Quirky, rustic, woodland inspired vintage glamour wedding goodness for you today.
Lauren and Alex tied the knot on Wednesday 17th February 2016 at Dewsall Court in Herefordshire. They went for a midweek winter wedding which not only saved them money but worked absolutely beautifully. The rain certainly didn’t dampen their spirits, just check out the umbrella shot and associated story in the report to find out why. It’s super important to not fret about the weather as it’s quite possibly one of the only things not in your control, plus it sometimes and in this case, makes for the best memories and moments.
These two are super creative and crafted much of the décor. Think hand painted signage, stamped place settings and decorated bottles for flowers to name a few. Talking of flowers the foliage and moss creations were just stunning, as were the couple who looked so stylish. Lauren after a long dress search fell for Dakota by Enzoani and I can see why with it’s figure hugging lace, I am also loving Lauren’s vintage hair style and heart nail art. WOW. Let’s not forget the boys though, Alex wore a wool suit with pocket watch and tan brogues for a twist on a classic look.
Thanks so much to Rebecca Douglas Photography for sharing these really rather fabulous images today.
THE PROPOSAL | (Alex) I proposed in Cornwall, which is one of our most favourite places in the world. We stayed in an old circus performers caravan from the 1920s called ‘Duke’. It was our first time there and we’ve been back to Spring Park every time we’ve been to Cornwall. It was a clear unusually mild Autumn night so the stars were out in force. I lit a fire outside and cooked us both dinner. Then once we had finished I got down on one knee and asked Lauren to marry me.
THE VISION | We wanted a rustic, quirky, vintage, woodland feel and to create a day that everyone would enjoy.
THE PLANNING PROCESS | We visited wedding fairs and did plenty of Internet research, we jotted down lots of ideas in notebooks and finally make a huge checklist on a whiteboard we hung up on our bedroom wall. This helped us keep track of our progress and helped us to see what we still needed to do. We only visited two venues in the end because we fell in love with Dewsall Court as soon as we pulled up on the drive (even if it meant dragging everyone from Birmingham to Hereford). Once the venue was booked everything else fell into place. We were also allocated a wonderful wedding planner at Dewsall called Alex, she made sure every little detail was in order and ensured the smooth running of the day, she’s an absolute star!
THE VENUE | Dewsall Court, Callow near Hereford.
It really is a breathtaking place and really echoed us as a couple. We found as we walked around the further we fell in love with it. It’s an exclusive use venue with so many usable spaces. There’s 3 barns, a lake, arboretum, adorable church all surrounding a gorgeous old rustic country house which is then framed by woodland, duchy of Cornwall countryside and the black mountains. We had exclusive use of the site from the Tuesday to the Thursday which allowed all our nearest and dearest to stay in the house with us which turned our special day into 3, everyone said it felt like a holiday.
THE DRESS & ACCESSORIES | My dress was an Enzoani design called Dakota which I wore with the matching veil. It was a figure hugging Ivory lace fishtail dress which I had matching lace added to make capped sleeves to cover the tops of my arms. My shoes were a duck egg and gold colour from Irregular Choice which matched the colour of our bridesmaids dresses. I wore dried lavender and thistles in my hair from The Artisan Dried Flower Company. My jewellery was all sourced from Birmingham jewellery quarter. My necklace, earrings and bracelet from the Pearl Gallery were bespoke pearl and marcasite with a classic antique style design. I wore my mothers old ring borrowed from my sister and a locket around my bouquet from an antique jewellers which held photographs of my mom and Alex’s nan so they could be with us on our big day. I also wore a personalised brooch on my bouquet given to me by my best friend on the morning of the wedding.
FINDING THE DRESS | I eventually found my dress at The Dressing Rooms in Halesowen. I had already tried on at least 100 other dresses at 10 other boutiques and was feeling like it was a hopeless task as I was so fussy and hasn’t had the ‘wow’ moment. I had actually left the dressing rooms again feeling disappointed when the manager came running out after me saying ‘you can’t leave until you’ve tried this dress on’ and low and behold it was the one I chose even though it was way over budget, oops . The veil was a total game changer and gave me the vintage look I was imagining. The ladies here were fantastic, so patient and helpful and went out of their way to help me find my dress, I would highly recommend them.
GROOM’S ATTIRE | My suit was a grey textured wool 3 piece, which I wore with a white shirt and brown leather brogues all from Next. Our ties were an eBay find which were also wool and matched the bridesmaid dresses. My best man and myself wore matching iron man helmet replica cufflinks which were also found on eBay.
THE READINGS & MUSIC | I walked down the aisle to Deseree Kissing You from Romeo and Juliet played by our lovely string quartet. They also played Can’t Help Falling in Love by Elvis while we signed the register and Hey Ho by The Lumineers as our exit music. They played though the drinks reception also which was a lovely touch and really added to the atmosphere.
We kept our ceremony short and sweet so we had no readings however we did have quite a number of speeches during the meal from the grandfather of the bride, the maids of honour, groom and best man.
We opted for a DJ for our evening reception due to our very eclectic music taste. Pete Stead was brilliant, he accommodated all our bizarre requests (he said that he had never played Wait and Bleed by Slipknot at a wedding before) We danced to Louis Armstrong La Vie En Rose for our first dance which was magical.
BEAUTIFUL BRIDESMAIDS | I had quite a few bridesmaids, oops. My younger sister Paige and my best friend Louisa were my maids of honour. Then I had my sister-in-law Zoe and my close friends Stevie, Esther, Charlotte, Lorna and Sophie as my bridesmaids, also Charlotte’s daughter Pippa and my cousin Grace as flower girls. They wore duck egg blue/green strapless floor length dresses with beaded embellishments at the waist, which were from a shop called Aspire in Solihull. They also wore faux brown fur shawls which I found on Amazon. The little ones dresses and shawls were from Monsoon. They all wore Harry Potter inspired necklaces from Etsy (the shop is called Kawaii Candy Couture and Taryn was very helpful) and carried dried lavender bouquets tied with twine which matched the rest of the flowers for the wedding.
