After perusing this ridiculously wonderful gallery from Belle And Beau Fine Art Photography, I’ve decided I’m going to tuck this wedding away in a little corner of my heart and hold it there forever. That’s how much I love it so. It’s happy, sweet, fun, charming and oh-so-adorable. From the bow ties and bowler hats to the vintage photo pendants and pastel petals, it will melt your heart in an instant.
From Belle And Beau Fine Art Photography… I wanted to send you this beautiful quintessentially English wedding as it not only has beautiful details (including the most beautiful Summer bouquet and the boys wearing bowler hats) and a gorgeous couple but the story behind it is a truly romantic one!
Like something straight out of an old English romance novel, Ben and Sarah’s outdoor wedding was held at the beautiful Burloes Hall in Cambridgeshire where Sarah’s Grandparents met! Her Great Grandparents lived in the Gamekeeper’s cottage on the Estate, which is where her Grandad, Son of the Head Gamekeeper, met her Nan who was the Housemaid A true Downton Abbey story!
From the beautiful Bride… My Grandparents met at Burloes. My Great-Grandfather was the Head Gamekeeper, taking over from my Great-Uncle. They lived in the Gamekeeper’s Cottage on the Estate, in which my Grandfather also lived. My Nan was the Housemaid. The story goes that, my Nan needed to post some mail for Lady Joan Newman – the Lady of the Estate – and it was suggested that my Granddad accompany her. The rest, as they say, is history!
We knew we wanted an outdoor wedding if possible – our dream wedding has always been that of Forest Gump and ‘his’ Jenny. We looked at a couple of local venues: big houses with even larger gardens. My Grandfather had not long passed away when we got engaged and was always on my mind. Randomly, I searched for ‘Burloes’, and ‘weddings’ and to my utter delight I found a website for the Burloes Hall – and they did weddings!
I’ve always wanted a Spring wedding (the gorgeous blossom and spring flowers, sense of new life and warm glimmer of the sun… all before the streaming noses and itchy eyes of Summer kicks in!). We both love the ‘good old days’. The décor, the fashion and the slower pace of life. Our home together is filled with family heirlooms and vintage treasures we’ve found together over the years. garden party theme for our wedding just felt like the right fit for us.
I was so nervous about dress shopping. I rarely wear dresses, and don’t particularly relish the limelight. So I wanted to feel special, but ultimately comfortable. I knew I wanted a high neckline and wanted to show off my small waist. Lace was a key feature too. The rest I was pretty clueless about.
I went with my mum and bridesmaids and we hit three shops in one day. The last shop was Morgan Davies and was the only shop I actually got excited in! I found six beautiful dresses, each one more beautiful than the last. I chose ‘Willow’ by Maggie Sottero bringing in all the elements I like into one dress. My veil was ‘Orlando’ by Joyce Jackson. 1 inch scalloped lace edge, 72 inch two-tier veil. My shoes were gold sparkly heels from Next!
My Grandad’s bracelet was my ‘Something Old’, my Mother’s pearl and diamond drop earrings were my ‘Something Borrowed’, my lace garter with blue ribbon bow was my ‘Something Blue’ and my Dress was my ‘Something New’! The vintage photo pendants, hanging from my bouquet featured photos of my grandparents.
My Photographer was Holly from Belle and Beau Fine Art Photography. Simply put, Holly was brilliant. I got so excited the moment I found her website and had to email her straight away. As soon we spoke on the phone I knew she was the one for us. Photography was a big thing for us, we didn’t want the usual style of photos with lots of staged shots and forced smiles. We wanted natural shots which captured the happiness of the day, the guests and the venue. We loved Holly’s style of soft pastels and artistic compositions. We can’t recommend her enough!
Holly, and her husband Phil, were just perfect on the day. They made us feel so comfortable in front of the camera and [in the nicest possible way] forgot they were there at times! The rest of the time they were just so lovely and we had a lot of laughs together. Some of our favourite shots were taken there, capturing the golden light of the sunset. It was just magical. We are so thankful to Holly for giving us such timeless memories, her photos are a true gift which we will treasure always.
Our florist was Noeleen Ross from the The Basement Florist. Flowers were a big part of our day. The vintage theme really came to life through the British country cottage style flowers and flower arrangements, many of which were locally grown. Noeleen was a dream to work with. She was so friendly and understood exactly what I wanted straight away.
We made our rings ourselves! I made Ben’s and he made mine, at a one-day jewelery-making workshop with Rachel Jeffrey Contemporary Jeweler.
Our wedding favours were, again, very much homemade! Can you guess the emerging theme?! These were little felt scrabble tiles with each of the guest’s first name initials. We wanted something a bit quirky and that would help act as place settings too. I grew up with my Granddad and Dad playing scrabble as a weekly ritual and so this ‘felt’ like the right thing for us (see what I did there!), to honour that memory really. Two birds and all that – or in this case three! My very talented sister, Samantha, hand sewed all the little felt squares with the letters and my Mum sewed on the pins. We were so proud to see everyone happily putting on their pins as soon as they sat down – it just added to the fun and relaxed feel of the day.
There were so may favourite parts to our day! Other than being pronounced ‘Husband and Wife’ (obviously!), for me the speeches were a highlight, and dancing to the band with my friends and family. The eco-friendly lanterns where great too – we wanted fireworks but with farm animals in the fields nearby it wouldn’t have been appropriate. The lanterns turned out to be even better in the end! For Ben, it was driving the vintage Morris Minor ‘Rosie’ with the tin-cans rattling away behind us and home-made ‘Just Married’ sign my Dad made – people were ‘tooting’ their horns and smiling and waving at us all the way! We felt like old fashioned film stars!
My advice for other brides:
- Get a budget in place, well before you fall in love with any suppliers. We had an idea of budget, but didn’t have a confirmed figure in mind. We were lucky to have a lot of help from our parents but no figures were set in stone from the start.
- Also, don’t expect to have your dream wedding on a small budget. I’ve seen on various blogs about couples doing it for £5K – well to me that just isn’t anywhere near realistic.
- Don’t wait until you’ve found the venue/set the date before looking into other suppliers. Do your research and get the details of the suppliers you want, with a couple on a backup list, so that when you’ve found the venue and set the date you can contact them straight away – suppliers get booked up so far in advance these days!
- Be specific with your requests to suppliers. Though this may vary depending on your approach to ‘control’ over your wedding arrangements. I had quite specific images in my mind of how I wanted things set out.
Photography: Belle And Beau Fine Art Photography | Videographer: Ray McShane | Florist: The Basement Florist | Wedding Gown: ‘Willow’ By Maggie Sottero | Cake: Creighton’s: The Parlour | Rings: Rachel Jeffrey Contemporary Jeweler | Hair And Make Up: Emily Kent | Groom's Attire: Souster & Hicks Bespoke Tailors | Burloes Hall, Cambridgeshire: Burloes Hall | Groomsmen's Umberella: James Smith & Sons, London | Vintage Bowler Hats: Ebay