Happy Friday everyone and Merry Christmas!! I feel it’s OK to say that now it’s...
Happy Monday everyone! Did you have a good weekend? I hope you are all well and ready for another jam packed week on the blog, as it’s going to be a busy one. I am starting the week off by bringing you a huge serving of summer sunshine, courtesy of this beautiful vineyard wedding from Lucy Noble Photography. It’s an eclectic wedding, with lots of pretty homespun details, a giant paella, beautiful naked cake, all of which was planned in 8 weeks, which just goes to she that not all weddings need years of preparation!
Talia and Brandon were married on 8th August 2015. The Ceremony was held at The Bury, Hemel Hempstead Registry Office followed by a reception at Frithsden Vineyard, Hertfordshire. ‘The Bury in Hemel is a really lovely registry office in a listed building. We were really surprised by how nice it was, liked the registrar and the fact it had history. We chose Frithsden Vineyard for our reception as we wanted a venue close to where we live. We definitely didn’t want the traditional wedding ‘do’. Frithsden is a working, boutique vineyard with space to walk and take in the beautiful views as well as a pretty, modest seated area at the front covered by a few gazebos. As it turned out we were one of the first weddings to take place at the vineyard. The owners couldn’t have been more helpful and we felt like we were speaking with friends from the get-go. They understood exactly what we wanted from the first meeting and it was a really relaxed process. Guest wise we had 20 family and a few close friends at the ceremony and 70 in total for the reception. We booked everything in a few hours whilst we were on holiday in Majorca. We took whatever dates were available and left Majorca with only 8 weeks until the wedding day. Looking back it seems a bit mad that the lead-time was so short, especially as there were a lot of DIY elements. The main concern was making sure that people would be able to come at such short notice, however, with a few exceptions, we were lucky’
How they met
We met in our local pub The Rising Sun in Berkhamsted. I asked him if he was Australian, which apparently is not the thing to say to someone from New Zealand. We’ve been together 3 years.
Brandon proposed in Sardinia. We were walking in Cala Luna and he presented me with a wooden ring that he had made.
How did you allocate your budget
We paid for the registry office first – the official bit. And then allocated budget for food & drink at Frithsden Vineyard (it was very important to us that food & drink were plentiful and they didn’t disappoint!). Photographer, flowers and clothes for the day came next. Throughout the 8 weeks I was spending bits & bobs in charity shops and building up a collection of items that would dress-up the eating area of the vineyard and make it more personal to us
Where did you splurge and where did you save
We made sure to spend on a good photographer (thank you Lucy Noble!) and her pictures are so brilliant and really capture the relaxed atmosphere of the day. We saved by not having a traditional wedding. I also saved on stationery by buying boxes of pretty cards from Waterstones and handwriting everything.
How did you choose your photographer
Lucy had shot a friend’s wedding pics. I remember there was one picture in particular which I just loved so I asked for Lucy’s number and we met up.
Well I made a bit of mistake in that I initially felt the pressure to be a traditional looking bride and, going against my instincts, I bought a floor-length wedding dress. A month before the wedding I knew I didn’t want to wear it, I just didn’t feel like me so I made an emergency trip to Selfridges and bought a super simple, knee-length, white lace dress from Sandro and a local friend who is a dressmaker removed the black neck tie that it originally came with. My shoes were by Chie Mihara. I bought some Miu Miu sunglasses which given the sunshine were a really good purchase. I also wore a gold bracelet and my best friend Lucy gave me a little wedding bell charm to put on it.
Brandon’s suit was from Hugo Boss. We didn’t have official bridesmaids
Theme or Colour Scheme
The theme was just to enhance an already beautiful place with personal touches and create an eclectic, vibrant and colourful occasion that felt authentic to us.
The flowers were amazing! I discovered a brilliant lady Bettina who grows flowers locally. My bouquet and the posies for my nieces looked very natural. The colours were wonderful. And all the tables had jam jars full of the same flowers. We thought they were utterly beautiful and lots of people seemed to love them.
We made bunting and decorated with paper lanterns. We ordered wooden hearts with our names on them and strung these around our jam jar flowers with twine. I collected lots of pretty vintage tablecloths to cover the wooden trestle tables at Frithsden.
We had sharing plates of hot & cold Spanish tapas to start, Then a giant paella which was prepared in a corner of the vineyard. Passion fruits pots for afters.
I loved our wedding cake! Initially we hadn’t intended to have one. But our friends Mark & Nigel run the local pub where we met and Mark is an incredible cook. I showed Mark a picture of what I had in mind (a rustic 3 tiered Victoria sponge cake decorated with fresh fruit, cream and basil) and he delivered the most beautiful cake and it was SO delicious! There was nowhere at Frithsden to refrigerate a large cake and it was such a hot day that we couldn’t leave it out in the heat. Mark & Nigel were so kind and delivered the cake just at the right point in the day. They put all the tiers together and dressed the cake in front of the guests. It looked spectacular.
I work at the Royal College of Music and booked two students – a jazz duo -to perform as people were arriving. Booking student musicians through the Royal College of Music’s Creative Careers Service is a great way to get talented musicians at a competitive price and help to support young musicians.
I also booked a band that had performed at our local pub. I’d never heard them before but they were great. Then we moved onto an iPod playlist. Brandon & I put it together a couple of nights before the wedding after a tech meltdown meant we couldn’t use the one the best man had organized. Stress! We stayed up all night to get it sorted and had about 8 hours of music in the end. Friends also brought playlists as back-up.
I bought all the invites & thank you cards from Waterstones.
Personal or Handmade Touches
We collected vintage linens, jam jars for the flowers, wooden hearts, lanterns and tea lights for candles in the evening. And dressed the venue with additional lanterns and bunting.
Brandon’s homemade ‘Mission Marriage’ rocket; we let it off at the reception sending it out into clear blue sky whilst David Bowie’s Space Oddity played.
Having my first dance with my brilliant dad.
Looking around and seeing lots of happy people that we love.
Brandon is from New Zealand so it was really special that his family could come to the wedding.
Advice to other couples
It is a big deal and you do want it to be great but the planning doesn’t have to take over your life for months and months.
Not all registry offices are created equal – there are some with lovely rooms.
A few personal touches make all the difference; these are the things you’ll remember.
Make sure the food is good and the wine is flowing.
Only hire the services of people you like personally. It makes the whole process an enjoyable one.
The unrelenting sunshine! We were so lucky we had glorious weather as we didn’t have a marquee and the weekend either side of our wedding was a complete wash-out.
‘I am a creative and honest wedding photographer. I capture the essence of the wedding day and celebrate real character! Wedding days are full of wonderful little magic moments and I am there to capture these. I love weddings where couples put their own personal and creative stamp on them. I’m based in Watford, Hertfordshire and am very happy to travel all over the UK for Weddings.’