Today’s beautifully laid back wedding looks just effortless, but of course in fact a lot of hard work went into creating the beauty you see before you! Following Lucy and Graeme’s church ceremony, they held their reception in the grounds of Edmondsham House in Dorset all on the 20th May 2017.
The venue was a complete blank canvas and our clever pair organised everything themselves. I think you’re going to absolutely love all the crafty touches which are beautifully produced in blush shades and gold. From signs and table numbers to thoughtful touches like flip flops and blankets, Lucy and Graeme really did think of everything. The ways that they remembered loved ones which are sadly no longer with them are just so touching too.
The beautiful photographs come courtesy of the fabulous Darima Frampton Photography who has captured the romance of the day excellently. Thank you for sharing these beautiful images with us Darima.
Friday 5th August 2016. Graeme had been planning for a few months that he wanted to propose. He knew he wanted to design the ring himself, rather than buy one off the shelf. He wanted it to be unique. He also chose to use a jewellery shop that his family have used for years, which made it really special. I’ve never been a big jewellery person, so he went with a beautiful, simple, delicate design and managed to get the size spot on by giving me regular hand massages at home and guessing, as I didn’t even have any rings for him to use as a template!
He had planned to propose on a holiday away, however then decided it would be more special to do this at our favourite scenic viewpoint (Evening Hill), just a few minutes from our home, and I’m very glad he did!
It was the most stunning evening, with bright blue skies, so a perfect setting to watch the sunset. He packed a backpack with bubbly and glasses. He chose a private bench, away from the public. We sat for over an hour, watching the boats over the harbour and the sun set across the stunning scenery; it really is my favourite place!
As the sun was almost set, he got us both to stand up and look. I then turned around to find him on one knee. It all got very emotional for both of us! My immediate response to his question was “no, no, no” but more out of shock and the fact I couldn’t believe it was actually happening! Of course my answer was an obvious yes. He had then booked a table at one of our favourite restaurants (Shell Bay, Studland). To get there, you have to hop over the water on the chain ferry. We went on foot and were both rather giggly after a few drinks and with the excitement of just getting engaged, without a soul knowing. I of course went all out and ordered the lobster! We decided to keep it secret and not tell anyone until we had told all of our family and friends in person, so we then spent the next day getting round our friends and family, to tell them in person, which was really special.
We knew we didn’t want a formal wedding. We wanted it to be relaxed, laid back and completely private/exclusive. A magical setting, where we had the option to decorate exactly how we wished, with no restrictions. I wanted lights everywhere!
We were after a venue that we hadn’t been to before, as we wanted it unique to us. Tricky, as we had been to so many weddings before!
The Planning Process
Meticulous planning – as the venue only provided the location/grounds, we had a completely blank canvas, with so much planning to do as it was a completely DIY wedding. We had numerous supplier meetings to ensure we got the perfect people to make it such a special day for us. With the date between engagement and wedding being a mere eight months, by the time we had found the venue, we have six months to do everything else!
Edmondsham House, Wimborne.
Your Outfits & Accessories
My dress was from Minster Designs Bridal Boutique in Wimborne. A stunning little boutique. All appointments were completely private. They were so helpful and attentive and gave me all the time I needed at every appointment. I knew I wanted a strapless dress, with detail, but not too much. I didn’t want any sparkles. I also was after a bit of lace detail on the top half, but completely plain on the bottom half. I also knew I wanted to add a separate ribbon bow/belt in a minky colour, which they custom made for me. I chose to have a long, plain veil. Graeme bought me some beautiful diamond stud earrings, as a gift for the morning of our wedding I also wore a delicate silver bracelet. Again, less is more when it comes to jewellery in my opinion.
Devastatingly, my Mum was unable to make the journey to see my dress, so Oxana (the shop owner) kindly gave up her own time to make a 45 minute (each way) drive to my Mum, so she could see it with me wearing it. I am eternally grateful for this.
The Bridesmaid dresses were from ASOS.
I love the look of bridesmaids in different colours. I wasn’t too sure what colours to go for, but it was actually my sister (Maid of Honour) who found these for us and we loved them straight away.
