WWW readers Emily and Neil are childhood sweethearts and I really love their story of get togethers with their friendship group at Emily’s parents over the years as they grew up. It’s something that holds dear memories in my own heart and I am sure many of yours too. So when they chose to hold their wedding reception at Emily’s parents back garden, it really brought back good memories and nostalgia for all. I think it’s wedding planning choices just like that, which make for an authentic, special and meaningful day. We haven’t even mentioned the fact that the whole celebration was a real home made affair, with loved ones coming together to craft up a beautiful style for the country knees up.
For a back garden celebration, summer is always the perfect time of year and this pair chose the 19th August 2017 for their wedding. With a background in design and interiors Emily has real creative flair and I am sure you will agree that the whole look of their marquee was just delightful. There were greenery laden blooms, a hanging foliage installation, laser cut place names, doilies and painted wooden signage. Fete games, a tea station and a bake off all added to the fun festivities and guests made the most of the gardens.
Now let’s talk about that Milamira Bridal gown. It’s appliqué floral detail, long sleeves and side split skirt complete with pockets looked so chic and elegant. Emily looked sensational. She wore a flower crown to match her maids who wore blue and grey dresses in mismatched styles. Neil looked very smart in his military uniform and later changed into a navy suit and red tie. All in all a very stylish bunch then!
Emily Tyler Photography, thank you so much for sharing with us these divine shots. What a truly lovely day.
THE PROPOSAL | Neil proposed on a beautiful secluded Cornish beach in August 2015 with the most gorgeous 1940s antique Opal and Diamond ring. Much to my unawareness a month previous Neil had spent a day in London with my best friend ring shopping, a day later I spent a weeks holiday with her and I’m still not sure how they managed it keep it quiet!
THE VISION | I was incredibly lucky to grow up in a lovely Suffolk countryside village and for a long time I knew that that was where I wanted to get married. Neil and I have been together for almost 10 years, from only 16. Growing up we spent a lot of time at my parents and their relaxed, open door nature meant that we often had friends over with lots of parties and BBQ’s, so it was a very natural decision to hold our wedding in their garden. Our most important factors were that the day was to have a relaxed, country feel with good food and plenty of it, a well stocked bar and a brilliant party to wrap it all up.
THE PLANNING PROCESS | Two or so years before Neil proposed, in a London pub and after a bottle or two of wine we pretty much planned our whole wedding. So when Neil did pop the question our planning process was very relaxed, with all the big decisions done I was able to spend 2 years doing the bit that I enjoyed the most; the décor and styling (and all the finer details)! We are very organised people so we had a wedding spreadsheet and lists a plenty and I thoroughly enjoyed the whole process.
THE VENUE | We got married in the village church where I had grown up and held the reception at my parents, with drinks, garden games and cakes in their garden, a beautiful traditional marquee in their field and camping behind it.
THE DRESS & ACCESSORIES | I loved dress shopping, and definitely used it as an excuse to try on as many dresses as possible! I knew I wanted a floral crown and I was so lucky to find Florence & Flowers who made me the most beautiful dried flower crown.
Something old – My antique engagement ring
Something new – My dress
Something borrowed – My mum’s bracelet, that my Dad had given her on her 21st birthday.
Something blue – A pair of opal earrings that had a beautiful blue shine.
FINDING THE DRESS | I bought my dress from Rock the Frock in Chelmsford. They have so many beautiful dresses and are so nice and incredibly helpful. On my first visit I took my Mum and it was lovely to share that experience just the two of us and I came away knowing that I had found THE dress. We went back a few weeks later with my four bridesmaids and their reaction was just as I had hoped! I chose a beautiful Milamira gown, with a light lace sleeved top, appliqued flowers and a floaty skirt with pockets and a side slit. I also bought a Self Portrait midi dress that I changed into after our first dance, so that I could party with our friends and family!
GROOM’S ATTIRE | Neil wore his military uniform for the ceremony and photos, which meant so much to him (and looked incredibly dapper!). He then changed into a navy suit and dark red tie.
THE READINGS & MUSIC | One of my bridesmaids and child hood best friend did a reading from Winnie the Pooh (my favourite book as a child)…
“If you live to be a hundred, I want to live to be a hundred minus one day so I never have to live without you.”
“Piglet sidled up to Pooh from behind. “Pooh?” he whispered.
“Nothing,” said Piglet, taking Pooh’s hand. “I just wanted to be sure of you.”
“We’ll be Friends Forever, won’t we, Pooh?’ asked Piglet.
Even longer,’ Pooh answered.”
“If ever there is tomorrow when we’re not together… there is something you must always remember. You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think. But the most important thing is, even if we’re apart… I’ll always be with you.”
It meant a lot to us as Neil is often away meaning we have to spend a lot if time apart.
Neil’s brother read Corinthians 13 1-7.
Neil’s brother’s partner is a wonderful singer and we were very lucky to have her sing whilst we signed the register. She sang Skinny Love (Birdy) and Your Song (Elton John), both songs that we love and it was amazing, a memory that we will always cherish.
