Chris and Carrie wanted a classic country feel wedding with a touch of Asia infused into their day. They had a church service followed by a marquee garden reception which they decorated to perfection.
Bunting, lanterns, festoon lighting, heart wreaths and chopsticks all make a wonderful appearance. I adore the fresh blooms and Carrie’s lace dress with cathedral length veil. A stunning and timeless wedding day.
Thanks so much to the fabulous Lawson Photography for sharing their amazing imagery with us.
The Proposal… Chris and I met at Newcastle University. A week before we moved to Singapore we said farewell to our friends who still live in the city. On a Sunday afternoon, Chris suggested that we take a walk in our favourite woodland, Jesmond Dene. In the Dene there is a very old small stone bridge covered in moss. As we walked over the bridge Chris got down on one knee and proposed. It was a magical moment and a perfect proposal.
The Vision for the Day… Overall I had always envisioned a traditional wedding. I wanted the wedding to feel classic with a country theme as Chris and I are from Lancashire and Yorkshire respectively. I then wanted to infuse a small amount of Asia into the wedding bringing elements of our time spent in Singapore into the day.
The Planning Process… Planning a wedding from overseas was interesting! From the word go we had to select a date and start planning. A year before the wedding we returned to the UK for a week and it was during this trip that we sorted a lot of things; the Church, Marquee, Dress, Groom’s outfit, Caterer and Photographer were all found in this short window. Looking back I am so glad we ran around like headless chickens to sort the big elements early as it made for a smoother ride when we returned to Singapore.
We are also very fortunate to have parents who wanted to help us. Our marquee reception was held in Chris’ parent’s garden so we had numerous Skype calls with them to discuss anything from the table arrangements to the wine that we wanted to serve. It helps that they always throw a great party too.
I found the wedding magazines helpful in terms of planning timescales and we had a spreadsheet that became our wedding bible. It contained everything from guest addresses to the table plan and cost tracker.
The Venue… St James the Less RC Church in Rawtenstall, East Lancashire followed by a Marquee Reception in Chris’ garden in Ilkley, West Yorkshire.
The intention was to include both our home towns to help make both families feel involved. We are lucky that we live near to one another and we arranged a coach to take guests back and forth. To help with the journey we had bubbles and nibbles on the coach that our Ushers served out. In the end the coach became ‘The Party Bus’.
The Dress + Accessories… An A-Line antique lace dress with capped lace jacket and cathedral length veil. Diamond drop earrings and bracelet and a crystal headband. I wanted to feel as bridal as possible without wearing a meringue!
Finding the Dress… I had always wanted to find a dress with my mum and closest friend present to help me. As a young girl I used to walk past local dress shops and dream of buying a wedding dress from one of them. In the end, I found my dress in the first shop I went in, which has been operating in Rawtenstall for over 25 years, (Gypsophila). It was the 7th dress I tried on and also my mum’s favourite. It felt right and I went for it. I didn’t want to confuse myself with any other shops or styles and looking back I am so happy that I was decisive. I love my dress and on the day I really didn’t want to take it off!
Groom’s Attire… Following the traditional route we went for Tails. Chris’ favourite colour is blue and he selected a navy blue tails jacket with ivory waistcoat and cravat with grey pinstripe trousers.
The Readings + Music… We had two of our close friends and Chris’ brother read at the service. For music, my Dad had surprised me with a string quartet from Manchester University and church parishioners provided guitar and acapella vocals to lead the hymns.
Beautiful Bridesmaids… Beautiful indeed! The bridesmaids comprised my two oldest friends, Chris’ sister and cousin. We had a lovely little flower girl as well who is my oldest friend’s daughter. The girl’s dresses were from Dessy in a beautiful rose pink satin and the flower girl’s dress was from Autograph at Marks and Spencer.
The Flowers… The flowers comprised a selection of roses, lisianthiums, gypsophila, ivy and green foliage. I wanted the flowers to look like they had been picked that morning and not overly structured to give a more natural feel. We were fortunate to work with great florists who understood my theme completely. We booked Swain’s florist, also known as Patricia’s interflora in Rawtenstall for the bouquets and church flowers. For the reception flowers I visited a flower market with my mother in law and Rachel Chippendale from ‘Simply Vintage’ weddings. The flower market was a great choice for the bulk of our flowers and my mother in law and Rachel’s team created some fantastic candelabra centre pieces.
The Cake… A family friend baked and decorated our cake. The cake was three tiered with a selection of fruit cake, chocolate and sponge cake. We wanted the cake to be fun and interesting so I bought a cake topper of a bride and groom on a bike to go on top of the cake. One of our favourite past times is cycling so it was a nice fun way to bring this into the day.
Your Photographer… The Lawsons from Lawson Photography. Pete & Laura manage to freeze frame the feelings and emotions on the day and made us feel comfortable from the start. We love how everybody is captured in their photographs rather than it being a cheesy couple shoot.
The Details + Decor… This is the part of the wedding that I enjoyed the most. It was a labour of love decorating the Church and Garden but in the best possible way! I could go on forever about all the small details we created but in short some of the key elements were:
Bunting, homemade from a close friend in Laura Ashley style muted pastel colours. Lanterns of varying sizes from Singapore’s china town. Hand made heart shaped material wreaths. Home made place settings, in cream and soft pink card with occasional embellishments. Traditional red wooden chopstick favours from Singapore’s china town. Chinese Lanterns released at midnight.
The Honeymoon… We haven’t had one! We feel very lucky to live in Singapore and have been fortunate to visit a lot of South East Asia during our time here. We are going skiing to Japan soon so I think it might be cool and unique to say that was our honeymoon.
Memorable Moments… Walking into the Church with my Dad is a feeling that I will never forget. After over a year of preparations, the majority from overseas, it was incredibly overwhelming to see everybody you care about in one place, and that place being the small town that you grew up in. Some of our guests had travelled huge distances including overseas from Singapore and New York and to have everybody there was the best and most memorable moment. It brings goosebumps to talk about it!
Another memorable moment was kissing my new husband under the large Willow Tree in his garden when we managed to sneak a quick 5 minutes away. Saying husband and wife to each other for the first time was very special. I felt like I was floating the whole day.
Advice for Other Couples… During the planning phase, don’t be afraid of being decisive, it helps make for a smoother ride over all.
Do what makes you happy, whether it be the food you eat or the dress you wear. Sometimes too many opinions can blur how you really feel.
Enjoy your special day and take everything in that you can. It really does fly by quickly so try and steal a few moments away with your partner to quickly reflect on the day and the moment in time.
Credit Where Credit is Due…
Photography |Lawson Photography
Bridesmaid Dresses | Dessy
Utterly wonderful. How gorgeous was that garden setting and the pretty lighting?
Thanks so so much to Chris and Carrie for sharing their wedding story with us here on these pages XOXO Lou