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English Country Garden Wedding

This wedding is starting out with a fashionable bang (i.e. bridesmaid’s dresses for the books and a lace gown that could kill) and is ending with an English Garden party ripe with crimson florals by Bo Boutique and vintage styling by Helen Millot Furnishings. We love a good garden party, after all, and this gem shot by WOOKIE Photography is proving the English know their way around a fab outdoor affair.

Colors
Seasons
Spring
Settings
Garden Venue
Styles
Vintage

From The Bride…Ben and I went on our first date when we were 12 years old in our hometown of Cambridge, UK. We were in neighbouring schools; I was at the all girls’ school and Ben was in the all boys’ school down the road. Our first date was a rendez-vouz in town one Saturday lunchtime. We were young at the time so, as romantic and sweet as the date was, it didn’t really go beyond sharing an ice- cream and a stroll through the park! Two years later our eyes met again at the mixed girls and boys secondary school. It was then we went on our second and more successful date and spent the most amazing 4 years together. We were high school sweethearts who got to see each other everyday and share some special moments together.

We knew straight away that we wanted an English country garden wedding in Cambridge. It’s where we met and where we are both from so it means a lot to both of us. The fact that it’s a very beautiful city and most of our family still lived there was an added bonus.

We opted for a humanist wedding. It felt like the right choice- we wanted our ceremony to be very personal and a chance to tell our story to family and friends. For us, our wedding was the chance to celebrate our next chapter with them, and also thank them for all their support over the years that had already passed.

Ben and I wanted an outside ceremony in a beautiful garden and preferably near the River Cambs, so with this in mind my Mother, Ben and I began our search. After a few weeks of looking, and word getting around, a close family friend offered us their house for our wedding. The house used to belong to well know 1960s hairdresser Raymond Bessone, AKA Mr Teasy –Weasy! It’s a beautiful property with lots of quirks and has the most amazing garden that leads down to a secret river. Perfect. It was typically English, typically Cambridge and in the exact right location.

The style and design of our wedding definitely changed and developed over the year leading up to the day itself. A big turning point for the design of the day was when my Mother offered me her late Mother’s (my Grandmother’s) antique silver cutlery to use. My Grandmother, Hélène Millot, was a Parisian dressmaker and costumier in the 1920s so you can just image how old and beautiful the cutlery is. (In fact the ornate engraving on the silver suggests that some of the pieces could be over 100 years old!)

And so our classic English country garden wedding became an English garden wedding with a chic French twist. I matched the antique silver cutlery with lots and lots of antique brass candlesticks, a very classic combination. The table glasses were all crystal and cut glass, and mismatched for a modern yet vintage twist. Simple white plates and white napkins gave the table clean lines avoiding the look becoming too eclectic.

The colour palate was determined when I found my dress. I searched high and low for one that was off-white and I finally found it in a Justin Alexander design. The description of the dress was antique gold but in actual fact it was a gorgeous taupe colour. I matched the table linen with the colour of dress by sourcing some beautiful Ralph Lauren tablecloths, and also managed to find some perfect taupe candles which I shipped in from a shop called Blokker, in Amsterdam.

The tables were adorned with beautiful deep red Peonies, grapes and Eucalyptus, all overflowing from antique brass vases onto the long tables, arranged beautifully by the talented Bo Boutique. It was a significant colour pop but worked perfectly with the lush greens coming in from the garden through the vast clear windows of the marquee.

The day itself was just as I had imagined: a personal, relaxed and most importantly incredibly romantic occasion- with a party atmosphere! We had hoped for an outdoor ceremony but in typical English fashion our weather was not kind to us! But this did not in anyway dampen the mood. Our ceremony took place in the marquee, in front of the large clear windows that looked out onto the large spans of garden down to the river. Then just as the ceremony finished, as though on auto timer, the sun came out and we were able to enjoy drinks and canapés outside. It was incredible!

