Oh how idyllic. There is something so magical about the woods in bluebell season isn’t there? I urge you to visit next Spring if you haven’t before and get lost in it’s sight and atmosphere, just as this morning’s couple did above.
Amy and Gerald tied the knot on the 7th May 2016 at Tournerbury Woods Estate in Hampshire. The setting was just perfect, with a BBQ the night before for a real weekend extravaganza and a cottage to get ready in the morning. The pastel pinks and yellows used throughout were just darling, with the flowers, décor and attire all coordinating perfectly. Lovely touches in the marquee included paper lanterns, bunting and blooms in jars. I especially love the seating plan constructed from branches, florals and luggage tags. So sweet.
Amy looked so very beautiful in bridal separates, with a skirt and top by Catherine Deane, which flowed beautifully. The bridesmaids also donned skirts in pink and they looked perfect against Amy’s boho look.
Thanks so much to Kirsty Mackenzie for sharing these dreamy shots with us.
THE PROPOSAL | We were on holiday in Iceland and on the first night after a failed attempt to see the Northern Lights we were strolling through Reykjavik and Gerald started being very reflective and sweet about our relationship. He then took my glove off (having discussed this since, he deemed it important that my glove was off – in the reality of the sub-zero temperature I was freezing!), and by the time we were at the top of the hill my heart was beating so fast I could barely blurt out a ‘YES’ when he got down on one knee!
THE VISION | As we both work in finance, creativity and vision does not flow in our blood. However, we did have a lot of ideas between us, luckily all on the same page, and with the help of our florist we were able to identify that vision as ‘fun seaside’ and ‘vintage pinks’.
THE PLANNING PROCESS | Our engagement was just short of 18 months so we had plenty of planning time. The venue was booked the week after our engagement party and everything else followed in what I like to think was a well-planned project-management type way, but in reality I think we got very lucky and we had a lot of help!
BUDGET | We were very lucky to have help from both sides’ parents, and this, alongside our own contributions, allowed us to set an initial budget of £26k. However, budget discipline proved weak and this was topped up by us every time we had a new idea (e.g. crazy golf course, booking a steel drum player two weeks before the wedding), and eventually crept up to £32k.
THE VENUE | Tournerbury Woods Estate. The estate consisted of a cottage which the bridal party slept in the night before the wedding and got ready. We were also able to host a BBQ for family and bridal party on the Friday night which was really fun! The estate has a marquee erected for the summer months so we didn’t have to hire this in separately which was a help. Tables and chairs were also included but we did everything else.
THE DRESS & ACCESSORIES | I went for a top and skirt by Catherine Deane, bolero from BHLDN and veil by Olivier Laudus. My accessories on the day were Alex Monroe earrings (my gift from Gerald) and a pearl bracelet (my something borrowed from one of my bridesmaids). Lingerie was Simone Perele @ Selfridges.
FINDING THE DRESS | I struggled to find a dress and tried A LOT on! I was also very reluctant to spend thousands on a dress that I would only wear once. 10 months before the wedding I was in Washington DC on a work trip so made an appointment at BHLDN in Georgetown (I had browsed their website but they do not have stockists in the UK). I tried on half a dozen dresses then one ‘separates’ and fell totally in love. I had naively thought I could buy off the rack there and then but couldn’t. As it turned out the skirt and top I tried on were actually by a British designer (Catherine Deane) so I was able to go to track the items down, and try them on again, just to be sure. I enjoyed having my skirt and top at home to try on whenever I wanted to (probably too often really!).
GROOM’S ATTIRE | Gerald had his trousers and waistcoat tailored by David Saxby, and already had a black tailcoat which he wore.
THE READINGS & MUSIC | As we had a church service we had one bible reading which was the rather unoriginal 1 Corinthians 13, but I personally really like this reading. We then had ‘The Good Morrow’ by John Donne, Gerald’s favourite poet.
