Relaxed Homemade Country House Wedding with Afternoon Tea

Walcot Hall Wedding Shropshire Bridgwood Wedding Photography

There is just so much to love about WWW readers Helen and Tim’s wedding. First up their wedding photographer was WWW fave Bridgwood Wedding Photography whose striking images we are always so thrilled to share (thanks Steve!). Then there is their love story and the reasons behind their song choices really gave me all the feels. Thirdly, I just adore all of the homemade touches, which made their day personal, relaxed and so filled with love.

Helen and Tim wanted a really relaxed vibe at their venue, Walcot Hall in Shropshire. Think afternoon tea followed by a hog roast, a live band with impromptu Ceilidh and guests staying overnight with a BBQ before the big day.

How beautiful did Helen look in her Kula Tsurdiu lace gown by the way? Plus those blue Jimmy Choos! Tim opted for a three piece wool suit, silk tie and rustic buttonhole combo. They both looked just gorgeous.

As real weddings go, this one truly is a vintage beauty and I think you are going to love this story today.

Walcot Hall Wedding Shropshire Bridgwood Wedding Photography

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THE PROPOSAL

Tim surprised me by taking me away to stay in a real life castle (I know right!) for our two year anniversary. We had dinner on the first night there and afterwards he suggested we go for a walk round the gardens. It was a beautiful summers evening in June and the sun was just starting to set. I was looking at some flowers and turned around and he was down on one knee! I think I said ‘oh my god’ about twenty times before I realised I probably should give him an answer; of course my answer was yes.

THE VISION

Tim is in the army and because of that we have spent quite a lot of time attending formal events and occasions, and whilst they are really fun, we wanted our wedding to be very relaxed. This meant that we wanted a venue that had the same view, and as soon as we visited Walcot Hall we knew it would be absolutely perfect for this. We wanted a chilled out day with a vintage vibe where everyone felt they could have a laugh. We contacted and arranged all of the suppliers ourselves, which meant we could create our own bespoke day.

THE PLANNING PROCESS

We did the planning for the wedding together, although I booked most of the suppliers myself whilst Tim was in Afghanistan. We are both very organised, but for some reason we didn’t manage to get some bits done until right at the end. We sent our invitations out really late!

THE VENUE

Walcot Hall, Shropshire. A beautiful property where the family still live, surrounded by green fields and a lake. We were especially attracted to this venue as they have their own on-site accommodation for up to 100 people, so a lot of people stayed there the night before and we had a BBQ. They were super flexible and provided everything we wanted and Lucieanne their wedding co-ordinator was amazing on the day itself. We wanted to get married outside and there were so many options for this at Walcot, which also attracted us to it.

THE DRESS & ACCESSORIES

My dress and veil were from Kula Tsurdiu and made with Nottingham lace (Nottingham is where I grew up).

Shoes were Jimmy Choo.

Wedding rings were from a family friends jewellers, who also made my parents wedding rings! Cornell Jewellers.

FINDING THE DRESS

I thought finding the dress would be difficult as I can be super picky, but in the end we found it on the first shopping trip! They managed to fit us in for a late afternoon appointment at Kula and as soon as I tried the dress on I knew it was the one – plus my mum started crying so, that gave me a hint. Hilariously, whilst I was trying it on a man walked past the shop and stopped and knocked on the door (which was locked as it was after 5pm) the shop manager Laura let him in and he said ‘I just wanted to say, whoever he is, he is very lucky’ – we were all in tears, including the shop manager! (These things only happen in films don’t they?!).

GROOM’S ATTIRE

Tim had his suit tailored for him at a local shop whilst he was on tour in Afghanistan! It was a three piece wool suit with a silk tie. Tim’s best man Sam’s suit was also made in the same shop. Sam sent his measurements out to Tim and then tried it on when it made it back to the UK – thankfully it fit!

THE READINGS & MUSIC

We walked down the aisle to ‘Lucky’ by Jason Mraz. This has been a very special song to us, particularly during deployments as we have spent a lot of time apart over the past four years. The lyrics ‘every time we say goodbye I wish we had one more kiss, I’ll wait for you I promise you I will’ have always been very poignant for us!

Our first dance was to ‘Rather Be’ by Clean Bandit – Another song about being apart!!

BEAUTIFUL BRIDESMAIDS

One of my oldest school friends Sarah, my lovely little sister Louise and my close friend Sophie (who was my rock whilst Tim was in Afghan) were my beautiful bridesmaids. The dresses were from Joanie Clothing and really fitted in with the vintage feel.

THE FLOWERS

Tim’s incredible mum Lorna sorted the flowers out for me, and my Nan brought some eucalyptus from her garden. She basically asked what sort of colours and types I liked, sourced them all from a local florist and then she and Tim’s sisters Amy and Suzi arranged them for me the day before. They did the most AMAZING job and created a bouquet for me that was better than anything I had imagined for myself.

THE CAKE

The cake was also made by Lorna! We had so many compliments and it tasted amazing. Each tier was a different flavour; Chocolate orange, Victoria sponge and lemon.

YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER

Steve Bridgwood from Bridgwood Wedding Photography. He was absolutely awesome on the day, so relaxed and friendly, and we couldn’t be more pleased with the photos.

THE DETAILS & DÉCOR

I have to mention my hair and make-up because I was so pleased with the overall result! My make-up was done by Sophie Howell; she was ace. My hair was by the very talented Tabitha MacCurrach-Paine and it did not budge for the entire day (my hair is very thick and unruly).

We decorated the tables using loads of dried flowers, jam jars and old books. Each table was named after a different surf spot round the world, as Tim is a keen surfer! Some we have visited, others are on the bucket list! For favours we made a donation to cancer research and everyone had a pin to wear during the day. We had afternoon tea for the reception meal, so the caterers provided beautiful vintage china tea sets. Our good friend Lee runs a coffee company called The Rolling Bean and he provided some incredible coffee throughout the afternoon, and again the following morning, which was much needed for the hangovers!

For the evening meal we had a hog roast, which was UNREAL! People are still talking about it. We also had a brilliant Irish band who ended up doing an impromptu Ceilidh; Tim’s Aunt and Uncle danced together for the first time in thirteen years! Perhaps it was the luck of the Irish?!

THE HONEYMOON

We wanted to have something to look forward to after the wedding, so we have booked to go to Bali in September this year. Our one year anniversary will be spent on one of the small islands in Bali called Gili Meno – we can’t wait!!!

MEMORABLE MOMENTS

The speeches were absolutely incredible and so funny, and despite it being traditional that the groom gets the stick, I got roasted during the father of the bride and my best friend/bridesmaid’s speech! Sarah pretended to read out some of the names of boys I had crushes on from one of my old diaries. Cue a bright red face from me!

The most amazing moment though was just as we started to say our vows, the sun came out and started shining right on both of us. It was truly magical.

ADVICE FOR OTHER COUPLES

I was given this advice by a friend who had also recently married; she said to make sure you take a few moments during the day to sit back and look at the outcome of all of your hard work and to really see your friends and family enjoying themselves. I did this a couple of times on the day and I have some really special memories from this.

One of Tim’s closest friends advised him that when he was saying his vows to make sure he took his time and said them slowly, as he would only get to say them once. Oh, and also, not to drink too much!!

Credit Where Credit Is Due

Just magic.

What an honour to share your day Helen and Tim, thank you so so much xo Lou

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