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Elegant English Country Wedding at Sibton Park

I love this wedding more than I’ll ever be able to put into words. I adore it’s timeless style, the Bride’s stunning gown from Temperley & Temperley is beyond, and I basically want to cover my entire house in that ridiculously steal-worthy wallpaper in the dining room – there honestly isn’t a single thing sitting pretty in this gallery that didn’t make my jaw drop, and you can see all the gorgeous captured by Caught The Light right here.

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Seasons
Summer
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EstatePark
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Elegant

From The Bride…I am a shoe designer and Joseph is a Planning and Development Consultant. We met one another through mutual friends when we were 16 and stayed friends throughout Sixth Form College. We finally became a couple a couple of years later after Joe got in touch out of the blue and have been inseparable ever since!

We had been together 7 and a half years when Joe proposed; I had just got back from a week in Paris for work and Joe surprised me with a trip away to a lovely little hotel called Tuddenham Mill. We set off for a weekend of relaxing pub suppers and long walks and it was on one of those walks at Dunwich Beach that I turned around and Joe was on bended knee.

We were engaged for 15 months before getting married and I felt that would give plenty of time to organise everything, however, after an initial blitz of booking the venues and our photographer, we both got rather complacent over winter and left ourselves a lot to do in the final 5 months.

We fell in love with Sibton Park and the beautiful wallpaper in the dining room although as a private house they were not licensed for weddings so we set about looking for somewhere nearby we could hold the ceremony. Fortunately a short drive away was Glemham Hall, a beautiful Elizabethan estate used in the past by Tim Walker in photo shoots for Vogue which made it doubly exciting for me if not for Joe! Donna at Glemham was really wonderful and ensured the room looked beautiful for us with a roaring fire and candles – she even helped guide my highly impractical chapel length veil around the corner as I made my way down the aisle which was truly above and beyond!

We wanted to have as intimate day as possible and hiring Sibton for the whole weekend meant both our friends and families could stay with us throughout. Having everyone mingling and pitching in the day before definitely made the day itself feel much more relaxed. The main setback we encountered was that had we grossly over-estimated how many of our nearest and dearest we could squeeze into the dining room and after numerous scale drawings decided the best option was to throw a separate party for the children downstairs in the converted cellar. Luckily for us (and the children) there was a fantastic banquet length table in position next to a games room and cinema so they had a great time and didn’t miss us one bit. The house also came with its own catering kitchen and as we weren’t tied to a supplier list it enabled us to have my bridesmaid’s amazing chef mother Penny Campbell provide the delicious food.

I was quite determined from the outset that we do as much as possible ourselves in order to stretch our budget as far as possible. Looking back we probably took on too much but it all came together in the end mainly due to our friends and family diving in to save us. The invites, menus, favour labels and signage were a joint effort by myself and my mother and it was great fun designing and painting everything before having it printed locally. Joseph went to a local bee keeper for our wedding favours who kindly filled dozens of little pots with our favourite honey. We chose hand printed papers and wrapped the lids in these fastening with household string and adding a little thank you label.

For the evening we left an instant camera in the Library with lots of spare films and fancy dress paraphernalia asking guests to take a few photos – some for them to take away and some to leave for us. This turned out to be a surprise hit and we got some fantastically silly photos at the end of it!

I had always wanted peonies and we are lucky enough to live near a peony farm so I thought the flowers would be a simple task however with a wedding on 1st June at the very beginning of the season and the great British weather being as cold and miserable as possible throughout spring the season was late to start so we had to source a last minute plan B. We were recommended the family run flower stall at a local market and they couldn’t have been more helpful. Luckily not only were they able to source peonies but also the bad weather had extended the season for ranunculus, which I thought we were going to miss, and so we managed to have both. The table displays were relatively simple as we opted for potted orchids to give good height to the tables whilst not detracting from the elaborate Chinese wallpaper in the dining room. My chief bridesmaid took on the responsibility of bouquets in between her hairdressing duties for all of us on the morning of the wedding so was a bit of a hero and put them together beautifully.

The bridesmaids dresses were from Mango and then customised by my mother with some aspirin dot vintage tulle we found at a vintage fair. Of course I had to design the shoes for myself and my “bridesmates” as they became known and as I wanted them to be comfortable for the whole day and night I went for a slightly lower 85mm heel for their pairs (which is perfect dancing height).

