a Jenny Packham gown for an English garden wedding in Suffolk | uk wedding blog

facebook-profile-picture By Phoebe

Good morning! I hope your week has gone well so far? We have another gorgeous wedding on the blog this morning, I love Emily’s style of photography very laid back, unobtrusive documentary style which I think makes for excellent story telling. Kayla looks gorgeous in her Jenny Packham gown, and I love the natural rustic styling of the flowers. All in all, a beautiful, happy day!

photography | Emily Tyler 

A Jenny Packham. The dress was silk, with a deep v and feathered straps. I found the dress in a sample sale and it was 2 sizes too big, but I felt great in it, so took the risk that it would be possible to alter. The dress came with jewelled embellishment at the waist, which I had removed last minute as I wanted to keep things simple. The dress was significantly reduced; I think I paid £550. Alterations were another £300. I’d tried on a lot of nice dresses, but this one felt like ‘me’ the second I got it on. I loved the ethereal feathering on the straps and, most importantly, it was comfortable! I wanted something I could dance in.

I don’t generally wear much jewellery and my wedding day was no exception.  I wore a bracelet, a wedding present from my mother, which was made from my late grandmother’s pearls. My grandma passed away a month before my wedding, so it was a special tribute to a wonderful woman. My other grandmother lent me her pearl earrings, which matched the bracelet perfectly. My mother in law made my veil, which I clipped in place with simple pins from Accessorize. I didn’t buy new shoes for the wedding, instead opting for a trusty old pair from Zara. I could run a marathon in those heels and I wanted to be comfortable for a long day on my feet!

I did my own hair and makeup. I purchased all new MAC makeup for the day and a set of Babyliss heated rollers from BOOTS. It was great, I had full control over my look and got to keep everything for repeated use.

I had a lot of people tell me I had to get my makeup and hair done professionally. But I don’t wear a lot of makeup and it was really important to me that on the day, I look like Kayla! Getting hair and makeup done is such a treat, but for me I was more comfortable doing things myself. Don’t feel the pressure to do what other brides do – it’s your day, your choice!

Simple slim-fit navy blue suit, white shirt, red velvet tie, red shoes.  Sam looked everywhere for a suit and in the end decided to wear one he already owned which was a good colour and good fit.   He did buy new accessories; the red velvet tie (Liberty’s of London), cuff links (Paul Smith), shirt (Hugo Boss) and red leather boots.

Walking down the aisle with my Dad. Before the doors opened I was a touch anxious, but as soon as I saw Sam and our guests big smiles I was giddy with excitement. It was such a happy, love-filled day.

Gabi of Gabriel’s Garden was fantastic and we loved her natural, rustic style.  A couple of weeks before the wedding I went to her home-garden and she designed the arrangements based on the flowers I liked and what she had in bloom. I was thrilled to be able to buy local, seasonal flowers. I didn’t want anything flown in from abroad.

We didn’t have a theme exactly, but I suppose there were elements of a traditional English garden party. The house and the gardens are beautiful on their own – and the wet summer meant everything was wild and green – so we were able to keep the decorations simple.  In the garden we hung tea lights from the large willow tree and brought our old record player out into the sunshine.   There were lanterns scattered around the grounds which looked amazing after dark.

In the months leading up to the wedding we scoured vintage shops to find enough mismatched candelabras for all of the dining tables. Along with the flowers, they were our main table decoration. We wanted the room to be filled with the warm glow of candles.  At the last minute Sam’s mum decorated the marquee poles with bamboo from her garden. It was a great touch.

I had one bridesmaid, my older sister.  My sister lives in California and has great taste, so I let her pick out her own dress for the wedding. I didn’t much care what the dress looked like or what colour she chose, I just wanted her to be comfortable and feel great.  I had total confidence she’d pick something beautiful, which she did.  She wore a pale pink Alice & Olivia dress which she purchased from revolveclothing.com for $330. Jaimie also wore a bracelet made from my grandmother’s pearls.  It tied our two outfits together and we’ll cherish them forever.


BBQ: sliced medium-rare sirloin steak, chicken souvlaki skewers, Chorizo sausage, Haloumi and Veg skewers and a selection of fresh salads.  We wanted the dinner to be simple and fun, but also feel elegant and special, with top quality ingredients.

We served canapés with prosecco in the garden before everyone sat down to dinner and for desert we gorged on rich, gluten free chocolate cake with whipped cream.

We debated whether we wanted to pay for a band, but I’m so glad we did. We found The Jets on Bands for Hire and they were worth every penny. They brought such a positive energy to our party and kept the dance floor packed. They got me up on stage to sing the female bit on ‘teenage dirtbag’ which was terrifying, but a real laugh and highlight of the evening. We made playlists for in-between / after their sets.

We had a large fire pit outside the marquee where we set out marshmallows for toasting. We also had Hershey’s chocolate and graham crackers for those who wanted to make s’mores (an American camp-fire favourite)!

Emily Tyler Photography


Emily was perfect for our relaxed wedding. She captured natural, documentary style images throughout our day plus our beautiful couples portraits which we just adore. She was a bundle of laughs to work with and we would recommend her to anyone. We’ll cherish our photos forever!

Cala Gonone, Sardinia. Eating pasta and seafood, drinking local Italian wines, lounging on the beach and renting boats – it was perfect!


Don’t worry about having every element of the traditional wedding; think about the things that are important to you and just skip the ones that aren’t.   We didn’t have a wedding cake or pay for a car to take us from the church to the reception, but we didn’t feel like it affected the day one bit. There isn’t much we’d change, but I suppose if we were to be critical, I would have tweaked the timings ever so slightly. We allowed about two hours for the champagne reception between the ceremony and dinner, and it was perhaps a bit too long.  I think people were anxious for a proper meal and a sit down. But overall, not a detail I’ve lost any sleep over!  

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