By Louise Baltruschat Hollis
I am in wedding heaven today courtesy of WWW readers Kayleigh and Edward and their delightfully colourful celebrations held on the 6th May 2017 at Blake Hall in Essex. Colour lovers be prepared to fall hook, line and sinker for their multicoloured confetti, rainbow bloom, bright bridesmaid dresses filled wedding with heart and soul.
The couple and their nearest and dearest undertook a lot of the décor and details themselves. Take that amazing confetti for example, all hand stamped by Kayleigh’s sister! Then there were the painted wooden signs, decorated jars for flowers and hand made place cards to name a few, all DIYed lovingly for the lovely bride and groom. Relaxed and fun times were order of the day and it looked as though everyone had a right roaring time. No surprise with the gorgeous country barn venue, selfie sticks on tables, goodie bags for kids and space hoppers in the evening.
Maggie Sottero Cassidy was the ‘one’ for Kayleigh, when Kayleigh and her mum cried, they knew it was meant to be. Didn’t she look incredible? Edward was suited and booted in a dapper navy suit and vibrant red tie that matched the maids. Such style.
I cannot thank Three Flowers Photography enough for sending over these amazing shots.
THE PROPOSAL | Ed took me to Amsterdam for our 12 year anniversary. Ed had learned that Amsterdam was known as the ‘City of diamonds’ so thought that it would be an appropriate place to propose. Having been together for so long, it was a complete surprise when Ed went down on one knee and proposed as we were taking photos near to the Museumplein, next to the reflection pool opposite the Rijksmuseum.
THE VISION | The vision was always a barn wedding, rustic, relaxed, fun with colourful flowers. I love flowers so I picked everything that went into the bouquet and the centre pieces for the tables. We wanted a lot of personal touches, to make it unique, so a lot of items were made by us or with the help of friends and family.
THE PLANNING PROCESS | We didn’t want to rush the process and knew that it would take time to save for everything that we wanted to have after we made an initial budget. We started planning straight after we came back from Amsterdam to give us the maximum time to make decisions. Finding the venue was priority number one and as soon as we’d decided on Blake Hall, we set about booking our suppliers as early as possible to ensure that we got our favourites before they became booked up.
Once all of our suppliers were in place we started to think about personalising the day, which included making a lot of the decorations from scratch. A few ideas aren’t possible so it was good to have time to assess and try different things to end up with something that you are proud of.
BUDGET | We set ourselves a budget and stuck to it as best we could. It’s important to do this to keep things in perspective, then you can weigh up whether it’s worth breaking the budget for! Our original budget meant we couldn’t afford a videographer however we felt that we’d regret not having this to look back on the day and now that we’ve received the film, it was worth every extra penny!
THE VENUE | Blake Hall – Ongar, Essex. I knew that I wanted a barn wedding, it was just about finding the right one and as soon as we pulled up to Blake Hall, I fell in love with it. I could visualise all of the early ideas that we’d formulated working well at the venue and we loved the exclusivity of the site. It had everything that we wanted and there really isn’t anything that we’d change about the venue. Add that to the special staff who work there and it’s the perfect place to get married.
THE DRESS & ACCESSORIES | Maggie Sottero Cassidy from Bellissima Weddings.
FINDING THE DRESS | I visited a few shops initially but couldn’t find any dresses that I loved. I was recommended Bellissima Weddings in South Woodham by a few people so I thought I should go and have a look. The staff were helpful and welcoming and made choosing a dress a wonderful experience. It was the third dress that I tried on and I just fell in love with it. I cried, my mum cried and I just knew that it was the one.
GROOM’S ATTIRE | Royal blue wool and mohair slim fit lounge suit from Anthony Formal Wear.
THE READINGS & MUSIC | Reading: We chose an extract from Game of Thrones (We’re both huge fans).
Music: Walk in music – Turning Page – Sleeping at last (instrumental).
Signing the register 1 – Peter Gabriel – Book of love.
Signing the register 2 – Kodaline – The one.
Walk out music – Tom Odell – Grow old with me.
BEAUTIFUL BRIDESMAIDS | My sister Lyndsey and best friend Tanya. Both wore dresses from Coast and Kurt Geiger shoes.
THE FLOWERS | I had seen some flowers that Kate from Needhams Florist (‘Flowers by Kate Thomas’) had prepared for a wedding for one of my hairdressing clients. As soon as I met Kate she understood my vision and seemed as passionate about my wedding flowers as me!
