Friday 24 April 2015

A Magical Forest Wedding with a Secret Nightclub - Part 2

Welcome to the wedding reception of the year! I've never seen anything as gorgeous as the marquee decorations at Nels and Antony's wedding - giant blossom branches, stunning green drapery and sparkly fairy lights create a magical forest-feel. It's all thanks to the creative energies of wedding planner Kelly Chandler from The Bespoke Wedding Company and event stylists, Crescent Moon. I love how they included the pond from the grounds inside the marquee, and added floating hydrangea blooms for an incredibly romantic effect. Other stealworthy details include the hilarious pork pie wedding cake, and Nels' slate wedding favours cum place markers. Also their secret budget buy - an M&S three-tier traditional cake, decorated with flowers, for a luxe effect! Thank you to both Bibi Basch and Crescent Moon for capturing every detail of this gorgeous wedding.

We celebrated our wedding on 12th April 2014 at Somerley House in The New Forest, in Hampshire. I had visited the house as a child and always had fond memories. 

The House has stately grandeur but is not overwhelmingly huge. We had drinks in the Picture Gallery stuffed with Old Masters – so there was no need to decorate!

We decided to build a marquee over the circular pond in the rear gardens, and that decision inspired the theme to our evening reception – a fairy-like magical forest with twinkly lights and lots of flowers. 

When it came to our wedding stationery, I knew that I wanted our invitation to be formal and elegant but not the bog-standard look. I sourced a beautiful cornflower blue ribbon from VV Rouleaux and we used this along the vertical edge with a pretty bow tied to the side of each invitation. 

We created a little pocket on the back for the RSVP card which was pre-stamped. My husband's mother is a cartoonist, and she designed a cartoon of us for the front cover of the information booklet. She had to do it twice as I left the original on the bus going to work! We loved how personal it made the whole invitation package for our guests.

Neither of us really like traditional wedding cake so instead we had a three-tiered pork pie cake – each tier being a different flavour! It went down a storm with our friends and sat perfectly on the cheese table for late night nibbling. Both of our mothers really wanted a traditional fruit wedding cake, so we bought a pretty but reasonably priced three-tier cake from Marks & Spencer and decorated it with flowers. 

I spent a lot of time researching favours and was always horrified at how the cost would add up. Instead we doubled up our place names as favours. We found slate hearts {for the girls} and slate wine bottles {for the boys}, tied twine to them and wrote the names on in chalk. They looked very pretty and in line with the country theme – but were also something people could take home as memorabilia.

We chose Euphoric Flowers as our wedding florist. They were amazing to work with and really interpreted my ideas spot-on. As it was a spring wedding we decided to use lots of luscious pink cherry blossom – and then cornflowers, hydrangea and peonies. 

We chose huge branches of blossom as centre pieces at our reception and hung little glass tea lights from the branches to create a magical forest-y feeling inside the marquee.

Our first dance was Florence & The Machine, 'You’ve Got The Love' – we had dance lessons as neither of us have much rhythm – we actually really enjoyed performing the dance despite being super nervous.

We wanted our wedding to reflect the surroundings of the New Forest – but without being too much of a clichéd 'Country Wedding'. Our after dinner dancing area was black and white art deco with an enormous chandelier to add some sophisticated glamour.

I really enjoyed planning our wedding. Two of my bridesmaids are now getting married and I am living vicariously through them and helping with the planning – I am very jealous that they have so much to look forward to!

My advice to other brides is to not get too obsessed with the tiny details – ask yourself, “who will really notice this on the day?”. Wear flat shoes if you are remotely bad in heals – this was a life saver for me! And it’s worth investing in decent loos!

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