John and Laura were married on Saturday 15th August 2015. After rain all week they were blessed with a clear cloudless sky and bright sunshine. A pretty feel was order of the day with pastel tones, confetti and florals all round.
They wanted to use their creativity to take on some DIY projects, they tackled hessian bunting, signage, balloon tassels and the guest book to name a few. The results were just beautiful.
Laura chose a Mori Lee lace gown teamed with a long veil and classic up do, didn’t she look amazing? The bridesmaids donned pale blue skater dresses while the gents wore navy suits. Such a stylish affair.
Thanks so very much to the fabulous Jo Hastings Photography for sharing these images.
THE PROPOSAL | John took me away on a Spa break to Whittlebury Hall (near Silverstone); we both had a full day of treatments and a lovely lunch. I think this was the plan to make sure I was totally relaxed before he ‘popped the question!’ Instead it gave me a cracking migraine and I felt sick! Poor John; unaware of how I was feeling, he still popped the question and of course I said ‘YES’ despite feeling horrendous and now shocked!
THE VISION | A very causal anything goes kind of wedding. We didn’t want to be held to a particular colour scheme so anything pastel, floral or natural was the plan. We are also both quite creative so we knew we wanted to be able to do a lot of it ourselves.
THE PLANNING PROCESS | Gosh I had sooooo many ideas I didn’t know where to start. I decided that the best way would be to have a scrapbook! It turned out to the best thing. Every time we found something we liked I tore it out of a magazine or printed off Pinterest and stuck it in the book. Meetings with suppliers were so easy as they could see our vision, we gave ourselves a little over 18 months to sort it.
BUDGET | We found this very hard to stick too! Or should I say, I did! John itemised the big items so we could see where our money was going – this helped us a lot too.
THE VENUE | Growing up on Church Street, there was only one Church I wanted to get married in, St Giles Church Whittington, Lichfield. It’s within walking distance from the house to the Church so me, my dad and bridesmaids all walked to the church. Thank goodness it was such a beautiful day. We knew we wanted a relaxing and causal venue so when we found Shustoke Farm Barns it was just perfect for us, the meetings were great with the team and they totally understood our direction.
THE DRESS & ACCESSORIES | My dress was from ‘Mori Lee’ . A very simple laced dress covering my shoulders with a decorative open backed V shape. I had a decorative beaded cuff made from Debby Hoffman Bridal on Etsy, which I then had attached onto a satin belt just to give a little sparkle. My veil was 180” long, my shoes were an ivory pointed T-bar with sparkle from Next and my hairpiece was from Jon Richard.
FINDING THE DRESS | If I am totally honest I was dreading the whole wedding dress shopping. I think this was because I didn’t really know what to expect. Buying your dress is such a big thing and how do you know if it’s actually the one? I’m such an indecisive person that I thought there would be no chance. I first started to look on the internet for ideas and found a dress on eBay that I loved, took a screen shot of it but put it to the back of my mind and thought no more about it. After looking in different shops and trying lots of styles I thought I had narrowed it down. ‘Bridalwear by Francesca’ in Tamworth Staffs was the last shop I went into. I tried on a very simple dress and decorative belt by Mori Lee, which I knew was the one! It felt amazing. Once I had ordered the dress I went back through my old photos and the dress turned out to be the very first dress I screen shot on eBay… Fate!
GROOM’S ATTIRE | John decided he wanted all the guys to be the same so we chose a simple 3 piece slim fit blue suit from Debenhams, with a minty green tie to match the bridesmaids and they all had the same brown shoes and belts that we purchased from Burtons.
THE READINGS & MUSIC | We always like a good old sing song so in the church we wanted hymns that people knew. We chose ‘Give me Joy’, ‘Lord of the Dance’ and ‘Lord the Light of your Love’. I walked down the aisle to ‘The Prince of Denmark’s March ‘Trumpet Voluntary’ and we left to ‘Mendelssohn Wedding March’. As our venue had a beautiful courtyard for the drinks reception we had a guy called ‘Joe Seager’ play acoustic guitar who created a great atmosphere. A chill out jazz playlist was playing while we ate followed by a live band in the evening called ‘The Distractions.’ We should have had Omi ‘Cheerleader’ as our first dance as everyone thinks of us when they hear it but instead we chose John Legend ‘All of me’ as it’s a favourite between me and John.
