Today is a day of little discoveries for you! I hope you’ll love this real wedding as much as I do – meet Claire and Rob, today’s gorgeous bride and groom. Their wedding in Leicestershire is full of vintage, floral touches and homemade decor – it’s really creative and right up my street!
It’s the first time I’ve featured Halstead House on the blog as well, and what a lovely venue – I love Claire’s comments about how proud she felt seeing the venue transformed with all their creative touches. Another new discovery is Joanne from Nine Photos, who is also featuring on the English Wedding Blog for the very first time today! Do read the wedding report at the end of the feature – it’s both inspiring and touching. You’ll love it.
Huge congratulations to Claire and Rob, and a heartfelt thank you for sharing your wedding with us all today. You’re amazing and it’s a privilege to feature your beautiful day on the English Wedding Blog. Everyone – enjoy! Claire xxx
Ceremony: St.Luke’s Church, Thurnby, Leicester
Reception: Halstead House Farm. Tilton-on-the-Hill, Leicestershire
Joanne Withers Nine Photos
How would you describe your wedding style?
Our Save the Date cards, invitations and Order of Service covers were in a shabby chic floral postcard style, purchased on Ebay. Our place cards and table plan were homemade, and the Orders of Service were printed at home and tied with rustic twine.
What did you both wear?
Wedding music and entertainment:
A little about the wedding ceremony:
We had a traditional wedding ceremony at St. Luke’s Church in Thurnby, Leicester. We had a choir and organist accompanying our favourite hymns. The choir sang a medley of love songs whilst our guests arrived at the church.
The vicar who conducted our service was Rob’s nursery school teacher when he was just three years old. During the signing of the register we showed a PowerPoint presentation of candid photographs of all of our guests who were in attendance at the church. This proved to be extremely successful and a real highlight for our guests.
As we left the church, it began to snow which was extremely beautiful (albeit rather chilly!). The wedding ceremony was the highlight of our day…..
Which readings did you choose?
Colossians 3 verses 12-17 – read by Claire’s sister Carolyn
‘Captain Corelli’s Mandolin’ by Louis de Bernieres – read by Robert’s sister Victoria
Tell us a little about your wedding venue styling and details:
Halstead House is an elegant Georgian ironstone-built house set in beautiful rural Leicestershire. Our drinks reception was held in the Quail Shed which we decorated with floral tablecloths, lace table runners, (kindly made by my now mother-in-law – Barbara Wynne), vases of flowers on the window ledges, wooden crates filled with flowers, and candles and tea lights placed randomly around the room.
The reception itself was held in the Opera House, the entrance to which is through a carefully preserved 19th Century wind engine, which we decorated which white lanterns and hurricane lamps.
The style of our wedding developed when we quite by chance came across some beautiful floral fabric which we then decided to use to make table runners (again made by my mother-in-law – Barbara Wynne). We then continued to develop the ‘floral’ type theme throughout the church and the venue, keeping largely to the colour found within the table runners (which included pinks, purples, whites/creams, blues and corals).
As the wedding reception venue was a converted mill we wanted to have a slight ‘vintage’ feel to our day and therefore decided to opt for cut glass vases as our centre pieces (sourced from our friends, families and charity shops). Each table had two small cut glass vases containing coloured flowers and one large vase containing white and cream flowers, complemented by greenery.
For the lighting on our tables, we used jars of various sizes (containing tea lights) which we decorated with lace and raffia and we also used pillar candles decorated with lace. We completed the look by using doilies. We used additional cut glass vases of flowers, a random selection of lamps and hurricane lamps and many more jars to decorate the rest of the venue.
The tables were further decorated with lace-tied napkins, each finished off with a fresh flower, which proved very successful later in the evening as many of our guests found ingenious ways of attaching them to their person!
The name place cards were homemade, which were printed and cut to size and then slotted into split wine corks, which we had great fun collecting from friends and family!
The final touches, included printed menus, contained in lace photo frames and a hessian and lace decorated wine bottle which acted as our table names. We had 12 tables and as our names consist of twelve letters (Claire… Robert) each table was designated a letter.
Our table plan was a rustic trellis with galvanised flower pots attached, which contained a variety of colourful flowers and with a luggage tag (with our guests’ names on) being tied to each pot… lovingly made by Rob’s father, my now father-in-law, Jim!
Our wedding table plan was in the entrance to the Opera House together with a large handmade photo frame, which was used as a photo booth, along with a variety of fun props!
We hired polaroid cameras cameras which was fantastic as we could display pictures of our guests as soon as they’d been taken! This once again proved to be a huge hit with our guests!
On the walls of the Opera House we made rope and flower garlands (which we made to measure and were homemade by Rob’s mother Barbara), from which at various points we also hung decorated wooden hearts.
The final touches included a Victorian style sweetie cart with all our favourite pick and mix sweets and a beautiful rustic looking, gigantic victoria sponge cake as our wedding cake, which was covered in strawberries and coral flowers made by a close friend.
Memorable wedding day moments:
Rob: Starting from the start, I really enjoyed getting ready with my best man and ushers all together at the cottage at Halstead House. We had breakfast together, got ready at the same time, and being with my friends made me feel really relaxed and excited about the day ahead. We went over to my parents to get our button holes and then we headed over to Thurnby. It was great to see people arrive at the pub for a drink before the wedding ceremony, and again, seeing lots of friendly faces was a really nice way of staying calm.
The most memorable moment of all was of course turning around to see Claire walking down the aisle, it is something I will never forget, and from there the ceremony continued, and looking back, it was my favourite part of the entire day. It’s great to have all your friends and family there, but for that 45-60 mins, it was just me and my new wife, and that was why it was my favourite, and most memorable moment of the day.
Claire: For me, the most memorable part of the day and without question the most important part of the day was also the ceremony. I felt calm, extremely happy and very content. It was as though we were the only two people in the world – it felt like we were trapped in our own happy little bubble!
Aside from the ceremony, I have to say that I thoroughly enjoyed the days leading up to the wedding and seeing all our hard work and planning coming together. We did every little detail of our wedding ourselves, down to the button holes, the bouquets and the flowers for the centre pieces and it really was truly amazing to see the fruits of our labour. I felt so incredibly proud to see our vision for the venue come to life! A big thanks needs to go to Barbara (Rob’s mum – my mother-in-law, as we really couldn’t have done it without her!)
Wedding day advice:
Rob: Take time to take it all in at regular points in the day. This is easier said than done, but I tried to take a moment during the meal, to just spend some time looking at everyone chatting and enjoying themselves. It really helps get a sense of how much fun everyone is having, and makes you feel that all the effort and planning done to get there has been massively worth it. It was also important for me to remember to have fun. It is an important day, but if you can’t enjoy it, what’s the point! Also make sure you put some effort into the speech – it’s a bit nerve-wracking standing there seeing a sea of expectant faces…
Claire: Enjoy every second!