In love with the English countryside lifestyle and all it represents Emma & David wanted a rustic wedding with a vintage village fair theme. Soft colours, natural materials and lots of bunting – this relaxed couple celebrated everything they love with those closest to them.
We had been friends for a very long time, around 5 years, but we finally got together in 2015 and the relationship blossomed quickly as we already knew each other so well. In April 2017 we went to Portugal for our first holiday as a couple, on the second day, because we are very much morning people, we went to the beach very early, there was hardly anyone around. We walked along until we had our own little spot and we settled there. I never excepted an engagement that holiday but I knew it was on the cards soon as we had been to get my ring finger measured earlier that year “just for future reference!” But I figured this would-be years away! Anyway, David was opposite me and we were writing notes to each other in the sand, like “I love you” “your my princess” and after a while he wrote “will you be my wife?” and as I read it I looked up in shock and saw that he was on one knee in the sand holding this beautiful ring, before he could even finish the sentence “will you marry me?” I had jumped on him and shouted “YES!”. We started talking wedding plans the rest of the holiday and it was so much fun, we were engaged for 14 months before we said our “I do’s” and the rest is history!
For us, we wanted our wedding day to represent our village family life, we wanted a rustic, relaxed feel, vintage village fair theme with bunting and scones! The most important part we wanted to remember was the moment in church when we said our vows and exchanged rings, we remembered our vows of by heart before the big day so that we could say them without any prompt from our rector, we wanted to really mean every word and be able to refer back to them throughout our marriage. The church ceremony was the most important part of the day, the rest was all an extra blessing! We also hired a videographer so that we could watch the ceremony again and relive the rest of the day, getting an everlasting memory that we could watch on our wedding anniversaries and show our grandchildren one day was also very important to us.
The wedding was fairly small, with 50 people in the day and an extra 20/30 in the evening. But we wanted it mainly just family for the day and friends to come in the evening. The theme of the wedding day was a vintage village wedding, we choose this because we are very much into what English countryside and little villages have to offer, going to bake sales, having cream teas, bunting and flowers, old small churches, village halls, rolling hills of wheat etc! As much as we love going out, dressing up and cocktails in London, we are both very much country people by heart and wanted to show that in our wedding.
The ceremony was in our Church of England church in the village of Sarratt, which is where I grew up and where my family home was. After looking at so many venues near the area for our reception, we opted for the village hall, 5 minutes away from the church! At first, I expected an old smelly hall, but when we walked in it was a huge open space, white walls and light wood everywhere, we were very lucky to have such a beautiful hall so close to the church and in a beautiful quiet little village, and for a fraction of the price! The other venues were very set plan with food, alcohol, entertainment and decorations which we struggled with as we are very creative and personal and wanted to show that in our wedding! So we went for the blank canvas hall where we hired our own people and got all our own decorations and spent the Friday before the wedding making it into our own beautiful wedding! We also wanted to go with the hall as it was all in one room, meaning there were no missing parts of the day going to the bar, or our older guests missing out on watching people dance because the tables and chairs were in another room, everything happened in one big hall and it meant we got to see everyone all day enjoying themselves.
We started doing our own wedding invitations and after a couple of weeks of pulling my hair out we headed to Hobby Craft and picked up a few packs of Ginger Ray invitations on brown kraft paper which continued with our vintage theme. We wanted to make our own to make them more personal and maybe try and save some money, but with everything else that comes with planning a wedding and running a family, we realised it wasn’t worth the stress and opted for the easy route! But looking back I have no regrets as nobody ever makes comments on the invitations, most people are just happy they are invited!
My dress was an Ellis dress purchased from a shop in Eastbourne called Champagne and Confetti. For me it was the perfect dress, it was the first one I tried on and I thought “I can’t buy the first dress I’ve tried on!” so I went off and looked in so many other shops and tried on loads of other dresses but nothing compared to that first one so I went and bought it! The material on this dress was the selling point for me, it had a big satin skirt underneath and over the top, a material called luxury organza, which was beautifully soft, light and romantic! For me, I wanted a dress with no lace, no diamantes, no ribbons etc, I wanted plain and simple but also a dress that was out there and mouth dropping! The neck line was also perfect to show off my upper body, my collar bones and just enough cleavage! It was a big beautiful ball gown and I wish I could wear it over and over again!
I had gypsophila in my hair, so that was easily accessible and cheap for a hair piece! I got my shoes from ASOS, they were little ballet pumps with pink ribbons, I wanted to wear flats as there was a lot of grass walking and my husband and I are the same height! I had a beautiful peal encased in gold necklace that my husband brought for to open the morning of the wedding, it was gorgeous and went perfectly with the dress. And of course, I had a blue garter, from Debenhams which was perfect and gave a little sparkle!
I hired a MUA, for myself, my bridesmaid and my mother. For me this was important, there is so much that goes into the professional make up, and I didn’t want any of us rushing in the morning! I chose a soft natural look, to go with the theme of the day and my dress, I had hints of golds (I wear gold jewellery) on my eyes and highlight, it gave a warm soft look that looked flawless all day and the photos prove how amazing the makeup was! Our wedding day was the hottest day of the year, with it reaching up to 32 degrees, it was so hot we were all sweating, yet look at the photos and video we all looked amazing! And my make up lasted all day regardless of the heat!
Groom & His Men
My husband got his grey tweed suit from Ted Baker, and the groomsmen hired their suits from Debenhams. I left this in the hands of the boys, thankful they did a good job, but my husband was very much involved in the planning of the wedding so he knew the style and look we were going for.
I had baby pink bridesmaid dresses, which went with the pink theme that ran throughout the wedding. The dresses had corset backs which looked gorgeous from behind, they had lace fronts which gave them a vintage look, they were perfect for my girls and because of the corsett back they made each of their figures pop!
