I am a country girl through and through. In fact I’ve only ever lived in villages, so when I saw the delightful village wedding celebrations of Emily and Jack I was smitten.
WWW readers Emily and Jack were married on the 21st September 2016 at All Saints’ Church in Lapley followed by a reception at Pendrell Hall in Staffordshire. Their day was all about their love for one another, their family and friends and the things that brought them together. They met playing in the Band of the Welsh Guards and they injected musical influences into their wedding. Their cake table included their instruments, an original side drum and a vintage saxophone, a really lovely touch indeed. The music choices were also a priority for the couple and they asked talented friends to play for them too.
There are some gorgeous touches, one of my fave has to be the peachy, blush florals throughout. Emily’s rose and dahlia bouquet was an utter triumph, and it looked gorgeous with her romantic lace gown. Jack chose to wear a brown tweed suit for a timeless yet vintage vibe.
Thanks so much to Will Fuller for sharing these divine images with us.
THE PROPOSAL | We had booked a little holiday to Copenhagen for October 2015, Jack had booked a beautiful white castle hotel called Kokkedal Slot as a surprise birthday treat for our first night. After a ride around the grounds and along the coastal path on some bikes (which is our favourite hobby together) he asked me to marry him. He had booked a beautiful dinner for the evening in the castle’s restaurant and a spa morning for the following day.
THE VISION | Jack and I had one thing we definitely agreed on, that was our day was going to be about family, friends and fun. It was really important for us to be surrounded by those who had given us so much support when we first started dating. We wanted a day that felt relaxed, a representation of everything that has brought us together and the things we will enjoy in our life together.
THE PLANNING PROCESS | Something that was really important to me was getting married in the village church I grew up in, I was really happy that Jack knew how much this meant to me and it was never a problem. After that was agreed, we initially looked at a village hall nearby for the wedding breakfast and party, however, after much deliberation, I wasn’t entirely sure how I was going to piece it all together as we live in London not Staffordshire. I found a little venue called Pendrell Hall, no corkage, no extra costs, 15 minutes drive away – so we set off for a visit… it was idyllic. Having a team at a venue to make sure everything is thought of really helps, which meant I had time to make a lot of the features/stationery/accessories myself.
BUDGET | Budgets are important and as the build up to your wedding day approaches the worst thing to worry about would be money. We set a limit of £10,000 for absolutely everything, if I couldn’t afford it, I didn’t have it – simple. We tried to remain focused on things that we were going to have to pay for after the wedding to curb that desire! I wrote a predicted costings sheet to start with and then every time I paid for something I put in my actual cost. Jack was really helpful with double and triple checking all our sums to make sure we were always on track.
THE VENUE | The venue was styled perfectly to our taste and is adorned with arts and crafts features (which is, just by chance, my absolute favourite period from art history). The building is so elegant and suited our day perfectly as it wasn’t to big, so our modest guest party of 50 didn’t get lost in the hall. Our caterers were all predetermined through choosing Pendrell Hall, Jenkinsons (the caterers) made everything so so easy and were incredibly accommodating. We knew what food we wanted, our favourite meal to cook together – Chicken, stuffed with haggis, wrapped in pancetta and dauphinoise potatoes – it was delicious I should add! All of our guests were complimenting us on the choice – a nice feeling that all that money spent on food was worth it.
THE DRESS & ACCESSORIES | I didn’t go into wedding dress shopping with too many preconceived ideas, I knew I needed to find something where I felt myself – so I guess that was my only criteria. I had my heart set on a pair of Rachel Simpson shoes, I adore her designs, so that was a given really and something to splash out on (you get to wear shoes again!) Mum even had a sixpence to put on the sole of my shoes. I love delicate details and I make hair vines, so I hand crafted mine myself. I took great delight in searching for all the original materials, pearls, hand worked mother of pearl flowers and little blue crystals in my design. I also made my veil, I wanted a simple cascading cathedral veil, it was easier to do it myself. My earrings were from the Buckingham Palace shop, I am originally a saxophonist from the Band of the Welsh Guards (as is my husband) so having a little piece of the Queen’s collection was a nice accessory to have. I borrowed a little white flower ring from my sister, which I had bought her about 10 years ago when I was at Edinburgh University. My something old was my grandmother’s handkerchief, which I did end up using!