The overall idea was wild country flowers. I included rosemary for remembrance and then selected flowers that I love for a bright vivid collection of flowers that also smelled amazing, which included peonies, sunflowers, delphiniums, stocks, cornflower, ranunculus, freesias, thistles (my Dad is Scottish!) and salvia.
THE CAKE | From The Sweet Berry Bakery – Maxine Orriss.
We had some ideas of what we wanted the cake to look like and at our first meeting with Maxine she understood our ideas and was excited to create something a bit different for us. We went away hoping for the best and then Maxine sent us through some designs, which were incredible and exactly what we were after. Going with the theme of rustic country garden, Maxine was able to incorporate wild animals, acorns, berries, toadstools and flowers into the cake on top of the base tier designed to look like a tree stump. The detail was incredible and importantly, the cake also tasted amazing, especially the base tier where Maxine reconstructed an old family apple cake recipe.
YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER | I had seen photos that Charlotte from Three Flowers Photography had taken and loved them straight away. They were so natural and exactly what we were looking for. We loved her work and when we met Charlotte for the first time we knew we were going to choose her. She took a keen interest in our ideas and made us both feel at ease – Ed hates having his photo taken but you can’t tell from the photos! Her packages include a second photographer as well as a pre-wedding photo shoot, which were huge bonuses. Charlotte was incredible from start to finish and played a key role in helping the day to run smoothly. The photos speak for themselves, they were better than we ever could have imagined!
THE DETAILS & DÉCOR | We wanted to make a lot of decoration personalised, so most of the little details were handmade or decorated by ourselves, friends and family. Someone we know made us some simple signs that we decorated ourselves along with a wooden crate that we painted our order of the day on. The table decorations were empty jars decorated with variations of lace, hessian, ribbon and extracts from my favourite books.
Favourite love quotes were included within the table flowers accompanied by small flowerpot style tea lights. We also made tiny bird table confetti out of maps from various holidays we have been on as a couple over the years, every table was decorated with a different destination.
We included selfie sticks on every table to ensure we got lots of shots of people having fun and we gave every child a hessian bag filled with various goodies to keep them entertained during the meal including colouring books, bubbles, sweets and sticker books.
The wedding favours were strawberry and raspberry Wilkin & Sons Tiptree jam pots. We tied handmade name places to the jam pots, which were brown card labels with the guest name hand stamped on each one using ink that matched the bridesmaid dresses and grooms/ushers ties.
A good confetti shot was something we really wanted and to create something special and personalised, we decided to make our own confetti. My sister hand stamped every piece from bright coloured tissue paper and the results were incredible.
We had a VW campervan for an unconventional photo booth, which went down very well with our guests and we got some really funny photos. We struggled to find time to have too many photos ourselves but it’s nice to have so many of your guests having fun.
We included a box of flip flops next to the dance floor for ladies feet who were struggling with their shoes and had a variety of garden games to keep the children entertained. Space hoppers were also used by the wedding party later in the evening…
THE HONEYMOON | An incredible 11 night stay in Mauritius. The most relaxing break ever, which was needed after a lot of stress in the build up to the wedding!
MEMORABLE MOMENTS | Walking down the aisle, from both of our perspectives, very emotional!
The confetti shot, so much confetti!
Our ‘couple photos’ where we went away from the rest of our guests, it was only 20 minutes but it was so good to talk and relax and enjoy our day as a couple, just us.
ADVICE FOR OTHER COUPLES | Book your preferred suppliers as soon as you can. We booked all of ours over a year in advance and we were rewarded with exceptional suppliers who exceeded all expectations.
Pick a photographer and videographer whose work you love, they provide you with visual memories after the day.
Take the time to personalise some things to make your day special. You can make a lot of items yourself a lot cheaper than just buying ‘standard’ ones.
Most importantly, do whatever you want to do, it’s your day, don’t let anyone else take it over!
CREDIT WHERE CREDIT IS DUE |
Photographer | Three Flowers Photography
Videographer | Tony Davies Films
Florist | Flowers by Kate Thomas
Venue | Blake Hall
Cake | The Sweet Berry Bakery
Make up | Carla Brooks Makeup Artist
Music | Discokandi
Lighting | Chris Earle Lighting
Wedding Dress | Bellissima Weddings
Wedding Suits | Anthony Formal Wear
Wedding rings | Hearts of London
Many thanks to Kayleigh and Edward for sharing their wonderful nuptials with us, what a way to end the week xo Lou
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