What a way to start the week! It really doesn’t get better than this folks, why? Well when you see the big smiles, mega style and gorgeous setting you’ll be reaching for your pin it button.
Elliott and Stephanie were hitched on the 2nd June 2017 at Millbridge Court in Surrey. Their vision was simply an easy going day where their guests could have a good time. They also wanted an outdoor ceremony, which their venue had the perfect spot for. The wooden archway looked really beautiful draped in fabric and decadent blooms too, what a backdrop to say I do against. The day had a nature inspired feel with the florals taking centre stage and a silvery grey colour palette emerged in the attire. The bridesmaids wore grey silk dresses and the groom and groomsmen grey accessories too. Meanwhile Stephanie wore a 1930’s style lace and silk gown, which really looked incredible on her.
Food was another important element to their day and their menu sounded amazing. Just wait until you read about their honeymoon too, a dream come true.
We have Jonathan Ellis to thank today for these super beautiful images and we just adore them.
THE PROPOSAL | We were in Mexico staying at the Zoëtry Paraiso de la Bonita Wellness Spa Resort in Riviera Maya and it was our second night there. We had a lovely meal by the ocean and then, a little bit tipsy took a stroll along the beach and down a jetty. I was looking out at the sea and stars, turned around and Elliott was on one knee. He’d had a knee injury, so my first thought was that he’d fallen, and I tried to help him up! He shook me off and said, ‘I’m trying to do something here!’. It was then that I noticed the ring and he asked me to marry him. We went to the outdoor bar and celebrated with champagne.
THE VISION | We wanted to have the ceremony and the reception in the same place and it was really important to have nature around us, so we planned for an outdoor wedding. I wanted a neutral palette to allow the flowers and foliage to really stand out, so we decided to go with grey and silver as our colours for bridesmaid’s dresses, ties and pocket squares, table numbers and place settings and some candles. The most important thing for us was that it was a relaxed, easy-going day and that every guest had a good time.
THE PLANNING PROCESS | We are both quite relaxed people so planning the wedding was an enjoyable experience. It helped that we gave ourselves plenty of time, two years, to make all the arrangements. Our first decision was choosing the venue, which fortunately didn’t take too long as we loved the second one we viewed. We found the DJ, florist and cake designer via the venue and they also provided the food and drinks, which made everything easier to arrange. The guest list was probably the most time-consuming part but once we had that confirmed and the invites were posted it was much easier to relax! We set up an email account for guests to RSVP to and kept track of who was coming and their dietary requirements on a spreadsheet.
BUDGET | We didn’t have a set budget and were fortunate to have generous family contribute to the wedding. Having two years to pay for everything definitely helped!
THE VENUE | Millbridge Court in Farnham, Surrey. It was the second venue we saw and we loved it straight away. It’s light and airy with lots of lovely warm wood out in the countryside. There are seven guest rooms, which are included in the cost of the venue and two large contemporary barns where the wedding breakfast and reception take place. The best part is the outdoor space where we had the ceremony. We were married under an arbour with lots of trees, greenery and wildflowers around us, plus a few sheep! They provided the food with their partner the Kalm Kitchen Cafe, which was gorgeous and they were really flexible with what we could have, the choice was ours! The highlight was the dessert, giant pavlovas filled with summer fruits and cream, which were carved at the tables by a guest Elliott and I nominated. The service was impeccable and we couldn’t have asked for more.
THE DRESS & ACCESSORIES | My dress was a 1930’s vintage style called ‘Emma’ which came in two parts, a cream silk floor length slip which was made in Italy and a delicate French lace overlay which was made in France. The lace was made by the same lace makers that made the lace for Grace Kelly’s wedding dress. It had capped sleeves and a V-neck with a circle train. My veil was hip length, a three-tier tulle with a gold trim and crystals hanging along each tier. I also wore an art deco style hair piece which had two clusters of crystals set in gold with three gold chains connecting them. I wore it either side of the small twisted bun I had half of my hair in. The designer of the hairpiece was Victoria Ferguson and I bought both the veil and the hairpiece from The Secret Dress House in Reigate, Surrey. As my mother is Indian, I was given a set of two traditional Indian gold bangles to wear and my brothers gifted me matching large stud earrings. I also wore a short, thin gold chain necklace. My shoes were by Jenny Packham. Elliott was also given the traditional Sikh bangle (Kara) by my parents to wear on the day. When they went to buy it, they took my dad’s in to get cleaned and reshaped. It turned out that it was the same jeweller that had made my dad’s Kara forty years ago but in a completely different shop.
FINDING THE DRESS | I found my dress at Elizabeth Avey, a vintage wedding dress shop in Greenwich, London. She specialises in vintage dresses but had just started creating her own designs which is what my dress was. I had been to four other wedding dress shops with my two best friends and my mum and tried on every style! It was only when I went on my own that I found it. I planned to go back with my mum and friends so they could see it but the sample had been sold by accident! Because of the timing, it was too risky to wait for another sample to be made so I ordered it. It was a surprise for everyone on the day except for my mum who saw it on the day it arrived.
GROOM’S ATTIRE | Elliott wore a three piece navy blue suit that was custom made for him by Zebel Bespoke. Included was a white shirt and a grey checked waistcoat with a yellow silk backing which matched the suit lining. His tie and pocket square were silver grey.
THE READINGS & MUSIC | We didn’t have any readings but my brother played the guitar for the ceremony. We chose the song ‘The Girl’ by City and Colour for my walk down the aisle. During the wedding breakfast we used a playlist we had made on Spotify that was a range of blues and soul including Al Green, Bill Withers, Laura Marling, BB. King, Nina Simone and Ella Fitzgerald. The DJ was from Farnham Sound & Lights, a partner of the venue and he played a mix of indie, rock, pop and the usual wedding hits (we requested none of the over the top cheese!) plus a bit of Bollywood music. Our first dance song was ‘I’ll Be Waiting’ by Nathaniel Rateliff and the Night Sweats.
