We’ve followed WWW real bride Sophie and her now husband Jamie through their wedding planning journey over the past 16 months. So it’s such an honour to be sharing their gorgeous wedding day here this morning.
Sophie and Jamie were married on Saturday 11th June 2016 at the stunning Samlesbury Hall in Lancashire; a striking Tudor house, which provided the perfect setting for their classic and timeless day. They wanted to create a soft and light day that also felt really relaxed and so a refined navy and pale pink colour palette emerged. Sophie picked a blush pink gown called Blakesley by David Tutera for Mon Cheri. She looked stunning in the tulle and lace floral belted number. The gents were suited and booted in pale grey suits and navy ties, while the bridesmaids wore short and sweet frocks.
The blooms had an old fashioned feel and Sophie’s cascading bouquet had real wow factor, packed with roses and peonies it looked tremendous. Then there was the naked sponge cake and pretty paper goods, which really worked very well indeed.
Thanks so much to Rachel Joyce Photography for sharing these uber special shots today.
THE VISION | Knowing that our venue was so striking and ornate, we wanted our details to be soft and light, and to create a really relaxed feel for the day. I spent weeks trawling through boards on Pinterest and became really drawn to the relaxed, rustic feel created by jam jars, twine and kraft textures. And Jamie was on board quite quickly when he realised how much cheaper it would be to DIY our own vases and place names etc!
We decided on having navy as our main colour very early on, and to soften everything up we added pale pink and ivory in the details. Jamie had initially tried to convince me to have yellow as our second colour, but when I realised that this was his plot to resemble Tottenham Hotspurs’ away kit, I had to put my foot down! I did relent and let Jamie theme our table names around famous Spurs players, and they seemed to go down really well with our guests.
All-in-all we didn’t want anything to feel over-the-top, as our focus was always on making our guests feel at home and making sure they had a brilliant day together.
THE PLANNING PROCESS | I really enjoyed it! I decided to hit the ground running to try and avoid any unnecessary stresses, and worked through a month-by-month guide I found in Brides magazine, booking everything as I went. I definitely had to wean myself off Pinterest and wedding magazines part-way through the year though, because it was so tempting to see new things and change everything!
Jamie – I’m sure like most grooms – was involved in all of the big decisions but quite content to let me decide on the bulk of the details, which suited me. He was busy planning our honeymoon and finding the right band to book – and both were brilliant.
THE VENUE | We always knew we wanted to get married in Lancashire, my home county, but I think we both imagined we’d end up with a very outdoorsy, rural, barn-like venue. But the minute we looked around Samlesbury Hall – a big historic Tudor house that wasn’t at all what we had in mind – we fell in love with it instantly.
It’s a beautiful setting inside and out, and because it’s so beautifully ornate, we didn’t need to overdo or over think the décor. We also got the whole venue exclusively, which meant that there was no danger of our 109 guests getting too cramped.
The other major benefit was that the hall was really close to major train stations and roads, as some of the more rural venues we viewed would have been quite difficult to access for guests from further afield. And given how much it rained on our wedding day, I’m glad we picked a venue that didn’t rely on us being outside all day!
THE DRESS & ACCESSORIES | My dress was the Blakesley by David Tutera for Mon Cheri in Ivory and Tea Rose; shoes by Monsoon (£12 in the sale!), hair comb from Accessorize.
FINDING THE DRESS | I still have dreams about my dress! I felt amazing in it – that feeling of finding ‘the one’ is like nothing I can describe! I had a very clear idea of the dress I wanted going into the search – but this one quickly blew all of my ideas out of the window. It was strapless, embellished – and a bit pink! None of the things I had in mind. It was the second dress I tried on in my search, and several dresses later, nothing else compared. I knew for sure it was the right choice when my I turned around and saw my tough-as-anything bridesmaid, Amanda, in floods of tears!
Seeing the dress in our photos makes me certain it was the right choice for me. The a-line shape felt really flattering, and it’s unusual colouring complemented my very pale skin! It was also reasonably light and felt a joy to wear all day. I also loved the extra detail of the flower belt – which proved very handy when I discovered on the morning that I’d unknowingly lost an extra couple of pounds!
GROOM’S ATTIRE | We realised very early on that traditional suit hire wasn’t for us. Firstly, it just didn’t reflect the relaxed look we wanted, and it felt silly to spend money on a suit we had to give back. We wanted the suits to be things that Jamie and his groomsmen would wear again, and which we could give as gifts to the party on the day.
So Jamie, his two best men and my dad all wore matching light grey suits from Next, with an extra waistcoat for Jamie. We even found a similar style for Jamie’s nine-year-old brother, Charlie, so that he could match too. I bought Jamie a pair of cufflinks with photos of his mum and dad on to wear on the day, and his best men – Sean and Sandy – surprised him by wearing matching socks from their much-loved rugby club, Newbold RFC.