I originally wanted a very pale blue laser-cut suede pair for myself but had difficulty finding the perfect shade so in the end went for a safer off-white suede which matched the beading on my dress. I then switched into a much less-safe golden pair for the evening which my factory had painstakingly crafted using some antique sequin tulle which was a remnant from my dressing up box as a child. I was very grateful to my factory who not only travelled all the way over from Italy to share the day with us but also gave all our shoes as a wedding gift (on the proviso I promised never to make them use fragile antique fabrics again!).

My maid of honour and bridesmaids were Bex, Maria and Phoebe, my closest and oldest friends. They were all brilliant and worked really hard to ensure Joe and I had an amazing day. Joseph’s oldest friend Matthew was his best man who looked terribly smart in his army uniform and surprised us by organising a traditional army “Loyal Toast” of port for the start of dinner. We asked our dear friend Daisy to deliver a reading at the ceremony which she did wonderfully.

There were many lovely moments, after running twenty minutes late and being horrendously nervous actually standing holding hands with Joe in front of our friends and family to exchange our vows was a strangely calming experience.

I knew after I had bought my main dress that I would like to also have something glittering for the evening as I have magpie tendencies. I fell completely in love with a beautiful golden Temperley gown and the fact it had a white tulle hem kept it bridal in my mind at least! I struggled to find jewellery to accompany it and searched everywhere for some emerald green drop earrings but in the end found a pair of golden sunburst earrings with black pearls and little orange sapphires which mirrored the sequin trails towards the hem. I had managed to keep it completely quiet that I was getting changed into an evening gown and Joe’s face when he realised was super as I’m normally useless at keeping secrets.

Rather than presenting gifts during dinner Joe and I took the opportunity to run away later in the evening and leave little thank you notes and gifts on our respective mothers’ bedside tables. This gave us time to ourselves to briefly reflect on the day together before rejoining the party.

We had a mixed bag of weather with a particularly cold and overcast day which made us all the more grateful for the glorious sunshine that arrived in the evening. I’ve never seen anyone move as fast as Chloe when she ran to grab us both and we made our way out into the beautiful parklands surrounding the house. Traipsing through the fields in the sunshine together was definitely a lasting memory of the day and it was lovely to be able to look back towards the house and hear everyone talking and laughing in the distance.

The simplest advice I could give is to make a list in priority order of the things you care about the most such as venue/photographer and work your way down. This helps in both budgeting terms and organise what order you should tackle the very long list in. Obviously it makes sense to invest most, be it time or money, in the things that you care about most. On the day itself chances are you’ll feel so happy to be married that minor mishaps, imperfections or problems won’t worry you. I managed to lose an earring straight after the ceremony and put my heel through my evening gown within about five minutes of putting it on but it just didn’t matter so you have to laugh.

Definitely allocate days where the W word is off limits as planning everything can easily become all-consuming.

Choosing the right photographer is so important as it made a world of difference to us that we got on so well with Chloe. Her warmth and wit enabled us to completely relax which in turn enabled Chloe to capture the beautiful natural photographs we hoped she would.

My father and Joseph’s speeches were very special as I know how they had agonised over them and their kind words managed to have not only myself but the bridesmaids in tears which surely must be considered a success! Having the speeches at the beginning of the dinner definitely worked well. We had been to Joseph’s step-brother’s wedding the year before where they had done this and thought it was a fantastic idea. It meant my father, Joe and Matt could breathe a sigh of relief and enjoy their food without the pressure hanging over them so it is definitely a break in tradition worth giving consideration to.

Photography: Caught The Light | Wedding Gown: Temperley & Temperley | Stationery: BHLDN | Ceremony Venue: Glemhall Hall, Suffolk, England | Reception Venue: Sibton Park, Suffolk, England | Bride's Shoes: Sophie Gittins | Engagement Ring: Berganza, Hatton Gardens In London | Bridesmaids Dresses: Mango | Catering: Penny Campbell | Hair Stylist: Rebecca MacLean | Groom's Shoes: Loakes | Groom's Suit: Jaeger | Evening Jewellery: Lana | Groom's Shirt, Tie & Pocket Square: Trotter & Deane | Headpiece : Jennifer Behr | Jewellery: Vintage Deco Earrings & Bracelet | Le Baron Wedding Car : Bentley 1958 S1 Saloon In Pearl Grey | Make Up Artist: Giselle Ali | Wedding Musicians: The Modern Way | Wedding Ring: Addy Vintage On Etsy

BHLDN, Jennifer Behr and Temperley London are members of our Look Book. For more information on how members are chosen, click here.

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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.

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Seasons
Spring
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Garden Venue
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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

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