Goodness me are we in for a treat today! Here we have Sophie and Oliver’s beautiful winter wedding, which was held on the 24th November 2017 at Gate Street Barn in Surrey. Their day was just so glorious, from the rich red and burgundy colour scheme to the divine outfits. Let me fill you in.
First up, we just have to talk about Sophie’s dress. She chose a intricate beaded top and flowing skirt, which she then teamed with a long veil. She looked utterly gorgeous! Oliver meanwhile rocked a very dapper tartan suit with a red tie and tan brogues. So cool! I also have to rave about the bridesmaids’ dresses, they wore mix and match frocks in coral and dusky pinks which really did work perfectly.
Then there were the florals, I mean wow! Greenery was used throughout interspersed with roses and anemones. The barn really did look spectacular as did the wild style bouquets wrapped up in lace and ribbons.
Finally, I think one of my favourite elements to their day has to be their readings. I loved the The Amber Spyglass series and that reading really is just everything.
I cannot thank The Springles enough for sharing with us these incredible captures of this perfect love filled wedding celebration.
Oliver – I proposed after a 4 hour hike up Mount Huashan while we were in Xi’an, China. I found a small chess pavilion which you had to clamber down to with a harness which meant not many people were around, although Sophie took some encouragement. As Sophie stopped to take in the 360 degree view I asked her if she’d like to adventure with me always. She said yes, so I got down on one knee.
Sophie – this changed so much (despite only having 7 months to plan it). Eventually it became a 1920s winter wedding with a modern, geometric twist.
THE PLANNING PROCESS
Sophie – out of the two of us Oli is the organised one and a whiz with a spread sheet. We had a wedding planner (book, not person!) which was like our wedding bible throughout the whole process.
Oliver – I think I was looking at Excel every day through Dropbox on my phone. I would definitely advocate keeping on top of your spending as it’s so easy to lose track of what you’re spending.
Oliver – as the plans for the day evolved, the budget kept being revised upwards. Once we settled on a final budget we actually came in slightly under, however the final budget was 50% more than the original budget!
Gate Street Barn, Bramley
3 piece skinny, tartan suit, Heart and Dagger, ASOS.
THE DRESS & ACCESSORIES
Sottero and Midgley bodysuit and Kallin skirt. Silver and pearl hair band and matching brooch both from John Lewis. Single layered veil. Jenny Packham for Debenhams shoes.
Sophie – I spent just one day, with my mum, sister and niece, searching for a dress. As we had a short deadline for finding a dress and having all the fittings I set myself a rule of choosing a sample dress. I didn’t want to fall in love with a dress and then find it had a 6 month delivery! We found ‘the one’ at Miss Bush in Ripley. I tried on a complete variety of sample dresses as I had no real idea which style or colour I wanted. They had a great selection but I knew when I tried mine on that it was the one. I loved the idea that it was two pieces so there was the possibility of wearing part of it again. The great thing about the body suit was that if it was a dress it would have been very heavy to wear all day but as a body suit this wasn’t an issue at all.
Oliver- Carrie Macey (The Topiary Tree) did an amazing job bringing our vision to fruition. Sophie met with her a couple of times and then we all met just before the wedding. On the day, when I walked in to set everything up, Carrie had already done the flowers and the transformation of the space was incredible. Suddenly it wasn’t just a barn, it was a wedding. Typically flowers are a huge wedding expense and that’s tough to accept when they only last a few days. We explained to Carrie that we didn’t want to go overboard and she was very accommodating, giving us exactly what we wanted.
THE READINGS & MUSIC
Oliver – we went through all the standard wedding readings and were relatively nonplussed by them. After searching more extensively we came across two extracts which really felt personal to us.
The first was a passage from The Amber Spyglass by Philip Pullman, read by my father, Alan:
“Oh” she said, “What can we do? Whatever can we do? I want to live with you forever. I want to kiss you and lie down with you and wake up with you every day of my life till I die, years and years and years away. I don’t want a memory, just a memory…”
“No,” he said. “Memory’s a poor thing to have. It’s your own real hair and mouth and arms and eyes and hands I want. I didn’t know I could ever love anything so much. Oh, I wish this night would never end! If only we could stay here like this, and the world could stop turning, and everyone else could fall into a sleep…”
“Everyone except us! And you and I could live here forever and just love each other.”
“I will love you forever; whatever happens. Till I die and after I die, and when I find my way out of the land of the dead, I’ll drift about forever, all my atoms, till I find you again…”
“I’ll be looking for you every moment, every single moment. And when we do find each other again, we’ll cling together so tight that nothing and no one’ll ever tear us apart. Every atom of me and every atom of you…We’ll live in birds and flowers and dragonflies and pine trees and in clouds and in those little specks of light you see floating in sunbeams…And when they use our atoms to make new lives, they won’t just be able to take one, they’ll have to take two, one of you and one of me, we’ll be joined so tight…”
They lay side by side, hand in hand, looking at the sky.
