A Homemade English Country Garden Wedding

herefordshire tea party wedding

WWW readers Anthony and Sophie were married at St Richards School, Herefordshire in a marquee lined hall. They wanted an English country garden feel to their day, keeping within a budget of £8000.

They got super crafty, creating a plethora of gorgeous details such as the bunting, petal confetti, decorated jam jars and honey favours.

Sophie looked amazing in Amanda Wyatt with her glamorous hair and make up and those earrings. Anthony went for traditional tails in pale grey, how gorgeous do they look?!

Thanks so much to Camilla Rosa for sharing her photographs with us today, here is what she had to say about the day;

“I knew Sophie from school and whilst we were never close friends i was so honoured to be asked to photograph their wedding. They had a bit of fairytale romance and have the most gorgeous little boy Noah who was perfect entertainment on the day itself and i knew that he was a super important part of their day. The setting St Richards School was new to me as they don’t do many weddings there just ex-students or staff. The landscape is a total dream as you can see and i’m a countryside and rural wedding lover so we got stuck in out there. The engagement session was just ace – we did it, like i always do, at home on my farm which has the beautiful backdrop of Herefordshire and the Black Mountains – and an array of huge trees which i’m a big big fan of in my photography! The results were so pretty, and they were both wonderful in front of the camera despite their obvious nerves, i think to their surprise – so all apprehension on the day had disappeared! I also ate an awful lot of sponge cake, cupcakes and afternoon tea cucumber sandwiches, de-lish!”


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The Proposal… Proposed in October 2011 on holiday in Southern Italy whilst staying with Anthonys mother who had just emigrated there. He proposed on the beach in the evening to my surprise!

The Vision for the day… A mixtue of vintage/ English Country Garden DIY wedding. We both didn’t want everything traditional we wanted to add some personality and customised specifically to us, whilst doing it all on a budget, so as DIY as possible – with our mums help of course! We made or searched for everything that was used on the day ourselves, and that’s what makes it so special to look at the beautiful pictures.

The Planning process… As soon as Anthony had proposed I knew exactly what I wanted and from then on started collecting all the little accessories. We visited charity shops in all the market towns around Herefordshire daily for vintage crockery, furniture, frames,  vintage glassware and fabric to make the 150m of bunting that we needed to make for the day, we collected flower petals for natural confetti, and decorated glass jam jars with beads and lace for candle holders. These were then sporadically placed on the grass for the reception or hung from the trees – weather permitting. We hand stamped brown labels for honey jar favours with the phrase ‘Meant to bee’ on reverse and had a charity-shop fabric covered lid. We personalised heart wicker pew ends. Anthonys mother made the Save the dates, wedding invitations and order of services using matching vintage lace and beading.

Budget… £8000

The Venue… Married at the church of St Peter and St Paul, Stoke Lacy, Herefordshire. This is the church of the brides mothers parish. Followed by a reception for 85 people at St Richards School, Bredenbury, Herefordshire – The reception was held in the sports hall which we lined with a marquee which was perfect as it lead straight out onto the beautiful tree lined lawns. Luckily the sun was shining so we could use the beautiful gardens all day and evening. We then had another 80 guests to the evening where we partied hard!

The Dress + Accessories… Dress was Amanda Wyatt Madrid in Champagne which I chose because I loved the colour and wanted that vintage feel to it to go perfectly with the theme. Earrings and Hair slide were from Glitzy Secrets to glam it up. A really important thing for me was to have my great grandmothers pearls sewn around the handle of my bouquet to make it special. She gave me these on my 18th birthday and passed away 5 years ago, but I felt like she was there with me.

Finding the dress… I went shopping with my mother and sister in Worcester and tried a selection of dresses on but completely fell in love with the Amanda Wyatt dress.

Groom’s attire… Light Grey morning suit with champagne cravat- hired from Nicholas Smith Formal Hire Worcester.

The Readings + Music… I entered entered to Canon Pachelbel, and we left the Church to Bruno Mars, Marry me which I love! Readings – Blessing of the Hands, 1 Corinthians 13 and An Apaches Blessing. Hymns – Jerusalem, 1 vow to thee my country and Lord of all hopefulness.

At the venue we arrived to a string quartet playing in the sun in the garden which my little neice and bridesmaid was absolutely fascinated by and wouldn’t stop watching all through the drinks reception. Then the bridesmaids, grooms men and bride and groom all entered the marquee to a song guaranteed to make the guests laugh – like “who let the dogs out’’ for my beautiful bridesmaids which went down really well…not with them! In the evening we had a DJ to get the party started!

