a flower filled fantastic country wedding for Rebecca (yes our Rebeccca!) | uk wedding blog

facebook-profile-picture By Phoebe

As I am sure you can guess this wedding is a rather special one for me to blog which is why I have saved it for Christmas Eve, my favourite day of the year. Rebecca came on board a couple of months ago and quite frankly she has been a god send. I think the first email I sent to her was “what you doing in 2 weeks time, want to go to Jamaica?”.  If you don’t know about Rebecca you can read all about her here. She came on board a couple of months ago and it has been wonderful. We have so much in common (aside from her penchant for 5am running or spin classes, and my love for gin) and so far it has been wonderful working with her. I feel very reassured knowing that she is representing SYGM at events.

I don’t think I need to say much about her wedding as Rebecca has covered everything (she has been a true blogger in the amount of info she has given us though, more the merrier!!). Ben, her husband, made SO much for their (sign posts, and the LOVE letters being a few), on top of all of Rebecca’s DIY, I don’t quite know how they did it. Enjoy, I truly did. Also please note how gorgeous Rebecca’s mum looked!

Photography by Binky Nixon

r&b_W012 r&b_W017 r&b_W019 r&b_W022 r&b_W023 The BrideBride’s dress /shoes: Some people have told me that they hated shopping for their wedding dress but I absolutely loved it. My Mum and one of my Bridesmaid’s came with me to visit a few local bridal shops in Berkhamsted and St Albans, Hertfordshire to just get a feel for what was out there, I still had loads of time before our wedding two whole summers away. I didn’t have a style in mind to start with so tried a real range of dresses on. Brides of Berkhamsted stocked Lyn Ashworth’s couture range at the time and I soon realised that once I’d tried a Lyn Ashworth dress on, nothing else would compare. They’re all handmade in England using such beautiful organza and lace. Helena was the name of my dress and she was gorgeous. She had everything I’d had in mind for a wedding dress, lace, a big bow, buttons, a little bit of vintage sparkle and romance. Both my Mum and Carolyn cried when I walked out of wearing the dress and we all secretly knew that would be the one. But having loads of time and wanting to mentally cross off any other potential dresses, I visited a few other bridal boutiques and then went on holiday. But all I could think about was Helena and as soon as I got home I went back to Brides of Berkhamsted to get measured up and order the dress which was kept in storage at the shop fora bout eighteen months! I went back to try her on a couple of times. Julie and Lucy are a mother and daughter team who run the shop and couldn’t have been more lovely. Me and my Mum used to get so excited for visiting each time they really made so special and fun. I bought my shoes at the same time as ordering my dress, they were Rainbow Club Perovs. 

Bride’s hair accessories/veil My veil was a ribbon edged, mid length one purchased from the same shop as my wedding dress. I think every girl should at least try on a veil even if you think you don’t want one at first, it made me feel like a real life bride trying it all on together for the first time! I struggled to find a pretty hair clip that I liked, I’m really fussy on things like that. I wanted some vintage crystals without spending a fortune but equally didn’t want it to look cheap and shiny. In the end I ordered mine online from Glitzy Secrets and was really pleased with it.

r&b_W028 r&b_W035 r&b_W040 r&b_W041 r&b_W043 r&b_W046 r&b_W060 r&b_W062 r&b_W069 The DecorI wanted flowers to be everywhere, a real English country summer garden wedding so that was a loose theme. Then the red hearts ran throughout our stationery and we organized a big group red heart balloon release which everybody loved.

r&b_W076 r&b_W078 The StationeryI designed and made everything, apart from our wedding invites, myself. I downloaded varying typewriter and fun fonts to create order of services, menus, table plans and luggage tag place settings. It was all printed on brown kraft paper with little red hearts. Our table plan was strung over a vintage world map with some of the places we’ve travelled to together as table names.

r&b_W079 r&b_W082 r&b_W090 r&b_W100 The Hair and MakeupA friend, who is a hairdresser specializing in bridal updo’s, did my hair for the day. I was tempted to have it down but thought it would probably get in the way and take away from the dress and veil. I saved a few images of the kind of styles I like from Pinterest and Zoe just worked her magic, curling and pinning my hair so effortlessly. My make up was by the incredible Helen from a Touch of Magic who’s had years of experience and a huge portfolio. I don’t wear loads of make up day to day so wanted to look like a natural, but prettier, version of myself rather than being caked in make up. It lasted all day despite the sun beating down on us!

r&b_W119 r&b_W124 r&b_W136 r&b_W147 r&b_W148 r&b_W150 r&b_W151 r&b_W155 r&b_W171 r&b_W177 r&b_W181 r&b_W187 The GroomBen and the groomsmen hired their suits from Waterers Tailors in St Albans, a light grey traditional morning tailcoat set. His shoes were from Next. I gave him map heart cufflinks made with Notley Abbey and The Maldives, our honeymoon destination.

