Good morning lovely reader! I hope you had a good weekend? We are starting off the week with a much overdue wedding and I am so happy I can finally share it. I have known Hayley (because of her Hampshire Slate company) for a few years now. She has always been such a wonderful supporter of the blog and it was of course my honour in being able to share her wedding from May last year. There is of course lots of love slate details, but there’s gorgeous flowers, a beautiful bride, handsome suits and a really pretty venue.
photography | Helen Rushton
I work in Brides of Winchester, so choosing the boutique was easy. I’ve always loved Suzanne Neville dresses so choosing the designer was also easy and I had quite a specific idea of the dress I wanted, the hard part was accepting that lace didn’t suit me. The dress I choose was strapless which I didn’t want, so I met with Suzanne when she came to BOW for our designer day and she designed some straps for the dress. I went for made to measure which our wonderful seamstress fitted to perfection for me.
Working with high end bridal dresses, I was really picky with bridesmaid dresses . I was adamant that the colour would be slate grey, which there aren’t many of in the UK. I had been given a American bridal magazine and the brand Amsale with their gorgeous silk dresses featured in this a lot (and on Pinterest) and I knew this was the style for me. Unfortunately I didn’t have any trips to the USA planned, so I had to take a risk and order them online from the USA. Thankfully when they arrived, they were perfect and everything I wanted.
Jon, his brother and best man are quite tall and broad, so they really wanted to get a made to measure suits. We were recommended Victor Valentine and the guys there were amazing. The suits were really special and they looked so smart. I wanted them to compliment the colour scheme so they went for slate grey suits with burgundy ties.
Our florist was The Herb of Grace. Flowers were a huge part of the day. As a gardener and coming from a family of gardeners, I had a very specific idea of what flowers I wanted. I’ve always loved dusky pink and this went perfectly with the slate grey that I wanted to include in the wedding (bridesmaid dresses and all the slate decorations). I wanted quite a relaxed, country garden feel to the flowers and using traditional flowers such as roses, foxgloves, Astrantia etc. We had vintage style grey boxes as the aisle runners, two huge milk churns at the top of the aisle and all the little rooms downstairs had cute little zinc jugs and mini milk churns. The little flowergirls had beautiful flower baskets to carry and floral crowns and the bridesmaids had smaller versions of my bouquet.
I work in the wedding industry so have been to lots of venues, so wanted somewhere different that didn’t feel like work. Sopley was just being renovated and we saw it mid renovation and loved it. It was a blank canvas that we could put our own stamp on and had the relaxed feel that we wanted. The fact it was on a river (I grew up next to a river) and had all these beautiful, quirky rooms that made it feel so far away from a hotel type venue was the icing on the cake.
I loved the string quartet playing John Williams songs. Even months later people have been talking about how amazing it was when Jurassic Park played. I loved seeing everyone having such a good time.
My dad and I run Hampshire Slate, so slate was always going to feature in our wedding. I wanted something different from the mini hearts (our bestseller) and as Jon and I are big wine fans we thought it was apt to have wine bottle favours. They were so popular with guest commenting that they were going to buy magnets to put on them after the event. I wanted to incorporate some slate in the table plan and also some wood to go with the rustic feel of the venue. My dad (Hampshire Slate) made the table plan for me. I love the Roman era so I wanted to include some of that in the wedding. The tablenames were all Roman Numerals and my wonderful florist created beautiful centerpieces using rustic, country garden style flowers in Roman urn style containers.
We had seed packet wedding favours the seeds of which my dad and I collected from our gardens. Both Jon and I are passionate about the environment and we wanted to include something which helped with environment, so the seeds were all from plants which the bees love!
We wanted quite a traditional, timeless cake, which wasn’t too fussy and classically beautiful. We went for traditional fruit cake on the bottom, Vanilla with Grand Marnier buttercream and a layer of strawberry jam and then chocolate biscuit cake
Don’t spend too much money on the decoration and the small things, as a bride you won’t notice them and your guests won’t care for them as much as you think they will.