Pretty & Elegant Creative Summer Wedding

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Today we bring you Lydia and Rob’s elegant and gorgeous nuptials. Our pair knew which church they wanted to tie the knot at and built everything from there. Their wedding took place on the 25th August 2018 and they followed the ceremony with a reception at the stunning Houchins in Essex.

Lydia’s favourite colours are grey, yellow and white so the colour scheme was quickly decided. What a fresh and elegant palette to choose, I’m a fan! Our couple made lots of the décor themselves, including over 1000 paper hearts which not only took a while to make, but were also no mean feat to hang the day before the wedding. What a clever and talented bunch ey!

The beautiful images are courtesy of Gemma Giorgio Photography and aren’t they stunning? Thank you so much for letting us share them with everyone Gemma. Do also be sure to view the incredible film by Inline Film, it really is very special.

Enjoy WWWers, I think you’re going to love this one!

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The Proposal

On Valentine’s Day, very clichéd, and not a day I would have chosen, Rob knows this! We were on a little island off the coast of Malaysia called Langkawi. I had taken Rob travelling round Thailand/Asia for four weeks for his 30th birthday before having some time off work and going travelling with a friend for six months. We had spent the day on a jet ski tour of the surrounding islands but were forced to abandon the tour due to very rough waters and being instructed to head back by the Malaysia police due to the rough conditions.

We got back to the hotel and decided to go on a sunset cruise on a catamaran with 20 other people, mostly couples. It was beautiful and was all you could drink and eat. It was great! One young couple got engaged which was lovely but I wouldn’t have wanted anything so public. When they got engaged Rob couldn’t stop hugging me and I was a bit confused. There were various other gestures of love among other couples such as flowers and cake and it was a bit much by the end of the cruise. We were having a chuckle about the various elaborate gestures with a Sri Lankan couple who said they felt sorry for any man on the cruise because every girl would be expecting a ring, a bunch of flowers or a cake which really made us chuckle.

We got back to dry land at 9pm and it was getting dark. Our hotel was on a pier with a lighthouse at the end. Rob asked to have his photo taken by the lighthouse, which was odd because he doesn’t like having his photo taken but I didn’t think anything of it. Anyway it was dark and I couldn’t get a good photo so I suggested going to get a drink, I turned to walk back towards the hotel and Rob grabbed my arm and said “one minute” he spun me around and was down on one knee before I turned around. He asked me to marry him but given the dinner cruise I was so shocked and I thought he was joking! I actually said “are you joking?” Then I saw the ring and realised he wasn’t, I just wanted to hug him so I got down on my knees and we just hugged for ages and eventually he said “you haven’t given me an answer” I obviously said yes! It all made sense then, we had been away for over two weeks at that point and he had been overly nervous about his bag the whole time. The best bit was that I was so shocked, I had no idea.

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The Vision

We just wanted a fun filled day with all of our friends and family with plenty of food and drink. We didn’t have evening guests because we wanted all guests to share the full day with us and not have to worry about the day running over and evening guests arriving before we had eaten.

The church was our biggest priority. I knew what church I wanted to get married in before I met Rob. The church came first and then we started looking at reception Venues. We knew straight away when we drove down the lane leading to Houchins that we wanted the reception there. It had everything we wanted, beautiful outdoor space, a separate evening room so no need to move tables etc.

My favourite colours are grey, white and yellow so we quickly settled on that as our colour scheme.

We were living in York, but we are from Cheshire and Preston. We haven’t lived in either Cheshire or Preston since leaving for University more than 10 years ago.

St James the Less, was the church I would go to with my grandparents as a child, I always wanted to get married there and my parents were also married there 39 years ago and are still going strong! Unfortunately my Grandma is no longer with us and my Grandpa at 92 has not been well so wasn’t able to come to the wedding but it was comforting to be married in a church that meant so much to him.

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The Planning Process

We got engaged on Valentine’s Day 2017, we booked the venue in May for a wedding the following August. We did all the planning ourselves.

