Today we are back with our regular feature ‘Advice from the Married Side,‘ real life wedding planning...
It’s that time of the week again when we all get excited about the weekend, yes it’s Friday! That sure did come round fast! I hope you have something fun or relaxing planned? Before we all clock off for the day it’s time for the last wedding of the week and it’s a beautiful rustic wedding that took place in the gorgeous Warwickshire countryside. Stephanie and Jeff chose Wootton park as it meant they could hold an outdoor ceremony by the lake, totally relaxed, just as they wanted it. Combine that with hay bails, loose wild flowers, plenty of DIY projects and a super cute horse and cart and you have the perfect recipe for a fantastic wedding. Thanks to Silverstar Photographic for the photos.
Stephanie and Jeff were married on the 20th of July at Wootton Park, Warwickshire. ‘The outside space at Wootton Park is natural and just beautiful. We had the ceremony next to the lake and it was the perfect setting. We wanted a really personal service and that’s exactly what we got. We felt totally relaxed in the farmhouse, it wasn’t like staying in a hotel. The attention to detail and all the help from the McCall family was amazing. I also had my hen party at Wootton Park and we had a great time clay pigeon shooting. We had 80 daytime guests, 120 evening guests at the wedding took 15 months to plan’.
How they met
We 1st met in 1998 in a nightclub in Birmingham’s Jewellery quarter. We were both seeing other people but always admired each other from afar. We lost touch, but in 2004 a chance meeting brought us back in touch – We were both very pleased to hear that each other was single. We have been together ever since. It will be 10 year this September.
Never the ones to follow tradition, we had spoken about getting married “when the time was right”. Whilst having one of these chats we both looked at each other and said “let’s do it!”
How did you allocate your budget?
The venue and food were obviously very important. Because we wanted that rustic handmade feel, we kept costs down in certain areas which allowed us to spend more in others.
How did you choose your photographer?
We searched the web for photographers in our area. Silverstar’s photos really stood out from the rest. We arranged to meet Richard and Michelle and hit it off straight away. Their relaxed informal style captures intimate moments perfectly. It was great working with them and we are over the moon with the results.
The dress was by Beverly Lister, an English designer. It was bought from a fantastic bridal boutique in Studley, Stella Liliana. The dress and bolero are 100% vintage lace and I knew as soon as I put it on that it was the one! The lace edged veil was also from them. My shoes were from Jones the Bootmaker. They were extremely comfortable but still had that vintage look.
The suit and bridesmaids
I wanted a more relaxed look rather than a formal suit so opted for separates in different textures. My jacket and trousers were John Rocha. The shirt was from Marks and Spencers.
The flowergirls’ dresses were linen and hand made in Lithuania (Left handed craft club). The bridesmaids’ dresses were handmade in Thailand (Nuichan). Both of these were found on etsy.com
Theme or colour scheme
Our theme was a rustic country style wedding. Colours were natural linens, hessian and warm hay tones, to create an effortlessly natural but stunning look.
I found a photo in a magazine that I loved. This became the inspiration for my flowers. I wanted old fashioned, highly scented flowers that looked romantic rather than anything too structured. The flowers in my hair were gypsophilia. In my bouquet were stocks, astilbe, freesias, ferns and grasses. The beautiful sweetpeas in the centre of the tables were grown by Steffs parents and had a gorgeous fragrance.
Starter – Bread, olives, feta and sundried tomatoes with oil and balsamic vinegar.
Main – 3 different paellas. Chicken and chorizo, seafood and vegetarian. Served with salad.
Dessert – summer fruit pavlova.
Evening – hog roast , mushroom lasagne
Decorated cheese stack served with fruit, chutneys and crackers.
My beautiful wedding cake was handmade and decorated by my maid of honour Sarah. It was a carrot cake with plenty of cinnamon and juicy sultanas. It disappeared pretty fast!
During the day we set up various outdoor games for the guests including tennis, skittles and giant Jenga. In the evening we had a disco followed by an amazing covers band – Happy Accident.
Buy or DIY your stationery?
The daytime invitations were designed on weddinginvitations.co.uk. We handmade the evening invitations ourselves using a stamp and vintage sepia ink.
Handmade or personal touches
• We were amazingly fortunate to have so much of our decoration made by Sara, Steffs Mom.
• This included : 80 chair covers, Hessian lace and table runners, Bunting and banners, all decorated bottles and jars, The aisle itself, decoration for the horse drawn cart, muslin drapes with love birds and decorated church with personalised figures.
• The flowering jasmine arch and pillars were supplied by Cooks garden centre.
• We designed the rings ourselves with an extremely talented jeweller in Dunster, Somerset. He incorporated an old family diamond in the centre of the engagement ring, which has a real Celtic/ Medieval look to it. The rings are very special and totally unique.
Special moments or highlights
We found a wonderful celebrant, David Abel (Creative Ceremonies). With him we created our own bespoke wedding ceremony. David has a great sense of humour and we felt totally at ease on the day with him in charge. It was a great experience making our vows in a personal way to us. We even included a Celtic hand fasting, which is how people literally “tied the knot” 1000s of years ago.
After the ceremony we were taken around the village in the horse drawn cart. People were winding their windows down to wave and congratulate us. It felt very special. No-one seemed to mind that we were holding up all the traffic!
I think our biggest surprise was how smoothly the day went!
Advice for other couples
Make a scrap book and fill it with cuttings from magazines, photos, fabric swatches and anything else to build up a picture of exactly what you want. This is also helpful when meeting florists, hairdressers etc. to give them a clear idea of your vision for the day.