By_Che (flower arch)
Plain flowers and plenty of green trailing foliage was the look I was hoping to achieve. The flower arch by By_Che couldn’t have got it more spot on. It was absolutely perfect and brought our whole vision to life! It created the most picture perfect setting.
Naomi Joy Floral Design
All other flowers (bouquets, button holes, church & table flowers) were provided by Naomi Joy Floral Design and delivered/laid out promptly on the day. Ribbons were added to the bouquets, as we loved this look.
The Readings & Music
Aisle song – Forces of Attraction, by Johann Johannson. The most beautiful song! We can’t help but cry every time we hear it. It was the most perfect song to walk down the aisle to and a year on, I still can’t help but play it and shed a few tears every once in a while!
Exit Song: My Girl, by The Temptations. With such an emotional service and entrance song, we wanted to play something happy and uplifting for all of us; we were just married after all J. I loved the film “My Girl” when growing up and I thought the title and lyrics were very fitting. What was even more fitting was that in the first few lines, it even has the lyrics “I’ve got the month of May” (our wedding month), which we hadn’t realised. Even more meant to be :)
First dance: Walking in the Sun, by PANG. Again, we didn’t want a typical Ed Sheeran or soppy first dance song. We wanted something uplifting, as it was an emotional day as it was. We absolutely love this song and will never tire of it. The Lyrics reminded me that despite the difficult times we’ve had, we are now “Walking in the sun”, with brighter days ahead and looking forward to the next chapter of our lives together.
A lifetime of Love – Author Unknown, Read by Sophie Hewitt (my sister and maid of honour)
The Way of Love; 1 Corinthians 13: Verses 4-7 and 12-13, read by Georgina Oates (a close friend)
The Details & Décor
I made all of the wedding signs and majority of the décor myself. This was hours of crafting, painting, spraying and using stencils/freehand to make all the Rose Gold wedding signs for the venue (and there are always more than you think!).
The table decorations we went for were all designed by me, using an olive tree as a central decoration.
We named our tables after our favourite flowers, with Rose being the head table of course!
The wedding car that I arrived in was the same car and driver that my sister used for her wedding – it was so nice to use the same one for both our weddings.
We also hired a Prosecco van via Fizzy Fellows , as a surprise for our guests to be greeted with at the front of the house, following the ceremony, with canapes. We wanted something a little different to the popular Pimms and lemonade.
Lots of lights! We had one end of the marquee with all the seating and eating, with a clear gable end to appreciate the house, but also provide a magical view into the tent with all the lighting. The other end of the marquee was set up for the band, with a stage and dancefloor with the bar set up next to that, from Eau De Vie bars providing drinks and amazing cocktails for everyone. Opposite this, was the entrance to the tent, with an entrance tent half way down the marquee, allowing a walk from the house onto the mat and along with clear sides for views in and out of the tent. We also ensured the walkways and the borders were trailed with festoon lights, and a number of uplights on the house as well as on all the trees in the garden borders. Lighting is key!
Singing waiters – They were brilliant & highly entertaining. After a three course sit down meal, they certainly woke everyone up again, ready for the evening reception. They had been ‘mingling’ with the guests since they turned up, serving them drinks and everyone had completely fallen for their ‘fake’ Russian accents. Then after the desserts, they came into their own performing a number of songs to lift the guests during the ‘after dinner lull’. It was entertaining knowing between Graeme and I who they were, but no-one else knowing as we’d kept it a secret. A nice surprise for everyone, with lots of laughter!
Band – The Revue – we had an amazing band that we, shamelessly, hired after seeing them at a friend’s wedding they were that good! They came on after the food had settled down and definitely kicked off the official ‘evening’ of the wedding. Graeme and I were having photos taken before this, and came back for cutting of the cake and first dance before the band kicked in. Being an acoustic band, we loved it and both agreed we wanted a band and these guys were great!
