WWW readers Emma and Jamie decided to get married on the 23rd September 2017 at the charming Kent Life in beautiful Kent. A big celebration was order of the day, with loved ones all surrounding the pair. Relaxed and fun vibes were important to them too, as was a gorgeous pink colour scheme. Bride Emma is a wedding stationery designer at Bea & Bloom, so of course the paper goods were going to be just divine. They tied together the delicate blousy blooms, hand crafted paper leaf garlands and sweet treats just wonderfully.
Our bride and groom chose timeless, romantic attire. Jamie had a navy suit ordered, which matched his groomsmen, accessorised with pale pink ties. Emma chose a tulle gown with her Mum’s veil being her something old. Didn’t they look super gorgeous?
There is so much to love here today, not least the darling images by White Stag Weddings. Huge thanks to Catherine and Andy for sharing them with us.
THE PROPOSAL | New Year’s Eve 2015. We were on a cruise with my parents and Jamie’s Dad. They were all in on it and came up with a little scheme to make me think they were all running late for dinner so Jamie could get me on my own for a while and pop the question! I unknowingly made it incredibly difficult for him by coming up with various things we could do while we waited, causing him to have to practically drag me outside on to the prom deck! He walked me round to the back of the ship and told me to close my eyes. When I opened them he was down on one knee with my Nanny’s beautiful ring in his hand. We spent the following day relaxing on the ship and discussing our ideas whilst looking out to sea. As desperate as I was to get back on solid land and tell everyone our news, it was lovely to have that bit of time just the two of us before all the planning began!
THE VISION | We both knew we wanted a reasonably big wedding, with all of our family and friends there. We wanted to follow some traditions but keep it relaxed and fun. And of course I knew my colour palette from the beginning: pretty pastel tones.
THE PLANNING PROCESS | We’d picked our date within the first 24 hours of being engaged. We knew we wanted at least 18 months to plan so it would definitely fall within 2017, and our 6 year anniversary happened to fall on a Saturday that year so it just fit perfectly. Pretty much as soon as we got back from the cruise we started researching venues and photographers, and of course I started working on my Pinterest boards right away!
We were quite well organised throughout the planning process, and even had a few months where there was nothing to do as we’d got it all done already! There was a bit of a mad rush in the last few weeks, although that partly came down to us moving house at the same time! But it all came together in the end and I wouldn’t change a thing now.
THE VENUE | Our lovely venue was Kent Life in Maidstone. We knew we wanted a venue where we could hold our ceremony, and wanted something a little different to a marquee. Kent Life was perfect for us as it was bit quirky, within our budget, and they were happy for us to dress up the venue however we wanted. The venue is a heritage farm with various buildings that have been found elsewhere in Kent and moved to the site. We were married in the green corrugated iron Village Hall, and had our wedding breakfast in the Wagon Store with its gorgeous hop covered beams on the ceiling. Sadly the pretty pink chapel was too small for our guest numbers, but we made good use of it as a backdrop for our photos! The wedding co-ordinator at Kent Life, Claire, was absolutely wonderful and we couldn’t have asked for any more on the day. She made sure everything ran smoothly and took care of everything for us.
THE DRESS & ACCESSORIES | My dress was an Essense of Australia design from Isabella Grace Bridal Boutique. My veil was my Mum’s and was originally made for her by my Dad’s Mum, my Grandma. It was lovely to wear something so special and I was telling everyone about it all day long! I also wore a bracelet that belonged to my Nanny, and Mum and Dad bought me some lovely earrings. My shoes were pretty lace ballet pumps from David’s Bridal.
FINDING THE DRESS | I went dress shopping with just my Mum. I’d always planned to go just the two of us, as I didn’t want too many opinions and I wanted by bridesmaids to have a surprise on the day (plus one of them lives in Florida so it would have been a logistical nightmare!).
