WWW readers and teachers David and Laura held their wedding back in August of last year on the loveliest sun shining day. Floral was theme for the day alongside a subtle 1920s Gatsby feel.
Laura’s dress, Strelitzia by Jenny Packham was all glamour and sequins, which she teamed with one of the most stunning plaited up do’s I have clapped my eyes on. There were simply beautiful blooms in an array of blue hues, I so love the top table flower garland especially. The rustic logs, home baked cake and personal touches all made their wedding so very special.
Thanks so much to Jasmine Jade Photography for providing the marvellous imagery.
THE PROPOSAL | I was busy preparing for a job interview at David’s parents, feeling quite stressed. When I arrived home, there were rose petals on the stairs. Rather than thinking of anything romantic, I thought ‘How has he managed to make such a mess in the short time I’ve been gone?!’ When I marched up the stairs to tell him off, I saw him in the bedroom on one knee. Despite being together for almost 8 years, I was still totally shocked and forgot to answer his question! He had the most beautiful sapphire and diamond ring that he had designed himself (with a bit of help from my mum!), champagne ready and a weekend away booked. It couldn’t have been better.
THE VISION | We wanted something simple and classic and I wanted a hint of vintage combined with a rustic, woodland/floral theme. Dave and I settled on blue immediately and we were keen to add lots of little touches to make the day personal to us. The main thing we wanted from our wedding was simplicity, elegance and vintage touches and I think we achieved that! The dress and wedding car were very ‘Great Gatsby’ and this was a theme I tried to echo throughout the wedding.
THE PLANNING PROCESS | My bridesmaid Debbie bought me a planning book which was quickly put to use and I began to create a scrap book with images from magazines and pinterest organised into sections – it was a thing of beauty! As teachers, we quickly booked a Friday date at the church which fell at the beginning of the school holidays. We started looking at marquees as I had my heart set on having the reception at my parents’ house. We soon felt out of our depth and when my parents asked me to come and look at Maiden’s barn, I quickly fell in love with its simple but beautiful barn and stunning flowers surrounding the venue. After a quick phone call to Dave, we knew it was the place for us (even though he hadn’t seen it in person!)
THE VENUE | St John the Baptist church, Danbury followed by a reception at Maidens Barn, Chelmsford.
THE DRESS & ACCESSORIES | Jenny Packham – Strelitzia and sparkly shoes from Next. My mum used a piece from a hairband from Accessorize to make a belt and a bracelet (yes, she is amazing!). My necklace and hairpiece were handmade by Charlotte Rose, based in Essex. She also made a necklace for my mum and earrings and a hair clip for my bridesmaids. She uses amazing one off vintage pieces and puts them together to make beautiful designs.
FINDING THE DRESS | The Bride in St Albans was the first shop we went in and we were blown away by the beautiful dresses and brilliant service. Mum and I went to several other shops but kept thinking about the Jenny Packham. I even changed my running route to go past the shop as they had put it in the window! I loved that it was different to any other dress I had seen and didn’t feel like a traditional ‘wedding dress’. Despite all the sequins and detail, it felt and looked simple and was incredibly comfortable to wear. I absolutely love Jenny Packham’s designs and am so glad I got to wear one!
GROOM’S ATTIRE | David wore a grey suit and simple white shirt from TM Lewin. He ordered blue ties from the internet and added braces from BHS.
THE READINGS & MUSIC | Readings and especially music were really important to us. My mum read from St Paul’s letter to the Collosians Ch 3: v 12-17 and David’s brother, Richard, read from Captain Corelli’s Mandolin. We had a flute trio called Flautista who often play at the church performing while guests arrived. My entrance music was Trumpet Voluntary by George Frederic Handel. Our hymns were ‘Love divine, all loves excelling’ and ‘Tell out my soul’. We also had an anthem sung by the choir which was ‘And the glory of the Lord’. The choir also sang ‘The Lord bless you and keep you’ during the signing of the registers. Our voluntary as we left the church was ‘Arrival of the Queen of Sheba’. The music in the church was one of my favourite parts of the day.
BEAUTIFUL BRIDESMAIDS | Debbie has been a best friend since primary school and Sophia and I were inseparable at University. I had been a bridesmaid for both of their weddings and was delighted they agreed to return the favour! I found their dresses in Biba at House of Fraser. They were full skirted maxi dresses in Champagne – very flattering and perfect for spinning around in! Sophia was 5 months pregnant at the wedding so the empire waistline was perfect. My mum sewed in a piece of my wedding dress into the low v neckline which tied us all together beautifully. They had open toed shoes from Monsoon and wore earrings made by Charlotte Rose. They both looked gorgeous!
