By Louise Baltruschat Hollis
Why hello there, a happy Friday afternoon for you 🙂 I have another gorgeous wedding to share with you this afternoon before you head out of the office for the weekend.
WWW readers James and Donna married on the14th September 2013 at Sanctum on the Green, Berkshire.
They had a vision of a country garden wedding with bunting and lace. Much of the day they crafted themselves which gave a really personal feel. There was some beautiful attire too.
Donna wore Pronovias, James donned a Dress to Kill suit and the bridesmaids looked elegant in Two Birds Bridesmaids blush dresses. I so love the pretty pastel décor and those lush blooms.
Thanks so much to Charlotte Razzell for sharing her lovely images with us today.
The Proposal… James took me away for the weekend to Somerset last October and told me we were going Glamping ( I was not impressed….glamping in October?!). We ended up at Charlton House for a spa weekend. On the Saturday we went for a walk and he proposed at the top of a hill with a stunning views and a ring his grandmother had left to him.
The Vision for the Day… We wanted the day to be relaxed and not too formal. This was in mind when choosing our venue, food, band and photographer. Our vision was an English country garden theme with bunting and lace.
The Planning Process… We have been together for 5 years and had always agreed that being engaged meant planning to get married and being in a position to get married. So we got engaged in the October 2012 and booked our wedding for September 2013. Some people thought we were crazy trying to plan a wedding in less than a year but this was how we wanted it. We went to a few wedding fairs but they just reinforced our ideas that we wanted something a bit different and less formal. I am very organised and James is very decisive so this made a good combination when planning the wedding. James was very involved in everything. I would have the ideas and he would make the final decisions and he helped make most things as well. I loved this as it made the planning and lead up to the wedding much more fun and bought us closer together.
The Venue… Sanctum on the Green, Royal Berkshire. We chose this venue as they only do 10 wedding a year, no one we knew had already been to a wedding there and they were really flexible about what we wanted to do. We designed the menu with the chef Luke Thomas and had the most amazing food for a wedding. Everyone was raving about the food. We had fillet steak for the main course which was fantastic. The plan was to get married outside but the week leading up to the wedding the weather changed from the glorious sunshine we had had all summer to torrential rain. We were lucky on the day and it didn’t rain but it was quite chilly and drinks around the pool and in the gardens had to be moved inside.
The Dress + Accessories… White One by Pronovias from Whyte weddings Worthing. Shoes were from Belle and then for the evening I had converse for dancing. The flower in my hair was from Ellie Sanderson in Beaconsfield, Bucks.
Finding the Dress… I found dress shopping quite stressful as I had an idea in my head of what I wanted but then once I start trying dresses I liked other styles that I never thought I would. I knew I wanted a lace dress with some kind of detail at the top like sleeves or a high neck. I actually didn’t pick up the dress I ended up having as it was one shoulder and I had never worn anything one shoulder before but the assistant in the shop suggested I try it on and I loved it.
Groom’s Attire… James, his best men (Dave and Andy) and my Dad’s suits were bespoke made by Dress to Kill. James has always wanted a really good suit and this was his perfect opportunity. He knew he wanted a grey suit and nothing too formal and the shop helped them design something that looked great on all of them.
The Readings + Music… I walked down the aisle to somewhere over the rainbow played by James Henton. James played for us during the ceremony, at the drinks reception and as a duo in the evening. We know him from playing in our local pubs and when we chose our venue we knew he would be perfect. Everyone had such a great evening, the dance floor was always packed and everyone told us how amazing the band were. Our first dance was Jackie Wilson – (Your Love Keeps Lifting Me) Higher And Higher. The bridesmaids read “On your wedding day – Author Unknown”.
Beautiful Bridesmaids… My Maid of honour was Becky and her daughter (my god daughter) Sienna was a flower girl. Elle was my bridesmaid and her daughter Bella was also a flower girl. I let the bridesmaids choose their dresses themselves. I just told them they needed to be pastel colours but other than that they could match or not. I wanted them to be comfortable and choose something they loved. They ended up going for Two Birds dresses from Ellie Sanderson in Beaconsfield. The colour was blush. These were perfect for them because they are different shapes and sizes and they could adapt them to how they felt comfortable and what suited them as the top can be tied/wrapped in 15 different ways . Becky was also pregnant when choosing the dresses (her baby was 11 weeks old at the wedding) and had no idea what size she would be on the day so the two birds dresses were great as one size fits a size 8-14 so she didn’t need to worry about a dress not fitting her.