FINDING THE DRESS | I started looking for my dress on my first trip home Christmas 2015, I organised a day with my mum to go round looking at dress shops and upon entering the third shop in Shrewsbury they had a few dresses in the sale rail. I didn’t really expect to find anything on sale but one of the assistants suggested I tried on a dress, on first take it didn’t really appeal to me but I tried it on anyway, it fitted almost perfectly. Even before I looked at it in the mirror it felt really comfortable to wear, when I saw how it looked I just knew it would be the perfect dress to marry Jack in, simple, elegant and modest. I loved the vintage detail on the sleeves and the lace. Wedding World in Shrewsbury were so good, they didn’t let me walk away with the dress until they had made a little repair in the lace, other than that it was perfect.
GROOM’S ATTIRE | Jack had his eye on a simple brown donegal tweed suit with a waistcoat, I’m biased because he always looks so smart to me, but he looked especially smart on our wedding day.
THE READINGS & MUSIC | Music is a huge part of our lives as we met in the Band of the Welsh Guards. Our friend Alex kindly agreed to play the organ for our hymns, processional and recessional music, along with a very dear friend, Ralph, who played the trumpet, both were brilliant and having them play our music was just so special. The readings included “Love” by Erich Fried, and the classic “love is kind” from 1 Corinthians. We both felt the importance of celebrating the idea of love and how it manifests itself in our life together.
BEAUTIFUL BRIDESMAIDS | Choosing my maids wasn’t a dilemma. My sister, Felicity, my best friend (of all time), Lauren, Sarah my bestie from Uni and Kate my bestie in the Army. All of the girls are chilled and really lovely people so finding dresses for them was a doddle! I found a little dress on asos, it just fitted the bill so I went with it quite early on in the planning. I made parchment flower hair slides for their hair, I didn’t want anything too dazzling, just simple and pretty. Having them with me as bridesmaids was so incredibly meaningful, they definitely kept me calm on the morning when I almost cried making buttonholes (don’t craft on the morning of your wedding!).
Something not keeping me calm were our little flower girls, Alisa and Cora (both our nieces). Cora refused to wear her dress on the morning… but we all found it quite amusing, my sister-in-law got her in the dress! Their dresses were from BHS (before it closed), my aunt knitted their boleros, which I just absolutely LOVE! And their shoes, a find of my sister-in-laws from Next. I chose to contrast a bit with blush pink as it complemented my sash for the wedding dress and other colours in the scheme.
THE FLOWERS | I don’t know where to start with my florist Kiki and Zaza, from the beginning Ruth (the owner) was AMAZING! She gave us two consultations where she came round and went over all the little details we’d thought about for the wedding so she could create the perfect flower arrangements for our day. She took into consideration the feel of day, the colours I had chosen, I even found out she went to visit our venue to make sure her creations were going to fit properly. Put simply, if you want someone to make as much effort on your flowers as you will for your wedding, Ruth is your lady. She works independently in Lapley, because she doesn’t manage a shop she focuses completely on the jobs she takes on… working from a cute old stables attached to her house.
What she made for our day was simply spectacular, I’m sure you’ll agree from the photos. It was important to me to give out the flowers after the wedding so that family and friends could enjoy them after the event. Because she uses really fresh flowers from Holland my family said they were still going strong after 1 1/2 weeks! I didn’t anticipate this, but being given my wedding bouquet on the morning was probably one of the most exciting parts of the morning. It made my dress look 1000 times better, and made me feel every inch a bride. The compliments on the flowers were countless… oh, and my wedding bouquet is drying out perfectly in the loft right now!
