No doubt about it, this wedding is rocking my world. And by “rocking my world,” I mean it is completely, 100% leaving me speechless. Because this, my friends, is the kind of wedding where romance and old world architecture join forces to create a day that is beyond classic, beyond beautiful and beyond stunning. Soak in every last amazing moment captured by Helen Cawte in the full gallery.
From the Bride… When Joshua and I got engaged, and we’d celebrated sufficiently to start thinking about the day itself, I found it very hard to envision what I actually wanted; I was never a girlie-girl so alas I had no scrap-book hidden under the bed and filled with ideas to guide me!!! It meant our search for a venue started on multiple continents and, as we looked in England and Joshua’s native South Africa, as well as Dubai where we first met, both of us very quickly realized that the only thing we knew was what we didn’t want! That is, until we saw All Saints’ Church in Boughton Aluph. From the moment we walked into it, in fact from the moment we walked into the churchyard, there was absolutely nowhere else we wanted to get married – or have our reception. We were privileged enough to have both of these under one roof thanks to our wonderful local vicar and church-wardens, however, transforming the space was a formidable challenge.
The vast proportions of All Saints’ required us to zone the space to lend it a degree of intimacy and, loving architectural and interior design, creating the right atmosphere alongside a practical solution was all part of the fun. Even when not in use (the church is only used a few months of the year) the space has an incredible energy and beauty and our ambition was to bring it to life – highlighting the structural details and the amazing light and proportions. To accomplish this we brought in trees to distinguish between the front of the church where the ceremony took place (it later became the dance floor, complete with DJ!) and the back half of the church where the dinner was held. The church was filled with hundreds of candles on every surface and we had beautiful displays (in urns and tin buckets!) of cream and lime green flowers created by my mum together with a team of wonderful helpers. The simple colour palate allowed the wonderful architecture to take centre stage as the light changed throughout the day and into the night. A hog roast, free flowing champagne, a magician in the churchyard and my trusty pair of wellies (!) were the final pieces of the jigsaw as we welcomed almost 150 guests to join us on the day.
The venue lent the wedding an incredibly relaxed and romantic vibe but, without doubt, what made it special was welcoming our guests to join with us in celebrating a magical day. We wanted to show the best of rural England, both in terms of the countryside and hidden architectural gems we English often take for granted, but also in terms of the wonderful sense of community and friendships we are lucky enough to possess. My memories of the day are supplemented by my sense of awe at the help we received in the lead-up to the day from both friends and family and the overriding sense of excitement we all shared.
The venue itself was utterly beautiful and serene and one of my favourite memories is of standing in the churchyard waiting for Joshua to collect something he (ok I) had forgotten before we left for the night; the churchyard was a sea of lanterns and the candles in the church were glowing through the windows as our guests partied away to the bitter end. The church was alive and it felt truly magical to have a moment reflecting on what a fantastic time we had had with our friends and family and all we had achieved. In fact, as I write about this magical moment i’ve jogged a very old memory…. I’m reminded of the perfectly magical balls in the ‘Brambley Hedge’ illustrated children’s books, by Jill Barklem, based around a community of self-sufficient mice (!) who live together in the tranquil surroundings of the English countryside. A strange comparison, yes, but as books infused with friendship, happiness, love and laughter it feels a fitting comparison for our rather magical day.
Photography: Helen Cawte Photography | Wedding Venue: All Saint’s Church, Boughton Aluph, Kent | Bridesmaids Dress: Coast | Shoes: Benjamin Adams | Dress:Jenny Packham | Hair: Brooks & Brooks | Flower Girl: John Lewis | Caterer: Spitfire Spitroast + Assisted Occasions | Magician: Etienne Pradier | Groom’s Suit: Hugo Boss | Event Planning + Design + Invitations: Bride | Makeup: John Gustafson | Flowers: Bride + Mother of the Bride