Fields of gold and long summer days. Pure heaven. It feels like a distant memory already doesn’t it? Well let me remind you with this simply gorgeous wedding celebration today. Summer wedding couples, you will fall hook line and sinker for this dreamy affair, why? Let me share all.
WWW readers Katie and Ian were married on the 1st July 2017 at Blake Hall in Essex. The venue was perfect for their rustic vision, with it’s two barns just awaiting pastel and gold decoration from this super stylish pair. Think fresh pretty blooms, pink and green mason jars, a buttercream cake and a pimp your Prosecco station. Oh yes!
We haven’t even touched on the beautiful photographs by Summer Lily Studio yet, thanks to Terri for sharing these today. Not to mention the sublime outfits. I mean just look at that dress, hearts for eyes. We’re so stocked that Supplier Love faves Alive Network and Vintage Booth were on hand to supply the band and photo booth, it must have been one heck of a party.
THE PROPOSAL | Whilst on holiday in Iceland, we went for a walk along a picturesque black sand beach in Vik, where Ian then got down on one knee with the most beautiful ring. In order to keep the ring hidden throughout the holiday, Ian had buried it in a pair of his socks… and the socks even made it along to the proposal itself! To remember the moment, Ian wore the same pair of socks on our wedding day.
THE VISION | I was keen on a rustic theme to match the barn venue and pastel colours to fit a summer wedding, with a hint of gold. We were also keen to find a way to incorporate our love of travelling together into the day.
THE PLANNING PROCESS | Anyone that knows me, knows that I am super organised and a bit of perfectionist. We created a wedding spreadsheet pretty quickly, which ended up with about twenty different tabs including cost monitoring, guest list, seating plan and an action list to name a few!
The first step was to find the venue, which we did just over a year before the wedding. I then booked all the suppliers shortly after, which left plenty of time to focus on the detail of the day. I was keen to make a lot of the decorations ourselves, so I had many wedding workshop weekends at my Nan’s.
I pulled together a detailed timetable for the day, which I shared with the venue and the wedding party ahead of our big day. This helped me feel more relaxed on the day itself knowing everyone knew where they were supposed to be and when.
THE VENUE | As part of my vision, I was set on a barn venue where we could have both the ceremony and reception at the same place. We looked at lots of venues but none of them quite ticked all the boxes; however as soon as we got to Blake Hall we knew it was the one. I loved that there were two separate barns (one for the ceremony and one for the reception) and it had everything we were looking for, including a cottage for the night before, some accommodation on site and beautiful locations for photos. I think what I loved most of all were the beautiful barns. All the staff at the venue were brilliant and ensured our day ran smoothly, as well as putting up with my constant questions prior to the wedding (and my insanely detailed timetable)!
THE DRESS & ACCESSORIES | I loved the style of the Christine Dando dresses and they weren’t like any I had seen before. I fell in love with the lace detail on both the back of dress and on the incredible train. The designer and seamstress were lovely and made me a bespoke veil with a lace trim to match the train. It was also surprisingly comfortable!
Due to the detail on the dress I wanted to keep my jewellery quite simple. I love pearls so I wore some delicate pearl drop earrings and a similar style bracelet, which matched the pearl buttons on the back of the dress. I love the style of Manolo Blahnik shoes and managed to find some Jenny Packham shoes with a similar embellished pointed toe.
FINDING THE DRESS | I went wedding dress shopping with my best friend and sister. I thought I had a certain style in mind, but once I started trying them on it all changed. I tried on as many different styles of dresses as I could and narrowed it down quite quickly to a particular style. Even though I went to three different dress shops and tried on multiple dresses, I still went back to try my dress several times to make sure I was happy before paying the deposit.
GROOM’S ATTIRE | We found Ian’s suit at Suit Supply and had it tailored to fit him perfectly. Neither of us was keen on a full morning suit so we went with a tailored dark grey suit, with a matching waistcoat and ivory tie. Ian wore the Bulova watch I had bought him for his 30th birthday and I got some solid silver cufflinks engraved with our initials.
We hired slightly lighter grey slim fit suits from Debenhams for the ushers, with mint ties to match the bridesmaid dresses. They all looked very dapper!
THE READINGS & MUSIC | I really struggled to choose the readings! We found a sweet poem called “My Personal Penguin” by Sandra Boynton that my friend read for us. I then decided to write a poem about us for the other reading as a surprise, which Ian’s sister read.
We had an acoustic guitarist for the ceremony and reception drinks after. I walked down the aisle to Moon River. We then had Yellow and Your Song for the signing of the register and we walked out to Brown Eyed Girl.
We had a band in the evening, the Kickstarters. Our first dance was Ho Hey by the Lumineers. We really wanted everyone up dancing and the band did a brilliant job at making sure that happened!
BEAUTIFUL BRIDESMAIDS | I had four bridesmaids. My three best friends (who I met at school, university and work) and my elder sister. They organised a wonderful hen do and were a great support on the big day. We were very lucky that the venue had a cottage we could stay in the night before and get ready in on the morning of the wedding; it was lovely to have a nice girly night in before the wedding.
I was very set on mint colour bridesmaid dresses and managed to find the perfect dresses from Asos, which had a lovely sequin detail on the top half of the dresses. The bridesmaids looked absolutely stunning!
