There aren’t many of us that don’t love a good old cuppa are there? I am partial to a spot of builders tea; milky, two sugars and a whiff of a PG tips tea bag (other brands are available). But today’s couple have a real love of tea and decided to infuse tea into their wedding décor, how fun is that?
Dave and Marie tied the knot on the 12th November 2015 at Cooling Castle Barn in Kent. They went all out to craft the day of their dreams, there were DIY button bouquets, tea inspired games, a home baked cake and tea favours. I really love the sweet jam table plan, bird box card holder and of course the beautiful outfits all round.
Thanks so much to the wonderful James Grist Photography for sharing these images with us.
THE PROPOSAL | We went on a short break to Tallinn, Estonia. We both love city breaks and seeing new places, and chose Tallinn for its beautiful ‘old town’ and cobbled streets. On day three of our trip, we made it our mission to find the best view in Tallinn. When we got to the Kohtuotsa viewing platform, it was just the two of us and a busker. As Dave was trying to tell me how much he loved me, I got distracted by a shiny cent on the ledge in front of me and unknowingly veered off subject… Then as I started to realise what was about to happen, Dave got down on one knee and asked me to be his wife. We spent the rest of the afternoon in our favourite pub, eating, drinking and being teary!
THE VISION | From the beginning, we knew we wanted to get married in a barn and to have a less formal, relaxed wedding full of homemade goodies! We both absolutely love tea, and it was our shared love of tea that initially bought us together. A tea-infused wedding was a must!
THE PLANNING PROCESS | As boring as it sounds, our planning started with a spreadsheet listing everything we needed with a rough budget, and a huge A1-sized checklist stuck to the side of the fridge! We then worked out what we wanted to make, and drew up a separate month-by-month plan of what would need to be finished each month.
THE VENUE | We got married at Cooling Castle Barn in Kent. After having a search online for venues, this was the first and last one that we visited. It was just what we wanted, and we loved that it felt warm and cosy.
THE DRESS & ACCESSORIES | My dress was a beautiful v-neck princess gown by Amanda Wyatt. I actually came across my shoes first – I knew I wanted something quirky to wear underneath a full length dress, and ideally something with love hearts. I happened to come across some fantastic Vivienne Westwood + Melissa peep toes with giant red hearts – they even smell of bubblegum! I don’t often wear too many accessories so I wanted what I had to be vintage-style but bold. My hair clip and drop earrings were both from Ivory & Co, which went perfectly with my vintage fur stole. My bridesmaid also bought me Jo Malone perfume especially for the wedding day, which was of course Earl Grey and Cucumber!
FINDING THE DRESS | I got a bit lucky with the dress and found it on my first day of dress hunting! What I set out to buy actually didn’t end up suiting me at all, but I did find that princess gowns were what I loved. The dress wasn’t even out in the shop, but was sitting out the back waiting for me (I’m a great believer of fate!). Better still, once it had been recommended and I’d tried it on, I found out it was in the sale and it already fitted really well. I absolutely love the floaty skirt, and the beautiful bead work on the straps and around the waist. My mum was in tears and I knew it was the one, so I went back and bought it the next day, a year to the date of our wedding.
GROOM’S ATTIRE | We both decided very early on that a top hat and tails wasn’t really our thing, and Dave had a vision of a tweed or wool suit. After some shopping around, we found a really lovely three-piece wool suit which made me cry when he tried it on! He bought some tan brogues to wear too, and made himself and our groomsmen/bridesman some button cufflinks to marry up nicely with the button buttonholes which Dave’s mum kindly made for us.
THE READINGS AND MUSIC | We chose to have a couple of readings to personalise our ceremony. The first was a poem that Dave wrote about our story, from how we first met and our shared love of tea to where we are today, which our friend Hanna read for us. Our friend Kieron suggested he read something about the journey of marriage, and so we found a poem to finish off the ceremony perfectly. For the music, we both still love the music of the late Amy Winehouse. I had heard ‘To know him is to love him’ somewhere and when we both listened to it, we both really felt something and that’s why we chose it for me to walk down the aisle to. We both also really like Jamie Cullum, and when we heard his version of ‘Pure Imagination’ my eyes lit up! It was a great choice and a real find, as I love the original Charlie and the Chocolate Factory film. It would also be perfect for our wedding day – if you want to view paradise, simply look around and view it…
BEAUTIFUL BRIDESMAID/BRIDESMAN & FLOWERS | It was always, without a doubt, that my two best friends should be a big part of our day, and so I chose Anna and Billy to be my Bridesmaid and Bridesman. I bought Anna a green floral dress to wear for the day to match our mainly green-themed day, and found a satin grey sash to compliment the green. Billy matched our Groomsmen and wore a green tie, button buttonhole and button cufflinks. I have always loved crafts and my mum had seen a button bouquet in a magazine, and so Dave and I set to work on making Anna and I a button bouquet each from scratch. It meant that after the hours and hours of work put in, and digging around for buttons and brooches in charity shops and boot fairs, I’d have something cute and bright that I could keep forever. We finished them off with ribbon to match the ties and bridesmaids dress. I even found a giant heart brooch which matched my shoes! We were certain that the flowers for the tables and table plan had to go in teapots, and so Dave’s mum created some beautiful arrangements for us, simply with flowers that we had chosen a few days before.
