Good morning! Wasn’t it a beautiful weekend? Well, for once it was in Leeds. Proper lay out in the sun BBQ weather and it is meant to be gorgeous this week too!
Today’s wedding is beautiful, Wasing Park is such a pretty backdrop for a summer wedding and Laura captured it beautifully. Liz looked absolutely stunning and Tom’s suit is exceptionally dapper, I am so glad we are seeing a little shift away from super formal grooms wear and the men are wearing clothes that reflect their personalities.
We loved the idea of getting married somewhere pretty and rural and were looking for a beautiful barn venue which we found in Wasing Park, but what really sold it for us was the food! Tom and I are big foodies and the head chef at Wasing Park was a protégé of Heston Blumenthal and had a menu of tasty meals with a few unique twists (popping candy truffles, yum!).
Beauty by Jenny- Jenny White and Hair – Gilded Hair
My dress was a gift from my Mum and it was ‘Laberne’ by Pronovias, purchased from Windsor and Eton brides – it was love at first sight. My shoes were ‘Mimosa’ by Rachel Simpson and I wore some beautiful pearl drop earrings from notonthehighstreet.com; these were a birthday present from Tom which fell four days before the wedding. My choice of hair accessory had been an ongoing saga for which I was driving everyone around me bonkers (first world problems!) as I couldn’t decide between a Jenny Packham Acacia ii headpiece and an Emmy Maya fan comb. After obsessing over this for literally months I ended up with both, wearing the Emmy comb during the day and busting out the glitzy Jenny Packham head piece for the evening festivities.
I was incredibly lucky with my flowers. My talented Mum was a florist in a previous life and took on the mammoth job of putting together all the reception flowers, bouquets and buttonholes. I knew I wanted quite a relaxed, unstructured arrangement with salmon Rananculas, white Peonies, peach avalanche Roses and lots of foliage and we decided to buy the flowers from New Covent Garden Flower Market. Contrary to the relaxed style of the bouquet, getting hold of the flowers was an insight into why florists charge what they do. Five am and three days before the wedding we found ourselves running around the market in a fluster trying to get together enough flowers after being let down by our trusty south London market tradesman from whom we had ordered, in the panic also managing to ‘lose’ £150 worth of Roses. Despite all of this my Mum managed to produce the most beautiful arrangements, far surpassing my expectations. The fact that my Mum had made my bouquet was all the more special as I held it walking down the aisle.
Liz – for me, the absolute highlight was the ceremony itself. In the organisation and planning, the little touches, the baking and decorating and the hours of poring over dresses it could become easy to lose the meaning and purpose of the day. When I stood at the end of the aisle with a tearful Dad by my side and Tom gazing at me down the room, it completely took my breath away.
Tom purchased his and his best mans grey herringbone 3-piece suits from Reiss. He wanted something fitted and smart without being overly stuffy and formal.
Tom and I love Rob Ryan laser cut designs but he doesn’t do invitations. We ended up using ‘When this bell rings…’ designed blank cards and creating our own inserts. We also bought ‘When this bell rings’ ceramic presents for the wedding party.
Tom, as most his friends know, is a bit of a geek and absolutely full of useless facts. As a child, before dinner every day, he used to present a ‘fact of the day’ to his family. In honour of this we attached luggage labels to the favours, each with ‘Toms fact of the day’ written on it. Enlightening our guests with silly facts such as ‘Kangaroos can’t hop backwards’ – fact.
The bridesmaid’s grecian dresses were purchase online from Oasis.
Aside from the big venue costs, we identified – from the offset – a couple of expenditures for which quality and skills were really important and therefore budget became less of an issue. These were the photographer and the band. Aside from that I was a really hands on bride, and roped in various family and friends to help where I could. I am not sure, in the long run whether DIY saves you a lot of money but we wanted our wedding day to be unpretentious and fun and not to leave us starting married life in debt.
As Tom and I are not religious we decided to have a civil ceremony in keeping with our own beliefs. I was very aware of maintaining the sense of occasion whilst doing this and so hired a string quartet. As a violinist myself I have emotional connections and memories attached to classical pieces and so walking down the aisle to Pachelbels Canon really set both me and my Dad off. The string quartet continued playing during the drinks reception but we had them playing various covers of indie songs we like and theme tunes like the ‘Game of Thrones’. And The Smooth Criminals.
In keeping with our relationship with food, we also had ‘Liz’s fudge pantry’ in the evening. I collected old fashioned storage jars and concocted (and tested!) recipe’s for different types of fudge. A few weeks before the wedding I then spent a day making 10 different flavours, packaging them in the jars, and then covering them in parcel tape to stop me eating it all in the run up to the wedding. We came up with some wedding puns for the flavours like ‘Maple and Wal-nuptuals’ and ‘Vow-nilla’. Predictably a lot of people spent time loitering around the fudge table in the evening.
Tom – Don’t underestimate the power of the list. Without lists we would have forgotten or rushed so many of the things that turned out to make our day so special. They also keep you on track, stop you both doing the same thing twice and make the whole scariness of organising a wedding slightly less daunting by cutting it up into smaller slices.
Play to your family’s strengths, Liz’s mum’s flowers is a great example of this but all our family got roped in at some point. Don’t be scared to delegate.
And finally spend time to get your quirks and individualities into your wedding. It is these things that will make your wedding unique, individual and personal to you.