The flower girls wore dresses from Laura Ashley which my Mum bought without me. As soon as I saw them I loved them and what I loved even more was that they weren’t typical flower girls dresses. The girls also wore converse which we had swarovski crystals added to. Sophie the florist gave them flower wands and petals for their baskets. They walked down the aisle first with their mums scattering petals as I walked behind and I just heard everyone go “ahhhhhhh” as soon as they saw them. They did such a great job!
The Flowers… We wanted to use flowers which would compliment the bridesmaid’s and flower girls dresses of dusty pale pink and creams with a hint of pale blue. To create a soft and natural look pale pink hydrangeas with sweet avalanche and avalanche roses were used . The pale pink cymbidium orchids were hand wired to give a bit of texture into the bouquets, giving an overall stunning look. The same flowers were used throughout the wedding to carry on the elegant and dreamy theme.
The Cake… The cake was made by Nina at flour power. It was 3 tiers – one carrot cake, one white chocolate and raspberry and one lemon.
Your Photographer… Our photographer was Charlotte Razzell. Charlotte was recommended to us by someone I work with, she was the only photographer we met with and we knew straight away she was perfect for us. She is so friendly and it felt more like having a friend there with us on the day. We explained to her that we didn’t want lots of formal photographs and that I didn’t want to feel self-conscious knowing someone was taking photos of me all day. She did a great job, she was very discreet and we got some amazing natural photos of the day.
The Details + Decor… We made pretty much everything. I love being crafty and I knew that the only way I could get what I wanted would be to make it. We started off making all the invites which were brown card, lace and bunting and we just built our theme from there. We knew we wanted bunting as we had a marquee we to decorate so we decided to make it all ourselves (all 130metres of it!). I also didn’t want one colour for everything as I had seen when my friends were getting married picking one colour and trying to get everything to match was a nightmare so we just decided on pastel colours. We picked some different materials, cut out all our triangles and got the sewing machine out. I made the table numbers and menus to match our invitations. Once the bridesmaids had chosen there dresses we then focused other colours around them, like the lanterns in the marquee, the flowers and the ties for the guys. We made the centre pieces by buying some terracotta pots painted them, wrapped twine around the top and then brought the lavender for them the day before the wedding. I also made the table plan. I bought the frame first as I loved it and then went from there. We had 4 little spaces to fill on it and I wasn’t sure what to put in them and then I thought it would be nice to have some memory of our grandparents there with us on the day as only my Nan is still alive. I asked my family for pictures of them on their wedding days. It was such a lovely touch and everyone loved it.
We also made a sweet table which we bought all the bits for and I made some tissue paper flower trees. We had a couple of different things instead of a guest book – for the day guests we had a finger print tree which is great as we can now hang this on out wall as a memory and for the evening we had a wishing tree.
For the chairs I didn’t want chair covers but wanted something to make them look a bit nicer so we bought some tulle material to tie on the chairs and made tissue paper flowers. For the favours James made Limoncello with lemons picked from his dads lemon tree in Cyprus.
The Honeymoon… We went to Sandals Whitehouse in Jamaica for our honeymoon.
Memorable Moments… Too many to pick just one. The whole day was perfect. If I had to pick one I would have to say seeing James’ face when he saw me and he says his is when he saw me for the first time.
Advice for Other Couples… Start planning/making early, you can’t please everyone so just do what you want to do and be decisive.
Credit Where Credit is Due…
Suits | Dress to Kill
Dress | Whyte Weddings
Venue | Sanctum On The Green
Flowers | Lolas Roses
Cake | Flour Power
Hair Accessory | Ellie Sanderson
Bridesmaids | Two Birds Bridesmaids
Band | James Henton
Photography | Charlotte Razzell Photography
Oh so lovely.
Thanks so much to James and Donna for sharing their wonderful wedding with us today XOXO Lou
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What a lovely celebration!
Thanks so much Elaine xx
I love the frame idea for the seating plan. Could you tell me where you got this from? How big was it?
I love the seating chart. Do you know the dimensions of the frame?
The photo through the lavender is great. Both the colour and the black and white version!
I love he seating chart, could you give explanation of how you made it. Thx
I love your seating chart, could you tell me what it says in the heart in the centre? Truly beautiful x
I love your seating chart too. Could you give me all the inforatmion about it : where you buy it ? what it says in the heart in the centre ? the dimensions of the frame?
Hi, the seating plan is very personal and a great idea.
I looked in the shops today for something similar, could you please tell me where you got your frame from and the size?