I hope today’s post reaches everyone feeling very patriotic. I went to a Jubilee ball last night organised by super florist Rhoxan Hayes and her team of helpers. The marquee looked fantastic decked out in red, white and blue with brilliant homemade knitted bunting. Each table had to dress as an era from the Queen’s reign and ours was the 50’s. Luckily we did a vintage wear special on the blog last month! Whizz over to our Facebook page to see the pics!
This week on the blog started with our Fabulous Find of the week, Charlie loves Lucy, a wedding stationery company based in Kent and ran by super talented Claire Hawkes. Next up was a little peek around a lovely wedding venue in Sevenoaks, Dorton House, with a shoot by Nataliya at Akira Photography.
Then we were super excited to bring you a two-part wedding special of Phil and Billy’s English Country Garden Wedding. With gorgeous vintage elements and a Spring feel we absolutely loved working on this wedding as wedding planners. In Part 1 bride Phil takes us from wedding planning stages through to the Church ceremony. Then Part 2 takes you from the reception right up to the last dance.
Finally yesterday we gave you some essential wedding reading with our five favourite books based around getting married. Just perfect with a hangover and a cup of tea!
Happy Sunday x
Credits: Josh Spencer Photography for English Country Garden Wedding
Back in April we helped Phil and Billy plan their big day. Here in Part One Phil tells us about the planning of her wedding and takes us through the ceremony.
“Our wedding was at St Marys Church in Thorpe with the reception in the grounds of my big sisters beautiful Georgian home. We had looked at venues in the UK and overseas but when my sister offered us her house we knew it would be perfect. We wanted a relaxed day with a vintage garden party feel and a really romantic setting, with lots of twinkling lights as the sun went down.
First on my to do list was the Dress! My dress was by Ella from La Boutique in Beckenham. It was one of the first ones I tried on and loved it instantly. I tried on about 15 dresses after but kept comparing them to the Ella dress as I just fell in love with the champagne colour, it was different to the traditional white or ivory. My shoes were by Diane Hassal and I wore a side clip with pearls and small crystals from Glitzy Secrets.
I’m not overly adventurous with make up so did this myself. Louise from Beauty Call enhanced my eyes with some false eyelashes and put my hair up in a gorgeously simple style.
My sister and best friend were bridesmaids and wore dresses by Ghost at John Lewis. I had three flower girls and two page boys.
I hired Daisy Chain Florists to do my wedding flowers. My bouquet was made up of Naomi, Pacific Blue and Ocean Song large roses with Veronic, Senecio foliage and Lisianthus. I chose these flowers because they complimented the vintage garden feel I wanted to create.
The guys suits wore very simple, a navy morning jacket, grey waistcoat with grey and navy pin stripe trousers all hired from Moss Bros
The wedding car was a 1950’s Zepher borrowed from a neighbour.
Josh Spencer was our photographer. I loved the pictures on his website and so I gave him a call. I found a rapport with him straight away and he understood what I was looking for. I got about 5 other quotes but went with Josh because of his style of photography, his personality and I was confident he would deliver on the day. We had a pre-wedding shoot in Windsor Park as a practice before the wedding and this was really helpful. On the day he was brilliant. The photos are fantastic and he has captured the feel of the day perfectly.
We used Joanne from The Wedding Dolls to help us with planning from 10 weeks prior to the big day. She was also there on the day to organise us and keep an eye on the schedule. She helped give advice and support on tasks, time lines, site inspections and layout of the marquee and liased with suppliers and caterers. Her knowledge was invaluable and she supported us throughout with help and advise when issues cropped up. We had face to face meetings to get to know each other and build a relationship and she knew exactly how to get the best out of our day and reduce the stress levels!
Come back tomorrow for Part 2 when Phil will be sharing the reception with us.
Image Credits: Josh Spencer
Chris and Danielle Parish were married in a civil ceremony on 8th April 2012 at Little Silver Country House Hotel in Tenterden, Kent. Here they share with us their big day.
Danielle tells us “We wanted a small and fairly informal day for our 70 guests, with an English country fair theme. We wanted our guests to feel relaxed and entertained so I knew at once Little Silver was for us because of the way we were greeted and made to feel so comfortable. The hotel is small and pretty, which made it much more intimate. Nothing was too much trouble for the staff and they were really professional. It was also great that we could have the ceremony inside or out – especially as the English weather is so unpredictable!
I had an Enzoani dress and veil from Abigail’s in Headcorn. When I tried it on I felt incredible! It is so romantic with light tulle flowing layers and was different from the usual styles I had seen. It made me feel truly unique and special. It was fairy like! My shoes were from Next and I had teardrop stud earrings, a present from my parents. I also wore a ring given to me by my Nan which had a blue sapphire surrounded by diamonds for my something blue and old. I wore a vintage style headband with detail to the side and a small pearl hair clip which matched my bridesmaids. My bag was an ivory hard clutch bag from Accessorize. My hair was done by Ahead of Beauty and as I recently started my own small make-up business, Bridal Make-up by Danielle Gear, I did my own make-up using mostly Dior and MAC products.