Photography: WOOKIE Photography | Florist: Bo Boutique | Wedding Dress: Justin Alexander | Cake: Jackie Waller Catering | Bridesmaids' Dresses: River Island | Catering: Crown Catering Cambridge | Groom's Attire: Gucci | French Music Duet: Garance & The Mitochondries | Invitation Printers: Tom Gautier (illustration By The Groom) | Location: Private House- Near Cambridge | Marquee Hire: Cambridge Marquees | Stylist: Helen Millot Furnishings | Tableware & Decor Hire: Helene Millot Furnishings | Wedding Dress Boutique: London Bride Couture

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Chic Summer Wedding in London

Move over Ladies of London, there’s a fab new Brit in town and she comes in the form of a stunning summer wedding captured by Caught The Light. This affair may be indoors but it’s wholeheartedly summer thanks to florals in every shade of sunshine by Hayford & Rhodes and simple details that scream chic. See even more of this light, bright beauty right here.

Colors
Seasons
Summer
Settings
Indoor
Styles
Elegance

From The Bride…Hywel and I met two weeks after I arrived in London, five years ago. I’d just moved over from New York (ostensibly for a year…!) and happened to move into a flat with one of his best friends from university. One day I walked into the living room, saw this gorgeous Brit sitting there, and that was basically it. I was a goner. It took us a couple of months to make it official, but ever since then we’ve been happily living out our little London love story. I work as an account director for a branding & design agency, while Hywel oversees brand partnerships for the men’s health charity, Movember. We got engaged on a Saturday morning, lying in bed:

Me: “What shall we do today?”

Hywel: “Shall we get engaged?”

I’ve never been interested in a big, traditional proposal, so for us it was just right. After crying, laughing, family phone calls and a couple of Bloody Mary’s, we went into town to buy me a wedding ring! That night, we had friends over for a big Italian feast, shared our good news, and basked in the excitement. We got engaged in November, and knew right away we wanted to try to fit in a wedding within the next seven or eight months. Then the panic set in! Thankfully, we found One Marylebone fairly quickly, and once that was booked, everything else fell into place. We were able to give my American friends & family six months’ notice in order to book flights across the pond.

Our wedding planning was definitely a partnership – I was very lucky that my groom has event planning skills and industry contacts in spades! We share a similar aesthetic and are both pretty decisive, so we were able to keep the process moving along pretty quickly. The day itself was just absolutely amazing. It felt like ‘us’, which is exactly what we wanted. I walked down the aisle to The Beatles’ “Here Comes the Sun” on the piano – just hearing the opening bars to the music now make me start to tear up! My grandfather, who is a federal judge in New York, delivered a sort of secular sermon with an incredible presence that moved everyone. Our friend Libby, who introduced us, read “I carry your heart with me (I carry it in my heart)” by E.E. Cummings. Hywel and I also wrote our own vows, which is much less of a thing here in the UK. It was wonderful to commit to each other in a way that was personal to us. I wouldn’t have done it any other way. Another friend, Miranda Heldt, a professional singer, performed the soulful “All over again” by Sharon Jones during the register signing. And then finally, we walked back down the aisle to “Signed, Sealed, Delivered” by Stevie Wonder, which was such a fun, unexpected thing for our guests to hear after a heartfelt ceremony. It definitely changed the tone – it was time to party! worked with the lovely Charlotte at Hayford & Rhodes on our flowers. For our ceremony, we chose beautiful silver birch trees for the front of the room. They added drama and a simple, natural feel to the space.

Seasoned Events worked with us to create our menu. Hywel and I love to host dinner parties, and we wanted our wedding to feel like the best one yet. We chose to have antipasti sharing platters to start, which really got people chatting and interacting with each other and the food. We served a delicious chicken breast with summer pea risotto cake and pea puree for the main, followed by truly decadent chocolate fondant. We worked with family friend and wine merchant, Simon Taylor, to choose a subtle Champagne, bright Sauvignon Blanc and yummy Pinot Noir to serve throughout the day. Our beer choice was just as personal: Camden Town Brewery is situated just down the road from our flat, and I’m a Boston girl by birth, so it only made sense to have Sam Adams for both our Yankee & British guests. We placed little cork-topped bottles of Welsh whisky at every guest’s place as name cards. Hywel’s entire family hails from the same area as that particular whisky distillery, and our relationship was definitely cemented over a shared love of neat whisky.