BEAUTIFUL BRIDESMAIDS | The bridesmaids dresses were a pale silvery grey silk in a 1940’s style. They were knee length and had a slight cowl neck. I got them from ASOS and they were ASOS own brand. All three bridesmaids wore silver strappy heeled sandals.
THE FLOWERS | Our flowers were from Jay Archer Floral Designs. We wanted wildflowers and lots of foliage. We ended up going with purples, whites, creams with a few peach and blush tones with lots of foliage and some herbs. The flowers were perfect. We had shelves in the barn where we held the breakfast ceremony and had foliage along some of them and lots of candles and lanterns on the others. For the ceremony we had two brass urns either side of the arbour and small bunches on the backs of the chairs that lined the aisle. Each table had a flower arrangement in the centre in brass and grey stone bowls whilst the top table had a runner of masses of foliage and flowers. Some of the flowers we had were roses, sweetpeas, pennisetum, ivy, diablo, fern, birch, viburnumberrys, scabious and peonies. The flowers were the main decoration and the guests loved them so much that they took them home.
THE CAKE | Our cake was from Le Papillon Patisserie who are based in Woking, Surrey. We decided on a three tier semi-naked cake in three different flavours, double chocolate, lemon and Victoria sponge. The cake was decorated with summer berries and with flowers from Jay.
YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER | Our photographer was Jonathan Ellis who I found out about via a colleague at work. We met for coffee to discuss the wedding and the style of photography that we wanted. As we are not ones for posing we wanted an informal, natural approach which Jonathan did it perfectly. We had a pre-wedding shoot which helped us on the day as we felt more relaxed in front of the camera. Jonathan was amazing and was there from start (me getting ready) to finish (the last stragglers leaving the dance floor)!
THE DETAILS & DÉCOR | We wanted to keep everything neutral colour wise as we wanted the flowers to be the main focal point. We also had two olive trees, brass lanterns, grey and white candles and succulents in brass and gold bowls. I made the table plan display using a grey frame with several panes with the tables and guests listed plus a couple of photos of Elliott and I. The table numbers, place settings and menus were ordered online from Minted in a grey marble print. As well as having two flower arrangements either side of the arbour we had white chiffon draped as well.
The food was amazing. The venue is partnered with Kalm Kitchen who gave excellent service all round. The canapés were roasted lamb skewers with a mustard dip, wild mushroom risotto in parmesan cones, Peking duck rolls with a plum sauce, pork belly on dauphinoise potato with apple sauce and crackling, sesame vegetable tempura with an Asian dipping sauce and sweet potato croquettes with a pesto garnish. To start we had an Italian sharing platter for each table with cold meats, cheeses, olives and sundried tomatoes. For the main it was a trio of pork with roasted loin, spiced shoulder and crispy belly with sage and thyme fondant potato and apple. For the vegetarians we had a black olive and feta tart with a salad full of grains and summer vegetables. The desserts, as mentioned earlier were giant sharing Eton mess pavlovas. We had sparkling rosé champagne post ceremony and to toast with and the had red and white wine for the meal. As well as providing the DJ, Farnham Sound & Light also provided a photo booth and props which everyone loved although the groom didn’t make it in once!
THE HONEYMOON | For our honeymoon we explored Italy by train starting in Lake Como where we stayed in the stunning Villa Lario Resort Mandello. We had the whole place to ourselves and despite many thunderstorms over the two nights we were there we still managed to take a ferry to Belaggio to explore and enjoyed the luxury of the hotel including a five course meal on our first night. It was beautiful. Our next stop was Venice where we stayed right on St Mark’s Square at the Bellevue & Canaletto Suites, we visited the Doge’s Palace, the Snail Staircase and generally explored. I had one of my favourite meals at La Zucca, a small restaurant with lots of lovely vegetarian options. Our third city was Florence which we both loved. We stayed at the Residence Hilda where the lovely receptionist gave us lots of tips for hidden gems and restaurants to go to. We went on a wine tasting tour in the Tuscan countryside and also happened to be there on the weekend they have ‘Calcio Fiorentino’, a sport that is a mix of rugby, football, American football, boxing, mixed martial arts and Greco Roman wrestling! We also saw the opening ceremony of Florence fashion week where they had an acrobatic act out in one of the squares one night. After Florence we went on to Sorrento and stayed at the Imperial Hotel Tramontaro, after lots of walking around the other cities we made the most of relaxing on the beach and enjoying lots of pizza and wine! We spent a final night in Naples before heading back home. It was the perfect combination of food, wine and exploration.
MEMORABLE MOMENTS | I practically ran down the aisle! My dad was saying in my ear, ‘I think we need to slow down’ but I was too excited and couldn’t stop myself! The best man taped an envelope under a chair at each table which was filled with photos of Elliott throughout his youth which were revealed during the speech. All the speeches were wonderful. Finally, due to terrible traffic, half the guests nearly missed the ceremony! Thankfully I was blissfully unaware.
ADVICE FOR OTHER COUPLES | Relax and give yourself enough time! Remember the main thing is that you get married and everyone has a good time!
CREDIT WHERE CREDIT IS DUE |
Photography | Jonathan Ellis
Venue | Millbridge Court
Caterer | Kalm Kitchen Cafe
Florist | Jay Archer
Dress | Elizabeth Avey
Accessories | The Secret Dress House
DJ + Photo Booth | Farnham Sound & Light
Cake | Le Papillon Patisserie
Suit | Zebel Bespoke
Bridesmaids | ASOS
Just so special.
Elliott and Stephanie, thanks so much to you both for sharing your story with us xo Lou