This adorable couple knew right away that they wanted to escape the hustle and bustle of London in exchange for a quiet, small town wedding and the result is a fabulously laid back, quintessentially British day filled with lots of love and pretty, little details. Lucky for us Jez Dickson captured each and every moment to perfection and you can see it all unfold here in the full gallery!
From the Bride… After Paul proposed and we started to talk about “the wedding,” we knew that although we live in London now, having both grown up in small towns, it was a countryside, homey-feeling wedding that would suit us best. We wanted something that would introduce our friends and family to a place that means something to us but more importantly, we wanted a wedding that would really show who we are through lots of personal touches and that was planned by us, from start to finish. Suffolk, the county where I grew up, became the focal point for our search for the perfect location. We found The Old Rectory, a local B&B, which rents the whole house for private weekend parties. After meeting Sally, we knew that she would allow us the flexibility we were looking for but more importantly, she seemed excited to help us create the day (which quickly became a weekend) that we dreamed about. Luckily for us, it turned out that Sally and her team were also amazing chefs and quickly transformed our ideas into a spectacular menu, using local produce when possible and always sticking to things in season.
The feeling that this was “the place” grew even more real when we walked 50 meters through the garden gate to St John the Baptist church to meet Harry and Deirdre, the local vicars. They were so welcoming (not always the case when you go to churches out of your parish to talk about a wedding!), and over the following year, they really made us feel part of the congregation, so much so that we asked the church bell ringers to peal at the start and end of our ceremony. I walked down the aisle with my dad, hands shaking, heart pounding and feeling very nervous. But as soon as I saw Paul and his smile (and the little “hi” that he had written on his hand to make me smile), all of my nerves went away. Our ceremony was beautiful. The hymns were ones that were important to us and to add a little dash of “us.” Our last song was “Happy Together” by The Turtles, which Rev. Harry graciously allowed us to incorporate into our Church of England service and which Pam, my high school piano teacher, accompanied all our guests to on the organ — it was so fun and added a really lovely talking point to the day.
We walked the short distance from the church to reception and more of our personal touches came out — the canvas for people to paint/write/doodle messages to us on, the Polaroids and picture frame, deck chairs to relax on, quoits to play, etc. We served Pimms and Cordial (both quintessentially British) and Byron Pale Ale (alas, not our brewery!) during the reception and had typical British seafood served from our rowing boat as a makeshift seafood bar (I grew up in a seaside town) for people to indulge in before dinner. We decided to do all speeches before dinner so that our more nervous speakers could deliver them and then relax and enjoy the rest of the night. The speeches flowed beautifully and there was a equal share of laughter, pride and tears. Dinner was served, wine and champagne was consumed, and our wedding cake was cut. The dance floor was full all night – we even had impromptu flash-mob dance to Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” and LMFAOs “Party Rock Anthem.” Our last dance of the evening was “Con Te Partiro,” which has always been a special song for Paul and I after hearing it at the close of the Hong Kong 7s (rugby) early in our relationship. It’s true that your wedding day goes past quickly, but I am so glad Paul and I stepped back every now and then, together, and just soaked it all in — our friends and family enjoying themselves and seeing everyone together for such a special occasion.
Wedding Photography: Jez Dickson / Ceremony: St John the Baptist Church in Campsea Ashe, Suffolk, England / Reception: The Old Rectory in Campsea Ashe, Suffolk, England / Event Design: The Bride & Groom / Wedding Day Coordination: Rebecca Elcome / Floral Design: Victoria Strowger Flowers / Wedding Cake: Anmar of Crumb / Wedding Invitations: Emma of A Bespoke Design / Wedding Dress: Paloma Blanca via Lara B / Bride’s Shoes: Miu Miu / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Liz Fields via The Dress Consultants / Groom’s Suit: Reiss / Groom’s Shoes: Paul Smith