I’m such a sucker for floral boho details and today’s wedding has style in spades! Enter WWW readers Stephanie and Mark who wed at Rookery Hall Hotel & Spa on the 27th May 2017. The whole day was a wondrous, whimsical feast for the eyes with some very intricate work on Stephanie’s part!
The whole wedding was inspired by the book The Secret Garden and the little touches are just beautiful. Each table had its own garden delicately made from dolls house items, aren’t they just darling?
Separates are a brilliant idea for brides who want something a bit different from a traditional dress and Stephanie looks just stunning in her Charlotte Balbier bralette, skirt and topper. I also love the idea of custom made waistcoats to make the groomsmen’s own trousers and shirts really special. Drink in all the details WWWers!
Thank you very much Bib & Tucker Photography for the fabulous images, you’ve captured everything wonderfully.
THE PROPOSAL | Mark treated me to a surprise weekend away to the Lake District, when we arrived and went to our, I opened the door and the words ‘Will you marry me?’ were written in fresh rose petals on the bed.
THE VISION | Frances Hodgson Burnetts ‘The Secret Garden’ was the inspiration.
THE PLANNING PROCESS | There were 18 months of planning, it was quite the DIY wedding in a sense that I handmade many of the items used therefore took a lot of my free time.
BUDGET | £13,000
THE VENUE | All Saints All angels Church Rode Heath and Rookery Hall Hotel and Spa Nantwich.
THE DRESS & ACCESSORIES | Charlotte Balbier Separates from 7th Heaven Bridal in Congleton.
FINDING THE DRESS | I was having great difficulty finding a dress that I felt like me in. Many dresses that were traditional in style did not suit my tattoos and I felt like a trashy Bride trying to something that I am not. I’d seen that 7th Heaven were showcasing the Charlotte Balbier separates range so I went along to try them. Helen and the team were fantastic with me, would not let me try anything on that was over my budget as opposed to other places I had been where they would allow you to fall in love with a dress that there was no way you could afford. They understood my style and I ended up with a dress that compromised of a skirt, bralet and topper. The skirt was my favourite bit of it so flattering, elegant and comfortable at the same time.
GROOM’S ATTIRE | Due to the budget and wanting to keep the day less formal, The Groom and the Groomsmen did not wear a full suit but used their own white shirts and black trousers coupled with custom made waistcoats and bow ties. These were made by J & J Bridal and Mens Formal Wear in Newcastle. They allowed us to choose our own material and buttons for the waistcoats and pattern for the bow ties, making the combination truly unique to our day.
THE READINGS & MUSIC | Colossians 3 v 12-17 by Steph’s Godmother Ann and Love is a friendship caught fire (L.Hendricks) by Marks sister Kellie. I chose these reading because they speak more about the reality of a relationship where it isn’t always fairytales and magic but you can have a ‘happy ever after’ if you love each other enough. I walked down the aisle to ‘Stand by me’ by Ben.E.King which was sung in A cappella beautifully by two friends Cassie and Kelly.
BEAUTIFUL BRIDESMAIDS | 12 Bridesmaids! I don’t do things by half. I am very fortunate to have many friends and family members who are friends in my life and I couldn’t choose between them so why not have them all! I got the dresses from ASOS which I an affordable option and allowed me to have the entire similar colour but in different styles so that everyone felt comfortable on the day.
THE FLOWERS | The Bride’s bouquet and the buttonholes were created by a florist called Carol. She grows the majority of her flowers herself. I chose Carol because of the style of her creations, they have a sense of wilderness to them yet look so intricate and beautiful. She provides flexibility in the process; you can simply buy the stems and do it all yourself if cost is an issue or she can have as much involvement as you want. With that in mind, with the amount of bridesmaids I bought the stems separate for the Bridesmaids and my good friend Zoe so very kindly created the bunches.
THE CAKE | The Cake was made by one of my best friends and bridesmaid Tash, doing a three tiered naked cake all by herself and then decorated with flowers. This saved me so much money and yet still looked amazing.
YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER | We used Dan from Bib and Tucker Wedding Photography. We chose him because we wanted a relaxed and more artistic photographer. Dan was brilliant and we instantly knew from the first time we met him that he was perfect for our day. Myself and Mark were quite uncomfortable with the posed kind of shots but Dan made us feel so at ease. For the day we asked to have a second shooter which was the best decision, so that nothing was missed. On the day Dan and Luke were great, all the guests commented on how nice they were; you could barely tell they were there at all, which helped considerably in keeping the day flowing, there was no stopping the celebrations to have endless choreographed shots done. On reviewing the photos from the day Dan took massively into consideration my ideas about how the finished product should look and put up with my demands of which shots to use due to personal insecurities. Ultimately the pictures we ended up are beyond our expectation and completely tell the story of the day, you can see the enjoyment on peoples face and emotions that were felt.
THE DETAILS & DÉCOR | I tried to make most things myself, Each table had its own individual garden as a centrepiece which I achieved by using little bits bought from a dolls house shop. The tables were named in relation to the story of the secret garden, with a table plan made in the style of a map with painting and using the old primary school technique of using tea bags to make it more authentic. I also decorated an arch to have over the cake table, did the wedding post box in decoupage and made tambourines for the party at night. The décor was put together by EVENTURES Venue dressers. The tied in all my hand made pieces and put them into place on the day. They also supplied Chiavari chairs, table décor and hanging lanterns from the ceiling to soften the formality of the room. Natasha at EVENTURES coordinated everything so well and put everything together better than I imagined.
Due to the amount of people in the wedding party we decided to put on a bus to keep costs down for the transport, I highly recommend this as then there aren’t lots of cars scattered everywhere and everyone is all in one place. For myself and Mark we had an old Morris Minor convertible which was super cute.
Instead of having a traditional sweet after the buffet we decided to have an ice cream man instead. We used Lanzas traditional ice cream, which comes in the form of a push bike cart. Mark was just about able to ride the cart into the venue which was hilarious.`
THE HONEYMOON | We spent ten nights in Mauritius, personally having never done a luxury holiday before this was unreal and something I could definitely get used too.
MEMORABLE MOMENTS | Hearing the girls sing whilst walking down the aisle was amazing, all the planning and preparation had finally come down to that moment and their voices were so beautiful it just completely made it magical.
ADVICE FOR OTHER COUPLES | Try not to stress out too much on the run up to the day and let it consume you, by time the night before came I didn’t care if it all fell apart all I wanted to do was get married to the man I loved and this sometimes gets lost in all the planning.
CREDIT WHERE CREDIT IS DUE |
Photography | Bib & Tucker Wedding Photography
Venue | Rookery Hall Hotel and Spa
Venue Dressing | EVENTURES
Wedding dress | Charlotte Balbier
Wedding dress supplier | 7th Heaven Bridal
Groomsmen Waistcoats | J and J designs
Wedding cars | Endon Wedding Cars
Ice cream | Lanza’s Traditional Ice Cream
Flowers | Carol’s Garden
Hair stylists | Olivia and Kirsty from Koko Hair
Bridal Makeup | Jade Lilian Pearson
Bridesmaid Makeup | Natalie Shea-Leigh
Beauty prep and nails | Golden Beauty Salon
Centrepiece Items | Home Petite Home
Thank you Stephanie and Mark, what a darling day! All your hard work with the décor really paid off – just fabulous! Rachel xx