a pretty midsummer nights dream wedding with a Jenny Packham gown | uk wedding blog

facebook-profile-picture By Phoebe
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Good morning, I have been looking forward to blogging Becky and Adam’s wedding for a little while now. I think one of my favourite things about blogging weddings is when newly-wedded, excited ladies email me their pictures and ask if I want to blog them. I also love to see how these floral pages inspire couples weddings, and Becky’s looked gorgeous. I adore all the little DIY touches, the pretty use of country garden flowers and the Dentelle gown is one of my favourite Packhams. I hope you both are enjoying married life.

photography | Yeti Photography

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The hair and make us for the bridesmaids, Mother of the Bride and me (the Bride) was done by the fabulous team Kirsty and Cara at Gershwins Headressers in Newton Abbot. They put us all at ease and created some fabulously natural but also individual looks. I didn’t want to dictate to my Bridesmaids what they could and couldn’t wear or how they could or couldn’t have their hair. I wanted everyone to feel comfortable and confident and like themselves.

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It took my mum and I over a year to search for the one. My mum dragged me here, there and everywhere, to bridal sales to shows and boutiques. From the start, I had pinned a picture of Jenny Packham’s Dentelle dress onto my Pinterest board and after some research, I found out it was way out of my price range, and nowhere in the South West stocked that gown. However after the lengthy search, my mum and husband to be took me up to Harrogate, where Jenny Packham was holding her trunk show. I tried Dentelle on and instantly knew she was the one for me, with the relaxed vintage swishy feel and delicate back it was exactly as I had dreamed. When I finally came back to reality and returned to Devon my mum decided it was the one and so we went to the local Jenny Packham stockist – Sam Cox in Plymouth and ordered the gown.

Bride’s hair accessories/veil
In an attempt to save some on the accessories and veil, on one of our outings, I took my mum to Sassi Holford in Taunton to look at Mother of the Bride outfits. (She needed something special as she was walking me down the aisle!) At the same time they had a Sample Sale on and after trying on a few veils, fell in love with a single tier Cathedral length lace fingertip veil at a fraction of the price! My initial headpiece I bought from Debenhams but after several attempts at the hairdressers just did not look right, so in the end I wore a Jenny Packham headpiece also from Sam Cox.

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Just before my Nan died in 2012, as a graduation present, she gave me some money, and on a visit to see her in Leeds, I nipped in and bought some Roberto Cavalli perfume. I never opened it until my wedding day as I felt it was some kind of connection to me, it being the last thing she bought for me. Although it’s not the traditional perfume you expect, every time I wear it, I not only think of our beloved wedding memories but also the lovely memories I have of my Nan.

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The Bridesmaids dresses were quite difficult to find, initially we went looking for dusky pink floaty dresses but in the end came across champagne swishy Biba dresses which fitted perfectly with the vintage relaxed midsummer night’s dream vision we wanted to create. The girls looked great in their dresses and loved moving and dancing in them too!

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We chose to get married in a tiny town church in Bovey Tracey where I (Becky) was christened some 25 years previous. It only holds about 60 people, and as we had about 60 people on our guest list, the Church felt warm, happy and complete. It is a gorgeous little church with a dedicated congregation who formed a choir for our special day to sing ‘all you need is love’ from the balcony. You can see how special a moment it was in pictures. We then had our Reception at Reed Hall on the University of Exeter campus. As Becky was an alumni, we got it at an amazing price, plus in the summer, the students vacate so the area was exclusively ours.

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Now as the fussy designer-y one in the house (Fashion Graduate) I was uber fussy about the details, especially the invitations, to the point where everything I looked at looked the same. Until I came across Wedding Paper Divas in the USA. I contacted them though their chat page and after several samples I chose I soft grey background invitation with white vines around the edge. Along with the invitation, I included the menu cards, RSVP cards and information cards, all tied up with a laser cut tag with the wedding website laser engraved on.

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The flowers formed an important part of the wedding day and was probably the factor I concentrated on the most, as my Nan had died just before Adam proposed to me, and she loved flowers, I wanted to incorporate her into the wedding somehow and what better than using her garden as inspiration. I always remember her garden looking like a Beatrix Potter garden and that’s what I wanted to recreate using vintage roses, gypsophila, snapdragons and lots of foliage. I wanted to go a bit OTT with the flowers and have them everywhere including the cake, confetti and up the stairs. The only place I couldn’t have them was on the Ushers, they wouldn’t have it, so they had old school badges instead, to link into my teaching profession.

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As Adam was (at the time of the wedding) in the Royal Navy, he felt he didn’t want to wear his uniform as it would feel too much like he was going to work, instead we found a Ted Baker blue suit with a beautiful lining from Moss Bross which linked to his Royal Navy profession in terms of colour but felt special instead of a work outfit. Adam wore Dune brown brogues that I bought him about a year before the wedding (He had to resist wearing them for a year!) along with the suit to give a casual and relaxed yet smart feel.

