By Louise Baltruschat Hollis
Today’s wedding is definitely one of my very faves from the year. It’s an utter delight from beginning to end and it gave me that fuzzy feeling inside.
WWW readers Laura and Richard chose to get hitched on the 23rd July 2016 at Cripps Barn in the Cotswolds. They envisioned a fun and floral filled extravaganza. There was a subtle grey and blush colour scheme with plenty of greenery thrown in too. The flowers were just out of this world beautiful, with peach roses, peonies and oodles of foliage used in the décor and the bouquets.
The bridal party looked handsome, with the gents in grey suits and bow ties and the bridesmaids in long sage green dresses. Laura chose a lace sleeved Justin Alexander gown which she accessorised with a gold hair band and some seriously lust worthy Jimmy Choos. WOW indeed.
Thanks so much to Scuffins Photography for sharing these divine shots with us.
THE PROPOSAL | Richard planned a surprise trip to the Cotswolds for my birthday, when we arrived it was to the same cottage that we had had our very first trip together. He had set the table outside looking onto a beautiful valley, cooked me a delicious meal and after the main course he got down on one knee and proposed. I was so excited I couldn’t stop running around looking at my ring.
THE VISION | I’m not sure the vision was a clear one from the start, I knew two things I wanted it to be fun and I wanted flowers… lots of flowers! It was important to Richard that our wedding had an informal and relaxed feel so a barn seemed the perfect choice and the whole thing evolved from there.
THE PLANNING PROCESS | We were engaged for nearly two years so we could take our time with planning. We booked the venue relatively early so the date was set and then I trawled pinterest, WWW, magazines and blogs for ideas and inspirations.
We are so lucky to have such talented friends and family who were able to help with flowers, decoration and cake that we really didn’t have to worry about anything and took a stress free approach to planning, the toughest bit was getting the guest list down!
THE VENUE | We knew we wanted a barn venue and it seemed perfect that we would get married in the Cotswolds, not only because that is where we got engaged but our parents are from the Midlands and we live in London so it is an ideal location. The moment we stepped into Cripps Barn we knew it was really special, the stone barn is absolutely stunning and the glade outside where we were fortunate enough to get married was just a dream come true. A massive plus for us was the fantastic feast on offer at Cripps, all of our guests loved the theatre to the sharing meals and thought carving up giant sized rib of beef at the table was just brilliant (sorry vegetarians). We even got to have pizzas from Baz and Freds in the evening, these went down a treat and it was such a nice change from the usual evening wedding food. The whole place is absolutely beautiful and as soon as the sun starts to set, the lights flare up and the bonfire is lit it truly does feel magical.
THE DRESS & ACCESSORIES | I found a beautiful Ivory Justin Alexander dress from a boutique called Perfections in Worcester. I had buttons added all down the train to make it a bit more unique. My headdress was also from Perfections by Amanda Wyatt, it was a beautiful gold vine which I wore across the front of my hair. It’s so unusual to see bridal accessories in gold, I knew I had to have it. My favourite item I wore on the day were my shoes, they were Jimmy Choo and so sparkly, I can’t wait to wear them again!
FINDING THE DRESS | I tried on many many many dresses… I searched all over London and the Midlands and it was not always easy. I changed styles so many times that I wasn’t sure what I wanted any more. Eventually I went to a lovely shop called Perfections in Worcester. They had some beautiful dresses and one Justin Alexander one which fit my initial brief (the one I thought I had long left behind) perfectly; sheer sleeves, sweetheart neck and buttons! I tried it on and it was perfect… I looked at my mum who had been with me at every other appointment and we both knew – that was my dress!
GROOM’S ATTIRE | Richard wanted tweed… in July. It seemed like a great idea that would really fit the venue at first but tweed and heat do not mix well.
Eventually we found a great 3 piece tweed style suits from Slaters in Birmingham, they were perfect and just the look we were going for. We paired them with bow ties and pocket squares from Mrs Bow Tie in two different Liberty prints, they were very cute.
THE READINGS & MUSIC | I walked down the aisle to an acoustic version of A Thousand Years by Jasmine Thompson, its a beautiful song and fit the outdoor ceremony perfectly.
We had two readings; ‘Gravitation’ by Albert Einstein and ‘I Carry Your Heart (I Carry it in My Heart)’ by E.E. Cummings.
BEAUTIFUL BRIDESMAIDS | I had 5 bridesmaids who were all my friends from school, it was amazing to have them with me, they have all known me so long they absolutely knew how to keep me calm on the day!
Initially I was looking at blush tones for the dresses but by chance whilst I was out shopping with a couple of them we found strapless sage dresses from Debut at Debenhams. They tried them on and we were sold. I am still amazed how lucky we were to find a dress that 5 very different girls agreed on! They looked absolutely beautiful on the day and everyone has commented on how great the dresses were.
THE FLOWERS | I loved my flowers! I knew I wanted lots of them and opted for peaches, blushes and whites with lots of foliage. I am so lucky that my mum used to be a florist and her best friend and daughter run a wedding decoration and florist company in Droitwich called The Wedding House. I enlisted their help straight away, they have known me forever and were able capture exactly what I wanted and produced my dream wedding flowers. They were amazing!
