By Louise Baltruschat Hollis
The stunning Ufton Court wedding of WWW followers Hope and Sean took place on the 31st August 2019 in Berkshire. It was filled with my very favourite thing; flowers. Flowers were a key part of Hope and Sean’s wedding vision and the abundance of burgundy and coral blooms everywhere really looked so pretty and romantic. The dreamy vibes didn’t stop there though, as lighting was also important to their wedding style. Festoon lights, Edison bulbs and candles were used for a really magical vibe. I think you will be left feeling really inspired by their majestic and beautiful barn wedding.
I also just adore Hope’s beaded gown which catches the light so wonderfully, she teamed her dress with heels and a delicate veil too. Sean meanwhile wore a grey suit, floral tie and burgundy shoes, didn’t the both look just amazing?!
These superb images are courtesy of Emily & Steve Photography and I am so thankful to be able to share them with you today.
The proposal took place in a beautiful area of Greece called Halkidiki. We had just returned back from a lovely meal in the old town, sat around the pool area with a drink and Sean got down on one knee! I cried 🙂
I always knew and imagined from the very start how I wanted our wedding to look! Although often difficult to put in to words, I knew I wanted it to centre around the flowers, lighting and the music, with no ‘theme or colour scheme’. In terms of what I could see, I had a vision of being surrounded by opulent, rich, jewelled coloured flowers and beautiful soft lightening. In terms of what I could hear, I wanted a gig rather than a wedding!
The date was set based on the availability of our chosen venue and from that we set about the planning process. I wouldn’t say any of the process was particularly easy – most of this is due to the fact that I have pretty high standards so it was important that we took the time to choose suppliers who understood our requirements and who we had confidence in delivering on the day! Needless to say, we picked perfectly! Once all the suppliers were in place, it was the job of how we would add ‘our touches’! Overall, my planning consisted of lists, lists and more lists, along one too many 1am pinterest scrolling sessions looking for inspiration!!. One thing I really struggled with was ‘how was it all going to come together?’ I was confident that we had everything in place but just couldn’t see the how the final picture would come together. We were very lucky to have an appointed Co-ordinator at the venue who reassured us each time we met but I believe the key is, and the biggest advice I can give, is to spend time with your supplier selection and go with the ones where you come away after your first meeting or interaction thinking, ‘I got a really good feeling from them’, or, I think they really understood what we want’
Our invites, once received by our guests, received countless praise! This design process was not easy as I knew the kind of look I wanted but struggled to find the inspiration. It was our good friend Mark (a designer himself) who helped us to pin point this and along with our fantastic designer, our invites were created – all hand drawn and painted by Laura at Pen and Paper. The most amazing part of these was the simple venue map Laura created. They looked incredible!
Yes we did have one which we then successfully managed to ignore as the months went on! 🙂
After a few trials with hair and make up artists, I hired Storme to do both. Storme specialises in soft beautiful hair styles for weddings which is exactly how I wanted ours to look. I had a textured, slightly messy up do which I loved and looked beautiful with the fresh flowers and veil. My maid of honour had a similar style and my two younger bridesmaids have lovely long hair so they wore it half up and down with loose curls, again with fresh flowers. Our make-up was soft and natural 🙂
After starting to feel a little drained from numerous failed venue visits, we had one last scheduled visit at a place we happened to stumbled across – the beautiful Ufton Court in Ufton Nervet, Berkshire. The venue plays host to a Children’s charity that aims to change children’s lives (in particular those from disadvantaged backgrounds) through challenging and inspirational learning outside the classroom. Lucky for us though they also host weddings, of which 100% of the proceeds go to this charity – we loved to hear this!
During our first visit to Ufton Court, I was taken aback by how beautiful everything looked – the moment we walked through to the Courtyard area, we knew it was the venue for us. The flow of the wedding day was important for us and this venue allowed us to move from one beautiful building to another without having to make our guests wait for ‘turnaround times’! I hate that!
Our ceremony was held in Archers Hall which held 80 people and felt light and airy, but at the same time intimate. We then moved to the Grounds of the Manor House to the Sunken Garden for our drinks reception. I actually got ready in the Manor House also with the rest of my bridal party and loved the old, moody feel to it – beautiful. Our wedding breakfast was then held in the Tithe Barn which truly does stand on its own for it beauty – an older barn with wooden beams, a cute bar, and a gorgeous big oak door which, due to the good weather on the day, we were able to open up, providing a glorious backdrop to our top table.
