Charlotte Balbier
Brides Up North Wedding Fairs

cotswolds class. mori lee for an elegant wedding at the swan hotel – becky & lee

August 29th, 2017 | Rachel Parry

An Elegant Cotswolds Wedding (c) Shimma Photography (11)

Today’s featured wedding is a particularly special one to me as the bride is my beautiful cousin Becky. Though tying the knot in the gorgeous setting of the Cotswolds, Becky is originally a northern girl that has been drawn to the south due to her fabulous career and wonderful other-half (so we hope you’ll let the location for today’s event pass…).

Falling head over heels for The Swan Hotel in the picturesque village of Bibury, the setting for their big day was nothing short of stunning! The unpredictable British weather meant that their originally planned outdoor ceremony had to be brought inside, but spirits were certainly not dampened and everyone made the most of the quaint surroundings in between the showers.

Everything about the day said elegance, but with a subtle modern twist; from the venue and food, to the live entertainment and attire. Becky looked especially stunning in her Mori Lee fish-tail style gown – a far cry from the Manchester United shirt she was inseparable from during part of her childhood – and completed her perfect bridal look with a gorgeous pair of Louboutins.

I can only hope that my wedding (whenever that might be!) will impress the family as much as this one did – Becky and Lee, you nailed it!

With images by Shimma Photography.

[Editor’s note: Is that our Rachel we see front and centre during the bouquet toss?]

An Elegant Cotswolds Wedding (c) Shimma Photography (16)

becky says: We got engaged at the Durdle Door (a natural limestone arch) on the Jurassic Coast, Dorest, on 7th May, 2016. Lee booked a camping weekend for us both and our two little Bicho dogs. It was a beautifully sunny weekend. We hiked up the mountain and sat up on the cliff edge overlooking the Durdle Door. Lee then handed me a photo book, capturing our relationship so far in photos from our first date, holidays etc. On the last page, he had drawn the Durdle Door (exactly what we could see in front of us) and wrote “until today where I ask you a question”, I looked up and there he was with the ring.

We set the dates for 22nd July 2017. We chose this date as we wanted a summer wedding and ideally wanted to get married outside. Unfortunately, the weather was touch and go on the day, so we got married inside, but we were still able to spend some time outside for our photographs, canapes etc.

An Elegant Cotswolds Wedding (c) Shimma Photography (8)

We got married at The Swan Hotel, in Cotswold village of Bibury. The Swan sits proud on the banks of the River Coln. With charm in abundance and elegant design throughout, we completely fell in love with the venue and setting.

We didn’t have a special theme as such for the wedding, but we kept to a colour scheme of greys and neutral tones as we felt the venue was enough of a ‘wow factor’.

An Elegant Cotswolds Wedding (c) Shimma Photography (7)

My wedding dress was a design by Mori Lee. I chose this designer as I love the elegance and femininity to the dresses. My shoes were Christian Louboutin – who doesn’t love a red sole?!

Lee wore a navy blue, slim-fit suit hired from Suits Direct. His pocket square was Ted Baker and tan ‘monk’ shoes from Kurt Geiger. Lee wore a contrasting waistcoat to the groomsmen’s blue ones; his was grey to set him apart.

The bridesmaids’ dresses were light grey maxi dresses with a beautifully embellished neckline. They were from Little Mistress.

An Elegant Cotswolds Wedding (c) Shimma Photography (35)

Simona Hrusovska, of Shimma Photography, captured our day. We would highly recommend Simona. She is extremely professional, friendly and takes huge pride in what she does. She researched the venue prior to our wedding day and knew exactly which locations and photographs she wanted to capture. She arrived at 9am and didn’t leave until midnight – she is so focussed on providing the best photos possible, and went above and beyond to make this happen.

An Elegant Cotswolds Wedding (c) Shimma Photography (40)

My bouquet was a seasonal mix of hydrangeas, roses, gypsophila, foliage and eucalyptus, provided by Rosy Lea Florist, in Wroughton, Swindon.

To decorate the reception tables, we had gyp and rose arrangements. These were placed on tall, glass conical vases filled with gel balls to create the centrepieces. We built them ourselves.

An Elegant Cotswolds Wedding (c) Shimma Photography (44)

As favours, we gave our guests ornate key style bottle openers – gold keys for the men and silver for the women. We also attached a name tag to each so they doubled up as place settings.

We had a four-tier wedding cake, consisting of chocolate sponge, vanilla sponge and fruit sponge, from Marks & Spencer.

The wedding breakfast began with a starter of ham hock and grain mustard terrine, served with pickled onions, apple purée and toasted brioche. The vegetarian option was goats’ cheese Ballantine with beetroot textures, caramelised walnuts and cress. Main was pan fried chicken supreme with heritage carrots, creamy mash and wild mushroom sauce. The vegetarians had vegetable wellington with roast red pepper purée and watercress crown. For dessert, we all enjoyed lemon posset served with citrus candy and gateau Breton. We felt as though this was a selection of courses that everyone would enjoy.

We travelled to France to choose our white and red wine and Prosecco. This was to try and save some money!

An Elegant Cotswolds Wedding (c) Shimma Photography (48)

Entertainment wise, we had Alex Taylor, a professional solo singer and guitarist, to perform during the earlier part of the day. We had seen Alex perform in our local bars years ago and fell in love with his voice. There was no one else we would have considered to sing at our wedding!

Harpist Meredith McCracken, played throughout the wedding breakfast, and then we had a DJ (Celebration Roadshow) for the reception, who was recommended to us by the venue.

An Elegant Cotswolds Wedding (c) Shimma Photography (24)

For extra entertainment, we hired a photobooth from M4 Photobooths. We went to a wedding open day and Roger was set up with his booth and props. He is so friendly and creates a fun atmosphere; he stays with the photobooth for the whole evening and provided us with a photo album when the night ended. He was a real winner for our guests!

We also held our own duck race – it’s tradition in Bibury. They hold an annual duck race in the village and so we thought it’d be a nice touch to mimic this for our guests.

An Elegant Cotswolds Wedding (c) Shimma Photography (10)

We’d also highly recommend our choice of venue. The Swan Hotel is set in the most magical location with so much history and culture, such as Arlington Row. The weather didn’t affect our day as the venue is so beautiful. The staff can’t do enough for you and are so accommodating.

An Elegant Cotswolds Wedding (c) Shimma Photography (14)

Looking back, it’s impossible to choose a favourite moment of the day – we loved every second and want to do it all over again! We wouldn’t change a thing.

An Elegant Cotswolds Wedding (c) Shimma Photography (1)

For our honeymoon, we are going to San Francisco for five days before moving onto and Jamaica for nine days. We plan on visiting Alcatraz, Golden Gate, Piers, plus Bob Marley’s house and James Bond beach.

An Elegant Cotswolds Wedding (c) Shimma Photography (30)

My top tip to other Brides Up North would be – savour every moment as it’s over in a flash! Where possible try to spend quality time together on the day; it’s strange how little time you have together as you’re so focussed on chatting to your guests.

An Elegant Cotswolds Wedding (c) Shimma Photography (31)

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about the author

Rachel Parry
Rachel joined the Brides Up North editorial team as Features Editor in February 2015. Rachel draws on her news reporting background, experience in features, bridal & lifestyle editing for previous regional titles and time spent working for Yorkshire’s most successful PR agencies. Yet to tie the knot herself, Rachel's own wedding looks set to be very, very pretty...

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