I am thrilled to be sharing Carina and Ryan’s nuptials today, which were held on the 14th July 2018 at West Lexham in Norfolk. Why? Well because they are just blooming gorgeous from beginning to end. You see they were inspired by A Midsummer Night’s Dream, cue ample florals, candles and ethereal vibes. It really was all so very romantic. The barns in particular looked really magical and the spot where they said I do, outdoors in the garden, was idyllic.
The attire was all so on trend. The groomsmen rocked braces and sunglasses and groom Ryan chose to wear a waistcoat too, they all looked really cool! The bridesmaids wore dresses in a beautiful shade of green, with statement flower crowns all round. Meanwhile Carina chose a lace and tulle princess gown accessorised with a long veil in which she looked utterly beautiful.
Guests were treated to games, live music, ice cream and a hangover party the next day. It sounded like a brilliant time was had by all. Thanks ever so much to James Powell Photography for sharing these brilliant images with us, they really do capture all the joy.
Originally Ryan has planned a big romantic proposal at Christmas however I’d been really ill so he had kept the ring hidden away in his drawers for months, waiting for the right moment. In the end he decided that was around 4am shortly after I had finished a night-feed. The ring is a replica of 1920’s ring that I had pinned on Pinterest before I had even met Ryan, so it was definitely a big surprise.
I’m drawn to quite moody and opulent schemes so opted for darkest red, blush, and gold. I was inspired by Midsummer Night’s Dream, and bacchanalian feasts so wanted to use lots of flowers and natural materials alongside more decadent items like gold leafed-fruit, blush cut-glass tumblers and gold cutlery. For the hangover party the next day we opted for a Woodstock meets Studio 54 themed disco pool party.
The Planning Process
We secured all the main suppliers first – venue followed by caterers and band as we felt that these were the three things that could make or break a wedding. We then brought One Curious Dream on board to help with the on the day wedding coordination and found our florist and cake-maker through them. The planning process then took a bit of a lull till the few proceeding months when things got pretty hectic! Because the venue was very DIY and we had nearly 100 guests staying on site plus events on the Friday and Sunday evening, there was still a lot to do from the moment we arrived to the moment we left.
West Lexham, Norfolk.
Your Outfits & Accessories
Bride – Dress by Essense of Australia from Angelica Bridal.
The dress was actually picked out by the assistant on my first shopping trip. I didn’t like the look of it on the hanger and nearly didn’t try it so was not expecting to love it as much as I did. I then spent months trying on different dresses trying to find something closer to what I imagined I would wear but I kept coming back to the first one, so finally gave in and went for the princess dress!
Shoes – Dune
Earrings – Gucci (a gift from some of my friends)
Hair vine – Richard Designs
Groom – Suit by Harry Brown
Shirt – Reiss
Shoes – Jones Bootmaker
It was the first suit Ryan tried on and not in the colour we had originally envisaged but we both liked it so he didn’t bother looking any further.
Make-up – Kate Balding (Kate also did the calligraphy for the name tags.)
Hair – Amy Henesy
We had eight including two best men.
Trousers – Harry Brown
Braces – Moss Bros
The dresses were from ASOS. Two of the four bridemaids live in New York so we needed a company that would deliver a range of styles to both countries.
I bought a specific crystal pendant for each bridesmaid and hand made the flower crowns.
The Readings & Music
Ryan and I both chose a poem to be read by an usher and bridesmaid. We heard each other’s for the first time during the ceremony.
Ryan’s choice: Love Listen by Ann Grey
Carina’s choice: Not Love Perhaps by A. S. J Tessimond
We hired Tru Groove – a Motown band who sang at the ceremony and in the evening. They were amazing.
I walked down the aisle to Kissing you by Des’ree. After the ceremony we both walked back down to Here comes the sun by The Beatles.
Our first dance was How sweet it is by Marvin Gaye.
Flowers by Lydia at Rambling Rose Florist
Bride and bridesmaids’ bouquets – we chose deep red and blush flowers – a mixture of roses, peony and smaller flowers with lots of greenery.
The Details & Décor
We were very lucky to find a venue that offered so much atmosphere and natural beauty that we didn’t need excessive décor. Much of the wedding took place outside and so for these parts we let the nature do the talking. Because of the heatwave the flowers and plants had all had growth spurts so the grounds were quite wild. We married in front of the lake and chose hay bales covered with sheepskin rugs for the ceremony seating along with a floral arch and aisle decorations which we were then able to use elsewhere.
The drinks reception was also outside so we placed deckchairs around the lawn, had a pimp your prosecco station and games like tug of war for people to play with. We served canapés, oysters and had an ice cream cart…that I’m still gutted I didn’t try!
The evening meal and dance took place in the barn which was another beautiful space full of natural materials however, knowing people may be reluctant to leave the outdoors, I wanted there to be a continuation of the woodland and blooms. To achieve this we utilised the barn’s beams and had flowers and greenery snaking up around them, as if growing through the floors. We had three long banqueting tables which were decorated in the style of an opulent woodland feast. Running along the centre were various glass bottles and brass bud vases and candle stick holders, the former of which we filled with selection of single stems and the occasional butterfly. Moss was weaved in between the decorations and thick log slices were used for tealight holders and as table name holder – each table was named after a London park that we spend time in. Above each table hung rows of festoon lighting. Ryan and I sat on a sweetheart table so we could spend some time together and to avoid any top table politics, so I decorated this table a little more lavishly.
We ordered customised printable signage and menus through an Etsy designer and printed the latter onto pink parchment. We also used Etsy for the natural confetti, handmade paper and ribbon for the place names which our friend hand calligraphed.
We also hired a stretch tent as a contingency plan in case it rained but used it as chill-out area filled with eclectic armchairs and tables. We also served desserts and expresso martinis from there.
Most of the props and decorations were hired from One Curious Dream to minimise waste, however there were the odd bits that I already owned or had found in the run up to the wedding.
Imogen at Sugar Buttons Creative
We had a three tier semi-naked cake decorated with gold leaf, fruits and macarons.
We had a different flavour for each tier – salted caramel, lemon and elderflower polenta, pistachio, white chocolate and cardamon.
Our band did a live garage set which was incredible and had everyone going crazy on the dancefloor. Also the ceremony itself was very special. My brother acted as celebrant and started the ceremony with an address that had everyone in stitches, which was needed as we’d all been in tears moments before.
Advice For Other Couples
Keep your diary completely clear the fortnight before your wedding and accept any help that is offered. If it’s not offered, then ask for it.
Credit Where Credit Is Due
James Powell Photography
One Curious Dream
Joanna Design Boutique
Carina and Ryan, thank you both so much for sharing your super special wedding celebrations with us today xo Lou