Friday 24 January 2014

A Shabby Chic Village Hall Wedding with a Sassi Holford Wedding Gown

If you can find the right village hall, then they really do make for the most wonderful wedding venues, while being super-kind on your wallet. Lucky Gemma and James found Littleton Millennium Memorial Hall in their local area, and fell in love with its natural light, wooden floors, and the amazing cricket field out the back. It was crying out for their natural, shabby-chic wedding decorations - most of which they DIY'd using burlap and tissue paper - including my favourite - pastel pompoms! I love Gemma's gorgeous Sassi Holford gown from Brides of Winchester - she chose her wedding dress after losing two and a half stone on the Cambridge Weight Plan, and felt all the more glamorous for it. Enjoy all these gorgeous pictures by Gemma's friend, Paul Cutcliffe from Final Cut Services. If only we all had a wedding photographer as a friend.....!

We celebrated our wedding on 31st August 2013, with a ceremony at St Swithens church near Winchester, and our reception at Littleton Millennium Memorial Hall.

My wedding dress was called 'Petra' by So Sassi {the 'esprit' label from Sassi Holford}, which I bought from Brides of Winchester. I had a bespoke shrugette by  So Sassi made in matching lace, and wore a pearl necklace and earrings, My veils was three-quarter length, and simple. I decided to go for a vintage look for my makeup, and had dark nails and lips on the day to add a bit of colour.

I wanted to look amazing for my wedding day, so after having my son, and starting to plan my wedding in August, I decided I needed to lose my baby weight. Only problem was I had two and a half stone to lose, before I could even think about trying on wedding dresses! I started the Cambridge Weight Plan on 1st January 2013 and reached my goal by March 2013! I went from a size 14/16 to a size 10 in twelve weeks. 

I can honestly say I would recommend this diet to anyone as it really does work...and fast {as long as you're determined and stick to it!}. I feel really passionate about this diet which is why I decided to become a consultant. I am now a fully accredited Independent Cambridge Weight Plan Consultant based in Winchester. So if any brides need help losing weight for their wedding, please contact me. If I can do it, anyone can!

My bridesmaids all wore a halter-neck maxi-dresses in mink. I had to accommodate one of my bridesmaids being seven months pregnant, and I thought a maxi-dress would suit them all perfectly.

My bouquet and all our wedding flowers were created by local florist, Village Flowers in Alton.

Jim wore a grey three-piece suite from Moss Bros and a gold tie, with 'ox blood' coloured leather shoes. His buttonhole was a large pink rose to match my bouquet.

On the day I felt completely overwhelmed. I was very emotional, especially as I walked down the aisle. I cried the whole way until I got to Jim, and he calmed me down and told me to enjoy it as it was our day.

When it came to our wedding music, Jim spent hours choosing songs that meant something to us. He created a playlist for the church, and also for the reception drinks/canapés, and wedding breakfast. We both love 'background music', so there wasn't a quiet moment.

Our wedding photographer was Paul Cutcliffe of Final Cut Services. I used to work with Paul, so know him very well, so this was an easy decision to make!

My advice for future brides? Number one - use Pinterest for ideas. Whenever I found something I liked, I pinned it to my Wedding Ideas board. And after a few months I had a board that pretty much summed up how I wanted my wedding to be! 

Number two! I tried on about twenty dresses and I knew 'Petra' was the one, even though it was way out of my price range. I worked extra hours for months just to pay the difference, and it was sooooo worth it.

My most memorable moment of the day? We went for a drive on our own in the MG after our marriage ceremony, and I felt like we were in an old fashioned movie! It was lovely to be able to be alone and talk about the service, and we had some lovely photos taken in Winchester town.

We made sure guests were well fed and watered all day with champagne and beer on arrival, canapés and a gorgeous four-course sit down meal created by our caterers Aundi Mason. We also had a cricket match going on in the field out the back of our reception venue. This was complete luck and complemented the day perfectly. It helped it was sunny and 21 degrees too!

Because we have our own place and a young son, we always knew our wedding couldn't cost a fortune. So when looking for a venue, we were determined we could make it our perfect day without breaking our bank balance. I wanted to try and make as many of the decorations as possible myself, and we decided that the venue didn't need to be anything extravagant. As long as everyone we loved was there it wouldn't matter. 

We looked at local pubs and halls, but fell in love with Littleton Hall. The decor was very natural and light, with wooden floors and cream walls, lots of glass, and a gorgeous field out back. I instantly imagined our guests with a glass of champagne eating canapés out in the sunshine. We booked it there and then!

Our wedding theme and colour scheme was natural shabby chic. We used lots of subtle pastel colours. We went for festoon lighting in the main hall and outside, plus handmade tissue paper pom poms to hang from the ceiling. Then lots and lots of tea lights in plain glass tea light holders. Everything was minimal with a 'natural handmade' feel. I DIY'd the table numbers and decorated jam jars with linen, ribbon and lace. I also made our wedding invitations myself, with each page printed on ivory card, hole-punched in the top corner, and tied together with twine string. 

We didn't go for centrepieces - instead we had had lots of different sized jam jars filled with different flowers {ivory, pale pink and peach roses, and babies breath}. My closest friends and bridesmaids decorated the hall with Jim the night before the wedding, so although I had planned and designed it - I had no idea how it would look on the day! It was the most amazing surprise, and I don't think I could have made it look better myself. I was so happy with the result and how much work they all put in.

I wanted a big wedding cake, but I wanted it to be natural and simple looking. In the end, we went for a four-tier cake {including fruit, lemon, chocolate brownie and ginger flavoured cakes}, with ivory icing, and burlap wrapped round each tier, with ivory roses on top.

{Extra Wedding Credits}
Wedding Photographer: Paul Cutcliffe of Final Cut Services
Dress: Petra by So Sassi bought from Brides of Winchester
Make up: Sarah Jane Ellis
Hall decoration: Transform
DJ: Marcus Gauntlett

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