A stunning English country chic wedding set in a beautiful vineyard. Childhood sweethearts Emily-Jane and Justin had a traditional church ceremony followed by a rustic, intimate reception. Pastel tones, fresh flowers and lots of fun!
Justin & I are childhood sweethearts; we’d been together for just over 7 years when he FINALLY popped the question! As you can imagine, after being together for a long time he had had a lot of pressure from friends & family as to when he was going to ask; so when he managed to completely surprise me whilst I was wearing a onesie I was more than shocked! I was crying with so much joy that I actually forgot to say the word yes for a while! After the tears, we rehydrated with a bottle of bubbles & told everyone the great news!
The BIG day was on June 5th, 2016, it was to be the hottest day of the year to date & felt like we were in South France! We settled on a Spring wedding as we both love the vibrancy of Spring and as the venue was a stunning vineyard we wanted the vines to be vibrant green & leafy. For us, a wedding is just a huge celebration of love a.k.a a huge party where everyone can feel the love! We wanted our guests to enjoy the day just as much as we did so with this in mind our main considerations were ensuring we had great food, live music & an endless supply of amazing wine!
Our theme was ‘English Countryside’ chic with traditional elements, plenty of fresh flowers & pastel spring colours. We wanted our decor to sit nicely alongside the natural beauty of the vineyard so we kept everything quite rustic & natural looking.
We were limited on numbers as our venue was quite small, at first we panicked that 65 wouldn’t be enough to have everyone we wanted there but ultimately it was a blessing. We managed to have all of our families & best friends share our day and it saved us a lot of money. If we could have seated more we would have just over invited people. We could accommodate more guests in the evening & people who couldn’t come to the day were more than understanding.
If we could describe the wedding in three words it would be: unforgettable, incredible & exciting.
THE VENUE & Reception
I am quite traditional and always wanted to get married in a church so my husband obliged despite not being very religious and we married in my family church, St. Matthias. It isn’t the prettiest church from the outside but it meant a lot to me to marry here & have the bells play on the wedding day. It was a traditional ceremony but the traditions quickly finished as we exited the church to streams of bubbles rather than confetti! This made for incredible photos!
Our reception venue was The Three Choirs Vineyard in Newest, Gloucestershire. A stunning local vineyard set in acres of rolling countryside. We had first stayed at the vineyard for an anniversary a few years ago before we were engaged & both said what an incredible wedding venue it would make. So when we did get engaged we just knew that it was the venue for us! With elements of the reception inside & outside with a marquee for the evening, it was all beyond picturesque. They also had some accommodation so that we could stay there the night with all of the bridal party & enjoy breakfast together the next morning.
I choose my wedding dress nearly 2 years before the big day a week before we moved to New Zealand for a year. I went with my mum & future mother-in-law for a trying on session at Bridal Gallery in Malvern; not expecting to find anything that far in advance but when I put the 3rd dress on I felt different to how I had in dresses before! I stepped out & que both Mums crying! My dress was by White Rose & featured unusual pearl embellishment. It was in-between a princess feeling dress & fitted figure hugging dress. With a beautiful lace overlay, it was comfortable & ticked all the boxes. Judging by the look on Justin’s face at the end of the church aisle, he also approved!
As my dress was so embellished & had a high neckline I didn’t need many accessories. I chose to wear a cathedral length veil for the church as it made me feel more bridal. I also had a delicate pearl & crystal hair wire made to incorporate into my hair up do. Justin had written me a letter & given me a gift to open on the morning which turned out to be a beautiful pair of pearl earrings which I wore. My bridesmaids also gave me a stunning bracelet to wear on the day. It was all very delicate & didn’t distract from the dress. I knew what kind of shoes I wanted but the designer pair were eye watering expensive so when I came across a pair that looked almost identical at a wedding fair I snapped them up! They were by the designer Pink & featured an embellished heel! At a fraction of the cost, they looked beautiful and turned out to be very comfy.
HAIR & MAKEUP
I was lucky enough to have my hair & makeup done by the amazing MUA Jessica Nurse. I met Jess through work so it was lovely to have someone I knew as part of the getting ready process. Jess managed to do all three bridesmaids, my small flower girl & my hair & makeup by midday. We all went for natural makeup with soft eyes & a pinky lip. I wore a poppy pink lipstick by Estee Lauder which really popped in the photos & was very me. I had so many compliments on how beautiful our hair styles all looked too.
GROOM AND HIS MEN
As much as I intended to let Justin choose and sort the suits out himself we did end up choosing them together! I heavily hinted to him that a navy suit would look amazing with our colour theme & luckily he also loved the idea! The boys were kitted out in an electric blue navy slim fit suits from Brays of Malvern complete with tan brogues, braces & bow ties. The photos of the boys in sunglasses & braces looked wicked!
I was so lucky to have the 3 most beautiful bridesmaids who literally would have all looked great in a bin bag! But I had more of a dusty pink, floor length dress in mind. We found the perfect ones on ASOS & snapped them up. They were a beautiful flowing chiffon material that was floor length but also featured the very popular multi-way material which meant all the girls could choose the style they wanted. They looked amazing on the day & all the girls loved them.