I was really nervous to start looking for a dress as I’m not great at clothes shopping and very rarely find anything I like myself in. I had an idea of a style a like so researched some stockists near us and found Isabella Grace Bridal Boutique in Tunbridge Wells. We were greeted by Pippa who was really reassuring and helped me pick out a few dresses to try on, including one that I’d have never picked for myself but she convinced me I should try. I fell in love with the very first dress I tried on, and it just happened to be that one I didn’t think I’d like! I tried on the others too but none of them felt anywhere near as good as that first one, and I ended up ordering it there and then! I felt fantastic in that dress all day and loved twirling around all the pretty tulle layers during the evening dancing!
GROOM’S ATTIRE | From the Groom: Me and the groomsmen wore City Navy Tailor Me suits from Moss Bros. The suits were fantastic and we got great customer service from all the Moss Bros stores we went to. They made sure the suits fitted perfectly and were not satisfied until we were 100% happy with our purchases.
THE READINGS & MUSIC | My bridesmaid and childhood friend, Fran read Union by Robert Fulgham for us, and Jamie’s Nana and Grandpa read A Blessing of the Hands. We loved having a personal element to the ceremony and it was lovely to have some of our favourite people stand up and be a part of it. Jamie’s Nana and Grandpa’s reading was a particular highlight of the whole ceremony for us.
We had live music performed by Andy Nash, a talented guitarist. He played Nobody Does it Better as I walked down the aisle, and one of our favourites from Ed Sheeran, Nancy Mulligan as we walked out. He did a great job keeping our guests entertained before the ceremony (I was 25 minutes late!), during the signing of the register, and all through the drinks reception too.
BEAUTIFUL BRIDESMAIDS | My Maid of Honour and Bridesmaid were my wonderful childhood friends Natalia and Fran. We all met in primary school at 4 years old, and me and Natalia always promised each other we’d be Bridesmaids at each other’s weddings! She moved out to Florida when we were 9 but we’ve never lost touch and stuck to our promise (Natalia got engaged the day after our wedding and I’ll be a bridesmaid for her in 2019!). Both the girls wore soft pink multi-way dresses from Debenhams. They were an ideal solution as they fit everyone and saved the nightmare of arranging dress fittings 4000 miles apart! I left it to them to choose how to tie them, and they both went for the one shoulder option, which suited them beautifully.
I also had a gorgeous Flower Girl, Amara. She’s a real girly girl so she was thrilled with her pretty pink lacy dress! She carried a little basket filled with petals and scattered them down the aisle as she walked in. She had great fun helping to pick all the twigs out of my dress all day long (I didn’t quite think through the delicate tulle combined with farm venue!).
All the girls looked gorgeous and they did me so proud, I couldn’t have done it all without them.
THE FLOWERS | The flowers were by Lisa from Heather & Wood. Flowers were an important aspect of the wedding to me and were always going to be a big part of our décor. We did a lot of research in to local florists and kept coming back to Lisa’s gorgeous arrangements. She came to visit us at home and went through all of our ideas and understood exactly what we wanted. Everything she crated for us was just perfect, from the bouquets and buttonholes to the gorgeous flower arch for the ceremony. I just wish I could have enjoyed them all for longer but we had to share them around our guests and neighbours as we went off on honeymoon the following day!
THE CAKE | The cake! I’m so thrilled with how our cake turned out and can’t thank Joanna from Bunty’s enough. When we originally booked our cake with her we chose a pink and blue design with sugar roses. It was absolutely beautiful but as our planning progressed and our ideas changed it didn’t quite fit any more. I got back in touch with Joanna and sent her some images of the stationery I’d designed, and she agreed to change the colours and create sugar flowers to match the florals in the stationery. I didn’t see the cake until our reception and I was absolutely thrilled with it! It was so beautiful and so lovely to have something unique. And to top it off it was really delicious too! We chose vanilla, chocolate, lemon and (my favourite) red velvet flavours and they were all perfect.
YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER | There are no words for how thrilled we are to have found Catherine and Andy of White Stag Weddings. Their light and airy style suited our vision for our day perfectly and they did a fantastic job on all of our images. And even better, they’re genuinely lovely people and so fun to be around! We’ve gotten to know them during the planning the process and we’re really happy to now call them our friends. And they’ve been a great help in setting up my own business too!
A year before the wedding, on our 5th anniversary, we had an engagement shoot with them in Greenwich Park. It really helped us to be comfortable in front of the cameras and meant we barely even noticed them on the day and could completely relax for our portraits.
The wedding photos themselves are exactly what we had imagined and we still don’t know how we’re gong to choose which ones to get printed!
THE DETAILS & DÉCOR | As well as lots of flowers, our décor was mainly made up of my stationery and illustrations. Running a wedding stationery business I had so many ideas for our own special day and I just couldn’t narrow them down. I designed our invitations with matching RSVPs and song requests, and a fold out map of where to find the venue. There were 5 large double display cases in the village hall so I created a set of illustrated posters to brighten them up. I cut out hundreds of leaves from green crepe paper and made them into a garland which was hung in the hall along with 30m of fairy lights (huge thanks to Dad and Kerst for hanging them all up so perfectly neatly!).
After a lot of backwards and forwards we settled on romantic films as the theme for our table names (as Jamie works in the film industry) so I drew a simple illustration of the DVD cover for each of the films we’d chosen to display on each table. Dad made the board that we used to display the plan on, and Lisa added a branch on eucalyptus to each table. There was also a fold out menu on each place settings with the guests’ names written on. Mum sat for hours and cut out and assembled 140 of my paper flowers that we displayed behind the top table in the Wagon Store.
I also made a time line of photos of the two us form when we met and hung them on string of fairy lights. There were matching paper-chains, sweet bags, advice cards and colouring pages for the children. I gave myself a little too much to do and was rather busy in the last few weeks before the wedding but I’m so pleased with how it all turned out!
THE HONEYMOON | We headed to Italy early on the Monday morning after the wedding and spent 4 days in Venice followed by a week in Sorrento and the Amalfi Coast. We enjoyed a lot of good food, prossecco and lots of adventures. The whole trip was perfect and we don’t have a bad word to say about any of it! We’ll definitely be returning to Italy in the future.
MEMORABLE MOMENTS | From the Bride: Jamie’s emotional reaction when he saw me walk in was definitely a highlight for me! It was also so wonderful to see all of our friends and family come together. We were loving watching people that had never met before dancing together and acting like the best of friends. We keep trying to find an excuse to have everyone together again!
From the Groom: The most memorable moment from the day was seeing my beautiful bride walking in. I have never been so happy in my life as I was in that moment where I saw her walking towards me. Other memorable moments included getting ready with my groomsmen and having our first dance. While we were dancing it felt like it was just the two of us together and it just felt so special to look into my new wife’s eyes.
ADVICE FOR OTHER COUPLES | From the Bride: Definitely prioritise choosing a photographer you love. Having our beautiful photos to look through whenever I like has definitely helped keep away the post wedding blues. And the day really does go by in a blur, so making sure every moment is captured on camera is really important!
Overall just make sure you enjoy the day, relax and soak it all in. A few little things might not go to plan but it will still be the best day of your life.
From the Groom: Try and take in as much of the day as possible, it goes so fast and it’s all a blur once the day is over. Just try and savour every single moment as you will only ever experience them once in your life
CREDIT WHERE CREDIT IS DUE |
Photography | White Stag Weddings
Venue | Kent Life
Stationery | Bea & Bloom
Make-up | Helen Lee
Hair | Lily Jarrett
Flowers | Heather & Wood
Guitarist | Andy Nash
DJ | Harry Kilb
Light Up Letters | Locke & Busby
Goodness me, how jolly well gorgeous!
Emma and Jamie, I cannot thank you enough for sharing your darling celebrations with us xo Lou