BEAUTIFUL BRIDESMAIDS | Similarly to my own dress, I struggled with bridesmaids and the three London based bridesmaids tried on hundreds of dresses! We also ended up with a skirt/top combo. I decided I wanted a blush/peach long skirt so I scoured the internet and eventually found one by Joanna August in Shopbop, an online retailer in the US (which literally has thousands of items). I wanted a simple beige vest/camisole to go with and my and one of the bridesmaids went in every shop in Bristol to find one – it was much more difficult than you could ever imagine! We ended up in Topshop (should definitely have gone there first), and they had beige and also a similar top in a pink that exactly matched the skirts so we ended up with a bit of mix and match which I liked.
THE FLOWERS | Friends of the groom, Jess Martin and Charlie Gozem set up their own flower business One Flew Over a few years ago and I had been to weddings where they had done the flowers and they were always so beautiful so it wasn’t a question that we would use them. Jess was able to help me put a vague vision into reality. As well as the usual bouquets, table flowers etc. we had some extra bits like a large vase at the entrance at the entrance to the marquee and some detail on the corner of the table plan, which I absolutely LOVED! I was so sad that we were going on honeymoon and couldn’t enjoy the flowers for longer but we gave some away to local people on Hayling Island so were able to spread the flower joy!
THE CAKE | One of my best friends and bridesmaid Sophie made a traditional, 3-tier fruit cake for us (she had never done this before but wanted to do something special for us which we really appreciated), and the florist made it look super pretty with some wired flowers.
YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER | Kirsty Mackenzie was recommended to us by another photographer who a friend had recommended but was not available, and we are so pleased that he wasn’t available as Kirsty was absolutely FANTASTIC! We met her a couple of times before the day to talk things through and actually it was her list of questions about a month before the wedding that kick started us to think about the detail of the day. The photo booth was also fantastic, and the stop motion video was just the icing on the cake!
THE DETAILS & DÉCOR | The detail and the décor was probably my favourite bit as I enjoy crafting! I made the letters A & G out of cardboard, papier mache, bronze spray paint and some LED lights. I also made (with the help of some friends) mini candles for favours, packets of seeds with a personalised stamp from etsy, bunting with carefully selected material, a million decorated jam jars (some were collected by my late Nan so it was nice to feel as though she was part of the day) with tea lights inside all around the venue, dangling from trees etc.
THE HONEYMOON | We spent 10 days travelling around Japan followed by 10 days not moving very much at all in Indonesia! It was dreamy and was then topped off by one of our bridesmaid’s weddings in Spain on the way home!
MEMORABLE MOMENTS | Amy: My most memorable moment was arriving on the dancefloor where Gerald was in the middle, surrounded by loads of our family so I just ran and jumped into his arms and kissed him and he swung me around. I was so grateful that this moment was caught on camera by a guest!
Gerald: Surprisingly, the part of the day which really stood out for me was our ceremony. We were sat on chairs at the front of the church facing the congregation (a bit Posh and Becks like) which meant that we were able to see all of our friends and family throughout. The service was led by our friend, Darren, who is about to be ordained and who gave a great sermon which was appreciated even by those who aren’t regular church-goers. It was also the first time that I saw Amy in her dress and there was a lot of emotion which meant that we both struggled through our vows which Amy had decided it would be a good idea if we memorised! We had a raucous congregation and the wall of noise that we felt every time that a hymn was sang will stay with me for a very long time!
ADVICE FOR OTHER COUPLES | For the bride – start dress shopping as early as possible, there is so much choice! For both – make sure you are both on the same page with the detail as you want it to be a day that you both envisioned and helped to create. Also remember to programme in some time for just the two of you (we had a table for two during the wedding reception which, while unconventional, meant that we got to spend some quality time together). Finally, don’t panic if things don’t go to plan – chances are no one else will notice.
CREDIT WHERE CREDIT IS DUE |
Photography | Kirsty Mackenzie
Venue | Tournerbury Woods Estate
Flowers | One Flew Over
Dress | Catherine Deane
Bolero | BHLDN
Bridesmaids Skirts | Joanna August
Suit | David Saxby
Oh so pretty.
Thanks ever so much to Amy and Gerald for sharing their amazing wedding story here on WWW xo Lou