Sweet weddings belong in a category all their own. Not too fancy or over the top but just right in that easy, breezy, beautiful sort of way. They tug at the heart strings, those sweet ones and pull you in with their pretty, pretty photographs of a Bride and Groom saying “I Do” amongst an intimate crowd, surrounded by perfectly personalized details. Yep, that is a sweet wedding in a nutshell. For the longer version, complete with a groom carrying his Bride over a muddy field (sweet x a mill) check out the full gallery captured by Helen Cawte Photography.
From the Bride… Dave and I were married on April 28, 2012, at Wycliffe Baptist Church in Reading. We decided to get married in the church that I grew up in, so the wedding felt very personal. It also meant that I could get ready at my parent’s home with my bridesmaids – my mum, in true fashion, had prepared an amazing breakfast, and the whole morning was so much more fun and relaxed than I could have imagined! Instead of decorating the church with flowers, we strung up lots of pom poms in pastel shades. We held a “pom pom party” a couple of weeks before the wedding – we provided the wine and the paper, and our friends happily sat concertina-ring into the night! Our Christian faith was an important element of the day, and we put a lot of effort into planning the service. The church service was lead by a family friend, Dave’s dad gave the address, and our friends played in the band. It was hugely personal and very moving.
The reception was held at Bearwood College in Berkshire, which is an amazing private school. The staff were amazing – they put up with all my requests, and it was incredible to walk into the gallery and see that they had prepared the room exactly as I has asked. They have Saturday school in the morning, which means you can’t actually do any of the set up yourself – they do it all after 1 p.m. on the day of the wedding! We arrived at about 3.30 p.m., so I was very impressed with their quick turnaround. I found Green and Gorgeous through a wedding blog and was very excited by their webpage. They offer standard wedding flower services, but they also allow you to buy flowers by the bucket to arrange yourself. This was brilliant as it meant I could leave the complicated elements to the G&G girls, Rachel and Jo, and have a go at table arrangements myself (with a small but mighty team!). We first visited Jo in February (Dave could not get his head around the lack of flowers) and discussed everything over a cup of tea in her lovely, cosy cottage. Two weeks before the wedding, we visited again to make a “cutting list,” which involved walking around the garden and choosing whatever we liked! The whole experience was wonderful, and I’m so pleased we found them! We spent an age trying to find a photographer who we could trust with our most important of photo albums! Helen was brilliant – she did an amazing job. We were blown away by the photos and her commitment throughout. Helen and her assistant Camilla were both completely chilled out and knew exactly how much direction to give. They were stars!
We sourced a French soft drink (La Mortuacienne) as a nod to the time I had lived in France. For the flower girls, I made up bags of goodies to keep them entertained during the meal. I borrowed an idea I had seen on lots of American wedding blogs for a finger-print tree. We surrounded it with photographs of our ancestors on their wedding days – it was hard work tracking down the photos but amazing to see where we came from and having them all there (in photo form!) on our day. We made the seating plan out of a piece of world map wrapping paper from John Lewis! The menu board was bought cheaply from Home Sense and with a chalk pen I wrote out the menu for the day. It’s now up in our house as an alternative piece of art! My mum made the cake – it was huge! She made about 10 round sponges, which Dave stacked up and smothered in duck-egg blue butter icing – great team work. All of the save the dates, invitations and orders of service were made by us in Word. We downloaded a free font from dafont.com so they didn’t look too comic sans! The invitations included an RSVP postcode with a pair of penguins on the front. We asked guests to decorate the penguins before sending it back and got some incredible replies! It was such a treat seeing how much effort friends and family had put in to them and gave us a good laugh. An old friend DJ’ed for us — he did a great job and we loved the party. Our wedding was amazing, but there were many times in the run up that I felt completely overwhelmed by the task. I’m so glad we put the effort in though – everyone commented on the personality of the day and how much it reflected us. It was so exciting – we were beaming all day. Looking back there is nothing I would have changed – I got to marry my best friend and have an amazing party, and it doesn’t get much better than that!
Wedding Photography: Helen Cawte Photography / Ceremony: Wycliffe Baptist Church in Reading, United Kingdom / Reception + Catering: Bearwood College in Wokingham, Berkshire, United Kingdom / Floral Design: Green and Gorgeous / Wedding Cake: DIY by the Bride’s Mother / Wedding Invitations: DIY / DJ: A Friend / Reception Lighting: Henley Theatre Lighting / Wedding Dress: Jenny Packham “Giralda” / Bride’s Shoes: Vintage Dune / Bride’s Earrings: Accessorize / Hair: Vanessa Harrison, A Family Friend / Makeup DIY / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Warehouse / Groom’s Suit: Flannels / Rings: Solitaire