I just love Easter and all that it means in terms of spring and new beginnings. I hope you’re having a wonderful long weekend, because now it’s time to enjoy a wedding from this time last year. Zara and Stuart wed on 25th March 2016, Good Friday and included so many beautiful Easter and springtime touches in their nuptials.
The couple’s ceremony and reception venues were both filled with hundreds of glorious sunny daffodils, paperwhites, muscari, creamy-peach ranunculus and lily of the valley, also add to the springtime feel. It wouldn’t be Easter without hot cross buns, and the couple found a fantastically creative way to include them in their day. The pair planned their day in just six months and I think you’ll agree that they pulled everything together beautifully.
Zara was surprised to find her dress at a wedding fair, a pretty tea-length number, whilst groom Stuart looks very dapper in his Gieves & Hawkes suit and his swish tan shoes.
Thanks so much to Kate Jackson for providing the stunning images.
THE PROPOSAL | In York after a trip to Betty’s Tea Room with a plastic Jeremy Deller ring from Tatty Devine. The ring was inscribed with LOVE IS ENOUGH. I had a emerald ring made after the proposal based on an Georgian design. I even got to pick my own emerald!
THE VISION | Easter and Springtime in equal measure.
THE PLANNING PROCESS | We also only had 6 months to plan so we had to have a strict timeline and had be decisive. We really enjoyed the planning phase.
THE VENUE | Blackfriars Priory in Gloucester (my hometown) for the ceremony. It’s a beautiful 13th century monastery right in the city centre. For our evening reception we chose Uffculme Centre in Moseley, Birmingham, the old home of Richard Cadbury, near to where Stuart & l live. It’s now used by the NHS but they still hire it out. Staff at both these venues were brilliant and let us do pretty much what we wanted with the spaces in terms of decoration and that really helped the planning. We really appreciated their help and planning with them was a pleasure.
THE DRESS & ACCESSORIES | Dress was a champagne off shoulder, vintage style tea dress with hooped skirt.
T-bar gold leather shoes were Rachel Simpson – who is based five minutes from our house.
Kate Spade horseshoe earrings – (gift from my friend)
Bespoke hand embroidered garter from Daisy Sheldon with our initials and wedding date – (gift from my mum)/ something blue
My Grandmother’s wedding ring – something old
My Grandmother’s embroidered material handkerchief – something borrowed
Crystal and pearl head vine from Pearl & Co – something new
All make-up was from Clinique
FINDING THE DRESS | I tried on 20 dresses and in the end I bought the first one I tried on. It was from a wedding fair at the NEC wedding (a place I never thought I’d find a dress!)
GROOM’S ATTIRE | Gieves and Hawkes Prince Charles check navy wool three-piece suit with Tricker’s brogues (his shoes were more money than mine).
THE READINGS & MUSIC | Entrance music: Spring, a reworking of Vivaldi’s Four Seasons by Max Ritcher
Love is Enough by my William Morris read by Zara’s Cousin Lee Harris
I Wanna Be Yours by John Cooper Clarke read by The Groom
Sea of Love, reworked and sang by our friend Kim with guitar from musician Mark Murphy.
Exit music: Today I Met The Boy I’m Boy I’m Going to Marry by Darlene Love
BEAUTIFUL BRIDESMAIDS | I had one bridesmaid, my best friend Emma and a bridesman, Danny both of whom I have known since I was 23. They were given the brief of navy and they chose their own outfits. Emma’s dress was from Jenny Packham.
THE FLOWERS | I wanted a bouquet of springtime flowers, so I worked with a local florist Jordan Isherwood to go for a natural garden style featuring daffodils, paperwhites, muscari, creamy-peach ranunculus and lily of the valley tied with ivory ribbon. Lily of the valley is my birth flower and was a favourite of my Great Grandmother. My bridesmaid Emma had same flowers as the my bouquet but in a corsage.
Groom and Mens Buttonholes – paperwhites with fern, tied off with thin navy ribbon, Stuart’s had added lily of the valley. When the flowers arrived the wedding morning, I was so happy with my bouquet, Jordan did a fantastic job.
THE CAKE | We’re not fans of traditional wedding cake so we decided to have Hot Cross Buns specially made by a local community bakery in Birmingham as it was Easter. I had an orange and chocolate one and Stuart choose traditional fruit and earl grey flavour. Instead of a cross on top they had our initials. We encouraged guests to take them away in paper bags to eat the next day for breakfast.
YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER | When Kate said she was starting a photography business, her style of photography was right up our street. She was AMAZING. We decided on limited group shots and wanted more of a documentary style which she delivered perfectly. We love our wedding photos!
THE DETAILS & DÉCOR | We ordered 600 daffodils from Birmingham flower market to decorate the ceremony room, alongside candles that decorated the huge fireplace. The decoration for there was quite minimal. The Reception hall was decorated with the same daffodils alongside paper bunting that we made ourselves. We also added photographs of both our Grandparents’ wedding days.
Stuart hired a Mini to drive us from Gloucester to Birmingham, that was decorated with ribbons – lots of people beeped their horns and waved on our journey to the reception.
FOOD | We went for a picnic style buffet. Salt beef, pork pies, local cheeses and salads and we had about 30 chutneys made by a friend from his allotment. The food organised by Bearwood Pantry a local food co-op and they sourced it from an organic community farm in Staffordshire. All of the produce was from the farm and the butcher made all the meat products! Bread was from Loaf our local baker who also did the hot cross buns for our cake.
THE HONEYMOON | We took a mini-moon to Mousehole in Cornwall straight after the wedding and had a city break to Lisbon in the Summer, it was a fabulous trip but we are going on a tour of Italy later this year for our official honeymoon!
MEMORABLE MOMENTS | My mum and brother walking me down the aisle, Our drive to the reception together recalling each detail of the ceremony, My garter almost falling down mid vows, trying to elegantly go to toilet into a service station in my wedding dress on the way to the reception!
ADVICE FOR OTHER COUPLES | Don’t sweat the small stuff, no-one cares what colour your napkins are! The day goes so quickly just try to enjoy it as much as you can.
CREDIT WHERE CREDIT IS DUE |
Photography | Kate Jackson
Getting Ready (Bride) Venue | Montpellier Chapter
Ceremony venue | Blackfriars Priory
Reception venue | Uffculme Centre
Florist | Jordan Isherwood
Cake | Loaf
Wedding rings | Adamas Antique Jewellery
Shoes | Rachel Simpson
Garter | Daisy Sheldon
Thank you so much Zara and Stuart for sharing your bright and beautiful Easter wedding with us. Rachel x