I loved Mark and Sarah’s wedding when I first saw the photos on my friend and sponsor Martin Price’s wedding photography blog. I asked if I could share them with you, and he said yes! What’s more, Sarah has written an amazing wedding report to share with you (at the end of the blog feature) which is full of ideas and recommendations.
Today’s lovely couple were married in Buckinghamshire. Their wedding in Beaconsfield is traditional and charming with some very personal touches – the personalised board for the cake is fab, and I love the bubbles they had for the wedding reception. Oh! And don’t miss Sarah’s explanation of table names… cities the engagement ring travelled to in Mark’s pocket before he got around to proposing! I love that story 🙂
With huge thanks to beautiful bride Sarah, and to her lovely hubby Mark, for sharing their story with us all on the blog today. Thanks also to lovely Martin – aka Martin Price Photography – for sending all the lovely images. Everyone – enjoy! Claire xxx
Sarah and Mark – a classic English wedding in Beaconsfield, with Martin Price Photography
Martin Price Photography, based in Berkshire
How would you describe your wedding style?
A traditional, classic English wedding, but very down to earth & fun!
Invitations and reception stationery:
All designed & home-made made by me, using supplies from ‘Cards & Pockets’ in the US. The table names at the wedding were named after European destinations that the engagement ring, which Mark had purchased about 9 months before he finally proposed, had travelled to during that period. There were quite a few but due to numerous interruptions the ‘right’ moment didn’t arrive until making my 40th birthday a day to remember! We made our table planner from a wine cork board, and added our photos from each of the destinations to the table plan for a very personal touch.
What did you both wear?
My dress was ‘Victoria Jane’ from Ronald Joyce. This was purchased from ‘The Bridal House’ in Aston Clinton. I borrowed my veil from a close friend, which was in amazing condition after 26 years! For my ‘old’ item, I wore my mum’s blue garter from when she got married in 1969. My something ‘blue’ was a blue crystal Swarovski bracelet. My bridesmaid had also given me a pre-1946 sixpence for my shoe. My shoes were ‘Haywood’ by Susan Thomas. Jewellery was from Orkney designer, Sheila Fleet. I wore a tiara in my hair from the Bridal House.
Mark’s suit was from ‘Hire Class’ in Beaconsfield. The Best Man, Ushers & Father of the bride all wore royal blue cravats, whilst Mark wore ivory. As many of Mark’s family are Scottish, we also included blue thistles in his buttonhole on the day, to match those in my bouquet & in some of the table arrangements.
A little about the wedding ceremony:
We wanted a traditional church wedding, as we felt this was an essential base for the rest of our marriage. I had lived in the parish of St Mary’s for many years, and although we are now in a neighbouring parish, my parents still reside in Beaconsfield. The church is beautiful, and has lots of natural light. Rev’d Cassa Messervy officiated at the service. We loved having Cassa’s guidance throughout the planning process and her down to earth and warm approach at the ceremony itself. She suggested that we might like to write our own prayer which she would say for us towards the end of the service. We did just that, and so many of our guests commented on what a special and personal addition that was.
Our readings were ‘Song of Solomon 2 v 10-13’ and ‘Paths and Journeys’, adapted from ‘Far from the Madding Crowd’ (Thomas Hardy).
Tell us a little about your wedding venue styling and details:
As our venue was a barn, we wanted to achieve a classic look within a rustic setting. Tables were set very traditionally inside the barn, and flowers were provided by ‘Hot Flowers’ on every table.
We purchased personalised cork place name holders from ‘Corkey Creations’ in the US, and I also made the favours from small bottles with cork tops. We filled the bottles with personalised cream & blue M&M’s which went down a treat with all the guests!
We also placed little holders with bubbles on the tables, which kept adults and children very entertained – I would really recommend these.
I am very lucky that one of my friends attending on the day is a very gifted cake maker – we designed this to be a four tier cake, with each tier slightly offset from the next. Sugar craft lilies were placed on top. To go with the style of the barn, instead of a traditional cake stand, we decided to purchase a customised board from ‘Durham Boards’ with our names and the date of our wedding engraved along the front edge. This is now a lovely memento back at home to remind us of the day.
Finally, so that our guests had somewhere to leave their cards, we chose a rustic box from ‘Plantabox’, again with our details printed on the front.
Wedding music and entertainment:
Immediately after the wedding breakfast, we provided some musical entertainment from Tony Murtagh. Tony is a gifted soloist & guitarist. It was initially intended that he would play for just 2 hours, but our guests seemed to be enjoying him so much, that the first dance & cake cutting ended up being delayed by about 30 minutes to allow him to play more. Tony was also accompanied at one point by one of Mark’s cousins, who gave a fantastic rendition of ‘Valerie’.