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Budget

£30,000

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The Venue

Houchins Wedding Venue, Coggeshall, Colchester

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Your Outfits & Accessories

My wedding dress was called Kenzi by the designer Enzoani

Veil from love bridal boutique where I found my wedding dress

Shoes were called Alyssa by paradox London; I’m tall and didn’t want to be towering over my husband so opted for a low heel. They were very comfy, I didn’t take them off all day, but they were sacrificed in the mud for my beautiful photos!

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Beauty

Olivia Ferrer did the hair and makeup for the whole bridal party (bride’s mum, flower girl, bridesmaids and bride)

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Bridesmaids

True Bride dresses, I made the mistake of deciding on the colour I wanted for the dresses, steel grey, before seeing what was out there. Then I really struggled to find anything that was the right colour on the high street and ended up going with True Bride dresses which are lovely but expensive. My bridesmaids all looked gorgeous on the day so it was worth it.

Flower girl dress was from Debenhams.

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Groomsmen

The suits were from Slaters. Our dads, ushers & my husband (nine in total!) were all in the same blue suits. We bought them for our dads/ushers as a wedding present rather than hiring them, hopefully they can wear them again as they were lovely suits.

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The Readings & Music

We are both Catholic so we chose religious readings and hymns for the church service. Our hymns were “I watch the sunrise” and “Let there be love”.

I walked down the aisle to “I giorni” by Ludovico Einaudi and we left the church to “I’m on top of the world” by Imagine Dragons (because we met by chance on a night out in Leeds five years ago, when I had gone to see Imagine dragons playing there.)

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The Flowers

Rosie at A Vintage Wedding did our flowers. She was fantastic. We only met on the wedding day as we were living in York at the time and tried to minimise the number of trips we made down south. We sent lots of emails back and forth of various Pinterest ideas, I wanted yellow/grey/white flowers and I could not have asked for anything more when I saw the bouquets/ table decorations/buttonholes. They were exactly what I had pictured and more. I was so happy, Rosie did a great job interpreting the vision I had.

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Your Photographer

Our photographer was the wonderful Gemma Giorgio, we found her by chance whilst scouring the internet and Instagram the year before when we were on holiday in Crete. Other than the Church the photographer was the most important thing for us, we wanted beautiful photos to keep as a reminder of the day. We certainly struck gold with Gemma.

We don’t love being in front of the camera so we weren’t keen on the engagement session included in our package but thankfully Gemma encouraged us to give it a go and I’m so glad she did. We had a really fun afternoon and now have some beautiful photos out of it. Meeting Gemma in person prior to the wedding made a huge difference, she made us feel so at ease that by the time the wedding day came around it felt like it was our friend who we had known for years was taking our photos. We both felt very relaxed and comfortable on the day and enjoyed having our photos taken. The evening shots were totally worth trudging through a muddy field for!

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The Details & Décor

Aside from the tables/table cloths and chairs we decorated the wedding venue ourselves the day before. It was not an easy task, but we had a vision of how we wanted it. We made 400 hearts of hearts inside hearts (so 1200 in total!) in different shades of grey to white and hung them from the ceiling. Fortunately I’m one of six children and my parents and family all mucked in in the lead up to the wedding. We would never have got it done without them, hours and hours were spent making hearts, table numbers, table plans. My sister Kate is great with anything artsy and is a perfectionist, she was an amazing help both on the day and in the weeks prior to the wedding. My brothers and brother in law were great at hanging the hearts the day before whilst we had our nails done, but it took nearly four hours of them stood up a ladder as the ceiling was over five metres high.

The table numbers were made of card and slotted into ikea frames. The grey flower jugs were from Currys and we gave them to bridesmaids and our mums with the table flowers in as wedding gifts. The favours were candles in jam jars from Dunelm which we put name tags on so they also doubled up as place names.

The cards box was a terrarium from IKEA.

We bought 30 metres of fairy lights and wound them through the bannister on the upper floor.

The sweet table we made ourselves

The order of the day and easel were made and painted by my father-in-law! Then we painted/drew on the order of the day.

Various other signs were bought from hobby craft and the range.

My amazing mum made 10 metres of yellow/grey/white fabric bunting to go on the fire place and along the bar

We tried to buy things that we would either keep or use again, we’ve kept the bunting, fairy lights, easel, terrarium, a couple of the flower jugs, the mirror our table plan went on and our guests took their candles home with them.