Groomsmen’s outfits/accessories The groomsmen wore the same as Ben but with rose coloured crevats and rose buttonholes. We gave them silver cufflinks with their initials on as groomsmen’s presents.

r&b_W192 r&b_W194 r&b_W199 r&b_W202 r&b_W205 r&b_W228 r&b_W229 r&b_W232 r&b_W236 r&b_W239 r&b_W240 r&b_W246 r&b_W248 r&b_W249 r&b_W250 r&b_W255 The FlowersIn addition to being a bit photo mad, I’m also a bit obsessed with flowers. Ben, being a man, wasn’t that interested in this part so I planned all of the blooms with my Mum. I actually picked my wedding date {the start of July} based on peony season, my favourite flowers. Charlie of the Flower Fairies was the lady who turned my floral dreams into reality. Before our first meeting, I created a pinterest board which was useful for showing the kinds of things I liked. As well as peonies, Charlie used sweet peas, astrantia, antique roses, hydrangeas, dahlias and chamomile daisies amongst foliage to create bouquets and displays with a handpicked, cottage garden feel that I was after. We had a flower arch above the front door at Notley Abbey which was beautiful and the bees loved it. There were two vintage milk churns for our ceremony with big blousy delphiniums. The rest of the displays were made up of lots of jam jars.

r&b_W262 r&b_W281 r&b_W287 r&b_W293 r&b_W294 The VenueNotley Abbey, Thame, Oxfordshire. It was Laurence Olivier and Vivien Leigh’s house once upon a time. We chose the venue hoping we would be lucky enough with the weather to have an outdoor ceremony. Our wishes came true and it was one of the hottest days of the year with hardly any clouds in the sky ! We liked the fact that the ceremony and reception were in one place for guests all day and it was exclusively ours for 24 hours. It’s owned by Bijou Venues so we got to use their online wedding planning software which made everything a bit easier and the staff were all amazing. Our wedding was on a Thursday which saved a lot of money compared to a Friday or Weekend.

r&b_W295 r&b_W303 r&b_W307 The FoodNotley Abbey have their own in house caterers and we were really impressed with the standard of food, presentation and service. We had smoked salmon with an edible flower salad to start with which looked pretty, slow cooked beef for the main and vanilla and raspberry creme brulees for dessert. In the evening we had a buffet of bacon butties and British cheeses and served our wedding cake. We served summery Pimms straight after our ceremony with fresh fruit and heart paper straws as well as Prosecco con fragole {with a strawberry} and bottles of Peroni for the men.

r&b_W319 r&b_W325 r&b_W350 r&b_W355 r&b_W360 r&b_W378 r&b_W379 The PhotographerBinky Nixon Photography – who I just couldn’t wait to book. I’d first seen Binky’s work a few years before I got engaged through a family friend on Facebook and loved following her blog ever since. The minute Ben and I discussed getting married, Binky was our only choice. I’m photo mad, really really photo mad so this was something that was super important to me. I loved her relaxed, documentary style that just seemed to capture everything so perfectly. We had an engagement shoot last October and realized that we’d definitely made the right choice with Binky, she made it all so effortless whilst getting some gorgeous photos, such a talent. 

Videographer –  We also splurged a little and booked a videographer, again after being wowed by a friend’s video by Jeff Wood Visuals. We ummed and ahhed for a little while wondering if it was worth the money or not but in the end we’re so so glad that we have the video, photos will always be special and tangible but a video really portrays so much more with the movement and voices.  It’s also lovely to be able to show people who couldn’t make the day so that they can really get a feel for our day. 

r&b_W401 r&b_W408 r&b_W413 r&b_W415 The BridesmaidsThe girls dresses were from Boden, spotted in a sale a couple of summers back, I fell in love instantly with the antique blush colour and pretty style, they toned in perfectly with the flowers. They wore their own silver shoes and I gave them both a string of pearls to wear as bracelets and a pendant pearl drop necklace.

r&b_W417 r&b_W420 r&b_W427 r&b_W438 r&b_W444 r&b_W447 r&b_W452 r&b_W456 r&b_W466 r&b_W470 r&b_W477 r&b_W478 r&b_W487 r&b_W489 The FavoursOur venue wouldn’t allow any edible favours, which would have been my first choice, for insurance purposes. So we got creative and potted up little plants in terracotta pots for everyone instead. They were cheap, and easy to make but added to part of the English garden theme and decoration. We had lavender, roses and cosmos to {apologies for the cheese} ‘Let the Love Grow’.

r&b_W492 r&b_W496 The CakeCake tasting was probably one of my favourite parts of the planning process, so yummy. We chose three different flavours, carrot, lemon and chocolate for the tiered cake and then had a separate fruit cutting cake, all from the lovely Cake by Rachel based in the Cotswolds. She iced them beautifully with a lace pattern designed to tie in with the lace on my dress and a satin ribbon. We had peonies and roses on top and in between the bottom layers.

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Favourite MomentI loved everything about the whole day, I know that’s a cliché but it’s true in every single photo I’ve got the biggest smile. Everybody said what a calm bride I was getting ready, I just enjoyed every second and there was no stress. But the speeches were one of my real favourite parts of the day. I didn’t know what to expect with the speeches, they were the only thing out of the whole day that I hadn’t planed so I couldn’t wait to hear them. My Dad took a selfie with me during his speech which made me laugh so much and then I got up and made an emotional speech of gratitude, making everyone cry. Then Ben’s and the Best Men’s speeches were awesome too. 

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r&b_W668 r&b_W688 r&b_W703 The EntertainmentMusic for us wasn’t a top priority so we just went with our venue’s in house DJ who was actually really good, he played a great mix that kept people dancing all night!

r&b_W707 r&b_W712AdvicePinterest will give you so many amazing ideas but try not to get too overwhelmed by everything. Choose a theme and stick to it. Also delegate, you’ll be surprised how much people will want to help and make everything as stress free as possible. Everyone mocked me for planning our wedding so far in advance but I was the one laughing at the end when everything was prepared and I could just relax the week before rather than running around like a headless chicken.


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OliviaHoros //

On the evening itself, everyone loved ‘DJ Ian’ (a nickname that seemed to catch on quickly!). We left it open for song choices but did ask for a couple of favourite songs which he slotted in seamlessly. We’ve been delighted to hear some fantastic feedback about Ian from our guests since the wedding.