Happy Friday everyone, I do hope you have had an amazing week so far and...
Happy Friday everyone! With only one week to go now till Christmas eve, I am SO excited! Today I am off to Dexter’s nursery Christmas party. Then this weekend we are off to a Mini Ravers Christmas Party and also a trip on the Santa train. So much Christmas fun to be had, I can’t wait! What about you?
To end the week in style and to bring some warmth and sunshine into these rather dreary cold days we are currently having I have this gorgeous summer wedding from Anna Pumer Photography. It’s a super fun wedding that really is a family affair. The venue is the groom’s father’s house set amongst a beautiful meadow, with its own swimming pool! While the bride’s mum made all the signage, stationery and table decor. So many amazing elements to this wedding, and so much fun! Check out the pool shots at the end of the post, this is exactly what I ended up doing on my wedding day!
Hermione and James were married on the 16th July 2016 in East Sussex. ‘Claverham is James’s dad’s house. It was important for us to get married in a place that we’d be able to go back to time and time again and, after deciding to get married in the UK, it seemed only fitting to do it somewhere that means so much to both of us and where our families and friends could come together. It also gave us free rein to choose suppliers and run the day ourselves. Because Claverham isn’t a licensed wedding venue we had a registry office wedding the week beforehand. We had 192 guests and we started planning about a year before the big day although some months were much busier than others!’
How they met
We met online (mysinglefriend.com). James messaged me just a few days before my membership expired and we had our first date in January 2014.
Tell me about the proposal
It was a Tuesday evening in May 2015. I came home from work and James asked if I wanted to come along to the shops with him to get bits for dinner. I almost didn’t go after having a bad day at work but decided the walk might clear my head. We had a detour through the little park behind our house where we sat under a tree and James gave me a photo album he’d made of our recent trip to New Zealand. I didn’t suspect anything. At the back of the album was a love letter ending with the question ‘will you marry me?’. I could hardly see through my tears – I’m pretty sure the other park goers suspected he was dumping me – but James was on one knee.
How did you allocate your budget?
When we first started planning we really had no idea how much a wedding should cost although we knew that the bulk of our budget would be spent on a tent or marquee and catering purely because of the number of guests.
Where did you splurge and where did you save?
We learned quite quickly that it was worth shopping around for suppliers, especially as we live in London and the wedding was in East Sussex. We saved a lot by using local suppliers and we also have a lot of very talented people around us who were more than willing to help out. We planned to DIY a lot of things from the start such as recycling glass jars decorating them with burlap and lace for candle holders and flower vases.
Why did you choose your photographer?
It all started with a Google search and I quickly recognised Anna’s portfolio from a friend of a friend’s wedding and got in touch right away. Her unconventional and extraordinary style stood out to us and consequently made her the favourite guest at our wedding!
The Suit and Bridesmaids
James’ suit came from (the now defunct) Austin Reed. My bridesmaids picked their own dresses and they were from ASOS, Monsoon, and David’s Bridal.
Theme or Colour scheme
We didn’t have any specific theme or colours in mind. The wedding took shape organically, dictated by the location and time of year.
Lucy, the gardener at Claverham, really knows flowers and kindly agreed to take on the mammoth task of flowers for the tables, bouquets for me and (9!) bridesmaids, and button holes for James and his groomsmen. All the flowers came from the gardens at Claverham.
Because the setting is pretty spectacular already we felt that we didn’t have to do much in the way of decorating. Our friend Hannah made some beautiful bunting that we hung on the entrance of the tipis
Our caterer was amazing and came up with a menu that suited both us (I’m vegan). We had a Moroccan feast instead of a formal dinner, and guests shared fish tagine, chickpea and cashew tagine, flatbreads with dips, salads – all topped off with the most amazing vegan brownie and caramel sundaes EVER!
The Wedding Cake
Jill, James’ mum, makes a mean Christmas cake and offered to make our wedding cake. It was so beautiful – 4 tiers complete with sugar flowers and icing that matched the lace on my dress. Lemon and lavender cupcakes were made by Marnie Searchwell and served later in the evening.
James has always assumed that being Canadian automatically means I love country music (I do but that’s not why!) and so he wanted to have a band that my friends and family from across the pond would love. We hired Dr Bluegrass and the Illbilly 8 and they had everyone on the dance floor from the word go. These guys are so much fun! Afterwards our good friend Glen DJ’d until the small hours.
My mum is a sign painter and artist and she designed our invitations, and painted the signs, table names and place settings. She also made some games and a giant painting of James and me with the faces cut out for the guests to take pictures with.
Between us, our friends and family we managed to do all the decorating ourselves. James has an artisan smoked salmon company so it was only fitting that his salmon was served for the evening snack. James’ niece, Katie, made some beautiful hand sewn ring cushions.
Special Moments or Highlights
It’s so hard to choose! Our ceremony was in a wild flower meadow, with everyone gathered around us in a circle. My brother gave me away and my dear friend Patrick officiated our ceremony. Our friends Sam and Helen performed the entrance song, my childhood favourite ‘True Colours’ by Cyndi Lauper. Sam later did an acoustic version of ‘Call me maybe’ for our first dance, while Helen joined the band for a bluesy number. and ending the night by jumping in the pool (our photographer’s suggestion)
Advice for Other Couples
Make it the day that you want it to be, not just what everyone else tells you it should be. Also, if something doesn’t go to plan remember that no one will notice so just have fun!
Instead of a mother-of-the-bride speech, my mum sang a song that had everyone in tears. James’ dad surprised us with a pretty awe-inspiring fireworks display.
My photos are fun and creative, with an up close and personal style, getting into the heart of the action. My goal is to make people laugh and cry at the photos even if they don’t know the couple. I shun tradition and my couples book me for my laid back, friendly approach. I’m based in Broadstairs, Kent but shoot weddings everywhere.”