THE READINGS & MUSIC | I walked in to the Glasgow Love Theme which I’ve loved ever since I first watched Love Actually! And our readings were The One by Cheryl Barclay, read by Jamie’s step-mum, Vicki, and an extract from The Chaos of the Stars by Kiersten White, read by my brother, Liam.
BEAUTIFUL BRIDESMAIDS | Four of my best friends – Amy, Aisling, Claire and Amanda plus Jamie’s sister, Kelsey.
THE FLOWERS | I can’t quite believe how great a job our florist, Julie at Paddock Nurseries did. I’m not very flower-literate, so I just sent Julie an array of different pictures via WhatsApp and tried to explain that I wanted everything to be soft and light. And somehow she completely got what I was trying to say. The flowers were absolutely everything I’d hoped for – she’s a genius!
THE CAKE | We opted for a naked cake, decorated with fresh ivory stocks, and with alternating layers of lemon and Victoria sponges. Unfortunately it was so fresh that the inclement weather caused it to slowly subside during the speeches, and a panic cutting-of-the-cake quickly ensued!
YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER | I can’t thank Rachel Joyce, our photographer, enough. She put us entirely at ease and managed to capture some fantastic images on quite a challenging day of torrential rain! I was particularly pleased with the fact that she brought a second photographer, Stuart, along, so that every angle of our day was covered. And they both got on so well with all of our guests – Stuart was even on hand to pin Charlie’s buttonhole when it fell off!
THE DETAILS & DÉCOR | One major thing for me was finding the right hair and make-up artists for the bridesmaids and I. Much like our décor, I wanted everything to feel soft and light, and the girls at Nala and Knot and Bridal Hair by Sam Gateley just got it. They made me feel like a million-dollar version of myself, and I felt as amazing as every bride should on her wedding day.
Inside the venue we added a couple of touches in memory of Jamie’s parents, who have both sadly passed. We draped Alan’s rugby shirt over the piano, Jamie’s auntie made a teddy out of another of his shirts, and we added some of Kate’s favourite Enid Blyton books too. They stayed there from the ceremony right through the day, which meant a lot to everyone.
THE HONEYMOON | Three weeks of utter bliss in Thailand. We visited Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Koh Tao and Koh Samui, flitting from brilliant restaurants and days on the beach to visiting an elephant sanctuary and learning to cook Thai dishes. We already want to go back!
MEMORABLE MOMENTS | The ceremony started with laughter when my 18-month old niece and flower girl, Erin, started walking into the room, only to change her mind and run back out! So after nervously practising their walk up the aisle the night before, one of my bridesmaids had to carry Erin in, throwing the plan out of the window!
And there were many, many epic dancing moments that I’ve been enjoying watching back on the GoPro we had doing the rounds on the day. A highlight had to be playing Let It Go from Frozen as our final song of the night, and realising how many burly, rugby-playing blokes knew every single word!
ADVICE FOR OTHER COUPLES | One of our favourite moments was being whisked off by our car with a glass of fizz straight after the ceremony, which was some much-needed time for the two of us as husband and wife – I’d definitely recommend it to other couples.
Another big success on our wedding day was our band – we’re still getting complimented on our choice today, and they absolutely made the night what it was. Our band – Chartz – travelled all the way from Southampton to join us on the day, but they totally ‘got’ our indie taste in music, and having the right band really made the night epic.
And overall I’d just say don’t stress about any of the detail. Life goes on while you are planning a wedding and it’s easy to lose perspective. The most important thing is to have all the people you love together for your big day – everything else is a bonus. Oh and don’t worry about the weather – it poured it down all day for us and it was still the best day of our lives!
CREDIT WHERE CREDIT IS DUE |
Photographer | Rachel Joyce Photography
Venue | Samlesbury Hall
Dress | David Tutera for Mon Cheri
Make-up | Nala and Knot
Hair | Sam Gateley
Bridesmaids’ outfits | Monsoon
Flower Girl outfits | BHS
Bride’s shoes | Monsoon
Groomsmen’s outfits | Next
Band | Chartz Band
Flowers | Paddock Florist Garden Centre
Cake | Finch Bakery
Cars | Broughton Wedding Cars
Honeymoon | Lomani Luxury Travel
Photo booth | Photo Booth Hire Lancashire
Just so perfect and proof that rain is not something to worry about on your wedding day.
Sophie and Jamie I cannot thank you enough for sharing your wedding story and planning journey here at WWW, what a pleasure xo Lou