I had flowers everywhere, lining the aisle in little jars, at the top of the aisle, on the decking in old apple crates, dotted around the venue at every opportunity. The tables were a mix of mini crates and milk churns on logs filled with lots of beautiful flowers. The backdrop to the top table was a ladder set on crates. The ladder was filled with foliage and flowers and looked stunning.
Aside from my bouquet, which was absolutely stunning (I still cant believe how beautiful it was) my favourite flowers were the barrels at the top of the aisle. I had visions of flowers on huge barrels for so long and after sourcing the barrels at a local garden centre Wendy worked her flower magic and made them look amazing on the day.
One of the many reasons I loved Cripps so much was they have huge flower bombs hanging from the ceiling and a massive foliage ring, these looked absolutely beautiful filled with flowers on the day and really helped set a flower-ful look!
THE CAKE | My amazing and talented bridesmaid Jenni is a pastry chef in Paris. I was absolutely delighted when she asked if she could bake the cake for my wedding. It is the most beautiful cake I have ever seen and it was very delicious too!
YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER | After many a google search and lots of wedding fairs I came across Chris and didn’t look back! Chris and Helen were a dream to have around on the day their passion for their work really shines through, so many of our guests have said just how brilliant they were. Chris was so lovely to work with on the run up to the day and really made the whole process so smooth. Our photos are so beautiful and really capture the emotion of the day, we haven’t stopped showing them off since we received them.
THE DETAILS & DÉCOR | Cripps Barn is so beautiful anyway but it was so lovely to be able to put our stamp on the venue. We created a ‘McHall’ theme as my maiden name is McMillan and Richards surname is Hall. This worked really well and we had branded napkins, aprons and lots of signage. We had even created little fans as the order of service in case it was a bit warm – these were amazing on the day and luckily came in handy as the weather was so beautiful.
One of the main things I knew I wanted was a mariachi band during the drinks reception. I had seen the doritos band play at a festival in London and they were so much fun, I wanted to bottle that vibe and bring it to the Cotswolds. I found ‘The Mexican Way’ online and after a bit of deliberation (will people think its lame or will it get the party started?) I decided to book them and I could not be happier that I did! They were absolutely amazing and really set the tone for an fun day. The sun was shining, the mariachi were playing and margaritas were flowing.. Perfect.
One of my favourite details was the our ‘pimp your prosecco’ cart, we filled the cart with different fruits, syrups and cordials and it was such a fun and interactive way for guests to personalise their reception drinks, it was a huge hit with the ladies! In the evening this morphed into a marshmallow and sparklers stand. One of the reasons I was so set on Cripps was that they had bonfire, I thought it would be so lovely in the evening. We had that and two fire pits lit up as the sun started to set, everyone loved getting involved and lighting sparklers and toasting marshmallows!
I knew I wanted a different table plan, my mum found a 3 tier display stand whilst she was shopping in Homesense and the herb pot idea was born. Each table was named after a herb and we had written the named of the herbs in white chalk on the front of the pots. We took a trip to the local garden centre and managed to source 11 different herbs. My mum potted them in terracotta pots and my bridesmaids stamped over 100 lolly pop sticks for the guests names. They looked amazing and created such a beautiful scent as you walked past.
Both myself and Richard only have one grandparent left so I wanted to include our grandparents in the wedding but without a sense of loss, more of a celebration. I created a ‘Memory Lane’ which showed our close family’s wedding pictures. I borrowed a ladder from The Wedding House and put pictures of our parents and grandparents on their wedding day on it. It was so lovely for people to see and for family members to have a reminisce.
During the day and evening we had lawn games set up so guests could get involved and have a bit of fun. The limbo stick was a huge hit, when Richard and I were off having some photos in the wheat fields (a few fields away!) all we could hear was cheering from a mammoth limbo-off. It sounded like so much fun and it was so lovely to hear everyone enjoying themselves.
In the evening we set up a magic photo mirror from the Wedding House, which was a huge hit with guests of all ages. Our band Eskimo were absolutely brilliant, they rocked it all night and the dancefloor was packed till the very end! We had people chanting for more when the stopped playing – definitely the sign of a great party!
THE HONEYMOON | We stayed in the Cotswolds in a stunning lakeside lodge the week after our wedding, it was so lovely to have some time to relax together straight after the wedding. We are jetting off to the Maldives in 2 weeks for our ‘mega moon’ and we can’t wait!
MEMORABLE MOMENTS | The speeches were absolutely brilliant, so much love and laughter in one room and the best men were just fantastic and really got the crowd going.
The party was my favourite bit! It was so lovely to see everyone we love, in one place, letting their hair down and having fun!
ADVICE FOR OTHER COUPLES | Enjoy every moment of the day! It’s completely overwhelming and goes by so quickly make sure you make some time to take a deep breath and take it all in!
CREDIT WHERE CREDIT IS DUE |
Photographer | Scuffins Photography
Flowers and Décor | The Wedding House
Dress | Perfections
Mariachi | The Mexican Way
Band | Eskimo
Venue | Cripps Barn
Hair & Make Up | JLS Special Occasion Looks
Grooms Attire | Slaters
Lodge | Orion Holidays
Oh my, I am swooning. What a fabulous day.
Thanks so much to Laura and Richard for sharing their pretty nuptials here with us today xo Lou
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