Lots of lovely open space for our guests to explore, not to mention an orchard, a herb garden etc etc
We had one reading at our ceremony which was read by my cousin. We chose ‘I Like You by Sandol Stoddard Warburg’ but changed the ‘like’ to ‘love’. We chose it because it was sweet, sincere, and simple.
James Edward, a singer/guitarist from London provided all the music at our ceremony and drinks reception. He played Perfect by Ed Sheeran for the bridal entrance (I’m not a real fan of Ed but this version was so beautiful). For the signing of the registrar, he learnt ‘Wedding Day’ by John Troast and we walked out to ‘Beyond’ by Leon Bridges.
James then played a selection from his repertoire for the drinks reception but incorporated a number of songs we had requested beforehand also. He was amazing!
The music during the sit down meal was a playlist produced by my brother and had a lovely jazz feel – modern and vintage. Absolutely perfect!
The star of the show though was our evening band! The band was called Drive and they originate from Liverpool – between them, travelling down from Manchester and London. An indie rock band, they absolutely rocked our wedding from the very first cords of their first set to their final song. Our guests absolutely loved them and they really did provide the ‘gig’ feel we originally wanted.
Bride – My dress was by Tara Keely for Lazaro and was a heavily embellished a-line backless dress with a train and thin straps. The dress had the Lazaro signature sparkle due to caviar beading throughout! So beautiful, elegant, and understated. It also had a slight vintage feel too which I loved! I wore a barely there one tier veil so as not to take anything away from the dress. I had fresh flowers in my hair and simple diamond stud earrings. My shoes were from Aquazzura and were so beautiful – a white pointed backless shoe with silver straps across the top – complimented my dress perfectly.
Groom – The suit was from Ted Baker – overall grey with touches of blue! This was teamed with a beautiful floral tie from Liberty of London which on the day, and although not intentional, complimented our flowers beautifully. Sean finished the look off with a gorgeous pair of burgundy Loakes.
Sean had a best man and an Usher and they both wore light grey suits and a navy tie from Moss Bros. Their tanned coloured shoes were their own and that, along with a navy knit tie, brought the whole outfit together.
I knew right from the start that I did not want my bridesmaids to be matching, either in style or colour. I wanted the colours to be more of hues than colours as I wanted the flowers to contrast and really stand out against out the dresses. My Maid of Honour wore a multi wear light grey dress from Oasis, my other bridesmaid (my niece) wore a very pretty nude coloured dress from ASOS and my youngest niece (my flower girl) wore a white dress from Monsoon with a pink flower waist tie. Although not intentional, the one thing that brought them all together was pleating at the bottom of the dress. They looked so beautiful. Shoes were from Reiss, Quiz, and Accessorize.
We spent a long time looking for our photographers as we knew how important this selection would be. Finding someone you can trust to capture the day in the way you want wasn’t easy. We knew we never wanted what we call a ‘traditional’ wedding photographer, one that pushes you from one couple shot to the 50th group shot, stealing away precious time from your day, and one that pushes you in to awkward and completely unnatural shots. I don’t know how we came across Emily and Steve but it was their pictures on Instagram that really blew us away (they invest of lot of their busy lives in to this marketing channel and it certainly pays off). We remember looking at their pics from a vintage wedding they shot and they were artistic, beautiful, natural, stylish, and so so cool.
On the day, they were incredibly easy to work with, so friendly and made us feel really comfortable. We loved their chemistry and how they worked with their surroundings, discussing ideas on the spot and helping us to get some beautiful pics. We were due to have couple shots outside when the heavens opened and they found a room, dark and moody but with gorgeous window light – our pictures are proof of how dramatic and stunning these ended up looking.
We love our pictures! As soon as we saw them, they took us right back. They captured all of the emotion and beauty of the day and helped us remember how incredible we felt on the day. Look no further if you want natural, storytelling and artistic pictures – these are your guys!
