Hello all, I hope you are all keeping well and warm. It’s been an awfully long time since my last post, I was indeed an unmarried woman back then… So here’s my final post for SYGM with all the details and photos from our big day. I hope you enjoy!
photography | Foto Memories
As most of you who followed my wedding planning journey know, James and I set our wedding date for August 30th 2015. A whole 1 year and 10 months after James proposed. It was an incredible experience that I genuinely loved. From writing for SYGM to the finer details of our wedding it was a brilliant experience and one that truly paid off! Photos courtesy of the amazing Jacob at Foto Memories
I’ll stop gabbing on now and will share with you the most wonderful day of our lives so far…
James and I chose Gate Street Barn pretty quickly after our engagement – It ws the one and only venue that we visited and it was the most magnificent venue we could have hoped for. It was rural, intimate, a blank canvas but also full of character. I can’t tell you how impressed our guests were with GSB. The staff at the barn were great. Lisa and her team helped James and his ushers set up the finer details on the day and they even organised me and my bridal party as we were about to walk down the aisle. Small details that you just wouldn’t think of. Gate street offers a beautiful outdoor setting that we fell in love with, but we knew that having chosen the August Bank holiday weekend it would more than likely rain – we knew though that GSB had more than enough indoor space if it chucked it down. Thankfully we were incredibly lucky as it was a dry, warm day all day – not much sun but it was great weather for an outdoors wedding.
My beautiful dress was Daphne by Jenny Packham. As I wrote previously, it was my total dream dress but when I first saw it, it was way over my budget. Fortunately I kept an eye on the internet at a few second hand & sample dress websites (preloved is great!) when I saw an advert for my dress – brand new only tried on a handful of times at The Stamford Bridal Rooms. My mum and I called them and ordered it there and then over the phone. It was my total dream dress and fortunately it needed no alterations – I just ate well and did a lot of training with my brilliant PT Michael from Sterne Performance. My veil was a plain cathedral length raw edge veil. It was a joy to wear and I felt incredible all day! I accessorised very simply with diamond stud earrings, a solitaire necklace with a matching bracelet and ring.
I was super lucky to find the lovely Kylie McMichael as my makeup & hair artist. We discussed what I was after some months before the big day over fizz & nibbles. I instantly knew she was going to be great. In fact i’d say Kylie was a total hero – she did all seven of my bridesmaids and my mum & I on the day with only one assistant! Miracle worker! For myself I wanted to keep my makeup light and glowing with pretty eyes and subtle lips. My hair was a low chignon with a hell of a lot of back combing! The bridesmaids all chose what they wanted – I’m anti bridesmaids all having the same hair – I wanted them to love how they looked so I left them to tell Kylie what they wanted for hair and makeup. The outcome was one fit group of bridesmaids!
I had a mere seven bridesmaids (eight if you include Indie our cockapoo!) and they all looked amazing! Their dresses were my first wedding purchase. I found them in Reiss and fortunately they went into the sale. Amazingly they all fitted the girls brilliantly and they were a perfect shape and colour for our day. They were a mist colour with beautiful lace detail. They chose their shoes: a strappy sparkly number from New Look. The necklaces were sourced online, I loved how they tied in with my dress. I honestly can’t stop looking at these photos of them and how stunning they all looked!
James wears a suit to work every day so having a suit that made him feel great on his wedding day was really important to him. Luckily my best friend & bridesmaid Laura is an incredibly talented tailor for Timothy Everest. She made James’ suit for him as our wedding gift. It was a bright navy blue three piece suit and he looked incredible. His shoes were tan leather Grenson’s. I bought James a special wedding gift – A Raymond Weil watch which I gave him on our wedding day.
The Ushers all wore navy blue suits – we weren’t fussy about them being matching, we just wanted them in navy blue. I found them all pale grey linen ties from John lewis (James’ younger brothers had skinny versions from Ted Baker). They all looked so smart with their buttonholes.
After a rather disappointing meeting with a highly recommended florist I was left feeling really disheartened about the flowers at our wedding. I was met with a HUGE estimate and nothing that I actually wanted. I decided to look elsewhere. After some trawling on the internet I came across Sally at Bridal Flowers Direct – The moment we met I knew she was our florist. Everything that she suggested was exactly what I had imagined. She was creative, helpful and knew her stuff! The flowers on the day could not have been more perfect. I honestly adored our flowers. My bouquet was a mix of white hydrangea, a little gyp, lisianthus, eucalyptus, astilbe and spray roses. A mix of whites and silver greenery. The bridesmaids bouquets were smaller versions of mine. The buttonholes were gyp, lisianthus and eucalyptus with James’ having a sprig of hydrangea. The table centrepieces were wooden boxes made by my dad which Sally filled with the same flowers used in my bouquet. We also had posies tied to the aisle chairs which were then put in jam jars around the venue. Sally was the epitome of your amazing supplier – she just got me!
I also sourced some stunning silk hand dyed ribbon from Sophie at PomPom Blossom that I had flowing from my bouquet. Sophie was brilliant and hand died the ribbon to the exact shade I’d asked for. A small detail that made all the difference!
Similarly to most of our wedding choices we went with the one and only caterer we met with: Kalm Kitchen – I’ve written about them many times on the blog but until our day came I could’t express quite how brilliant they were. Not only was the food incredible and impeccably presented, the team worked their behinds off tirelessly all day. They were fabulous and I couldn’t recommend them highly enough.
We had a selection of six different canapés served after the service. For starters we had a sharing antipasti board, the main course was a herb & rosemary chicken breast with crushed potatoes and vegetables followed by eton mess. Pimms and Champagne was flowing all day and we had an open bar serving beers, cider and all the spirits & mixers! The evening food was a choice of fish & chips and mini burgers.
Our wonderful friend Jess made our cake. It was her gift to us. She’s an excellent baker and when she offered we were over the moon! We opted for a very simple but tasty victoria sponge naked cake – she made the jam herself and decorated it with flowers from our florist. We had a sweet cake topper laser cut.
I knew how I wanted our wedding to look. Understated, elegant, clean and fresh. The choice not to have a wedding colour theme was an easy one. I’m not a bright or statement colour kind of person. I wanted subtlety and pretty details. I chose elements that echoed this throughout.
It’s your day. Own every single part of it. Enjoy it. Don’t compromise if you don’t have to but also don’t get caught up in a frenzy of unrealistic wedding desires! Take time to have a moment together and really make an effort to take it all in. We had an incredible day and have no regrets whatsoever. I was a total nervous wreck as I walked down the aisle but the moment we said our vows I relaxed and had the time of my life. Spend time with your nearest and dearest and if you can get a video. We just got ours back – here’s the link to the short version: Our Video
It’s been a great experience writing for SYGM – it’s been cathartic too. If you have a chance to keep a diary or notes I really would. Thanks for reading my wedding ramblings and good luck with yours – it will be AMAZING
From Phoebe – It has been an absolute pleasure reading all of your plans, your ups and your downs. As soon as I saw your instagram feed I knew I would whatever your wedding was going to be. I am going to miss you! You are always welcome back at SYGM anytime. I wish all three of you lots of love and happiness for your future together.
For those of you wanting to be the next SYGM bride, applications will open on Dec 1st. More details to follow.