August 26th, 2014 | Julia Braime
Let’s get stuck into some beautiful.
Jenny and Alex’s pretty country garden wedding is full of blooms, dappled sunshine and pretty touches. If you’ve spent the long weekend wondering where British summertime has disappeared to, it’s right here on these pages.
With images by Jessica Reeve Photography.
Jenny says:We got engaged on my birthday last year; Alex was very romantic and I cried a lot when he asked me to marry him! He had spent the previous 6 months trying to ‘throw me off the scent’, so it was a big shock!
Our wedding date was the 21st of June. We wanted a summer wedding and this worked for my little sister who is doing AS levels – and it was midsummer’s day, so we hoped it would give us the best chance of sunshine, as well as being romantic!
We decided to get married in the church I grew up attending. We wanted to have the ceremony somewhere that had a link to us, so as well as being a beautiful church, St Mary of the Angels in Bolton le Sands fitted the bill. For the reception, it was important to us that our reception would be private – we didn’t want a location where non-guests would be wandering around, so we decided to bite the bullet and have a marquee on the lawn at my parents’ house. We are very fortunate that my parents have a lovely house and they worked incredibly hard over our engagement to make sure the gardens were looking beautiful on the day.
Our marquee was provided by Ashfell Marquees, who are based in Cumbria. They did a fantastic job, the marquee looked stunning and they made the assembly look easy!
We were undecided on the exact theme or style of the wedding for a while. We knew we wanted it to be fairly classic and understated, but were unsure about the rest. However, as soon as I tried on my dress, I felt as if everything fell into place. The dress has lace roses on, and is quite a classic style. The wedding theme became clear – The theme was roses, with a style of a country house garden party. As soon as I had the dress on I could imagine walking around the marquee, across the lawn, I could imagine how I wanted the bridesmaids to fit, how I wanted it all to feel! It was a slightly surreal moment.
I picked the colour scheme based partly on what would fit with the church. I wanted something fairly traditional and elegant, so we opted for dusky pink, ivory, gold and sage green.
My dress was from The White Dress Boutique in Leamington Spa, the town where Alex and I live. I had tried on a few dresses but when I tried on Boadicea by Charlotte Balbier all the others went out of the window! It had beautiful rose lace back and a high neck, and an absolutely gorgeous satin skirt and train. It was simple but beautiful, and as soon as I tried it on I knew it was the one. I was comfortable in it, and I could then imagine the rest of the wedding!
For the ceremony I wore a full length single tier veil – after all, you don’t often get the chance to wear a one! I had a small hair piece from Debenhams. I went for simple shoes – which I needed up taking off for the dancing like most of our guests!
I carried a hand tied bouquet which was a mix of roses, pink astilbe, lisiansthus, scabious and some beautiful variegated foliage. The colours matched the scheme and were cream, dusky pink and sage green. They were provided by Dalton Square Florists, who did a fantastic job. I also put a small sprig of blue flowers in from the garden for my ‘something blue’!
Alex wore a traditional three piece morning suit with grey trousers and a black jacket. He had a grey double breasted waistcoat and a pale blue tie. The suits were hired from Moss Bros and the tie was from House of Fraser.
I wanted maxi dresses for the bridesmaids, and found a beautiful, pale green maxi dress from Phase Eight which matched the colour scheme so perfectly. It was actually the first dress they tried on – it suited them all beautifully and fitted with the whole elegant but relaxed look I wanted. They had jewellery and head pieces from Accessorize.
For the reception we didn’t have a huge amount of cut flowers – there were plenty growing in the garden so we didn’t need many more! We went for low gold vases as our centrepieces, filled with roses, astilbe and hydrangeas. The florist did an amazing job of working out exactly what we wanted and the end result was beautiful!. We also had a couple of pedestal displays in a similar style. Our lovely church flowers were provided by Sentiment Flowers, who are based in Bolton Le Sands.
We didn’t do favours, and instead decided to donate money to charity. We picked charities that meant something to us.
Our caterer was Karen Rhodes. She does the catering for weddings at a local country house, so we used this as a good idea she would be reliable! And she did a fantastic job, and looked after everything. The wedding went so smoothly on the day and a lot of this was down to her! She also ran the bar and the drinks reception, with a team of excellent staff.
I actually made my own wedding cake – I really enjoy baking and took it as a bit of a challenge! I kept it simple – a light fruit cake on the bottom tier and chocolate fudge for the top two tiers. I then decorated with plain ivory icing, a gold ribbon and fresh roses from my mum’s garden.
Our photographer was Jessica Reeve, and we could not recommend her highly enough. Her photos are stunning (which was why we got in touch with her in the first place) but she was also lovely to have around on our wedding day as well. She was relaxed and fun and got some fantastic photos. The photos really capture the atmosphere of our day and tell the story perfectly.
In the evening we had a ceilidh band, called Northern Lights. Our criteria for our entertainment was something that would get everyone on the dance floor. A ceilidh is a traditional Scottish dance, and everyone got into the spirit and gave it a go – it was lots of fun!! After they finished we used their sound system and plugged in an ipod for the rest of the evening –the dancing was still going at 2am, so we were pleased!
The other special touches were mainly the result of hard work from friends and family! My sister in law, Helen, created a beautiful board for a Polaroid booth – lending us her camera and all her booth props! Its something she’s going into business with – so watch out for Treacle Town Designs! She also ran a sweet table for us, which was a huge hit! Another friend of mine created a gorgeous bird cage as a guest book. We also hired a caricaturist (Robert Grenville Evans) for before and after the meal – he did some fantastic pictures and kept the guests entertained!
The day before the wedding the close family decorated the garden – we had bunting on the fences and on the wooded footpath up from the church. I also bought led lights and hung them in the trees and on the outdoor tables so they came on as soon as it got dark – the garden looked magical, especially after the heat of the day!
I think my favourite part was the ceremony. It felt so special, and perhaps more moving than I expected it to be. It felt very intimate and private – Once we were saying our vows I forgot about the guests, it felt like it was just Alex and I (and the priest). It was lovely as well to see our church so full of friends and family – having everyone together in the same place meant a lot.
We went to Italy for our honeymoon – we both love the food, the wine, the culture and the weather! We had a relaxing few nights in Sardinia and then went to Verona, which was beautiful and a great base to explore other parts of Italy (such as Venice and Lake Garda). We had a fantastic two weeks which gave us chance to spend some quality time together and go over the whole wedding weekend again and again!
My top tip for other Brides Up North would be to try to enjoy the run up to the wedding as possible. Go with suppliers you can trust – on the day everything went so smoothly and that was down to our professional team who between them must have run hundreds of weddings!
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Former lawyer and bride to be Julia founded Brides Up North in 2010 with a chip on her shoulder. Frustrated by the poor Northern presence in glossy bridal magazines and online, she decided to do something about it herself. Astounded by the rapid growth of her blog and brand, Julia now manages Brides Up North’s online content alongside their busy wedding exhibition season, industry events and related commissions. And she’s always, always, got a new project on the go…