This is what happens when two amazingly creative individuals, come together to be married. Kristen and Matt met in the UK, and decided to get we here too, even though they have relocated to the US for their careers as fashion designers for Abercrombie & Fitch. They organised a day that was elegant and quintessentially British, in the most beautul backdrop of Belvoir Castle.
Kristen wears a beautiful Vera Wang gown and some amazing Christian Louboutin shoes… i so love her pretty bouquet too. One other really personal elemet that touched me, was that they used Krsiten’s grandparent’s cake topper, as a good luck charm, and it is just the loveliest of touches.
Thanks so much to the fabulous Warwickshire based wedding photographer, Lucy Woodrow Photography for sharing her images today, here is what she had to say about the day;
“I was lucky enough to be asked to photograph the wedding of Kristen and Matt at the beginning of September. Kristen and Matt met at University but both now live in the U.S, returning to England to celebrate their big day with their nearest and dearest. The location they chose was the breath-taking Belvoir Castle in Leicestershire. When I say breath-taking, well there are many other words I could use to describe it too.. beautiful, striking, ENORMOUS, enchanting… I could go on. The Castle is the home of the Duke and Duchess of Rutland and despite its size it still retains a homely feel with family photos displayed in its halls alongside the gilt framed oil paintings from artists such as Holbein, Gainsborough and Poussin. Many films and television programmes have been filmed here including ‘The Young Victoria’ and ‘The Da Vinci Code’.
Kristen and Matt are both designers and their eye for detail was ever apparent on their special day. From the elegant flowers to the exquisite cake, the red London buses to ferry guests from their hotels to the heart-felt exchange of gifts before the ceremony, the day was…well… perfection.
The girls had the most incredible rooms to get ready in and Kristen looked absolutely beautiful in her Vera Wang dress and those fabulous Christian Louboutins. Matt looked very handsome indeed and beaming from ear to ear he watched as Nigel (Kristen’s dad) and Kristen walked arm in arm down the aisle in the castle ballroom. I don’t think there was a dry eye in the house. The weather was exceptionally kind to us too, brilliant sunshine with fluffy clouds and a great gust of warm wind just as the confetti was thrown (you’ll see the evidence shortly).”
Names…. Kristen & Matthew
Wedding Date…. 3rd September 2011
The Proposal…. Matthew proposed at a little intimate French Restaurant in the city that we now live- Columbus, Ohio. It was perfect. We had been together 7 years when the proposal came however he managed to catch me completely off guard by it being a random Thursday night. We were supposed to be meeting 2 friends for dinner- needless to say they didn’t turn up! We met at Kingston University when we were both 21- at the end of my fashion degree I was offered a job designing for Abercrombie & Fitch in Columbus and Matthew joined me a year later, making a move from product design to fashion design to work for the same company.
The Vision for the day…. Elegant, timeless and romantic! We chose a color palette of ivory, navy and gold and felt that it fit well with the castle venue. We also wanted to make sure despite the more regal venue that our wedding still felt relaxed, fun and intimate- we had pimms for the guests before the ceremony, London buses to ferry the guests from their accommodation, and props on the table for everyone to let loose with!
The Planning process…. Despite planning from the other side of the pond our lead up to the wedding was fairly stress free thanks to my amazing parents who were there every step of the way. Fortunately my mother and I have pretty similar taste so I trusted her with helping to pick vendors for me and asking her opinion. My parents help also enabled me and Matthew to focus on the smaller details, for these I looked to blogs for inspiration!
The Venue… We held both our civil ceremony and the reception at Belvoir Castle in Leicestershire. I am from North Lincolnshire and Matthew is from Surrey, so we didn’t feel tied down to any particular county. We looked at venues on the internet and loved the look of Belvoir- the rooms were beautiful and Matthew was sold when he saw they had a canon master and cannons! We weren’t able to see the venue before booking as we weren’t going home for 3 months, but my parents went and loved it. We also loved the castle setting, up on a hill in the countryside.
The Dress + Accessories…. I wore Vera Wang’s ‘Erin’ dress with a floor length plain veil and my shoes were Christian Louboutin ivory satin pumps, they had pale blue insoles which served as my something blue ;-) I convinced myself I didn’t want satin shoes but fell in love with them, they weren’t too high and didn’t fall off my feet, and I figured I could always dye them afterwards! My ‘something borrowed’ was my mum’s diamond and pearl necklace and earrings and I bought an art deco bracelet for myself on e-bay. I attached my great grandmothers vintage cameo onto the grosgrain ribbon of my bouquet, my ‘something old’, and I also wore the watch Matthew bought me as my wedding present, lovingly delivered to me by ‘best man’ Dan before the ceremony..
Finding the dress…. The dress process for me happened very quickly. My parents visited the states 2 weeks after Matthew proposed, so seeing as I don’t see them that regularly I wanted to go shopping with my mum so we could have that experience together. I went to a small boutique shop in downtown Columbus that held a few dresses from a few designers and loved the Erin dress, despite it being the opposite of what I thought I wanted! It was simple on top but had lovely light soft organza layers that were trimmed in horsehair ribbon; it was light and comfortable and felt romantic.