THE FLOWERS | The flowers were from Love Lily and we couldn’t have picked a better florist, they were absolutely brilliant (we also got to visit beautiful Abergavenny for our design visits).
The bridal bouquet was made from lavender, thistles, eucalyptus and woody stems, hand tied with lace and twine and finished with a locket holding pictures of my mum and Alex’s nan.
The rest of the flowers matched this to continue our rustic theme. The button holes included feathers as well as lavender and thistles. The iron chandeliers in the barn were heavily dressed with wild flowers and foliage and hand tied dried lavender was hung from all the beams, this remained through the day and made the room smell incredible. Also using dried flowers meant everyone could take some home and lasts for ages we still have some lavender on our bookshelves at home.
We also had a wicker heart and my hair clip made from dried flowers but these were from The Artisan Dried Flower Company who were also amazing. We have the wicker heart hung up in our bedroom.
THE CAKE | The cake was made by Gerrys Cakes (Alex’s friends wife) it was 3 tiers including classic vanilla sponge with jam and buttercream and also lemon cake with lemon curd and buttercream. I painted the design onto the cake myself with edible inks and it was dressed with flowers made by Love Lilly to match the rest of the wedding.
YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER | Rebecca Douglas.
Becca was always going to be our photographer ( Lauren had found her on Instagram before we even got engaged) and we actually checked if she was available before we booked the venue. She is amazing and the day wouldn’t have been the same without her. I would 120% recommend her to anyone. The photos were very important to us we are very sentimental people and these are the parts of the wedding that stay with you forever. We really wanted a photographer who would capture not only the wedding but the whole feeling of the day and us as a couple and Becca did it perfectly.
We also decided to have a videographer and we chose Ignite Films who regularly work with Rebecca. They were again brilliant on the day genuinely lovely people making us feel very relaxed. We are yet to see the video but are looking forward to it very much!
THE DETAILS & DÉCOR | We are both quite creative people so tried to make most of our decorations ourselves for example, we made hand painted signs made from old floorboards found in skips, we hand stamped all the place settings for our guests, we collected bottles for our table decorations and wrapped them in burlap and twine (thank you Lou and Dan for helping) and we made personalised coat hangers for the bridesmaids. We also had loads of input from wonderful designers and friends. Sarah aka Peach Wolfe custom made all our wedding stationery from a design we sent her this included invites, table plan (which we assembled into an old suit case found for us by the best man) table numbers, card bunting and thank you cards. She was fantastic so reasonably priced and a lovely lady she also made the card for my mum which was such a lovely way to remember her on the day. Charlotte Clarke worked along side Sarah to create our wedding china to match our invites which is such a great keepsake. Our lovely friend and tattoo artist Kasi made us a beautiful painting which we had hung up in the entrance to the venue. Our friends Louisa and Dan made us ‘The Moores’ bunting which we also hung in the barn. Esther made all the origami cranes for the guest book tree and Paige made the photo guest book, we’re so lucky to have such creative friends and family!
Other details included hand embroidery hoops decorated with Johnny Cash quotes from Etsy, festoon lights, copper torches, braziers and sheep skins.
Our wedding favours were from ‘Charlie’s Moms Chocolate Factory’ which were hot chocolate spoons decorated with lavender.
THE HONEYMOON | We went to Paris straight after the wedding for 4 days which was lovely. We visited all the landmarks, and ate loads of French food which was fab.
We then went to Florida for 2 weeks from April to May. This included even more food, cruising round in a Chevy Camero, Disney world, chilling out in the pool and lots and lots of sunshine! It was fantastic we were a pair of big kids for 2 weeks and we didn’t want to come home.
MEMORABLE MOMENTS | Staying in the House and getting ready with all our loved ones. Seeing each other for the first time on the day. Alex blubbing like a baby during the vows. The broken umbrella closing on our heads (made for some brilliant photos as well). Playing games with all the bridal party when having photos with Becca. Being rushed out of the meal for the perfect sunset shot as it had rained all day. All the tear jerking speeches and Nathan giving the plant pot as a reminder of the stag. Smoking cigars outside the barn. Drinking the bar dry. Sausage and Mash on the dance floor.
ADVICE FOR OTHER COUPLES | Set a budget even if you don’t stick to it, which you won’t, but it will help narrow down choices.
Have a go at doing things yourself, it can be very rewarding and will definitely save money.
Don’t be nervous, just enjoy it and soak it all in. Take time alone as a couple on the day, it goes so quickly and can be so overwhelming.
Choose your photographer and videographer very wisely this is the place where spending a little more money is definitely worth it!
Concentrate on what you want and don’t let others get involved it can become very stressful and it’s not worth it, you should enjoy the planning process.
Don’t rule out a winter or midweek wedding. We saved loads of money doing this and it was still fantastic, we had rain on the day and it really added to the wedding and we have some great memories thanks to the infamous umbrella.
Most importantly it will be the best day of your lives so just enjoy every single second of it.
CREDIT WHERE CREDIT IS DUE |
Photographer | Rebecca Douglas Photography
Venue | Dewsall Court
Dress | Enzoani
Boutique | The Dressing Rooms
Dried Flowers | The Artisan Dried Flower Company
Florist | Love Lily
Stationery | Peach Wolfe
Wedding China | Charlotte Clarke
Such an amazing day.
Lauren and Alex, thank you both so much for sharing your story with us here at WWW xo Lou