Whilst Tony was playing, Martin had set up a ‘photo booth’ in the same room. We wanted everyone to write personalised messages on the blackboards and have their photos taken with them, which we are now turning in to our guest book for the day. Our guests definitely seemed to enjoy this too, some in particular making the most of all of the props and fancy dress that was also on offer for the photos! Once Tony had finished, we cut the cake and then had our first dance to ‘Lucky’ by Jason Mraz. The evening was then finished off with dancing to music from the Tudor Barn’s resident DJ.
Memorable wedding day moments:
The speeches were definitely one of highlights of the day. We chose to do these before the meal, which I think is a great option. It gave everyone something to chat about at their tables afterwards, and meant that all those giving speeches could relax and enjoy their meal.
The father of the bride’s speech contained all sorts of surprises, including when my dad presented Mark with a ball & chain, and also when he called on all of Mark’s supposed former partners present to return their front door keys to him. We suddenly had a line of people at the top table handing Mark back various sets of keys, including one of our groomsmen at the back of the queue!
The groom’s speech was extremely touching & had many of our guests shedding a tear or two. The best man’s speech finished things off by presenting Mark with some bagpipes, and then getting him to try to play. Unknown to us or any of our guests, some bagpipe music had been organised to play in the room just as Mark attempted to make a sound. Being a good sport, Mark realised this & worked with the illusion, leaving many people to actually believe he had been playing them for real!
Wedding day advice:
Try to relax! Both Mark and I were very calm, both in the run-up to the wedding, and on the day itself. I think this helped tremendously in how much we were able to enjoy the day and the preparations beforehand. I think it also allows you to remember and appreciate far more of the details from the ceremony and the day if you are not too nervous.
We had our rehearsal at the church 2 days before, and we arranged for a dinner for all of the wedding party attending the rehearsal straight afterwards. This was a really lovely thing to do, as it gave us some fun time with some of our family & close friends just before the day. It also meant that everyone could get to know each other a little better, as some had never met previously.
I also really enjoyed the preparations at the house on the morning before the ceremony, much more than I realised I would. I would advise people to make the most of these, and have a giggle.
Finally, with regards to the planning stages before the day itself, our advice would be not to get too stressed over small details. Things invariably work themselves out, and the planning stages are actually very special – enjoy them whilst you can. Just give yourself plenty of time & order and book things as soon as you can.
Recommended wedding suppliers:
We were really pleased with all of our suppliers, but in particular, we would recommend:
- Photographer: Martin Price (www.martinpricephotography.co.uk) was everything we were looking for in a photographer. We particularly like his documentary but classic photography style, and were absolutely delighted with the photos he captured on the day. Martin has been a pleasure to work with throughout, and we really enjoyed having him there on the day itself. Martin also includes an engagement photo shoot with his wedding packages, which was great fun & which allowed us to get to know Martin a little better very early on.
- Venue: We chose the Tudor Barn in Burnham (http://www.tudorbarn.co.uk) as it was important to us to have exclusive use of a venue for our day. The barn and grounds are beautiful, and provided exactly the kind of setting we wanted. The barn is independently owned and managed, and we found the whole process of planning our day with them very easy. The barn is a popular venue, but we always felt we got a personal service, and they were absolutely fantastic on the day – we almost felt like family!
- Flowers: ’Hot Flowers’ in Wooburn Green (www.hotflowersandart.co.uk). Extremely knowledgeable, efficient & have provided wedding flowers at most of the main venues in the area. Those guests who took arrangements home with them afterwards all commented on the high quality of the flowers & how well everything lasted.
- Shoes: One of my favourite wedding suppliers was Susan Thomas (www.susanthomasshoes.com). I wanted a well designed and stylish wedding shoe that I could wear again. After a lot of research, I found Susan’s website. Susan has six styles in her bridal shoe collection, and I chose the ‘Haywood’ shoe which is made from ivory suede. Susan was a delight to contact. The way she packaged the shoes for delivery, and enclosed a personal wedding card made the whole experience feel extremely special. I loved wearing the shoes on the day, and can’t imagine feeling happier with any other choice.
- Wedding List: We were in two minds as to whether to include details of gifts with our wedding invites, but in the end we agreed that although gifts weren’t required, our guests would probably appreciate some guidance. We decided to have our gift list with Trailfinders (www.trailfinders.com/giftlist), as we were using them for our Honeymoon arrangements. We found this whole process very simple & a number of our guests gave great feedback on the suggestion we had provided.
With thanks to Martin Price Photography for submitting Sarah and Mark’s Beaconsfield wedding to the English Wedding Blog.
I’m absolutely over the moon to have Martin Price Photography as one of my lovely sponsors on the English Wedding Blog. Martin is a documentary wedding photographer, and explained to me how he loves “to capture weddings unfolding before my eyes, in their real and natural state. I love working with couples to create a timeless story of photographs, shot in my signature clean, bright style.”
Please have a look at some more of Martin’s beautiful images on his English Wedding Showcase Page, and visit his website at http://www.martinpricephotography.co.uk/ for information and bookings.