BEAUTIFUL BRIDESMAIDS | All our bridesmaids wore the same dresses from House of Fraser ‘Therapy’. They were a simple skater style dress in a lovely soft minty colour with a little bit of lace detail on top, which suited all 6 girls. We didn’t want anything to formal. We got them in the January sale at a crazy cheap price! Complemented with simple ivory shoes from New Look. Our flower girl wore a pretty ivory dress from John Rocha from Debenhams. I made all the hairpieces for the girls from a selection of resin flowers bought off eBay, which worked a treat.
THE FLOWERS | We had recently seen the work of ‘Herbarium’ in Aldridge, Walsall at our friend’s wedding so went with the recommendation from them.
We knew we wanted a rustic country style look with lots of garden herbs, such as Rosemary, Mint, Sage and Lavender but that was it. After our first meeting with Sue and Mike we knew we had chosen the right florist, as they were full of great ideas! I made hessian covered pots for the tables and we had a simple wooden crate for the top table filled with a real mixture of flowers such as Blue Veronica, Hydrangeas, Lavender, Stocks, Dahlias mixed herbs and many more. As you entered the barn we had the most amazing arrangement of Delphiniums, Stocks, Hydrangea heads, Salal and Eucalyptus all stacked into garden crates, which gave height and impact as you walked in.
The bridesmaids bouquets and groomsmen button holes were all Tanacetum and my bouquet had a mixture of Hydrangeas, Lavender, Rosemary, Dahlias, Stocks and loads more. Which smelt amazing!
THE CAKE | I found ‘Butter Cream and Dreams’ after hash-tagging Shustoke Farm Barns on Instagram. We didn’t want a traditional wedding cake so opted for a naked cake with 3 different flavours. Carrot Cake, Raspberry and White Chocolate and Lemon Drizzle all our favourites!
YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER | Jo Hastings was the perfect choice for us. She made us feel so comfortable throughout the day and captured everything. We love all of our photos and wish we could have them all up around the house! We were also lucky enough to have a drone on the day from our friend at Altitude Photography. Which captured the day from the sky!
THE DETAILS & DÉCOR | One of our friends is an illustrator and between us we came up with our unique hand drawn illustrations that were used throughout all stationery. We had a map drawn inside the invite starting with the church and ending with the venue. RSVP cards with giant balloons on and Gift List with Tuk Tuks on as we knew we wanted to go to Thailand and we reused the church illustration for the front of our Order of Service. A page inside the order of service called ‘Getting to know your bridal party’ went down well with a few light hearted points about each person – ‘Jason (John’s Brother) – the fastest kid in school – 1984’.
John and I met on Match.com so our favours were match boxes that John had designed and printed.
I love to make things so decided to make Mr and Mrs Cope hessian bunting, hessian pots for the table flowers, welcome signs, seating plan, decorative ribbons and tissue paper streamers for the giant balloons, a wooden heart drop frame guestbook along with so many more things… Each table had a ‘Cope Carver’ which we supplied aprons and chef hats for. Their job was to carve the meat at their table.
Fire pits, candles and sparklers were great extras for the evening.
The venue itself is just beautiful that we only had to do small personal touches to make it special to us.
THE HONEYMOON | I had left our Mini Moon Plans up to John who told me we were off to Rome. However, on the morning of the wedding my gift from John was a large cooking apple with a flag sticking out saying we are going to the Big Apple! It was a lovely surprise. John and I have never had a hot holiday together so we are planning a trip to Thailand in 2016.
MEMORABLE MOMENTS | I must say I did love the walk to the church with my bridesmaids and dad I’m so glad the weather was on our side. The whole day was amazing, we loved every part of it and wish we could do it all again. Its not very often you get everyone you love in the same place for the whole day. Face ache from all the smiling and cheesy grins….. oh there were just so many amazing memories.
ADVICE FOR OTHER COUPLES | Decide what is most import for your day and get it booked asap to avoid any disappointment. Don’t sacrifice your dream to stay inside your budget (within reason). Make sure you please yourselves and not others as its your day. There will be tears along the way but enjoy!
CREDIT WHERE CREDIT IS DUE |
Venue | Shustoke Farm Barns
Photographer | Jo Hastings Photography
Drone Photography | Altitude Photography
Flowers | Herbarium
Dress | Mori Lee
Shoes | Next
Bridesmaids | House of Fraser ‘Therapy’
Groomsmen suits | Debenhams
Stationery | Heather Horsley
Make up | Laura Hayes Beauty
Music | Joe Seager
Band | The Distractions Band
Cake | Butter Cream and Dreams
Brilliant, I just love the nod to their meeting on match.com too.
Thanks so much to John and Laura for sharing their lovely story with us xo Lou