WWW readers Esme and Nick tied the knot on Saturday 22nd July 2017, a beautiful summers day, at Easton Grange in the Suffolk countryside. The pair wanted a fun, relaxed and greenery filled day in the country. It really doesn’t get much better than that does it folks? The barn really worked perfectly with their vision and they decorated with fun and personal touches. Think a cool doughnut wall wedding cake, wooden calligraphy signage, twine and stylish paper goods. WWW Supplier Love member One Curious Dream provided the gorgeous props, which really made everything come together just so.
The blousy beautiful florals, complete with coral peonies really made a pretty statement. They looked especially lovely against the dove grey bridesmaid dresses and in jugs on the tables. Esme fell for an elegant Pronovias gown, while Nick opted for a navy suit and grey waistcoat. Didn’t they look just stunning, not to mention so in love?
We cannot thank Jonny MP enough for sharing these remarkably stunning images with us. Enjoy it all lovelies.
THE PROPOSAL | Nick proposed to me during a mini break to Italy’s Amalfi Coast. He’d taken me away for a surprise weekend, under the pretence that it was to celebrate my birthday.
In hindsight, I should’ve guessed there was more to it. Nick was acting completely out of character, losing things, sending me to the wrong departure gate so we almost missed our flight, and forgetting to follow basic protocol at security! Fortunately, during their bag search, security only found his iPad, not the diamond ring he was hiding at the bottom of his bag…
After a day trip on a boat to Capri, we were dropped at our hotel and I said: “That was the best day we’ve ever spent together”. Nick says that’s the moment he knew he had to go for it. On our balcony at sunset, we toasted the wonderful day, before Nick made a beautiful, heartfelt speech and got down on one knee.
What followed was too much Prosecco, FaceTimes with excited parents and friends, and a posh meal.
THE VISION | A fun, relaxed, open, green, countryside wedding.
Our vision grew over our year of planning and eventually developed into a countryside wedding with a theme of greenery and foliage. Easton Grange is such a naturally beautiful venue with such wonderful surroundings, we kept it reasonably simple with rustic decorations, tonnes of green and little pops of colour.
THE PLANNING PROCESS | We booked Easton Grange exactly a year before our big day. After viewing all manner of venues, we concluded that Easton was the place that suited us as a couple and our wedding vision best; a relaxed, fun, party in the country! From there, we straight away booked all the most important suppliers for every great wedding; photographer, videographer, DJ, florist, hair and make-up artist, cake maker. Fortunately, Easton’s catering is in-house so that made things a lot easier.
Over the next few months, planning calmed down but the constant scanning of Instagram, Pinterest and Facebook didn’t. Eventually, our vision came together and we worked closely with The Two Wagtails to produce invitations, stationery for the day, signs and everything in between. Add in lots of Hobbycraft deliveries and finally the vision was realised.
We worked hard to make sure the last couple of weeks before the wedding weren’t too stressful, so we could enjoy the build up. And it worked.
BUDGET | Like all sensible engaged couples, we had a budget spreadsheet. Of course, also like all sensible engaged couples, we also went over our budget!
THE VENUE | It was really important to us to get married where Esme grew up, in Suffolk; a place we both love so much. Easton Grange is a luxury, exclusive use barn venue in the heart of the Suffolk countryside, close to Woodbridge and Framlingham. Surrounded by acres of rolling green fields, it feels secluded and private yet open and airy. It has some accommodation on site and incredible in-house catering. It’s also easily accessible from London, where we and many of our friends live.
THE DRESS & ACCESSORIES | My dress was Pronovias, a designer I’d been eyeing up for a while!
My hair slides and bracelet were from online boutique Liberty In Love, and my shoes were Debenhams! I was so tempted to go for designer shoes, but everyone had told me that I would just ruin them and my floor-length dress meant they wouldn’t really be seen. So I decided to go for something a little different and have my shoes as my ‘something blue’. I love the photos where they’re just peeking out from the bottom of my dress.
