The style stakes have been officially upped thanks to Emily and James and their darling nuptials held at Coverwood Lakes in Surrey on the 15th July 2017. Why? Because these two are so on trend it hurts, hello beautifully elegant Zavanna Bridal gown, blue suits and bow ties, not to mention a divine floral arch to say I do against. I’m in love.
The florals here today are nothing short of spectacular, rich pinks and reds were used against greenery so perfectly. Then there were the lovely personal touches including hearts on sticks placed down the aisle, a buttercream cake decked with florals, fruits and macarons plus boho dream catchers in the trees. The tipi was perfectly situated within the woodland and the outdoor ceremony looked so heavenly, this venue is truly beautiful. It’s easy to see why Emily and James snapped it up.
Music and readings within the ceremony were important to the pair as was the simple and relaxed vision. The idea of a free bar, with donations going to charity is a really lovely touch and there was even a space hopper race for a touch of fun.
Thanks goes to Will Patrick today for sharing these splendid shots with us.
THE PROPOSAL | We were on holiday in California, making our way down from San Francisco to San Diego. We stayed a few days at Yosemite National Park, which was absolutely breath-taking. Whilst we were there I thought, well if he is ever going to propose this will be the perfect opportunity. I kept watching out for signs of nerves or sneaky behaviour (as if he is hiding a ring) but he was totally cool as a cucumber so I just forgot about it, the beautiful scenery soon distracted me. One day we decided to walk up to Inspiration Point. It was a gorgeous day and really quiet as it was super early in the morning. When we got to the top we were pretty sweaty and hot so I reached into my bag to get some water. I saw James do the same and just assumed he was getting water too. When I next turned around he was on one knee with a ring! I was totally shocked so much that I just laughed for ages and completely forgot to say yes! Of course it was a yes :) We took some pictures and then hiked back down. I kept having fits of giggles all the way down! We had absolutely no signal for two days so were able to enjoy it for ourselves before we told our friends and family.
THE VISION | Ha I had so many visions, especially as for about a month I was constantly on Pinterest trying to get loads of ideas. I just got really confused and in the end James had the best idea of just keep things simple and relaxed. Our vision was of seeing all our friends and family just laughing, drinking and dancing.
THE PLANNING PROCESS | We set out with all the best intentions and aimed to be really organised even claiming Wednesday evenings to be Wedmin Wednesdays! James tended to be on top of spread sheets, budget and calculations and I was more about coming up with ideas and speaking to vendors. It didn’t last long as to be honest nobody tells you this, but wedding planning can get pretty boring very quickly. There are only so many napkins you can look at!
The worst part we both have to say was the logistics, so where is everyone going to be, how they are going to get there, organising taxis etc. The best bits were bridesmaid dress shopping with my bessies and for James it was the alcohol tasting! We also had help from Natalie Dyson from the Secret Planner who helped in the week before the wedding and made sure the day all ran smoothly.
THE VENUE | The beautiful Coverwood Lakes. Wonderful lakes surrounded by so many lovely trees of all different shapes and sizes. It is part of a working farm so quite rustic and natural. It is really peaceful and has a magic all of its own.
THE DRESS & ACCESSORIES | The dress was by Zavanna Bridal and I got this from Love Bridal in Crystal Palace. I also wore a diamante belt, shoes from Dune and a veil. James had given me a little necklace in the shape of a knot for me to wear on the ‘day we tie the knot’. This was my ‘something new’. My garter had the ‘something blue’ and I took some old beads from my great grandma’s necklace and customised these into an anklet to be my ‘something old’. I had completely forgot about ‘something borrowed’ however all the hairgrips in my hair from the hairdresser could fit that category!
FINDING THE DRESS | I can’t lie this was hell! I had never imagined what type of dress I would like and so I was starting from absolute zero! Due to my height I quickly made an assessment as to what would not suit, nothing too bulky or anything with a fishtail. My mum attended some of the fittings with me, which was a great support and also my best friend kept me very calm by saying all the right things. I opted for a dress I tried on the first time I went dress shopping. It was quite a simple skirt with a lace top and open back.
GROOM’S ATTIRE | He looked lovely. He had a blue Ted Baker suit with a maroon bowtie and maroon pocket square. These were hired from Moss Bros. He had picked special British Lions socks for him and the groomsmen to wear, and the florist had made him a buttonhole with white and maroon flowers.
THE READINGS & MUSIC | Walking down the aisle – Shape of my Heart by 2Cellos.
Signing the register in the ceremony – Over and Over again by Nathan Sykes.
Walking back up the aisle – Can’t Take my Eyes off you by Frankie Valli.
Afternoon Band – The Living Rogues, who were amazing they had a beat boxing flutist!
Evening band – Off Blue, and equally talented. They had an amazing set list and really got everyone on the dance floor!
Reading One: Corinthians verses 4-8. This was read by the bride’s mum.
Reading Two: The little Rugby Fan. This was a reading that I had written in deference to James’ love of sport and with apologies to Edward Monkton upon whose poem “A Lovely Love Story” it is based. It was read by our two friends.