THE FLOWERS | I love roses and peonies and wanted soft pink and cream coloured flowers to create a pastel colour scheme. We also used Eucalyptus as it looked lovely alongside the mint bridesmaid dresses. We had wooden slice centrepieces, with three jars on every table that were collected by our families, and were decorated with hessian and lace. We also had rose petals scattered down the aisle. Our florist, Rhona, did an incredible job and the flowers looked just perfect.
For the confetti, I bought some freeze dried light pink rose petals. I then filled small brown bags with the confetti that we had stamped with our name and the wedding date.
THE CAKE | To fit in with the rustic style, I really wanted something very simple. I came across the semi naked style cake on Pinterest and loved the idea of using the real flowers to decorate the cake and a tree trunk as a cake stand to match the table settings. The cake had three tiers of chocolate orange, carrot and Victoria sponge and all three tasted incredible!
YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER | My sister is a wedding photographer and recommended Summer Lily Studio Photography. I loved Terri’s natural style and the beautiful lighting of her pictures. We met Terri before the wedding and instantly felt totally at ease. Neither of us are particularly good at posing, however Terri was amazing at capturing the natural moments of the day and provided us with so many beautiful photos. We have received so many lovely comments from our guests about what a brilliant job Terri did.
YOUR FILM | We debated whether or not to get a videographer but we are so glad we did. It’s so incredible to be able to relive the day, particularly as it goes by so quickly and there’s so much you miss! It’s also amazing being able to share the wedding with those who were unable to make it on the day. James of Inline Film did an incredible job with the video and we’re absolutely thrilled with the final product.
THE DETAILS & DÉCOR | The barn venue and rustic theme helped frame all the other details of the day. I was really keen to make lots of the decorations ourselves and with the help of my family, in particular my amazing Nan, we managed it.
I really wanted to incorporate our love of travelling into the day. I found this lovely rustic world map to use as a table plan. Each table was then a country we had visited together. We used small gold pins to mark each country and then brown luggage tags for the seating plan, these were then linked with string.
We made rustic invites on brown craft card, which had lace around the middle and a small brown label tag tied around the lace. As we loved these so much, we adopted a very similar style for our table decorations. We had small brown label tags tied with brown string around the napkins as name tags and small brown match boxes with little mints inside, labelled with a small brown tag saying “Mint to be”.
I can’t resist my sweets so I was really keen to have a sweetie table. I found some traditional sweet shop jars and filled them with our favourite sweets. We then had small brown bags that we had stamped like the confetti bags. We then decorated the table with small brown hearts that we had cut out from the name tags.
We collected some large jars and put in some LED lights, which we then put around the barn. They looked beautiful alongside the fairy lights on the beams.
I found a lovely small brown basket to put the cards in, which fitted in well with the rest of the theme. I’ve been to a few weddings where there have been flipflops and they always go down well. So I bought a large brown hamper basket to match the card basket and filled them with flipflops.
We had “Pimp my prosecco” for the reception drinks, which went down really well. The venue provided raspberries, mint, lime, elderflower cordial, peach puree and crème de cassis to help spice up the prosecco.
We went to a wedding a couple of years ago where they had a fabulous vintage photo booth, where we actually got one of my favourite pictures of the two of us, so we decided to book the same one! It’s a great way to get some funny pictures in the evening once the photographer and videographer have left.
The venue also let us bring along our own beer, for which we had to pay a small corkage fee. Ian booked a beer brewing day at his favourite brewery, Hook Norton, in advance of the wedding. We named the beer Something Brew and it went down very well. The beer is also being made into a seasonal beer by Hook Norton next year.
As Ian was staying away from the venue the night before, he booked a car for the weekend in order to make a stylish entrance. Ian booked a Caterham 7 car, not a traditional wedding choice, but one of his favourite cars owing to his love of motor racing.
THE HONEYMOON | As I organised the wedding, Ian took control of the honeymoon. We always have very active holidays and our honeymoon was no exception! We travelled across the West Coast of Canada (visiting Vancouver, Whistler, Jasper and Banff) and also went on a week-long cruise around Alaska; we then ended with a few days in Toronto to see Niagara Falls. Thanks to the amazing generosity of our friends and family, we were able to do lots of incredible activities and had a fabulous time.
MEMORABLE MOMENTS | Soooo many!
The ceremony itself; it was very emotional but we loved that there were lots of funny moments too.
The incredible speeches that had everyone laughing.
We loved that the dancefloor was full all night long thanks to our amazing band. I loved our first dance and my impromptu dance with my lovely Grandad. For the last song, the band played “Don’t look back in anger” by Oasis and all our guests formed a massive circle around us while we danced in the middle. It was an amazing end to the day.
ADVICE FOR OTHER COUPLES | It’s a massive cliché but it is actually true that the wedding day flies by! I couldn’t believe quite how quickly it went, so make sure you make the most of every moment. Also… book suppliers early to avoid missing out on the best ones… we had all our fabulous suppliers booked around a year before the wedding!
CREDIT WHERE CREDIT IS DUE |
Photography | Summer Lily Studio
Venue | Blake Hall
Bride’s shoes | Jenny Packham, Debenhams
Groom’s attire | Suit Supply
Bridesmaid dresses | Asos
Hair & MUA | Sian Sayer – Make up by Sian
Florist | B’looms
Cake | Cake Cuisine
Videographer | Inline Film
Music (day) | Paul Martin Wedding Guitarist
Ahh how perfect! I love everything about this special day.
Huge thanks goes to Katie and Ian for sharing their story with us xo Lou