Groom’s attire… Matthew and his best men wore grey morning suits to stand out a little and the ushers and dads wore the traditional black morning suit with grey striped trousers. All the guys wore ivory waistcoats and then navy ties to tie back the bridesmaid dresses.
The Readings + Music…. We had 2 readings in the ceremony- a light hearted one read by Matthews father Jerry called ‘Don’ts for Husbands’ by Blanche Ebbutt, written in the year 1913. Dave, a good friend of ours read ‘A Marriage’ by Michael Blumenthal. We had a string quartet play during the day and then in the evening we had an indie band that was incredible, the dance floor was packed, and they played a mixture of old and new which we loved.
Beautiful bridesmaids….. I had 4 bridesmaids who wore Jenny Yoo navy silk shantung bridesmaid dresses- the style was simple and suited all of the girls and then I had them wear gold shoes of their own choice. They all looked so beautiful!
The Flowers… My bridesmaids and I carried hand-tied bouquets of avalanche roses, hydrangea and gypsophila and the men had akito roses for the boutonnières.
The Cake… Our cake was a 4 tiered (2 lemon, 2 vanilla!) yummy cake which we designed with Katie Watts. It was ivory based with gold accents and I loved the textures we used. On top I used my grandparent’s cake topper from their wedding 62 years ago. My grandparents were married 58 years before my granddad passed away so I hope it brings us the same kind of luck in our marriage as it did for them. Matthew and I had to restore it a little but it was a lovely project we worked on together.
Your Photographer…. The fabulous and talented Lucy Woodrow! My brother is also a photographer (James Tonge- ATD Productions) and so that he could enjoy the day helped us to find Lucy. I couldn’t meet her before we booked but from her beautiful pictures on her website and a chat on the phone I knew that she would do an incredible job- she was so down to earth, and got exactly the style and feel of what we were after. Lucy was a pleasure to have around on the day, such a lovely person, and we were blown away with her photographs.
The Details + Decor…. Our venue didn’t need too much decoration so we had a couple of flower arrangements and then some simple English ivy on the candelabras in the dining room. The motif of the castle is a peacock so we used a little gold one on our stationery items, and for our table names we used painters that were featured in the castle- Gainsborough, Holbein and Poussin, for example. We used a little vintage trunk as our card holder and displayed old family wedding photographs in handmade gold frames.
The Honeymoon…. We had a weeks honeymoon in Santorini, Greece- amazing views, yummy food and the opportunity to do as much or little as we wanted made it the perfect place to spend the week after the wedding. We stayed in a traditional cave room on the island and I will never forget the beautiful sunsets.
Memorable moments… The most memorable moment for me was walking out of the castle doors after the ceremony- we walked out to a showering of delphinium petals and a warm gust of wind made for some very dramatic veil shots- me and Matthew both had the biggest smiles on our faces and felt on top of the world. I also loved getting ready with the girls, watching from afar out of the castle window as all the guests arrived on the buses, and sneaking a peek at Matthew walking across the castle grounds all dressed up! We were so caught up being nosy we forgot we had to get our dresses on soon! Other things I won’t forget include the cannons (Matthew will agree!) and fireworks, and also walking down the aisle with my dad to a beaming Matthew.
Advice for other couples… Etsy is fabulous! I had thank you cards for the bridal party made on there, as well as favour tags and a ‘just married’ banner. A lady on Etsy also made beautiful jewellery sets for my bridesmaids.
Use blogs for inspiration but don’t become too overwhelmed by them, at first I was a little overwhelmed and wanted to do lots of DIY, but then quickly realized that I didn’t have the time to do everything that I first thought I would do- delegating can often work just as well! There are so many ideas out there that it can be daunting in the planning process to know which things are the most important to you as a couple. Stay true to yourselves and go with your gut. Lastly really do try and take in everything on the day, it does go by so fast!
Credit where credit’s due…
Venue- Belvoir Castle, Leicestershire (www.belvoircastle.com)
Photographer- Lucy Woodrow (www.Lucywoodrow.co.uk)
Dress- Vera Wang (www.verawang.com)
Shoes- Christian Louboutin (www.christianlouboutin.com)
Bridesmaid Dresses- Jenny Yoo (www.jennyyoo.com)
Groom/Groomsmen attire- Dappers of Dorking (www.dapper.co.uk)
Flowers- Flowers by Suzanne (www.flowersbysuzanne.co.uk)
Make-up- Rochelle O’Brien (www.rochelleobrien.com)
Hair- Neil Palmer (bride) and Charlotte Wesson (bridesmaids)- www.charlottewesson.co.uk
Stationery- Sposini Stationery (www.sposiniweddings.com)
London Buses- Exclusive cars (www.exclusivecars.co.uk)
Fireworks- MLE (www.mlepyrotechnics.co.uk)
Cake- Katie Watts ‘Couture Cakes’ (www.couture-cakes.co.uk)
String Quartet- Arioso (www.ariosoquartet.co.uk)
Evening Band- The Mark Black Band (http://themarkblackband.co.uk)
Thanks so much to Kristen and Matthew for sharing their amazing wedding with us today xoxo