Charlie is a designer and Annabelle is a fashion buyer so there was no doubt that their wedding was going to one super stylish affair.
WWW readers Annabelle and Charlie tied the knot on the 31st August 2013. They wanted their wedding day to have a garden party feel with vintage and homemade touches.
Many of their family and friends contributed to organising their day, with the flowers and cake made by family. There were some really lovely DIY details in their reception décor too.
Most of all I just adore the fashion. Annabelle looked stunning in her Jenny Packham Damask dress with cathedral length veil. The bridesmaids wore white dresses by Coast with fun colour pop shoes. While Charlie donned a navy Burberry suit. Amazing. And there were peonies :-)
Thanks so much to the wonderful Paul Fuller Kent Photography for sharing his images with us today.
The Proposal… Charlie proposed on a deserted beach in Isle Grande, Rio on Christmas day – the white sand and clear water was the perfect romantic spot. Afterwards we spent the day in and out of the sea, enjoying every moment of our special secret until we had to come back to reality.
The Vision for the Day… We didn’t want a long engagement as we had been together for over 7 years, so set the date as soon as we got back to the UK. We wanted a relaxed summer garden party feel to the wedding with vintage touches and homemade details.
The Planning Process… Charlie is a designer and I’m a fashion buyer so we both had many creative ideas for the day. Charlie was quick to tell me if I had gone off on a vintage tangent, and would add a more trendy/modern twist. I hope we managed a balance between the two on the day.
The Venue… We got married in Standsted Village Church, our local family church. It is so beautiful, but only seats 90 in the pews, with a total of 130 with additional chairs. On the day we had 155 people, with everyone piled in together on the pews, on chairs, and standing; there were even people standing in the aisle – it was such a wonderful atmosphere.
The Dress + Accessories… I wore the Jenny Packham Damask dress. It was the first dress I tried on before I even knew who Jenny Packham was – bit of a mistake! I then spent the next month trying to find something else that I loved, but just couldn’t manage it. After seeing it on, my dad agreed it was the one – we were just going to have to make some cost savings elsewhere. I wore a cathedral length veil for the service, and a beautiful headdress which was handmade by Leigh AnnMcCague who was recommended by a friend.
Groom’s Attire… Charlie wore a navy suit from Burberry, he looked so sharp on the day, and it was something that he could wear again and again throughout our married life.
The Readings + Music… We had 2 readings, the second read by Charlies mum was called The Apache Wedding Prayer, it was so beautiful it had made me cry on the tube when she emailed me, and it’s something I’ll treasure . I’d like to get it framed with one of the wedding pictures. My sister is an amazing singer, so as a surprise to the guests she sung Eva Cassidy’s Songbird during the service which was just beautiful, and there wasn’t a dry eye in the church. We came out of the church to Jackie Wilsons Higher and Higher, we wanted something really up-beat and celebratory to really kick start the party, and it definitely did that. Everyone was on their feet clapping and cheering to the music, it was a great moment.
Beautiful Bridesmaids… I had 3 bridesmaids – my sister and 2 best friends, and 2 flower girls. Their dresses were from Coast, with mis-matching shoes from Miss Selfridge. The flower girls dresses were from BHS. My goddaughter Ava was only 11 months and after a few weeks of coaching managed to wobble down the aisle, I think she got more ahhs from the congregation than I did.
The Flowers… I originally wanted to do everything myself, so enlisted onto a beginners flower arranging course. Although I soon realised I had bitten off a little too much, and my wonderful aunty Sheila came to the rescue. We went to Covent Garden flower market at 5am on Thursday morning, and bought everything we needed. We did the table decorations together, and I made the bouquets on the morning of the wedding, but admittedly Sheila did the rest – all of the church flowers, and more in the garden. The bridesmaids held a single hydrangea, and I wanted Peony’s. The first thing I did after Charlie proposed was to google when Peony’s were in season – and it was May. I knew we would need to get married at the end of the year, so Peony’s were out of the question, I was heartbroken. On the Thursday at 5am I spotted a small box of blush Peony’s, the only ones in the market. I couldn’t believe it, there were just enough for my bouquet, and for the flower girls to take, it was a very special moment!
The Cake… My wonderful nan made the cake, which was a mixture of milk chocolate mud cake, white chocolate mud cake, and banana cake (Charlie’s favourite.) We served the cake with berries and cream for the wedding breakfast dessert.
Your Photographer… Our wonderful photographer Paul was fantastic, and we are so pleased with the end result. We had a meeting about 6 weeks before the wedding at the church, and discussed ideas for the portraits. I was trying to come up with ideas for different backdrops, Paul was amazing saying that it was his job and not for me to worry about. As I was doing everything myself it was great to leave something to someone else for a change.
The Details + Decor… After the service we had a pimms and bucks fizz reception in the garden, followed by the wedding breakfast in the marquee. As we had the reception in the garden we had to do everything ourselves. I wanted to keep everyone in the main part of the garden, so my dad made and hand painted 18 picket fences. We built the bar in the old barn, putting brick wallpaper behind the bar to create a real gentleman’s club feel. We had 155 people for dinner, so the budget couldn’t stretch to canapés. My amazing friends came to the rescue and all made something for our canapé table, I felt so blessed to have such great friends and family. I hand made the pompoms, table plan and all the little details. The flip flop basket went down particularly well amongst the girls and a few of the boys.
The Honeymoon… It was lovely to drag out the happy weekend, we had everyone back for a BBQ on the Sunday and it was great to have a proper gossip with the girls, and throw the bouquet which I’d forgotten to do on the day. On Monday morning we flew to beautiful Santorini one of the most romantic Greek Islands, and spent the next 2 1/2 weeks Island hopping from Paros to Mykonos and Athens.
Memorable Moments… After the service we drove away together in the red Mercedes which is a car we’ve had in the family for many years, we were so lucky that we could actually have the roof down on the day! Those couple of minutes together as a married couple were so special, we laughed and giggled all the way home.
The first dance was also just amazing, all of our friends and family in one place cheering, clapping and whooping to the music. We danced to The Lumineers ‘Hey Ho’ which was just summed up our day, slightly off beat, relaxed but full of love and fun.
Advice for Other Couples… It is so overwhelming when you start planning your day, it is really is difficult to know where to start. I had a book which I just wrote everything down in, so I could start comparing prices and quotes, and had everything in one place. I could just throw it in my bag, and had everything I needed.
Although I did a lot of the organising myself I also had lots of help from so many family and friends, and I really enjoyed the laid back and handmade look of the day. I can’t even mention the number of helpers in the run up to the day, but if you get any offers of help then take them. I definitely have a lot of favours to return over the next few years!
Credit Where Credit is Due…
Photography | Paul Fuller Kent Photography
Headdress | Leigh AnnMcCague
Thanks so much to Annabelle and Charlie for sharing their beautiful wedding with us today XOXO Lou