Beautiful bridesmaids… I chose 3 Adult bridesmaids, Amber my Sister, Harriet my Oldest Friend and Jodie. They all had their daughter as a flowergirls which was so cute if quite manic in the morning! Isabella- niece, Lily- God daughter and Sophie. The older girls wore high street dresses that were customised by brides mother with lace – you should have seen the dining room at home, very lacy! The flower girls all wore a vintage style high street dresses with lacy tights. We also had our son Noah as a pageboy dressed in a very vintage look with ivory shorts and blazer, long over the knee ivory socks with bobbles hanging and a pick lace dickey bow – he will forgive me oneday!

The Flowers… The flowers were arranged by a close family friend Sue who also did a reading on the day. We had large cream enamel jugs on each table to inc amnesia roses, cream and pink roses, gypsophila, stocks, freesias, sweet peas, Gladioli, hydrangeas, September Daisy’s, Lavender. In the brides bouquet a selection of roses, gypsophila and freesias, the older bridesmaids had gypsophila bouquets and the flower girls wore gypsophila and rose headdresses. The Groomsmen wore a single amnesia rose and gypsophila.

The Cake… We didn’t want a traditional cake so decided for a ‘Cheese Wedding Cake’ from Gladwins Events Catering, Bromyard, Herefordshire which my mum designed. We opted for some local cheeses that meant something to us. Hereford Hop, Smoked Applewood, Shropshire blue, Exmoor Blue, Broadheath brie. We then served this with rustic breads, crackers and chutneys alongside a hog roast and salads in the evening – went down a treat.

Your Photographer… We chose Camilla from Camilla Rosa Photography. I went to Hereford Cathedral School with Camilla (many moons  ago) so I knew her quite well which is one of the reasons I picked her as I wanted to feel comfortable on the day and with Camilla you felt nothing less. We had an engagement shoot previously with her and had one of the pictures as a signing board for the guests on the wedding day. We loved the engagement shoot, it was a perfect opportunity to get used to how it felt being photographed so we knew what it was all about on the day – it helped steady our nerves and meant we knew to trust Camilla in whatever she suggested as the shots were so dreamy and perfect. I love her natural and whimsical style of photography and I just knew she would capture my vision perfectly.

The Details + Decor… A mixture of vintage/ English country garden. We had a fully stocked sweet cart, suitcases, bunting, vintage china and accessories all from Vintage Inspired Hire. I set this company up after the wedding as we had collected a lot of really beautiful and delicate items and wanted other people to get use from them.  I love proper vintage- I love that it’s not replaceable and I want to preserve these little things as much as possible.

Instead of a 3 course wedding breakfast we served afternoon tea on all the vintage crockery which included some beautiful cake stands, china cup and saucers, side plates, jugs and sugar bowls. My mum and grandmother made homemade elderflower champagne and damson vodka for the drinks reception.

The Honeymoon… We had a mini-moon in Bath the weekend after the wedding. Then went on a familymoon back to Italy where Anthony had proposed, 3 weeks after the wedding with all the family. A perfect Thank You!

Memorable moments… The most memorable moments of the day was the emotion during the marriage service and the speeches. Something we will never forget – Anthony was really nevous in the Church and I think you can tell from the pictures, and the speeches were wonderful, I am laughing my head off in all the pictures!

Advice for other couples… the day really does fly by in haze, soak as much up as possible and get as many people to help if doing a DIY wedding, otherwise it can all become a bit too much. Pick the best photographer you can – we really enjoyed our couple shoot break with Camilla, it meant we could take 20 minutes to just try and take it all in and think about the fact that we were now MARRIED! Oh, and a videographer is a must too.

Credit where credit is due…

www.vintageinspiredhire.co.uk – Vintage China and Accessory Hire

www.camillarosa.co.uk – Photographer

www.gladwinsbutchers.com  Caterer (Hog Roast, Cheese Wedding Cakes and  Afternoon Tea)

www.westcountrymarquees.co.uk – table, linen and chair hire

www.formalsuithire.com – suit hire


Soooo pretty. Thanks so much to Anthony and Sophie for sharing their beautiful wedding with us today XOXO Lou

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  • Lovely wedding, I specially like the first photo with the balloons :)

  • So many beautiful details and gorgeous colour scheme – and I love that marquee! What a lovely wedding xx

  • Raye Styles says:

    What a wonderful blog and made even more special as it features my son and his beautiful wife Sophie. It truly was a magical day and one to remember forever. Camilla did a wonderful job with the photographs and really captured the emotions of the day x

  • thanks so much everyone… ahh thanks so much for your lovely comment Raye :-) xx

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