We had fake flowers for our bouquet, I wanted to keep mine as a keepsake and also give them to the bridesmaids to keep forever. One day, maybe I’ll have a daughter and she can play around with my bouquet and I’ll get emotional haha! All the other flowers were real, we had so much gypsophila it really gave that vintage look! We also had pink and white carnations to give that traditional wedding look, we had peonies, and roses too!
Our cake was made by Davids mother, so we were very lucky there! It was baby pink and white with little mini rose heads all over. We had orange and chocolate on the bottom, strawberry and cream in the middle and a lemon one on top! It was amazing! For us we chose this style as it represented our rustic theme, we even had little bunting saying “just married” on top of the cake! The cake was cut up and placed on a big table for guests to help themselves, it was in eyes view so everyone got a piece!
We hired our DJ for the whole day as we had the hall and needed music for the drinks reception and background music for the wedding breakfast, he was amazing and really set the mood and atmosphere! We also hired a photobooth from him, which we had on for 3 hours in the evening, and it was so much fun! The guests loved it and everyone was in and out. The guests got a copy to take home and we got a copy of each strip that was placed in a book for us, the next morning we looked through all the photos and was laughing our heads off as the photos got progressively more suggestive as the guests were getting more drunk! Our videographer also set up a camera for video messages from the guests, which was so much fun and also emotional watching back on our own DVD. We also had a sparkler send off in the evening which the guests loved and got some great memories!
We booked Lily Lane for our photographer, she was a lovely sweet lady who went above and beyond for us, we just went for an all day package and received a personalised wooden USB with a beautiful box after, this allowed us to make out own wedding book and print off our own photos, for us this was saving money and we were happy to print our own photos! She also came to our house to show us her work before we even paid a deposit, for us it felt better meeting with her before making out final decision! In her package, it included a pre wedding photoshoot, and what great idea this was! We went to the area we would have our photos and got a chance to get some photos taken and become used to the camera, she gave us these photos before the wedding which was great as we used a couple in the reception! It made us so much more relaxed on the big day to be able to practice having our photos taken!
We also booked Ryan Devine for out videographer, he was also just as amazing! He and Lily had only met that day but they worked so well together it was like they had known each other for years! Ryan was like a guest at the wedding, he was so friendly and funny and managed to just be in the background but also get some amazing shots! We got some emotional romantic moments between us but also the fun and silly moments with our wedding party and guests! The 2 hour DVD we got at the end was amazing! I can’t recommend both Ryan and Lily enough they were truly a special part of our wedding day!
For our favours, we had little jars full of pink bonbons and white mini marshmallows! I made these myself, and the guests loved them! They had material on top and little brown string to tie it on, they looked so vintage and cute, and was a great little pick me up for guests before or after the wedding breakfast! And was a lot cheaper than hiring or making a sweet cart!
We also had our wedding at 11 am ceremony start, everyone was shocked how early it was but it turned out amazingly! We had so much of the day, nothing was rushed and we had time for our family and friends as well as taking time together. I am so glad we had the wedding early, I got to wear my dress for longer which was a bonus!
What made my day memorable? It was such a long day, so much happened, but I would say walking down that aisle! I cried all the way down, it was an emotional experience I’ve never felt before, it was pure happiness that it made tears pour and my body shake it was the best feeling I’ve ever had! Also obviously the ceremony and saying our own vows. Then going off ourselves soon after the ceremony to have private photos taken, we had only been married less than an hour and it was nice to have a moment together alone (with the photographer and videographer in the background) to take it all in and relish in our pure happiness. I also loved it when my husband carried me like a bride across the field, I felt like a princess!
The surprise confetti throw was amazing! The moment we had with our bridesmaids and groomsmen after food, once we all got a bit merry, we had funny photos taken and we did some fun video shots, it was so funny and looking at the footage after the wedding was hilarious! The cake cutting and shoving the first sliced in my husband face was great fun! The first dance was beautiful it felt like we were the only ones in the room! And right at the end of the wedding when we all sang along and rocked out to Queens Bohemian Rhapsody was so funny! There is so much more I could go on forever!!
Bride To Bride
I would say for advice, prioritise! Pick the main things that are important to you, and spend the money there, and go cheap on everything else! Nobody will remember the flowers, how many you had or where they were! Nobody will care about the invitations or any other thing you may be stressing about! Our main points were the dress, rings and honeymoon so we allowed for extra money there and found cheap alternatives for the bridesmaids’ dresses (China dresses from eBay), flowers (which we got from suprmarkets!) shoes, acessories, we DIY’ed all the decrotiaons from car boots and facebook selling pages! You get the idea!
Just don’t sweat the small stuff and make sure you don’t lose focus and get caught up that you forget why you started this process in the first place – to marry your best friend! One day will go fast and then it’s a marriage that you have not a wedding so don’t let it consume you and make sure you take time throughout wedding planning to relive those moments with your fiance – go on dates that you did when you first started dating, try to recapture moments and take time to build that connection before the big day as it will make it so much more emotional and beautiful on the day!
And finally, get a videographer! It was the best thing we did, being able to watch your wedding from a different view is priceless! Photos are amazing but seeing a video is just so much more! I couldn’t recommend it enough! And hopefully, you can see my highlights video and get an idea of how much it is worth it!
Ceremony: Holy Cross Church ♥ Reception: Sarratt Village Hall
Dress Designer: Ellis ♥ Dress Shop: Champagne and Confetti
Hair: Katie Barman ♥ Makeup: Light Box Studio
Groom & Groomsmen Attire: Ted Baker & Debenhams
Entertainment: Exclusive Discos ♥ Videographer: Ryan Devine
Photographer: Lily Lane Photography