My earrings were a pair of diamond studs from Hatton Jewels, a gift from Nick on the morning of the wedding, bought from the same shop we’d got our wedding bands and my engagement ring.
My Sassi Holford veil was my ‘something borrowed’ from my sister-in-law.
FINDING THE DRESS | As I live in London, I started my search here, visiting three shops in one day. I booked shops based on their reviews and whether they had the designers I liked. I found a lovely Pronovias dress in the final shop, Mirror Mirror but I wasn’t sure if it was ‘the one’. The next day, I went to three shops in Norwich, close to where I grew up. After the two day shopping marathon, I’d tried on almost 50 dresses!
It was in the penultimate Norwich shop, La Crème, where I found the dress I wanted to wear on my wedding day. It was a classic story. For weeks, I’d had my eye on a dress that I was desperate to try on. I did just that, and… it didn’t look great. I was a bit gutted, but fortunately the amazing shop assistants picked up another style by Pronovias and persuaded me to try it on. When I looked to my left and my bridesmaids and Mum were all crying, I was pretty sure I’d found my dress. However, indecisive as ever, I decided to return to the shop a few days later, on my own, to take it all in and make sure I loved it on my own. I did. Though I will happily admit I never had that princess ‘This is the one! This is the dress I’m meant to get married in!’ moment. That’s just not what I’m like. I tend to step back and think carefully about every decision I make. I’m really glad I went back to the shop alone, because I think it would be so easy to be influenced by the people around you, when really, it’s how YOU feel that matters.
GROOM’S ATTIRE | Nick’s three-piece suit was from Reiss. He wanted to go classic but relaxed and his navy suit with grey waistcoat and green spotty tie fit the brief perfectly. The grey waistcoat also tied in well with the bridesmaids’ grey dresses and the tie with the greenery theme (although this didn’t play much of a factor in the decision making process, I’ll happily admit I was never bothered about everything matching perfectly!). His shoes were Loake. Nick is always well dressed and wears great shoes, so shopping for his outfit was a lot of fun!
THE READINGS & MUSIC | Our ceremony had two readings by good friends. We asked them to choose their own and surprise us on the day.
The first was by my old school friend Giles, who has in turn become a great friend of Nick’s. Giles wrote his reading himself and it was incredibly thoughtful, personal and touching.
The second reading was by Emma, who is married to Nick’s best man Dan and is a good friend of ours. She read the most gorgeous reading, Love, by Roy Croft, and her delivery was incredible.
Both Emma and Giles gave us framed print outs of their readings, such special wedding gifts. I don’t think I’ll ever forget standing up there and listening to Giles and Emma’s readings. We were so touched at the time and thought that had gone into them. It was quite overwhelming!
We agonised for a long time over our music choices. We decided to book Scintillo String Quartet for our ceremony and reception drinks to add an extra something special to the atmosphere. I walked down the aisle to the classical piece ‘The River Flows In You’, we love contemporary classical music and this piece seemed to add a sense of occasion and importance to the ceremony. I had been listening to it every day for months in the build up to the wedding, so it was an incredible feeling when I was arm in arm with Dad at the top of the aisle and Scintillo started playing it.
During the signing of the registers, we chose Ho Hey by The Lumineers, a song we’d always considered ‘ours’ but which wasn’t quite right for our first dance. We also had Wake me up by Avicii, which sounded amazing in strings! We walked out to Castle on the Hill, a song written by Ed Sheeran about the area very close to Easton Grange and near where I grew up. We didn’t hear much of it through all the cheering though!
My now sister-in-law Georg at Planache Parties put together some amazing Spotify playlists for before the ceremony, the dinner and after the dinner, which we called ‘coffee and doughnuts’. In the evening we had a DJ from Wedding Smashers, who was incredible. Totally understood our taste and kept the dancefloor full all night, which is almost unheard of at a wedding!
BEAUTIFUL BRIDESMAIDS | I had five bridesmaids; two school friends, Lucy and Charli; a friend from my old work, Beth; plus two university friends, Hannah and Georg. Georg is also Nick’s sister and is to thank for introducing us!
