Sally and Matthew were married in July at the beautiful Gaynes Park, Epping. They had a surprise wedding, getting engaged without telling anyone, but by sending out their wedding invitations at Christmas, how romantic is that?
They wanted their wedding to have a pale shabby feel with mismatched homemade elements. And my oh my did Sally get crafty, from the stationery to the 400 jam jars she decorated, the signage, the confetti and the table plan, plus i could go on!
I love the amazing details they worked so hard on, including the beautiful lighting. Not to mention the gorgeous florals and the perfectly dressed couple :-)
Thanks so much to the brilliant Justin Bailey Photography for sharing his photographs with us today.
Names…. Sally & Matthew
Wedding Date…. 3rd July 2012
The Proposal…. We were never technically “engaged”. I wore a “shut me up ring” for a couple of years and then on Halloween 2011. We went for a dog walk and I mentioned Weddings AGAIN! Then Matt casually just said “ok, let’s do it!” There was also one condition and this is that I couldn’t tell anyone. Matt wanted us to not say anything. He also was adamant not to have ‘save the date’ cards. At Christmas he wanted the invites to go out and be a surprise for everyone. Nobody was expecting us to get married and the invites at first glance would seem like a Christmas card. It was a really lovely way of doing it.
The Vision for the day…. I wanted everything very pale. I also wanted a shabby chic feel with a hint of vintage. I like the homemade feel and wanted things everything to be matching but mismatching.
The Planning process…. The Wedding was planned in 8 months. I worked with mood boards and images and ideas that I found. I searched the Internet, Pinterest and Magazines. I started by finding images of the colours. Then I designed the invited and worked from that.
Budget…. Our budget actually doubled. I think the original budget we made was very unrealistic. It wasn’t the decor that cost as we made everything ourselves but everything else that added up.
The Venue… Our venue was Gaynes Park, Epping, England
The Dress + Accessories….. My dress was from a bridal shop in a neighbouring village, Saffron Walden. The shop was called Fleur De Lys Bridal. I always knew I wanted strapless but at the same time was up for trying any style. What made me choose my dress was the colour, oyster. That and some of the detail gave the dress a hind of vintage, which I loved. I also knew that I didn’t want any jewellery around my neck, I just wanted earrings. I also had a tiara/headband that was set in my hair and complimented the detail of the dress. I also knew I wanted to have a high heel as that is what I always wear when I go out and I feel comfortable in. I also liked the idea of trying to look as long in my dress as I could and the fact that Matt is 6ft 5in.
Finding the dress…. Due to the Wedding being top secret at first. We only told out immediate family which meant that the only person that could come dress shopping with me was my mum. We only looked at two shops. The first had a sample sale on at the time and even though the dresses where lovely none seem quite right. In the second shop it came down to two dresses. One was over budget and one was just under. One was white and one was oyster. But they were both a similar shape. I found that one dress was playing on my mind more that the other and that was because of the oyster colour and the slightly vintage feel. So that is the one I choose.
Groom’s attire… Matt had always wanted to get a three piece tailored. We weren’t sure whether our budget would allow but decided that it would be an investment and has always been Matt’s dream, so went for it. Due to Matt’s height and shape a tailored suit was also best. We went with ‘A Suit That Fits’, in London. We knew we wanted a pale grey and white shirt to go with the colour scheme and a grey floral tie from ‘Debenhams’ with a homemade matching pocket square in the same material. Matt also ended up having a tailored shirt also made by ‘A Suit That Fits’. Matt also wanted a pocket watch and a collar pin the complete the looks. We also went for tan belt (River Island) and tan shoes (Next). Matt’s Groom’s party where also in mismatching pale grey two piece suits.
The Readings + Music…. We had two reading in the ceremony. One was a poem written and read by Matt’s mum and the other was a poem written and read by two of our close friends and Ushers Craig and Paul. We had various music throughout the Wedding Day. When I walked down the aisle we had our friend, Hannah, singing and playing the guitar her own version of a song called ‘Love of my Life’ by Santana, featuring Dave Matthews. During the signing we had two of our favourite songs. ‘Happy Man’ by Seasick Steve and the other ‘Ants Marching’ by Dave Matthews Band. At the end of the service we had a large group of our close friends singing ‘Everyday’ by Dave Matthews Band, a cappella Then for our first dance we had two of our friends, Nick and Becky, sing ‘At Last’ by Etta James as a duet. We chose this song as the lyrics were beautiful.
Beautiful bridesmaids….. I had six bridesmaids in total with also an addition of two buns in the oven! They were two friends I have known since primary school, my Matron of Honour Becci who I have known since drama school, Matt’s sister and our two god daughters. Grace who is three and Amelie who is Becci’s daughter who was 10 months. I always wanted the bridesmaids in different dresses that complimented each other. All the girls are different in personality and shape so I wanted to compliment and show this. I don’t like the formality of matching bridesmaid’s dresses. The main aim was that they all felt comfortable.