The second was an excerpt from The Bridge Across Forever by Richard Bach, read by my friend Anders:
A soul mate is someone who has locks that fit our keys, and keys to fit our locks. When we feel safe enough to open the locks, our truest selves step out and we can be completely and honestly who we are; we can be loved for who we are and not for who we’re pretending to be. Each unveils the best part of the other. No matter what else goes wrong around us, with that one person we’re safe in our own paradise. Our soul mate is someone who shares our deepest longings, our sense of direction. When we’re two balloons, and together our direction is up, chances are we’ve found the right person. Our soul mate is the one who makes life come to life.
Sophie walked down the aisle to a live recording of Tom Odell – Grow Old With Me, a song we love.
Oliver – The Springles. Ash and Kat were fantastic. At photography, at editing, at delivering our photos insanely quickly in beautiful packaging, but most importantly at making us feel completely at ease.
Sophie and I don’t classify ourselves as photogenic and neither of us feel particularly comfortable in front of a camera however Ash and Kat have this way about them of making you relaxed, making you laugh loads and of keeping your thoughts only on how happy you are with your wedding day. That translated to some stunning shots which we will treasure and we are forever grateful to them. In addition, we were slightly concerned about whether our guests would feel comfortable around strangers who were taking their photos. The reality was the complete opposite, with Ash and Kat laughing and chatting with everyone! Having two great photographers meant one could cover the groom’s morning and the other the bride’s. Having memories of both is wonderful and then having double the perspectives and shots from the ceremony onwards just added an extra layer of awesomeness.
Sophie – we knew straight away we didn’t want to spend a fortune on a cake no one would eat! We had been to so many weddings where we had either opted out of cake as it was fruit cake or had some how missed out on it completely. We both love carrot cake and enjoyed trying all our local options and eventually choose a 60 person, 4 layered carrot cake with a smooth butter icing finish from Digbys at Vauxhall Station. Not your obvious choice but it was amazing and a clear winner from all the cakes we tried. It went down a storm on the day and we made sure we got some too!
Sophie – we had six bridesmaids wearing a selection of ASOS and ChiChi dresses. We gave them a brief, a colour palette and some ideas but let the girls choose the dresses and shoes they felt most comfortable in. The resulting mix of dusty pinks and corals was a perfect blend, especially once our four adorable flower girls (our nieces) were in similar dresses.
THE DETAILS & DÉCOR
Oliver – one of my favourite touches was Sophie’s idea to put up framed photos of all our relatives on their wedding days. It really made it feel more of a family event rather than just being about us.
As part of Sophie’s general creative brilliance we had pine cones on fishing line hanging in the barn which looked great with the flowers and geometric shapes (Umbra), strings of peg lights (NOTHS) to which we clipped various Polaroid snaps of us and our friends, and a dried petal confetti cannon (Etsy) for our first dance.
We also created our own photo booth with my Instax camera, props from various places and an imitation chalkboard personalised backdrop (NOTHS) which was a real highlight; guests loved it and we ran out of film (tip – buy loads!).
For favours we decided on mini cacti and succulents half wrapped in brown paper and twine. They looked great and everyone loved them but I made the mistake of buying them 5 months before the wedding and had to keep 120 of them alive for all that time!
Oliver – A 3 week private tour of Sri Lanka, the last week being spent on a luscious beach in Mirissa in the south. It’s a wonderful country, filled with great food, friendly people and incredible natural beauty so I’d highly recommend going (we booked through Travel Nation who were more responsive and cheaper than Trailfinders). It’s hot almost all year round and only a few months are rainy so it’s ideal. We loved it and will gladly bore anyone who’s willing to listen with our endless stories!
Oliver – so many.
Being whisked off into the woods by The Springles for some stunning photos and lots of laughter.
The registrar asking Sophie to place the ring on “Alex’s finger”… Alex is my brother and was my co-best man. Confusing but funny!
Standing at the front of the ceremony, excited, happy and in love.
The hilarious speeches by Sophie’s sister Vikki (maid of honour) and my brother Alex and sister Michelle (best people).
ADVICE FOR OTHER COUPLES
Oliver – Keep it simple. There’s no need to plan it over years unless you need to save for longer. We got married 7 months after I proposed. It was intense at times, but we couldn’t wait to start married life and it condensed the stress. Also, don’t worry about other people on the day, just focus on enjoying it yourselves and making as many memories as possible.
Finally, if you can, get a videographer. Having video highlights of your wedding day will not get boring. We’ve seen ours easily 20 times already and it’s only been 5 months.
Credit Where Credit Is Due
Carrie Macey, Topiary Tree
Oh so wonderful.
Sophie and Oliver, thank you both ever so much for sharing with us your splendid nuptials xo Lou