I’m dreaming of summer courtesy of this golden fields and breezy summer tipi tent wedding today.
Alex and Frankie’s day really was very special indeed, with their two ceremonies taking centre stage on the 6th August 2016. Firstly they held their legal ceremony at Great Dunmow Maltings followed by a personal outdoor blessing in front of all their loved ones. They even had a private blessing in India too on their memorable honeymoon, the place where they first met while travelling. Emotions ran high throughout the celebrations, with tears and laughter all round.
The styling really was impeccable and the relaxed bohemian vibes shone through perfectly. With greenery and white blooms used abundantly to create a pretty country feel, majestic tipis lit just perfectly come evening and a super stylish couple, I love it all. Frankie fell for Bo and Luca‘s Isra gown, with it’s coordinating bridal separates in a unique paisley pattern, she teamed her dress with a lush floral crown of blooms. Alex meanwhile chose a chilled out shirt, chinos and waistcoat combo, which really tied into the laid back feel to their day.
Many thanks goes to Luke Hayden for sharing these remarkable images with us.
THE VISION | Above all we wanted our wedding day to be about us and our family and friends. We wanted it to be as relaxed as possible but still special. We had the official ceremony in a local Maltings Barn and then had a blessing in the garden at my parent’s house in Essex. We were so lucky as we had so many of our friends help us out; my mum’s best friend married us, my super talented sister designed all the stationery, our friends did all the flowers, my amazing mum and dad had the house and garden looking stunning and we used all local suppliers for the food, wine etc. We were so thrilled with the day especially when the sun shone on our somewhat risky plan for an outdoor ceremony.
THE PLANNING PROCESS | Being an avid planner myself I thoroughly enjoyed this process as it meant I could write endless lists and not feel like a crazy lady!! Alex was amazing at pitching in where needed as were my incredible family. My sisters and mum were so good at offering endless help and support and reminded me that if it something wasn’t done on the day, it couldn’t have been that important. As we had the wedding on my mum and dad’s land it meant that all preparation was down to us which at times was hard but being a control freak it meant I didn’t have to hand over the planning to anyone else!
THE VENUE | Our official ceremony was in a beautiful restored barn in Dunmow called Great Dunmow Maltings. This was an intimate ceremony with only 30 guests, which was a good thing as we sobbed our way through most of it! The afternoon saw us have a blessing in my parent’s garden with all our family and friends. This was more relaxed and we asked family and friends to contribute stories of our relationship, alongside funny readings and even a surprise song from my mum’s choir! The 2 ceremonies were different but equally as special. The reception was held in tipis provided by the incredible Big Chief Tipis looking out across the beautiful fields of Essex and provided the perfect backdrop to our perfect Bohemian garden wedding.
THE DRESS & ACCESSORIES | I wanted something relaxed and elegant but also different. I fell in love with my Bo and Luca Isra gown the moment I put it on. My sister said the magic words ‘it looks like it was made especially for you’ and it was a done deal! I loved the beaded top as the paisley pattern reminded me of India where I met Alex and the two piece element felt fun as well as elegant. I also wore a Bo and Luca veil as it matched the colour of the dress so perfectly.
FINDING THE DRESS | I was adamant that I wanted something different for my dress and light and easy to wear. I had spotted a company called Bo and Luca that I loved online but predictably it was only available in Australia. In a stroke of luck on a day of endless searching through dress websites I came across the beautiful The Lovers Bride who opened in 2016 and who stocked Bo and Luca dresses. I went there originally to try on the Manhattan gown that I had fallen in love with. However, when I tried it on I realised it wasn’t the one for me I loved the uniqueness of the Isra gown on the hanger and as soon as I out it on I knew it was the dress I wanted Alex to see me in on our wedding day.
GROOM’S ATTIRE | Again Alex was keen that his outfit be comfortable and also that he would wear it again. He didn’t want a suit as it would have been too formal in the setting we had chosen. In the end we went with light chinos, paired with a white Oxford shirt, grey waistcoats and paisley pocket squares, another nod to India. Our talented friend Liz crafted beautiful suede belts for the boys with their initials on as their gift from us. They all looked great and loved messing around with their sunnies!
