Summer garden couples, I really am spoiling you today aren’t I?
WWW readers Alanda and Thom tied the knot on the 4th July 2015 at The Swan Hotel in the Cotswolds. They held their ceremony in the pretty gardens and kept the whole day simple yet oh so beautiful. It was touch and go as to whether Alanda could fly out from Australia after surgery for appendicitis a week before the big day, which made the wedding all the more special and meaningful.
Alanda looked so stunning in her chic Rue De Seine gown and family heirloom bridal cape. I so love those floral bridesmaids dresses too, which teamed with the pink florals was super pretty.
Natalie Martin Photography, thank you so much for sharing these stunning photographs with us.
THE PROPOSAL | Thom proposed on a volcanic island in New Zealand when we were visiting friends for new years in 2013. Thom had been hiding the ring from me for months, and when he was asked to have his clothing and bag searched at the airport he was terrified the surprise would be ruined by airport security! I knew the proposal was coming but had no idea when, or what my ring would look like and he did such a good job with both.
THE VISION | A relaxed summer garden wedding with lots of greenery, but with a certain elegance to it. We also really wanted a high tea style wedding breakfast and a BBQ for the evening, as I am Australian after all!
THE PLANNING PROCESS | The venue was the first thing we booked followed by music so that we could get our first choices. Then the rest just happened bit by bit over 1.5 years!
BUDGET | We didn’t really have a set budget and it’s tricky as we were paying for everything in Aussie dollars (and the currency conversion is really bad). Not including flights from Australia and our honeymoon we probably spent around £14,000.
THE VENUE | The Swan Hotel, Bibury in the beautiful Cotswolds nearby to where Thom grew up. It really was such an incredible venue and we barely had to add any decoration to it as it was so naturally beautiful both outside in the gardens and inside in their reception room. As we were organising everything from Australia it was important to us that the venue was able to look after everything on the day. The events manager at The Swan, Charlotte, really did everything to help us and we didn’t worry or have to check timings once on the day, which was so nice!
THE DRESS & ACCESSORIES | This was tricky. I really had my heart set on wearing my mums lace cape from her own wedding, which my Gran made for her, however because of the shape I had a hard time initially finding something simple enough to wear underneath it that would still be elegant and beautiful on its own for after the ceremony. I knew I had found the perfect dress though when I came across the Sophia dress from incredible New Zealand brand Rue De Seine. The silk was such good quality and it went perfectly with my mum’s cape. I also wore a floral garland headpiece by Rue De Seine, and on my feet my favourite brown boots – much to the dismay of my best friend Alice who really thought I should wear something more formal to suit the dress!
GROOM’S ATTIRE | Thom chose a tie from Paul Smith and created the rest of his outfit around the tie. He wore a suit from MJ Bale, RM Williams boots (very iconic to the Australian outback), and a Paul Smith shirt and pocket square which were posted from London as they didn’t have the style he wanted in the Australian store.
THE READINGS & MUSIC | Both of our mothers are very special to us and we wanted them to be apart of the ceremony, so we had them read a version of the ‘hands’ poem. Music was also very important to the both of us as I feel it can really help relax people and set the tone and mood, so we spent a long time picking our suppliers. We had a fantastic acoustic guitarist and singer Matt Bee for the ceremony, reception drinks and wedding breakfast; followed by relaxed jazz from the Oliver Hopkins Trio in the evening and from 10pm onwards we had our own play list on an iPod full of old school cheesy hits for dancing.
BEAUTIFUL BRIDESMAIDS | I’m Australian but as I lived in the UK for a few years I have both English and Australian friends who are both so important to me. I couldn’t chose on just a few so I had 7 bridesmaids in all, although sadly two from Australia couldn’t travel last minute. On the day I had 4 beautiful bridesmaids by my side, and my best friend and Maid of Honour Alice who I hadn’t seen in over 2 years so it was a very emotional reunion! The bridesmaids wore ASOS dresses and Alice wore a dress that we bought together years ago at a vintage shop in Surrey.
THE FLOWERS | Sara from Aqua Wedding and Event flowers was brilliant! I sent her loads of photos before the day (I kept changing my mind) and when I met her 2 days before the wedding she was able to understand exactly my style. Her studio is gorgeous too, and the one-on-one appointment felt so personal. She also sourced potted Daisies for the table centres and wrapped them in hessian and twine, which was a great budget saver rather than expensive cut flowers.
THE CAKE | We had 3 cakes from Jacks bakery in Cirencester – chocolate, Victoria sponge and lemon drizzle!
YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER | The lovely and amazing Natalie Martin! We had been hunting online for photographers and I loved Natalie’s fly on the wall style, rather than dozens of posed photos that I had been finding with other photographers. We chatted on skype from Australia and even though we didn’t meet until the wedding day it was as if we already knew her. She was brilliant and my favourite thing was how quick our ‘couple portraits’ took! I loved that we only took about 20 minutes to get those photos done, which meant more time having fun with each other and our guests.
THE DETAILS & DÉCOR | The Swan was already naturally beautiful so we didn’t add much to it. We borrowed bunting from friends to put up in the garden; added framed photos to each table and little sweet jars filled with Australian brand sweets – and that’s it! Really easy the next day with barely anything to take home.
THE HONEYMOON | We spent a week in northern Italy and a few days in Florence, followed by a week with family and friends back in London and Bath before heading back to Australia.
MEMORABLE MOMENTS | Every moment of the wedding! I ended up in hospital with appendicitis 3 days before we were due to fly from Sydney – I had to have surgery and it was touch and go for a while whether we would make it in time for our own wedding. Luckily I recovered from surgery really quickly and we made it, so every second of the wedding was just so special. My favourite part though was probably walking down the aisle and seeing everyone you love in the one place!
ADVICE FOR OTHER COUPLES | That no matter how much you plan for things, you never actually know what’s going to happen (eg – surgery for appendicitis a week before!), so my biggest advice would be to try and find the positive in everything so you can relax and enjoy the day no matter what happens. Oh – and don’t look at the time on the day, it will only make you think back to that schedule you spent hours on! It’s not your job to watch the time, that’s for the venue to do so you can both relax and just have fun.
CREDIT WHERE CREDIT IS DUE |
Dress | Rue De Seine
Photographer | Natalie Martin Photography
Flowers | Sara at Aqua
Guitarist | Matt Bee
Jazz Trio | Oliver Hopkins Trio
Venue | The Swan Hotel
Makeup | Vanessa
Hair | Rachel Saunders [email protected]
Thank you so much Alanda and Thom for sharing your utterly beautiful wedding with us xo Lou