We hired huge light letters (H&L) to transform the space for the evening dancing. It really added fun to a space that is usually so elegant and refined. Plus they look awesome in pictures! Our phenomenal DJ had the dance floor packed from start to finish, and the whole thing just had such a fun & joyful feel to it. Some of our wonderful friends got us a guestbook & Polaroid camera to help us capture moments throughout the day. There are some pretty epic shots and very sweet notes in there.

My advice to every bride is simply to soak it all in. Everyone says it’s important to take a moment, just the two of you, to step away and just look at what’s happening all around you. Hywel and I were able to do that a few times throughout the night, and it was pretty incredible. I also made myself stay very present during the ceremony. It sounds like an obviously or silly thing, but someone once gave me that advice and I found it invaluable. Also, I found wedding morning yoga a really special and calming way to start the day! Oh, and pay as much as you can for a great photographer. It is the best investment you can make! After all, what are you left with after the fact, other than your photos?!

Photography: Caught The Light | Florist: Hayford & Rhodes | Wedding Dress: Vera Wang, Evelyn | Shoes: LK Bennett | DJ: The Wedding Smashers | Groom's Shoes: Stemar | Groom's Suit: Canali | Caterers: Seasoned Events | Ceremony & Reception: One Marylebone | Earrings: Gold Tiffany Elsa Peretti | Groom's Cufflinks: Tiffany & Co. | Groom's Shirt: Thomas Pink | Hair & Make Up: Roseanna Velin | Professional Singer: Miranda Heldt | Wine Merchant: Simon Taylor

English Manor Wedding Inspiration

At first glance, this shoot might look like your typical English garden inspiration. But take a closer look and you’ll see an east-meets-west approach with a subtle Asian flair. Euphoric FlowersPocketful of DreamsCakes By Krishanthi along with a whole team of talent crafted up the pretty and Weddings By Nicola and Glen photographed the gallery you simply can’t afford to miss.

Colors
Seasons
Summer
Settings
Manor

From Weddings By Nicola and GlenWe recently photographed a wedding inspiration shoot at Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons, one of the most famous luxury hotels in Britain renown for its 2 Michelin star food and idyllic countryside setting. The overall concept was Fusion – Where East Meets West and was designed, styled and co-ordinated by Vicki & Michelle of event design house Pocketful of Dreams.

From Michelle of Pocketful of Dreams… Inspired by the stunning Japanese Tea Gardens at the venue, we worked from a back story of a stylish British couple who had been heavily influenced by their travels to the Orient and set out to create a look that had an elegant feel with stylish and thoughtful touches across all the décor and details, subtly and creatively portraying that Far East influence. We worked with a rich, warm colour palette of burgundy, wine, soft pinks and peach with a grounding base of oyster silk, all offset by plenty of leafy greens. Brass and antique gold tones were then added to establish a luxe/old world feel that emulated a refined luxury.

Photography: Weddings By Nicola And Glen | Floral Design: Euphoric Flowers | Bridal Dresses & Accessories: Kate Halfpenny | Cakes & Sweet Treats: Cakes By Krishanthi | Decor Items: Brollies Galore | Decor Items: Amara | Decor Items: Farley Prop Hire | Design Concept & Styling: Pocketful Of Dreams | Furniture: Vintage Style Hire | Groom’s Outfit: October House | Make-up & Hair: Sarah Elizabeth For Claire Hanson’s M.A.C.H Beauty Team | Paper Goods: Gemma Milly | Venue: Belmond Le Manoir Aux Quat’Saisons

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Cakes by Krishanthi

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