THE READINGS & MUSIC | We adapted a few readings to fit with our personalities including ‘The Lovely Love Story’ by Edward Monkton. Our friends read this as a couple and it went down really well. One of Alex’s groomsmen who was travelling with him in India when we met wrote a beautiful passage about how we met, which meant yet more tears. As already mentioned my mum’s choir sang ‘I say a Little Prayer’, a song that means a lot from my childhood which made me, you guessed it, cry once again!
BEAUTIFUL BRIDESMAIDS | The girls dresses were a great Asos find! From a company called Gestez they provided a light breezy look that still felt relaxed yet special. The girls all loved them and the gold fleck in the material was picked out be the sun on the day.
THE FLOWERS | These were done by my amazingly talented friends Hannah and Dee. Between them they had done a number of other weddings though they are not florists by trade. Together we went on several early morning trips to Chelsea Flower Market to research what we could get and for how much. In the days leading up to the wedding they worked tirelessly to create my beautiful bouquet, headdress, the girl’s bouquets, the boys buttonholes, the arbour in the garden as well as add real flowers to the faux garlands we had strung up in the tipis. The faux garlands were a great idea provided by my sister and they looked absolutely beautiful in the Tipis. My girls were incredible and created the perfect flowers for the day. I owe them big time!!
THE CAKE | We had the most delicious cake, again provided by a local bakery, Dorringtons that I used to buy prawn rolls from when I was a little girl. We had 3 different flavours, a carrot cake for the largest tier, lemon and poppy seed for the middle and coffee cake for the top tier. We wanted a simple looking cake with foliage that echoed that in the tent to add to the rustic feel. We still have some left in the freezer that we are trying desperately to savour!
YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER | Luke Hayden was incredible and such a great find! All our guests commented on how relaxed he made them feel and at no point did I feel awkward or that I was being asked to ‘strike pose’!! He was the icing on the cake and having to choose from his phenomenal selection of photos was near to impossible. So many of my friends have said that the photography looks like something you would see in a magazine and we are so thrilled that we have had our day captured so beautifully.
THE DETAILS & DÉCOR | Pinterest was my go to in helping to provide an idea of the details for the day. A lot of things we made or upcycled including the outdoor bar and all the signs. My sister’s exquisite stationery tied everything together, from notes on the guests seats to the tags on the favours, my sister’s design work created a unique theme for our wedding (The table plan was so beautiful we had to frame it!).
THE HONEYMOON | India was the only place we could have gone as it was where we met in 2008 when we were both travelling. We booked our trip through Kuoni (worlds apart from our travelling days). They were incredible and each hotel was more stunning then the last. I organised a surprise Indian blessing at The Leela Palace Hotel in Udaipur (our favourite place in India) with just Alex and I and that was the absolute highlight. The staff went above and beyond and made the whole experience so very special. After 2 weeks in India we had some down time with a week in beautiful Bali. Simply the best holiday we will ever have!
MEMORABLE MOMENTS | Definitely our private blessing in India as well as not getting the car to start after the garden blessing in Essex. Alex and I also took half an hour away from the party to walk down the fields and look back at the tents where everyone was partying. We reflected on the day and all the fun and tears we had had and then headed back to join in.
ADVICE FOR OTHER COUPLES | Take the time out to reflect on your day. It gives you time to sit back and take stock of the day and the party will still be going on when you get back!
CREDIT WHERE CREDIT IS DUE |
Photography | Luke Hayden
Venue | Great Dunmow Maltings
Catering | Alice McLaren
Stationery | Georgina Read Creative
Marquee | Big Chief Tipis
Band | Smooth Sailors
Groomsmens belts | Liz: Miller and Jeeves
Dress | The Lovers Bride
Hair | Rebecca Bragg Hairdressers
Garlands | Friend of Faux
Cake | Dorringtons Bakery
Honeymoon | Kuoni
Utterly dreamy from beginning to end.
Thanks so very much to Alex and Frankie for sharing their wedding story with us xo Lou