The Flowers… I live in a little village and really liked the idea of using a local florist. This is why I picked ‘Emily’s Flowers’ in Stansted, England. I had found some pictures of colours and types of flowers I liked and also showed Emily the Bridesmaids dresses and other mood boards I had made. For the table flowers every table had different colour, shape and sized jugs. I didn’t want formal flower centres but more county home. This meant that every table had a different arrangement and different flowers in each one. We then discussed what flowers to order then the rest was left up to her. In the Orangery where we got married I didn’t have any fresh flower but instead had dried roses that I dried myself.
The Cake… Our cake was made as a Wedding present by our amazing friends Abbie Osmon. We found a picture of a cake we liked and we then left it up to Abbie to put her own take on it. We picked a cake that was very clean and simple. We didn’t want anything on the top and we wanted it to be all white. I also spoke to Abbie about echoing my dress in the cake with edible crystals and pearls and a lace effect as that was also a large part of the decor. We also want more that one flavour in the cake so the top layer was fruit cake, the middle layer was chocolate and the bottom layer was sponge.
Your Photographer…. Our AMAZING photographer was Justin Bailey. We found him by going on a site where you type on your location, budget and date and photographers get in touch with you. We had loads contact us. It was then a case of checking out the website of the ones that had contacted us. Straight away we knew Justin was the photographer his photos just jumped out at us. We liked the vibrant and contemporary feel of them. His photos didn’t look like typical Wedding photos and this is what we loved.
The Details + Decor…. The main decor around the venue was the 400 jam jar that I collected and decorated with lace, ribbon and pearls. We had jars made into lantern lining the aisle and jars with candles in around the venue. In the Orangery where the ceremony took place there were also decorated jars but these contained roses that I dried. Bunting was also a part of the decor and alongside this in the barn where we had the reception we put up festoon lighting with the clean bulbs so you could see the filament inside. We also had a gobo made saying Mr & Mrs Roper that was lit on the wall behind the top table. This was all done by Matt as he works in lighting. We also had lawn games after the ceremony. Some were borrowed and bought form eBay and other such as Ring Toss were made by us. I also made homemade signs that were used for different things. We just cut the wood then painted them white and free hand wrote on them. I also made my own confetti (dried roses) and confetti cones. I also made my own table plan. Each table had the same feel but nothing matched. They consisted of a main flower jug and two little pots for flowers. Card butterflies in the colours of the Wedding folded to make 3D were scattered over each table. I used different photo frames from home to put the printed menu in on each table. The table names where photos of memories or important things in our life. I made these look like Polaroid’s. This was as photographer is a little hobby and we wanted to incorporate this. The favours were favours come place name. They were little metal buckets with a tea light in and chocolates on top with a little ribbon with Mr & Mrs Roper on and the date of the Wedding. They sat on a card that said, Eat me, Light me and then the name of the person. I used typewriter font stamps for these. The idea was that the guest eat their chocolates then light their candle for their meal. The other thing we did was on the pillars in the barn printed out hundreds of photos of all our friends and families over the years and pinned them up on string. We also made our own props basket for the photo booth in the evening which was great fun.
The Honeymoon…. Our Honeymoon is still to happen due to our work. The plan at the moment is to hire a motor home and have an adventure around Canada. The idea is to start in Toronto going through the Rockies and up to Vancouver.
After the Wedding we did however have a Minimoon which was a gift from our friends which was a two night stay, two three course meals and afternoon tea at Buxted Park Hotel, England. This was so lovely and much needed. It gave us a chance to open our gifts and cards, talk about the Wedding and slowly come back down to earth.
Memorable moments… All the singing and the readings. My Dad giving me away and saying yes yes yes too happily! It looking like it was going to rain and when I walked down the aisle the sun coming out. Seeing all the ideas come together. Me shouting ‘finally’ at the end of the ceremony and everyone laughing! Playing silly beanbag games. Noticing my dress was getting dirty and not caring. The food being incredible and people saying it was the best Wedding food they have ever had. (Galloping Gourmet) The photo booth that Justin set up in the evening. Doing my Brides Speech. My Ushers coming up in the evening saying they had a surprise then taking us back to the aisle and all the lanterns were lit and Justin taking some great pictures..
Advice for other couples… 100% have a videographer. We weren’t going to because we had a photographer and due to budget but I nagged and nagged and I am so glad we had one in the end. The day is so overwhelming and becomes a blur you don’t get to take everything in. I would also say gave a photo booth as it is soooo much fun and the guest love it. Have personal touches as much as you can in the form of decor, readings and music. Lighting is such a great way to create atmosphere. Remember on the day it is you and your husbands day and your one chance to be selfish, self indulgent and spoilt. So suck it up!
Credit where credit is due…
Photographer :- http://www.justin-bailey.co.uk/
Video :- http://ignitevideo.co.uk/
Florist :- http://www.emilysflowers.co.uk/
Bridal Shop :- http://www.fleurdelysbridal.co.uk/
Tailor :- http://www.asuitthatfits.com
Oh what a beautiful day, and such a stunning couple they make too.
Thanks so much to Sally and Matthew for sharing their wedding with us today XOXO Lou