Groomsmen’s outfits/accessories
The boys wore the same suit as Adam, except the colour of the ties and pocket squares. We wanted some contrast between Adam’s suit and the Groomsmen’s suits so Adam wore a pink tie along with a pink vintage pocket square and the boys wore a blue tie with blue vintage pocket squares. Again all the pocket squares didn’t match but fitted in with our mix and match relaxed vibe.

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Vince Hutchings from Yeti Photography – He is amazing, and also owns the Photobus, which we also hired for the wedding. Vince strives to not be noticed at a wedding and that was the complement we got from our guests, most of them didn’t even notice he was there and that helps him capture natural emotions and moments.

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As I’m (Becky) gluten and dairy intolerant, it proved difficult and expensive to find a baker to bake the cake we envisioned. Out of pure luck, we stumbled upon ‘The Cake Lady’ – Yes she is called The Cake Lady. Charlotte baked us a gorgeously decadent four tier naked cake smothered in flours and berries. It was so tasty we even took some of the left over chocolate layer in a packed lunch box onto the plane to Mauritius, it was a lovely snack at 30,000 feet!

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As a designer and fashion graduate and on a tight leash in terms of money, I decided to craft most of the decorations myself. As we didn’t necessarily have a theme per say but more a relaxed mid summer nights dream vintage vision of colour, fun and craziness, this included trying to fold 1000 origami cranes (I only got to about 400), blackboards, notice boards and sourcing most things from eBay or charity shops. The table centre pieces were sourced from a library which was throwing out books to old vases and containers found in charity shops. The only big outlay was the tablecloths which I also sourced from an American website.

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As Becky suffers a lot in hot climates, we chose Mauritius as it was just the right temperature. It was beautiful, romantic and relaxing, I think we had two massages in a week, we needed it after a 12 hour flight.

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The food was provided by our venue – Reed Hall. We had a sit down three course menu, with lamb, sea bass, chocolate pots and lemon tarts. We also had a hog roast for all the meat eaters and Ollie from The little green ice cream machine provided everyone with ice cream all evening.

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In the spur of making, I decided to make stuffed fabric hearts, which everyone loved and took home with them. I believe one guest, who is a First Aid trainer, took his to work with him to help people identify where the heart is! Brilliant!

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Now this was Adam’s job and he left it quite late in the planning stages as we couldn’t agree on a style. Eventually after listing to so many bands (we were dead set we wanted a band) we found The Sound from Plymouth. These guys were great and had everyone dancing all night long. They were so lovely and friendly they ended up drinking and eating all of the sweets and ice cream with the guests.

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My (Becky) favourite moment was when it was just the two of us drunkardly climbing and crawling up the stairs and to our bedroom at the venue and thinking – Yes! Were married and we’ve just created, organised and had the best day ever! In the lead up to the wedding I felt such pressure and anxiety to have everything organised to perfection, that when everything just happened and went to plan (just! – the cake started slipping just as we sat down for the wedding breakfast) it felt like the best feeling ever. Plus being married to my rock and him having turn around at the end of the aisle (I bugged him to turn around in the days leading up to the wedding) was the icing on the cake.

My (Adam) favourite moment was all of it, especially seeing my beautiful bride walking down the aisle towards me. Also the surprise speech and cigar presents for the guys, it was very sweet and a treat for all of us.

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My (Becky) tip would be to stay true to yourself. It’s brilliant and necessary to go and try on as many dresses, shoes, veils etc. as you can and everyone including the stylists and Bridal consultants will have their viewpoint and own agendas so it is paramount to stay true to your own style, look and feel. I remember in one Bridal Boutique my mum took me to, the consultant wanted to dress me in a gold ball gown with feathers…anyone who knows me would know I wouldn’t be seen dead in a ball gown. You don’t want to feel uncomfortable or not like yourself on the day where you are going to be centre of attention. Stick to your guns girls….and guys!

Also, search, source and ask, most of the time someone has got something you can borrow or find or offer you a discount on. Don’t be afraid to ask.

Where did you find your inspiration?

Pinterest and SYGM became some of best friends in the planning and inspiration process, to the point where my now-husband would know if I was still up late at night pinning pins or reading articles by the glow of my iPhone. SYGM is a different blog than all the others, SYGM is all about real people, real problems and real life. Although we love Pinterest and it is great for inspiration and ideas, it doesn’t truly represent real emotion, real ideas and real people. And isn’t that what love, marriage and weddings are all about, it’s about real people with a real idea to get married expressing their real emotions.