Wednesday 9 October 2013

An Exquisite English Country Garden Spring Wedding

This incredible English country-garden wedding has been a long time coming! I've found it super-hard to edit - every one of Lily Sawyer's shots is incredible, and lovely Jo and Luke created such a beautiful wedding day, it's hard to choose which pictures to exclude! Jo's friends call her an English rose, so she themed her wedding loosely around the tea rose, with plenty of pretty blooms in her wedding bouquet, and rose wedding stationery. Jo and Luke followed tradition, and married in Jo's local village church, hosting their reception in the gorgeous gardens of Friars Court. You'll fall head-over-heels for all their country garden wedding details, but first, drink in Jo's stunning Essense of Australia wedding gown, her elegant vintage jewellery, and the amazing DIY'd church flowers. More amazing photographs of Jo and Luke's reception, coming soon! Huge thanks to Lily Sawyer and second shooter, Esther Bissessar.

We got married in Alvescot Church on 27th April 2013.. The church is over 900 years old and is situated in a small village in Oxfordshire on the edge of the Cotswolds, where I grew up. 

For the reception, we wanted something near to the church, and we were fortunate enough to find the most incredible venue available in the next village. Friars Court is an old country manor, and we held our reception in the gardens and the garden room. We also had a marquee on the old tennis courts. We wanted to make the most of being in the countryside - particularly for our friends from London. 

My wedding dress was made by Essense of Australia. I tried on several wedding gowns, and afterwards I felt I wouldn't find a dress I liked, but then I found it! 

The embroidery on it was just exquisite, and I knew I had found 'the one'. As it was my first trip out to find a dress, I went back several times and carried on looking, but nothing compared. I knew I wanted a veil but one that didn't distract from the dress. Shoes were a matter of what was comfy! 

For jewellery I didn't know what I wanted to wear until the day, when my parents lent me a pair of earrings {from Dad's mum} and a necklace {from Mum's mum}, both of whom have sadly passed away. The jewellery fitted the dress perfectly, and it felt so special to be able to wear something of theirs on such a special day.

To choose the bridesmaids' dresses, I went shopping with two of the girls. It wasn't too successful at first, because I had an image of what I wanted, but when we walked into Monsoon and I spotted the perfect dress, my bridesmaids' faces didn't look too keen.

I pulled the bride card and managed to persuade them to try it on,  and fortunately it looked even better on them, than on the hanger. Somehow managed to suit them all - even though they wouldn't have chosen it themselves. Monsoon very helpfully had shoes that matched, but we couldn't find a smaller dress of the same colour, so we decided that the little bridesmaid would wear ivory like me. 

Our beautiful vintage wedding car was hired from Charismatic Cars.

Luke got his suit from Moss Bros. We wanted something traditional so went with a morning suit with a twist - in that it had a dark grey tail coat. The ushers and fathers wore the same outfit. 

We kept the waistcoats simple, and we managed to find some ties that matched perfectly with the bridesmaid dresses. My husband {and also the youngest usher} wore an ivory tie to match my dress.

Luke and I are both Christians, and therefore we wanted to get married in a church. We both go to a church in London, but I grew up in the village and always thought I would get married in the same church as my parents. I love the countryside and I wanted that to be part of our day as well. 

Our wedding florist was Eden Flowers in Burford, which is a nearby town. Our florist was incredible, and took my ideas and choices, and made helpful suggestions. She did all the bouquets and the button holes. 

All other flowers - for the church and our reception venue - were arranged by my family and some very talented ladies at the church.

We chose a country garden wedding theme, with a touch of vintage. I always had the idea of dusky pinks and purples, but no specific colour scheme, just mix and match - or things we liked. 

Some of my friends call me a typical English rose, and I adore afternoon tea - so a running theme in our stationery, and wedding flowers was the tea rose. 

Our wedding photographer was Lily Sawyer. A friend of mine had her photograph her wedding, and I saw the photos and they were amazing. 

I looked Lily up online, and there was one photo that was breathtaking, and I thought then that I knew if I ever got married I would want her to photograph my wedding. So when I got engaged, the first thing we decided was the photographer!

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  1. What a fun wedding. I love that they used such cute rustic details. Their smiles are priceless!

  2. so sweet! i love every aspect of your wedding :))) i can see in your eyes that you're really inlove with each other.


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