubbles to play with too.
We also placed a picture of our grandparents who were not able to be with us on the piano too.
Matt’s uncle keep us all in check by using a large school bell to announce dinner, speeches, cutting of the cake, bouquet toss and out first dance too!
Inside the pub we set up a Fujifilm instax Polaroid camera photo guest book. We made white background fame, covered it in fairy lights and provided lots of accessories. Everyone said it was lots of fun. Later in the night the Perch fired up the log burner to keep the last lot warm.
THE HONEYMOON | After the wedding we jetted off to Sri Lanka, for an amazing 3 weeks. Its such a beautiful country with so much variety. We saw turtles laying and hatching on the beach, climbed a few mountains, visited religious relics, went to the rain forest and on safari! We also managed to relax at the Last House, a very special Bawa property, to recharge our batteries.
MEMORABLE MOMENTS | Its impossible to say, we really enjoyed the whole day, but the service was really special and our friends playing in the church was divine.
I think everyone enjoyed my Dad instigating a sing along to happy birthday to Ewan – who was 5!
Matt’s best man Rupert – referring to my husband as ‘my Matt’ he won’t get to live that one down.
Getting to do our first dance that we had practised in secret – and not fall over!
Just being able to stand ‘my Matt’s’ side and call him my husband, made me so proud.
ADVICE FOR OTHER COUPLES | Everyone wants to help, it if works for you let them, It can really ease the pressure. Also don’t feel bad turning down offers of support too. It can almost be more stressful to have lots of people trying to assist when you only really need a few.
DIY can work out more expensive some times, so really cost out your activities. We enjoyed the process of making things so it was worth the extra pennies.
We really enjoyed the time that we got to ourselves before our couples shots and when travelling to from the church to the venue too. But equally we really enjoyed walking around the table’s in-between courses. This meant we got to spend time with every single one of our guests.
CREDIT WHERE CREDIT IS DUE |
Photographer | Cotton Candy Photography
Reception venue | The Perch
Brides Shoes | Mod Cloth
Bride’s Scent | Glamorous, Ralph Lauren
Groom | Quaker 3 piece suite from the Hammond & Co. by Patrick Grant Grey at Debenhams
Bridesmaids | Dresses from Miss Selfridge, Scarves from H&M and Shoes Bridesmaids own.
Groomsmen | Quaker jacket from the Hammond & Co. by Patrick Grant Grey at Debenhams, own choice of chinos and shoes navy.
Florist | Joe Austin Florist
Cake | Grooms Mum!
Transport | Matts own Porsche and Nostalgia Travel
Entertainment | The Jets hired via Bands for Hire
Rings | Hand made by Heidi and Matt with Chris Perry
Stationery | Lucy Says I Do
Hair Stylist and Make up | Georgina Heron
How utterly fabulous.
Heidi and Matt, thanks so so much to you both for sharing your wedding story with us xo Lou