I absolutely could not have asked for better flowers – Kat at Bamboo Flower Gallery in Ledbury was just amazing & we pretty much gave her free reign on what to do. I specified that I wanted the flowers to look like they had been picked out of an English country garden & that our theme was pastel pinks/creams. My bridesmaids and I had stunning hand-tied bouquets that featured incredible peony blooms & roses finished with plenty of green foliage. All the groomsmen had lisianthus buttonholes with a rustic twine finish apart from Justin who had a peachy pink rose to match my bouquet.
Kat also supplied all of the fresh blooms for the table centrepieces that were lots of small vintage vases down the centre of the tables. She also created a very unusual and striking display of flowers in crates at the entrance of our marquee that featured large hydrangea blooms. I have dried & kept my bouquet which still looks beautiful now!
We had a clear idea of the sort of cake we wanted (thanks, Pinterest!); something elegant, modern & simple. We found a fantastic cake lady at a wedding fayre who won us over with her sponge flavours! Sharon McGowan did not disappoint and crafted the perfect wedding cake. It was only 2 tiers but the bottom tier was very deep & the whole cake tall and narrow. It matched our colour theme perfectly with an ivory top tier & pastel pink bottom with delicate & modern white piping floral design. We had one passion fruit & cream cheese sponge & the other layer was raspberry & white chocolate! After the traditional cake cutting the venue cut up our cake for us & we served it with the hog roast & cheese board cake evening buffet. We forgot to ask to save any & it was so tasty that it was all gone by the end of the night!
One of the main reason we choose to get married at the vineyard was because of how incredible the food is there! All locally sourced produce & carefully crafted dishes meant we could choose a menu that our guests wouldn’t forget. We were really keen to sharing starter & dessert platters so that people could try as many different foods as possible. You never really remember a wedding for the food – most people serve a roast chicken dish to be on the safe side but we wanted to have food that we loved & everyone else would rave about. Check out the menu!
Transport was never high on our priority list but after spotting a gorgeous cream VW camper van on a local wedding site we just had to enquire. We spent the year before the wedding living in New Zealand in a camper of our own so it felt only right that we pay tribute to our little camper Nelly by arriving at the wedding & reception in style! Wayne at Heart to Heart Vintage Volkswagens made my nerve-racking journey to the church so memorable & enjoyable with his charm & passion for the camper. Justin & I made the 40 minute journey from the church to the venue in the camper and it was probably one of the best bits of the day! Sipping on the champagne from Wayne, listening to some classic tunes we even made a pit stop for an ice cream photo opportunity on the way. The camper looked amazing in our photos & really was worth the money.
I knew exactly what kind of stationary I wanted (mainly thanks to Pinterest!) I mocked up a few designs myself for the invites & seating plans on Indesign & then passed over the baton to my good friend Chris Shaw who is a fantastic graphic designer! He brought to life my designs & gave them the professionalism they needed.
Ultimately everything was home-made, I purchased the recycled brown card from Hobbycraft, had the designs printed locally & hand-tied all the components together with rustic twine. To add continuity to the wedding we used the same fonts & card for the seating plan & table name cards. I hand stamped all 65 name cards too! Things like this do take time but they certainly add to the attention to detail which people did notice & saved us a lot of money.
Music is a huge part of Justin’s life as a guitarist so having live music at the wedding was a must! One of our friends is a drummer in a fantastic jazz/blues band called The Indigo Kings. With female lead vocals & all original music, we couldn’t wait to have our first dance to That’s Where Love Is Coming From & dance the night away. The live music was a great focal point for the arrival of the evening guests and set the tone for the rest of the evening. After 2 hours of live music, we ramped up the disco with a home-made Spotify playlist that certainly showed our differences in music taste but went down well with all the guests!
Our photographer was Jim from the wonderful Dearest Love. We chose Jim because all of his work is just incredible & we loved the whole vintage style theme. Dearest Love focus on capturing the candid & natural moments at a wedding which is just what we wanted as the natural photos are always the best. Jim made us feel comfortable from the start when we had an engagement shoot with him. He made us feel comfortable & not stupid even when doing the posey photos too. He captured everything we could have hoped for on the day from the special moments with my bridesmaids getting ready, the fun ice cream & bubble photos to the family portraits & special couple shots. Jim gave us over 1000 incredible images & I can tell he enjoyed the day as much as we did. Photography has got to be one of the most important elements of a wedding as without it what do you have to remember all the love & hard work that went into the big day!
It is almost impossible to choose one specific moment that is most memorable from the day but one of the top highlights was when it dawned on me what had just happened as we walked out the church as Husband & Wife, through streams of bubbles with all of our friends and family cheering & clapping! The absolute love & euphoria we both felt in that moment was incredible!
BRIDE TO BRIDE
As cliché as this saying is, just remember it is yours & your future husbands day, not anyone else’s! Forget about all the pressure other family or friends might put on you, invite who you want, eat your favourite foods & play the music you both love! Enjoy the planning process as much as you can, it should be just as exciting as the day itself!
Ceremony: St. Matthias ♥ Reception: The Three Choirs Vineyard
Wedding Dress Designer: White Rose ♥ Wedding Dress Shop: Bridal Gallery
Hair & Makeup: Jessica Nurse ♥ Accessories: Pretty Lil Things
Groom & Groomsmen: Brays of Malvern ♥ Bridesmaid Dresses: ASOS
Flowers: Bamboo Flower Gallery ♥ Cake: McGowan Wedding Cake Artistry
Transport: Heart to Heart Vintage Volkswagens ♥ Entertainment: The Indigo Kings
Photography: Dearest Love