Let me take you to the beautiful Northamptonshire countryside for today’s enchanted English countryside wedding. WWW readers Emma and Ryan tied the knot on June 22nd 2019 at Dodmoor House. I’m absolutely loving the classic yet rustic ceremony set up and the subtle colour palette, and the not so subtle smoke bombs!
Lots of our couple’s guests were travelling over from the US, which was the perfect excuse to include some quintessentially English touches, including a surprise red double decker bus. I think you’re going to love the hanging greenery and the stationery which clever Emma made herself. The wax seal theme throughout is ever so effective.
Katrina Matthews Photography was Emma and Ryan’s chosen photographer and we’re ever so grateful to be sharing her beautiful images with you today. Thank you so much Katrina.
Jan 3rd, 2018. Home for the Holidays…
We currently live in Ohio, USA. I am originally from England and Ryan is from the USA. We try to come home for Christmas most years to enjoy the delights of the holiday season in England with my family.
Now anyone that knows Ryan will know his views on cliché́ proposals… ‘It will never be on a holiday…it will never be on vacation…it will never be on a special date…’ the list goes on.
So since being home for Christmas and New Year, I never suspected a thing.
It was 3rd January 2018, with dinner plans that evening at The Shard in London, we decided to make a weekend of it. I dragged him around London shopping for the day (since I completely forgot to pack the outfit I had intended to wear to dinner!) I was none the wiser to what was going to happen that night.
It was bitterly cold, rainy and excessively windy but Ryan was adamant about walking to dinner. As we walked from our hotel, we had no option but to cross Tower Bridge.
Being one of our favourite places in London, Ryan wanted to stop to admire the view. I was not amused, just very cold and windswept. Ryan begins by apologising to me that he had lied to me all along. Not really grasping why we has apologising, I turn my head and he dropped down on one knee.
Ryan had always known that our wedding would be held back in England, knowing that all my family are there. Lucky for us, my family live in a beautiful part of the country, Northamptonshire.
We knew we wanted our wedding to capture the beauty of the English countryside. With some different traditions from the two cultures, we worked on what the most important things to us both were. But mostly we wanted to ensure our wedding felt authentic, rustic yet elegant and was very personal to us.
Everything had a very focused colour palette of whites, soft pinks and greens, I have a love of fairy lights, flowers and I pictured foliage everywhere I could! I wanted to add in some extra ‘British’ touches for our guests travelling overseas with a few hints of red. Basically, I knew we had to have the vintage red double decker bus!!
The Planning Process
So, this was a tricky one for us. We had to plan our wedding from another country! Luckily, my family were happy to help. We trusted their opinions completely. They searched any venues we were curious about, took photos for us or even facetimed us while they were there so we could get an idea of what it was like. They knew what we were wanting and were able to narrow it down to a couple places.
After securing our date, and not actually knowing the next time we will be back in England we tried to check off some other vendors.
The venue had a list of vendors that they frequently work with and hold to incredibly high standards. We chose our caterers (Lemon Zest), DJ and lighting (Potter Group Events), florist (Willow & Thyme), photographer (Katrina Matthews), hotel accommodations and transportation.
We kept the red bus a secret from the guests, they absolutely loved it when it turned up at the hotel to take them over to the venue.
With all the major things checked off the list, we could sit back and enjoy some time being engaged.
As soon as we visited Dodmoor House we immediately knew this is where we were going to get married.
Dodmoor House is a 16th century barn situated just outside a quaint village in Northamptonshire surrounded by countryside. The picturesque main house sat at the end of an apple tree lined driveway.
The stone barns with open brickwork, natural beams wrapped in lights and huge arched windows either side was perfect.
The stunning courtyard in the middle of the barns was lit up with fairy lights, surrounded by mature flower beds.I loved that the venue had a huge bridal suite to get ready in and a beautiful honeymoon suite for us after the wedding.
The events staff at the venue were flawless. They all went out of their way to ensure that our day ran so smoothly. Nothing we asked of them was too much, and I’m not sure what we would have done without the Dodmoor team!
Your Outfits & Accessories
I must have tried on a hundred dresses before choosing the one. It was simple, elegant and modern.
As soon as I tried on my dress I knew it was the one, the fitted clean lines, heavy crepe fabric and extra-long train. It was simply beautiful, and I felt beautiful in it.
It was designed by Chicago based wedding dress designer, Alyssa Kristin. Her style is exactly what I wanted.
With such a simple dress I know that I wanted a little more interest on my veil. I had followed Made With Love Bridal on Instagram and saw them post about their ‘Stevie’ veil. With its cathedral length and stunning design, I immediately knew that this veil would work perfectly with my dress and the beautifully embroidered florals trailing at the hem. Just enough extra detail but without taking anything away from my dress. And of course, a pair of white Jimmy Choo’s.
Ryan knew that he wanted his suit to stand out. He loves wearing sharp suits and wanted something extra special for our wedding.
With his love of fashion also, we opted for a custom three piece suit from Balani Custom Clothiers. To make him stand out, he chose a beautiful blue plaid fabric, lined with a fun purple silk.
This was probably one thing that stressed me out the most in all of my planning process. I was so worried I was not going to be able to have any hair and makeup trials done since we didn’t live there and most of my time spent at home when I could get back was going to be sorting other things out for the wedding. Luckily, one of my bridesmaids had found Claudia Salaris on Instagram. She was local to the area and from what I could see her hair and makeup styles were exactly what I was looking for.
I reached out to her and all I can say is she was amazing! Claudia made time for any trials work around my schedule, her communication was amazing throughout the entire process.