THE FLOWERS | Natalie from Blossom Hill in Danbury did our flowers and she was fantastic. She understood the look we were going for (thanks to my book!) and was almost as excited as me! She provided beautiful bouquets of blue thistles, pale blue hydrangeas, white sweet peas, fountain grass, nigella and ivory roses bound in natural hessian. We had some dried lavender which also featured on the cake and on the top table, along with twists of willow to give it a woodland feel. The button holes were ivory lizzianthus, blue thistle and dried lavender. They were finished with rosemary, ivy and tied with natural rope.
My mum sourced silk flowers for the table centres. She spent many weeks collecting various jars and vases, wrapping them in ribbon and lace and arranging them. They looked stunning and very realistic and the best thing is that we all have some at home now! The jars were arranged on a slice of wood which added to the woodland theme.
THE CAKE | 3 tiers hand-made by my mum! It was 2 layers of lemon cake and 1 of chocolate orange. She also made a fruit cake separately which was cut up and served. It was iced by hand and decorated with small bouquets of lavender.
YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER | Jasmine Jade photography. Jasmine and I grew up in the same village and had mutual friends. She knew exactly what we wanted from the very beginning and captured our day beautifully. Jas was exactly the right mix of pro-active and efficient combined with relaxed and almost invisible! Photos of the day were really important to me and I love how they turned out.
THE DETAILS & DÉCOR | The detail mattered hugely to me as I believe it is the little things that make a wedding different. I looked at pinterest daily for inspiration and had a massive amount of help from my parents with all the details. My mum is such a creative person and she had brilliant ideas. I couldn’t have done any of it without her and cannot thank her enough! My parent’s house turned into a wedding preparation factory – my dad was sanding logs to use under the centre pieces for each table, my mum had flowers from the garden drying in cupboards to make petals and an outside room was storing jars, flowers, ribbons, lace and much more! My mum hand sewed the belt and bracelet I work and added material to the bridesmaid dresses. Sophia, my bridesmaid, designed the wedding invitations and order of service and provided the wedding favours which were little lavender bags for women and key bottle opener for men which came in personalised paper bags. My mum and a friend, Kate, baked home-made biscuits and fudge for a treat table which had old fashioned scoops, tongs and paper bags for guests to fill. All these little, individual touches made the whole day truly unique and very special.
The priority for us on our day was to be surrounded by all our friends and family and to make sure there was plenty of fun had by all. We had rules for the dance floor and photos of past wedding photos of all our family which provided lots of laughs! Debbie was tasked with adapting her camera to create a photo booth which was set up upstairs with lots of props – they are some of my favourite photos! We had a few special pictures, including a hand-drawn picture of us from my nephew, Luc, and my mum had asked all guests to bring a recipe to put in a basket for me which was a lovely surprise. In the toilets we provided a range of toiletries and flip-flops for the girls which were all well used!
THE HONEYMOON | A spa break at Sopwell House in St Albans, followed by 3 nights in Nice and then 2 weeks in Corsica. Bliss.
MEMORABLE MOMENTS | There were so many! Arriving at the church with my dad to see my mum, bridesmaids along with the flower girl and page boys. Seeing the little ones in their outfits looking so excited melted my heart! Getting to the alter and seeing Dave, I felt my nerves just disappear and, to my surprise, I loved exchanging our vows ( I had been really worried about getting through them without crying!). After the marriage, one highlight was our photographer, Jasmine, flagging down the wedding car in the middle of the Essex countryside as she had found a stunning field, complete with hay bales. What followed was several attempts of Dave lifting me onto it and launching himself too. Whilst not my most graceful moment, the resulting photographs are my absolute favourites. The most special moment for us was pulling into the driveway of Maidens barn to the sound of cheers to see all our favourite people, ready to celebrate. It felt like we were surrounded by love and happiness and we felt truly blessed.
ADVICE FOR OTHER COUPLES | Pinterest is amazing for getting ideas. Keep it simple and remember, as long as you are married at the end of the day then it has been a successful wedding! Surround yourself with people you love and you can’t go wrong.
CREDIT WHERE CREDIT IS DUE |
Venue | Maidens Barn
Flowers | Blossom Hill florist
Photography | Jasmine Jade Photography
Dress Shop | The Bride wedding dress shop
Music | Disco Wed
Engagement and wedding ring | Wrights Jewellery Shop
Thanks so so much David and Laura for sharing your delightful wedding with us XOXO Lou