Cottage Garden Feel Cotswolds Wedding

Cottage Garden Feel Cotswolds Wedding http://www.suekwiatkowska.com/

Joanne and Jeremy married back in the summer of last year at the lovely Cripps Barn in the Cotswolds. Being a keen gardener Joanne wanted their wedding to have a cottage garden feel, with a relaxed and family friendly atmosphere.

There were such lovely florals; natural looking bouquets and centrepieces of Lavender, Rosemary, Roses, Cosmos and Dahlias adorned the venue.

Joanne looked beautiful in her lace gown, while Jeremy wore a Moss Bros suit and the bridesmaids were in peach. Just you wait until you see their brilliant wedding transport too :-)

Thanks so much to the wonderful Sue Kwiatkowska for sharing her images with us this morning.

 

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The Proposal… On holiday in Menorca. At the time of the proposal we had recently found out that I was pregnant. Although we were trying for a child the pregnancy happened sooner than we had anticipated. The proposal was meant to happen before the pregnancy!

On the day of the proposal we went for a long coastal walk, got lost [I did not get us lost!] and caught in the rain, thus I was not in the best of moods!  Having found our way, and on the way back to the start of the walk, Jez led me to the end of a rocky outcrop overlooking the sea and a distant castle turret and got down on one knee, getting himself wet in the process!! Obviously, I said yes!

The Vision for the Day… A relaxed family day.  What I really wanted was a flower garden, and did look for a farmhouse location with cottage gardens.  We were unable to find what I was looking for, only coming across formal homes that had my desired gardens.  Unfortunately these didn’t fit with our vision of  an informal, relaxed day.

We then found ‘Cripps Barn’. Jez immediately loved the style of the menu and I fell for the building, the firepit and the ability to get married outdoors. What I tried very hard to do was to bring an aspect of the cottage garden to the day, incorporating informal flower arrangements and lavenders.

The Planning Process… Jez and I disagreed on some aspects, he would have liked to buy everything already made whereas I am a creative person and wanted to give everything a personal touch. Planning was started a year before the wedding Save the date cards were sent out and I started collecting crockery and vases with the help of my mum! Cripps Barn were fantastic at answering all of my questions and ensuring everything was put in place.

The Venue… Cripps Barn in Bibury in the Cotswolds. The barn is down a quiet lane and is surrounded by fields. We loved the informality, Meals (smoked haddock, roast lamb and bread and butter pudding) were served on platters to the table for people to serve themselves.

We had a selection of outdoor games on the lawn and roasted marshmallows around the firepit in the evening.  We had blankets on the grass and the perfect summers day to enjoy it all.  The children loved running around, and this was important for us as our daughter was one and a half at the time. We were fortunate with the weather and able to have the ceremony outside, but the option to move inside if the weather didn’t hold was always there.

The Dress + Accessories… The one thing that I knew was a must was a lace neck and back.  Finding the perfect dress and being confident in your choice is so hard, all the dresses I loved seemed to be fishtail which really does not suit my shape and after a few shops I started to feel a little disheartened at not finding what I wanted at an affordable price.  Accessories wise I wanted quite simple with just a hair slide and no veil.  Ultimately I wanted my style to fit in with the vision for the day and something that I would be comfortable in. I made my own clutch bag with ‘Cath Kidston’ fabric.  As well as personalised clutch bags for both of the bridesmaids.

Finding the Dress… I booked tickets to the wedding show at the NEC and along with my mother and daughter, Isabella, we had a lovely day trying on a selection of dresses.  I had a budget in mind and really didn’t want to bust it! The show is full of some really good deals and I would recommend going along, even though there wasn’t much in the way of bridesmaid dresses.  The show is really focused on the bride.  I was lucky to fine the lovely ladies at Pink Confetti and the beautiful dress by Lou Lou Bridal.  The ladies were so great and let me walk across the auditorium to the Rachel Simpson Shoes stall and make sure that the shoes I liked matched the dress. They did and I was then the proud owner of a dress and shoes!