I wanted my makeup to feel natural, with a light smokey eye and a nude lip. My hair I wanted mostly down, with some texture and my jewelled hair comb from Miss Clemmie bridal Accessories.
On the day of the wedding, we started getting ready at my parent’s house and when the time came to finish getting ready at the venue she packed up her stuff and followed us on over without any questions. Claudia sorted all of my bridal party’s hair and makeup, they were all so happy with how they all turned out!
She made me feel and look absolutely beautiful on my wedding day.
The Readings & Music
We chose to have two readings throughout the ceremony. One read for us by my brother. And one from a close friend of ours. We wanted them to be light hearted, very relaxed so we chose “how falling in love is like owning a dog’ by Taylor Mali and the second being Daenerys Targaryen and Khal Drogo’s vows from Game of Thrones.
Both made our guests laugh, and both were very fitting for us.
My biggest want for my bridesmaids was them to feel beautiful and comfortable in their dresses. I wanted them to choose the styles they felt happiest in. I showed them my vision and gave them a colour palette to work from which were shades of blush and champagnes.
They all sent me images of dresses they had found and loved and that was that!
Two of my bridesmaids lived in the US, so I was able to see their dresses, but my others were still in the UK. I had managed to see each dress individually but did not actually see them all together until the day of the wedding!
The dresses were a mix from Adrianna Papell and ASOS.
Ryan’s groomsmen live all over the USA, we sourced their suits from a company called Express.
We wanted them in a comfortable well fitted suit that was light and summery.
We opted for them all to be in a light grey, with their ties being all mis matched tones of blush to emulate the bridesmaid dresses. Ryan has a love of fun socks, so blush polka dot socks seemed like the perfect piece to finish off their outfits.
The ties were a mix from The Tiebar and Bhldn.
Wild and wonderful is the overall feel for the flowers I wanted. I came across Willow & Thyme on Instagram and instantly loved their style!
I reached out to them and luckily, the only date they had free in June was our wedding day. It was meant to be! Joules was nothing short of amazing. Her and her team’s attention to detail was outstanding. Working around our schedule of when we were back in the UK, Joules met us at the venue and we walked around with her showing her our vision. I think she could picture it all coming to life as much as we could, and her energy and enthusiasm was contagious.
My bouquet had so much texture, lots of greenery, cream and shades of blush. My something blue were delicate blue delphiniums within my bouquet.
Floral chandeliers hanging from the ceiling with cascading wisteria and an abundance of greenery, milk churns full of blooms and our bridal bouquets full of whites, pinks and greens.
Our photographer was Katrina Matthews. Lucky for us she is a family member, but her candid, natural style was exactly what we wanted for our wedding!
Katrina was incredible from day one. Knowing we were in different time zones, she worked around us and had such great communication throughout the entire process.
She captured our day beautifully. The photos are more than we could have ever dreamed of. Even now, we cannot stop looking at them! She arranged for us to do some smoke bomb photography on the day, they are some of our favourite photos. She captured so many moments for us in a relaxed, artistic yet natural way, we feel like we are reliving the day over and over again when we look back through the photographs.
The Details & Décor
The little details can sometimes make all the difference or be the element that ties everything together.
Being creative, I knew that I wanted to have a major part in designing my wedding. I designed all of our stationary, save the dates, invitations, bar signs, seating charts, website and now our thank you cards! With hand painted foliage, textured papers, each hand tied with twine and sealed with our wax stamp, they were definitely a project within themselves, but I loved doing them! I kept the font and style of invites consistent throughout the rest of the planning process. And used the same style for any signs used on the wedding day.
With the red bus a fun twist for the day, little did they know, we carried on the red hints for all the guests with red wax seals on all of their save the dates and invitations. They were also used for the seating chart to attach the table settings to the glass.
In the evening, we had some fun with our choice of late night food. With two different countries being represented, one of the first things we knew we wanted to do was mini sliders with little American flags on the top, and mini fish and chip portions with union jacks. Something fun and different to represent both of us.
So many guests commented on the little things like that which truly made the wedding a little more personal.
Since we travelled overseas for the wedding, we decided to wait on planning the honeymoon until a little later in the year.
My cake was lovingly made for us by one of our guests. She had always told me that when the day came that I got married, she will make my cake, she did, and it was beautiful!
I didn’t want anything too extravagant, I sent her some inspiration images over of a three tiered white cake with some floral elements. I wanted the flowers to emulate some of those from my bouquet, so I gave her images from my florist of what was going to be used and left her to it.
We didn’t actually see the cake until the day of the wedding! It was nice to have an extra little surprise on the day!
One of our favourite moments was the final song of the night. Ryan, being a huge Prince fan had one request from Potter Group (The DJ) , and the lighting. He wanted the final song to be Purple Rain and to light up the entire barn bright purple, all I can say is WOW! We kept this a secret from everyone and they executed this for us perfectly. It worked so well, and our guests loved it! A huge circle was created around Ryan and I with everyone singing as loud as they could, swaying to the music.
Directly following the end of this song, all the guests were ushered outside for a sparkler send off. This was such fun way to say goodbye to our guests and one final bit of fun for the evening. Being surrounded by our friends and family in a moment like that, is something we will never forget.
Advice For Other Couples
When people tell you the day goes quickly, they mean it! Our advice would be to take as much of it in as you can. We managed to steal a few quiet moments together throughout the day, just to soak it all in and admire everything and everyone around us.
Credit Where Credit Is Due
Katrina Matthews Photography
Alyssa Kristin – The Maven Gown
Made With Love Bridal – the ‘Stevie’ veil
Balani Custom Clothiers
Thank you ever so much Emma and Ryan for sharing your beautiful Trans-Atlantic celebrations with us here at WWW. Rachel x