BEAUTIFUL BRIDESMAIDS | My four beautiful bridesmaids wore blue/grey dresses, all from ASOS. I knew that I wanted them to be comfortable and happy with that they were wearing so it was a natural decision for them all to be in different dresses. They chose their own shoes and hair styles complimented with beautiful flower crowns that matched in with mine.
THE FLOWERS | Triangle Nurseries made out beautiful bouquets, buttonholes and corsages. With our rustic and countryside feel we knew we wanted our flowers to reflect this too, and Triangle Nurseries did such a great job! Greenery played a big part, and this worked beautifully with the simple and wild looking flowers.
For the marquee we did the flowers ourselves, picking them from my grandparents garden, we used beautiful vintage glass bottles for the tables and used an old ladder of my Dads to hang flowers from the top of the marquee. It looked great!
THE CAKE | My Mum’s friends made our cake, she’s a brilliant baker! We chose a naked cake with four tiers: red velvet; chocolate and vanilla. We left her to it with the decoration and it looked and tasted amazing! One of my bridesmaids made a beautiful gold laser cut cake topper.
YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER | What can I say, Emily Tyler is wonderful! She photographed Neil’s cousins wedding a few years previous and we loved her work. Her relaxed, documentary style was perfect for our day, and we were so incredibly pleased with her photos. She managed to capture some beautiful candid moments, some playful (and hilarious!) group shots and some loving couple photos along with a mountain of other great shots!
THE DETAILS & DÉCOR | I have a background in design and interiors so the décor and styling was really important to me, everything was designed, made or sourced by either us or a friend/ family member. Our colour scheme was quite broad, more of a feel; soft, pastel, rustic and countryside. I made 100 linen napkins, ripped metres of fabric to make tassel bunting garlands that hung in the marquee, sourced and purchased nearly 150 linen and lace doilies that I stitched together for the table runners, designed all our stationary, Neil and I made all the signage and my Mum and I sourced around 50 vintage serving dishes and platters for the food. Neil and my Dad converted my Dad’s horse box into a bar, my Dad restored an old ice cream bicycle that had been rusting away in his shed for years, which we used for a gin bar and we made garden games and a photobooth for the afternoon.
Instead of giving favours I designed individual place names that one of my lovely bridesmaids laser cut out of wood, they looked amazing and our guests loved them!
We were so lucky that one of my bridesmaids also runs a lovely prop hire and styling company, in which we borrowed the beautiful glass bottles for our table flowers, candle sticks and vintage china.
There was so much making and sourcing and we loved doing it all!
THE FOOD | As a nod to our love of Cornwall and our Cornish engagement we had Cornish pasties in the evening. We had cake, tea and a gin bar in the afternoon. With pulled pork and pavlova for our wedding breakfast. All are our favourite foods!
THE HONEYMOON | We had a mini-moon to Norfolk, spending one night in a lovely B&B on the coast and one night in a country spa hotel, it was a lovely little break. We are having a big two week honeymoon this year!
MEMORABLE MOMENTS | We were so incredibly lucky to have had so many offers of help for our wedding, so many friends and family made things, lent us items and helped during or in the lead up to our day. The week leading up to our wedding was almost just as wonderful as the day itself, there were so many people coming and going and there was such as buzz! We held a BBQ the day after our wedding and invited those that helped, along with our close families and wedding party. It was lovely to extend the day and spend a bit more time chatting to everyone.
Being together from such a young age and meeting at high school means that we have such a big and wonderful group of friends. To have all our friends and family together was amazing! Many had grown up coming to parties at my parents and for them it was nostalgic, as it was for us.
The speeches were amazing, and most definitively one of our favourite parts of the day for the both of us. Neil had three best men, and each did a speech, alongside Neil and my Dad. We laughed, we cried and we beamed from ear to ear, we both wish we could go back to that moment!
ADVICE FOR OTHER COUPLES | When we got engaged one of Neil’s most important factors for our day was that we had long enough to chat to our guests and spend time with them, so that when it came to the evening we could relax and dance! Having an early ceremony (12.30) was one of the best decisions we made, don’t get me wrong, the day still went quickly but we had time to enjoy the afternoon, to have photos taken without worrying that we were running out of time and to party in the evening!
CREDIT WHERE CREDIT IS DUE |
Photographer | Emily Tyler Photography
Flower Crown | Florence & Flowers
Marquee | The Highfield Event Group
Videographers | Moments Videography
Florist | Triangle Nursery
Prop Hire | Sorrel & Steve
Bell Tent Hire | Norfolk Bells
Wedding Dress Designer | Milamira Bridal
Wedding Dress Shop | Rock the Frock Bridal
Hair | Emilie Riley Hair
Make Up | Sophie Saunders
Ahhh so gorgeous.
Emily and Neil, thank you both so much for sharing your story with us today xo Lou