George and Susan wed on 7th October 2017 and what a fabulously stylish and cosy autumn wedding it was. It was really important to our couple to have a traditional church service, and they followed this with a wonderfully relaxed marquee wedding on the family farm – just perfect.
We have Lydia Stamps to thank for the marvellous images today and the joy on everyone’s faces is just captured so well.
All of the décor was informed by the countryside and Dorset in particular. With tables named after local beers, shot gun cartridges for place names and pheasant feathers featuring heavily in the florals, there are so many details to admire. The lighting in the marquee is really something special and I just can’t get enough of the peachy colour scheme throughout. Prosecco fans, don’t miss the Bubble Bike!
THE PROPOSAL | George and I met at school and had been together for over seven years when he proposed in our kitchen one evening in December 2016. It was such a shock, I was so overwhelmed that I didn’t speak for such a long time (very unlike me) that I’m sure he was rather relieved when I finally broke that silence with a yes! The proposal was perfect, I never wanted anything public and it took me completely by surprise!
THE VISION | We wanted the wedding to be really “us” and for everyone we loved to have an amazing, relaxed day with the reception feeling almost like a rather large dinner party!
THE PLANNING PROCESS | I’m a bit of a control freak, so wanted to be as organised as possible. This really paid off on the day as we didn’t have anything to think about apart from enjoying ourselves!
It really helped us to prioritise early on what was important to us in the venue and suppliers. We decided that we really wanted to keep all our suppliers as local as possible and didn’t want our guests to have to travel too far between the ceremony and reception. This meant there were only a few options of reception venue and although we did investigate a few (there are some lovely places in Dorset) we felt we really wanted to be involved in every bit of organising the day, so we chose a marquee.
We wanted to get married in the Autumn, giving us about 8 months to plan, once I had actually got my head around the fact that we were engaged! This timeline worked for us, as it was long enough to not to feel rushed but not enough time for me to keep changing my mind! We knew all our friends and familys’ diaries get booked up quickly, and we have some family that live abroad- so one of our first jobs was to get the Save the Date cards sent out. The brilliantly creative Elisa Letters produced all our wedding stationery, and discussions with her early in our planning was where the colours and ideas really started to become a theme!
THE VENUE | It was really important to us to have a traditional church wedding, so we were married in our village church followed by a marquee reception at the family farm.
THE DRESS & ACCESSORIES | My dress was a vintage ivory strapless design by Ellis Bridal.
I found some rose gold sparkly heels from New Look and loved that they were so comfy and under budget! I also managed to find some sparkly trainers for dancing! My accessories included things from my mum and both grandmothers, which was really important to me. My talented friend Emma, kindly did my hair which I absolutely adored! She managed to create a lovely plait with a hair vine entwined, that lasted all day, despite the windy weather!
FINDING THE DRESS | I was a little nervous about this part, as I had no idea what I wanted, and I’m not the most confident person. I went shopping with my mum and bridesmaids and tried on quite a few to try and get an idea of what suited me. It was a lovely day, but I came away feeling quite disheartened as I struggled to try on quite a few of the dresses I liked, due to the sample sizes (no one warns you that you may go up a size or two in some dresses- so just ignore the labels!) Due to this I decided to look at shops that had some off the rack designs, allowing me to actually buy the dress I was trying on and not worrying about if it would be here on time! This is how I found Isobel’s Bride and Groom in Poole, who from the first appointment, were so wonderful. I tried on loads in my actual size- finding my dress in the process. I loved the fact its not white and has both a lace layer but also a little layer of spotty tulle which won me over!
GROOM’S ATTIRE | George wanted to be quite traditional with his outfit, but we decided on a bit of a countryside twist to fit our day. Isobel’s Bride and Groom were able to sort this for us with royal blue tails and tweed waistcoats for all the grooms party.
THE READINGS & MUSIC | For readings, we went with Colossians 3 v 12-17 and a poem called The Future by Emma Salmon, both read by very special people to us.
For music during the church service, we had two traditional hymns, and whilst signing the register a choral piece; Gloria by Vivaldi and then a Disney medley, both sung by our old school choir who were great! We left this as just “A medley” on our service sheets, so it was such a fun moment watching the whole congregation coming to the realisation that it was Disney songs! They are beautiful pieces of music, which we love, everyone knows and with lots of children at the wedding it kept everyone entertained!
At the reception, one of our oldest friends was kind enough to sing whilst everyone was having drinks. Bryony is so talented, and I had always wanted her to sing at my wedding, so it was very special and emotional!
For the evening reception, we were lucky enough to have The Deloreons! I cannot say enough good things about these guys, such a lovely, talented bunch of people who create an awesome atmosphere and the dance floor was packed, all night! We could not have imagined a more perfect way to end our day!