THE CAKE | I’m very lucky to have a food technology teacher as a mother. Making the cake (probably since my birth) has been a predetermined factor of my wedding. She made an amazing job, and it was delicious. She also made Battenberg cakes for the non-fruit cake lovers out there (one of Jack’s favourites too). We wanted a nod to the Welsh Guards Band that had brought us together, so we choose the cake to become that vessel. Jack is a percussionist so we used an original side drum from the band to put the cake on, and I am a saxophonist so I used a vintage saxophone on the table. The decoration uses symbols of the British Isles, the red Lancashire rose (for Jack, Lancashire being his place of origin) and thistles for me (my family being from Scotland originally). If you look carefully you can see the symbols on the art work of the drum. On top I painted two little people wearing the ceremonial uniforms of the Foot Guard’s Bands – that’s me and Jack.
YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER | Will Fuller was our photographer, he was an absolute dream to be around and to be photographed by. Jack and I aren’t particularly posy people (until we’ve had a drink and were joking around with friends). We had an engagement shoot with him, and loved his work then. Throughout the planning process he was always timely, organised and good at communicating with us. We just wanted him to document the day through his beautiful photography and capture all the moments we were missing. Needless to say he completely filled his brief. Even during our little collection of photos both Jack and I felt really relaxed and comfortable having our picture taken.
The photos definitely speak for themselves, he really is an artist and I would recommend him to everyone for their wedding.
THE DETAILS & DÉCOR | We wanted our day to be a refection of us as a couple and the families we come from joining together. I filled lots of frames with pictures of us to place around the venue, doing the things we love. The table names all the places of memorable trips we’ve shared together, I found vintage postcards of the places on zazzle.
To represent my family, we got married is Staffordshire and the wedding favours were little bags of Scottish tablet (homemade to mum’s recipe) tied up with tartan ribbon.
To represent Jack’s family we used trophies, won by his granddad, which Ruth filled with flowers for centrepieces and his other granddad’s old suitcase for the cards.
I made a lot of the details myself, I painted signs for the venue and the place setting cards were all handmade. To keep the children entertained I put together a few lawn games, it made a nice focal point so that the children had something to do and weren’t getting bored.
THE HONEYMOON | After the wedding Jack and I only wanted a small getaway. He jokingly said we should go to Ockotberfest in Munich, which, after a bit of consideration looked like a quite a fun idea and something we had both always wanted to go to. So, we booked a really really nice hotel and had an absolutely fantastic time, we bought laderhosen and dirndl on the first day and did a bit of sightseeing. Going around the festival just felt like we were extending the party. Everybody is quite surprised when I tell them what we did, but I’m so glad we went, it’s something a bit different and what could be better then having some fun together after all that build up.
MEMORABLE MOMENTS | Having Lauren put my shoes on me before we left the house, it was really emotional as it’s something no one would ever do for you as an adult.
We didn’t have a best man speech so my sister and sister-in-law took over that speech, they made a video of Jack and mine’s childhood haunts and hobbies and places we go together as a couple, it was a such a beautiful (and funny) part of the day, we loved what they did.
ADVICE FOR OTHER COUPLES | Just enjoy your day, make decisions that make you both happy as a couple, because when it’s all over it’ll mean the most to you both. Unexpected things happen in those few days before, but just go with it and remember why you are doing all this… because you love each other and are both looking forward to all those years ahead.
CREDIT WHERE CREDIT IS DUE |
Photographer | Will Fuller
Wedding dress | Wedding World, Shrewsbury
Wedding Shoes | Rachel Simpson
Engagement and Wedding Rings | Midas Touch, The Lanes, Brighton
Hair accessories | Handmade by me
Bridesmaid dresses | Asos
Groom’s suit | Martin David, Shrewsbury
Groom’s shoes | Barkers
Flowers | Kiki and Zaza, Midlands
Venue | Pendrell Hall
Caterers | Jenkinsons
Church | All Saints’, Lapley
Emily and Jack, thank you both so much for sharing your lovely wedding story with us xo Lou