I wasn’t worried about my bridesmaids matching, the most important thing for me was that they all felt the best they’ve ever felt. The only thing I knew I wanted was a very light, dove grey colour for their dresses. I had a budget to keep to, so I couldn’t really go for traditional long bridesmaid dresses, as once you’ve bought five it really adds up.
But then, like magic, M&S released a bridesmaid range! They had a number of different styles in the exact colour I was after, so the girls all tried on a few and told me which they liked best. In the end, between the five of them, they went for two different styles, which I think worked nicely. They were free to wear whatever shoes and accessories they wanted. I would much rather they expressed their personalities than I make them all wear the same pair of heels. Fortunately, they all have really great taste!
Eloise Parker and Robyn Rowan did the most amazing job on our hair and make-up. We all asked for different styles and looks but it still managed to be a relaxed, fun morning getting ready. All our hair and make-up stayed put throughout the day, we all felt great!
THE FLOWERS | Green, green and more green! We went for lots of foliage on tables, around signs and beams, you name it. We also opted for olive trees up the aisle and at the front of the ceremony barn. My Auntie made the most gorgeous garland for the ceremony table, which just looked perfect.
For my bouquet, I wanted a wildflower, picked from the garden feel, with lots of greenery, some pale flowers and a pop of bright coral. Fortunately, although out of season, my florist Helen Newman managed to get hold of Peonies (my favourites) for my bouquet and also the arrangements in the middle of the dining tables. These also included roses, feverfew, delphiniums, gypsophila, eucalyptus and rosemary. The bridesmaids had bouquets with a more muted palette and extra greenery. For the buttonholes, Nick was adamant he didn’t want anything too big. So we went for bombastic spray roses with a sprig of rosemary.
THE CAKE | We decided to go a bit off-piste with this one. Instead of a cake, we decided to have a doughnut wall. I think people thought we were mad when we first floated the idea, but fortunately our cake maker, The Makery Bakery, totally loved it! She baked and decorated around 100 doughnuts and the wall was built and painted by Nick’s dad, Mick. The ‘I DOughtnuts’ lettering was made by Simon Denvers. So instead of the cutting the cake moment, which Nick and I always find a bit dull, we exchanged doughnut rings! It provided some really fun photos.
As cheese lovers, we went for a cheese stack as part of the evening food, so we weren’t completely cake-less!
YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER | Our photographer was Jonny MP. He is nothing short of incredible and has produced photos beyond our wildest dreams! Jonny had worked a couple of my school friends’ weddings, so we’d had our eye on him for a while! He was one of the first things we booked and we actually decided on our date because he was available. On the day, Jonny blended in perfectly and it was just like having a mate around. He is incredible at capturing emotions, be it laughter or tears and every time we look at his photos it’s like we’re reliving the day all over again. Jonny’s photos are the kind of photos you want to proudly frame and hang on your wall. It’s no surprise that some of our guests have since booked or tried to book Jonny and a lot of people have told us our photos are the most stunning they’ve ever seen. Quite an achievement when you’ve got such ropey subjects as me and Nick!!
THE DETAILS & DÉCOR | Easton Grange is so beautifully decorated that we didn’t need to do too much to make it look good! Décor was mainly lots of greenery and flowers with a pop of colour, including greenery garlands along the beams in the bar area. We wanted to bring the outside in!
We added a few bits of hessian bunting, tea lights, and rustic wooden frames to complete the countryside feel. We also hired a rustic wooden ladder and some crates, plus a vintage suitcase, wicker basket, and wooden logs, from One Curious Dream. We styled these simply and personally with photos, vases and cute knick-knacks.
We also decided to display our confetti a little differently. We got hold of a wooden palette and hung lines of twine across it. I’d bought some nice pegs and so we pegged on bags of confetti all across the palette. At the top was beautiful N & E lettering by Simon Denvers.
One of our favourite design parts of the day were the big wooden signs, painted by the super talented Charli at The Two Wagtails. Guests were greeted with a big sign that read ‘And so the adventure begins…’, which was draped in a greenery garland, of course!