Our cake maker was Melissa from Melissa Woodland cakes and she made a 4 tier semi naked cake abundant with berries and herbs of our choice. It looked absolutely incredible and tasted delicious! We had different flavours on each of the tiers: triple lemon, chocolate and sour cherry, coconut and passion, and coffee and baileys. We absolutely loved the end result – it looked incredible! We had another cake maker (Odiham Cake Company) who kindly made a model of our chocolate Labrador Arthur to sit on the top and the whole thing was an absolute treat for the senses.
I don’t know where to start to with this apart from, when I think of our wedding, the flowers are the first thing that pops in to my mind. It was important that the flowers dominated the wedding so I took one solidarity picture and the vision in my head to our first meeting with Shelly from Eden Blooms and we came away feeling comfortable she knew what we wanted. It really helped that our florists felt excited about our plans and in particular our palette choice which was rich multi coloured jewel colours.
I could never have imagined though how I would feel when the florists brought the bouquets up to our bridal prep area. They were the most beautiful flowers I had ever seen! I became even more excited as reports of how the venue was looking were filtering through and I just knew it was going to look amazing!
I could go on forever so I will just finish by mentioning our reaction when we walked in to the Tithe Barn for the wedding breakfast. We walked in ahead of guests and I was literally blown away by what they had created and how incredible the flowers looked on the tables. It couldn’t have looked more perfect! Sitting behind the flowers on the top table felt like being in the most lavish garden and looking out at the large arrangements on the round tables, I knew that my vision had absolutely come to life. The smell!!! Oh my goodness the smell! I wish I could bottle it! The beautiful scent of purple basil hung heavy in the air – I still miss the smell and it will always remind us of our special day. We also had a couple of real olive trees either side of our top table which finished it all off nicely. Our guests could not stop talking about the flowers all day, and long after the wedding! Eden Blooms were incredible from start to finish, even going over and beyond when we had a candle crisis! Fantastic bunch of girls too. I would recommend them to the hills!
As mentioned before, the main decoration was provided by the flowers and the lighting but there were many DIY aspects that we were able to add.
Although we did not have an intentional theme, we were able to incorporate some elements from our invites in to the day (olive tree/sprig images). This did not come from nowhere, it was to remind us of Greece, where we got engaged and complimented our flowers perfectly. With this, Sean, single handily, created the seating plan, order of service and the menus and they looked amazing – so professional (the suppliers on the day were even asking who did them – no mean feat seeing as he produced them the day before the wedding!).
We had sweets on the cake table, pictures of our loved ones who could not be with us, polaroid camera with guest book, card box (actually a candle storm lantern) with our own decal design, and candles……lots of them….everywhere! In terms of the candles, tea lights were never going to cut it for me – just not enough to create the look and feel I wanted so I had lots of cylinder vases filled with tall candles and they looked so magical.
Our most amazing detail though was the confetti! This was made up of real dried flowers from the gardens of our friends and family, all lovingly pulled together by my mother in law! It felt great seeing the confetti shots knowing their origins and the work that went it bringing them to life.
Our lighting was made up of drop Edison bulbs (ceremony) and random style festoon lighting for the Tithe Barn – both looked absolutely stunning on the day.
Although not a section for it here, I have to mention our fabulous caterers! During our tasting and meetings with them, there was nothing that we mentioned that they couldn’t do or couldn’t accommodate! All our guests commented how lovely the food was, from the canapes at the drinks reception, to the hearty roast dinner with all the trimmings, ending with their wood fire pizza in the evening. Not only were they in charge of the fabulous food but they also helped to ensure the day ran smoothly including the setup, moving of items during the day, ensuring first dance and cake cutting was on time – I could go on. They definitely go above and beyond and we were thrilled with our choice.
Although not our usual choice of holiday, we knew after the stresses in the lead up to the wedding, we wanted to find a holiday where we could relax, unwind and eat some great food. After doing our research, we found the most incredible island of Kuramathi in the Maldives! It was literally paradise and everything that we wanted. I would go back in a heartbeat.
Every single part of the day! I wish we could do it all again 🙂
Emily & Steve Photography
Melissa Woodland Cakes
So so beautiful!
Hope and Sean, thank you ever so much for sharing your very special wedding story with us xo Lou
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