Silent Disco – another surprise for the guests! After the band, we had hired 100 headphones for a silent disco. We were unsure when the venue wanted us to turn down the music, so we did this so the party could continue! However everyone loved it! We had three stations, which we had prepped in advance, and everyone was having their own station party, and some randomly! When you took the headphones off, it was so funny watching people – but additionally it was great for people who just wanted to have a sit down and chat. It was something we did at the last minute, but I remember people running around with their headphones on loving it. Lots of dancing on tables too! We can’t recommend this idea enough, especially if your venue has a sound curfew. Our reception carried on right through until the early hours.
The Beauty Workshop.
All bridesmaids had their hair and make-up done. I had my hair done, but did most of my make-up myself, as I have always been very particular about doing my own!
I wanted to go for something a bit different to the traditional wedding cake and although I love the look of the naked wedding cake, I had seen it used a lot. Everybody loves a French Fancy, right? So what more could you ask for than to have a giant French fancy cake (or even better, three giant French Fancy cakes) at your wedding? The cake was iced perfectly by Loopy Lyns and I couldn’t have been happier with the look of it.
Isobels Bride & Groom.
Graeme didn’t want to stand out too much, however went for a classic blue suit, with matching waistcoat for the groomsmen, but went for a differing grey tweed waistcoat for himself (because of his love of tweed!). We complimented this with a champagne coloured tie with classic brown brogues to finish it off. Smart and stylish but not stand out.
Darima Frampton Photography.
I couldn’t recommend Darima enough. Darima photographed my friend’s wedding the year before and I knew before the wedding date was even set that I wanted to use Darima. She captures such beautiful, romantic photos. I don’t quite know how she does it, but she manages to make every photo look just magical!
We certainly wanted this one to be one to remember!
We started with a city break for three nights in Hong Kong, followed by 12 nights in Bali (travelling round different parts of the island). We arrived in Seminyak at a luxurious hotel overlooking the beach with our own private pool for five nights, followed by a jungle adventure with rice fields and temples with our own private tour guide in Ubud for a further five nights, ending with a two night spa resort, with daily treatments in Tembok. It was wonderful! As well as starting with a city break, we decided to end with one too and spent a final three nights in Singapore on the way home, visiting the amazing Marina Bay Sands hotel. It really was an experience of a lifetime!
The most memorable moment for us was our memory table for my Mum and Graeme’s Dad, both taken far too soon. Graeme’s Dad had a vintage car, a red MGA, that was a big part of our day. Graeme drove to the venue in the car with the best man, with his brother, Howard, driving his original VW Beetle for the rest of the groomsman. Graeme’s dad had a love of classic cars so was a lovely to include this in the day. We had the cars stationed outside the house, to ensure they were a mainstay during the day.
Very sadly, only five months before our big day, I lost my beautiful Mum. I had a yellow rose (the colour of Mum’s favourite flower; a daffodil & the flower of my new surname, Rose) and her photo in a locket that she gave me for my 18th Birthday in my bouquet, which was with me the whole day. They both should have been there, playing their big part, so we wanted to make sure they were both with us and very much involved throughout the day.
Immediately following our first dance, we played “A night to remember, by Shalamar”, which I danced to with my Dad as a surprise for him, as this was my Mum & Dad’s first dance song at their wedding 36 years ago.
Advice For Other Couples
Although hiring a venue with a completely blank canvas is very appealing and gives you the option to plan everything as you wish for the big day (décor, caterers etc), it does add a lot of extra work to the big day, so if you do decide to go down this route, all I can say is be prepared to put in a lot of time and work! We arranged absolutely everything ourselves, from a delivery of fridges to store the wine, to table decorations to singing waiters which did add extra stress and time to all of our planning. We don’t regret the decision, but in hindsight, it would have been nice to have had more time to relax and enjoy the build up to the wedding the few days prior. It did make us even more proud of what we had achieved though.
Credit Where Credit Is Due
Darima Frampton Photography
Hair & Make Up
The Beauty Workshop
Groom & Groomsmen
Isobel’s Bridal & Groom
Naomi Joy Floral Design
What a beautiful day, and boy did your hard work pay off! Lucy and Graeme, thank you ever so much for sharing your day with us. Rachel x