Groom’s Attire… Sandown by Moss Bros hire.  Again an informal suit teamed with a peach tie.  We ended up having to buy the ties from the states as we were unable to find the right colour in the UK.  All ushers, the best man and fathers were in the same suits and ties.

The Readings + Music… My mum wanted to give a reading but wouldn’t tell us what it was, so it was a surprise on the day.  It was a snippet from the book ‘a lovely love story’ by Edward Monkton. And was very sweet and fitting to us.

I always wanted a guitar soloist to be playing while people got settled and for my entrance. We had almost resigned ourselves to not being able to have this as we couldn’t find anyone but we were lucky enough to have a brother in law play in the Greg Bish band and Greg Bish himself play this role.

While people settled we had: 1,You do Something To Me, 2, Norwegian Wood, 3, Have I Told You Lately, 4, Delicate, 5, Spanish Romance, 6, Air on The G String, 7, Canon In D, 8, Gymnopedie No 1.

For my entrance and exit I had “I Remember” by Damian Rice. And for the signing of the register Jose Gozalez ‘Heartbeats’. Our first dance was “Fade Into You” by Mazzy Star We put together our own playlist for the afternoon and had the wonderful band play a few sets in the evening.  They really were a highlight and I am so glad that we decided to have them.

Beautiful Bridesmaids… The adults wore dresses by Next, peach lace with a peach under dress.  I originally wanted a pastel pink but I struggled to find the exact dresses that I wanted as they all seemed to be in the U.S and when I did find similar in the UK I was astounded at the prices.  Having bought a selection for the bridesmaids to try on they chose these ones – wrong colour but never mind. The colour scheme then had to change a bit!  The shoes were by Pink Paradox and dyed to match.

Each bridesmaid was given as a gift a personalised clutch bag, which was handmade by me and contained earrings, lip gloss, heal protectors and a pretty mirror.

My daughter wore a pretty dress by Monsoon, it was so beautiful and soft and just perfect as I wanted her to be comfortable and not confined in a stiff dress. She wouldn’t wear the shoes we got though, thus an ebay find of soft white pumps!

The Flowers… From the onset I was so happy with Tracey from ‘Ivyleaf Design’.  I could not have asked for a more attentive florist, and had complete faith in her.

I am a keen gardener and knew exactly what flowers I wanted to be incorporated and the way I wanted them to be displayed.  She listened to me, looked through ideas with me and took everything on board.  What was also an added bonus was that she lived in the same small town as us in Northamptonshire and we were able to keep local and give something back to our community.  When I saw the flowers in my vases at the venue the beautiful smell hit me and I was so overwhelmed with it. Everywhere was full of soft scented cottage garden plants, lavender, rosemary, roses, cosmos and dahlias.  Mine and the bridesmaid bouquets were stunning and just as I envisaged.

The men’s button holes were non traditional as I wanted to avoid roses, they matched all the other arrangements perfectly and contained hydrangeas, scabios  and ox eye daisies. Very pretty!

The Cake… I enjoy cake making and was adamant that I wanted to make the cake and for there to be a table of goodies for everyone to pick on! The cake was 3 different layers, vanilla, lemon and chocolate sponges.  I ended up having to order the sugar moulds over from the US.  As the cake was being set up for me by a good friend I opted for a fresh flower decoration to save any hassle.  I was very pleased with the end result and not only did it look good but it tasted good too!

We also had cupcakes and cake pops as well as a sweet selection. I am keen to continue baking wedding cakes and have a small home based baking business – https://www.facebook.com/pages/Jos-Cakes-and-Bakes/478062025563451

Your Photographer… Along with the florist the photographer filled me with confidence from the very beginning and I was in no doubt as to how fantastic the pictures would be.

