We’re welcoming in a new week in total and utter style this morning courtesy of WWW readers Ben and Emma and their delightful nuptials held on the 14th May 2017. The couple stayed away from a theme for their celebrations and simply chose things they liked. The atmosphere was key to them and the enjoyment of their guests was paramount. They really wanted the wedding to reflect them both and by including their family and friends in the planning it really did.
Emma’s brother is a wedding photographer and shot the wedding alongside his friend, he also designed all of the stationery goods. Emma’s mum baked the wonderfully rustic cake and hair and make up were by people Emma also knew. It really made their day so very special and meaningful.
Cripps Barn in the Cotswolds was the venue of choice and you’ll see why when you spot the stone walled barn and wooden beams. Not to mention the glorious countryside surrounding for exquisite portraits with their photographers Lucius Fox Photography and Bridgwood Wedding Photography, thanks for sharing these incredible shots guys. Then there were the lovely touches the couple included, think wooden signage, natural blooms, vintage milk bottles and much more. I am also loving the outfit choices here today, so much style. Enjoy it all lovelies.
THE PROPOSAL | Back in 2013 on Christmas Day, we were walking our dog around Kenilworth castle, a place where I grew up. I’d always told Ben the stories about an old rowing boat that was in the field near the castle that I used to play in with my brother and our friends growing up. We got in the boat for a picture with Bobby our dog and the next thing I knew Ben was down on one knee with the most beautiful ring in one hand and a bottle of champagne in the other. It took me a good few minutes to figure out that he was being serious and not playing a joke on me.
THE VISION | We wanted our big day to be all out us and a day that was enjoyed by all of our families and friends. We were asked by many people ‘what’s your theme’ and there wasn’t one really, we just wanted the day to be fun and filled with everything that we liked.
THE PLANNING PROCESS | Planning process was done slowly over the three years after our engagement. We decided we wanted to have children first and then plan our wedding so the baby (2 year old Taylor) came first. I did the usual wedding magazine browsing, Pinterest pinning, blog reading and looking at friends of friends weddings to get inspiration. My brother Matt who is a wedding photographer and graphic designer helped a lot of ideas along. He found the venue, recommended the band, designed all of the wedding stationery, from the save the dates and invitations to the order of services as well as photographing the wedding on the day.
BUDGET | We aimed to keep within a 15k budget but went a little over… I think it ended up around 18k in the end.
THE VENUE | We had asked my brother for some venues he would recommend, ones he’d shot before or ones he knew of. We wanted something a bit different. He mentioned Cripps Barn and we went to view it soon after. It was the first and only venue we went to look at because as soon as we saw it we both loved it. The inside of the barn was amazing, it had a lovely feel to it. Two main rooms with a small room on the side. The decking outside, gardens and glade were amazing too. We went to see the venue in October and could imagine how amazing the gardens would be during the summer.
THE DRESS & ACCESSORIES | I was never sure on what kind of dress I wanted, a lot of girls have a picture in their head but I never had that. I ended up going for quite a princess looking dress, it was quite big but I felt really comfortable in it and most importantly I felt amazing in it.
FINDING THE DRESS | My Mum and I were invited to the opening of a friends sisters bridal shop, it was only 8 months after I’d had my little girl so I had no intention of trying any dresses on as I didn’t feel ready. We went to the shop and the ladies were so friendly and lovely, they made me feel really comfortable so I decided to try a couple of dresses on. I liked the fact that there was a separate room, which was private to try on the dresses. I couldn’t think of anything worse than stepping out in a busy shop when trying on possible dresses. My dress was the first one I tried on. I knew straight away that it was the dress for me, it was different and I loved the back and the thin straps. I felt like I had to try on a few more dresses, just to be sure but I couldn’t stop thinking about the first dress, that’s how I knew I had to get it.
GROOM’S ATTIRE | We decided to buy Ben’s suit – although we were hiring the rest of the groomsmens we wanted to keep Ben’s. We went to a few tailors but eventually found one that we liked. It was a small boutique shop in our home town, again the guys in the shop were really helpful and full of suggestions. Ben’s physique is quite unusual he has very large muscular legs but a small waist and big shoulders, not an average build so the guys worked really hard to make sure the suit fitted perfectly. We went for a tweed suit that wasn’t to heavy so wouldn’t be too hot in the warm weather.
THE READINGS & MUSIC | Ben and I have always been into music; Ben has done a lot of DJing so we wanted to make the music a big part of our day. We picked every song that was played before the ceremony and afterwards and during the drinks reception. We wanted a mixture of modern music as well as the music we group up listening to with our parents, from MOtown, Phil Collins to Drake and Sigma we tried to make sure we covered all genres so our guests enjoyed the music as much as we did.
During our wedding breakfast and evening we had the Mac Bros. They’re friends of my brother, who he met at another wedding, the boys are a Liverpool based duo who sing and play guitars. We were really relaxed about their song choices and they did a mix of live music and a DJ set. They were great and got all of our guests on the dance floor into the evening. They played any live requests and also did their own take on different genres. A highlight was when they played an old Faithless track with a flute and the guitar, everyone loved it.
I chose one of our readings for the ceremony, Edward Monkton’s, Still and Settled Place. I’d been searching online for something I liked for a long time and this one stood out to me, this was read by one of our close friends.