The Two Wagtails also created beautiful orders of service that tied in with our invites, grey lettering with a green leaf design, on white card. On the tables was a menu for each person, styled with a sprig of rosemary, wrapped in twine, which threaded through the name tag. Simple, but so elegant! We had a bit of fun with the menu, each course had a little explanation on it, for example, our starter was a tomato and mozzarella salad. This was inspired by Italy, where Nick proposed, so we let our guests know that by writing it on the menu.
On the dancefloor, we had ‘DANCE’ balloon lettering, which proved a great prop for photographs after a few drinks!
The personal touch was really important to us, so we made a collage of tickets, cards, stickers, photos, you name it, all things that we’d collected during our time together. We also dotted lots of framed pictures around and created our own DIY photobooth. We bought two empty frames, added twine and asked guests to take photos and hang them up.
We also made a wedding newspaper, which detailed our families, the groomsmen and the bridesmaids, plus everyone who had helped us and a little bit about the stags and hens. Everyone absolutely loved reading it! It took a lot of time to put together but we absolutely loved doing it.
And we can’t not mention Nearest The Pin. Nick is a keen golfer and with the help of his groomsmen, set up a competition where guests had to try and hit a golf ball as close to a flag as possible. It was a huge hit and a lot of fun, and we gave a prize to the winner.
THE HONEYMOON | We were keen to go away straight after the wedding and to get somewhere quickly! We chose Greece, a country we’ve visited together before and absolutely love. We spent five nights in Santorini before getting a boat to Paros, a nearby island, where we spent four very lazy days and nights! For the first few days of our honeymoon all we did was lie on sun loungers and reminisce about all the best parts of our amazing wedding day.
MEMORABLE MOMENTS | Our favourite part of the day was exchanging vows/promises, which we had written ourselves and kept a secret from each other until the day.
Esme: I will never forget the look on Nick’s face, we were staring into each other’s eyes and though he kept strong, his lip was trembling.
Our other memorable moment, although by this point memory was hazy(!), was our final song on the dancefloor – Castle on the Hill. Everyone circled around us as we danced together. It was the most incredible moment and brought us to happy tears!
We also loved our first dance, Fleetwood Mac, Everywhere. Our five incredible bridesmaids set off confetti cannons that gave Jonny MP the most amazing shot but also kicked off the party in style. Unforgettable!
And we haven’t even touched on the speeches! (My dad bringing everyone to tears; Nick making everyone laugh with his homemade ‘Ole’ sign; Georg’s amazing speech that ended in her handing out shots of Limoncello to guests; and the best men’s full on Powerpoint presentation with ‘Childsy’ merchandise!)
ADVICE FOR OTHER COUPLES | Enjoy every second of it. Not just the day, but the entire planning process. Searching for venues, doing the table plan, your hen do, embrace it all and love it all because you will never have these experiences again.
Girls, cherish the moment you walk down the aisle, everyone is there for you, is thrilled for you, and is ready to have a super fun day!
We were supposed to have lots of oversized round white balloons as decorations on the day. I didn’t realise they weren’t there until one of my bridesmaids told me they hadn’t been able to blow them up! Yes, it’s lovely to create a pretty wedding, but don’t get bogged down in the details. You won’t give them a second thought on the day.
CREDIT WHERE CREDIT IS DUE |
Photography | Jonny MP
Venue | Easton Grange
Stationery, signs and styling | The Two Wagtails
Planning and styling | Planache
Doughnut Wall | The Makery Bakery
Ceremony and reception music | Scintillo String Quartet
DJ | Wedding Smashers
Wedding Dress | La Crème
Wedding Dress designer | Pronovias
Accessories | Liberty In Love
Flowers and greenery | Helen Newman
Rings | Hatton Jewels
Wedding Newspaper | Newspaper Club
Decorative laser-cut lettering | Simon Denvers
Well wasn’t that just a day to remember and treasure?
Thanks ever so much to Esme and Nick for sharing their brilliant wedding story with us xo Lou