Reading Three: The Wonders of Today by Larry Chengges. This was read by one of our friends.
BEAUTIFUL BRIDESMAIDS | I had my best mate and schoolmate Rebecca as my Maid of Honour. She did a great job organising a fantastic hen party! I had my other best mate from University Sophie who did an amazing job with all the stationery. She is a really talented graphic designer. I also had my sister Mary-Ann who was amazing on the day. I couldn’t have asked for a better sister, she knew exactly what to say to keep me calm and together. I also had James’ sister Kate who was brilliant at getting the party started!
They all looked stunning in their individual gowns. We went for a similar colour palette but different styles to compliment their figures. The dresses were from, Asos, Coast, Ted Baker and Maids to Measure.
THE FLOWERS | These were done by LadyBird Flowers. I went for a natural gathered bouquet with lots of bright pinks and maroons to match with the boy’s bow ties. Emma is very talented and made the most amazing arch for us to stand under whilst we said our vows.
THE CAKE | This is the best bit! Our super talented friend Sophie from Millie and Grace made our cake. It looked stunning and tasted divine. It had three separate layers flavoured with salted caramel and dates, passion fruit and white chocolate and lemon and buttercream. Everyone went for seconds!
YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER | Will Patrick. Absolute legend. He was great during the build up to the day really spending time to get to know us and what is important to us. On the day itself it just felt like he was a friend and this helped us feel very comfortable. He took some lovely relaxed shots of us both and also captured our friends and family rocking on the dance floor!
THE DETAILS & DÉCOR | A lot of the décor I had made myself with the help from my mum, and bridesmaids. We made the dream catchers, the aisle hearts, and the little jars. We were also really lucky as friends and family lent us bunting and table cloths for example, which really made the day very special when they saw how we had used what they lent us. The venue was so gorgeous on its own that we really didn’t need to do much, and we wanted to keep it as simple as possible. In the evening we had candles and lights, which lit up the trees and gave an amazing backdrop.
DRINKS & FOOD | We wanted this to be relaxed as possible. During the drinks reception we had firkins of ales from Wales for people to help themselves to as well as the usual Pimms and bubbles. In the evening we had a free bar and just asked people to donate what they would spend on a drink to two charities close to our hearts The British Heart Foundation and Mind. We were really pleased as we managed to raise over £100. The food was in a BBQ style, we had pulled pork and griddled cauliflower with romesco sauce. In the evening we had the most amazing burgers with the meat supplied by the farm.
THE HONEYMOON | Was a total surprise! We agreed at the start that James was going to plan it in secret and then just tell me at the airport (I had hoped there would be an airport involved). I would 100% recommend this to all brides as it kept the excitement going even after the wedding day was over. It was brilliant and James managed to keep it quiet all the way. We ended up going to Sardinia, which was the perfect choice. Before the wedding I had not eaten any rice, pasta, cakes or bread. Imagine my delight when I find myself in Italy where all there is loads of pasta, pizza, risottos and bread, not to mention the wine and ice cream! Safe to say I went nuts and had a food baby most days – sexy!
MEMORABLE MOMENTS | For me the best bits were giving my bridesmaids their little gifts and receiving a big hug from them all. I felt so loved and lucky to have such wonderful friends and sisters. I loved hearing Jimmy say his vows, we had written them in secret so first time we heard them was on the day itself. Our first dance was so much fun too. My absolute fave moment has got to be when we were announced as Mr and Mrs Davies. To walk in we played La Bamba by Los Lobos and everyone started dancing and clapping as they cheered it was great and so unexpected!
James says his best bit is seeing me walk down the aisle (awww) and also just seeing everyone enjoying themselves singing and dancing and playing the garden games. We had space hoppers and the guests went mad for these having races down the field. This was hilarious especially when most of them were plied with alcohol.
James and I also had a race (lots of gasps as I managed to get on the space hopper in my dress). It was close, however James was sabotaged a bit by our friends so I ended up winning hehe! How could I forget, we also had a Silent Disco at the end and this was incredible, I would definitely recommend it to anyone planning a wedding. We had two play lists – Bride vs Groom and it was hilarious!
ADVICE FOR OTHER COUPLES | Relax! Everyone is there because they love and care about you. Just plan the wedding you want rather than what you think everyone else wants. Have a moment to yourselves on the day where you can take in all what you have achieved in the planning. EAT! We both completely forgot to eat very much….. DANCE!
CREDIT WHERE CREDIT IS DUE |
Photographer | Will Patrick
Venue | Coverwood Lakes
Tipi | Beautiful World Tents
Celebrant | Philip Scott
Flowers | Ladybird Flowers
Wedding Planner | Natalie Dyson
Dress | Love Bridal
Suit | Moss Bros
Make up | Birute Thomas
Hair | Kirsty Victoria Hair
Silent Disco | The Silent Disco King
Cake | Millie and Grace
Such fun and to end with a confetti cannon is always the best.
Emily and James, thanks so much to you both for sharing your wonderful wedding with us xo Lou