Happy Tuesday you guys! What better way to begin the day than with Sasha and Andrew’s dreamy boho style wedding, which was held at Preston Priory Barn in Suffolk on the 3rd August 2019 (Happy Anniversary Sasha and Andrew!). Their day was beautifully rustic part in thanks to the barn and the natural styling they added to their day. Think greenery and white flower arrangements, a semi naked cake, romantic candles and botanical stationery. I especially love the painted banner as a backdrop to the top table, it looked so cool!
Sasha had her gorgeous lacy bohemian style gown made for her by her mum, which she teamed with flowers in her hair. Meanwhile Andrew went for a mix and match style with a check jacket and pale grey tie. Didn’t they both look amazing? Also keep your eyes peeled for the super cute Beetle wedding car, I love quirky wedding transport!
A huge thank you to the brilliant Leah Lombardi for sharing these totally beautiful images with us.
We got engaged at the top of the Mist Trail in Yosemite National Park in California. It was a stunning setting and, thankfully, nobody but us advanced that far along the trail. Andrew had a slight panic at the airport where security wanted to do a “detailed” search of his carry-on bag. Thankfully, having distracted Sasha, when security found the ring they were sufficiently discrete and polite that they didn’t give the game away.
A personalised country rustic wedding with close friends and family which didn’t break the bank.
The Planning Process
We had a long engagement (two and a half years), which gave us a lot of time to put thought into themes and cost effective ways of achieving the look we wanted for our wedding day. We made sure to tick off the big ticket items early on (e.g. caterers and the venue) so that we weren’t constrained in terms of availability.
Obviously planning a wedding is tricky business and, given that you likely have no experience, you’re not going to get everything right all of the time. Also, the process itself can seem daunting and quite overbearing in terms of eating up the little free time you have outside of work. We tackled this by breaking up the “to do list” into bitesize chunks which we knew we could achieve in a weekend without destroying our social life. Working through the admin in this methodical way meant we didn’t get too stressed out, however obviously this changes in the couple of weeks leading up to the wedding!
We had a very modest budget for the wedding and, thankfully, a number of Sasha’s incredibly talented friends contributed significantly (particularly @Oysterbridgeandco) through design and production of a number of the bespoke pieces we used.
The Readings & Music
We only had one reading, which was Mirrorball by Elbow read by Andrew’s great friend James.
Sasha came down the aisle to Bittersweet Symphony by The Verve played by a string quartet (The Champagne Quartet) and otherwise the strings played a song called The Girl by City and Colour (which they learnt especially for the wedding) and a number of other songs which we chose from their repertoire.
The band was a big thing for us and, after spending hours and hours listening to snippets on bandsintown.com and similar websites, we actually decided to use a band who we had seen at a friend’s wedding five years prior. They were outstanding and, whilst relatively expensive, worth every penny as they kept everyone dancing all night and are all experienced talented professionals who know how to pull off an excellent live show. Cannot recommend The Guilty Pleasures enough.
Sasha found searching for a hairdresser on the same wavelength as her quite challenging. She came across By Jodie after many hours of research and they were so worth the long search. Sasha was assigned Magui for trial session. Magui is a wonderful lady who is dedicated and passionate about making her clients’ hair perfect. She was a true blessing and executed the hair style Sasha and her bridesmaids wanted beautifully. Her timings were perfect, and she honestly felt part of the family during the tense and nerve-wracking hours prior to the ceremony.
Sasha decided to do her own make up as she had heard mixed reviews from lots of her married friends about their wedding makeup. She wanted a natural look and is an artist by trade, so she felt more comfortable with the idea of doing it herself. With a modest budget of £300 she bought everything she needed following a trial at Bobby Brown in Selfridges, London.
In terms of a beauty regime, Sasha focussed on taking care of her skin in the 6 months leading up to the wedding. She purchased a cleanser, toner and facial oil from Aesop and used them morning and night religiously during that period, as well as making sure to drink as much water as possible. As a result, she managed to keep clear skin and avoid any break outs on the build up to the wedding.
Your Outfits & Accessories
Sasha’s mum is a very talented seamstress. She runs a business with Sasha’s dad designing, making and selling alternative clothing online. Sasha was thrilled when her mum presented the idea of making her wedding dress. They didn’t, however, want to miss out on the experience of dress hunting and wanted to pool inspiration from as many sources as possible, so they took a trip in to London to try on some different dress styles. Sasha’s style is bohemian/vintage and she loves designers such as Grace Loves Lace and Immacle, so asked her mum to design a dress that combined aspects of their signature styles. The top layer of the dress was made from an online sourced lace and the undercoat a very fine silk. Sasha’s mum is contactable at the following email address: [email protected]. Sasha’s sandals were found online on THE OUTNET and are made by the Australian brand Zimmermann.
