We’ve certainly seen more weddings than ever before this year being held in the great outdoors. You know what? It makes me so happy that couples are choosing to wed outside and make the most of beautiful gardens such as the one we are featuring today. Thanks to the magnificent stretch tents at The Copse in Oxfordshire, there is always a spot of cover come rain or shine. I think you’ll agree the setting and the tents are so pretty.
Sarah and Tim fell for the venue and swiftly booked their date, the 24th June 2017, which gave them just six months to plan their day of dreams. It meant great organisation and quick choices, but it was a great shout, because as you will see the day turned out utterly perfect. One of the priorities for the pair was to create a garden party with a relaxed atmosphere, think BBQ and drinks on tap, what with the gin bar AND cocktails on offer. I am sure the guests were in great spirits.
Lovely crafty touches included decorated jars for flowers, painted signs and a rustic photo booth. Every moment and more was captured so wonderfully by Joe Mallen, huge thanks to Joe for sending us these romantic photographs. Enjoy folks!
THE PROPOSAL | Tim put a small box shape present under the tree a few days before Christmas last year. The anticipation obviously built up thinking that the time of a proposal had arrived but when I finally came to open it there was just a little lip balm inside!! I obviously couldn’t hide my disappointment too well as when I turned around he had a real box with an amazing sapphire ring inside. He got down on one knee and I immediately said yes!
THE VISION | We wanted the day to feel really relaxed and just feel like a really great summer party. Great food, wine and music with no obligation to include things just because they were traditional.
THE PLANNING PROCESS | We only had a six month engagement so there were a lot of spreadsheets and quick decisions.
THE VENUE | The Copse in Kidmore End, Oxfordshire, a private estate just five miles from our house in Reading but completely isolated in its surroundings. Tim actually found it on Airbnb a few days after we got engaged after he had the idea of just renting a big house. We were so lucky to find that The Copse also had a wedding license!
THE DRESS & ACCESSORIES | A tight fitting lace mermaid style dress with an open back. It was actually quite light and easy to move in, which was important to me.
FINDING THE DRESS | I was always adamant that I didn’t want to spend a lot on a dress I would only wear for one day so I bought it off the peg at Wed2b in Camberley. It only cost £300 and once I’d got a seamstress to tailor it to me it felt amazing.
GROOM’S ATTIRE | Navy blue Richard James suit from John Lewis with a tweed waistcoat from Moss Bros. The cufflinks were borrowed from the best man, marked with a USA presidential seal from Bill Clintons time in office.
THE READINGS & MUSIC | I walked down the aisle to an instrumental piece from the Legends of the Fall soundtrack and we had readings from a close friend and Tim’s dad.
BEAUTIFUL BRIDESMAIDS | I had my sister Helen, and my closest friends Kirsty and Sophie who were there for me during all the late night craft sessions!
THE FLOWERS | As the wedding was completely outdoors and the venue was stunningly in bloom, spending lots on flowers seemed unnecessary. I had white rose bouquets as well as stems of lisianthus and baby breath in jars for the tables.
THE CAKE | The cutting of the cake seemed a bit too traditional for us and I don’t really like cake! Instead, we commissioned a bakery to make lots of brownies, tarts and rocky road for a big dessert table, which went down really well, especially towards the end of the night!
YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER | The amazing Joe Mallen who was a friend of a friend. We were blown away by the energy and fun he brought to the whole day. I’ve never loved having my photo taken so much!
THE DETAILS & DÉCOR | We wanted a laid back feel with lots of crafty details. My bridesmaid Sophie and I sewed bunting, decorated jars, painted, signs and even made a rustic photo booth out of old frames I got in a charity shop and a box of props.
Tim and I had been collecting gin bottles for years so we used these for our table names and decorated jars with rustic flower stems and candles for centrepieces. The venue also had an amazing storage shed of decorations, which we were able to delve into.
We wanted our guests to be completely carefree so supplied all the drink; wine we collected from Calais, a gin bar and batches of cocktails that we devised.
After dinner we had an acoustic guitarist playing on the balcony and later in the evening a DJ and Saxophonist.
THE HONEYMOON | As engagement to wedding day was so quick, we’re waiting until Christmas before we head off to explore Thailand.
MEMORABLE MOMENTS | I presented Tim with a watch the night before the wedding. We were having a BBQ at the house with all of the wedding party and it was nice to steal a quiet five minutes together before the crazy day ahead.
ADVICE FOR OTHER COUPLES | Don’t over think the details. There is so much choice on the internet, which can make it really hard to choose suppliers. Go with your gut and value recommendations from people you know.
CREDIT WHERE CREDIT IS DUE |
Photography | Joe Mallen Photography
Venue | The Copse
Hair & make-up | Liz Patey Make Up
Wedding dress | Wed2b
Food | Jamie’s Catering
Cakes | Brown Bear Bakery
Oh so beautiful.
Sarah and Tim, thank you both so very much for sharing your super special story with us xo Lou