Summer dreamin’ this fine Friday. Seeing as we’re in March now, I think we’re allowed to feel excited for summer days; drenched in sunshine and enjoying light evenings. Which of course, you’re totally going to be doing once you’ve read all about this gorgeous wedding celebration.
James and Katie went for a relaxed, rustic and fun affair on the 5th August 2017. They had a church ceremony followed by an outdoor marquee reception at a beautiful Lavender Farm. I love our local Lavender Farm, surrounded by the buzzing bees, heavenly scent and vibrant purple blooms. So it’s no wonder our pair chose this as their location. What a dream.
Their day was a real labour of love, with family creating both the blooms and cake, plus the decoration was lovingly hand crafted by Katie, James and their loved ones. So much style, what with the beautiful attire, pretty florals and stunning imagery by Sasha Lee Photography (thanks Sasha!).
THE PROPOSAL | James actually proposed in Copenhagen in the snow which was lovely. We had a bit of a whirlwind romance and we both just knew we would marry each other. He flew me out to Copenhagen to celebrate our 1 year anniversary, I think I thought perhaps it might happen, but he’d only brought hand luggage with him and seemed really relaxed on the plain so I thought nahhhh not this time. Then on our second day there we woke up to the most beautiful blanket of snow. We decided to make the most an go for a wander around Frederiksberg Palace and Gardens. It was a special moment, after wandering around a little, James just got down on one knee and asked me. I remember snatching the ring out of his hand while crying and telling him to get up and stop embarrassing me… James asked if that meant yes and I replied of course!
THE VISION | I had always wanted to have an outdoor wedding reception, so that’s where inspiration began. I just wanted a big marquee with all our friends and family and food and dancing and happy memories. We didn’t really know about anything else just as many people as possible and we wanted them there for the whole day no evening guests.
THE PLANNING PROCESS | We both decided we wanted to marry as soon as possible that summer, after enjoying our engagement briefly it did feel like there was suddenly loads to do to make that happen! Dates, venues, invites, dresses… it was all spinning around in my head and I think at the start we both felt very overwhelmed. Hopefully you only plan a wedding once and we had no idea where to start!
BUDGET | Our parents were both very generous as we had little savings and we worked out a pretty strict budget early on to stick to, which still left a nice amount for our honeymoon.
THE VENUE | The venue was probably the thing that made the whole wedding click into place. At first we were unsure whether to marry in London at the church where we’d both met or to have the big day in Sheffield where I am originally from. Every idea we had was shot down due to the price of the venue, London wedding receptions are just so expensive and our budget didn’t stretch to the amount of people we wanted at the wedding. Finally James had the absolute brainwave of emailing the Lavender farm we had visited the previous summer on a date. After a bit of toing and froing and us trying to convince them it would be low key and casual they agreed!
THE DRESS & ACCESSORIES | My dress was from Milla Nova a Ukrainian designer, my shoes were just from Office and my mum made my floral crown for me. I decided to go without a veil due to budget.
FINDING THE DRESS | Dress shopping was wonderful and also slightly annoying, it was so special trying on dresses with my Mum and Mother-in-law to be and sisters. But I found it slightly overwhelming there were so many styles and I had no idea what suited me. I went about 5-6 different shops in the end and still didn’t feel like I’d found a stand out dress. In the end after scrolling through what felt like the whole of Pinterest I found Milla Nova’s designs. They were quite glamorous and exciting and not something I would have necessarily gone for straight away, but then I saw the Selena dress, on the model it looked glam but I could picture it in a field with flowers in my hair and bare feet and I thought it was the right kind of slightly boho vibe I was after. There was only 1 shop in England that stocked it and they wanted to charge £1200, so I called up the store in the Ukraine and asked how much it would be to ship it over from there. It was 800 Euros. So I went for that! It was a risk and I was slightly worried I might have been robbed of my money but then the dress arrived.
GROOM’S ATTIRE | James wanted a suit with a nod to the slightly rustic dress code. We found his one from Moss Bros, which was perfect as we didn’t want to spend much. James bought it himself so it didn’t have to come out of the wedding budget. He paired it with brown suede Chelsea boots he already owned from Boden. The tie was from Next.
THE READINGS & MUSIC | We chose Roman’s 12:9-21 for our reading, which is a section of the Bible about how to love one another well. The processional was Prelude in G Major by Bach and played by my Brother in Law who is an amazing organist. We walked out of the church to Fleetwood Mac – I wanna be with you everywhere.
BEAUTIFUL BRIDESMAIDS | I actually had 12 bridesmaids which was quite a lot including 3 maids of honour, my sister and my two best friends. My vision for the bridesmaids was everyone in pretty pastel dresses of varying shades, I left the actual dress decisions up to them as I wanted them to feel amazing and sadly I couldn’t afford to buy dresses for all 12!
