Today we are back with our regular feature ‘Advice from the Married Side,‘ real life wedding planning...
Today’s wedding is a super pretty autumnal day, although it looks like the middle of summer from these photos. Laura and Clive held their wedding in their mums village and pitched up a set of tipi’s for their reception in a field just round the corner from the church. This gave a chilled out feeling and left the couple able to choose their own suppliers, something that was very important to them in the planning process. The whole day is typically ‘English’ very quaint, full of eclectic decoration, including vintage tea sets and an old gramophone. I just love the whole vintage, country vibe to this day, so pretty and captured beautifully by Hannah K Photography.
Laura and Clive were married on 30th September 2017 at St Mary’s Church Westmill, Hertfordshire and reception held in a field around the corner!! ‘Laura’s mum moved to the village about 3 years ago and we simply love it there. We wanted an idyllic English country wedding and we thought Westmill was the perfect place for it. We had 120 guests in the day and an extra 30 in the evening, it took 18 months to plan.’
How they met
We first met at a wedding in the summer of 2006. It was short and sweet though…. Laura went to university in Manchester that autumn and I went travelling for 6 months but ended up living in New Zealand for about 5 years. In 2012 shortly after I returned home we started seeing each other again and have been together ever since.
We travelled around Japan for about 3 weeks and towards the end of the trip I’d organised an overnight stay in a traditional Japanese inn at a place called Kinosaki Onsen. Later that evening and after a 7 course kaiseki meal served in our ryokan I proposed in a beautiful Japanese garden
How did you allocate your budget?
We had a budget of about £25k but this ended up approx. £3k over. About 1/3 of the total cost went on catering and another 1/3 went towards the venue which covered things like external hire for the tipi, generator, toilets, lighting, matting, tables and chairs etc.
Where did you splurge and where did you save?
Given the wedding was quite bespoke it meant we had complete flexibility when it came to where we wanted to spend and where we wanted to save. For example, we decided quite early on that we wanted nice food and good wine so we were prepared to spend a bit more on that. We approached several external caterers with the view to finding a chef that was passionate about food. We eventually found a locally based company (Carte Blanche Catering) and they were truly exceptional. They weren’t the cheapest but they certainly weren’t the most expensive and in the end we were very happy with them. Aside from the catering we also spent quite a bit on the jazz band but everywhere else we made savings. All the flowers were grown in the garden and prepared by the bride, her mum and some close family friends. We pulled in favours where we could for the decorations, champagne, cheese, festoon lighting and transport etc. We also improvised quite a bit.
How did you choose your photographer?
Recommended by our family friend Revd. Simon Whitley (who also married us)!
Anna Georgina & Kobus Dippenaar (dress was called Isabella). Shoes came from John Lewis own collection
The suit and bridesmaids
The suits were tailor-made 3 piece tweed suits supplied and fitted by Laura’s brother Johnny Johnson who works as a tailor for Tom James Company in London. Bridesmaid’s dresses were bought from ASOS
Theme or colour scheme
An autumnal English country wedding was the aim
Natural flowers from the garden, wax flowers for hair
Lots of white bunting! The mother of the bride hand-made approx. 2km of white bunting which lined the street from the church to the wedding reception. Outside the tipi we had festoon lighting on shepherd’s crooks along with antique milk churns for large flowers. Inside the tipi there were fairy lights, old-fashioned playing cards with letters on to spell out our names, mini white bunting, polaroid pics, more natural flowers & teacups and saucers for wedding favours + lots more.
Entrée: Lapsang smoked duck with blackberry jellies, goat’s cheese and pomegranate & walnut salad Roasted asparagus, artichokes, beetroot, with dolcelatte mouse and walnuts
Main: Cannon of English lamb with moussaka-stuffed aubergine, cherry vine tomatoes and lemon olive and tomato drizzle. Seabass with a coconut, chilli and lemongrass sauce with wilted bok choi and sweet potato.
We didn’t go for a traditional wedding cake and instead went for a cheese cake (actual cheese) which formed part of our cheese and port course served after dinner.
We had a band called the Zen Hussies perform 2 sets of about 45 mins. They’re a 6 piece gypsy jazz band from Bristol and this was followed by our own playlist.
Who supplied the stationery?
Cass Art Supplies for papers, paints & pens
Lots of stuff really… we made and hand-painted the signs (for the church, car park etc.), all the teacups came with tags which were hand written in calligraphy by the mother-of-the-bride. Table names (which were named after relatives no longer with us) were made with water colours by the bride. Miniature cheese cake decorations were also made by the bride and the cheese labels written by one of the bridesmaids, + lots more including all the invites!
Laura: Saying our vowels, seeing husband-to-be waiting at the alter and grooms speech about the bride.
Clive: The moment I turned around and saw my best friend walking up the aisle to marry me.
Advice for other couples
Plan ahead!! We had a good spreadsheet and used the to-do app “Wunderlist” which was brilliant at both delegating tasks and making sure we didn’t forget anything.
The groomsman trying to smuggle a sheep from the neighbouring field and into the marquee during the wedding reception!!
“Hannah is a wedding and lifestyle photographer based in Warwickshire and loves traveling across the UK and Europe for adventurous, down-to-earth weddings. Her style is natural, fun and romantic giving you bright and beautiful images to be cherished for many happy years to come.”