When doing a search of photos of the venue I came across Sue Kwiatkowska.  After correspondence we met Sue in May at the beautiful Arlington bluebell walk in Sussex for our pre wedding photo shoot and loved the gorgeous pictures, this cemented my faith in her.  It was really important to me that the pictures were as natural as possible and captured the mood of the day as well as incorporating a vintage, romantic feel.  My biggest hate is anything that appears overly staged and unnatural.  Sue captured our day brilliantly and Caroline second shot the day through a second lens getting some beautiful pictures of not only Isabella (our daughter) but also of the other children.

The Details + Decor… My hair and makeup was done by a local lady, Nicole, who used to do weddings back in her home country of South Africa.  She has since become a good friend and has a daughter of similar age to Isabella.

My mum mad a substantial amount of bunting, which was essential decoration, and I believe that without it the dinning area would have had a different feel.  The crockery that I collected was also displayed beautifully and was worth every moment spent at a car boot or a charity shop! I now hire out my crockery and accessories –  https://www.facebook.com/myvintagehire

Wedding favours/place settings were baby food jars filled with a selection of sweets bought from a local traditional sweetshop in our town and covered in remnants of fabric with luggage tags with guest’s names on.

Each child was given an activity bag that consisted of an activity book, bubbles, how to make a pin wheel, pencils and aeroplanes.  The kids seemed to love these and it kept them entertained during the meal.

Save the Dates + Invitations… Hand made by myself, with a little help from Jez! I wanted a natural yet vintage style.  So The save the date cards were printed by us on a light brown recycled card by https://secure.eco-craft.co.uk/and tied together with raffia. The invitations followed this theme,  I  used recycled light brown card  and lace on the invitations  with a recycled envelope and tied all together with raffia and a pesonalised wax seal.  We both had and still have the same initials ‘JB’ so was personal to both of us!

The Car… http://jezbraker.wordpress.com/ So the plan was simple one. Rather than rent a car to take the bride to the wedding venue, buy one – and give it to Jo as her wedding gift from me.  She always loved VW Beetles and I love tinkering with cars so some  German engineering should be simple.The plan was to spend £1000 on a car and another £1000 doing it up over the year – without Jo knowing – so come the morning of the wedding day it’s sitting outside the hotel ready to whisk her to the venue  – and later in the day get her to sign the v5 as well as the book.

I picked up a ’73 beetle in fetching Purple in October ’12 which gave me 10 months of secret trips to work on it and get ready for the big day.  Engine rebuild, completely new interior, recon wheels, new running gear and a whole heap more stuff later,  she was MOT’d just a few days before the big day.  A few hundred over budget (although in building the car it started a new sideline business which has since recouped these costs http://retrogearknob.com/ ). My brother in law enlisted to chauffeur Jo the few miles to the venue and after a last minute first drive around the venue car park, it was a nervous wait for me at the altar to see if the car made it!

Jo says she knew I was going to have her arrive at the venue in a VW but she thankfully hadn’t worked out it was hers to keep. Pics of the bug here… http://jezbraker.wordpress.com/2014/02/04/the-pics-from-the-day/

The Honeymoon… We have yet to have a proper honeymoon but did go away camping for two weeks to north Devon and ended coming home with a puppy!

Memorable Moments… The whole day!!!

Advice for Other Couples… HAVE A HONEYMOON. GIVE SOMEONE ELSE YOUR CHILDREN TO LOOK AFTER FOR THE WEDDING NIGHT. We decided nor to have speeches but in retrospect I think it would have been nice to have had one.

Credit Where Credit is Due…

Bride and bridesmaids hair and makeup | Nicolette Culwick [email protected]

Flowers |Ivy Leaf Design

Band | The Greg Bish Blueprint 

Cake | Jo’s Cakes and Bakes  

Crockery | My Vintage Hire  

Brides dress; | Pink Confetti 

Venue | Cripps Barn  

Grooms suit | Moss Bros 

Photographer | Sue Kwiatkowska

 

How wonderful, I so love a relaxed family wedding.

Thanks so much to Joanne and Jeremy for sharing their wedding story with us here at WWW XOXO Lou

 

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