With the weather getting warmer here in the UK, spring really does feel like it...
Happy Monday everyone, how are you all? I hope you all had a good weekend? Mine was lovely, very chilled, lots of good food, we got a few jobs done and lots of walks in the spring sunshine. Hasn’t the weather been amazing, so nice to get outside without a million layers on! And it feels so warm! Spring is definitely on it’s way and aren’t we all delighted to see her! Summer will be here before we know it and hopefully life can get back to some sort of normality. Moving on to the first wedding of the week and I have this late summer wedding to share with you full of the most beautiful flowers and bursting with colour. Alice and Andy’s original wedding had a guest count of 135 but due to Covid this was reduced down to 26. This didn’t stop them having the best day ever, as their intimate wedding of close friends and family was a real rustic chic dream of a wedding day. All captured perfectly by Angels with dirty faces
Alice and Andy were married on 6th September 2020 at Houchins Farm, Coggeshall. ‘The venue wedding planners were so lovely and really helped to make it a great experience. We looked at lots of venues and had held a date at a beautiful venue in the Cotswolds the day before. We were booked to see Houchins so we thought we’d still see it and instantly fell in love with it’s charm and beauty. We loved the way it has a romantic garden type vibe with the festoon lighting and pretty flowers, but also how it was very industrial with the corrugated iron roof of the bar and concentrate floors. Every time we visited we feel in love even more. Originally we had planned for 120 guests with about 135 in the evening, but Covid hit and so we postponed our date and reduced our numbers down to 26 to fit in with Government guidelines. It took 18 months for our original day which was then postponed due to Covid. We then had a rather stressful 6 months trying to plan it around the ever changing rules around Covid. It was a bit touch and go as to whether we’d be able to go ahead so a lot of things were actually bought / planned in the last three weeks. For example all dated signage (just in case!) and things like we didn’t think we would need a seating plan then a week before the wedding we were told we would need one, so we had to get creative!’
How they met
We met through Tinder. Andy was my first date and last date through the app! We’ve been together 4 years now.
Andy and I went to Lisbon for a long weekend, and Andy proposed at the top of Sao Jorge castle overlooking the city of Lisbon – it was very romantic. I couldn’t stop crying!
How did you allocate your budget?
We agreed a budget up front and were very lucky and grateful that our parents contributed towards a part of the cost so this helped hugely. Once agreed, Andy left the budget (and most of the planning!) to me and said I could have what I wanted but it has to fit within the budget! I did lots of research for what I should allocate to different things and worked out what was most important to us.
Where did you splurge and where did you save?
I splurged on my dress…the cost of which I haven’t revealed to Andy. We also treated ourselves to a Videographer to ensure we really captured the day. As we had to postpone our original wedding, we decided to get married with a smaller wedding and then have a big party for all the original guest list to join us at the same venue in 2021. This meant our budget had to go even further. This meant we didn’t do a formal sit down dinner and had a food truck instead. This kept it informal which we absolutely loved. Our caterers (Bouquet Garni) did an amazing job and served steak, sea bass and Haloumi with a range of delicious salads – it was amazing!
We tried to keep other costs down with things like making our own place settings, wearing some shoes I already had as my wedding shoes, borrowing jewellery and we used our own car which my brother drove me and my dad in to the venue instead of hiring one.
How did you choose your photographer?
I looked at A LOT of photographers! I found Denise through a blog she wrote on a wedding she did at Houchins and instantly fell in love with her style of photography. She was also really lovely when we met and we both knew she would do a great job. She did not disappoint!! Denise was also incredibly
flexible when she knew the wedding had to be postponed and worked with us to find a solution where she could cover both events without it costing us twice the cost.
Dress: The Bride in St Albans. The designer was Suzanne Neville, Rosa.
Earrings: The Bride, St Albans
Necklace: Bride’s mothers
Shoes: Brides own (Marks and Spencer!)
The suit and bridesmaids
Young Ushers suits: Roco
Older bridesmaid dresses: French Connection and Asos
Young Bridesmaid dresses: Debenhams.
Theme or colour scheme?
The colour scheme sort of grew around us. The bridesmaids went for Jewel colours and we worked it around this. What was lovely is that my dress had a floral print on it, which at the time I felt reflected the beautiful romantic gardens at Houchins. My mum chose a floral dress which matched this beautifully. Then Andy chose is tie in similar colours and again with a slight floral design – it sort of all fell together!
Our florist was amazing and really understood the vibe I was looking for. We had Protea’s, Dahlia’s, Delphinium, eucalyptus, garden roses and lots of other bright summer garden flowers and greenery.
We were lucky with the venue that it didn’t need a huge amount of decorating. We wanted bare wooden tables for a rustic sort of look to go with the rest of the bar. We used gin bottles filled with fairy lights, flowers or candles to decorate the tables. Lots of signage and a huge milk churn full of the most amazing flowers that our florist created.
We had lovely Canapes to start with and then an old Citroen truck serving our main course. Our caterers were fantastic at revising our original menu that was more of a feasting menu with shared platters to something more cost effective and laid back. We had steak, seabass and haloumi with a mixture of delicious salads.
We weren’t going to have a cake but at the last minute decided to have one and use it as our dessert. This is definitely something I wouldn’t spend too much money on!
We had the most amazing band – Soul to Soul – who sang acoustically during the ceremony and then whilst we held the drinks reception. They really were fantastic and really helped to get the atmosphere going. Everyone commented on how good they were.
Who supplied the stationery?
Our wedding had quite a lot of personal touches – personalised signage, hand written place settings, gin bottles on the table and a homemade table plan. The mother of the Groom made three floral hoops we used to decorate the ceremony area. We also decided to write our own vows. I am so glad we did as it felt incredibly personal and was a lovely way to tell each other and our friends and family what we love about each other and our promises to each other. It’s also a lovely keep sake.
Definitely the ceremony and the vows. We had the most amazing band who sang one of Andy’s favourite songs (Ed Sheeran – Tenerife Sea) as me and my wedding party walked down the aisle to Andy. He was in tears, and so was I – it felt very special to be finally marrying him after so long planning it!
Advice for other couples
Write your own vows to make it personal and to set out how you will commit to your relationship and marriage. Also make sure you have a list of ALL suppliers phone numbers to hand in case of any issues on the day. Maybe even check with suppliers the day before – one of our suppliers we needed for the morning, had the wrong time so it did make the morning a little stressful!
How quickly the morning went – get up early as I don’t know if you’d ever had enough time!
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