BEAUTIFUL BRIDESMAIDS | I could not ask for more loyal, kind and generous best friends than Laura and Fiona, who I have known since school- they were so wonderful during this bonkers, special year! Both have quite different styles, but we managed to find vintage lace dresses from Nancy Mac, which they looked gorgeous in and worked well with my dress. Then to accessorise, I bought each a Monica Vinader piece of jewellery, with a gem stone that represented things they have supported me with in life.
THE FLOWERS | I love flowers, and really wanted ours to be a celebration of the countryside, so hoped to include feathers and lots of foliage. Stephanie Jevons Floral Design is so artistic and captured my thoughts perfectly, (although how, through my garbled explanations and a Farrow & Ball colour chart I will never know!) combining flowers, pheasant feathers with greenery, herbs and berries. We went with big statement pieces in milk churns, and on the poles of the marquee, these were then echoed in the bouquets and button holes. The flowers were just stunning, and it really made the whole marquee feel like a wedding venue!
THE CAKE | We weren’t sure if we wanted a traditional cake, however once I found the wonderful Louise from The Rose on the Cake and saw her beautiful previous designs, I gave in and I’m so glad I did! We went with a painted countryside scene, including pheasants and black Labrador over three tiers of a lemon base, white chocolate middle and a traditional fruit top tier- which all tasted amazing!
YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER | I spoke to lots of people for advice on photographers and every single one of them recommended Lydia. I am so, so pleased that we chose this amazing lady and I cannot thank her enough for capturing our day in such a wonderful way. We aren’t very photogenic, but Lydia made us feel so at ease and captured all the emotions of the day without us really noticing the camera! We are so glad that we have such incredible photos to treasure, that are so natural and really tell the story of our day.
THE DETAILS & DÉCOR | I wanted to include lots of things we loved to really ensure it was our wedding. So the place names were in shotgun cartridges George and the Ushers had shot the day before. Napkins were Emma Bridgewater and our tables were named after local beers from Hall & Woodhouse. We then hunted around lots of bargain home stores for the vases, tealight and candle holders, all of which have now gone to a friend for her wedding this year! It was important to us that all our friends and family were as comfy as possible, so with the October weather, we invested in blankets to put on the back of most of the chairs, instead of favours.
We spent a few weekends over the summer making the pallet signs to hang around the marquee with quotes about love/ marriage/ life from some of our favourite films and TV shows. DP Marquee company were fab, helping us decide on the right furniture and interior for our theme, we loved the festoon lighting, especially with the unique ladders as a centrepiece!
We are both absolutely mad about food and so it was a really important decision when it came to caterers. Luckily, we found Crab Apple Catering, a local company that are passionate about regional, seasonal produce which is exactly what we wanted! We went for canapes with welcome drinks, then sharing platters for a family style meal which worked with the relaxed, dinner party mood we wanted to create. Oh, and words cannot describe how good their chocolate brownie is!
We ended up running our own bar, with the help of some very kind friends. However, when I found the Bubble Bike from Bubble Bros Ltd, I couldn’t resist this for our welcome drinks. George loves vintage motorcycles and as we found one that served alcohol it was too perfect not to go for!
In trying to ensure all our guests were able to relax and let their hair down on the dance floor, we booked childcare, which was amazing! The Wedding Crecherz completely transformed a few rooms in the house to provide the kids their very own space to have fun, and then later sleep! It was something we were really keen to have whilst planning, but struggled to sort, and I’m so glad we managed to find the team, as it really helped complete the kind of day we hoped for.
THE HONEYMOON | We had a lovely evening at The Pig at Combe after the wedding, followed by a chilled week in Cornwall, but we have a few travel adventures planned this year!
MEMORABLE MOMENTS | The entire day was just incredible, but I will never forget the feeling of walking down the aisle and the speeches. Hearing both my father and George speaking from the heart was a moment I will always treasure.
We knew our Best Man wouldn’t just do a normal speech, but I’m not sure we were prepared for the unbelievable rendition of Don McClean’s American Pie, with lyrics describing his friendship with George and the story of our relationship- I don’t think there was a dry eye in the marquee, it was so thoughtful and truly unforgettable.
ADVICE FOR OTHER COUPLES | Try not to stress! Enjoy the exciting, wonderful time that is planning your day and don’t compare your wedding to other people’s- its your day and as one very wise friend said to me in the lead up “the only thing that matters on your wedding day is that you are marrying the love of your life, end of. Everything else is just a bonus”.
CREDIT WHERE CREDIT IS DUE |
Photography | Lydia Stamps
Cake | The Rose on the Cake
Flowers | Stephanie Jevons Floral Design
Evening Music | Deloreons
Reception Music | Bryony Purdue
Marquee, furniture and lighting | DP Marquees
Bubble Bike | Bubble Bros Ltd
Stationery | Elisa Letters
Food | Crab Apple Catering
Childcare | The Wedding Crecherz
Dress & Suits | Isobel’s Bridal- & Groom
It looks like every second of your relaxed day was just the most fun, thank you so much for sharing with us George and Susan. Rachel x