The adult bridesmaids wore dresses from Coast and the flower girl a dress from Monsoon. Shoes were a variety of BHS and Next!
Our florist was Amora flowers based in Leeds Village Maidstone. They did an amazing job in capturing the theme and were really helpful in the lead up and planning process. My bouquet was a mix of Eucharis, Lily of the Valley, Cally Lily and Roses. We also had Daffodills, Tulips and purple and white Iris’s.
Chris wore a black herringbone Prince Edward suit hired from Slaters in Canterbury. He wore a purple paisley patterned tie with matching handkerchief from Moss Bross in Canterbury. His shoes were brogues from Dune.
The theme was Spring English Country Fair with Spring yellows and purples. I love spring as it represents the start of longer days, new life and exciting times and our theme represented this. It was also Easter Sunday so we had Easter eggs and various easter baubles including easter bunnies and chicks. It was fun and pretty. My mother-in-law made us yellow and purple gingham bunting and on the top table we had large glass lanterns filled with flowers, Easter eggs and a wooden heart and ribbon garland. To decorate the rest of the room we had small vases with flowers and large wicker wooden hearts with fresh flowers tied to them. Our matching menus and invites were from Vista Print.
For the table centre’s I bought small white enamel jugs from Homebase, small lanterns from Hobbycraft and small egg cups filled with mint imperials. They sat on a mirror and were decorated with yellow gingham ribbon. Table names were Romeo and Juliet characters written in chalk on small chalk boards pegged to the jugs.
Our wedding favours were jars of homemade Apricot or Strawberry jam made by Chris’ mum. They had either yellow or purple gingham material on top of the lids tied with brown parcel twine. I added a luggage label with guest’s names on which doubled up as place names. All napkins were tied with purple gingham ribbon with a butterfly conversation starter placed in it and our purple chair covers were from Your Beautiful day.
I made my own table plan from a distressed style blackboard from Merchant Chandler in Maidstone. I stuck small wooden heart pegs on from Hobbycraft and pegged small luggage tags to them with the table names on. Each luggage tag had a small gingham ribbon attached.
Our pre-dinner drinks were Pimms and lemonade. To eat we had Cheese and red onion tartlet, Lamb with seasonal veg and then Eton Mess for dessert. Our cake came from Waitrose and had two tiers, one sponge and one fruit. It was a plain cake but was decorated with fresh purple and yellow flowers.
For an alternative guest book the florist made us a contorted willow wishing tree. We asked guests to write their messages on luggage tags and tie these to the tree. My friend made us a collage of photos of us in a frame which matched the table plan chalk board. We put this next to old suit cases which were Chris’ mums as a child and people put their cards and “desert island discs” in them. We asked people to put their three favourite songs on a CD so we could take them on honeymoon. We got a great selection!
In the evening we wanted a good party with plenty of dancing and a lively atmosphere. Our first dance was “You and Me” by The Wannadies from the Romeo and Juliet soundtrack. We had a band called the Redfords and they also DJ’d inbetween their three sets. The dance floor was packed all night, the atmosphere was electric! The band manager also takes photos throughout the night and they really captured the fun of the evening. The party went on to midnight and guests had their ties on their heads by the end of the night! My uncle also sang a song with the band.
As part of the evening we had a home-made sweet table. We collected Kilner jars to fill with sweets, one’s I loved as a kid, including cola cubes, flying saucers and sweet bananas as well as mini eggs of course! Each jar had a luggage label tied to it. To decorate the table as well as bunting I had old bound books, with a vintage style teapot and cup and saucer. From the teapot I had a stream of sweets coming out into the tea-cup. I also had a wooden “love” sign sitting on a box with a flower print. In a vase were sticks of rock from Brighton. Brighton is special to us as this is where Chris asked me to marry him! I had a heart-shaped chalk board with Fancy a treat? Take a sweet!
Our wedding photographer was Kerry Ann Duffy. We chose her because she had photographed two of our other friend’s weddings and absolutely love her style. Kerry creates vintage, softly romantic and natural images. She made us feel completely at ease, especially in the morning where it can get a little frantic! The photos were beautiful and reminded us that we didn’t stop smiling all day.”
The couples last bit of advice is “Enjoy every minute! We absolutely loved finding all the accessories over the year of planning. Don’t get worried about the weather, it rained on our day but it didn’t matter, if you have a good photographer like we did the photos will still be amazing.
A good tip is to make lists for your venue of how you want things to be when setting up. Don’t be afraid to ask questions – wedding venues and suppliers have heard it all before! Make sure you have a list of all the suppliers with their numbers on for the day. And finally take moments throughout the day to take stock of what’s going on around you.”
Thanks so much to Danielle and Chris for sharing their day with us.
Images credit: Kerry Ann Duffy