Michelle and Craig tied the knot on the 26th April 2014, holding their marquee reception at Coverwood Lakes, Surrey. They wanted a vintage, romantic and rustic feel to their wedding day.
I just love Michelle’s bridal look, with a Justin Alexander dress, Jimmy Choo heels and a statement Flo & Percy head piece. There were pretty blooms, rustic DIY décor and a fab naked sponge cake. YUM.
Thanks so very much to Richard Jones for providing these lovely images today.
THE PROPOSAL | Easter 2012, I was whisked away for a weekend to Les Gets in the French Alps for a short weekend break and to get a few more days of amazing skiing under our belts. Having been together for 10 years, I had not expected a proposal AT ALL. We drove all the way from Surrey to Les Gets in 10 hours and then had 2 hours sleep in our hotel and hit the slopes. Half way through the first day, Craig stopped half way down a slope and said he wanted to take a photo. It was freezing so I did find it a bit strange that he wanted to stop. He told me to take off my skis – at which point I have to admit, I did kick up a bit of a fuss as any skier will know, this is not easy on fresh powder on the side of a steep slope!!! I’m glad I did though as Craig then got down on one knee and asked me to marry him. I couldn’t believe it. It was the most romantic thing. He pulled out a beautiful ring and a bottle of champagne that he’d been skiing with all morning!! Nobody else around us and just the two of us enjoying some bubbles on the side of a mountain in France. I was over the moon!! ☺
THE VISION | Vintage, romantic, rustic, and filled with family and friends.
THE PLANNING PROCESS | A 2 year engagement gave us plenty of time to plan. We started with an engagement party which actually gave quite a good insight into dealing with suppliers, deliveries, ebay (!), guests lists and venues. We listed out the BIG things (venue, photographer, caterer) and started with these things first. Without rushing, we slowly crossed things off our (ever growing) list. Lists, lists, lists and spreadsheets is the way to go.
BUDGET | £15K
THE VENUE | St Margarets Church, Chipstead followed by a reception at Coverwood Lakes, Peaslake, Dorking.
THE DRESS & ACCESSORIES | Justin Alexander dress, Flo and Percy Headpiece and Jimmy Choo shoes.
FINDING THE DRESS | Dress shopping was not particularly what I was looking forward to. I am not someone who enjoys shopping or being the centre of attention and having to try lots of things on. We went to a few shops to get an idea of styles I liked etc, and then I made an appointment at Leonie Clarie in Brighton on a recommendation from a friend. They made me feel amazing and the treatment given to me and my bridesmaids, mum and Craig’s mum was brilliant. We had the whole shop to ourselves and complete free range (none of the usual “you can only choose 3 to try on”). Champagne and no time pressures made the whole experience wonderful and it was no surprise that this was where I found my dress. They also have a seamstress who is willing to completely personalise the dresses for you. I had two more fittings with her and changed quite a bit from the original dress. They also helped me find my headpiece which I’d seen online. They ordered this for me and offered me a discount. Totally recommend Leonie Claire!
GROOM’S ATTIRE | Craig had a suit made for him at Gresham Blake in Brighton. You can chose the fabric from millions of samples, have personalised lining and stitching. It’s a suit that he’ll definitely get the use out of and really enjoyed the process of having a suit made to measure rather than hired or highstreet.
THE READINGS & MUSIC | Readings: Union by Robert Fulghum, Captain Corelli’s Mandolin’ by Louis de Bernieres, 1 Corinthians 13. Hymns: Love Devine, Dear Lord and Father of Mankind, Guide me O Thou Great Redeemer. Recessional: You and Me Always and Forever, by the Wannadies.
BEAUTIFUL BRIDESMAIDS | We had the bridesmaid dresses made at “Maid to Measure” in London. I thoroughly recommend them as we were able to choose different styles for each bridesmaid. If you have bridesmaids of different shapes and sizes, this is perfect, as not all high street dresses will fit each person the same. I chose the colour I wanted and the girls could do the rest!! It was a great experience with lots of trips up to London for fittings and trying on sessions! ☺ They also have a sister company called “The Groomsmen” which were able to do matching pocket squares and ties in the same fabric and colour as the bridesmaid dresses.
THE FLOWERS | Boutique Blooms
THE CAKE | Baked By Becca (contact details on request)
YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER | Richard Jones
THE DETAILS & DÉCOR | Most of the decorations were made or purchased by us, but I did hire additional vintage items from Classic Crockery. We also hired a vintage bus to take guests from the church to the venue via Southcoast Motor Services Limited And a string quartet to play during our drinks reception.
THE HONEYMOON | We stayed at Coco Bodu Hithi and we booked via Turquoise holidays. I would recommend them as I was able to discuss budget and hotel ideas with them directly and they have experience of each of the hotels they feature and therefore were able to guide me to the perfect room choice and style of hotel to suit our needs. Very personal and they helped us even when we wanted to change our flights by a day to fly earlier. Also much cheaper than your typical mainstream honeymoon companies!
MEMORABLE MOMENTS | Our venue was absolutely stunning and I loved seeing it filled with all our family and friends. The string quartet and vintage bus were things we decided to add on in the last few weeks before the wedding and really did make the difference. We kept the numbers to 70 which meant we were able to speak to every single guest and spend quality moments with them, either on the dance floor or at the bar which Craig had made himself. By doing a lot of the decorating and planning ourselves we were able to keep the cost down. I now have a lot of selling to do on ebay but it was worthwhile. I felt like we were able to put personal touches to our wedding and we could be part of the planning process from start to finish. I didn’t want the day to end and I want to do it all again next year!
ADVICE FOR OTHER COUPLES | Take your time with the planning and don’t rush into decision. Keep an eye on wedding blogs and make a scrap book of all your ideas. Before buying anything, always check on ebay – there are most likely going to be other brides who are selling similar items from their own weddings!! Enjoy the planning process. We found delegating quite stressful but as long as you have people around you that your trust, it will be fine! People wont want to let you down!! We chose suppliers that we felt understood our vision. Don’t be afraid to get loads of quotes and meet with them all personally. We met with about 4 florists and 5 photographers before we made our choice. More importantly, take some time with your husband during the day to just reflect and look at what you’ve achieved. We had a 45 minute drive in our wedding car from the church to the reception which was amazing. We just reminisced over the church service, the guests that were there, and looked forward to our reception ahead. The day will fly by so try to capture each part of the day in its entirety.
CREDIT WHERE CREDIT IS DUE |
Photography | Richard Jones
Venue | Coverwood Lakes
Bridesmaid Dresses | Maids to Measure
Flowers | Boutique Blooms
Vintage Hire | Classic Crockery
Cake | Baked By Becca
String Quartet | Reflections Strings
Make Up | Blu Make up – Laura
Band | The Weekend via Warble Entertainment
Honeymoon | Turquoise Holidays
Oh so pretty.
Thanks so so much to Michelle and Craig for sharing their gorgeous wedding with us XOXO Lou