THE CAKE | I am a keen baker in my spare time, so I challenged myself to make our wedding cake as I really wanted to give it a go. It also meant we’d save a bit of money, and that it would be personal to us. I had a couple of trial runs at home using some online tutorials and bought a few books for bedtime reading! In the end we chose to have a three-tiered painted cake, using our main colours green and grey. I made lemon drizzle cake for all three tiers with lemon buttercream, and once I had iced them I painted the flowers on by hand. We had got a tree slice large enough for the bottom layer, so I built the cake on to this and transported it once built. I also made a few flowers out of sugar paste to place on the tiers once I got to the venue in the morning. I have never been so glad to see a cake arrive in one piece! Our cake toppers were made out of Christmas tree decorations, which I personalised with our initials, a tie and hairpiece, and not forgetting the little red hearts on the feet!
YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER | We chose James Grist to photograph our special day. We wanted to find someone that captured the moment, and who also appreciated the little personal touches. James did a fantastic job and went beyond the call of duty all day for us, from opening windows when I was hot and helping put buttonholes on the guys, to running all the way back to the room when we forgot to shut the window! He was great with our friends and family – nothing was too much.
THE DETAILS & DECOR/THE HONEYMOON | We spent most evenings making all sorts of things for our wedding. For the favours, I made a little felt bag for each person with a tea bag inside, and for the kids I made a felt bag for ‘swee-teas’. For the tables, we had bottles of colourful buttons, card teapots in twig holders for the place names, and handmade table names with a little story on the back of each one. We based our table names on our favourite places in Tallinn. On our cake table, we had a ‘M & D’ laid out, which were cardboard letters we wrapped in wool. Our table plan was made from an old cabinet, with a labelled jam for each person and decorated with a few mini teapots full of flowers. Our guestbook was a simple ringbound scrapbook which we personalised using a label printer, and instead of a sweet trolley, we laid out jars of custard creams, bourbons and ginger nuts. During the day, we created some games to keep everyone occupied, using tea caddies, giant teacups, and tea bags amongst other things. These were aptly named ‘Gues-tea-mate’, ‘Asslam’ and ‘Hurl Grey’. Asides all the things we made, my dad made around 90 metres or bunting from scratch out of lots of old, donated material. He also made us a wooden bird box for our cards to go in. After all our hard work, we honeymooned in Bali, spending 10 nights between Ubud and Seminyak as the new Mr & Mrs. On our way back, we also managed to squeeze in a mini tour of Singapore before heading back to a chilly England!
MEMORABLE MOMENTS | Seeing each other for the first time walking down the aisle, and also when we walked into the wedding breakfast barn and saw everything together in one room. Our wedding day was also the first time we had met our new nephew, Hugo, so that was special for us both. The main thing that stood out to us was all of our friends and family in one place having fun and being happy. We couldn’t have asked for a better day!
ADVICE FOR OTHER COUPLES | We took about 15 minutes after the ceremony to spend some time on our own, and went for a ride in the back of the Land Rover. It was pretty much the only time we spent alone all day, so we found it really helpful to take that time away before rejoining our guests. Asides this, stay calm and take a few moments to step back and take everything in. Enjoy every single moment, because it flies by!
CREDIT WHERE CREDIT IS DUE |
Photographer | James Grist
Venue | Cooling Castle Barn
Chair covers/sashes, fairy lights and typewriter | Confetti Connections
Hair & Make Up | Make Me Sparkle
Dress | La Boutique, Chislehurst
Rings | Purely Diamonds
Cake | Marie Ashdown :o)
Bunting | David Bearne
Flowers | Maureen Ashdown
Just SO lovely.
Thanks so much to Dave and Marie for sharing their super sweet story with us xo Lou