Oh the beautiful weddings just keep on coming. A little bit of warm Cotswolds sunshine on this cold Winters day for you. Hayley wore a bespoke dress with Jimmy Choos, the venue was decorated in stunning flowers and little swathes of pretty calligraphy. This is one you are going to want to pin away!
photography | McGivern Photography
Groom’s Suit: Jack Bunneys (http://www.jackbunneys.co.uk/)
Groom’s Shoes: Stemar (http://www.stemarshoes.com/)
Sam was looking for something that was slightly different, smart but relaxed, and ideally comfortable. Not wanting to go for something from the usual high street chains, he found Jack Bunney’s in Barking, London, a family-run tailors and suit hire company. He found a three-piece suit that really fitted the style of our day and the venue, though we hadn’t counted on it being 30 degrees on the day… The real star of the show though was his blue suede shoes!
The groomsmen wore the same slim-fit blue suits as the groom, from Jack Bunneys in Barking. However they had plain blue waistcoats, whereas the groom had grey wool, so he’d stand out a little
Wedding dress: Grace Lane (London http://www.gracelanelondon.com/)
Shoes: Jimmy Choo (http://www.jimmychoo.com/en/home)
I got my dress made by Grace Lane London, who having been recommended to me by someone, turned out to be a friend of a friend who lived just down the road! Grace and I worked together to design every element of my dress from scratch, piecing together details and ideas from dresses I’d tried on in various bridal boutiques. Being short, fussy and not overly traditional, I loved the freedom of creating something that was just for me. I ended up with an Italian lace top half, with scalloped edges and elbow length sleeves, and a long, straight Italian silk skirt with a thigh-high split.
The dress was paired with Jimmy Choo shoes (a treat only made possible with some inheritance money from my Nan, though she would’ve been appalled had she been around to hear how much they were!), a borrowed hairpiece from my sister, and gorgeous bespoke necklace and earrings from my friend and jewellery designer, Leila Swift.
We definitely wanted to get married near where one of us grew up, but for practical reasons we decided it was easier to do it near my family in the Cotswolds. We also knew we wanted to get married in a church, and were incredibly lucky to be able to do it in the historic Burford Church, which is in the town where I went to school.
In terms of the reception venue, our decision was made for us when we visited Merriscourt near Lyneham and saw their incredible views! Oh and their courtyard with the tree full of lights (see photos!) We viewed a few other well-known venues in the area but really nothing came close. As well as the stunning location, at Merriscourt you get the use of three barns, loads of outdoor space, and exclusive hire for the whole weekend, which really swung it for us. It was a gorgeous place to spend a few days with all our friends and family.
Wild Lily Flowers (http://www.wildlilyflowers.co.uk/index.html)
Honestly the venue was already so beautiful it was more about enhancing the natural elements of the barns and the rural setting. The main thing we did was to hang garlands of foliage against the stone and white washed walls, which really stood out and smelled amazing, and we put various candles, potted lavender and other small touches around the place. All of the stationery – the invites, table plan, table names etc. – we created ourselves, except for the welcome sign, which we ordered from a talented local calligrapher.
Our florist created the big set piece displays – including an incredible foliage circlet that was suspended from the ceiling in the barn where we ate and a glorious big pedestal of flowers in the barn where we had the disco. The bouquets were a mixture of blues, coral and white flowers, including my absolute favourite – peonies. We also hired a lighting specialist to drape a canopy of fairy lights above the dance floor, to add a touch of sparkle to the evening!
Our friend, a graphic designer, very kindly created our invites and then gave us all the tools we needed to reuse the same design and font for the rest of our stationery. So we made the orders of service, name cards, table plan, menus and table names all ourselves.
We decided rather than spending money on favours that most people forget to take home with them anyway, we’d instead offer sparklers and marshmallows on skewers for some evening entertainment around the firepit!
All the food was provided by Merriscourt’s partners, Wesley House, which was delicious – even if we barely saw any of the canapés! We provided all the drink for the reception and meal, procured in one epic father and son booze cruise to France! The rest of the night there was a bar provided by Greene King
McGivern Photography (http://mcgivernphotography.com/)
Not only were Oli’s photos really stunning – we love the way he captures the emotions and moments in a really modern, fresh way – but he was a pleasure to work with too. He was really helpful in the build up to the day, and on the day itself he had a ridiculous amount of energy and enthusiasm.
Funnily enough one of our favourite parts of the day was when we were alone with Oli! At sunset we wandered out into the corn fields with a glass of wine and took some photos as the light went down – utterly chilled after the mad part of the day was over, content in the knowledge that everyone was having a great time and happy to have a few minutes to escape.
We went to Bali, Indonesia, for three weeks of relaxation, massages and exploring the island. It was the perfect place to wind down and let go.
Bridesmaids – I was really keen for my bridesmaids to be in separates, which is a bit more informal, and to have something they might actually wear again. So they wore Needle and Thread tulle midi skirts in Vintage Blue (http://www.needleandthread.com/uk/tulle-midi-skirt-4564) paired with mix and match white cami tops.
For the planning: don’t sweat things too much too far out – it shouldn’t take over your every waking moment for your entire engagement. We tried to split the various tasks as much as possible, so had a running to do list which we’d consult once a week to share the burden as we got closer to the day.
On the day: everyone says it but make sure to proactively factor in time to go somewhere to chill out and reflect on your day together. And don’t worry about trying to be everywhere and with everyone – they’re all having a fabulous time.
For your marriage: don’t lose sight of what you’re doing this for. Your wedding is just a day; the marriage is the really exciting part.
Where did you find your inspiration?
Pinterest was a great source of ideas but style-wise, the beautiful Cotswolds countryside was our reference point for most things