Andrew didn’t want a three piece for the wedding or even a matching suit. Not that there is anything wrong with that look, we just wanted something that would be more consistent with Sasha’s boho approach. Other than the colour scheme, the shirt collar and shoes were two items we were also keen to do a little differently. The shirt was from Apposta and had a tabbed collar, which is quite rare hence having to go tailor made. That said, Apposta is quite affordable and very good quality. The shoes were brogues from Loake, the jacket was from TM Lewin, the tie was from Hackett and the trousers from M&S.
Preston Prior Barn near Lavenham in Suffolk. Denise who owns the farm with her husband, couldn’t have been more attentive and, having hosted over 300 weddings across two decades, had plenty of good ideas as to how to structure the day.
The bridesmaids played a big part in the research for the perfect bridesmaid dress. Sasha originally had her heart set on a sage green colour in order to keep with the natural setting, however even after hours of searching they couldn’t find anything suitable. The biggest challenge was trying to find a dress that suited every body type and also that everyone felt comfortable in. Eventually they all decided on a mink coloured dress from ASOS. The dress was great and the colour worked beautifully as a statement colour adding a softness to the setting. The bridesmaids wore their own nude coloured sandals to match the bride’s.
We bought linen suits from Moss Bros for the best men. We told the groomsmen to wear whatever blue suit they happened to have (erring towards navy to the extent possible). We bought all of the ties from Suit Supply and pocket squares from TM Lewin.
Andrew grew up next door to Laura from Jules’ Florist in Assington; it was lovely to have a personal friend taking care of such an important aspect of the wedding. We chose loose natural ties for the flowers keeping white and a soft green as the colour palette. The ties included white David Austin roses as a statement flower mixed with white double lisianthus, white Veronica and astrantia with plenty of mixed foliage such as eucalyptus, rosemary, sage and other seasonal herbs. The bouquet, bridesmaids’ hand ties and wall ties were all held together with beautiful natural dyed ribbon created by Emma at Velvet Ribbon. The lovely thing about presenting the wall flowers as a hand tie is that at the end of the night we were able to give them away to our family and friends as a lovely gift.
Not only did Laura produce beautiful flower arrangements, she actually acted as wedding planner for a lot of the day. She organised the room transition (ceremony and reception all under one roof in the barn), gave excellent advice on what would and wouldn’t work and spent a lot of time making sure the look of the room was consistent with what Sasha wanted.
The Details & Décor
Given the venue’s natural beauty, we felt that it was important to keep the décor simple and consistent with the rustic interior of the barn. We feel Kate’s work (@oysterbridgeandco) really helped us to achieve what we wanted in this respect. Her original handmade paper, individually painted table plans, table numbers and name tags were all beautiful. So many people commented on the A&S mural that Kate hand painted for us which we feel was a perfect backdrop for the head table.
The entrance table was kept simple also. We used hand dyed French linen sheets to cover the tables bought from Rosehip Country. We left an Instax camera and Khadi sketchbook for the guests to present their photos and messages. This is such a lovely keepsake which we look back at all the time. We finished the table off with some tealight candles and some hand dried flowers and petals.
The dining tables were decorated with Ikea naked candles varying in height. We presented them on a hired mirror base to prevent any damage of the hired tablecloths and runners. These were hired from The Banqueting Hire Service in Norwich. The tables were finished with some foliage arranged beautifully by Laura.
Not sure where to start with Leah. She came recommended and we both loved her style of natural photography. She was the perfect photographer – she didn’t interrupt the flow of the day and organised all of the group photographs superbly. We couldn’t be more thrilled with the pictures that she took and the package she offered as a whole (the photobook is particularly beautiful) and we’re both thrilled that we got to know her and Adam (see below). In particular, she caught lovely moments of the day we just don’t remember; a smile or a look shared that would otherwise be lost.
We booked our filmmaker Adam through Leah, who actually managed the whole process (which is efficient as you don’t have to liaise with two service providers so saves a lot on admin). Adam captured the ceremony, speeches and day generally beautifully as you can see from the link here.
We went to Bali on our honeymoon. We’ve travelled around Indonesia before, but spent a bit more time on Lombok this time around. Two highlights in terms of where we stayed were Tejaprana Bisma and Kumbara Villas in Kuta Lombok.
As Sasha is a vegan, we needed to make sure there was at least a tier of the cake which she could eat. At the tasting with Moo Moo Cakes, it became obvious very quickly that this wasn’t going to be a problem as all of the samples were incredible – the only headache was picking the flavours! In the end the whole cake was vegan.
Fiona is not only a lovely charismatic person, she is excellent and enthusiastic about what she does. She set everything up on the day – completely seamless and will produce interesting bespoke designs after consultation.
Too many to list here – the walk down the aisle will always have a special place in our hearts and generally laughing continually and having everyone we care most about in the world under one roof made it easily the best day of our lives.
Advice For Other Couples
Don’t let the stress get to you, everyone is on your side and as long as she turns up on the day, there isn’t much else that matters (other than a tabbed collar on your shirt…).
Credit Where Credit Is Due
Preston Priory Barn
By Jodie – Magui
Oh so lovely.
Sasha and Andrew thank you ever so much for sharing with us your amazing wedding celebrations xo Lou