The second reading was a surprise, chosen and read by my brother, Matt. It was Sunscreen by Mary Schmich, it was a perfect reading, its something everyone can relate to and every word is true, everyone was in tears including my brother.
BEAUTIFUL BRIDESMAIDS | I had five bridesmaids, four flower girls and a page boy so I had plenty of people to keep me company on the morning of the wedding. Through the planning of the wedding I realised I didn’t actually like ‘wedding’ style. I preferred things that looked more natural and weren’t actually meant for weddings. I had my two sisters in laws and three of my closest friends for bridesmaids, all very blessed with lovely figures so choosing their dresses was easy. I went for a nude pink dresses from Quiz clothing, they were covered in sequins, which reflected the light really well and looked amazing on. The flower girls dresses were from Monsoon, and I went with something that complimented the bridesmaid’s dresses. I loved the idea of the flower girls wearing flower crowns but with two of them under the age of 2 that didn’t go entirely to plan but my two older nieces wore theirs and I loved the pixie kind of look it gave them.
THE FLOWERS | Again I wanted something less weddingy and more relaxed for the flowers. I wanted more of a scattered bouquet rather than a structured one. I liked the idea of pastel colours and used milk bottles and jam jars that I decorated myself on the tables. I met our florist at an open day at Cripps Barn. I went to meet her and we got on great, I trusted her entirely and she made lots of suggestions that we went with on the day and it all worked out really well.
THE CAKE | The cake was made by my Mum who has always made cakes, mainly as a hobby but more recently she’s done a lot of wedding cakes. We went for a four tier iced sponge cake. There were three flavours, Victoria sponge, lemon drizzle and chocolate orange. The cake was decorated with fresh flowers and hessian ribbon to match the table decorations. The cake was just how I imagined and tasted amazing.
YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER | With my brother being such a good wedding photographer he was always going to be our first choice to ask but we also wanted him to enjoy the day and be able to relax and we knew he’d be a big part of the day. On the day, Matt arranged for one of his friends Steve to shoot with him, we saw his work online, loved it and trusted my brother to bring someone brilliant. On the day Steve spent the morning with the Groomsman whilst my brother was with the bridal party. On the day Matt and Steve worked so well together, they’re very similar so it was like having another friend with us, Matt was able to relax and do the things he needed to do like his reading and he knew that Steve was there to cover him.
It also meant we got a different perspective on some of our pictures, including being able to have pictures of my brother as well. We both felt really comfortable with both photographers, which I think made a big difference, everyone was so relaxed in front of them and between them they captured every part of the day, so much more than we imagined or remembered.
THE DETAILS & DÉCOR | My Dad used to be a milkman so I used his collection of vintage milk bottles on the tables for our flowers and large milk churns filled with gypsophila. I decorated all of the jam jars on the tables myself, the jars were collected by family in the lead up to the wedding. I wanted the wedding to have lots of photos of our families and us so I tried to include this in the order of service and table plan, along with the decorations in the venue. I used wooden crates to hang family photos and a wooden pallet full of photos of Ben and I. We had a heart drop box instead of a guest book as we wanted something we could put on the wall at home to remind us of our wedding. I tried to use eBay and online stored to get things I could use for the wedding which made things a bit cheaper, for example our card box was an old suitcase I brought for £10, which I decorated with music manuscript paper and vintage flowers. All of the stationery, table plan, order of services, invites etc were designed and printed by my brother, when he’s not photographing weddings he’s a graphic designer so it was nice to have his creative input.
THE HONEYMOON | We had a mini-moon straight after the wedding for 4 nights, we went to Barcelona, which was a great choice. We had a great break in the sun in a city, which offers everything. Sightseeing in the city and a lovely beach as well. We are hoping to go on another honeymoon later on in the year with our daughter as well, trying to make the wedding memories last.
MEMORABLE MOMENTS | Our most memorable moments of our day was the speeches, such an emotional and happy part of the day. My dad’s speech, Ben’s speech and our best man’s speech had everyone in tears. The photos capture all of these moments and we love looking back through them. We also loved the evening when all of our guests were dancing and enjoying themselves together, after the stress of planning the day it was great to see everyone together letting their hair down and having so much fun.
ADVICE FOR OTHER COUPLES | If I could give advice to anyone planning their wedding it would be firstly, chose your suppliers wisely. All of the suppliers we used were friends of ours, we knew that we would rely heavily on them so being able to trust them was so important. Everything felt a bit more special knowing that the people who had put the hard work into our special day knew us and were connected in some way. My hairdressers have done my hair for years, my MUA was a friend of a friend who we knew, having my brother and some of his friends involved and my Mum make my cake meant so much to me.
The main advice would also be to make the most of the day, make sure its all about you, the couple and make choices based on the things you want out of the day. Take a step back and take it all in because it goes by so fast.
CREDIT WHERE CREDIT IS DUE |
Hair | Kelly Cooper Hairdressing
Stationery/design | Matthew Jones
Dress | The Bridal Bar, Dorridge
Make up | Chloe Parasmo Make up
Grooms suit | Gent Boutique
Groomsmen suits | The Wedding Barn
Florist | Aqua Florist Wedding Flowers and Events
Band | The Mac Bros
Venue | Cripps Barn
Oh wow, what a special celebration indeed.
Ben and Emma, thank you both dearly for sharing your wedding story here at WWW, what an honour! xo Lou