Cassandra and Nicholas tied the knot on the 10th October 2015 at the village church followed by a reception at Marks Hall Coach House in Essex. They share a love of history and chose their historical venues to represent that. They also included books throughout the lovely décor as Cassandra loves to read and Nicholas works in a library. Isn’t it just wonderful to choose each element based on your story? Talking of the décor, the pastels and sparkles looked just gorgeous, there are oodles of ideas here today folks.
Cassandra chose an elegant lace gown with lace edge veil, while Nicholas went for a traditional look. A timeless, beautiful and very romantic celebration indeed.
Thanks so much to Marianna Chua for providing these divine images today.
THE PROPOSAL | Nick proposed on our fourth anniversary. He asked me to marry him in the early morning of the 5 July 2014 in Postman’s Park, London. We had starting dated after meeting each other a nearby museum and this was one of the areas where we used to go out to have our lunch, drink a coffee or just have a chat in the early days of our relationship. After the proposal, we went to the London Zoo where we admired the penguins and the toucans.
THE VISION | I must have spent hours on Pinterest trying to figure out how we could have a wedding that was affordable but also fit us! I was mindful that we didn’t have the budget for a coordinator or a stylist or anything so all of the little details would fall to me. I am not the craftiest of people despite my best attempts so I knew I needed something that would look good without much effort. I saw lots of lovely inspiration pictures using books as centrepieces and it all looked so elegant that I decided that books would be the perfect theme. Nick works in a library and I have always loved reading so it was the perfect representation of us.
Nick and I also have a shared love of history. At university, I studied archaeology and he studied history and met while we were both working at a museum. Our shared interest in the past meant that we were both really keen to have historic venues for the day. We already knew that we wanted to get married at Nick’s local village church All Saints Rayne for the family connection there. The fact that it has a picturesque Tudor tower and is set in a lovely countryside also added to the appeal.
We were looking for that same sense of history in our venue. We focused our search on historic houses and other older venues throughout Essex but lots of places only offered package deals or had a set list of suppliers who you had to use. Nick and I wanted to be able to plan our wedding and choose our suppliers rather than going with a cookie cutter day so we focused our search on venues which had this flexibility. We had seen a couple of places before visiting Marks Hall Coach House but none of them compared to this understated and charming venue. The beams and the brickwork in the building added a rustic sense of history and the gardens and lakes surrounding the coach house were stunning. I took the fact that an archaeological dig was taking place in the gardens around the coach house during our visit as a sign that this was the place for us!
THE PLANNING PROCESS | I was heavily reliant on Google and Pinterest to figure out the planning process!
THE VENUE | Wedding service: All Saints Church, Rayne, Essex. The reception was at Marks Hall Coach House in Coggeshall, Essex.
THE DRESS & ACCESSORIES | Delphine gown by Nicki Flynn for True Bride purchased from Nell’Amore Bridal Wear in Halstead. The veil was from this shop as well and my shoes were ‘Flo’ by Rachel Simpson. The earrings were my ‘something borrowed’ from a very good friend and they were by Mikimoto. The necklace was my ‘something old’ and it was a vintage string of pearls from my godmother which had originally been given to her by my grandparents.
FINDING THE DRESS | I had heard lots of really lovely things about Nell’Amore Bridal Wear in Halstead as well as Lauren, the owner of this boutique. This was the first place I choose to go and it was the only bridal shop I visited! There were lots of lovely gowns there but what made the shop stand out was Lauren’s help. She genuinely wanted to ensure that I was happy with the whole process and I never once felt pressured to make a decision or buy my dress from there. When I was stuck between two gowns (decisions, decision!), Lauren went out of her way to call the designer to see if a sample could be sent to the store so I could see how I would actually fit into the gown. It was so helpful and I ended up falling in love with the gown when I could see it in the right size. It made all the difference to see how it would fit on me without all of the clips and bits in the way!
GROOM’S ATTIRE | Nick, his groomsmen, the father of the bride and father of the groom all rented suits from Austin Reed.
THE READINGS & MUSIC | The readings were influenced by our literary theme. My brother, Nathan, read Shakespeare’s sonnet 116 and Thomas, Nick’s brother and one of the best men read an excerpt from Victor Hugo’s Les Miserables.
We both wanted to have a traditional service and choose hymns to reflect this. The All Saints Rayne Choir was on hand to sing ‘Praise, my soul, the King of Heaven,’ and ‘Let There Be Love’ as well as ‘Ave Maria’ by Caccini through the service. I walked down the aisle to Pachebel’s ‘Canon in D’ played on the organ and Nick and I exited to the church to the ‘Wedding March’ by Mendelssohn.
BEAUTIFUL BRIDESMAIDS | My three bridesmaids were some of my oldest friends from America. I have been friends with Melissa, my Maid of Honour, since we were 8 years old. Maggie and Mariah were my two other bridesmaids and we have known each other since we were fourteen. It meant so much to me to have these three ladies travel all the way from the US to stand up with me on my wedding day.
They all wore the ‘Heidi’ dress in Dusty Shale from JCrew.
THE FLOWERS | The flowers were done by Rachel Dampier Floral Design.
THE CAKE | MakeMy Cakes and Summers Little Bakery (cupcakes and treats).
YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER | The amazing and artistic Marianne Chua.
THE DETAILS & DÉCOR | Various people! Loads of things made by me, my Maid of Honour and my good friend Hannah, craft-lady extraordinaire! Other bits and pieces were purchased from Etsy, eBay and little shops all over London and Essex.
THE HONEYMOON | Nick and I spent 10 days in sunny and beautiful Funchal, Madeira at the Melia Madiera Mare.
MEMORABLE MOMENTS | I didn’t kiss the groom where I was supposed to in the ceremony! I had watched too many films and I assumed there was a ‘and you may now kiss the bride moment’ which would happen at the end of the ceremony, and there wasn’t. Surprisingly, the kiss comes in the middle of the ceremony before signing the register. I am sure I was told this at the rehearsal but my mind was so full at that point I must not have taken it in. At the moment it should have happened, I saw Nick coming in for a kiss and I had a panicked look on my face and backed away as I thought he was being over-eager. Turns out, he was right, I was wrong, and I had to ask our lovely vicar to add the kiss in before the end of the ceremony.
CREDIT WHERE CREDIT IS DUE |
Photography | Marianna Chua
Dress | Nell’Amore Bridal
Flowers | Rachel Dampier Floral Design
Venue | Marks Hall Coach House
Caterers | Green Fig Catering
Band | The Hot Shots
Cassandra and Nicholas, many thanks to you both for sharing your wonderful wedding day with us here at WWW xo Lou