The girls were amazing though and really got on board with the colour scheme. In the end there were four colours and three bridesmaids wearing each colour. Lilac, peach, mint, and pale blue. It was a bit touch and go with how it was going to look as I hadn’t been able to get everyone together in the dresses before the big day but it just worked out amazingly and the day before they all made a green floral crown, which linked them all together perfectly.
The dresses were from all over, Self Portrait, Asos, eBay, Topshop, Ghost, H&M.
THE FLOWERS | My amazing mother did all the flower arrangements with a team of helpers on the two days prior. We got all our flowers from Dennis at Covent Garden Flower market, it was lovely selecting them all with my mum, she knows tons about flowers and after sharing my vision with her she had loads of ideas. I knew I wanted lots of Hydrangeas in blue and white and then all the other flowers pastely and meadowy. The flowers were definitely my favourite part of the decoration and I’m still amazed at how she managed to achieve all my crazy Pinterest ideas!
THE CAKE | My wonderful sister made the cake! She was very chilled about the whole thing and made it the day before and put it together at the field. I was slightly nervous but when I saw it I knew I shouldn’t have doubted her it was just gorgeous! I don’t like white icing so I knew that we’d have a naked cake and the fruit and flowers just looked gorg!
YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER | Our photography was by the lovely Sasha of Sasha Lee Photography, she was definitely the best find! I cant quite remember where I first saw her photos whether it was Pinterest or a blog or where but soon I was browsing her website and it was just the kind of photography I loved. Beautiful light, pretty composition and lots of candid shots!
THE DETAILS & DÉCOR | The details and décor were pretty much all stolen from Pinterest and then put together cheaply by me, I was slightly obsessed with linen napkins but couldn’t find anywhere that would rent them or sell them to me for a reasonable amount of money. Or if it was cheap enough they didn’t have the lovely earthy natural colours I loved. I decided to just do it myself and bought 6 king size linen bedsheets and painstakingly cut them all down to size with my mother in law (and father in law) to be’s help! That project drove us all slightly insane but I still think it was worth it as they turned out so beautifully!
The seating plan was just something I’d seen on Pinterest and we’d already decided on eucalyptus to go on the place settings so I thought leaves as the seating plan would be perfect compliment. Mine and James’ friends and family all massively chipped in and came together to help and on the lead up to the wedding I think we had a small army of about 30 people all helping with all the little details and bringing it all together beautifully. The wine bottles with leaves in were something I’d seen on Pinterest and it was my mum’s idea to add Lavender as well, my Father in law spent far too long tying twine and lavender to the orders of service but we were so grateful they looked so perfect!
THE HONEYMOON | After the wedding we were both pretty exhausted and spent 4 days in Surrey relaxing and sleeping before flying to Bali for 3 weeks. We had such a wonderful time and it was such a special way to start married life. We were so grateful to our parents as without them it wouldn’t have been possible.
MEMORABLE MOMENTS | Walking out of the church to our favourite song with all our friends walking out behind us was amazing! I think we got outside and were just like YAYYYYYYYYYY! and then it was back inside for the confetti tunnel, which was beautiful and fulfilled all my confetti tunnel dreams!
The speeches were such a happy time and watching James brother dancing near the end of the night and having such a happy time throughout the day was so special. We actually just loved the whole day and it was quite surreal just seeing all our hard work pay off and everything come together at the reception.
ADVICE FOR OTHER COUPLES | Plan together were you can and delegate out tasks, James was so great about wanting to be involved in loads of stuff and when it all got a bit overwhelming he’d be happy to phone the venue or a certain supplier for me, he was great!
Let your family and friends help but make sure you give them specific tasks and have a list of things so they can keep moving down the checklist. The day before everyone kept asking me things as it was sort of all my vision and I wish I’d written out more clear instructions with pictures of what I wanted everything to be like. We just kept telling people to do whatever they thought best haha!
Also a piece of advice that we received, which was really excellent, was hold hands all day and don’t let each other go, as I think often on your wedding day you don’t spend that much time with your new husband/wife. It was really good advice and people came to both of us rather than us each going separately to talk to different people.
Also on the day just don’t even think about how you wanted it to be and just enjoy what it is, it’s such a wonderful day surrounded by friends and family marrying the love of your life, just enjoy it!
CREDIT WHERE CREDIT IS DUE |
Photographer | Sasha Lee Photography
Dress | Milla Nova
Suit | Moss Bros
Hog Roast | Hog Roasting
James and Katie, thanks so much to you both for sharing your utterly beautiful story with us xo Lou