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The Cake

The cake was a gift from my best friend who was one of our bridesmaids; initially she was going to make it but was worried about transporting it from Nottingham to Colchester in the heat. So as a wedding gift she arranged for a local baker to make the cake. It was delicious; we still have half of the bottom tier in the freezer!

We wanted something simple but tasty. I love cake so we gave our friend some ideas of our favourite flavours; red velvet, lemon drizzle, and Victoria sponge. We didn’t see the cake until the morning of the wedding, it was a tier of each of our favourite flavours. Jan Nichols at Bakealicious did an incredible job and Rosie our florist decorated it with some flowers to match the bouquets & table decorations.

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Your Filmmaker

James Boyce at Inline film.

James was recommended to us by Gemma our photographer and we are so glad that we decided to have a videographer and that James was free that day. We are so happy with the videos, James is so talented and the videos really captured the feel of the day. There were a few minor hiccups that guests would not have noticed but we did because of all the planning it took to arrange the day. I was annoyed about the little things that had gone wrong but when our wedding video arrived it put the day into perspective and reminded me of what an amazing day it was and those little things don’t bother me anymore.

If anyone is toying with the idea of having a videographer I would say go for it! We weren’t originally going to have a videographer but our friends recommended us having one. It is the best decision we made, we absolutely love the video. It is also great to share it with friends and family who couldn’t be there. Our photos are beautiful but you get a feel for the day when watching the video. The wedding day is so busy for the bride and groom and you do miss certain things like seeing your guests enjoying themselves, eating ice cream, drinking and playing the garden games. James captured all of that and it was great for us to see our nearest and dearest enjoying the day as much as we did

You can see the highlights video here.

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The Honeymoon

Due to work commitments we had a minimoon in Venice and plan to have our proper honeymoon in Tanzania in the future when work permits!

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Memorable Moments

A beautiful ride to the church with my dad as the sun shone through the windows of the car, we could not have asked for nicer weather that morning.

Seeing my gorgeous little niece and flower girl, Martha who was three at the time, walking ahead of me up the aisle holding hands with my sister and glancing back to see me walking into the church, giving me a cheeky little grin.

Joining my husband at the altar and seeing how overwhelmed with emotion he was, thinking I would be fine and then not being able to suppress the tears myself!

Having our evening couple photos as the sun was coming down.

Throwing my bouquet off the roof to the guests down below.

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Advice For Other Couples

Set a budget and stick to it, it’s very easy to get carried away and before you know it the wedding costs have spiralled out of control. We went well over budget because we kept saying “oh well we will just add this and then that” “we’re only doing this once”.

The day was so busy and it is overwhelming greeting everyone. Some guests we barely got to speak to. Fortunately we had arranged to do lunch at another venue nearby the following day. The majority of guests came and it meant there wasn’t as much pressure to speak to everyone on the wedding day and it gave us something to look forward to the next day.

Everybody says it but we didn’t do it and now we really regret it, take 10-15 minutes and just have some time to yourselves. The day is so busy and just runs away with you; it would have been so nice just to have had some time together without everyone else around.

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Credit Where Credit Is Due

Photographer
Gemma Giorgio Photography

Videographer
James Boyce at Inline Film

Dress
Emma and the team at Love Bridal Boutique Altrincham

Hair & Makeup
Olivia Ferrer Hair and Makeup

Wedding Car
Nixons

Venue
Houchins

Catering
Splinters Outside Caterers

Ice Cream
The Sundae Cycle

Musician
Tom Ryder Weddings

Saxophonist
Greg Camburn

Hog Roast
Hoggit

Cake
Jan Nicholls at Bakealicious

Flowers
Rosie at A Vintage Wedding

Photobooth
Ben at Old School Photo Booth

Bridesmaids Dress Alterations
The ladies at Puure Bride in Lymm

Lastly my family for all their time, help and support throughout the planning process and the day.

Just beautiful! Thank you ever so much for sharing your wonderful day with us Lydia and Rob! Rachel x

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